Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Garden pictures

Here are some pictures of my garden - www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=7313&id=1606565655&l=7b4f3cac42

We just cut down a tree in the backyard that use to prove us with plenty of shade but I realized that my garden wasn't getting enough sun. So now we're coping with the additional sunlight :D

Finally pictures!

It's been a busy year of races for us. The last one I mentioned was Disney's Duathlon. I've been pretty diligent about posting pictures on FB and now thanks to Norma, I'm now able to link the two together.


This past July 4th, we competed in Ladera Ranch 10k. It was hotter than we anticipated but so it was slow moving. Carlos finished in 50 minutes, I came in under 57 minutes. We ran the route 2x and had to tackle this long hill but we survived!

The following week - Carlos ran Peter's Canyon #2 race (5 miler) I thought of being a bandit runner but instead opted to walk the course with my friend before the race. Carlos finished in less than 45 minutes - it was HOT and dusty.

We head up north to Santa Cruz at end of month to visit friends and do the Warf to Warf 10k. We're excited, the weather should be perfect!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Name Change

Wondering if I should change my blog from "ambitious crafter" to "ambitious runner" or perhaps "compulsive" :D

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I've been lazy

Okay, maybe lazy isn't the right word - I've been unmotivated to write in my blog. I have lots to say, just haven't found the time to write about it.

Here's a recap (pictures as always to follow)
After our 1/2 marathon - I decided to continue with my running regime. I've been running Tues/Thurs/Friday and some Sundays averaging 3.5-6 miles. I do want to maintain my endurance by adding mileage but it's tough. Weekends are the only time that I can really run for more than an hour since I've been training for my upcoming Duathlon at Disney.

Up coming races include: Iron Girl Del Mar (10K) have a couple of friends doing the (5K). I'm so much better prepared for this race compared to last year - so I'm not too worried. I have the Duathlon the week after (they say the course is primarily "flat" but I've heard that before)

It's a run (1.5 miles) bike (10 miles) run (2 miles) and for the costly admission you get to spend the day in the park. I will definitely need a change of clothes and baby wipes to get rid of the funk! I'm doing this one with Priscilla - she's more of a cyclist and I'm more of a runner so I'm hoping we leverage our strengths with one another!

After that, I'm dormant on the races - but I would like to sign up for another 1/2 marathon later this year so I will try to keep up with the mileage (at least 9-10 miles on weekend runs).

I've made the decision to save my pennies and start running on my own, luckily some of the my running mates are the same mindset so I'll have company. I'm also trying to get non-runners on board, so I'll keep you posted on their progress. Kat joined Carlos (+ the dogs) and I on a quick run last friday -she's more of a gym rat and didn't think she could run outdoors. We did awesome time at a moderate pace and she was floored that she could keep up. Most of the time, when we start running we forget to pace ourselves and move too fast so it's easier to give up when we're tired. I've also found that it's MENTAL, it's easy to talk ourselves out of accomplishing out goals!

Gardening & Crafting:
My garden is coming together, Carlos put together an above ground sprinkler system so I no longer have to manually water - it's WONDERFUL. I'm seeing some tomatoes and chiles, I can't wait for the squash and I'm trying to grow melons & watermelons. We'll see how that goes!

I'm seriously considering selling my crafty creations. In this economy, you just never know. I would love to do the tamales but they're time consuming and I really need to do more taste testing of potential flavors before I start advertising. I also need to figure out pricing and all that other good stuff. So I'm looking within myself to figure out what I do best and see if there's a population interested in purchasing. So it's a lot of soul searching and organization - I think that's the hardest part! I'll keep you all posted when I come up with something.

During this past month: we visited the Huntington Library for Mother's day, got to go camping up in Palomar, installed sprinklers in our front yard, hung out by the beach at least 3 times (which is a record for us even though we only live 8 miles away). I took some pictures so I hope to post all of it by the weekend. Patience D:


Most people know about Pandora. It's an online streaming radio interface that customizes the stations to your liking. You punch in some artists you like and it develops a play list of similar artists that you might enjoy. You can always move or remove artists from a particular playlist.

It's AWESOME - you don't have to download anything, just stream off the computer.
I found this interesting article, didn't know they had a paid service but it should pretty sweet. At $36 a year how could you really go wrong? Pandora One- Better than the Free Version

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Important Info.

John Hopkins Update

Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:
1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.
2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.
3 When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.
4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.
5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.
6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.
7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.
8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.
9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.
10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.
11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.
b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.
c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.
d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).
e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.
12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.
13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.
14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.
15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.
16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.
1. No plastic containers in micro.
2. No water bottles in freezer.
3. No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonou s to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Cast le Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard . He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else.. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

Also check out:
Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life - David Servan-Schreiber
SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life - Steven G. Pratt
And Gillian McKeith (Nutritionist from UK) about toned down version of Macrobiotics

We are the CHAMPIONS!

I officially ran my first 1/2 marathon this past Sunday. Carlos offered to run it with me (which was very nice of him considering he goes so much fast than I do)

We did the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation 1/2 in Irvine. It's for a fantastic cause - pediatric cancer rates have risen in the last decades, more and more kids are being diagnosed with cancer. Figured this was a good way to give back.

The race was tauted to be a flat, fast course running through Irvine. Irvine is pretty spread out though and when I looked at the course map, it really didn't seem like we'd be running on streets - so I figured paved trails.

