3.30.2010

Do your pets have nicknames?

The other day, I was thinking about all my pets {and my family's pets} and their many, many nicknames. Some are awfully strange. I got to wondering if I am crazy, or if other people have weird nicknames for their pets, too. So I sent out a tweet asking everyone what their pets nicknames were.

Turns out, the majority of pet owners are all a little crazy. And some of us our really crazy.

I thought it would be fun to write a post on my pets' nicknames. I got some hilarious responses on twitter! If you have a pet, please leave a comment sharing his or her nicknames. You know you have some.

I have to plug this at least once. All my pets are rescues, and I am an advocate of animal rescue. I won't go in to the whole rescue vs. breeder debate, but you know where I stand.

I'll start in the order that each pet came in to my life.

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{she looks SO mean here, but I swear that she's the sweetest girl}

First up is Spicy. I got her name off of the SNL skit "Dog Show." Heather Graham was the guest star, had a fake English accent, and walked out with her dog Spicy. Done. I adopted Spicy from the West LA. Animal Shelter the day after I turned 18 {because you have to be 18 to do so}. No lottery tickets and cigarettes for me. I got a kitten. And you know I had to adopt the sick kitten.

Spicy's nicknames: Spicy cat, chatty, chatty cat, spicy le mouse {because everyone should have a french nickname}, spicy mouse, mousie.

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Next up is Bosco. I stole his name from J, who always said he wanted to name his cat Bosco. When my mom rescued him, I asked J if I could use the name, and he {of course} said yes.

Bosco's nicknames: Bosco buttons, stuffy stuffington {he does this weird breathing thing}, stuffy stuffros, which turned into stuffros, which turned in to stavros {not sure how, but it did}, then handsome stavros, stavvy, baby boy bosco, beef, beefy, and beef stick bosco.

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She starred in not one, but two Pedigree commercials. Here is one of them.


This is my mom's dog, Sophie. The Amanda Foundation named her Mary Grace, but since my grandma's name was Mary, we had to change it. There was a huge debate on what her name would be, and in the end, my mom named her Sophie. I don't like it at all.

Sophie's nicknames: My sister started calling her ruppy puppy. I turned that in to Rups. Every single person that I know calls her rups. I also like to call her Roopie.

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{a little grainy, but it's my favorite photo of her}

On to my beautiful and nameless girl that we all call Baby Cat. I found her outside sitting under my neighbor's car back in May 2008. Her name was/is technically Cleo, but she just doesn't look like a Cleo, so it never stuck. I like to pretend it's Olive, but it really isn't that either. She was my first experience with a farrell cat. I trapped her, but it took weeks until she realized I wasn't trying to hurt her every time I reached for her. She is the best girl in the whole world, and is one of the loves of my life. I absolutely adore this girl.

Baby Cat's nicknames: I used to call her mamma namma noo, which turned in to nommie. Everyone calls her nommie, and my youngest sister calls her nom. I also call her babycat, beautiful lady, and norm. Yes, norm. She is the sweetest and most wonderful girl. I adore her.

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On to my Buddy. I got him back in December of 2008, when I ran into a pet store during an animal adoption. I had no plans to rescue a dog, but he had a broken leg with a cast that said "rescue me", a Christmas sweater, and looked up at me. I was done.

Buddy's nicknames: Naming this guy was a nightmare. I love names like Winston and Franklin for pups, but he didn't look like either of those names. Nothing fit. He sort of ended up with buddy {truthfully, I cannot stand it and dream of changing it all the time}. He has a bazillion nicknames. Buddy bear, Peep {I refer to his thing as his peep, and constantly tell him how much I don't like it. He isn't fluffy, so you cannot help but notice it. So awkward}. Not sure how he got this one but we call him Sturfley {stir-flea}, and Sturfey.

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My little Milo. I got him last September, the week of my birthday. I was at the vet with the pup, and they had these tiny little rescue kittens. I asked if they had any older cats, or cats that no one wanted and was told there was a kitten that wasn't friendly that they couldn't find a home for. Without seeing him, I said I'd take him. It took lots of love, but Milo is one of the sweetest and most loving cats I have ever known. He is amazing.

Milo's nicknames: I usually call him Smilo. My sister started calling him Nugget, which spun into Nuggey and Nuggelet {nugg-uh-lit}.

And last but definitely not least, my new little monster, Dexter. This is seriously the last time I will name a cat after a serial killer. He is insane. My mom found Dex on the front lawn the night my sis and I got our Christmas tree. He was not supposed to be my cat, but decided that I was his person. I ended up taking him to Chicago because he has this thing for sneaking out of the house, and I was worried they'd lose him while I was away.

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Dexter's nicknames: Dex, dexy, dexter pants, dexter pints {pin-ts. in is pronounced "in" and not like the word pint}. That turned in to pintalonius, pinty, and pints.

What are your pet's nicknames?

Tacky Tuesday

I know you figured that the Ed Hardy tackiness had to end after not one but TWO Tacky Tuesday posts. Well, you were so wrong. Christian Audigier isn't the only one destroying fashion. His daughter Crystal decided to get in on the action.

Ladies and ladies {because let's face it, guys are not reading this} I give you the tackiness that is Crystal Rock.

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I heard she was on my super sweet 16 {or whatever that show is called} and was gifted with a bedazzled range rover. With pink crystals. With the words Crystal Rock on it.

Happy {tacky} Tuesday.

3.28.2010

The top 10. {pop culture edition}

10. Katherine Heigl is leaving Grey's Anatomy. The story line they came up with for her maternity leave was horrible. With George, Izzie, Addison, and Burke all off the show, the writers need to think long and hard about how they can bring it back. I could barely watch the past two seasons. It hasn't been the same in a while. Agreed?


