Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I love Thanksgiving at our house! Family, friends and amazing food. Whats not to love! I am grateful for all that I have in life...my amazing family, my partner in crime, my adorable pup, my job, being able to run like the wind and enjoy all that life has to offer! I really am a lucky gal and I am truly grateful. With that, here are some photos of the amazing food that my parents wiped up. Love you mom and dad!

Pie 1: Apple
Pie 2: Pumpkin
Pie 3: Lemon Meringue

And every year my sisters always request that I make this Double Layer Pumpkin Pie from the lovely people at Keeblers. I make this pie every year and even though I can no longer eat this, I did taste it the first time I made this pie a couple of years ago. I can't even remember what it taste like but I do love making it for the family.

Got all the ingredients together!


Mixing the bottom layer

Top layer in the works

Simple as that! And NO baking! You heard right! :D

Monday, November 29, 2010

I *heart* Crumbs Bake Shop - Hollywood, CA

I was doing some work related errands last week that took me to Hollywood. I took the opportunity to check out LA Live and the Hollywood and Highland shopping center. I had not been here in a couple of years and things have changed a little bit. More shops and restaurants for one. But what I was really excited about was the chance to taste cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop. And the verdict...they are amazing! They are my new favorite cupcakes. The cake part is moist and the frosting is not overly sweet. The cupcakes are LARGE, they are the size of those large muffins. It actually took me 4 sittings to eat one. But each time was as amazing as the first. I will definitely come here whenever I am in the area. I hope they open up a store in the OC soon...hint hint!

El Capitan Theater
What is this thing? A giant macaroni?
Break dancers on the Walk of Fame.

Here I go, like a kid in a candy store!!
Cupcakes boxed, bagged and ready to take home to savor!
This is my beloved Baba Booey! Peanut Butter and Chocolate! I died!
By the way, this was the reason I was in Hollywood! But that's all that I'm sayin'. ;^)
Crumbs Bake Shop
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Suite 127
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 462-1300

or Various other locations

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bleep My Dad Makes (aka Cherished Family Recipes) - Pork Sparerib Ragout

I think I mentioned this before but my parents are greats cooks! They must know about a hundred recipes just off the top of their heads. Needless to say, I can't get this stuff at any restaurant, if only because my parents make it slightly different by adding a little of this or that. There is just something very special about a home cooked meal and the memories that it evokes. My parents made almost every single meal I ate as a child. We rarely went out to eat and it wasn't until I left home when I first went off to college did I realized how much I loved my parents cooking. This here, is one of my and my siblings favorite dish. It is simple, delicious and comforting. I can't remember if my mom made this dish first or my dad but on this occasion, my dad made it. My mom and dad both cook a lot of dishes and this may be the first of many more recipes that I record down from them. It is nothing fancy but I adore it.

Pork Spareribs with Carrots and Potato in Tomato Sauce (can also be made with chicken meat) - this is a variation of a French Ragout (Ragu)

1 cup dry pinto beans (soak for a couple of hours or overnight)
1 lb pork spareribs cut into cubes
2 tbsp oil (corn or canola)
1 tbsp chopped garlic
3 oz tomato paste
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
2 large carrots - sliced diagonal
2 large Yukon potatoes - quartered and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1) Boil pinto beans for 15 mins or until mostly cooked.

2) Heat oil in wok on high heat and saute garlic for 15 seconds.

3) Put in pork spareribs and saute for a few seconds. Add tomato paste, oyster sauce, beans along with 1 cup of water that bean was boiled in, pepper and chicken bouillon.

4) Cover wok and turn down heat to medium-low for 20-25 minutes or until beans are tender.

5) Add carrots and potatoes and cooked covered for another 20-25 minutes. Serve over rice.

