January 2010


I haven’t photographed my food for the day in a while and I knew today was going to be pretty standard, so I figured, why not? I woke up so exhausted from my late night of sushi, cookies, and karaoke bars (in retrospect, that probably would have made for a more interesting post than my boring Thursday!) but still managed to make it to work on time. Shocking! Oh, and I even cranked out 100 crunches…my new morning routine. The poor man’s attempt at building abs I suppose.

Breakfast was standard. Coffee + fat free Coffeemate (bad Kate) + splenda (double bad Kate) in my MIT mug. I have three portable coffee mugs and I am down to the last one because I haven’t been home one night this week before midnight to actually do dishes. Oopsie.

CIMG7605

Also, a big bowl of pumpkin oats…just 1/2 cup oats, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup pumpkin, cinnamon & curry powder. Not watery, just whipped. MMM!

CIMG7604

I worked for a bit, then took five to sign and fax a release form stating that Burn Notice could use a photo of me for a new online video game being released. Okay, fine, really they want the image because my friend Courtney is doing an acting job for them and they happen to be using a photo of the two of us but still. LA entertains me :)

I was counting down the minutes to lunch today for some reason. I refuse to eat before noon but at 11:58 I dashed into the kitchen to heat up some soup. Also standard. This light Progresso soup is my new favorite, the old favorite being Minestrone. Now I only buy the two and play mix & match.

CIMG7616

I also had 4 stone wheat crackers. These were a favorite of mine as a kid. They are especially good for dipping!

CIMG7618

Every day I make some sort of green veggie to accompany lunch but today I was hard-pressed for time. And most of my frozen veggies were covered in tons of ice so they were especially unappealing. Luckily I had a nice piece of roasted butternut squash in the fridge so I added that to my meal.

CIMG7620

Dessert was a piece of Dove dark chocolate. My boss has a secret stash that I sometimes pilfer. Apparently he bought the "Tips from Martha Stewart" variety…

CIMG7624

Speaking of my boss, for him, food = hospitality. You might think that food is unnecessary at a 3PM meeting but not in my office. Funniest part, my boss barely eats himself. Still, we had lots of brownies and cookies on hand.  Since I am used to this kind of thing and no longer tempted by the massive amounts of food at work (have I mentioned that we have a well-maintained stock of Swedish fish, Laffy Taffy, Runts, Skittles & honey whole wheat pretzels? I am now immune to all these treats), I refrained from the afternoon desserts and stuck to a heated cinnapple. Just nuke for three minutes and everyone in the office will jealously sniff away.

CIMG7626

I also attempted to touch up the lavender manicure I gave myself at the office yesterday. Some days I am seriously giggly over how very girly my job can be. What, your desk doesn’t look like this?

CIMG7610

CIMG7612 

Polish and Mags. Apparently February is the month for pink mastheads but More didn’t get the memo.

CIMG7615

Don’t be too jealous. There are also many, many piles like this:

CIMG7613

After work, I pushed myself to get to the gym.  Being sleepy didn’t help but once I was there, I banged out a super sweaty 30 minutes on the elliptical. Then I headed straight home to organize my life. As previously mentioned, I haven’t been around to wash dishes all week…or clean…or sit and mindlessly watch TV. I did a little of all three, then made a calzone with homemade dough, sauce, rosemary, goat cheese, leftover turkey sausage…

CIMG7630

…and LOTS of baby bella mushrooms!

CIMG7632

The finished product was golden and delicious!

CIMG7633

Sorry for the poor lighting but believe me when I tell you it was good. I wish I had mozzarella on hand but this wasn’t too shabby.

CIMG7634   

After dinner I drove Court to LAX to catch her redeye flight.  I am a firm believer in taking friends to the airport because 1) you never feel badly asking them to drive you, 2) it’s super expensive to park your car overnight and 3) super shuttle sucks. Then I went straight home for dessert and some reading in bed. I majorly crave these Weight Watchers bars!