9. Did you all see Gossip Girl? I knew there had to be drama with Chuck's mom, but I could not believe what happened. Poor Chuck.

8. An adult film star came out as one of Tiger Woods' mistresses. Am I the only one that was sick of the Tiger Woods scandal the day this started? We get it. He's a dirty dirty man whore. Enough already.

7. Taylor Swift was nominated for four ACM awards and made this adorable video. Love her.



6. Miley Cyrus is mentoring the 11 remaining Idol contestants. They should have gotten a past idol. I'm sure Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are just too busy, but I love them. But Miley? Really?!

5. I don't know when this news came out, but I found out this week that Weeds will return August 16th on Showtime. That's just 1 month before my birthday. Happy early birthday to me! Dexter returns on September 26th. Thank you, Showtime! If you have not started either show, I highly recommend that you sign up for Netflix and start watching now! The first two seasons of Weeds are on instant watch and each episode is only 30 min. You can easily get caught up before it starts up again, and I promise that you'll enjoy every moment. Weeds and Dexter are the two best shows on TV.

4. Rosie O'Donnell is returning to daytime TV. Not sure I like that idea very much at all.


3. Mama Gosselin didn't do a very good job on DWTS, but you have to give her props for trying. Jon is gaining weight, smoking cigarettes, and designing a line for Ed Hardy {vomit}. So someone has to try to make some money for all those kids.

Mama G supposedly underwent $35,000 to look all pretty for the show. There were some needles, lasers, and hair extensions involved. What do you think? I'm not really a fan, but only because She doesn't look like Kate anymore. The long hair just isn't working for me.


2. Rumor has it that John Corbett {aka Aidan Shaw} is going to make an appearance in the new SATC movie. I love Aidan.


1. If you haven't heard this crazy news, it's sure to shock you. Kelly Osobourne {as in the daughter of Ozzy Osbourne} is joining Dr. Phil's show. You know Dr. Phil. That therapist created and owned by Oprah.

3.26.2010

Fab Friday {funny greeting cards}

Before I get started on this week's Fab Friday, I wanted to give you next week's topic so you can prepare to participate along with me. Are you ready? Next week's topic is... fabulous sunglasses!

So if you don't have one already, take a photo of yourself in your favorite sunglasses. And if there is a pair you are pining over, please share them! I posted my Tom Ford sunglasses last year, but didn't ask anyone to participate. And while I still love those glasses, I have another pair I have been wearing recently. With spring in the air and summer around the corner, I thought this would be a fun topic.

On to this week's Fab Friday!

I love greeting cards {and stationery, note pads, etc...} I recently took a trip to Paper Source, which happens to be one of my favorite stores. Thankfully, there is one in Lincoln Park!

While letterpress cards are my true {paper} love, I also enjoy cute/funny/witty/sassy greeting cards. I would actually love to own my own paper company someday. I have a name for it and everything. I should really get on that. I will devote a post to some of my favorite {pretty} paper soon, but for now, I would like to share a few fab, funny, {and a few inappropriate} greeting cards with you.


These cards are by Seltzer Goods. I love them.

I got the one on the top right for my little sister who will be 18 in a few weeks. I love it.


These cards are by Offensive and Delightful. I find them offensively delightful.

O+D's website has some seriously offensive cards. If you have close friends that would appreciate this kind of humor {I know I do} you will love them.


{this card is by Calypso Cards. You know I had to buy it.}

And last but definitely not least, one of my favorite brands, Uncooked Cards. I highly recommend that you stop by that site and read every. single. card. They are brilliant.









3.25.2010

Pets are not children.

I was going to post the following images for Tacky Tuesday, but after talking with my friend, I realized that they aren't tacky at all. They are ridiculous.


{Source 1, 2, 3, 4}

I'm sorry, but when you walk your dog, isn't your dog supposed to walk?? I know that to some pets are your "babies" but this is {in my opinion} taking that just a little too far. I can deal with a doggie tote bag but this is just too much.

After my dog's knee surgery, he wasn't allowed to walk for eight weeks. Because I couldn't leave him in his crate all the time, I thought about getting one of those slings. But only because I had a broken pup who couldn't walk.

And then I realized that I'd look like one of these idiots pet owners, and decided to carry him around like a normal person.

What's your take on this? What pet "extras" do you love, and which ones are just a little too much for you?

That poor purse puppy.

3.24.2010

Something's gotta get tufted.

The English roll arm sofa is not the only thing I am head over heels in love with.


I also have a minor obsession with tufted furniture. I think it started with the ottoman in Something's Gotta Give. I know that I make constant reference to that film, but there are just so many reasons to love it.

First and foremost, Erica Barry's home in the Hamptons is absolutely breathtaking. Every single detail is perfect, and I love it. Just look at the photo above! When I went to Oprah, I said that the only person that would have topped Tom Ford would have been Jack Nicholson. I love him.

On to some more tufted goodness.



1. Love the round ottoman. Image courtesy of Phoebe Howard.
2. Love, love, love this chair. Image courtesy decorpad.
3. Gorgeous tufted sofa photographed by Joanna Henderson. Almost makes me want to turn my back on an English roll arm. But why do that when you can have an English roll arm sofa and a tufted chair or ottoman? That would be perfection.
4. Beautiful tufted headboard. I'd probably go for something a bit more simple in shape, but I love it. Image courtesy decorpad.
5. Tori Spelling's living room. Love the ottoman. Not at all a fan of that fireplace, but the ottoman is fantastic. Image courtesy of decorpad.

3.23.2010

About my diet.

