Saturday, May 28, 2011

Also, Happy Birthday Mom...

I'm glad that as the 80s faded away, so did our hairstyles :)

Memorial Day Weekend...Off To A Good Start

Well, this is my last weekend of freedom.  To say that I am not nervous about starting work next week would be a lie.  And I don't want to lie to you.  Of course I am nervous about all of the normal things:  Will I be good at my job?  Are the people going to be nice?  Will I get to leave at a decent hour each day?  But I am also really nervous about sitting at a desk 9 hours a day and losing motivation outside of work.

You know how it goes - by about 12 o'clock you are stir crazy and have all these ambitions for awesome things you will do when you get home.  Then you get home and you are so exhausted and lethargic that you just want to lounge in preparation for doing it all again the next day.  I am trying to avoid that, but have never been great at maintaining a healthy work-life balance.  In the meantime, I have been trying to take advantage of this 3 day weekend (the last one I may have in a while!).

Hiked part of Bear Peak Trail with 3 lovely ladies.  It was an absolutely gorgeous trail, in fact I had every intention of bringing my camera and taking pictures, but decided against it.  It looked like rain clouds were forming, and I swear I read earlier that day that there would be evening thunderstorms (in true Colorado fashion).  Since I was not well equipped with a backpack that I could store my camera in if it rained, I didn't want to risk it.  I am vowing to go back up at some point and get some nice pictures.  But here is one I took of the Flatirons during graduation weekend to hold you over.  Probably one of my faves.

Saturday (today)
Headed to an open mic event with these two and bringing a bottle of wine, should be great, and should be plenty more of what you see in the picture above :) ...

Sunday (tomorrow)
Spending a day with my camera - going exploring.  Not sure where yet, but I need to get comfortable with my camera, and I think any place will do for that.  Remember last time when I said I needed to pick a hobby and stick with it?  Well the camera won and I am looking forward to getting to know it better!

Might be making a little trip to Wash Park.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stupid Creativity!

Don't those paintings look awesome?!

That's ok, you don't have to lie.  I know they look like they were done by a 2nd grader, complete with birds shaped like V's and puffy clouds.

Before I graduated, I put together a list of things I was going to do this summer.  When I found out that I start work in a week (instead of in the 2 months I had in mind!), I panicked and have tried to fit in as much stuff in as I could in just a few days.  This "stuff" ranges from painting to trying to learn how to use my new camera and properly edit photos.

Needless to say, this has led to much frustration.  We all know you can't rush the creative process, and the years and years I have spent dedicating to schoolwork has left little time to get (back) in touch with the inner artist that I was once a lot closer to.

This week, I think I bit off way more than I can chew...and I'm chewing things that I have never eaten before, ugh.  Drawing, painting, and shooting awesome pictures (even with my little point and shoot), was something that once came a lot easier to me than it does these days.  But like I said, this week is different: I used to paint with oils, this week I tried watercolor.  I used to take pretty pictures and think "I wouldn't change a thing," this week I am lost in tutorials and complex commands of Photoshop :(

After sputtering out excuses (out loud, and angrily) ranging from "There's something wrong with my tap water!" to "My version of Photoshop is broken!" the advice I have for myself is to back off a bit and take life one hobby at a time.  I also shouldn't beat myself up for not being great at something new (or that I haven't done in a LONG time).

This hasn't stopped me from making yummy food this week though, so maybe I'll post some of that.  Besides, at least I have this face to cheer me up when I get frustrated :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sherpa's - You Never Cease to Amaze Me....

I just got back from my FAVE restaurant, Sherpa's.  Every few months I get to enjoy lunch here...usually meeting up with friends, or taking anyone who is visiting from out of town and up for trying something new!  Some people say "No way, Jose" to Indian/Nepalese/Himalayan food, but those who are willing to try it are never disappointed.

Besides the amazing food, this restaurant also has a cool vibe and a cool story.  It is in an old house in Boulder with a great outdoor patio.  The owner is an avid runner, and is also a sherpa for Mt. Everest (bad ass).  The waiters and chefs are also friends and family members of his, from Nepal.  The walls are lined with maps of the Himalayas and antique mountaineering gear.  Pretty cool (as Miley Cirus would say)

Today it was downpouring (in fact, it has been almost every day for the past couple of weeks now - So over it), so we didn't get to sit outside, but we did sit in one of the many small "rooms" on the first floor.