CIMG7637

There you have it!  A day in the [boring] life of Kate. When I have a *normal* day, it typically looks something like this. Non-normal days actually occur probably about 50% of the time and look like tomorrow, which involves being at work at 7:30 AM to get driven to Long Beach for a work thang. My boss said something about suits…doesn’t he know that girl + PR + LA = no suits, ever?! I better scrounge up some black pants and blazer that I can pass off as the real deal…

Oh wait! My sister is an engineer. Something tells me she will have an outfit to steal. Happy almost weekend!

You’ll be proud to hear that I rallied the rest of the weekend! Saturday I busted my butt around the apartment – taking down painter’s tape, putting away the Christmas tree, hanging up frames, unpacking boxes…yes, things that should have been done weeks ago! Then I ran errands and treated myself to Foster’s Freeze.  I’ve driven past this place many times and never noticed much more than the creepy ice cream dude on the logo. I mean, seriously??

fosters1

But I was dying for some soft serve ice cream so I decided to give it a try and found out that apparently Foster’s Freeze is California’s version of Dairy Queen. They have Twisters instead of Blizzards…but they are basically the exact same thing! Why did no one tell me this before?! I got a chocolate Reese’s peanut butter cup Blizzard Twister and it was so delicious.

Later Rachel, Marissa and I hit up Bodega Wine Bar looking cute and sassy. It was packed! I had fun picking over the wines and ended up with a glass of Voignier, followed by a Riesling. Then we walked over to Bar Chloe inside Hotel Carmel.  I had no clue this place existed! The decor was very French and lounge-y. We chit chatted for a few hours until all three of us found ourselves yawning around 12:30. I know, I know, but at least I got out, right??

Speaking of getting out, I headed back to the old neighborhood this afternoon for an LA blogger meetup! Sweet Lynn from The Actors Diet organized and got a group together at The Veggie Grill in West Hollywood.  This restaurant’s website boasts “Nutrient-rich, 100% plant-based, and free of cholesterol, animal fat and trans fat, our food fills you with goodness.” Sounds like a foodie dream, huh?

I got there and recognized Lynn immediately of course. Thank goodness otherwise I would have stood around looking awkward since I didn’t know any of the bloggers who were already there. How I haven’t stumbled on any of these ladies’ blogs is totally beyond me!!

After gabbing for a bit, we finally got up to order.  It’s cold in LA (fine, it’s in the 50s/60s but it feels freezing to me!) so I decided to get the soup and salad combo. But no boring soups and salads at this place! First was a side portion of the Baja Fiesta:

Chopped romaine, papaya, avocado, roasted corn salsa, quinoa, cucumber, cilantro with a ginger-papaya vinaigrette.

CIMG7598

Followed by the chili, made with red & white beans and chopped green & red onion.

chili cropped

All the salads also included quinoa, which I really couldn’t taste but I’m sure added a great nutrional value. I got the dressing on the side and didn’t really need to use very much because the avocado and papaya were really juicy. Such pretty colors!

CIMG7600

I’m not usually a chili fan but I thought this bowl had a lot of flavor, especially with the green & red onions. I REALLY love onions.

CIMG7601

I couldn’t help but steal this picture from Sophia…food bloggers in action! No big surprise, it’s not nearly as awkward to take 10 pictures of your lunch when you aren’t the only one doing it :)

meetup

As I’m sure you already guessed, we were SUCH a cute group. Look at all these lovelies!!! From bottom left going clockwise you see Lynn from The Actors Diet, me, Mimi from Damn the Freshman 15, Kathryn from Froyoaholics, Christy from The Actors Diet, Sophia from Burp and Slurp, Erin from Living and Loving in LA, Ameena from Fancy That…Fancy This, and Suzanne from Trying to Maintain.

bloggers

Thank you SO much Lynn for getting us all together!!!! It was so great to meet all of you ladies and I can’t wait to check out your blogs.

Anyone else “discover” new bloggers in your city??

I am ALL about the LOOOONG meal.  If it only takes me five minutes to eat, guaranteed I will be “hungry” again sooner rather than later.  That’s why I usually eat lots of little things that I can space throughout the day so my snacky habits are always satisfied!

