Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting Schooled

One Saturday a couple of weeks ago I went to what you can call Spinning school. At the time, I was already leading some spin classes but I felt the need to understand it in it's entirety. Mainly I wanted to make sure that I was helping my class ride safely. So I signed up for orientation and for 9 hours on that particular Saturday, I learned everything there was to know about Spinning.

I was sent an Instructor Manual a few days before class to read up on the sections that would be discussed in class. I was really excited to finally learn about how to run my class properly.

When I first arrived at the training facilities, I didn't know if I was at the right place because this was what I saw...

...but upon closer inspection, I realized that I was at the right place.

This was where all the instruction took place...the master Spinning instructor bike. We learned everything from bike set-up, safety, RPM, proper hand and riding positions, ride profile construction, music selection...just to name a few. It was a long day!

Edit: Leave it to me to forget the most important part to this post which was to say that I am now a certified Spinning Instructor! The certification is good for two years and if I keep up with the material and workshops, I can renew my certification when the time comes. I've really taken a liking to Spinning so learning new things about Spinning is fun and exciting to me. I hope to work towards becoming a Star 3 Instructor some day. That will take a long while.

Check out this tricked out Spin bike.

An older model road bike.

Wooden bike.


I actually had to pack a bag for class because along with the instruction, there were also instructional Spinning sessions. Two of them. So I was basically in and out of sweaty clothes all day without a shower since there weren't any at that facility. You can only imagine how happy I was at the end of the day to get home and grab a shower. Reminded me of Ragnar. Speaking of which, please head over to OUAL and vote on our 2012 SoCal Ragnar Team naming poll. Much appreciated!

During our lunch break, I walked over to this little French Market Cafe. It was really close by. No more than a five minute walk.

Of course I walked over to the pastries case as soon as I walked in. I'm just a bad example. I was good and didn't get anything.

I ordered a tuna sandwich on a baguette with an Arnold Palmer. The sandwich was simple but good. It is basically what you see in this photo. Maybe you can't see the mayo but everything else. The bread may have been better had it been toasted but it wasn't. It was really chewy. I hurt myself eating it. I looked around at what other people were eating and I had food envy. Too bad this place is so far away. I would eat here again.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where Does The Time Go?

The week is flying by! I haven't been blogging too much this week because of work and I've been teaching more spin classes which takes time to prep for. Yesterday I finally decided to hop off the spin bike and go for a run. My running schedule is totally messed up now that I am spinning so much. I didn't know how many miles I would be able to do since I hadn't ran since last week but I managed to get in 10 miles and it felt fine. I'm relieved that I still have running endurance. This weekend I will go out and do my final long run in preparation for Long Beach. I hope it will be enough. Long Beach was suppose to be my PR race but due to my unforeseen liaison with spinning, my training got sidetracked a bit. I actually feel more at ease not to have that pressure.

So yesterday was a double workout day for me as I ran 10 miles in the morning and taught a spin class in the evening. I was really hungry by dinner time. M and I decided to have dinner at Las Fajitas Grill in Irvine. I couldn't remember if I have ever eaten here before and if I had it was so long ago that I cannot remember. So it was new to me.

I love me some salsa bar!

M ordered some enchiladas but I wasn't paying attention so I don't know what kind it is but here's a photo. :)

M was really happy that this place started to offer sope. I had some. It was okay. The bottom crust is too doughy and it could really stand to have a bean layer somewhere in there. Maybe I am just reminiscing about another place.

I ordered these Chicken "Taquitos" with a side of black beans, spanish rice and a generous scope of guac. I put taquitos in parenthesis because these were not deep fried like you would normally find elsewhere. I really appreciated that it was not fried. I also ordered it without cheese which it comes with. I have to say that for $6.49 and even with no cheese and not being fried, this was one heck of a dish! I loved everything about it....everything!!

See? Everything! Not sure why I have not been coming here until now but you can be sure that I will be back and often. :)

Las Fajitas Grill
4250 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92604
(949) 653-0707

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Painting the Octagon

This morning M took me to Marmelade Cafe for breakfast because we always pass by this place and he happened to remember this morning that I had wanted to come here to try it out. Don't you hate it when you walk pass a restaurant and make a mental note to come back but then you forget until six months later when you walk by the same restaurant? No, just me?

M ordered Gilson's Scramble. Who is this Gilson?

I ordered the Egg White Frittata. 

Everything about this dish was uninspired. It was just ordinary and I'm not coming back here again.

After breakfast we went to help some of our coworkers decorate a coworker's office who's birthday is tomorrow. He is turning 50...thereby the Geritol, Ben-Gay and AARP They turned his office into a UFC ring. I was on the mat painting team and spent the day looking at this...

When we were done it looked like this. It took us 5 hours but it was so fun! I have to say that I work with some of the most amazingly creative and talented people anywhere. They never cease to amaze me.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

La Casita Mexicana - Bell, CA

Earlier this week I was watching the Food Network and this show came on...

Normally when I watch that show I would lust over food from some out of state restaurant that I cannot get my hands on but not on this day because Giada spoke of a caramel churros from a restaurant called La Casita Mexicana that was located in the city of Bell which is within driving distance. Yes! 


Consequently, Sister S tells me this evening during dinner at La Casita Mexicana that Chef Jaime (right) and Ramiro (left) took part in a Chiles Rellenos Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Apparently they are quite the regulars on Food Network.


They brought out these tortilla chips with three kinds of mole. Mainly so that we could sample the three kinds of mole. All really good. The next time I come back I am determined to order something with mole on it.

Everyone ordered the Lemonade with chia seeds. I was the only one at the table that didn't order this and I had regrets. Everyone else told me that this was one good lemonade. And it was! Sister S was nice and shared hers with me. :)

Tortilla soup that came with our entree. A simple soup but I liked it.

I ordered this Ceviche Verde and it was amazing! I normally don't like fish ceviche because some places do not make this correctly and the fish ends up being dry but this was so fresh and full of lime flavor. A really delicious dish! The waiter warned me that this was a spicy dish but it was just right for me and I think I have a normal tolerance to spiciness. 

Sister S and the BIL ordered the Three Meat Dish (beefsteak, homemade chorizo and beef cecina) w/ roasted cactus...a side of beans and homemade tortilla. Really good homemade chorizo over here! :D

Three Moles Enchiladas...beautiful isn't it?

Flan de Cacoa

The famous Churros Con Cajeta! Oh the creamy caramel filling. I could put that caramel on just about anything. That Giada knows her churros! 

I give this place a thumbs up! Yum! Everyone here is so nice. You have to come here and try the mole and ceviche and then finish off your meal with those amazing caramel filled churros!

Photo taken by Sister S

Me and Sister S with Chef Ramiro! He was so nice to us and even indulged my weird blogger need to photograph everything...haha!

La Casita Mexicana
4030 Gage Avenue
Bell, CA 90201-1127
(323) 773-1898

This was a gift and snack shops right next door to the restaurant. I believe it is family owned by the folks of La Casita Mexicana. Lots of cookies and candies that you would not normally see at a regular market. 

It was so colorful in there.

I don't know what these are but they seem sorta cute.

I guess the snack shop just got these Peanut Brittle Candy in stock recently. Seems like my dad would like these. 

A few doors down the other directions is a bakery. Paletas greeted us at the door as we entered. 

Followed by the most amazing aroma of fresh baked goods. They should bottle that smell. 

I don't know what this is but I wanted some but I had already picked out two pieces of baked goods. Maybe next time.

Pan Dulce