I want to clear up a few things about my diet.

First things first, I am not on a diet. When I try to say "I won't eat ___" I end up wanting whatever it is I am giving up all the time. Pretty sure that's the case for everyone. This is a lifestyle. I know it may seem extreme to some, but it does not feel that way to me. Now that I am following this plan, I have more energy and I feel great. I am also convinced that the Kombucha has helped with my energy. I was able to go to the gym at 9:30 tonight! I had been so tired, but now that I have been doing this for a little while, have a lot more energy.

This is not about depriving yourself of food. It is about nourishing your body with the right food. If I want something with sugar I'll have some fruit and that usually does the trick for me. I am not avoiding any natural sources of carbs or sugars. I am avoiding the processed ones. Eating something with corn syrup or modified _____ is not good for you. Look up the diets of any trainer or nutritionist out there. The majority {for the most part} will tell you the same thing. This does not mean you cannot indulge. When I eat out, I do often make healthy choices but will treat myself. Trust me -- I enjoy my life.

We were not designed to eat all the processed junk that most Americans consume on a daily basis. I fell victim to that when I tried W*eight Wa*tchers, and realized that fueling my body with processed crap is not the way to go. This is what works for me, so I wanted to share that with all of you.

Do I think all this processed food causes lots of health problems? Absolutely.
Do I think about this all the time and live in constant fear? Absolutely not.

I just enjoy eating real, pure, healthy food. And if I really want pinkberry, french fries, or another treat, I will go for it. Anything in moderation does not work for me, because I do not want to put "anything" into my body. I feel so good when I put pure, natural, real things into my body. I work out more, sleep better, wake up feeling refreshed, and feel energized throughout the day.

I have always been a pretty healthy eater, and have never been underweight or had an eating disorder. I like food way too much to end up with an eating disorder. When I was a vegetarian, I did not lose any weight. I attribute that to all the processed vegetarian meals that I ate. If I go back to being a vegetarian {and I think about that all the time} I will make my meals as opposed to buying frozen ones. I will continue to have Dr. Praeger's veggie burgers, because they are 100% natural. I love them.

I eat carbs. You need them to have energy!!! I get most of my carbs through my Kashi bars, Kashi oatmeal, or Milton's bread. The natural sugar in an apple or some strawberries will also give you a little boost. I have a daily multivitamin, iron supplement, and a vitamin for my eyes {recommended by my eye doctor}. I forget to take them half the time, which is why I said I have them, and not I take them.

Unless I am splurging on a latte or Pinkberry, I do not consume dairy. As I said in my first diet post, sources are split on this. I happen to believe that it's very strange that we consume milk that was intended for baby cows. I don't think it will kill you, and I do not fear it. I know that our bodies do not digest milk very well. Sure, I will have the occasional treat, but dairy is not a part of my everyday life. I do not think you need it. Calcium supplements and other sources of calcium will do the trick. This article gives you a basic run down on how our bodies process dairy. This one is pretty good, too.

I fall toward the higher end of the average weight of a person who is 5'5'' with a small bone structure. But I do not need to lose weight. I could definitely lose a few pounds of flab though, and I'd like to. I changed my lifestyle because I want to look and feel better. I am working out to be healthy, and want to tone up because I want to have muscle tone and lose the flab. I am really excited to finally be in great shape. I have never felt better!

If you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to ask.

Tacky Tuesday {the tackiness continues...}

Because spreading tackiness to t-shirts just isn't enough.



{source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}

3.22.2010

Diet & exercise.

Let me start by saying that I am not a trainer or nutritionist, but I am a pretty healthy person. Some may call me extreme. In fact, most people would call me extreme. I do splurge on occasion and had a bad habit of not eating frequently enough, but I have been doing really well with this new diet. Now I just need to get back to the gym!

I want to share what I have been doing, and will keep you posted on how this is working for me. For the most part, I always ate the same foods, but did not eat enough. My breakfasts were not large enough, and my dinners were not small enough.

Right now, I am in my "I need to tone up and until I do I am going pretty hard core" stage. Once I am where I want to be, I will let myself splurge on occasion. I tend to be a lot more laid back on the weekends. I like to go to lunch and dinner at least once each weekend, and love making a nice meal that I wouldn't normally eat at least once a week. That does not mean that I will eat an entire pie or a plate of french fries every weekend. It means I will have a meal or treat that I would not usually have, and that I'll go out to eat on the weekends. I will still be careful.

Since I have a pretty healthy diet and hope that I can give some of you some great ideas for healthy meals and snacks. Again -- I am not a nutritionist. This is just what I do. And please remember that I am from LA, and we are a little crazy with the health food here. I do want to tell you that I was not raised in a healthy house. My mom still bakes all the time and buys tons of unhealthy and processed foods. So no matter how you were raised, you can be healthy.

Here it goes...


BREAKFAST

I am not usually very hungry in the morning, so making breakfast my most substantial meal of the day started as a challenge for me. I could easily not eat until 1:00 and be just fine, but actually found that when I have a larger breakfast and start my day off right, I am less hungry throughout the day and have more energy.

I have an egg white omelet or scramble with broccoli {fiber!!} almost every morning, usually with Kashi's vanilla oatmeal. I will also have my fiber mix with breakfast {or with my morning snack}. I do not use any butter or oil, ever. Butter is so bad for you. I use Pam or a natural cooking spray.

Kashi's vanilla oatmeal is 100% natural, low in sugar, and has a great amount of fiber and protein. This is much better than Quak*er oatmeal because it is natural. You will see me mention this a lot. Just remember, you want to eat clean and natural food. No preservatives. No chemicals.