Lately I’ve been trying to bulk up my lunches and dinners with anything that is low-cal and high-fiber.  One of my favorites is a serving of whole wheat spaghetti, bulked with spaghetti squash, tomato sauce, broccoli, fresh basil, garlic, red onion, and red pepper flakes. Check out this massive plate of deliciousness!

CIMG7536

For me, adding veggies to any meal is an easy way to turn a little serving into a BIG one!

Speaking of maximizing, I am all about bulking up my desserts too. Check out my first Sprinkles taste of 2010…half a Belgian dark chocolate cake/bittersweet chocolate icing cupcake with a Weight Watchers 1 point latte bar on the side. SO heavenly! I really wish blogs came with a scratch-and-sniff option. The frosting on this cupcake smells almost better than it tastes. I had this treat on my desk all day and the scent followed me from the office into the car on the ride to the gym, then from the gym to my apartment…so hard not to just take a big bite right then!

CIMG7543

Smell the frosting!!! See what I mean?

CIMG7544

Tonight I am just bumming around. When did I get so old?? Even a few months ago, Friday & Saturday nights were ALWAYS going out nights. Now I am just so darn tired and can’t even fathom staying out late on Friday after my long weeks at work. I am losing my energy I guess?! Anyway, I want to at least attempt being social again on Fridays. I can manage a happy hour at the very least, no? Oh well, I have two more days to drum up something exciting :)

Today’s work lunch was at Craft Los Angeles, Tom Colicchio’s restaurant. I think I’ve shared a picture before from the restaurant’s site, but I just love the pretty space. So romantic, right? It’s funny because it’s filled with business people most of the day!

CLA_slideshow8_02

My boss always orders “family style” from here and our group of six shared a bunch of plates including a tuna appetizer and braised beef short rib featured on the menu page.

craft_los_angeles_press_main craft_menu_main

The best part was dessert.  My company never skimps on dessert! Six of us split beignets, caramelized bananas, rhubarb crisp, and the most amazing chocolate mousse sundae with coconut sorbet. For once I left with a satisfied belly! For some reason shared meals don’t always fill me up. I mean, yes, we ordered a decent amount but I only had one or two bites of each dish!

Best part of the meal?  Seeing Bobby Flay eating lunch too! It was a food star extravaganza.  We all agreed he was taller and thinner than we imagined…and cuter! He was with his wife, Stephanie March, who played Alex Cabot on Law & Order SVU. Quite possibly was more excited to see her :)

Speaking of TV food stars, how HOT is Curtis Stone? I am watching TBL right now and he is just so cute I could eat him up with a spoon.

I also grabbed some new books for the next two weeks. I love libraries (there is a gorgeous one at the end of my block!) and make a trip at least once every other week.  Here are the ones I read over the past two weeks:

image

Michael Connelly is one of my favorites! His books are all cop/thriller types that take place in Los Angeles. I love books that keep me on edge. I don’t do scary movies but I definitely do scary books!

image

From the author of P.S. I Love You…this book was cute and had a really touching ending/message.

image

This book was my dose of intense emotional overload.  It told a complex story of a young girl who experiences abuse growing up and hasn’t spoken in three years. Her father drags her into the woods during a drinking stint at the same time her best friend goes missing.  A manhunt starts for both girls and the story is told from the point of view of many of the main characters.  It one of those wrenching-type tales that you just can’t not read, you know?

image

I wanted to like this book more than I did.  In fact, it was the first one out of all four that I picked to read. It told the story of two best “friends” whose relationship falls apart when the needier of the two suddenly finds love, money, pregnancy, etc. There were some entertaining parts but at the same time, I didn’t actually like any of the characters, which always makes a book tough to truly enjoy.

Coming up for the next two weeks I have three more that I’ve been anxious to read!

image

image

image

Plus, I just started The Help, so I might throw that one into the mix.

image

So there you have it. In case you couldn’t tell, I am a big city, bar hopping, social butterfly, beach loving BOOKWORM!!! Okay, off to bed with some peppermint hot chocolate and another chapter :)

I’ve been having major sweet cravings lately so Friday night I hit the store for ingredients to make oatmeal chocolate chip cranberry cookies. I really needed a relaxing night of nothing after an insanely busy week at work, and these were the perfect snack to munch while watching Grey’s and Private Practice. I always forget how much I love both these shows until I actually sit down to watch them and am literally glued to the TV!

