Happy girls are the prettiest girls


On the road!

This post is coming at you lovely readers from the car, via email on my phone, as I drive with one of my besties, Tiffany, to Las Vegas for her fitness competition.  We will be in one of my favorite cities for the next 5 days,  eating our specially prepared food {at least until Saturday!},  possibly working out if her trainers approve, and generally hanging out until her first day of stage time on Friday for pre-judging. Saturday she goes back on stage for finals,  then we get to let loose!
I am looking forward to my favorite parts of vegas--food, people watching, and sight seeing-- doing it all in good company.
Billy joins me Saturday,  and we will head to Planet Hollywood Resort for 2 nights.  Wish me luck on a Holly Madison sighting!
Obviously, I don't plan on updating the blog the rest of the week,  but if I get a chance,  I'll certainly try!
Have a great week my dears! I'll enjoy a few libations on your behalf,  wear skanky clothes and still feel over dressed, and have a fantastic time :)


Weekend Warrior

Hi Lovelies!! Hope everyone had a nice weekend, sorry I was super absent last week. Even though I had some time off, I was busier than usual, and as you all know very well, my computer time is the first thing to go in those situations. Ready for a weekend update? Here ya go!

I had a lovely wedding booked on Friday, and then had my own hair did--I now have long hair :) My wonderful friend Tiffany gave me extensions so I can look fabulous for Vegas. There's something extra glamorous and fun about a long old weave, and I am definitely enjoying it. I have zero pictures so far, I promise to take lots next weekend while I am on my work-cation, so of course you will see me in all my long hair glory. 

Saturday was a CRAZY busy salon day, and I wanted nothing more than to go to bed early. Not the case! I went to Babies R Us with my aunt and we had a good time spoiling my cousin for her baby shower. I then came home to play baker, making Swiss meringue buttercream, then frosting and decorating the cupcakes I made on Friday night. My good friend Sarah, the crafty baker girl she is, helped me make all of the ladybug, flower, and leaf gum paste decorations on Thursday, so Saturday was my assembly day. 
I used strawberry cake and classic white cake box mixes, adding a small box of instant vanilla pudding to each, then I baked as usual. I frosted them with the Martha Stewart recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream {halve this recipe though, it makes a ton!}, which I split in half, adding strawberry puree and red food coloring to one half, and green food coloring to the other. Because my sweet cousin has gestational diabetes, I made a sugar and gluten free chocolate cake. I followed this recipe for both the cake {using Splenda} and the frosting-- it turned out delish, I was so impressed that it was gluten and sugar free, and had black beans in it! The cake had a nice crumb, though looked dry out of the oven, and the dark chocolate flavor was intense, in the best possible way. 

One tip for moist cupcakes baked a day or two in advance of an event: once out of the oven, let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once cool, wrap each cupcake in plastic wrap individually, and you are good to go. 

Sunday was the Wharf to Wharf race from the Santa Cruz municipal wharf to the Capitola wharf, 6 miles away. I had been so busy with work and cupcakes, I didn't have much time to get nervous about this race, which was good. It was an early wake up, then drive to the course 30 miles away at the beach. I met up with Fireman Matt who was running the race as a moving medic, and he and some friends kept me company before the race started. 
I moved up to the 8 minute mile sign, hoping to leave those who would soon start walking behind. Again, no such luck. This race is big, over 11,000 people, and made for quite the mad crush of people for the first 2 miles. I dodged, weaved, and gave little bursts of speed to get around people, then found my stride and started picking people off and making up for the slow start. My training runs for 6+ miles have 8:45/mile averages, so I was hoping for something similar. Well, my official time was 50:25, giving me an 8:25/mile pace! I was 1,165 out of 11,013 overall, 347 out of 6,727 women, and 66 out of 888 in my age group. I am quite impressed. 

It really hit me today that racing, and running in general, is a pretty lonely thing for me. I have known this since I started a year and a half ago, but it really hit me before WtW as I drove over the hill to Santa Cruz, parked, took the shuttle, and lined up by myself. I train by myself, I run races by myself, and I have to motivate myself through it all to keep going. I have had running partners, even some regular ones, but I generally run alone, and all but one of my races has been on my own. It only bothered me today because this race is supposed to be fun, and there were so many teams, and groups of  friends running together. I'm telling you, next year I will convince at least one person to train and run with me! I say train, because I want to continue running my fast pace, rather than slow down, as I am super competitive. Any takers??

I rushed home, got ready, and headed to the baby shower where I enjoyed meeting my cousin's friends, and ate WAY too much food. Oh yeah, I completely fell off my clean eating wagon this weekend, mainly in the sweets department, but today was ridiculous with the amount of food I consumed. My food baby belly is huge, the carbs I have consumed completely filled me out, bummer as I was getting a pretty flat stomach. 
Tomorrow, I start the Jillian Michaels 7 Day Peaking Diet, {scroll down to see the diet outlined} which is a no sodium, calorie reduced diet to follow for up to 7 days that helps you cut out all your retained water, tighten up, and really show off all of your hard work. I plan on following it for 5 days, Monday through Friday, wish me luck!

If she is hosting it, you should definitely stop by Life of Meg


My dog ate....