A whole grain english muffin or Milton's bread {the one in red packaging} are also great with your egg whites instead of oatmeal. It's nice to mix it up a little bit to keep things from getting boring. I love to put organic almond butter on my toast. Do not buy regular peanut butter! It is full of sugar. Organic peanut butter or almond butter is so so much better for you!


MORNING SNACK

Snack info below


LUNCH

I have been trying to integrate chicken into my diet again, but I honestly cannot stand it. I really prefer veggie burgers and can tolerate turkey. I am not much of a meat eater at all. One of the healthier lunches or dinners you can have is a chicken breast {no skin!!} or fish and steamed veggies. Chicken salads are also great because you get lots of veggies and protein {chicken}. I also love having vegetable soup on hand. I will share my recipe with you soon. I will make a big pot of soup and have it throughout the week. This is the perfect lunch, dinner, or snack! I love it.

I really like Dr. Praeger's veggie burgers, because they are natural. I buy these at Trader Joe's and will have these for lunch or dinner.

I also love salad, so I will sometimes make or pick up a salad with a vinaigrette dressing. I avoid ranch and other creamy dressings because they are bad for you, and fat free dressing is full of chemicals. Watch the sugars, fat, and chemicals in dressing! Most food that advertises being fat free or 97% fat free are full of toxic chemicals. Our bodies do not know what to do with these things, so we think we are having a fat free food, but we are replacing fat with crazy things that our body cannot digest.

A tip I do have is to always order your dressing on the side and dip your fork in the dressing. That way you get a little flavor in each bite. You save tons of calories that way.


AFTERNOON SNACK

Snack info below


DINNER

I will usually make a salad, veggie burger, my vegetable soup, or something light. Since I often work out at night, I will usually have a protein shake and some veggies or a little something else. I also love having veggie rolls or cucumber rolls {with brown rice}. I do not eat fish, but if you do, it is so good for you. Rotisserie chicken is always great, too. Just remember not to eat the skin because it is full of fat. Veggie burgers are always perfect for me. Trader Joe's has some great turkey sausage, but you want to watch for fat and sugar. Taco salads are also great. You can do some lean ground turkey, salsa, and lettuce. Simple and good.

I will post more dinner recipes as I start experimenting with new, healthy meals.


DESSERT

My dessert policy is going to seem extreme, but I promise you that I am not depriving myself. If I really want something, I will let myself have it, but I only have a few bites. I tend to not want dessert, because I know that it isn't good for you.

Eating fruit is great because it has natural sugars, so when you crave sweets, your body will register the sugar and it should satisfy your craving. I love having my protein shake at night because it feels like dessert to me. I share the recipe below.

If you need dessert, Whole Foods and Bristol Farms have mini pastries. I am sure you can find these at bakeries and other grocery stores as well. If you're living on your own, taking a big dessert home can be especially dangerous. I bought a mini key lime pie one night in Chicago. These are really tiny, and are perfect when you want just a little taste of dessert. Much better than eating a slice of pie {or worse -- the whole thing!}. Just take a few bites, eat slowly, savor the taste, and walk away. You will feel better the next day. Trust me.


SNACKS
I love Kashi TLC chewy granola bars, and usually have one with a piece of fruit for my morning snack. These are so good!! The peanut butter bars are my favorite. If you have a really busy morning, grab a bar and some fruit. It's better than not eating anything at all. They come in lots of great flavors, are 100% natural, are low in sugar, and are a great source of fiber and protein. These are perfect because you can keep one in your purse, so when you're out and hungry, you can have this instead of having to pick something up. It is so important to eat every few hours, because this keeps you from getting really hungry and eating too much. It also keeps your body fueled, and your metabolism working faster!

I also love Carman's muesli bars. They are also 100% natural, and are a great source of protein and fiber. They do have 50 more calories per bar than Kashi bars, but if you only have a bar once per day, these are great. I purchase these at Whole Foods. I like the original and apricot. The fruit ones have too much sugar.

Eating processed bars is not good for you. Many of these are high in calories and high in sugar! If they aren't natural, our bodies do not know how to digest them.

Another great snack is an organic apple or another piece of fruit and 10 almonds. I only have almonds once each day. When I saw a nutritionist almost 10 years ago, she told me to do this, and I have been doing it ever since. You just have to be careful and stop at 10! Eating 25+ almonds is not good for you. Grab 10 almonds and put the bag away. Do not snack out of a big bag.

Milton's bread makes for a great snack, too. I will sometimes have a piece of toast with almond butter for a snack with a piece of fruit. If I have almond butter, I skip having almonds that day.

Veggies are also a great snack. I will cut up cucumber sticks, which makes eating them a bit more enjoyable for some reason. Veggies are so good for you!! Learn to love them.

100 calorie popcorn bags are great. I do not have these all the time, but when you need a snack, these are a good alternative. You can also fit this in your purse and take it to the movies with you for a healthy movie snack. I do not think that any other 100 calorie packs are good for you since they are so processed. People think they are healthy, but they are full of chemicals.

If you love chips, go for Popchips. I love these. They are air popped and are {surprise, surprise} 100% natural! And they're GOOD. Everyone I have given popchips to has loved them. When I want chips, I pick up a back of BBQ Popchips and my craving is satisfied. I do not get these all the time, but they are nice to have on hand when you need them.

Another great snack is edamame. I will steam this and have some low sodium soy sauce. It is very high in protein and is also a good source of fiber.

If I go to the gym mid day, one of my snacks will be a protein shake. I sometimes have this for dinner with a little something. I will write about my protein shake below.

