1.30.2014

Ultimate List Keeper

I like to think that I am the ultimate list keeper. Of course, this is probably not true…I am sure that someone out there in this gigantic world is way better at keeping lists than I am. I have lists in my phone, lists on my nightstand, randomly scribbled on a piece of paper shoved in my purse (because everyone that is out a bar on a weekend probably needs to write a list - sorry but that is the only time I actually tote around a purse), heck - if I could write a list while I was riding my bike I probably would! Okay…so I lied...I am completely guilty of getting my phone out and typing something up - once my thoughts were actually so strong that I had to STOP and key in what I was trying to express. Yikes.

So, this weird list keeping habit has only recently been acquired since I graduated college (the second time). Throughout school I had some weird system of writing stuff all over the place and somehow remembering to finish all my projects, do my homework, you know the drill. Once I started my big girl job I remember in my very first meeting, on my very first day I sat in the theater at work as my VP shot of all of these marketing jargons, which at the time I thought was extremely important. 3-years later I realize it wasn't, and over the next 30 months I would sit through a handful of similar meetings. While trying to adjust to a fast-paced work environment I quickly became good a writing to-do lists for the week.

Every Friday before I leave work I sit down and write down what I need to do starting Monday. During the following week I track my list and check things off, in a different color pen of course! So far this methodology has worked. The best part is, is that although I have written a list there is no method to my madness of executing. I never think it is necessary to start with point A and move to point Z. Hell, I will start right smack dab in the middle and see where that takes me. Rebel…

Almost exactly a year ago, I started keeping a journal. Looking back on what I wrote a year ago has been a gas. I can't wait to say that again next year...

I also write grocery lists and plan out every meal for 7 nights. This must happen on Sundays, in order to make sure that I am ready to tackle the world (or the two different grocery stores I insist on going to on Monday during what I like to call Yoga-thirty aka when the parking lot is completely full, and ninjas (women wearing Lulu) whom are jetting across the parking lot with their colorful mats strapped to their backs, yet the grocery stores are empty.

I composed a bucket list when I was finishing up my first college degree. Not because I am dying, because I am one of the most curious individuals on the face of the planet. There are so many things I want to do, places I want to visit and just other random mind-tickling ideas. I have revised/added to this list for the last 4-years (I am sure you have probably caught a post or two previously about bucket list 2.0 or something of that manner). I have also recently started a list in my phone: SoCal Bucket List aka things I want to do prior to leaving Southern California. Hoolllllddd your horses, I am not leaving Costa Mesa anytime soon (to my knowledge), however, there are a bunch of ridiculously awesome things that I want to do before I relocate. I am nomadic, a move is bound to happen at some point…perhaps this is why I keep so many notes? I have "lived"in close to 7 different states, and since I was 18 I have moved houses/apartments once…if not twice…a year. Anyways, the joy that comes with crossing one of those things off the bucket list is like woooooahhh!

I love writing lists prior to my departure on trips. Guess what the top three reoccurring items are? iPhone charger, hair straightener, wallet. PRIORITIES. You know what - I also never have forgotten those three specific things on any trip I have ever gone on.

So, I have this ultra great higher-up now and for christmas I was gifted the ultimate book for someone like me….

My Future Listography
This is a book of lists, all written (or shall I say soon to be written) by yours truly! This was a super awesome gift. So, here is the thing, I am too nervous to start writing in it - I think it is because I want everything in book to be perfect, and complete correct, truthful and personally inspiring. Actually since I received this, I have also randomly acquired two-other booklets that I have started using to scribble in. Literally, this book has sat on the kitchen table - then moved to the coffee table. Most recently it has relocated to our couch side table, and then back to the coffee table. Do I use pen or pencil? Do you see these dilemmas I am facing?! Do I add pictures?

So, here is to planning out more adventures via list making.

Sending Love from SoCal,

E

1.26.2014

I Eat, A LOT.