To prepare for the race, Carlos had been doing longer runs about 8-9 miles. I on the other hand, went from 4.5 to 7 mile runs, and was told that I couldn't go too crazy and jump up to 10 miles because I might injure myself. So I got up to 7 mile runs and prayed that it would be sufficient.

Day of the race - we lined up by 7:00am, the day was primarily overcast (perfect running weather). I had all my gear on, my tunes blaring, and had stretched, I was ready to go. We started off at a moderate pace because I didn't want to run out of fumes half way.

The course took us through Irivne's commercial and residential areas. I was happy that it was well marked because I would have gotten lost otherwise. We ran through paved trails, streets, parks, etc. It wasn't as flat as promised, there were various mounds/hills that we ended up climbing.

I was fine at mile 6, but by mile 10, I was wondering - when is it going to end. At this time, a 40 something year old asian woman started us run with us. We had been passing each other up at various parts of the course and I noticed that she was running pretty close to us. She would run between Carlos and I and then right behind me on my shoulder. We finally reach mile 12, the 5k walkers were on the course and it was a little complicated trying to dodge them. I felt my legs getting more and more tried. By this time the sun had come up and had started to warm up the streets.

We opted to move out of the asian woman's way and she was like "I'm not passing you, I'm drafting off her" (ME!!! she was using me) According to wikipedia: "Drafting can be cooperative, in which several competitors take turns in the lead position (which requires the most effort and energy consumption). Or, it can be competitive or tactical, where one competitor will try to stay closely behind another leaving him or her more energy for a break-away push to the finish line." Let me assure you it wasn't cooperative! So as we approach the finish line I see her take off. What a piece of work. I did all the dirty work while she kept it easy :S Now I know better!

Our results:
Time: 2:26:41
Pace: 11:12 min.

I couldn't have done it without Chuck! He's my biggest fan and support system!
After we crossed the finish line he said "I think I could run at least 4 more miles, I feel good" (I'm sure it was because he was running at a significantly slower pace) :D

Friday, May 1, 2009


I was watching a part of the today show this morning and they were featuring the Tummy Tub.
Apparently, it's big in europe. It looks like a plastic curved waist basket that's suppose to mimic the womb.

So you stick your baby in there and bathe them.

Check it out: www.tummytub.co.uk/about.html

Is it me or does this seem unsanitary? All the mom's please respond.


Carlos has agreed to run the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) Cinco de Mayo 1/2 Marathon with me this Sunday.

I'm pumped, it's my official first "long" distance race as a runner. I've walked them and it's taken me about 3 hours. Figure I can only get better.

We managed to get a good group of folks to sign up:
Aaron, Jorge, Melissa will be doing the 10k
Jennifer & Anne will be doing the 5k

And for a $10 donation - you get 2 wahoo's burritos and 2 beers

Should be a good time, I'll let you all know how well I do :D

Monday, April 20, 2009

Let's get physical, physical ......

I'm still doing my running camp. It's now a Tues/Thurs/Fri., affair - still at 5:30am. I've become a better runner, I've learned to pace myself and feel like I've come a long way. I've also lost some weight thanks to all this activity and my newly adopted eating habits. Before I was moving but I felt like I had a ton of bricks on my back and midsection, as the weight comes off I do feel faster. And my body is more use to it!

This time around, our coach is focusing on hill training, intervals, and fartleks. My friday run with the girls without the coach are easy runs and the last two weeks I've been able to add some mileage.

May 3rd - Carlos is running the PCRF (pediatric cancer research foundation) Cinco de Mayo 1/2 Marathon with me. It's the first 1/2 I plan to run the whole way - so I need to beef up my mileage. We're only a couple of weeks away and I doubt I'll be in tip top shape but I'm determined to finish it under my 3 hour walking time. Since my expectations are low - I'm sure I'll be exceeding my goal.

June 7th - I'm running the Iron Girl in Del Mar 10k. I did a walk/run at the 5k last year and finished in good time. I know it's going to be HOT but I figured I have 90 minutes to finish the race. That should be plenty of time - even if I walk. I like this race not only because it's a women's only competition but you get a sweet medal, technical t-shirt, and breakfast :D

The following week - June 14th - I'm going to disneyland!!!! I just signed up to do Trek's all women Dualthlon (run 1.5 miles, bike 10 miles, run 2 miles). It's an inaugural event capped at 2,000 participants. Being it's my first duathlon, I do have some reservations but I've started training. I have 8 weeks to get my butt use to my bike seat again.....the running is a piece of cake :D http://www.trekwomenstriathlonseries.com

Cooking & Eating

I've been busy in the kitchen experimenting. I've never been a big meat eater. I eat chicken and fish primarily, hardly ever eat red meat unless it's a special occasion. But I've never been one to crave it. I remember when I was in high school my sister was vegetarian. It worked for the most part, since we weren't a meat and potatoes type of family. I guess that's where I was first introduced to it.

With all this talk of eating organically and conscious eating, etc.... I've started to venture out into alternative cuisines. Gillian McKeith's Book - You are what you eat (also has a show on BBC America) is so insightful. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way becoming a vegetarian - I love food to much. I'm just becoming a more informed eater. McKeith introduces parts of the macrobiotic diet but isn't so extreme.