I took the easy way out and bought Betty Crocker Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie mix.  Simply add butter, egg (beaters!), dried cranberries and VOILA!  I think I ate a dozen of these…

CIMG7546

I spent most of the next morning digesting and finishing up a Cecelia Ahern book.  For lunch I tapped into another recent craving – rye bread! Usually when I buy bread, I end up getting something light aka 100 calories for TWO slices and not nearly as delicious.  I use sandwich thins and light English muffins and light wheat bread often enough but sometimes I let carbs steal the show.  I toasted two slices of Oroweat Russian Rye and made my favorite tuna to put in between.  Simply tuna, very little light mayo, red onion, celery, and the secret ingredient – dill!

CIMG7549

My mom always made tuna with celery and it’s still my favorite way to eat it!

CIMG7552

Mookie and I bummed around for a little bit after lunch. Ah, the tough life.

CIMG7553

Finally, I decided to get my booty in gear. After a holiday hiatus from the gym, I’ve been trying to workout after the office whenever I don’t have other plans.  But the thought of sweating on the elliptical when all I really wanted was to be outside and get my body moving wasn’t too appealing, so I went exploring instead!

After searching some trails in Malibu online, I decided on Escondito Canyon after seeing that the hiking path ended in a waterfall! I drove way past the “celebrity” part of Malibu and almost missed the park entrance. It was so quiet and rural (well, speckled with huge mansions of course) that I felt like I had travelled much further than a few miles outside LA.  After about a mile along a paved road, the trail starts…

CIMG7558

CIMG7569

It was so pretty! The entire path was literally caked with horses’ hoof prints, which I loved.

CIMG7572

I had to cross over water several times. Okay, it doesn’t look like much, but the rocks were super slippery at some points! Apparently someone else had some trouble navigating because at one point a team of paramedics passed me helping a group down the trail.  Oh yeah, and about 50 hunky firemen! Hot and polite – every single one of them said hello :)

CIMG7559

One major gripe – this trail was SO poorly marked. And by poorly I mean there was no signage at all!  I felt like I should be dropping food Hansel & Gretel style if I wanted to make it back to my car in one piece. I came upon several points where I literally had to guess which way to go.  Seriously, what to do when you come upon this??

CIMG7575

I was thinking right, but then I went left. I had been listening to Jack Johnson but I turned him off so I could hear other people and sounds. Not two minutes down the path I heard sounds coming all the way from the right so I quickly turned around and took the other fork. Whew!

At one point I passed a girl talking about being on the wrong path and I almost freaked out but then I realized she was talking about the wrong career path.  Haha, right? Finally I made it to the waterfalls. Apparently the amount of water constantly changes and it was pretty dry this weekend – but still v. beautiful! I believe there is another upper falls but no trail to get there, just rocks, and I didn’t want to attempt that on my own!

CIMG7560

Heading back, I knew just where I was going and I swear it took half the time, easily. On the walk back down the road, I got some fabulous views of the Pacific.

CIMG7578

How much would you like to live in that house??

CIMG7581

I can’t wait to take other people up this trail and check out some new ones! It was a perfect way to spend a mild, sunny Saturday. I love getting some green in my life :)

Anyone else have a lil secret love for Sheryl Crow?

Thanks so much Susan for sending the Happy 101 game my way!  I think I need to play this game on my own more often; it’s nice to remember the little things that make us smile!

happy_101

The rules are to list 10 things that make me happy then pick 10 other people to do the same!