Another tip. Do not snack while you are at the computer, and if you can avoid it, do not watch TV while eating, either. Sit down and be aware of the fact that you are eating. You will likely eat less, and will feel full faster.


EATING OUT
When I go out with friends, I try to make healthy choices. I usually avoid cocktails because they are full of sugar. I will often end up not ordering a drink, because I do not want to consume tons and tons of sugar. I realize this isn't an option for most of you, but in the end, those drinks are not going to help.

I will usually order a salad or a turkey or veggie burger, and will substitute fruit or a salad for fries. But when I really want or need fries, I'll get them. When I order a salad, I always get dressing on the side. If I order a veggie or turkey burger, I will eat 1/2 the bun, or no bun at all. I never eat the entire bun. Saying "I will never ever eat out, or never ever bread" will only set you up to fail. Living healthy and avoiding certain food most of the time but having what you want on occasion is the way to go. You stay healthy and satisfy cravings.

A lot of restaurants will also tell you the calorie content of food they serve, so you can look that up online prior to going out to eat. For example, you can build a Chip*otle burrito or bowl. Chipo*tle is {in my opinion} is not a healthy option at all. I will not eat there.

And remember that ordering a salad does not mean that you are making a healthy choice. For example, the BBQ ranch chicken salad at Cheesec*ake Fact*ory has over 600 calories and almost 1000 mg of sodium. That is horribe. If I were to order this salad {I used to order it a long time ago} I would order it with no chicken, no avocado, no crispy fried onion strings, and dressing on the side. I end up having maybe half the dressing, and probably cut the calories quite a bit. Removing unnecessary toppings (fried onions, crispy tortilla strips, etc... can really make a difference}.


DRINKSI drink water, and am working on drinking more water because I do not drink nearly enough of it. I do not drink soda, and am giving up my lattes, although I only had them maybe 1-2x per week. Since I really love them, I may get one every week or two. In the end, having it once every week or every other week will satisfy the craving, save money, and will keep me from feeling deprived. My policy is to not drink my calories, and since I also avoid dairy, lattes should really be out, too. Americans drink their calories. It is just crazy. Drink water! I will occasionally have a diet coke {because I do like it} but that is very, very rare. Soda is toxic. I have seen 2 nutritionists and a few trainers. They have all said not to drink soda.

If you need a boost, have some tea. It is natural and has caffeine. It will also help flush fat and other toxins out of your system.

I recently discovered GT's Kombucha. You can learn about Kombucha here. I have picked up Kombucha at both Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. If you do not have either of those stores near you, visit GT's website to find out where you can find this nearby.

These are definitely an acquired taste. I like them, but my family does not. I recommend that you try it. This stuff isn't cheap. 1 bottle is $3.60 and has 2 servings. I am trying to find a better price somewhere, but it seems that it is actually more expensive online. Having 1 bottle a day could really add up, but you could have 1 bottle every two days. Each serving has only 2 grams of {natural} sugar. While it is on the more expensive side, it is really good for you, and it is much cheaper than eating out or drinking coffee each day. The citrus and strawberry flavors are the only two I have had so far, and I do like both, although I prefer the strawberry. I have a few bottles of other flavors in the fridge, so I will be sure to let you know what I think of those.

Kombucha has probiotics, live active enzymes, antioxidants, organic acids, and polyphenols. It supports digestion, metabolism, immune system, appetite control, weight control, liver function, & healthy skin and hair. In my opinion, that extensive list makes it so, so worth it. I had half a bottle the past two days, and felt like I had more energy and was not nearly as hungry as I usually am. I will let you know how I feel over the next week.

I really want to get a juicer and start juicing. I would love to start making fruit and veggie concoctions. Do you juice?

One of the most important things I learned is to drink a lot of water. It will flush out your system, and is so, so good for you. This is {for whatever reason} a challenge for me. When I first saw a nutritionist {I do not see one now. This was a long time ago} my first assignment was not to change a diet but to drink 3 big bottles of water a day. I lost 3 lbs my first week. So I have been working on my water intake.


FIBER
Fiber is so important for your daily health. It is recommended that we get at least 25 grams per day, yet the average American does not come close to that. I have a home made fiber mix each day. I cannot share the recipe since it is not mine to share, but there are some great mixes out there! Here is a great list of foods that are rich in fiber.


PROTEIN SHAKE

I take 1 scoop of Designer Whey protein in vanilla, and mix that in the blender with a banana, ice, and a little water. I recently started adding a spoon of almond butter. This {to me} tastes like a blended banana smoothie. I love it. I will have this after a workout or with a very small meal when I need protein. This is great to have as a snack, with a smaller lunch or dinner, or as a dessert.


DESSERTIf you have to have dessert, have dessert. As I mentioned above, mini desserts are ideal because you get the taste of what you want without having too much. Taking a bite or two is also a great solution. If you must have ice cream, have ice cream. If I do want a dessert, I will have a few bites, or will pick up a mini dessert. I rarely do this, though. If you absolutely have to have a snack after dinner, check out my snack list. I do recommend drinking some tea or munching on veggies if you need something.


THINGS I AVOID

I use butter when I bake {which is pretty rare} and never use it otherwise. I cannot recall ever spreading butter on bread, and I avoid recipes that call for butter, unless I am baking. When you spread butter on your food, you are spreading lard on something that you are about to put in your body. So gross and so bad for you. If you want to lose weight, lose the butter.

I do not cook with oil. I will use Pam or a natural cooking spray.

I also try to avoid splenda and other artifical sweeteners. I used to order those no sugar added drinks. They have aspartame {like Diet C*oke}. Well guess what? That stuff is really, really bad for you. Stevia is a natural alternative. I do not use it, but know people who do, and I have read some pretty good things about it.