Things I've started to do:
1. Grow veggies & herbs (introduce them at most of my meals)
2. Eat more veggies and fruit
3. Eat more non-animal proteins (nuts, legumes, lentils)
4. Eat more times a day - so I don't stuff myself at dinner
5. Shop organic (farmer's markets, local markets, etc.) stay away from processed food
6. Reduce sugar in-take or fried foods
7. Say no to refined processed flour (sticking with whole grains/wheat)
8. Trying new things (Mediterranean lentil salad, juicing, veggie salad)

Carlos hasn't complained, he's found some of the stuff surprisingly good :D

So far so good, I'm eating more and I don't feel stuffed. I benefit is that I have more energy and feel revitalized.


I'm back on the wagon when it comes to knitting....made a couple of scarfs, two beanies, and various other goodies. Knitting is very relaxing but after a while my wrists hurt - so I need to take it easy. Luckily, I've been pretty active and haven't encountered too much pain. I have some pretty cool ideas and I'm about to come up with my own label...so stay tuned.

Some potential projects I'm contemplating:
couple of baby blankets
more beanies
more scarfs
**notice that my projects usually average a couple of hours...I know myself, if I tackle anything too big, it's hard for me to finish - I lose interest.

I'm also going to start sewing again. I have a couple of minor alterations to do for a friend but I would like to make a couple of aprons and a dog coat or two for my furry children!

'Tis the season to Garden!

The garden is coming into it's own .....I've had to weed, removed, replant, till, water a lot these last couple of weeks (in the back and front yard).

In order to plant new species you need to prepare the soil. If you've had preexisting plants in area, you have to dig them out and aerate the soil before you start your new crop. It's been moderately sunny up until this past weekend. We had record heat hit the south land. Many cities set new records but it was amazingly clear and blue. What can I say we're luck to be living in Southern California

Things I've planted for this season:
11 tomato varieties (including some heirloom tomatoes)
more jalapeno & serrano plants
crocked neck squash
spearmint [but I'm keeping this in a pot - very invasive (like rosemary)]
non-edibles: marigolds, false heather, spanish lavender to attract the bees
(Did I mention that last season I was pollinating my own squash plant!! Yes, every morning I would walk out and inspect the squash to see if any "female" flowers were open and I would assist the "male" flowers in pollination by removing the stamen of the "male" flower and introducing it to the "female" flower.... it was invitro fertilization for plants (without the petri dish). Anyhow - that's when I realized how valuable bees are - they do the dirty work so you don't have too. Got to love mother nature's humor.) http://www.ehow.com/how_4468625_hand-pollinate-squash.html

Plants I removed:
lettuce (romaine & bronze leaf)
chile plants out (the heat was too much for them)
cauliflower and broccoli too (season was over)

Still waiting for onions, purple cabbage, and baby beets....so we'll see when they're ready to harvest.

In the front yard - I added some lavender and roses. I had a black thumb when it came to roses until my mother-in-law provided me with some essential tips.

  • Roses love sun, keep them watered at all times.
  • When a bud blooms (and dies) remove it immediately. Count down 5 "branches/leaves" and angle cut it when you see a new buddling.
  • Fertilize with Bayer Rose and Plant food every 2 months (pellets)
  • If you see yellow, white, black spots on the leaves treat with Ortho's Rose Care insecticide.
  • Add new rose soil - (Whitney brand is what I use) every couple of months to keep them nourished.
So far so good I haven't killed one yet :D

Thursday, March 26, 2009

RuPaul's Drag Race

Carlos questions my show selections, I go from one extreme to the other. I like to keep it interesting, what can I say. I'm all about diversity!

The first season of RuPaul's (or as industry folks call her "Ms. Ru") Drag Race concluded. I was on the edge of my seat. I had seen the finalist compete week after week in various elimination challenges and wasn't sure what direction it would go.
The finalist were:
Bebe Zahara Benet
Bebe was very elegant and poised. She wore some of the freakiest outfits, leopard print pant suit paired with this lion mane wig, black cat suit with a big while hat and sparkly stuff dangling off her head. You had to see it, very impressive.
Nina Flowers
Nina was a sweetheart with a true drive and passion. She looks mean but she's so personable. If I ever go to Denver, I'm making a pit stop at her club.
Rebecca Glasscock
Rebecca was blah, she complained too much and was extremely unprofessional but I guess her looks got her far. This isn't a very flattering picture of her, I've seen her better.

And the winner is: Bebe Zahara Benet

Headed up North

Read Carlos' blog for an accurate account of our trip. This is my condensed version :D

We drove up to Santa Cruz to visit our friends Heather, Josh, & Thomas over the weekend. Couldn't have asked for better weather, it was brisk but clear! In order to get to Santa Cruz, we had to pass through various farming communities (Castroville, Capitola, Watsonville, etc.) and I can't tell you how excited I was. I felt at home, driving through the fields. I got to see some artichoke plants in full bloom and realized that my plant has a ways to go! I'd never been up to Santa Cruz, so it was refreshing to go somewhere new.

We spent some quality time with Heather & Thomas, caught up on some new reality tv shows, ate some delicious food, and on our way down we stopped at one of our favorite places - The Point Lobos State Reserve. It was an amazing short trip!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Running Camp

So after 8 weeks, my running camp has concluded. It was bittersweet, I've grown close to those ladies and they sure do keep me on my toes. I'm on the fence as to signing up for another camp (primarily due cost). All we've been hearing in the news and everywhere else (for that matter) is the dire need to save. America needs to buckle down and save as much as possible. With the uncertainty of this economy, you just never know.