The picture below was taken on a much sunnier day.  It was a simpler time when happiness and warmth filled my heart.  I was also being a good girl and taking 1/2 home for leftovers.  Must have been a good self-control day, which today was NOT.

This is what I usually get, Aloo Gobi (SOO good).  Potatoes, cauliflower and peas with a tomato cream sauce.  Also, the naan is homemade and to die for!  All of this and a side of naan (4 pcs) for only $7!!  $6 with a student ID.  Another of the many reasons I love this place!

I'm not sure how this meal does on the healthy scale, but probably not too well considering I ate ALL of it and ate the entire side of naan, and had a chai.  But hey, I ate a light breakfast so that I could do so.  Plus I am way sore from all the working out I have been doing (no big deal...) so I felt I deserved it.  Whether I did or not is a different story.  Afterwards, my brother took me to see Bridesmaids - which I loved and is right up my alley! - so I feel I am truly enjoying my last week before work starts.  PS - I want every outfit that Kristen Wiig wore in that movie!

Tomorrow I get to meet with another long lost friend for lunch who, I am told, already got some great food from Whole Foods (automatically healthy right??).  Afterwards I will be taking some form of butt-lifting ballet at this place.  I have a pretty thorough dance background but never dabbled in ballet because I am a klutz and not graceful whatsoever.  This will be interesting!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 1: Success

Day 1 of eating healthy and exercising was a success!  Kora and I went on a 4+ mile hike with some friends and their dog.  For an 11 year old dog, Kora rocked!  She often wanted me to go faster but was careful not to pull (most of the time!).  As promised, breakfast and lunch were great.

Breakfast:  Egg Whites with Avocado and Feta

3 egg whites, scrambled
1/2 avocado (some people say I eat too much avocado, nonsense.)
feta cheese crumbles

Lunch (this may be dinner also!):  Chicken Wraps w/ Hummus

1 chicken breast, seasoned with basil, seasoned pepper and garlic, baked
small flour tortillas
onions, chopped
lettuce, chopped
feta cheese crumbles (ok, maybe I eat too much feta cheese also)

Hummus is another fave of mine :)  Just plain, none of this 3 pepper jalapeno crap.

After all this hiking and eating, I have only had energy to lounge all day.  Although, this did give me time to research cute outfits that I want to get for my new job that starts in a week (yikes!).  I have a feeling all of these are expensive, so I may be making a trip to Forever 21 for some substitutes!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What's an artichoke?

One of my new favorite hobbies is looking at food blogs.  The recipes are usually super awesome, and the photography is kick ass.  Now that I am out of school (and have a super cool camera of my own - thanks Aunt Deb!!), I can finally justify spending the time on a blog of my own.  I just got out of a grueling 8 YEARS of college, and no I am not a doctor...sad.  So I have promised my body that I am going to pay it back by taking better care of it.  That means eating better than I did in college (although I was never THAT bad), and exercising (gasp!).  Hopefully this blog will help me keep that promise!!

What's in a name?
Growing up in California, I ate a lot of artichokes.  My dad would make them all the time, and as a kid, they were super fun to eat (although sometimes painful - those spikes at the ends of the petals will get ya every time).  We even had a saying "Okey dokey, Artichokey!!" - which was almost the name of this blog.  At any rate, artichokes were my first glimpse into all of the great, interesting, and healthy, foods that exist out there.  Although they were a common treat for me, I have come to realize that a lot of people have never had one before (especially Colorado folks).  And some of the people who have had them think they are too much work to eat, and soon resort to canned artichokes only (tisk, tisk).  It's a shame because 'real' artichokes are so delicious!  For those of you who have never seen, or eaten, an artichoke - exhibit A....

Aren't they pretty?  They eventually bloom into a flower if left in the wild too...


Well tomorrow starts day 1 of trying to eat healthier.  I waver back and forth on gluten free too, so we'll see how that goes.  Although thanks to my Aunt Kim, I have some great gluten free snacks in my freezer!  Also, I recently tried this quinoa recipe (a staple for a gluten free diet), and it finally made me see the potential of what is usually a very bland food.  Maybe I'll blog about that next :)

Tomorrow's menu includes egg whites and avocado for breakfast, and a grilled chicken hummus wrap for lunch.  With a hike in between!  This is Kora's first hike of the summer so wish her luck!