Somewhere along the past few months I decided to become a triathlete.  I know, crazy right?!  After starting a new work out routine with the best group ever back in September, I decided to sign up for the Los Alamitos Race on the Base that took place this past February.  After I announced my decision to my husband, he surprised me completely when he said, “Hey, I’ll do it with you! Sign me up too.”. What the what!?  I was shocked.  My husband WAS once a triathlete back in high school and actually did an Ironman race.  But it had been 20+ years for him and he was most definitely out of shape.  I’m proud to say though, that he jumped into training with both feet and hasn’t looked back.  I would actually say he’s been more into the whole thing than me. He’s a stud!

Well, we both did the race back in February…and finished…actually finished! I don’t know why I’m sooo surprised. Well, I’m not surprised that he did well, but I am surprised that I did pretty well and actually went through with the whole thing!  I wasn’t exactly the athletic type in my younger years, but now just around the bend from being 40, I am in the best shape of my life!  It feels great!

{me at the ROTB Sprint Tri, Feb. 2014}

So of course I’ve gone and done what everyone does after they do one sprint tri….they sign up for three more! No?  They don’t do that? Well, I did and so did the hubs.  And I bought a road bike and gear…and well I guess I’m doin’ this shit! Yikes!  Can you say addicted?  But it’s nice to have a goal and to have something exciting to look forward to and train for. Needless to say it has totally consumed our lives. We sort of live and breath, running, cycling, swimming on a constant basis. That, combined with the normal daily schedule has made my life very full as of late.  I’ve actually backed off from work just a bit to focus more on our family and personal life and I feel blessed to be able to do that. But some new projects have dropped in my lap, so hopefully I will have some fun stuff to share with you all soon.

Ok, enough with the exercise crap. I’ve been very into some stuffs lately and here it all is for ya. A little this, a little that. But if you ignore most of this list, please DO NOT pass up watching Extra Virgin! Especially if you love cooking, or Italy, or Debi Mazar or pasta.

1. Extra Virgin had me hooked after just one show. I love the chemistry between Debi and her hottie, Italian hubby Gabriele Corcos. And the food…damn it…so good! I’ve already made a few dishes from the show and they are all delicious.

2.I’m not sure where my love of monograms comes from. I’m a Southern California beach girl through and through afterall, but somewhere along the line (I think it’s Martha’s fault) I developed a deep love for monograms on pretty much anything. My blogger friend Grace is the purveyor of all things monogram and I was beyond thrilled to see that she’s taken her hobby of monogramming and opened up a shop! Rest assured that I will be purchasing one or two…or three things for my own home.

3. While shopping for new lipgloss I happened upon this lovely fragrance by Bobbi Brown.  Beach is hands down what summer smells like to me.  The smell of the ocean, mixed with jasmine just does it for me.

4. A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to meet Sarah Richardson at the Laguna Design Center’s Spring Market.  She is quite a lovely person and her new fabric line for Kravet is just as lovely.  I am DYING to use a few of the fabrics in some upcoming design projects.  They are fresh and pretty…just perfect for spring!

5. Training and working out as hard as I have been the last few months has definitely come with some benefits! My legs are taking on quite a nice shape….which basically comes down to…they are SKINNY!!  This is a huge thing for me. I have never really had skinny legs, or muscle tone, or legs I even felt like showing off. But I do now! This romper by Yumi Kim would be great for summer date nights and for backyard cocktail parties if I dress it down.

6. I have a strong love for lime green. Our family room has some hints of it and I have been looking for a throw that brings more of that color into the room. This one fits the bill and has cute pom pom detailing, which I love!

7. We recently stopped by this burger joint on our way back from a trip to Legoland. The Riders Club Cafe rivals Umami Burger and in my honest opinion…wins all the way!  Great burgers and great beers. Definitely a go-to for your cheat day!

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February 25, 2014

Design Crush: Cynthia Childs

by Shelly

I spend far too much time on Pinterest, but it truly is where I find so much inspiration for my design projects, what I wear on a daily basis, what I cook, etc.  How did we live without it!?  Recently a girl friend pinned the above fabulous outdoor sectional, so I headed over to architect, Cynthia Childs’ site to see more.  Beautiful work. All of it. This home in particular takes the cake for me, especially since I’m a sucker for great outdoor spaces!  I love the hardscaping material used for the patio and walkways, along with the mix of succulents, ferns, iceberg roses and boxwoods.  The concrete and large clam shell fountain is awesome too!  I think we may need to recreate this in our own backyard. It’s really different!  Head over to the site to see more pics, including the inside of the home.  It’s stunning!

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It’s dreary.

And gray out.

Bleh.

But it was a good weekend. Hope yours was too!

The boy did quite well for Valentine’s Day.  He got me a pretty darn good gift, which I’ll be sharing below.  Then we had a very low key meal, sitting in the bar at one of our local haunts.  Followed by a night of music with an incredibly talented music artist, that is just BEGGING to make it super big!

The rest of the weekend was spent training for the big event hubby and I have next weekend. God, I am SO freaking out!!!  We are doing the Los Alamitos sprint triathlon, Race on the Base .  My husband used to do tris way back when and has even done a half Iron Man or some crazy crap like that.  I am NOT going to end up doing Iron Mans I can tell you that. This was just one of those items on my life checklist.  At the ripe age of 37 I am feeling fitter than ever thanks in major…MAJOR…part to this girl!  I actually kinda like my thighs for the first time in my life. That’s big folks! If you are local to the Seal Beach, Long Beach, Los Alamitos area you need to come take a class. Oh, ladies only unfortunately. Sorry fellas.