I've talked it over with Carlos and he told me that if I decide to sign up, the cost isn't that horrendous and that he knows I will maximize the 8 weeks. He brought up a good point, we could save in other ways. He's also noticed a definite improvement and confidence in my running ability. We'll see what it comes down too, we have a week off and start back up end of March.

Whatever happens, I hope to keep this crazy schedule with 4:40am walk up calls on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I'm finding that working out in the morning and getting it out of the way leaves minimal room for flaking. Especially if people are counting on you to show up :D

Time Change

Not sure what the general consensus is but this year's "spring forward" is killing me. I haven't adjusted to the time change like other years. I'm finding it harder to hit the hay because I'm wide awake. I'm not exhausted like I should be when I go to sleep (which allows me to sleep soundly). I'm also having to wake up in darkness. It's so much harder to peel myself out of bed when it's pitch black.

So I've come the the conclusion, there is no way I'd ever be able to live in Alaska or Iceland where they have the freaky summer schedules (over 20 hour of sun then darkness for the rest of the year). So if you're planning on taking me - I can visit but I can't live there :D

*Even the dogs are having a hard time adjusting, Carlos goes in and opens up their crates - they come out to greet him with lots of hesitation and they crawl back in.....it's a sure sign, they're not ready to be up yet ;D

OC Chili Winter Race Series #2

Brief note: check me out on the official website for the OC Chili Winter Race Series http://www.bookthatevent.com/Trail_Run/Home.html, scroll to the very bottom and you'll see a picture. I'm the awkward runner on the left hand side wearing a long sleeve green shirt with black shorts. I appear to have stick straight legs, which I blame on the creek we were having to cross. Race #1 was done on a cold rainy day, I think I was trying to figure out a way to minimize getting my shoes wet. So much for that - I got soaked and as I continued on my merry way, I was making squish, squash noises. Luckily, I wasn't alone!

This past Saturday, Carlos and I did the second race in the series. Since we got rained out for the 1st race (that route was modified and we ran primarily on paved trails) this time around we ended up hitting the hills. Carlos as always wanted to start at the front of the pack, since my left knee was tender and my right foot was being itself - I decided to take it nice and slow. I ended up runing/walking with Tom & Heather - husband and wife team that are members of OC Trail Runners. We started out of the gates in a moderate running pace, we inch over to our first hill and end up having to wait 5-10 minutes. The trail that we're suppose to be on is a single track - one person trail. So everyone pretty much had to wait their turn to start the climb. We were all clustered in various parts of the trail for at least the first mile (steep up hill) on the moderately flat and down hills we would run.

We were doing pretty good time and around the 3rd mile marker I somehow lost Tom & Heather. So I made the executive decision to start running at a moderate pace. I got to the finish line at 1 hour 8 minutes (it was 4.88 mile trail). As I kicked up my legs towards to end to propel myself to a strong finish I noticed the photog and decided to pose .... here it goes, check me out: http://orderpicture.com/index.php3?client=byr_7608681798&event=OC_CHILE_WINTER_TRAIL_RUN_2_2009&password=&start_list=72&max=91&event_cat=002.opc and here's Carlos: http://orderpicture.com/index.php3?client=byr_7608681798&event=OC_CHILE_WINTER_TRAIL_RUN_2_2009&event_cat=002.opc&password= .

Side note: not sure about you all but when I run my nose tends to run profusely, I'm use to it so I usually carry a paper towel with me to manage the mucus. So as I'm approaching the finish line, looking like a rock star (in my mind). I make it in and by the time Carlos sees me (at least 6 people see me before he does) he gives me this weird look and tells me "you have a bugger on your cheek". All I could do was wipe it in a panic and laugh. ONLY ME :S

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What's wrong with these people????

I was reading the newpaper and there's so much craziness happening.

Rihanna "getting back" with Chris Brown. He was just charged with two felonies. I read the police report - he didn't just put her in her place. He was actually going to kill her. I forget the stat but I remember that vicitms of domestic abuse are more likely to be killed by their abusers than any random act of violence.

This moron in Mission Viejo stabbed a puppy with a sword (WTF????)

Then I find out that this Britisth actor - Robert "Rob" Knox, the kid who played Marcus Belby on Harry Potter (you need to see his face to remember him - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Knox) was killed and his killer was just convicted: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/03/04/uk.potter.star.murdered/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

Dysfunctional: RIO DE JANEIRO - A Roman Catholic archbishop says the abortion of twins carried by a 9-year-old girl who allegedly was raped by her stepfather means excommunication for the girl's mother and her doctors. Is he on CRACK????

And my last one for today: MESA, Ariz. - A 2-week-old Arizona girl has died after being attacked by the family's dog in their home. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29530295/

I hate to be focusing on bad stuff, maybe next time I'll take the extra time to focus on "feel good articles" :D

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Manuel Uribe

Two weeks ago (on a Sunday). Discovery Channel featured "The wedding of the world's heaviest man - Manuel Uribe".

You know I couldn't help myself and I had to record. Carlos wasn't allowing me to see it in his presence because he thinks is sad and depressing. I do too but I need to know how is story turned out.

Info about Manuel:
Manuel Uribe Garza (born June 11, 1965) is a man from Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, and was one of the heaviest people in medical history. After reaching a peak weight of around 570 kg (1,257 lbs) and being unable to leave his bed since 2001, Uribe lost considerable weight with the help of doctors and nutritionists, and by following the Zone diet. Uribe appeared on the Televisa television network in January 2006, but turned down offers for gastric surgery in Italy. In March 2007, Uribe set a goal to lower his weight to 120 kg (265 lbs). Uribe has also been featured on "World's Heaviest Man", a television documentary about his bedridden life and attempts to lose weight. By April 7, 2008, Uribe had reduced his weight to 369kg (814 pounds). His weight loss efforts continue.