Note: Dad says that if you are using frozen pork spareribs from the freezer that you should boil on medium high heat for a few minutes until meat is no longer red. Then rinse in water to get rid of the boiling residue. This step is not needed if the meat is not frozen or is purchased on the same day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gladiator Tough

I am short on time this week which is why I have not posted in a couple of days but I still wanted to write an update anyways. So over the weekend, instead of going out for a long run on Saturday morning, I went to a Gladiator Rock n Run sponsored workout at Innovative Results over in Costa Mesa. I had wanted to go for a run...really I did...but it was pouring rain when I got up and the decision to run in the rain or stay in my warm bed was an easy one. I've been following the Rock n Run on twitter for a while as I was kind of curious as to what it was and is also how I found out about this workout. So I just wanted to say that the workout was great! It was nice and difficult, just the way I like it. I was really sore all over for the next 2 days, but it was the good kind of sore, where you know you got a good workout in. Anyways, so this is what I do when I am not running. I love doing body weight type exercises or just workouts that do not require a lot of equipment. Anyways, after the workout, I must have been feeling too high in the sky because that very night, I decided to sign up for the Gladiator Rock n Run on December 4 in Irvine. Think obstacles, climbing, crawling, fire, being beaten with jousting sticks...general badass-ery and MUD! So yeah, I'm looking forward to it. Plus it is only about 3 miles of running involved, probably just running from one station of torture to the next. So more on that after I come back from the mud pit.

See? There I am in the first row all the way to the left of the photo.
Rock on!!
This is what it looked like outside last Saturday when I woke up.
So I went to the store and picked up a few things to make breakfast.
I made this. Yeah I'm just a simple gal.
Feel free to admire the deliciousness!
Then, I took my pup to get his teeth clean. This is not my pup, just a pail full of monkeys at the place where he was getting his teeth cleaned!
I saw the Beetles! They were handsome lads.
Biggest IPad and Netflix envelope ever!
GIANT Christmas tree! GIANT!
And this lovely spoon rester that Sister J brought back for me from San Antonio. Thank you!! I wanted one of these for the longest time and it is purple. WIN!
In case I don't get one more post in before the start of the holidays. I wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is always a wonderful time at our house. I hope you all spend it with the ones you love. I'll be back either later this week or next week with a fun Thanksgiving posts. Don't eat too much! It'll only mean you have to run that much more after the fact! :D

In running related news, I will be starting my LA Marathon training very soon. I have some good races lined up for next Spring so I can't wait. Still need to find a couple more halves.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Great Year of Running!

The soreness from my legs are more bearable today. I must've been out of shape a bit because I didn't remember feeling this sore after Chicago. This past month of crazy work hours has taken a toll on my energy level resulting in less running. Which is probably why I am still feeling the affects of Sunday's race. Mind you, I had a wonderful time out there but was sad at how those hills ate me for breakfast. Instead of the other way around, can I even say that?

I am seriously thinking of going back next year to try to get a better course PR. That course reminded me a lot of my final leg of the Ragnar SoCal Race in which I ran 9 miles on the Laguna Beach Highway where people do not normally run...which is ridiculously cool to me. Except Malibu was much more windy and dusty, and of course longer which made it hotter, heat wise. I don't know what it is with me and running in such hot weather lately. I am actually kinda looking forward to running a cooler race soon.

So what's next? Well, I have my eye set on the Southern California Half Marathon in January. I am taking a closer look at this race because it is so close to my place that I can literally roll out of bed and start running. Ok, maybe running in my PJs is not the best idea but I can if I wanted to. Then I have the Surf City Half Marathon in February, LA Marathon in March. And trying to get my April races lined up, but having some race conflicts which I hope to resolve in the near future. Then I have Big Sur in May! And that's about as far as I want to think about for now. I had a great year of running in 2010!

13.1 Los Angeles Half Marathon

Surf City Half Marathon

Los Angeles Marathon

Laguna Hills Half Marathon

San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon

Nautica Triathlon Event - Run - 10K

Chicago Marathon

Malibu Marathon

Monday, November 15, 2010

2010 Malibu Marathon (My 10th Marathon!) - Race Recap

Date: Sunday - November 14, 2010
Location: Camarillo to Zuma Beach (Malibu)
Start: 7:00am (Freedom Park - Willis Ave & Convair St.)
Finish time: 04:46:00 (Must come back next year and try again!)

