Will the weather ever get summery?! I woke up Saturday morning to MORE CLOUDS and decided a batch of blueberry pancakes were in order. I used 1/2 cup whole wheat mix, 1/4 cup Maine bloobs, 1/4 cup egg beaters, some H2O and 1 tbsp maple syrup to make this plate. They were really thin but good!

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Thanks to the icky day outside, I spent much of the day cleaning, reading, and watching TV. I took a break around 11 AM to hit the gym for 45 minutes on the elliptical. My ankle has been bothering me the last few days, and this is the only way I can workout without really aggravating it! Followed by grocery shopping, I got home pretty hungry for lunch and pulled out some of my purchases to make a chile lime chicken burger topped with pickles and grilled onions and sweet potato fries.

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Snacks throughout the rest of the afternoon included a mint Skinny Cow and a Red Delicious apple.

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After lazing around all day, I was motivated to get out of the apt and met Kate W for a late dinner at Yatai.  She just moved back to LA and has never been to our favorite sushi spot, so I had to introduce her! I started with a berry beer and some shared edamame. For our main meal, we split some favorites. Sorry for the recycled pictures!

CA roll

CA roll

Crispy rice with spicy tuna

Crispy rice with spicy tuna

Popcorn shrimp

Popcorn shrimp

We shared these three dishes, plus seared salmon sashimi.  I was stuffed after!  Of course, there was still a little room for dessert :)

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I half passed out awkwardly on the couch and roused myself at 2 AM to get into bed. Then today I woke up around 8 to more clouds.  Boo!  For breakfast I went back to basics with my regular yogurt mess. Lots of fresh and frozen fruit — it was delicious!

Topped with Oaty-Os and Kashi Go Lean Crunch!

Topped with Oaty-Os and Kashi Go Lean Crunch!

After more cloudy day activities (i.e. reading, watching tv, and cleaning again!!), I snacked on some Newsroom toast with Better N’ PB and cherry jelly.

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Then the SUN came out late afternoon! I grabbed an apple to enjoy with the good change in weather.

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Even thought it wasn’t hot, I decided to make the most of the blue skies and headed down to the beach to read on the sand. It was incredibly windy but I was so happy to finally be outside :)

I also got to swing by Panera, meaning bread and black bean soup on the beach…

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…and Strawberry Lemon Poppy seed Chicken salad when I got back home.

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Later I got a little snacky, so I made some sweet potato cheetahs and broccoli slaw with mushrooms and balsamic vinegar.

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This weekend flew by in a minute!! I can’t believe it’s almost Monday already.  I think I have another crazy week coming up but hopefully I can squeeze some fun stuff in there too.  Right now I am just bumming around before going to the airport to pick up Julia. She has been in MN all week and I’m so glad she’s almost home!! Her flight gets in 11:30ish so I will probably try to get to bed after that :)

I love having this extra day! Sunday morning I woke up before 7 AM. Apparently my body definitely hasn’t gotten the weekend/vacation memo!! I made a cup of that gorgeous Godiva chocolate and a yogurt mess.

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I finished my breakfast, posted, and caught up on your lives all before 8:30!  I spent the rest of the morning relaxing and doing too much nothing. I tried to lay down for a bit but didn’t fall asleep. Around 11, my stomach started growling but I wanted to head down to the beach for lunch, so I had half a Ginger Snap Larabar to tide me over. It shut up my belly immediately and ended up keeping me full for another 3 hours!

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I headed down to Santa Monica & Third Street Promenade. This spot is one of my absolute favorite places in LA. The Promenade is filled with restaurants and shops and people everywhere.  Families, friends, couples — every body walks around in the sun, happy, enjoying the palm trees and bright, beachy colors. Yesterday, there were tons of people rollerblading, biking, tanning, picnicking, and flying kites.

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I did a tiny bit of window shopping before stopping by Panera to grab some lunch. Then I drove down and found a nice sunny spot in a little park to eat my half Mediterranean sandwich (without the feta), black bean soup, and french baguette.

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I ate my lunch while reading The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee. I’m not too far into the book but I like it so far. It’s not amazing but it’s different…

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I didn’t bring a bathing suit to the beach though, BOO! It ended up being pretty warm and I probably could have laid out for a bit. When I got home, I got to see Julia!!! Poor girl has been working like crazy. We made plans to go out with some of her friends for appetizers and drinks. In an attempt to fill my belly a little bit before going out, I had some watermelon and heated cinnapple cubes. These little snacks did a great job of keeping me from ordering a ton of food once we finally sat down for dinner at the restaurant!