In October 26, 2008, he decided to marry his g-friend Claudia. (Who by the way use to be married to another obese man - a mere 450lbs. But he passed away from cardiac arrest). Remember he hasn't left his bed for 6 years and weighing in at 800 pounds after shedding 592 pounds. He was transported to the civil wedding on his specially-reinforced four-poster bed, draped with cream and gold and adorned in bright sunflowers, on the back of a truck. Donning a white silk shirt (that took 13 feet of fabric to make - Steven Seagal style) with a sheet around his legs he waited to greet Solís as she walked down a flight of stairs wearing a strapless ivory dress and a tiara before 400 guests.


Monday, February 23, 2009


We've become regulars for Los Alamitos Race on the Base. It's our second year running the flattest course you could find since it's on the airbase.

It's a neat race, it starts with a 5k, then they have the in line skaters & challenged athletes, then the 10k and they just added a reverse tri (run, bike, swim).

It was exciting - we got there and the parking lots were full so we parked on the street. Then we both decided we needed to take a potty break. Good lord, people need to stop eating all those energy supplements. It was nasty - as if they got cleaned out (I'll spare you details). We waited and waited in the "shortest" line but I think those people had the most explosive bowels ever. They took so freakin' long. Carlos was getting impatient, he just kept saying "we should have stayed in the other line" (almost like a broken record).

We had just finished with the port o' potties and when they announced the start of the race. Carlos took off to warm up, I got in line and it was so packed that at the 11th hour he ended up starting way in the back. This race wasn't timed either so I really think he was much faster than what they clocked him at. He of course passed me as I proceeded to run!

I was tired, my running camp does up to 4.5 miles so doing the 6.2 miles was a stretch, now I know I need to start training for endurance in addition to speed.


2008 - took me 1 hour 18 minutes
2009 - I shaved off 18 minutes. I finished at 59.37 (I know it's accurate because Carlos bought me the Garmin Forerunner. The coolest gadget ever, GPS, mileage, calorie, pace, time tracker and heart monitor. It does everything but run).

WOOOOHOOOO mile official pace 9.35 min.

I've come a long way and I am most thankful for everyone's support and to God for allowing me to run! When I talked to my dad after the race he was so excited for us. He said "that really shows me that you're healthy - have a good heart and that your foot doesn't hurt you anymore."


I'm still doing my running camp - we're on week 8 but have had some adjustments. Our Coach can't do Fridays anymore so to supplement she's offering us complimentary "boot camp" classes. I tried one, I thought - I've been running it shouldn't be too horrible.

It's primarily circuit training, that includes a short run to warm up and some leg and core work. I must admit, doing lunges with 5lb weights sucks. I think we did over 1000 lunges - by the time I left, my legs BURNED.

But I survived! I felt okay afterward but the following day I couldn't get out of bed and I was walking around like a cowboy. I got worked.

We are famous.......

Last year, we ran the Carlsbad 5000 - it's touted to be the world's fastest 5k. I think it's because most of the elite runners come out for this ...... which is nice to be able to see them up close in their element but they skew the results. They only give medals to the first 250 finishers. So my chances of ever getting a medal are diminished.

While we are in the beer garden after the event, a photog snapped our picture.

Over the weekend, our friend Emily e-mailed us this:
"OK, I just got a brochure in the mail for the Carlsbad 5000 and, no joke, the picture that we took as a group is in it. It's the one with, from left, Carlos, Maria, Heather, Brownie, Elle and then me and Sissy in the back a bit. I laughed so hard. The pic is about the size of a postage stamp so every looks GREAT ;-)"

Here's the full size picture for your enjoyment: http://www.carlsbad5000.com/elite/galleries/cbad/2008/index.html

Wish us luck - we're signed up for it again (April 5th) if anyone else is interested!

Have you seen this?????

I was about to go to sleep one night and the TV was still on. I caught a glimpse of the "As seen on TV" marvel. You all need to check it out.


Did you see the intro??? It's a plastic curved contraption that you put on your head (so you no longer have to tease your hair) you place this thing and you cover it your top layer. You can then wear your hair like Amy Winehouse.

1. I think this came out too late, that style was so 2007-2008
2. Do people really think it's cool?
3. What's with the tacky name "BUMP IT"
4. Why are they selling you 4 pieces for $19.99 (maybe cause it's crappy)?

I especially like the picture gallery: http://www.bighappiehair.com/gallery.html


I'm elbow deep in the harvest (well for most of my crops). Things we've eaten: lots of cilantro, oregano, rosemary, broccoli, romaine, and bronze leaf lettuce. Still pending: white cauliflower, purple cabbage, artichokes.

We're lucky due to the consistent rain my plants are loving it! And we've been bug free (for the most part). But yesterday as I was weeding noticed that my purple cabbage has a new "friend". It looks like little purple/transparent cells. I know it's a fungi (I think). So I started to research
organic pesticide.

I found one that was garlic based but when it asked for fish emulsion - I knew I was in trouble. First of all, I don't even know where I'd find it, secondly my dogs would be garden in record time, trying to figure out what the funk was all about. I rather not. This is what I've found so far. Some sound pretty easy!

