Tuesday Ten: Green LA

Surprise! LA does have some green around and I’m not talking about kale salad and farmer’s markets.

All photos by me.

1. Temescal Canyon

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See, honey–This is how you take a photo doesn’t matter if it’s on a NEX-3 or a camera phone. Take notes… :-P

2. Plus they have pink flowers!

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pink flowers

3. Purple flowers that brighten sidewalks

purple flowers4. Trees that frame buildings.

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5. Plants that climb walls.growing

6. Huntington Garden – enough said. It’s like you traveled all over the world without renewing your passport. huntingongardn1 huntington garden

7. Echo Parkechopark

8. Urban gardens

Location: Koreatown

9. Trees

Location: Topanga Beach

10. Many miles worth of hikes

Location: Santa Monica Mountains

santa monica mountans

Location: Stony Point

stonypoint

StitchFix #4

I got my 4th Stitch Fix!

1. Olive and Oak – Kanani Chevron Pattern Sweater

Weird…they labeled this “light green” but it’s more like a light turquoise or light blue. Anyways I decided to keep this sweater because I thought it was a nice spring sweater to wear to work or the weekend.

Me trying it on.

Me actually wearing it for casual Friday. P.S. I am happy to be able to fit into my size 27 jeans again! :-) Plus I received plenty of compliments on this sweater.

2. Renee C – Cocoa Mixed Material Short Sleeve Shirt

This shirt was ok. It was interesting because it’s different in the back. But I wasn’t sure if I would keep it and my fiance thought it was “okay”. It took me a few days to decide…so pass.

I think my fiance needs to learn how to take better photos.

2. 41 Hawthorn Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse

FYI, my fiance took all the pictures of me trying it on. Honestly, when I first saw it off the box, I was not sure if I was going to like it because it was too dark. After trying it on, I decided to keep it. I would definitely get another one in a brighter color like red. This shirt pairs nicely with slim fit jeans or maybe a pencil shirt.

4. 41Hawthorn Topher Lurex Striped Fit and Flare Dress

The dress on the Stitch Fix card looked really cute, but in real life it was too sparkly to wear anywhere. Pass.

5. Mak Jaclynn 3/4 Sleeve Button-up Cardigan

I love the color but I wished the cardigan was a little longer.

Overall, it was a good Stitch Fix and I kept two items. Unfortunately, there won’t be a Stitch Fix in April. So look forward to #5 in May! Maybe next time I’ll pose in our porch.

Tuesday Ten: 10 Things I Miss About Being in my Home

Mr. Fish and I made an unplanned trip to San Diego because his mom wasn’t feeling well –depends on how you interpret it. Maybe she just misses us (as in Mr. Fish). It made me think about how we would go out of town to many weekends in a row at some point and how we’re glad to come home.

Anyways, it was a very unplanned trip and we already had our own set of plans this past weekend. I was already planning do some work (like as in work work, not as in house work or craftwork) and Mr. Fish wanted to see his friends in the OC. We talked about how people (including parents) just can’t make us go with a drop of a hat.

Here are 10 things I miss about being at home:

1. Sleeping comfortably – depends on how you interpret it ;-)

2. Walking around comfortably – see #1.

3. Weather  - We brought clothes for the cooler weather in San Diego and it so hot hot hot! We didn’t think we were coming back home to the cool Valley.

4. Not worrying about missing things – I always forget my lotion or my contact solution. We always make a trip to go to the pharmacy to buy the things we forgot at home.

5. Our TV – I’ve had every provider available and we could not figure out how to use the TV at my fiance’s sister’s house. Why go high-tech everything?

6. Silence – There’s good silence and then there’s awkward silence. When Mr. Fish and I go to his parent’s house when it’s silent — it’s awkward. Mr. Fish feels he’s speak to say something. Since Mr. Fish has a big family, having more people coming over still did not create as much noise.

7. Working out during commercials — for me it’s something to do. I am not the type that gets attracted to commercials easily so I find something productive to do in the next 2 minutes. Home is where I know I can do some squats or push-ups during commercial breaks.

8. Saving money- I know when we try to invite people over from San Diego to visit us, they don’t want to come over because they say it’s too far away and too expensive to make a trip. We’ve made a trip to SD too many times and it’s pricey. We really do prefer staying home and making some dinner .

9. Internet –

10. Just being comfortable – The first thing I look forward to coming home is vegging out on the couch.

Things I learned about living in a studio….

Yes we are moving to a bigger apartment. Going from a studio apartment to a 1-bedroom apartment! I have lived in a townhome and a 3-bedroom apartment but I always shared the apartment. The studio apartment was the first apartment I’ve lived in without roommates and to me, that is an accomplishment. I remembered how it was an accomplishment when I can afford to have my own room in an apartment.

So…Mr. Fish and I have lived in our studio apartment for almost a year-and-a-half. I guess the longer we’ve lived in the studio apartment, the harder studio living became we get too comfortable. Anyways, here are things I learned about living in a studio.

1. I learned my fiancé is not a minimalist. Two weeks ago before we move, he buys a new desktop. For me, I buy things until they break or just no good anymore — last on its legs.

2. I talk very loud on the phone. The only place for me to go and make a conversation while my fiance is asleep is the bathroom, kitchen, and walk-in closet.

3. My fiance plays computer games with his friends. He also talks very loud on the phone. In the beginning, he would talk very loud even though I was trying to sleep. Meditating couldn’t even make me fall asleep faster. When I confronted him, he stopped.

4. We really had to think about buying things. We were thinking about having a couch for a while and the question we always asked was “can it fit?”

