August 2012 According to My Phone

I felt August was fun. During the first three weeks of August, I felt as though I went to the beach every weekend. I’m pretty beach-ed out. Last summer, I don’t recall ever going to the beach.

These were pretty interesting. They’re like little sandbugs crawling underneath the sand (at Solana Beach). I still think it’s a baby hermit crab.

Noodles in black bean sauce — so good. It was from Tasty Garden Cafe in Alhambra. If you want to try Hong Kong food — try it here! Also it opens late! Will come back to try other items maybe even their Hong Kong waffle or brick toast.

I must learn how to make myself a Cubano one of these days.

There’s nothing like home-made pho (not by me :-P, by my boyfriend’s mom of course).

Wine Country Half Marathon

Last Saturday, I took my friend to Temecula for the Southern California Wine Country Half Marathon.

This folks will be her first TRAIL half marathon and I believe her 5th half marathon.

I’ll do one someday… Actually according to my 25 by 25 list I better get to it, but really, I feel in the meantime, I would focus like to focus on getting my CAPM license in the the fall. Maybe I’ll sign up for a 10k run instead. I don’t need to train as much since I can run 10k.

While I was waiting the finish line, I was talking to some people and they told me if I can run 6 miles, I can run a half-marathon.

One of these days, I’ll run one and hopefully work my way to a full marathon.

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On the other note, I did not like the venue. The venue took place at Vail Lake Village and I felt the employers there were not very pleasant. For me, it only takes one thing (or maybe few things) to give it a bad review. When I was dropping off my friend in front of the Resort front office where the starting line was so she did not have to walk very far from the parking lot to the starting line. An employer from the front desk comes up to my car and points at both of us and I opened my window to tell her “I’m just dropping her off” and she didn’t say anything and kept walk closer to my car. I told my friend to go to the starting line before this lady comes any closer to my car. She keeps walking to my car with her fingers still pointing at us and points to the parking lot.

How totalitarian! I was not going to even park my car, I just wanted to drop off my friend someplace closer to the starting line. This lady didn’t even say anything or cooled off. I generally don’t write bad reviews but the customer service turned me off.

The only thing I would like to say to people who want to organize the Southern California Wine Country Half-Marathon next year is please don’t pick Vail Lake Village.

Feels like college already

This week I felt like I was a college kid because I am doing the following:

I’m taking classes (check).

I go to PB Bar and Grill on a Thursday night with my friends (check). It was my friend’s going away party but if you’ve ever been to college, Thursday night usually means for most college students that it’s the start of the weekend. Actually when I was an undergrad, my weekend was not happening on a Thursday night. I actually had discussions on Fridays from morning until afternoon. Almost all my discussions had quizzes every week and homework about the research articles we read wrote a report about, so my Thursday night was nights in the study lounge.

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Woke early to do my schoolwork after a night of partying (check). Friday evening was my coworker’s going away party so we celebrated during happy hour at a nearby bar. Saturday morning I woke up at 6:30 am just to do my schoolwork at 7 am. Most working professionals I know love their weekend sleep-in, I do too but I guess I was never a true sleep in person. Most people I know sleep in until 10 am. For me, I consider sleeping in would be 8 am and I freak out. But anyways I think sporadic sleep/wake schedules are pretty much like college.

Off topic note: In San Diego there are so many local beers. I highly recommend you try as much as you can when you’re there. When I went to happy hour Friday night, I could not believe I barely scratched the surface for local San Diego beer. I guess I’ll keep exploring.

I bought a pack of Instant Noodles (check). There’s an Asian market near my house and my boyfriend suggested a couple weeks ago that we should start buying a pack of noodles because he was going to school full time and I don’t always make dinner because we have plenty of leftovers in the fridge. I was not too sure about buying noodles since I do the cooking most days. But now since I’m taking classes, I don’t mind buying a pack of noodles and maybe make even more leftovers. My classes may be 100% online but the lessons are 2-3 hours long which take a lot of my evening. I’ll talk more about my online classes and how I manage my time.

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Green Thumbs

So last year, Julie’s Christmas present was a garden. A while back she mentioned that she wanted to try growing her own vegetables. I wanted to make this a surprise but then I popped the question: “What kind of vegetables do you usually use?” This pretty much ruined the surprise. Me of all people should know since she frequently cooks for me. Shameful…

Anyway we decided to get: chives, cilantro, basil, and green onion. So far the project is going smoothly and it also has inspired her to grow some wild flowers. I also picked up another very unique plant that is known for eating bugs… the Venus Flytrap! I’m hoping it grows because I want to use it to ward off insects and birds if possible.

The cost for everything was pretty minimal. Less than $20. Includes the dirt, pot, seeds.

First step: getting the seeds to germinate. Here are some seeds that have been sitting for a week starting on 12/28/11 – 1/4/12

Here are some photos of some that we started a week prior to the picture above.

Basil at 2.5 weeks from 12/17/11 – 1/4/12

Green Onion 2.5 weeks from 12/17/11 – 1/4/12

Cilantro 2.5 weeks from 12/17/11 – 1/4/12

Chives 2.5 weeks from 12/17/11 – 1/4/12. The leaf is towards the bottom of the cup. You can kind of see it.