Pre-race commentary: The running of the Malibu Marathon marks my 10th marathon. Never thought I would run this many. When I first thought of running a marathon, I thought it would be a one time, bucket list thing. But look at me now, 9 marathons later, getting ready to run my 10th, just a month after the 9th one. It's like I've gone nuts. I'm actually looking forward to running this race because as much as I love running for time, it stresses me out and I'm not able to enjoy the racing experience as much as I would like to. I actually decided to run a couple of races for fun next year without goal expectations. Maybe LA and Big Sur...maybe.  So in about 3 weeks, I will give you the run-down on how this went.

Post-race commentary: The Malibu Marathon that I just ran yesterday was my 10th marathon. Somehow I had thought that perhaps my 10th one would be large and full of fanfare but I'll settle for small and scenic any day. Running the Malibu Marathon made me realize a couple of things about myself that I had not known before. For instance, I realized that I would rather run a small marathon with very little crowd support with amazing scenery than a very large race through city streets. As difficult a course as Malibu is, I really enjoyed the race a lot. It gave me a little taste of what Big Sur will be like. With that said, I better get training on those hills! I didn't run a very spectacular time at this race, in fact, my time was reminiscent of what I use to get when I first started running marathons. But I enjoyed every single moment of it. Here are the things that made this race so great for me. In no particular order:

1) Arriving at Freedom Park about 30 minutes prior to the start and still having time to use the bathroom and stretch.
2) Being ridiculously close to the start line and having my sisters standing around chatting to me until the start really helped calm my running nerves.
3) Not being stepped on by hoards of people trying to push their way to the front of the start.
4) Not having to dodge people, lots of space to run.
5) Running along the flat farmland that smelled like a salad at one point and cow poo at another, ok maybe the cow poo smell wasn't a high point.
6) Running along the PCH with the ocean to my right. Even the terrible windy conditions could not damper my spirit. At many points, the wind was so strong it keep threatening to blow my hat off. At one point, the wind almost blew me over.
7) I even enjoyed running up and down those hills the last 6 miles of the race. I LOVE small races! Just like a training run with a couple hundred people. If you enjoy small races, this race is for you. I would not recommend this course for beginners but the views are gorgeous.
8) Getting a towel along with a medal when you cross the finish line. The towel was in lieu of getting a shirt. The towel is not the best quality but a novel idea.
9) Finally, the volunteers...especially the energetic UCLA sororities manning the water stations towards the last few miles of the course. Their high energy was a good little pick-me-up. All the volunteers in general who manned these water stations out in the sun and windy conditions, almost all of them without any shade because this entire course offered little to no shade.THANK YOU Volunteers!!

And here are a few things that I think can be improved upon:
1) More water stations. There was a section of the course around miles 15-18 where they had ran out of water so it was like 4 miles between water stations. This was not a problem for me since I was carrying my own but something to think about if you are planning to run this thing in the future. Also, they only offered coconut water at a couple of water stops.
2) Those hills at the last 6 miles were killer! Not sure why they designed the course this way. Seems sadistic.
3) Would be nice to have more food at the end. Bananas and Pop Chips just don't cut it for me. I really wanted a bagel or some sort of carb when I came in but there was none.

Arriving at Zuma Beach on Saturday morning for packet pick-up.

Small size expo, but I've seen smaller.

More expo shots

Ford - race sponsor.

Zico! I LOVE coconut water and loved that they were offering this on the course in place of Gatorade.


Finishers medals and beach towel on display.

Close-ups of the medals. Round!

My sisters! Thank you for your support this weekend! You are all awesome!

Packet pick-up area.

True to life elevation map! Gulp!

Very bright out!

LOL, of course I went to the Mecca that is the Nike Outlet at Camarillo!

They gave us these tote bags when we picked up our bibs and timing chip. Speaking of timing chips, this race is still using old school timing chips that you have to return. I didn't know they were still around.

 Me at the start line. I've never been this close to the starting line before. :)

There goes the last person pass the starting line. Probably took all of 5 minutes to get everyone started. I LOVE small races!

Sister K took this shot of them dissembling the starting area. Don't get to see that all the time.

Ran pass a lot of this...

...and this.

Finish line activities.

Medal table.

Stacks of towels.

Here I come...so happy to be finished and seeing my sisters cheering me on!

Happy! Coming back next year? YES!!

Heading home along the PCH. Best post race drive home ever! Thank you Sister S for driving me!

Medal! It's round!!