Dairy. This is a controversial one. Remember that I am not a nutritionist, so I am not telling anyone what to do. My theory on diary is as follows. Cow's milk was not designed for the human body. Our bodies were designed to consume breast milk, and lose all the enzymes that digest milk by age 3. So, I tend to avoid dairy because eating it does not make sense, and our bodies do not digest it. This does not mean that I never have it. I just tend to avoid it day to day.

If you look at ingredients and see the names of all kinds of crazy chemicals or high fructose corn syrup, throw things things away now! They are so bad for you!! I also recommend avoiding sugar as much as possible.

When a product is low fat or 90something% fat free, you should expect to see tons of chemicals in there. So all those low cal ice cream treats, frozen yogurt, etc... I'm sure you have heard of Ski*nny Cow ice cream. It seems healthy, but is actually terrible for you. If you really, really want ice cream, you are better off just having the real thing. Just have 1 scoop and not 3.

Enriched flour. Take white bread, for example. Our bodies do not digest this. If you have to have bread, go for Milton's {I linked it under breakfast}.


EXERCISEThis is always a tough one for me. In a perfect world, I would go to the gym at least 5 days a week. I was doing so, so well and got in a car accident last November. That killed my workouts. Then I did quite a bit of traveling, which made working out even more difficult. The accident wasn't that bad, but my neck was so sore, and still is pretty sore. Physical therapy is helping, and my doctor said to just start working out again to strengthen my neck. I need to get to the point where I go at least 5 days a week on a regular basis. I feel better when I work out, and want it to be a part of my regular routine.

I will do the elliptical or bike when I need to get in some cardio. We have bad knees in my family, and I have already torn cartilage, so running is out for me. I like to mix it up by doing one machine for 30 min and then another for the remaining 30 min. I also do intervals when doing cardio. This means you bump up the resistance for a minute, then lower it for a minute and so on. That keeps your body guessing. Doing the same thing for an hour won't shock your body, but changing the pace will! I also love classes! Yoga, spinning, rowing, etc...

I recently purchased Jillian Michael's 30 day shred, so I want to start doing that, too. I tried it once in Chicago and really liked it. My neck just wasn't ready at the time. I love that there are different levels, so you start at level 1 and work your way up.


THAT'S ALL FOR NOW!

I will be sure to add and update as new things come up and as I find more recipes and ideas. I would also love to hear your diet & workout tips {and recipes} if you would like to share them. I am always looking up new and healthy snacks & recipes, so I will be on the lookout and will share anything great that I find.

I do expect that following a more scheduled diet will change my body, and I will keep you posted on that. I want to reiterate one last time that I am not a nutritionist, and that actually following this plan is new to me. I always ate pretty healthy but have been horrible about eating enough, so I am not in amazing shape. I would also have bread and pasta, which I am drastically cutting back on. I need to tone up!

If you have any questions about anything I posted, please feel free to ask.

3.21.2010

The Top 10

10. I have come very close to finalizing the design for my new website. I am in between modern/bold colors, and a more subdued palette {similar to this blog}. I'm sure you haven't noticed, but I'm a little fickle. What are your favorite color schemes? Any suggestions?

9. I saw Alice in Wonderland with my sister. My favorite thing about the film was Helena Bonham Carter's ginormous head. As always, Tim Burton did a wonderful job.



8. I went on a 3 mile walk with the pup, who is really only used to walking in residential areas. I never walk in LA, because nobody walks in LA. It's a proven theory {I know you've heard the song}. We met my friend at her office, and the 3 of us walked to lunch. It was not as nice as walking through Chicago, but what can you do?


{here he is sporting his new harness, making sure I was still behind him}

He was so cute. Every minute or so he would turn around as if he was checking to make sure I didn't leave him. He was definitely a little nervous {he will walk as far around a bike, bus, or person as possible}. His awkwardness is rather endearing. I love him. And now I think I want to bring him with me again. I told you. I'm fickle.

For anyone that's interested, his leash and collar were made by Lucky Fiona. Shannon makes the best dog collars & leashes. They are adorable, and the quality is amazing! I wash his collars in the machine every so often and they come out looking brand new. I love them. And this print is to die for. We even have a matching kitty collar.

7. Saturday was the first day of spring! The weather in LA has been really nice. Had I not moved away, I never would have been able to appreciate it. I am really enjoying all the brightly colored flowers.



6. I managed to experience an earthquake my first week back in LA. Nice. I have not and will never get used to those. They are {in my opinion} the worst natural disaster because you don't get any warning at all, and you never know how big they will be.

5. The lovely Jules at Chic n' Pink gave me the sunshine award. She obviously chose me as a recipient because visiting my blog is like a ray of sunshine. Or maybe she was just trying to be nice. Yeah. That's probably it. Haha. Thanks, Jules! You're the best! I am breaking the rules and giving this to all of my readers who have not yet received this, because you are all amazing!




4. On Friday night, my mom and I spent over 3 hours at the vet. The pup needed his vaccines and Dex is sick. Again. He is still eating and walking around, but he just seemed off. I could tell something wasn't right. Glad I followed my instincts. I can usually tell if something is wrong with one of my pets. I'm very neurotic observant.


{poor lil' Dexter pants}

3. My blog got a new name, new look, and new URL. You like?

2. I have decided that I am going to go a lot more hard core with my diet & exercise plan. I do not like the idea of "diets" but try to just lead a healthy lifestyle and want to eat things as close to nature as possible. I made a trip to Whole Foods after the gym on Saturday and picked up lots of healthy food & drinks, too! I will write a post on that soon and would love it if you all shared your healthy snacks and recipes.