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Julia convinced me to walk the 2+ miles to the bar…she’s so good like that! At dinner, the two of us split a tuna burger topped with guacamole and onions, with some mixed greens on the side. I also had one glass of white wine and one glass of pink champagne, interspersed with a couple of diet Cokes. I am so happy that I ended up having just two drinks; if I had kept pace with the group, it would have been more like four or five, easily!

Afterwards, we dropped sleepy Julia at home and I went out with the boys to Barney’s Beanery. Sunday is karaoke night and the bar was SO PACKED. The singing was v. entertaining!! And by entertaining of course I mean ridiculously funny.  We played some pool and I majorly sucked. The guys ordered a couple pitchers of beer and even though they kept my glass full, I only had maybe half of one glass all night. I’m not really the biggest beer fan so it was easy to sip slowly! I had 2 1/2 drinks in the 6 hours I was out at the bars…I’m so happy about that!!! It usually would be so many more in that long time span.

I got home around 2 AM and made myself a bowl of yogurt with some blueberries and 1/4 cup Kashi Heart to Heart. I don’t want to make nighttime snacking a habit but I definitely needed this to get to sleep because my dinner was so light!

Today I slept in until 8:30 — big steps, right?!? I see another yogurt mess on my horizon, with more of that delicious coffee!! Hope everyone is enjoying their extra long weekend. I think this might be the first time I’ve ever said YAY MONDAY!!!!!!!

Three Things for Sunday

  1. Ate a light snack before dinner to fill me up BEFORE the restaurant
  2. Split a tuna burger with Julia & didn’t eat any of the fries or pizza on the table
  3. Broke up my drinks with diet Cokes

Sorry to be missing in action! I had a super late night last night and just couldn’t muster the energy to post at 1 am LOL. So here’s what I’ve been up to…Tuesday breakfast was a yogurt mess, of course.

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I switched up my lunch from the turkey avocado and had a lovely shirataki meal that I quickly nuked up in the micro Monday night. I used these tofu noodles, frozen broccoli & cauliflower, chicken and soy sauce. Shirataki, I’m in love!

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I brought a little bit of Easter into the office with some chocolates. I’m seriously obsessed with the Reese’s eggs.

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I also had an apple late afternoon. I wish I had a good knife at the office so I could have cut this up, but ah well, just ate it old-school style.

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No gym for me last night! Instead, I met my friend Jorge at Birds for dinner, where I got rotisserie chicken, roasted potatoes and steamed veggies with a side of BBQ sauce and a piece of lavash. The chicken was really great and totally hit the spot.

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Our plan for after dinner was to hit up a comedy show next door to the restaurant, but our timing was totally off and we had a little bit of a wait, so we hopped over to the coffee shop on the other side of the restaurant (love when everything is close together!!). I got a single Americano and had to take a few pictures because of the awesome lighting. Aren’t these cool shots?!

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After coffee, we went to see The Birthday Boys perform some sketch comedy. One of my friends is in the group so it’s fun to catch the shows when I can! They are crazy funny. They kicked off the night for a whole slew of other comedians, including Sarah Silverman and some of the cast from her show. The laughs lasted until midnight, where I still somehow found room for more Easter candy before getting into bed…

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Today I had another messy yogurt (hahaha I just get sick of saying yogurt mess so I gotta switch it up sometimes, you know?!). I finished off my mangolicious blend, boo! This one was chock full of goodies.

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Today I got my second spa treatment for work!! Ahhh, I could so get used to these. This one was TWO hours and so amazing. First, I got slathered in different kinds of clay, wrapped in plastic, and covered in hot blankets. This process softens skin while helping the body sweat out and release toxins. Then came a soak in a hot tub for one, complete with jets and water that you can control yourself. Of course I helped myself to two Clementines and some spa water (you know, with the water and lemons in it) that were sitting next to the tub to help replenish before the …50 minute full body massage. Yes, I know, I am so insanely spoiled sometimes!

After finish up my “work” for the client, I stopped by Panera to refuel before heading back to the office. Sadly, today isn’t black bean soup day AND they were out of french baguette, my favorite thing on the menu!! But the garden veggie soup, whole grain baguette, and Mediterranean veggie sandwich (minus feta of course) were extra delicious. The hummus totally made the sandwich.