Being a cyclist something that I am constantly trying to remind myself is to eat while I am out on a pedal. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a summit where Chris Carmichael spoke. Several times he mentioned how important it was to make sure that you eat during and after a ride longer than an hour and a half. This is something I have struggled with since I actually hopped on a bike and started to take it mildly-serious - I always forget to eat (I forget to drink water too, this was an issue I had to deal with back when I was racing mountain bikes - I would get to the feed station and toss a completely full bottle. Being the little hippy that I have turned into that is EXTREMELY wasteful).

When the weekend rolls around, unless I have some fabulous 48-hour adventure planed (which hasn't happened lately) I wake up, eat, and head out on my bike for an un-determinded amount of time. Sometimes with fellow pedal-pushers - most of the time solo aka no one to reminded me that we should be eating. For the rides that I do push-out with pals, they normally laugh at what I decide to snack on. When I leave I toss some type of bar/carb/sweet in my jersey and fill-up a water bottle. Then, out the door. Somedays, I just depend on remembering to grab some cash prior to leaving my house to stop at one of the uber convenient gas stations all over SoCal. Those stations are great until you buy more crap than you can fit in your jersey - most being unhealthy. 

Within the last year of riding I have realized that on most rides I tend to eat less than my body tells me it needs - thus meaning not always grabbing a Clif Bar (although they are soooops delicious!), Hammer Nutrition Bars, or whatever else if floating around is going to fill me up even though I think it will. Lately, I have been concerned about the wait that sits on my lower-back (hi, I am getting old), so much so that I have started to ride with a saddle pack. I try to stay away from gels and other stuff that leaves a weird a film in my mouth - you know what I am talking about? Believe it or not I chew a lot of gum while I am riding on a soft pedal during the weekends…weird… I know… 

So, here are a few recipes that I have gravitated towards. These little treats are all jersey-friendly sizes, and really delicious - plus you can really play around withe the ingredients and make sure they suite your diet and cravings while you are our pounding out some miles. 

Protein Bites by Vega - I have recently grown fond of the Vega. It is a plant based protein mix (I have morphed into an 80/20 vegetarian within the last 7 months - without even really trying). When I have gone on my crazy 3-day juice benders I have to have one of these protein drinks daily in order to get the protein I need to still ride. So, these protein bites? They are awesome! They remind me of these little peanut butter balls my mom used to make in Vermont when I was little, sans powders sugar. A few of them fit perfectly in your pocket - plus they make a yummy mid-day desk jockey snack. I like this recipe because you can really adjust it per your needs - like adding natural sugars, salts, etc. and you can make them in a jiffy. 

Power Hungry is the ultimate blog for easy, healthy bars. If you hunt around you will see that the author has a plethora of recipes, almost all based around the raw diet. Of course, I am a sucker for super dark chocolate, so every time I make these more than enough chocolate goodness end up in them. You can buy all the ingredients for these bars in the bulk isle of your health food store (which FYI today I discovered Beet Chips, HOLY MACKEREL! How have I missed out on these for so long - clearly I love beets, which is only a recently acquired taste).

I haven't had a chance to make these Dark Chocolate Energy Bites yet, but, they seem like they would be great for a little snack. As for riding with them…probably not the best idea because in this SoCal heat - I'd imagine they would melt quickly. Made a post-ride/dessert? 

Okay, so really - what are my three favorite ride snacks? Don't laugh…

1) Waffles with Peanut Butter & Nutella - I recently decided to treat myself to a waffle iron since this ride snack was getting so out of hand. I make a slew of waffles over the weekend (I use all natural ingredients - duh!) , and toss them in the freezer in individual zip-locks. Right before I head out, I toss it in the microwave and top it with my fav toppings. Honestly, at about mile 70 this is the best treat evvvver. They saved me during the Rapha Gentlemen's Race

2) I don't care how bad you may think this next snack is….Starbursts. I never leave home without a few. Are you thinking "oh my gosh, little Miss 'I eat so healthy' is saying to ride with this crap.." yes, that is exactly what I am saying. First off, they don't take up much room. Secondly, they provide the perfect little jolt of sugar. Third, you can literally buy them anywhere and they don't make you mouth feel all yucky. Like I said, I always have these little sweet treats with me - ask the guys I ride with if there is any better treat after a long, hard climb than a Starburst (warning: I only share the red ones. The pink, orange and yellow ones I keep for myself). 