Here it goes. I have to warn you, some of these are pretty random :)

  1. Sitting on the beach, watching the sunset. Preferably during the “off” season when it’s empty and chilly and you have to bundle up in a warm sweatshirt and you feel like the whole world is just you + the ocean. Gorgeousness!
  2. Reading. I always have a book on hand. In fact, I even keep one in my car in case I ever have 5 minutes of spare time that I can fill with a good book. My favorite place to read is on the couch, under blankets, with some munchies. I can’t even guess how many books I’ve read; I try to read one a week actually.
  3. Long drives with loud music. I love cruising up the coast, blasting tunes. “Bad” boy bands are always appropriate at this time.
  4. Drinks outside at sunset. For some reason, booze just tastes better in this one hour, no?
  5. The Goo Goo Dolls. It’s a little embarrassing but I LOVE GGD. I’ve heard them in concert so many times…and I’ve been known to literally hold my heart while they are singing because I feel like it’s coming out of my chest. Yeah, lame, I know. Once Johnny Rzeznik (lead singer) GRABBED MY HAND. And I got his guitar pick. Swoon!
  6. Law & Order SVU marathons. I can (and will) easily spend an entire day watching this show.
  7. Target. Come on now! Good food + cute clothes + cheap prices = my heaven. Going to Target late at night or early in the morning when it’s nearly deserted soothes my brain.
  8. Finding my clients in print. I love flipping through magazines and seeing my clients’ quotes and products and knowing that I did that. Quantifiable measurements of success are always nice…especially when they are glossy and supersized and in the pages of ELLE.
  9. Cards. I love receiving, sending, and even browsing through cards. Especially funny ones, and especially with my mom. We have the same taste and have been known to detour into a store’s card aisle and spend literally an hour passing them back and forth.
  10. Seeing a FedEx truck. Okay, before you go thinking I am literally insane, have you ever noticed that the Ex forms an arrow? I studied graphic design in college and am totally fascinated by logos. Whether you see it or not, this arrow keeps your eye “moving” — which is the whole point of the company! Genius.

Ah, that was a nice Friday work break! It can be hard to always be positive and happy and looking on the bright side BUT making a list like this one reminds me how many little details about our daily life can truly make us smile. Reassuring, no?

I would love to read ten things that make ANY of you happy! But I don’t want to cop out so here are 10 bloggers I love:

Whit
Marisa
Heather
Lynn
Kaneil
Caroline
Nicole
Gina
Kristie
Lesley

Okay, the food processor is seriously amazing. I’ve been using it nonstop. With my mom’s birthday coming up, I really wanted to figure out a way to share the fabulous Christmas present she gave me! After some diligent searching, I found THE cutest jars at Cost Plus World Market and decided to make almond butter and Basil Spinach Walnut Pesto to send along with her birthday present!

I was nervous about attempting both for the first time but they went easier than I could have imagined! For the almond butter, I simply roasted a bag of raw almonds at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. After they cooled down a bit, I just added them to the food processor with a little bit of kosher salt and started pulsing! First came the dust, then the clumps, then all of a sudden – smooth and creamy almond butter!

CIMG7516

Look at those perfect flecks in the jar and that nice layer of natural oil at the top! I still can’t believe that a bag of nuts could turn into this…and the taste was amazing! I can’t wait to experiment with other nuts and add-ins, but wanted to stay simple for the first tester.

CIMG7521

I also made a great Basil Spinach Walnut Pesto with garlic, EVOO, basil, spinach, walnuts, parmesan, and salt.  I found so many recipes online and eventually came up with a version of my own. One great thing about cooking – unlike baking, it’s okay if you don’t use exact measurements! Throwing in ingredients to taste makes it so much fun.

CIMG7524

Again, I was so impressed by the results! The pesto smelled really delicious, and I liked adding the amount of EVOO and cheese that I wanted. I am not a fan of parmesan but I don’t mind the taste when it’s a necessary ingredient, so it was nice to just toss in a little bit at a time.

Here are the jars all ready to go for my mom!

CIMG7529

I had leftovers of both after filling the jars so I cooked up some whole wheat pasta shells and added some of the pesto.  On the side, I pan cooked a piece of Dover Sole with lemon and spices. Fancy, no?

CIMG7502

Check out that gorge-y color :)

CIMG7503

Anyone have some “musts” for my new kitchen toy??

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.