Soap Spray:
Another way to stop the slugs is with soapy water. That's right, you can just use your old, dirty dishwater! Collect some of the water in a pan and pour it into a watering can or even use a pitcher to pour it over the plants. This works really well on hostas and mums, but also can be used on other hardy plants. Many bugs do not like their lunch spoiled by a soapy aftertaste! For a stronger solution, mix 3 Tablespoons of liquid detergent into a gallon of water, I prefer Dawn, but any will do. Use this weekly.

Alcohol Spray:
This spray really is great for houseplants. This especially works on meal bugs.
1/2 cup of alcohol
2-3 tablespoons of dry laundry soap
1 quart of warm water
Mix all ingredients and spray immediately. You don't have to let this set, but you can't store it either. This solution must be made fresh for each use.

Salt Spray: (this is the one I need - I think)
This solution is used for cabbageworms and spider mites.
2 tablespoons of salt
1 gallon of water
Just mix and spray!

Garlic Spray:
Garlic spray is great for getting rid of cutworms, wireworms, whiteflies, and slugs too.
1 garlic bulb
1 quart of water
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
Crush the garlic, mincing it fine. Add finely chopped onion to the mixture, while adding the rest of the ingredients except the soap. Wait an hour before adding the soap to the mixture. The spicy ingredients must sort of stew or steep, almost like tea. After an hour, add the soap and your non-toxic spray is ready to use! This can be stored in the fridge for a week.

Dead Bug Spray: (I would never do this but I had to post)
Another way to beat the bug problem is by taking some dead carcasses of the same insects and mixing them in water. Use one pint of water and 1/2 cup of slug carcasses.

Blend the water and insects until mixed well and then put into a plastic container or glass jar. To use this, pout into a sprayer and squirt a few drops on the affected plants. You can freeze this mixture for storage. *Beware: Do NOT use flies, ticks, fleas, or mosquitoes in this solution! These insects carry many communicable human diseases!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rain and Running

Our running coach had to reschedule Friday & today's run due to the rain. It's been consistently wet so we've been staying off the roads. To compensate, I decided to hit up the gym on Friday. I did the bike for 15 and then I did the treadmill. I realized that I dislike being in doors when I workout. I know, I can always rely on people watching but when the 50+ old man in front of you is drenched in sweat and the lady next to you has a sweat thong going on....I prefer not to look.

It also has a caged up smell. I getting ready to run but the bounce on the treadmill was bothering my foot. Instead I decided to just walk. I felt so confined, wasn't sure where to put my hands or how to move without falling. It was a sight to see! But hey, a workout is a workout and you have to cope :D

Update: I finally got my picture on the OC Trail Runners sight. I'm OFFICIAL ...... http://www.octrailrunners.org/news.html

We had signed up for the OC Chili Winter Trail Series at O'Neil Park in RSM. http://www.bookthatevent.com/Trail_Run/Home.html
It was still raining, our friend Aaron joined Carlos & I on our very wet and cold run. Due to rains they modified the course to only include paved roads. (We were suppose to go up some gnarly dirt hills). I got lucky, my running mate Cindy opted to show up so I had a running partner. The rain was continuous, it didn't let up - my time was 41.20 minutes (and I think we did 3.6 miles) so that's about 11.28 minute mile. I was hoping for better but I'm glad I showed up. My friend Cindy was #1 in her age group, Carlos was #4 in his age group!

Truth in advertising - after we crossed the finish line we made a b-line for the hot chili. No joke they had original and vegetarian options. I was hoping for some corn bread but that was wishful thinking. We ate our chili, had some muffins, drank some water (Aaron brought some refreshing beer to help warm us up). The organizers had a raffle and we were all WINNERS. Aaron & Carlos won water bottles and I scored a free pair of SHOES.

I know, I'm pumped! I'll try to post some of our pictures (most look blurry because of the rain but you get the picture)


I've been keeping up with my BIGGEST LOSER and I was practically screaming at the TV when the silver team got booted off. I so wish they would have kept Karla and kicked Joelle - she's not worthy. She was one lazy SOB, poor Karla did all she could to stay alive but it wasn't enough. Thankfully, in the recap Karla was looking good. She's not rail thin but she's made some great progress.

Then on TOP CHEF messed up. I can't believe they kicked off Jaime (the tattooed lesbian) with a refreshing flavor pallet (granted she primarily focused on scallops) but still.... Instead they kept lame Leah. I think I'm done, I can't finish watching it anyone. I no longer have a favorite. To mess with them I'm rooting for Karla. She's quirky and wavy gravy -- but you never know.

I'm past due on this one .........I hate (I know it's a strong word) Nadya Suleman. You know who I'm taking about, the single mother (of 14 kids) on welfare with collagen in her lips. I just don't understand how someone can be so selfish and not take into regard human life. In the link below, she's been interviewed and sounds completely moronic. Her mother states that her daughter is incapable of caring for the kids. Poor kids, that's all I have to say.


Here I go again ...............

I'm back ...........

We've been getting a lot of water around here. Which, if you think about isn't have bad because my lawn is becoming green once again and my plants keep getting bigger.

I finally got some broccoli bunches sprouting up, my cliantro is refreshing, my lettuces are crispy and fresh... I'm still waiting on the onions, and purple/white cabbage. But that will come in time.

I need to start conceptualizing my next plantings .... so stay tuned (I'm pretty excited). And hopefully I'll build my cold box this weekend!

