Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm Easily Amused!

I was on Runner's Rambles' page today and saw that she had done a review on a company called My Race Ragz that made custom race shirts. So I went on their site to check it out. After playing around on their site for 15 minutes I created something that I am really tempted to buy. I love the design interface on their site because it gives you quite a bit of creative freedom. Anyhow, I thought this was the coolest thing and just wanted to share. This shirt cost $32 but Aron had commented that it was soft and wearable for long runs. I love this idea because you can practically create a new shirt for every race should you feel inclined.

The Half Way Point Status Check

At the beginning of the year, I wrote down a couple of goals that I wanted to achieve by years' end. I made the list mostly to keep myself accountable because I tend to be really scattered-brained when I don't have plans. Now that we are half way through the year, I thought it would be a good time to do a status check to see what I can cross off my list and what items I really need to crack down on. Okay, lets get started!

Fitness Goals:
1) Run more miles in 2011 than in 2010. I ran 1,084 miles in 2010. That is the number I need to beat. (I'm on track for this goal but I won't know the outcome until the end of the year. Still a work in progress.)
2) Run a sub-4 hour marathon. I am so close. I can do it! Thanks to my time at the Ojai Marathon, I can finally cross this off the list. I'm really happy and surprised that I accomplished this in the first half of the year. I didn't think that I would manage this, which is why I have no other marathon goals this year.
3) Sign up for 10K race. Beat PR of 50:10. Revisiting a distance I haven't raced in a long time. 
4) Climb a kiddie rock wall to the top. Remember in this post when I tried to climb but only got 3 feet off the ground and got scared. Yes I am afraid of heights.
4a) Climb a big indoor wall or ride a hot air balloon.
5) Run another trail race.  I can cross this one off my list thanks to the Billy Goat Half!

Personal Goals:
1) Plan 2012 European trip
2) Organize my living space. (this is still a work in progress. I've started on this and am happy with how it is coming along but I will need more time.)
3) Volunteer at least once this year.
4) Learn some French and/or Italian.

That's all I've done so far. The items in black I haven't even touched. I'm all about the low hanging fruit. :D

Shaved Ice @ Aloha BBQ - Mission Viego, CA

Last summer on a drive down to visit our friends with the triplets in Mission Viejo, we decided to stop for some Hawaiian ice. It was a hot day and I always crave shaved ice on very hot days.

I asked "someone" to move out of the way so that I can take a photo of the store front and this is what ended up happening...

Anyhow, it turns out that this was not true Hawaiian ice, it was just regular shaved ice. Hawaiian ice is very fine. Like powdery snow but this was not it. 

It was colorful, it was icy, it was sweet but it was no Hawaiian ice. I didn't get to try the food here so I am just reviewing the shaved ice.

Aloha BBQ
24000 Alicia Pkwy
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(949) 581-0976

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blast from the Past // Fourth of July 2008

Here are some photos from July 4th, 2008. I can't really remember much about it. Good thing I had these photos.

We were unusually festive that year and decorated the table!


We went to Huntington Beach that weekend to catch some rays and play in the sand. It was a really nice day with partial sun so it didn't get too hot.

We even rented bikes and rode them up and down the beach path.

Seasons 52 - Costa Mesa, CA

I was surprised with a dinner date at Season 52 after work yesterday. I've been wanting to try the food here for quite some time so I was very excited when we pulled up in front of this restaurant. I've been here a couple of times before, but only to have dessert shots. I even came here once with Sister K just to eat dessert in the middle of the afternoon. I love me some dessert shots!

Seasons 52 offers 4 seasonally inspired menu, which means that their menu changes each season to bring you the freshest tasting produce. I believe the 52 is the number of items they regularly have on their menu. Plus, they do not use butter. Seriously?

They have very knowledgeable servers that knows the menu up and down and can recommend wines to go with your meal. I believe our server also mentioned that all of their dishes are under 500 calories.

We got there early, so we sat at the bar with a glass of wine until our reservation time. I ordered a glass of the (Chehalem 3 Vineyard, Willamette '08), it was a dry Pinot Noir. I liked it. I'm really happy that I went wine tasting with Sister K that one time and learned that I like my wines dry.

Steak and Cremini Mushroom Flat-bread with spinach and no cheese (by request) - somehow I just know that this would have tasted so much better with cheese on it.

Oak Grilled Filet Mignon - very tender!

Caramelized Sea Scallops w/ Roasted Asparagus and Tomato/Mushroom Pearl Pasta - this was tasty and had a nice lemony freshness to it! It was very light.

Dessert shots! Honestly, I came here to eat this. ;o) Dinner was just a warm-up.

I practiced some self control and only had one. This is like a deconstructed Reese PB cup but better!

Seasons 52
3333 Bristol Street
Suite #2802, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 437-5252

Asian Tapas - Irvine, CA

We were headed to The Counter for dinner last Friday night but if you live in the OC, you know that trying to get into a restaurant for dinner on Friday or Saturday night is just a pain in the butt. Just as expected, there was a 45 minutes wait at The Counter. So instead of driving elsewhere to eat, we just walked a couple stores over to Asian Tapas. We had never been here before and sure enough, I had forgotten my camera at home so this review will be filled with iPhone photos. I don't think my dining companion was in the mood for Asian food but we made the best of it.