Present Day, about 20 mins ago….

These Chives were put into a cut up bottle to mimic a green house to protect it because its so small. We’re not sure if we can leave it outside yet.

Green Onions. Just like the Chives we kept these indoors to protect them.

You can definitely tell these are Cilantros.

Last but not least, Basil.

The wild flowers haven’t started blooming yet but pictures will be posted when they do. I hope the plants don’t get eaten by birds or other pests otherwise I would be sad =[. That Flytrap better work =p

Adopt-A-Vine Program and help local food banks

You can’t adopt my sister but you can adopt a vine as in grapevine! From the Bella Cavalli Farms Vineyard and Equestrian Estate. (website: bellacavalli.com phone number: 805-688-7108)
I picked up this little brochure when I was at Santa Barbara on Saturday and I thought this was pretty cool.
Why should you adopt a vine? It will help the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County to serve those people in need.
Cost of adoption:
1 year is 50.00
  • You get 1 bottle of wine
  • A name plaque in the Vineyard
  • Invitation to a private annual Harvest Party
  • Adoption papers

3 years: 100.00
  • 3 bottles of wine, 1 per year
  • Name plaque in vineyard
  • Adoption Papers
  • Invitation to our private annual Harvest Part 
  • 1 Horseback Riding Lessons
I am sure that there are thing to adopt too. I thought this pretty cool and kind of different.
P.S. I completed number 32 today: Donate to Salvation Army–I donated clothes I don’t wear as much anymore. 

Completed #79: Channeling Sideways

Off to Santa Barbara yesterday doing the classy thing as in wine tasting and checking out the vineries–not trashy not to mention cliche(*cough* Isla Vista). The scenery is sure pretty but too bad I just found my charger TODAY!!! Hopefully my other friends have pictures so I can post them!

I only tasted wine in Sunstone and Kalyra between the two I like Sunstone because they even had a free dessert wine and a recipe to take home-which I will post later!!

FYI, your trip to the vinery with your friends is very subjective it’s not black and white where everyone will like the same thing. Anways here is the vineries we visited and the winelist we tried for the day.

1. Sunstone (sunstonewinery.com)
P.O Box 1747
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Phone number- 800-313-WINE
Tasting fee: 10 dollars

What is so special about them? Sunstone is 100% certified organic vines and the scernery is beautiful. Feels like you are in Tuscany.

The wine list:

1. 2007 Chardonnay – Santa Barbara County
2. 2007 Viognier – Santa Ynez County – My favorite
3. 2006 Syrah Rose – 94% Sunstone Estate Syrah, 6% Viognier
4. 2006 Estate Merlot – 100% Sunstone Estate Merlot – this is what they are famous for. And it’s my favorite too.
5. 2005 Rapsodie du Soleil 100% Sunstone Estate, 89% Syrah, 5% Viognier, 3%
Grenache, 5% Mourvedre
Bonus: Sunstone’s Sangria Blanco (will post a recipe soon) because it’s really good

2. Kalyra (Kalyrawinery.com)
343 N.Refugio Rd
Santa Ynez CA 93460
phone: (805) 693-8864

Tasting fee: 10 dollars (I split this one between 2 other friends because I budget lke that)

What’s so special here? have you seen “Sideways”?? They filmed this movie here! “Kalyra” is abiorigine for “wild and pleasant place”. Also the grapes come from Australia!

Wine List

1. 2007 Sauvignon Blanc
2. 2008 Unwood Chardonnay
3. 2007 Kalyra Riesling – my favorite
4. 2006 Barrel Select Sangiovese – my other favorite
5. 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel
6. 2005 Grenache
7. Black Muscat – eww
8. 2005 Vintage Port – eww–I guess I’m not a big fan of dessert wines #7 is a dessert wine too.

FYI, I didn’t drink in the last two but I’ll post these anyways because my friends liked these too.

3. Zaca Mesa (Zacamesa.com)
6905 Foxen Canyon Road
P.O Box 899
Los Olivos, CA 93441
Phone number: 805-688-8796
Tasting fee: 10 dollars

What is so special about this place? Specialize in Rhone varietals. Has HUGE chess pieces–great for the kids to play while they wait for their parents.

Wine list:

1. 2008 Estate Z Gris
2. 2008 Estate Viognier
3. 2006 Estate Roussanne
4. 2006 Estate Grenache
5. 2006 Estate Z-Cuvee
6. 2006 Estate Syrah
7. 2005 Estate Z Three

4. Firestone (Firestonewine.com)

P.O. Box 244
5000 Zaca Station Road
Los Olivos, CA 93411
Phone number: 805-688-3940

What’s so special about this place? If you join their wine club, you not only sign up to 1 winery but 5. I didn’t drink at this place but my friends thought “it was ok”.

Tasting fee: 10 dollars

Wine list:

1. 2007 Chenin Blanc
2. 2008 Sauvignon Blanc
3. 2007 Gewurstraminet
4. 2007 Cabernet Franc Rose
5. 2007 Cabernet Franc Rose
6. 2006 Syrah
7. 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
8. 2004 Merlot Reserve

anyways it was nice saturday. We had to leave early though. I really wish we went to check out the lavenders in Los Olivos though.

Looks French huh?