We have tons of b-days this month:
Alejandrita (our niece)
Madrina Maria
Cousin Jose Luis
Cousin Jorge

HAPPY B-DAY TO ALL, if I missed any (SORRY) :D

Friday, January 30, 2009


So I just finished week 3 of running camp. Can I just tell you that I had a break through this morning!!!!!

I was sound asleep and at 4:49am I woke up all of a sudden all freaked out and shook Carlos awake (I was pretty devastated) and said ......I overslept, I missed my running class.......He looked over at the alarm clock and said ......no you didn't it's too early......Then my alarm went off and I knew I was good to go.

I see it as a sign -- the old me wouldn't have freaked out, she wouldn't have even been up yet. The new me gets up even if it's windy/cold/wet and drives out to meet up with her middle aged counterparts and goes running!

I've been contemplating buying a Garmin ForeRunner to track my mileage in real time (I know, more technology...) but for now I use http://www.mapmyrun.com/ so I do it manually. My work-out log looks awesome, there's activity almost every day. This week I calculated us doing about 4 miles a day, it's primarily on residential streets and/or side walks. But at 5:30am it's still very dark out so we still have to "alert". My legs aren't so tired anymore (since I've started to ice them after the runs) and when I sprint, I'm actually going faster (who knew that practicing pays off).

I'm doing a 4 mile trail run with Carlos tomorrow in lieu of our big race next week, so I'll be able to show off some of my skills. We haven't run together since I started the class. I'm certain I'll do better than I've ever done before. I'll keep you all posted.


Similarly to Norma, I've been neglecting my blogging duties because I've been spending too much time on Facebook (FB)......I know there are people out there that aren't on the fence yet (Lynn :D) but I can assure you that it's easy to navigate and so informative.

I was once there myself, my sister started out strong on FB and I wouldn't see any benefit to it until I came back from visiting my younger cousins in mexico. All of them were on FB, even if they didn't have a computer at home. They are virtually connected to anyone, which is kinda cool considering that in 1995 I was using a "word processor" to help me complete papers for college because desktops were too expensive! (Okay, I just dated myself - didn't I? But I know I wasn't the only one)

I'm just going to say it -- the millennials are taking over......we might as well get on board with all the technology now :D

Getting back to FB - I like that it's instantaneous and you're able to view all your friends updates in real time. I also have the Blackberry application on my phone so I can easily update my status or upload a quick picture. It's AWESOME.

You also get valueable chisme without really having to connect to people....a girl from high school connected with me and she was connected to this other girl (that I never really hung out with) by the time I had finished scrolling down her page I found out that the other girl had 4 kids (3 baby daddy's). Where else would I have picked up that intel without having to connect????

So let's face it, I may be a virtual voyeur (at heart) so FB helps to satisfy my deepest chisme desires :D

Friday, January 16, 2009

'Aha!' Moment

I feel accomplished this week -- I've been waking up early to attend my running class (M/W/F) and I even woke up early on (T/TH) to just get use to being up early in general. Granted, I could be sleeping a little bit more, 4:50am is pretty brutal but I'm trying to stay positive and motivated.

Monday (1st day) - we did our timed mile and some sprints
Wednesday (2nd day) - we did an "easy day" {but to me it felt like a regular hard day} she had us play 'follow the leader', run up stairs, run up hills, jump rope while running. Let me tell you - it's not as easy as you would think.
And I was starting to realize -- why aren't the other 3 women in the session as winded as me???? I know I'm overweight but they are no skinny minnies, if you know what I'm saying.
This particular day, I came home in PAIN. My legs were on FIRE! They felt like heavy pillars of concrete......
Friday (today) - we had hill training, boy was that hard - we ran up hills, climbed up stairs at least a dozen times, sprinted up hills, it was insane but I had my "aha!" moment when I asked one of my running mates --- is this your first time or have you taken this course before?.......

What came out of her mouth floored me -- apparently ALL the women that I've met so far have been doing this running camp (some longer than others) for some time. It was bittersweet, I was thinking to myself -- no wonder I'm dying but then again I'm never too far behind, I've been forcing myself to stay in the pack. So I guess I'm doing pretty well by keeping up with these semi-pros. But I still sound like a vacuum cleaner with a hair ball stuck in it's hose. I'm usually sucking up air like no body's business - so I'll have work on that :D

Monday, January 12, 2009

Running Camp

Carlos' running has improve tremendously he's now doing 7 minute miles. My running has improved too, I went from strictly walking to running (in a few months) but I knew that if I wanted to take it to the next level I needed to get some sort of professional guidance.

I was cruising the web and found www.ez8running.com - it's an all women's running club who's goal is to get runners to an 8 minute mile. I thought about it for 3 months and got a notice that they were going to have another running clinic (m/w/f at 5:30am for 8 weeks). I hesitated because I like to sleep and I just didn't know if I had the will power to commit. I was also a bit intimated by the Coach who also happens to teach various boot camps. And lastly, I wasn't sure if I'd fit in - we are talking South County and I knew I wouldn't fit the profile (plastic and blonde) :D

After much thought, I went for it and signed up. I was prepared to go in blindly - I wasn't sure what to expect from fellow runners and how fit they would be.
So yesterday night (as I was preparing for my first class), I gathered all my running things and put them in one spot and I made sure to be in bed by 9:30pm (that's super early) since I'd have an early wake-up call.