3) So, Trader Joe's makes these little to-die for Belgian butter waffle cookies. They have a ga-zillion calories in them, but, ohhhhh-man they are so great on a long ride. Plus, if you are out pushing 100 it doesn't really matter that you just consumed 300 cals in 6 cookies (ughhh). These are a treat that you don't have to guzzle down a bunch of water in order to enjoy, and they again do not take up much room. Although these do not have protein in them, they do a great job at keeping you going. Honeystinger makes their own version of these morsels, if you feel like going with a more bike-centric label. 

So, laugh if you want - but - my three little go-to snacks have yet to prove me wrong. Drink water. Eat Food. Replenish your body with adequate rest, hydration and food after a long ride. Take the time to stretch…

Sending Love from SoCal, 

Xx

1.15.2014

The funny thing about California.

It just occurred to me that I have been in California for seven years. Seven whole entire years since I left my beloved Rocky Mountains, and traded them for the Sierras. Okay, so it wasn't all that bad. It has been 3-years since I bit the bullet and left the Sierras for the concrete jungle (and then…Orange County). Crazy, if you would have asked 16-year old Bud where she would be at this point in my life back in high school - I probably wouldn't have said Southern California. Although, we all know I was destine to be a beach babe at some point in my life - the naturally blonde ombre wavy hair, and easily bronzing skin might be the dead give it away.
I am not complaining about trading in my speed suit, for a bikini - or having trading in my merino wool long underwear for corduroy daisy dukes. However, I will tell you…the funny thing about California is the weather. Most people say you are so lucky for living in California, it always such nice weather. Well, yes you are correct - but - I think you are wicked lucky for having seasons. Gosh, what I would do to truly experience fall again. You always want what you can't have - right?
Southern California is particularly funny because one day we can be challenging the polar vortex temperature scale, and the next day it will be 85 followed by Hurricane force winds on the Beaufort scale (on land of course). Talk about confusing, Dear Southern California…are you Bi-Polar? About a month ago we were huddled on the couch wrapped in blanket upon blanket, sweats, hoodies, vests, slippers and a space heater blasting in our face (okay, so maybe we have become babies when it comes to 30 degree weather - the whole idea of being a snowmakers daughter has passed, I am wuss when it comes to below 40 - give me a puffy jacket and a hot drink) - to yesterday when I pondered the thought of going back inside and changing into shorts - had it not been for the lovely chamois tan I have right now, I would have. Did I mention, it is January 15th? Now, 85 degrees is just ludicrous. Someone get out the Otter Pops, and strip the bed of the winter sheets! 
Since I have lived down here my body always feels out of whack. It can't decide if its time for hibernation mode (i.e., eat those extra M&Ms) or if it is brazilian bikini time.

The one thing I do know, I am happy that I have made a stop here in this funny state for a few years.

Sending Love from SoCal,

Xx

1.08.2014

Let there be (bike) Light!

I used to be super anti-light, not because I was trying to rebel but because I saw no purpose in spending $30 on a light that I would use during the day - obviously I was a poor college student at this point.
Since moving to Orange County and becoming a bike commuter I quickly realized that no matter what time of day it is how important it is to have lights on your bike. There are cars EVERYWHERE down here - people texting and talking on their phones, paying way to much attention to their GPS or the XM channel they are on. You would never think that a small blinking light could actually save you...not to mention they are obviously helpful during dusk and early in the morning.