I don't know if any of you remember Stake It {my workout blog}. I deleted it, but was thinking of either starting it up again, or devoting a day a week to workout/diet/health stuff on this blog. I would like to do that and have guest bloggers share diet/workout tips, and I'll share mine, too. What do you think?

{my fiber mix with orange juice}


1. Saturday night, I had a lovely {spontaneous} sleepover with Ally. We are working on getting a blog started for her {again!}. So excited! We ordered sushi, talked, watched The Holiday starring Cameron Diaz, and then watched some Will & Grace.

Have a great week!

xoxo

3.20.2010

Goodbye winter!

...and hello spring!

My friend Heather wrote a "favorites of winter" post on her blog. I thought it was a great idea and decided to do the same. Since I experienced a real winter, this will be especially fun for me.

Favorite memory: I have so many. Here are the two that stand out the most.

1. Seeing the snow fall on my first morning in Chicago. I was so worried that I would not get to see falling snow. I was so, so wrong.



2. Before leaving Chicago for LA, I walked around the city for a few hours. My first stop was to {surprise, surprise!} the bean. It was a beautiful day {it reached the 60s!}. I watched the ice skaters and then walked up and down Michigan Avenue. It was a perfect day.



Going to the Oprah show wasn't so bad either. ;)

Favorite Song: Happy by Leona Lewis. First song I listened to after my mom left and I was all alone in Chicago. I love it.

Favorite TV show: Giuliana and Bill. You had to see that coming. For anyone that doesn't watch the show, it takes place in my two cities {LA and Chicago}.

Favorite Food {out}:
This is easy! Pesto and mozzarella sandwich at Hannah's Bretzel. Perfection in sandwich form. And yes, that is pretzel bread. In the words of Rachel Zoe...uh-mazing.



Favorite food {home made}: Vegetable soup. I first made this with Jill in San Antonio, and made it almost every week that I was in Chicago. I would make a huge pot of this and have it for almost a week. I love it.

Favorite purchase:
The paloma silk maxi dress from Gypsy05. I had my eye on this dress for a while, so when it went on sale, I had to order it. With the weather we have been experiencing in LA, it looks like I'll be able to wear it this weekend.



Favorite drink: Skinny cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks. I learned to love lattes and Starbucks toward the end of last year. And let me tell you, this is not a good habit to have. In LA, a warm drink just doesn't mean anything. But in Chicago, it's a whole other story. When you're out walking and it's 35 degrees outside, that warm drink makes all the difference. There is something about walking down the streets of Chicago with a latte in hand. It's magical.

I couldn't live without my: Glittens {gotta have access to the iPhone}, Lululemon pants {wore them as leggings on all those cold days when skinny jeans were just too thin}, North Face coat & knit hat, Uggs, and aviator sunglasses.


{my reflection in the bean}

Here I am wearing everything mentioned above {minus the Lululemon pants}. I made the terrible mistake of wearing skinny jeans that day. I am from LA, so they just don't cut it when it's in the 30s. Maybe I'll adjust next winter. My legs were freezing!

Favorite event: Living in Chicago for 5 weeks.
Duh!



What were your favorite things about this past winter? If you decide write your favorite things on your blog, please let me know so I can stop by and check it out.

Happy spring, everyone!!

3.19.2010

Fab Friday. {ice pop maker}

Last June, I featured my favorite frozen treats for Fab Friday. Because I love frozen treats as much as I do {please note that I am very specific about which frozen treats I love}, I am featuring a very fab little gadget today.

I'm sure you have all used those plastic ice pop makers with little sticks that you place in the freezer. You make your ice pop and wait 35 years until it freezes, only to have it break in half when you pull it out of the mold.

The Zoku Quick Pop Maker solves all those ice pop problems, and it's really cute, too! It is also well made & then there's the fact that it makes ice pops in seven minutes. WS even has a great book with different ice pop recipes. Love it! I wish I had a summer birthday, because this would be on my birthday list!


Wouldn't this make a great gift?

For someone like me {I'm the one that hopes my ice pops are ready, pulls on the sticks, and destroys them}, waiting only 7-15 minutes sounds kind of fantastic. You just freeze the base, insert your cold ingredients, and voila! Instant ice pop!

Am I the only one dreaming of pudding pops?!


Don't these look incredible?!

Now if you're a parent, think about how fun this would be to do with your kids. And if you're all grown up but can't wait for your ice pops to freeze {know anyone like that?}, it's perfect for you, too. Be sure to watch the video here.

Happy Friday!

xoxo

3.18.2010

This is not easy.

I have been back in LA for one week and I feel so different. I think I've lost that spark that I had in Chicago. I am not miserable, but it just doesn't feel the same.

LA doesn't have that special something that Chicago has, and I am not the same girl I was just a few weeks ago. Those 5 weeks in Chicago opened my eyes to a whole new world. They allowed me to come into my own. To explore, and to just be myself.

Am I making any sense?

I have had several moments where I have tried to tell myself this move is too much for me to handle. I have thought about whether or not I can make it work in LA. I have even tried to talk myself out of moving. To be honest with you, I am not past that point yet. I stop to think of the millions of people that live here. Surely someone in this city is happy. It isn't all bad, but in the end it just isn't for me. I do know that. But -- I have my doubts. I have never had my own apartment in LA, and have wondered how that would be.

In the end, we all know that I am supposed to leave. If I was supposed to get a place in LA, I would have done that by now. That would have made more sense than moving 2k miles away, but that is what I ended up doing. I am not writing this to receive comments telling me that I have to go. I know that already. I {the girl that did not fly for 10+ years} picked up and move to Chicago for 5 weeks, and then put money down on an apartment. There is obviously a reason for that.