5. It was very hard to invite people over. Last Sunday, Mr. Fish’s brother and his old coworker from the army wanted to stop by our apartment to pick up Mr. Fish’s old laptop. Plus they were on their way to training up in Sacramento. Mr. Fish suggested that they could come and stay over the day before. I discouraged it. We were in the middle of packing up for our new place and our space is more cramped than ever. Our bedframe is disassembled and against the wall and we’ve got boxes, boxes, boxes! It screams safety hazard.

Studio Life – Wishful thinking….

With this new apartment, we’ll have so much space I probably would not know what to do with it…

Zucchini Pasta + Cilantro Pesto

There many different versions of squash pasta now. I decided to experiment with this plus experiment with cilantro instead of basil for a pesto. I thought Mr. Fish would hate this zucchini pasta but…maybe the pesto the pesto is so good he doesn’t mind that the pasta is not noodles(?).

Source: Sprout weekly ads — I get these in my inbox.

Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Procedure:

1. Use a vegetable peeler to cut the zucchini lengthwise into ribbons. Actually I used a cheese grater, it worked fine. 

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the zucchini ribbons. Cook, tossing and stirring the zucchini, for two to three minutes, until softened and beginning to turn translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve with tomato sauce or pesto sauce.

This then leads me to pesto sauce! I had a lot of leftover cilantro which we needed to finish in the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • Cilantro
  • olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic (more or less)
  • 1/4 cup of almonds (more of less)
  • Parmesan cheese

Procedure: 

1. Blend until smooth. Adjust ingredients as needed.

Review: The pesto definitely got stronger everyday. We loved putting this on our toast every morning (our pesto was a little bit on the thicker side).

Gift Guide for the Globe Trotter

When I look at gift guides for globe trotters, I see trunks and luggages and designer passport holders. Trunks are pretty but not practical to carry around for vacation or business trips.

Anyways here’s some recommendations for globetrotters and wanderlusts:

1. Yoga Pants – Helps you pass through airport security in a breeze.

2. Travel Pillow – I think this is much needed for long car rides and red eye flights.

3. Scratch map - More places you’ve been the more colorful your map will be. This map inspires me to go to more places.

4. Map Art – Great gift for the wanderlust.

amsterdam

5.

I still write to my friends

Today at work, we had to write Christmas cards to our partners and shareholders. 

After work, I wrote Christmas cards to my friends and postcrossing folks. I asked my fiance if there were any cards he would like to send to his friends or family. He said “well I never thought about sending a card.”

To me, I guess this really weird. But I’m sure he thought it was odd that I’m into card writing. I don’t know but I just can’t see a year where I don’t write to someone — anyone and NOT decorate the card with stickers.

I guess I am a fan of stationary. Receiving cards and letters is like receiving little pieces of art work that I can collect and someday display on my wall.. 

Does anyone still write holiday letters and cards? Does everyone think posting a gif or an e-card on Facebook or sending a mass text suffice?

Julie Bites – Late Summer Harvest

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Been making a couple no-bake granola bites and they’re an awesome snack that would help me get through the work day. I get hungry and there’s no more food in my lunch box because I only pack lunch and 1 post-gym snack. Can’t wait to make more of them. I also use snacks from my Nature Box subscription which I started this past month to add to my bites.

Ingredients:

- minimum 1 cup of dates

- rolled oats

- chia seeds

- dried cherries (I used the cherry granola snacks from Nature Box)

- Dried Cranberrries

- Dried apples (the dried cranberries and dried apples were from the Tart and Tangy Fruit medley)

- sea salt

I used the Ninja to create the date paste and then added my dried fruits, rolled oats, and chia seeds.

Then after that I roll the mixture into little balls, wrap it in plastic, and put it in the refrigerator.

 

The Unemployed Series: Cleaning the House More

The most replies I get from people when they told me during their time of being unemployed was that they cleaned their place a lot.

Yikes! I realized I need to catch up on that. I may have gone to the gym (which by the way I am thinking of letting that go since I need to train for the tough mudder. That means train myself for 10 miles of TRAIL running!) but as soon as I go home, I move less. I get attached to my laptop and try to look for jobs, look for networking events, do side projects, and plan out my week. Also my butt is glue to the floor or the bed/couch (FYI, we live in a studio apartment. We don’t have a chair.)

She looks very pensive.

She looks very pensive.

I was tired of sitting on my floor looking for jobs, writing cover letters, scheduling events, side projects, preparing for my upcoming interviews, and Coursera classes. So I decided to stand up and take a break. I looked around my apartment and realized maybe I haven’t done as much as I thought because my apartment is a mess!

Maybe I’m just hard on myself… I haven’t cook in a while either. Actually I try to make an active effort to go outside during the daytime to volunteer, participate, network, etc and save job hunting at night at home. It forces me to move more.

Anyways last Wednesday, I decided to stay in. I exercised at the yoga studio in the morning and stay in at the apartment to prepare for my upcoming interview the following day. After staying in, I realized I was the floor for 2 hours straight and maybe sweeping and moping the kitchen was overdue so I took a break to sweep and mop the kitchen.

Then later that day, I get a message from a friend she needed a place to stay for a couple days until she is able to move in her sublet but school starts on Monday. Decided that I got to clean the bathroom! Got to make the place nice for my friend to stay over for a couple of days.

I’ve always put off cleaning and decluttering because I’m always “tired” or pre-occupied with something else. I can see it now as something to clear my mind and take those occasional breaks to stand up once in a while.