Bike lights are a must - seriously. Now, because they are becoming ever-popular you can find them all over shops and the interweb...therefore you don't have an excuse not to throw down a few buckaroos towards a blinky-lifesaver. Just think, if you are commuting to work you are saving on gas money...with that leftover gas money you can then buy a set of bike lights (quickly followed buy a pound of two of gourmet coffee to keep you fueled during your rides..at least that is what I would do - on of my goals for this year is to drink less coffee).
KNOG - Beetle Twinpack, $39.95
I have been using KNOG lights lately, I like that they are silicone so I can easy toss them on any of my bikes - they also make phenomenal bar-bike lights because I can rip them off and toss them in my purse - thus guaranteeing that I will have lights for my 2 am rides home (oppss, yes...you read that correctly). The only problem that I have encountered is they can be a pain in the butt to turn off - most of the time I end up just popping out the battery.
KNOG - Boomer Light, $29.95
 The Boomer Light is the upscale version of the Beetle - slightly more expensive. This light can last anywhere from 3 - 12 hours on (depending on the steady v. flash mode). This light is silicone too, so that makes it easy to take on and off. Being water-resistant is a plus, and it is visible for up to 600 m.

Portland Design Works - Spaceship 3, $29.00
 Anything company that has something to do with Portland, whether it be in their name or location is bound it be a cool (or hip) product. PDW makes some really bad-ass lights for a pretty decent price. the Spaceship 3 can run for up-to 100 hours on just 2-AA batteries!  That is a long time...
PDW also has a 135 lumen output light that looks similar to the one above called the Cosmic Dreadnought for a mere $55.00....remember we are talking safety here..

Portland Design Works - Danger Zone, $38.00
Of course, PDW would make the accompanying rear light to their premium light collection. The Danger Zone light can clip on to essentially where ever, or you can mount it on your seat post. This is a great option for those who are night runners too...that is an entirely different story (which we will cover a later in a few more paragraphs). PDW offers a few twinpacks (both front and rear lights) for a reasonable price. You can also find PDW lights on Amazon, which if you are like me you I always seem to have some type of credit when it comes to their site and so I find myself scrolling the pages of bike gadgets.


Fizik - BLIN:K, $25.00
Fi'zi:k makes some really cool stuff these days. Fizik saddles have a nifty light integration system. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you popped out that little Fizik plaque on the back of  your saddle? Do it...I dare you...you will see that it acts as a clip and there are a slew of products that the company has produced that fits into that little clip section. I love how low profile this light is. It just takes one battery, which they claim is super easy to change. If you are too cool for lights like the ones I shared above, at least do yourself a favor and go with the low-profile option!

Petzel - Tikka 2 Headlamp, $29.95
Lastly, those of you who are runners/walkers/night time adventurers....you should really be out there with some type of light on and/or some reflection. Just because you are wearing a neon colored shirt in the dark - does not mean you can be seen...unless it has reflective on it. I bought the Petzel headlamp for my camping adventures, but, it has actually come in more handy for night runs during daylight savings. This also comes in tremendously helpful while walking the dog, or fixing your piece of crap car late at night, or hunting around in dark places for the misplaced _________(insert what you are looking for).

Nathan - Photon LED Vest, $34.99
 Now, since we are on the subject of reflective (kinda') Nathan makes a killer super duper reflective, flashing-lights, light-weight vest. It is breathable (obviously), it has a pocket...perfect for your key, maybe even an iPhone for Strava. You can be seen from about 1,200 feet - that is far! We are talking uber safe...the LED stripes are removable, and the battery can be easily changed.

Oakley - Intensity Vest, $180.00
Now, if you are a ninja (dressed in all back...normally Lululemon...and pop out of nowhere on the trails, roads, etc. Normally with children), and still want to maintain the fashionable aspect of working out you should check out Oakley's Intensity Vest - for a full 360 reflective breathable vest that has a competitive price-point. It has a stylish collar, and pockets big enough to fit your entire kitchen in. This is the piece that I prefer wearing when running - it makes me feel safe. It fits loosely, which is totally fantastic.