In any case, I  have been in serious like with a few things this month and in an effort to better your life I think you should try some of these out. Even if it’s just the yogurt. Ok, on to the list….

1. Good Lord, seriously I about died when I had my first bite of Australian yogurt when we were there.  It blows DOORS off Greek yogurt. Sorry Greeks.  Noosa Yogurt (which is actually the name of the city we stayed in while there) is actually inspired by the Mediterranean variety.  But they sprinkle pixie dust or something and add all natural fruit purees.  It’s freaking delicious and I am heavily addicted now.

2.  The Getaway debuted on the Esquire channel back in September of last year.  I apparently had my head stuck in the sand or something, because I didn’t know anything about this show which was created by one of my favs Anthony Bourdain.  The show features travel- loving celebrities who know some of the World’s greatest cities inside and out.  It completely marries two things I love, travel and food. Which is why I’m such a fan of Bourdain, but this series has a fresh, fun feel. And seriously, as if I didn’t already love Seth Meyer!

3. This jacket had me instantly!  The Veda Denim Jacket for Madewell is very rock and roll and just the right amount of different from your everyday denim jacket.  It totally reminds me of the quintessential biker look we see on patrons of our fav dive bar, Mother’s in Sunset Beach.  My boy got me this for Vday. He rocks!

4. I’m addicted to Pinterest just like everyone else I suppose.  And I’m constantly looking for inspiration for our backyard remodel, which at this rate is years away still. But in any case, I can do hanging baskets.  And I just LOVE the way these look. Now if only I can keep them watered….

5. Anti-gun. Pro-gun. Doesn’t matter.  This shirt is funny and I wish I had ordered it in time to wear during the sprint tri!  But I may just have to bust it out during my workouts! Oh and this one is pretty funny too.

 6. She’s beautiful right?  Well she’s not just a pretty face. In fact she’s quite the badass.  Conway is her stage name and she is going to be HUGE…I just know it!  Kassia Conway (her real name) was the opening act for the show we saw on Friday night and I am SO glad we didn’t miss them. Normally we skate in just before the main act goes on if we don’t know the opener. Read this review and you’ll get a good sense of what she’s like.

And check out this video.

I love her!

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Tonight my wonderful husband lined up tickets to see one of our new fav musical artists and we even lucked out with an available sitter!  We usually stay home on Vday and I cook a really nice meal, so this is a treat for sure.  St. Lucia is a one man band fronted by Brooklyn artist by way of South Africa, Jean-Phillip Grobler.  We first saw them live when they opened for another fav band of ours Two Door Cinema Club and I was instantly hooked!

The sound? A little tropical, a little electronic and his vocals sound a bit like George Michael circa Wham!  The music is very catchy.  And he’s just a doll…he had me at his rolled pants and espadrilles. So here a few favorites that I think you’ll enjoy!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and if you’re celebrating Valentines Day, I hope it is extra sweet!

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Weekday mornings are usually a crazy whirlwind.  I jump out of bed, after hitting the snooze on my iPhone twice and quickly go through my routine…..

Brush teeth and hair

Turn on kitchen lights and tv news softly (just to wake myself up more)

Run out to kitchen and start coffee

Feed all the pets

Make Ellie’s lunch (If I didn’t already do this the night before)

Start Ellie’s breakfast (More like assemble because she only wants cereal usually)

Go wake her up…throw off her covers, open roman shades, turn on light and then carry…yes carry her highness into the dining room for breakfast.

Then from there it’s a mad dash to clean up, get her dressed and packed up for school, get myself dressed (Thank God for workout clothes!), rush out the door and get her to school on time. If it’s a workout morning I sneak in a yogurt and/or banana before we leave.  But it’s the days I have just a little more time to myself after dropping her off that I relish.  It’s usually a day that I have lots of office work to get done and no client meetings. Those mornings I like to treat myself to a nicer breakfast. And this one fits the bill perfectly!

Serves 6

(I only used one egg and then adjusted the rest accordingly since I was the only one eating it)

Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

6 large eggs

2 bunches pencil thin asparagus

Canola oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

2 cups torn country bread

extra virgin olive oil

aged balsamic vinegar

fleur de sel

Poach eggs. Bring 6-8 inches of water to a boil in a deep saucepan. Prepare an ice bath.  Add the vinegar to the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer. Crack 1 egg into a small cup or ramekin. Using a wooden spoon, stir the water at the edges of the pan twice in a circular motion to get the water moving. Then add the egg to the center and simmer gently 1 1/2 minutes or until white is set but yolk is still runny. With a slotted spoon, transfer egg to ice bath. Skim off any foam that has risen to the top of water and repeat with remaining eggs, one at a time.

Peel or trim asparagus stalks if necessary. Spread asparagus out on a platter or baking sheet and drizzle generously with canola oil (I used olive oil) and season with salt and pepper. Grill asparagus on an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. I used a cast iron skillet because I was only making it for myself and the skillet was easier to manage. It worked fine.  Cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.

With the grill or pan still hot toast some of the torn country bread. This was very easy to do in the cast iron skillet. There was still oil at the bottom, so the large chunks just toasted off of that. Worked  great! Takes about 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Lower the cooked, poached eggs into the simmering water for about 30 seconds, just to reheat. Blot on paper towels after. Note..you can cook the asparagus first, then the eggs so that the eggs don’t get cold. This works if you are only making this for one or two people.

Arrange some asparagus on plate, then some prosciutto and croutons. Lay an egg on the asparagus then drizzle all with olive oil and balsamic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. SO GOOD!

 

 

There you have it. Super easy!  And it would also be a nice weekend breakfast. Of course the kids probably would want nothing to do with it. Their loss. Oh…and this is also a really nice light dinner.  It goes really well with a chilled white wine!

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