But even when all the green lights are on and all signs point to go, it is not easy.

When I have any doubts, I remember the happiness that I felt in Chicago. I remember how alive I felt when I walked the streets of that incredible city. I think about the wonderful people that I met. These new friends offered to help me with my apartment, discussed house warming parties, invited me to events, dinners, bars, to annual recipe exchange parties. How fun does that sound? I don't think we have recipe exchange parties in LA.

I think about the fact that all these wonderful things happened after just 5 short weeks and I wonder how amazing things will be after 5 months or 5 years. When you know someone for a few weeks, you cannot possibly have a real friendship. I think you can start one, but friendships take time to develop. Not having close friends in Chicago is one of the hardest parts about moving there. No family, no friends, no connection. Voluntarily putting myself in this situation is something I have struggled with.

Sorry I am so all over the place. I am exhausted right now but need to get this out.

I wanted to write this because many of you have been so supportive, and I need to share what I have been feeling. This is a daily struggle. For all of you who said I was so strong, I am not as strong as you think I am. This can be crippling. It is an emotional roller coaster.

Yes, I love Chicago. I was happier than I had ever been. I felt so liberated, and truly enjoyed my time there. But it was very scary. It was also very surreal. I had so many moments where I looked out the window or walked down the street and couldn't help but smile. There were also dozens of moments when I looked out the window and couldn't believe that I was in Chicago by myself with thoughts of moving there. I still cannot believe that this is happening.

This move is a lot more permanent and a lot more real. I will be packing up all my things. Last time I was in Chicago I brought a few boxes and a two large suitcases. This time, I am bringing everything. I am ordering furniture and signing a lease. It all feels very official.

I really need to figure out if I should take the smaller less expensive {and non-dog friendly} apartment, or the slightly larger dog friendly apartment. This is so hard. One day I am sure it will be best to leave him here, and the next day I am convinced that my pup needs me.

Like I said. I am all. over. the. place.

I have had so many sweet and well meaning people tell me that they know exactly what I am going through. That when they moved with their husbands or with ______ that it was so hard for them. While I am sure it was not easy, I am doing this alone. I do not mean to say that moving with a husband isn't hard, because I am sure it is. And this does not mean that I do not appreciate those comments, because I do. But moving 2000 miles away by yourself just isn't the same. I feel like so few people can relate to what I am going through. It is the hardest thing I have ever faced.

While I am fairly certain that this is the right thing to do, it is something I am really struggling with. Yes, I am excited for this adventure. I am looking forward to making my new apartment my home. But {and I think I may have mentioned this 7,304 times} I am very scared.

As scary as this is, it is an adventure of a lifetime and I want to take it all in. This will forever change my life. It will shape the person I become. I will meet friends I never would have met, and will do things I never would have done. This is unique. It is bold. It is terrifying. It is amazing.

I just hope I can relax a little bit soon and find some peace in all of this.

And that's enough rambling for now. Goodnight.

3.17.2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Yes, this is my second post today, but I couldn't end the day without writing a little note wishing you all a very happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today is a day to be festive! Go dye a river green.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
{source}

Bake some green treats.


{source}

Buy some green paint. Or wallpaper. Or throw pillows.


{source}

Just don't forget to wear green, or someone might pinch you!


{source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I love {reality} TV.

By now, you probably know all about my love of great television. I also love a few entertaining but not so great TV, too. We aren't dealing with the brilliance of Dexter and Weeds, but if you're looking for a little entertainment,

In no particular order, here they are...

Flipping Out. {Bravo}


Jeff Lewis is a genius. His assistant Jenni {and her lesbian alter ego Deb} is hilarious. And don't even get me started on Zoila {Jeff's housekeeper}. She's a pistol. Jeff flips houses, and is so good at what he does. He is also incredibly rude, arrogant, and insensitive which is {of course} why we love him so much.

For more on Flipping out, click here.

Giuliana & Bill {style network}



What can I say? I just love these two. Bill is a Chicago guy, and Giuliana is an LA girl. Since I now call both cities my home, it is only natural that I would be a fan. Bill is a smart & handsome business man, and Giuliana is a funny & sassy reporter for E! I think they're adorable together.

For more info on Giuliana & Bill, click here.

Millionaire Matchmaker {Bravo}



Patty sort of reminds me of Jeff Lewis. She is very blunt and yells at her clients. You sort of love to hate her. I think so much of the success of this show has to do with the ridiculousness of it all. Patty runs the "Millionaire's Club." Men pay $25,000 to join and women join for free. Patty then screens women and hosts events where the millionaires meet the women.

Recently, Patty has had a few millionairesses join the club. There have been a few gay men, and one bicurious woman, too. It's been interesting. I love nothing more than watching Patty destroy the potential dates for her millionaires.

It is so LA & so, so ridiculous. I just can't help myself.

For more info on Millionaire Matchmaker, click here.

Tori and Dean, Home Sweet Hollywood {Oxygen}



I love Tori and Dean. Sure, they were both married when they met and cheated on their respective spouses, but I think they are so cute together that I look past all that.

For more info on Tori and Dean, click here.

Keeping up with the Kardashians
{E!}



This show is absolutely ridiculous but I love it anyway.

For more info on Keeping up with the Kardashians, click here.

Project Runway {Lifetime}



I love Project Runway. No one has lived up to the fierceness of Christian Siriano, but I always enjoy seeing the fabulous {and not so fabulous} creations. And fashion week. Oh, how I love fashion week. And I love Tim Gunn & his dictionary-like vocabulary.

For more info on Project Runway, click here.