Also, please keep in mind if you are working out at night that you should try to stay off the roads. There are a lot of distractions for vehicles (especially in Southern California). If you are a person who likes to sport head phones, consider turning down the volume...or exercising with just one headphone in - this way you can hear what is going on around you. If you are a road biker and sporting headphones on a busy street...shame. You should also try to tell someone where you are going, and when you get back. I like using the iPhone Find My Friends app, that way I can be found if people start to wonder where the heck I am.

Sending Love - Be Safe!

Xx

1.05.2014

Birchbox #4 || December

This was one of the less impressive boxes that I have received - but - the actual box it was in was fabulous! I actually have saved the last several months empty boxes received the top and then filled them with Christmas gifts.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré - $28.00
By now you must know by personal thought on face creams…they make me nervous. Therefore, I have not tried this one yet. I have become a HUGE fan of Egyptian Magic - I can comfortably use this cream 2-3 times a week. 

Harvey Prince Hello - $55.00
This had a nice scent to it - reminded me of summer time. I really like the price of this of this ecofriendly product - perfect of on the go during the day. It seems to last a fairly long time too! 

LAQA & Co. - Fat Lip Pencil in Ring of Fire,  $18.00
 Of course a some point I was bound to get a sample that was broken…wommmppp womppp. I was able to semi-fix the pencil and then just tossed it into my purse. Still looking for the right time to use it… 


Toni & Guy - Causal Sea Salt Texturising Spray, $15.00 
 This stuff ROCKS! I love the smell and what it does for my hair. I already have a serious case of lion hair when I don't take the time to straighten it - to this is nice for making the lion mane look a little more under control. Hi-five!
twistband™Speciality Pack - Metallics, $12.00
Super into these soft elastic hair ties these days. Luckily for about the last 2 years we have had these floating around the office. I have grown accustom to using one at the top of my braid and then a normal thin tie at the bottom. As for a pack of 5 costing $12.00, not really sure if these are worth it…

Looking forward to my January box arriving shortly, if you are interested in Birchbox…click here.


Sending Love, 

Xx

Ipsy Box #2 | December

So I may or may not have been wicked busy this month - and just realized I hadn't posted about my most recent Ipsy! Before I know it,  January's will be here - yikes/yippy! The over all contents of this months bag were not that awesome, but, I still love getting a little girly surprise in the mail once a month. The subscription price per month is a steal - check it out by clicking here.
So, here are the deets….
The theme for December was Celebration. Actually the bag is super cute - I have used it a few times when I quickly just need to grab-and-go with a few pieces of essential face paint. 


Salon Perfect - Perfectly Natural Lashes,  $2.98
 Haven't had a reason to slap on fake lashes lately - I am just going to add these to my collection. Actually, the biggest tip I can offer when it comes to faux lashes is to purchase them at the dollar store - believe it or not you can find a decent collection there.
Be a Bombshell -  The One Stick, $N/A
Being the HUGE blush person that I am - I was smiling ear to ear when I opened the bag and saw this. The first time I used the stick it worked really well - then as I used it more I started to notice it was going on thicker than I liked leaving an outline on these little rosy cheeks. Sooooo, apply with caution.
POP Beauty - Bright Up Your Life Eye Shadow Trio in Smokin Hot,  $N/A
 This is a perfect for on the go…can you tell I am on the go a lot? I keep a little kit of makeup at work for after my rides and runs this compact will soon be joining that kit. Over all the colors are nice, the black matches the Urban Decay that I am currently sporting (and am almost out of…).
J.Cat Beauty- Big Lip Pencil in Red Rose, $3.99
This lip pencil is really oily, however, I love the color. I have a plethora of lip pencils/crayons now (Birch included one in their December box as well) - this one will probably be on the back burner for a while.

Mirabella - Eye Blender Brush, $27.00
This brush is great it would be even better if I used eye shadow brushes….I am a toddler and use my fingers. So, remember when I started this whole subscription box thing  - it was so that I could learn how to use makeup at a more adult level and explore the various girly goodies out there. So, maybe tomorrow will be the day I whip out this bad boy…


Sending Love,

Xx