I'm not going to lie - I was so anxious that I kept waking up. So I finally got out of bed by 4:50am. I got on the road at 5:10am and arrived to our designated meeting place in RSM (the city over from us) in no time. I soon realized that it was tiny group - there were only 3 other women (all seem very normal, down to earth, and encouraging) and all had participated in the coach's boot camps in the past. I felt a little out of place (for a few seconds) before she got us up and going. We did warm-ups, did some stretches, and then she wanted to time our mile.

-- Note: It's pitch black, I'm not familiar with the area and all I hear is annoying loud quacking (we're running around a lake after all). On top of that, the Santa Ana's are blowing (it must have been 50 mph - I swear).

So we start running our timed mile, two women took off like lighting -- I wasn't last (so that was nice, in a non-competitive type of way). I ran my little heart out hoping not to get swept into the lake by the crazy winds. My time: 9:45 (PRETTY GOOD) I was finally under 10 min. Just when I thought I could handle this - the Coach has us run relays, sprints, stairs. It was a workout but I survived my first day of running camp. I'm sure I'll have more stories to share!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm so BOLD

We finally decided to upgrade to new phones -- Carlos got the Sony Ericsson's Walkman and I'm sporting the new Blackberry Bold.

It's so nice, too nice to be a phone really. It pretty much can do anything, very excited about this purchase!

Tamales for Sale

A cuban friend married to a mexican, asked me for a big favor "Can you teach me how to make tamales". I personally don't think they're difficult, just a lot of work. So of course I said "YES".

We started off our day at the local "mexican" mercado - Superior in Santa Ana, bought the masa [20 lbs of regular masa, 6 lbs of strawberry masa, and 14 of pineapple masa] and some hojas (corn husks).

We got home and started prepping the fillings (Chicken with red sauce, Beef with red sauce and Raja [chile with cheese]). Kat stopped by for lunch, Carlos made us all some delicious tortas and she decided to stick around for the lesson.

As they worked on the savory tamales, I started up on the sweet ones. I made strawberry and chocolate tamales, Pineapple with fruit center, Pineapple with raisins and coconut. All extremely flavorful and fluffy.

Later that week, as I'm getting my hair done and my stylist tells me that William Sonoma is SELLING tamales. I can't believe it, so I decided to investigate for myself. It's true, check out the link ....... http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/4449336/index.cfm?clg=32&bnrid=3180501&cm_ven=FRO&cm_cat=Shopping&cm_pla=default&cm_ite=default And they're selling 1 dozen (12 tamales) for $54 + $10 shipping. So it comes out to $5.33 each tamale and people actually buy them.

So it's settled - if you need tamales or know people that want to get tamales from a clean, reliable, cook , I'm selling TAMALES ......just give me a week's notice :D

Dog Door

The temperatures at home have been dipping into the mid 30's. I know that it doesn't compare to our friends living in colder climates but it's Southern California! I feel like it's getting colder and hotter each and every year -- must be the depleting ozone layer :S

We had a couple of days of horrendous weather (rain and cold). It was bad and since we don't have a patio cover yet, the dogs really don't have a place to hang out. We had been leaving the garage-to-yard door open to allow them to hang out but the garage still felt like a sub zero freezer (not too much better).

So for Christmas, Santa brought the dogs a top of the line insulated doggie door. I was set to install, Carlos on the other hand had his reservations (You see, Trinity we've come to find out loves card board boxes - she's not about creating a fort or a play house, she likes to rip them to shreds. We've come home to cardboard box confetti. So Carlos was uneasy about leaving them in the garage UNSUPERVISED.)

I understood but they were so cold and shivering, I can't imagine keeping them in their dog coats all day. It not right. After some gentle persuasion from me and my Abuelita, he gave in. We installed the door but unbeknownst to us - running in and out of dog doors isn't instinctual. The dogs refused to use it. For the first 3 days, we spent hours forcing and shoving dogs through the door and using various dog treats and peanut butter (they're favorite) as bribes.

Now they're finally more accepting of the door and Ripley no longer waits for Trinity to always walk in first nor does she paw the door and sliver in with her eye closed. Oh those two!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Off for the Holidays

My company is nice enough to give us the week between Christmas to New Years off. This year was especially nice because I got close to 2 weeks off. I was in heaven.

So this is how I spent my time.
Christmas Eve headed to my parents place for some Turkey Birria (my dad's specialty) and to see Alejandrita open up her gifts. Now that she's almost 3, she's more into opening up gifts - she really liked the jackets we gave her and the leapster games the uncles bought.

Christmas Day, we hosted my parents and in-laws. You all know I love food and I decided to venture out and try some new recipes. I made a boneless leg of lamb with a wine/mint/rosemary sauce and a sizable rib eye roast with herbs and spices. It was all very tasty, my toughest critics (my twin brothers) enjoyed it for the most part.

My Abuelita spent the night and the following day we decided to make some tamales (beef - red sauce, chicken - red sauce, chicken - green sauce, & rajas [chile with cheese], strawberry ones). We bought almost 32 lbs of masa and it yielded 371 (big and small). My Abuelita joked that the small ones looked like cigarettes but they were still tasty. It was hard work but we had an awesome time, Abuelita shared stories and jokes, as we listened to some Vicente & Juanga to make the time pass.

We also hit up the BIG sales - primarily to get extra christmas decor. I refuse to pay full price and I know, it's a hassle to save something for a whole year but it's so worth it. We did notice that stores didn't have as much merchandise on "sale". But we still managed to wrangle some deals - like the tree garland, some wreaths for the moms, stickers, table runners, etc.....