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The rest of the day flew by (maybe the best day in the office ever!!). I had a nice crunchy apple that I grabbed at the spa while driving over to the gym. I did the usual 60 minutes on the elliptical. I feel like I’ve had to push myself hard to get through an hour of cardio lately, wonder why…

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After the gym, I came home to discover two packets of Barney Butter in my mailbox! Of course, one of these immediately jumped onto half a banana and an ak-mak cracker. The taste surprised me at first. I have to admit, I was expecting it to taste nuttier, if that makes any sense. But I LOVED the “stick to the roof of your mouth” factor that I haven’t really found with any other brand. Totally reminded me of eating PB as a kid!!

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I also had a cup of Kashi Honey Sunshine with the other half of the banana, plus 1% milk.

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Of course I was doing so well today and then I had to go and have a whole bunch of Easter candy (while watching TBL, how bad is that?!). No pictures because I definitely just ate it straight out of the bag. All the candy motivated me to check out On Demand and sure enough, I have Jillian’s 30 Day Shred, Levels 1 & 2 available, so I checked out level 1 and had Jillybean shred me up!!!

I can definitely see why everyone is seeing arms & ab results. Not sure if I am ready to do it every single night but this will definitely be making it’s way into my rotation, especially any & every day I don’t go to the gym for an hour of cardio.

So about the title of my post, when I was driving home from work today, I was just thinking about how far I’ve come and how lucky I feel. When I first moved to LA I had no clue what I was doing, I just knew I wanted to try. Kaneil over at Balance is Best recently wrote something about not letting the fear of failure GET IN THE WAY. This whole concept really speaks to me…I mean, I was TERRIFIED of moving to CA (literally, my mom had to pull over on the drive to the airport so I could puke even though my boyfriend was living here so I wasn’t totally on my own). But I did it anyway, and now my day-to-day life consists of checking out Sarah Silverman in comedy shows and getting spa treatments so I can write about them for work. I just feel so blessed sometimes, which is such a better feeling to focus on rather than the stress and weightiness of every issue that I sometimes feel. It makes me happy to know that I have the power and determination to go out and do things when I put my mind to it.

I feel lucky to have this new passion for the blog as well, and thank all of you for making that true every day!! Ah, cue sappy music :)

Happy almost Thursday everyone!

Friday I left the office and hit the gym for 60 strong minutes on the elliptical. I was rocking out to the Goo Goo Dolls and pounded out a great workout. For dinner, I remembered — no meat! but I didn’t want to go down the pizza route so I decided to experiment a bit. First, I cooked and smashed a sweet potato with some salt & pepper. Then I heated up a half cup black beans and a half cup corn, plus some cilantro and red onion. I threw all of this on a La Tortilla Factory tortilla and VOILA! Dinner was born. This was such a good combo!!

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And since the tortillas are only 50 cals apiece, I just divided the toppings and had TWO :)

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After dinner, I grabbed a quick cup of froyo from Yogurtland. This time I only added sprinkles and mango. I am giving myself a huge pat on the back for not overloading from the toppings bar LOL

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Later, I went bar hopping with some friends but only had one glass of a very yummy organic white wine. Here’s Julia and I braving the cold on the walk back to the car. Yes, we are sharing a coat :)

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Today I woke up and it was SO SUNNY outside! Not hot, but sunny! I had 2 slices of toast with almond butter and cherry jelly with coffee in bed with Scarpetta. Heavenly!

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After breakfast, I had a nice walk with Julia, Nick, and Kate the dog. So many Kates in my life HA! I snacked on this banana around noon when we got back.

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Then I hit up 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.  This strip of shops, restaurants, bars, and street performers is just off the beach and one of my favorite sunny weekend destinations.  I got two cute tops from the huge (3 story!) Forever 21 before grabbing my beloved Panera for a late lunch.  I had half my favorite sandwich, the Bacon Turkey Bravo. Not very diet friendly, but oh so good.

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Plus a cup of black bean soup

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And some doughy french baguette. I had this piece times 2 for dipping :)

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I ate lunch in a grassy sunny spot overlooking the beach. Isn’t Cali puuurty?

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After shopping on the promenade, I went to visit Katie Jo and we continued my day of walking with a nice sunset hike. I wish I had my pedometer on me to clock how many miles I did today! It was great getting in lots of outdoors exercise. I snacked on some grapes when I got home.

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For dinner tonight I wanted to use up some chicken so I cooked up a piece with 2 tbsp Bone Suckin Sauce, mushrooms, and red onion and added it on top of some spinach & arugula.

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I also had a little yogurt mess on the side :)

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Now I am debating another night of froyo?! I’ll let you know what happens with that one tomorrow :)

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