Monday, October 24, 2011

New Mexico Adventure 2011

This past weekend I went on an adventure. I decided that it was time to reconnect with my friend from elementary school.  Yes, I've known Camille (Heather) since the 4th day of elementary school.  We were Smith Surfers, Jr. Oilers, and Oilers together.  Go HB!! WOOOO.

She graduated number 1 in her class from UC Davis law and now lives in New Mexico.  It's not my first choice to live but it's certainly a place for adventure.

I started in El Paso, TX.  I didn't do much there but there were some lovely chalk paintings and a crazy statue.

The El Paso taxi driver told me I needed to learn Spanish.  He also said he used to live in Juarez...and I told him that I didn't want to cross that bridge :) I'd like to live through the weekend.  I had coffee at the Percalator and waited for Camille. It was tame

We went to Las Cruces to meet the puppies.  Camille has two dogs, Hermit (black) and Jemima (white).

We went backpacking in the Gila National Forest. The ranger said that there would be running water so we brought a filter.  We hiked for about an hour and we didn't see any water and were getting really worried.  The dogs sniffed it out! We set up the camp and kept hiking where we proceeded to act like Bear Grylls. 

I stepped on a snake (accident) and proceeded to scream. The snake is alive...I think.  It wasn't there when I went to check on it, so I assume. It was a tiny snake so it wouldn't have killed me.  Ok...onto the Bear Grylls...

Scenario 1: Hiding in the wilderness!

Scenario 2: Crawling on a log...please don't fall!

Scenario 3: Scare away the scary beasts of the wild!

And then, there is enjoying the surroundings! and not listening to directions ... eek!

All in all, a great weekend! A great adventure....oh ya! and we saw llamas! Weird!

Pirate Weekend

There is this thing called Buccaneer Days! 

It happens once a year, the first weekend of every October at Two Harbors on Catalina Island in California. 

I highly recommend it. 

There are a couple of rules.

1. Dress like a pirate!

2. Talk like a pirate. ARRGGHHH!

3. Act like a pirate!

He's acting like a pirate!

I arrived on a Friday.  I took the Catalina Express but next year I will sail.  There was a live band this year.  There is a DJ. The weirdest thing every is to see pirates moshing.  There is Grog! There was a special Catalina drink called Buffalo Milk.  This year I camped at the elementary school with Johanna, Mike, Nick and John.  Friday night is a party and Saturday day and Saturday night is an even bigger party.  Sunday morning is a recovery morning/day.  I left on the 4pm ferry back to Long Beach but next year, I'd take the 2pm ferry.  

Let me tell you!! Pirates can boogie! Make bad pirate jokes and drink. ARGHH!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

PB&J Thumbprint Cookies!

It's a lovely Saturday! I've tried to do a number of things off my To-Do list.

I really wanted to use the raspberry jelly that a co-worker made. Thumbprint cookies came to mind and then I remembered my cookie book.  I had this thumbprint cookie tagged...probably because of the peanut butter!   Plus, my mama likes peanut butter.

This is the original recipe.  I substituted 1/2 cup of butter. 

I used the measuring cups and measuring spoons that my mom bought at RISD. 

The brown sugar looks awesome. 

I mixed the 1.25 cups firmly packed brown sugar, .75 cups peanut butter, .5 cups butter, 3 tablespoons milk and 1 tablespoon vanilla in a large bowl.  I left the butter out so it was room temperature.  I decided to mix it with a fork since I didn't want to take out the mixer. 

Mix in 1 egg.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: 1.75 cups flour, .75 teaspoons baking soda, .75 teaspoonssalt.

Mix all together.  Put the mixture into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. In the mean time, set the oven to 375F.  Put sugar into a bowl (used for rolling the dough in).  I used large sugar crystals usually used for decorating.  They look terrific.

Roll the dough into balls and then roll the balls into sugar. 

Place into the oven for 6-8 minutes. Take out and push teaspoon sized imprints into the cookie.  Place the cookies back into the oven for another 3-4 minutes.  Take the cookies out and let cool.  You might need to press the cookies again.  

Let the cookies cool completely.  Place jelly into the imprint.  ENJOY! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I recommend...SAFARI PARK!

Do you love animals?


Do you want to get up and personal with a black rhino???


I highly recommend the After Dark tour at Safari Park in Escondido, Ca.

Daninmal and I had the best time feeding the animals.  The giraffes sure liked to lick Dan on the lips! The animals were all very friendly and I loved my time.  Our tour guide was amazing!  I recommend the After Dark tour, but beware, it is a bit sexual.  She said her Valentine's day tour is even more racey!  I can't wait to go back.  She'd tell us about how giraffes know when its female is ready to make babies and how successful the park is at making those babies!  

Just know that if you buy a tour, it also works towards the admission into the park.  You can hang out there all day and then go on the tour.  Unfortunately, we didn't know this and just showed up for the tour.  We missed out on a mother gorilla giving birth to her baby and then hold it and its placenta around for the day!  Thrilling, right?!

This is just one of the many adventures this summer!  Here are some more pictures!

Giraffe Close Up! There were baby giraffes and mama giraffes!

This is the male black rhino! Isn't he cute!?

Work It Out!