Asian Tapas has a pretty large menu so it took us a while to figure out what we wanted. I believe they specialize in Taiwanese food. Dining companion decided to just order a couple of appetizers and soup to try things out. I asked the manager what she recommended or what the restaurant was known for but she was really caught up in trying to help me find something tame it seems. I guess she must get a whole lot of people coming in there not knowing anything about Taiwanese food. When I ordered the Hainan Chicken, they kept asking if I knew that there would be bones in the chicken. Well...yeah! I must say that servers here are really attentive. They came our table numerous times asking if we were ready to order and then came back some more to ask how things were. They were fine. But it takes more than "just fine" to get me to come back to a place so we shall see.

Egg Drop Soup (serves 2) $4.49 - this was okay. It wasn't bad but I'm just not a huge egg drop soup fan.

Chicken Wings $3.99

Green Scallion Pancakes $2.99 - these were pretty good. They are like Asian green onion tortillas if you will. The browned parts are crispy and the lighter color parts are soft and chewy. I quite liked these. My mom makes these at home but I had never ordered them at a restaurant before so I wanted to try them out.

Steamed Mini Pork Buns $2.99 - this is the first time I've had this so I have nothing to compare it to but I thought they were just okay.

You dip the steam dumplings in this soy ginger sauce. The sauce was tasty.

Hainan Chicken with Rice $8.99 - I don't think I've ever ordered this dish at a restaurant before either. My parents make this at home and I think theirs' is better than this by leaps and bounds. I am going to have to give this a "meh".

There is a Trader Joe's across from this restaurant, so of course I had to go in. I tested out the camera on the iPhone by taking pictures of the floral area. It isn't bad but not great either.

Asian Tapas
6380 Irvine Boulevard
Irvine, CA 92620
(949) 651-8999

Blast from the Past // Fourth of July 2009

This week in honor of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, I am posting July 4th photos from the past. Did you miss my post on Fourth of July 2010?

I couldn't find too many photos from July 4th 09, but apparently that was the year I made a Red, White and Blue Trifle. Wow, I was really asleep at the camera that year. Can't believe I only have photos of me and this giant trifle that I wasn't able to eat.

It was really pretty but due to the size, it was really difficult to find space in the fridge to keep it cold. We ended up keeping it cool in a large ice chest.

Individual size trifle.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Watermelon Plum

Have you ever seen a Watermelon Plum before? Well here it is. Cool, right?

Okay, maybe that is not so cool. But getting some "Just Because" flowers is always cool in my book.

Due to my cold, I can't really smell them but I'm sure they smell as good as they look.

I really need to get going on putting together those baby shower favors and some other crafts! I don't know why I am thinking about that now except that when I get sick my to-do list just seems humongous. I was able to get some knitting in after all last night so I think I will have something to show by Friday.

Feeling Better

Since I was not feeling well yesterday I took some cold medication for some relief. However, those medications always dulls my taste buds causing me to not be able to taste anything. So yesterday I ate a lot of foods that I don't normally eat. Such as plain white rice, ramen noodles, popcorn and plain bagel. If you are what you eat than yesterday I was a bag of white flour.

I have not gotten worse today and am even starting to feel better so I consider that an improvement. Still no working out today as I am still on medication and it is giving me medicine head but I am back at work which is a good sign.

So I got a replacement phone last week because my crackberry decided that it no longer wanted to hold a proper charge and that it would rather be in a landfill than in my purse for another second. I'm still learning to use my new phone but it is leaps and bounds better than my old phone. In fact, I forgot my camera recently when I went to eat at a new restaurant that I've never been to before and took all the photos with my phone. I will be posting that review soon with iPhone photos. It is bad, not great either but it will do in a pinch.

Blast from the Past // Fourth of July 2010

Fourth of July is right around the corner. I was looking back at some of my posts from last year from around this time and realized that I never posted about Fourth of July. Strange.

So in honor of our country's upcoming birthday, I will be doing a series of Fourth of July recaps from years past. All these recaps are made possible by Sister K who took all these photos dating back to 2006. These are also a part of my Blast from the Past series because well...they are old. We'll be starting with last year.

Every year, my parents BBQ on the 4th just like everyone else; except they can cook enough food for a group of 10+ people on one of those tiny circular charcoal grill. They have mad cooking skills and lots of patience. They've been doing this for years. I believe they always grill up flank steak and chicken wings marinated with some Korean short rib marinade.

Last year, the parents made some veggie kabobs and a simple salad to go with the grilled meat. Sister S made and brought over some pico de gallo and chips.

Sister J made this zucchini bread.

I made some cookie-brownies and also purchased some little bundt cakes from the Farmers Market earlier that morning.

I guess this was also around the time that I use to juice more often.

We always gather around the TV after dinner to play video games while waiting for outside to get dark.

Then we put out some fold-out chairs and watch fireworks...

We only mess around with the stuff that sits on the ground.

We leave the aerial stuff to the neighbors or those with too much money or fingers on their hands. Just kidding neighbors! Thanks for always providing such an amazing show.