Who hates thinking of what to do at the gym? Who wants to get his/her blood moving at the office?  I'll start offering some workouts that will really get you moving- either at the gym or at work.  The workouts for each environment might alternate depending and will be posted a couple days week.  Hope you enjoy!

Warm up:

run for 5 minutes (if outside, find obstacles and run over, on or under)
5 x 30 seconds sprints with 30 seconds of rest in between
20 jumping lunges
20 push ups
30 arm circles forward
30 arm circle backward
30 second side plank (right)
30 second side plank (left)


Instructions: Do as fast as possible
15 burpees with a broad jump (jumping forward)
50 body weight squats
100 jumping jacks
rest for 20 seconds
30 burpees with a broad jump
50 squat with a kick back (squat back and as you rise kick back one left - alternate legs)
200 jumping jacks
rest for 20 seconds
1 minute plank hold
100 mountain climbers (hold push up position and run in place)
1 minute wall sit
rest 20 seconds
1 minute plank hold
100 mountain climbers
1 minute wall sit


Work on a push up: go as slow as possible down and as slow as possible up
Challenge 1: one arm push up
Challenge 2: one leg push up

Stretch it out!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Barefoot Running

This will be a quick and dirty post.  Unfortunately, no pictures (Sad face).  I'll update it tomorrow or this weekend with pictures.

Anyway, I am embarking on a journey.  It's more like an experiment. After reading Born to Run, I got really interested in barefoot running.  If that's how our ancestors did it, then by jolly, I should try it too.  Plus, there are so many benefits, or so people say.

So, I'm going to chronicle my entry into barefoot running and let you know, from my perspective how it is.  Thus far, it's been painful.  Part of that is because I totally took off part of my heel when I lost a battle with a shower door (skin came off, there was bleeding; it was a mess).  I bought Vibrams (the originals) in black.  I wasn't adventurous enough to try the crazy hardcore looking shoes.  I have 2 blisters (one on each foot) from the shoes.  Both blisters are on the inside of my foot.
To my surprise, I haven't been sore in the calves or anything.  I think it's because I do beach running once in a while, which is barefoot and more difficult than running on cement.  I started with a 2 mile walk run.  I've progressed to a 3 mile run walk (mostly run).  My core was a little more tired after the run, so I know I'm getting some good muscle action.  

I have a run coming up next week, so I'll probably use my regular running shoes.  It's a 6 mile run at Camp Pendleton.  The mud run (not the real one since it sold out but close).

More to come.  I'll probably lift a little with them too and let you know how that goes. I also plan on making this awesome awesome cake.  You'll just have to wait and see.  Until next time!! Exercise and eat.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cake Pops

This post is long past due.

A lot has happened in a year, since I last posted.  I moved back down to Huntington Beach.  I'm working at a medical device company.  I'm an official engineer. Woo!  I do important stuff, save lives, ya know, the usual.  I haven't been baking as much...but that will turn around since I've gotten more into photography and I have a new assignment.

My sister (the lovely, Danika) is getting married to a fabulous man (Adam)! I'll be helping out by making some desserts for the wedding reception.  I decided that Cake Pops would be a great option.  They seemed easy enough and I've always wanted to make them.  I've been following Bakerella for a while and now she has a book!  I bought the book and made attempt numero uno at red velvet cake pops.

Here she goes! (haha think of the Mario voice from Super Mario Brothers)

I first got ingredients at Ralph's and Michael's (Michael's has a new Duff line of products for decorating.  I was so overwhelmed and really had to limit myself to only a few).

Gathered all the ingredients
I made the cake the way it says on the box.  

You'll need: Eggs, Water, Oil

Added Eggs and the base started to turn red!
 Mix the batter together.  I needed to do a better job of this.  I think I'll sift it next time.  There were a lot of lumps that I had to get out later.

Also, I'm kind of sweaty looking.  I went to SPX Pilates this morning.  Stephanie killed me.  LOVED IT! :)

I hand crumbled the entire cake.  I think the color just looks fabulous!

I used a cream cheese frosting from the store.  I thought I could make everything from scratch, but for the dry run, I think it was cheaper and better to go with the tried and true method of store bought stuff.  The book says to use 2/3 of the 16oz container.  I eyeballed it but next time I think I'll go about it more methodically and actually measure the amount of frosting and capture that for my notes.  The balls came out a little too moist and I think I'd prefer more a drier cake.

I decided to go with a dark chocolate and a white chocolate.  I decorated with gold hearts, gold sprinkles, white sprinkles and some of the balls even got an edible coat of spray paint!   The orange spray paint isn't quite wedding appropriate but it sure was fun to play with.

This is just the first try.  I'd like to make a couple more batches to get the stick placement down and to get the coating looking a little better.  I need to decide if my sister would like to serve the Cake Pops facing now (like in the picture below) or placed in styrofoam or something and sticking straight up.  I definitely need more chocolate to coat the balls.  I also need to make the ball sizes smaller.  It should have made about 4 dozen and I think I got 3 dozen Cake Pops.  All-in-all, not a bad dry run.  Of course, I'd rather have them taste better than they look.  I'll keep you posted because I'm bringing the Cake Pops to work tomorrow for a nice treat!

It was fun getting back to the blog tonight.  I really enjoy writing and sharing my pictures!

Have a great night!