Let's play a little game, shall we? It's called "my dog ate what?!" The object of the game is to figure out what it was that Marlo has now eaten, as she seems to have a love for chewing up many random non-food products. 
Today, Marlo ate/chewed up:
A) chapstick and/or lipstick
B) a tube of demi-permanent hair color
C) a dog toy
D) plastic do-hickey of some sort
E) Her bed
If you guessed any of the above, you would have been right at some point, because she has in fact chewed on or eaten everything listed. However, I was very concerned today when I came home and let her out of her crate to see that she was covered in brown spots, other than the her regular spotted fur.  My first guess was dirt, or poop, so I immediately went to her crate to see if she messed inside. Nope, no poop. Instead, I found a mangled up, half full tube of demi-permanent hair color that I had on the table at one point this week. It had been chewed on, so there were puncture holes in the tube, and hair color had leaked out, which is what stained Marlo's fur, paws and tongue. I called my vet, and he asked about the ingredients, to which I replied there were no ammonia or hydrogen peroxide, as it wasn't a permanent die, and said she was over 40lbs. He also asked about how much she ate, which I knew wasn't a lot because the tube hadn't been even half full, and still had over a quarter left in it. He told me to give her lots of water, and watch her condition. If she starts seizing and has muscle spasms, or profuse diarrhea and stops eating {Marlo would NEVER stop eating if she had anything to say about it, thus the non-edible object today} to bring her in for further treatment. 

Seriously, what dog eats hair dye? My dog. The tube must have been knocked to the floor at some point, where she saw it and thought "yummy!" 

Oh, and before you get all judgey, like "why would you keep half full tubes of hair dye lying around, you dummy?!" please remember that I am a HAIRSTYLIST and I often have hair color in the house, both full tubes and remnants. I have a whole cupboard full of hair supplies too, in case you were wondering. It's part of my job, like an electrician would have wiring and tools, or an IT tech would have spare computer parts. 

Before I came home to a colorful dog, I had been planning on writing about poop too, just not possible dog poop. I had actually wanted to write about the potty issues longer distance runners face, as well as some of the other not so glamorous aspects of running. That will have to wait for another day, when I feel up to talking poop with ya ;) 



This past Saturday I had a friend make my day when the first thing she proclaims upon walking into my house is "OMG, you are so SKINNY!"

When she set her panini press down and I promptly gave her the biggest hug I could and told her "thank you, it's been soooo hard, I really appreciate that!" 
It's the little things, gals, truly.

We then had a very healthy, though calorie dense cheat meal of grilled chicken, roasted red pepper and zucchini with mozzarella cheese, basil and tomato paninis on whole wheat sourdough. It was divine. I also happened to find Virgil's Zero root beer at Whole Foods, so I had a zero calorie soda with dinner, a definite treat as I never drink soda, even diet sodas. 

Now I must report on the sugar-free marshmallows and low carb rice crispy treats as I made those for my cheat dessert. Well, the marshmallow recipe totally worked! They looked like marshmallows and tasted enough like marshmallows to do the trick. They are not totally sugar free though, just no added sugar. The sweetness comes from agave syrup, which has lots of natural sugar in it, and made me VERY HYPER all evening.
Marshmallows set up in the pan overnight, coated in corn starch. 
Shaking the excess corn starch off the cut marshmallows
Now, for the low carb crispies, the rice puff cereal I bought made for soggy rice treats, rather than crisp. I don't even know if there is a brown rice equivalent of Rice Krispies, but it probably would have worked better. Adding the toasted slivered almonds was a GREAT idea, and it made them a little crunchier. I, being the sweets addict, loved the treats even though they were sub-par for a dessert, and had way more than I should have. I ended up dumping over half the batch in the trash, along with the rest of the marshmallows, and having Billy take them outside to the dumpster so I wouldn't finish the whole thing myself, or want to eat them tomorrow. That's how bad I am with sweets.
Melting the mallows with 3T butter
Adding the toasted almonds, mmmm!
Pressed into a pan to cool....and get soggy.
Oh, and I do NOT suggest using this marshmallow recipe for s'mores. The marshmallow will quickly melt, rather than expand and get soft, and the chocolate will still be hard instead of gooey. I also do not suggest trying to make s'mores with 100% Ghiradelli unsweetened chocolate bars. They taste oh so bad, as obviously there is no sugar involved in the making. I would probably have liked it more with a Russel Stover sugar-free dark chocolate truffle candy instead of the Ghiradelli square.
So promising!!!
Marshmallow melting fail.
Can you tell I am a little food obsessed right now? 


On defining happiness

I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I'd invented it, because it is very true.

Oh my dear blog friends, IT'S FRIDAY!! I actually have today off, and it is marvelous already! I still got up, got Billy fed and off to work, then it was my workout time. At the end of my workout, I decided to run a mile on the treadmill--in just my socks. You see, I have been reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, and it's gotten me thinking about this whole barefoot running craze, and how it's supposed to get your body into the proper running position, etc. It certainly changed my running posture, but my socks created a lot of friction, and now the balls of my feet are on fire. I might have to give it another shot in a few weeks, and lose the socks. Anyone a barefoot or minimal running enthusiast? Care to share any suggestions or tips with me for my next attempt to run barefoot?

Later, I had a puppy play date with my friend Caroline, who brought over her 3 legged pit bull Izzabell. Izza and Marlo had a GREAT time munching on each other's faces, jumping, and playing together. That they get along is fabulous, as Marlo will be staying at Caroline's while Billy and I are in Vegas.

I have plans to run some errands, and do a lot of relaxing today. I have to work this weekend as usual, and then Monday and Tuesday next week with the kiddos. I am off work Wed-Thur, with a wedding on Friday, so it will be more of the same next week, yay!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!


Recipe swap

Hey dolls, how is your week going? I personally have been struggling with my attitude this week, and it's making me a cranky pants, thus the lack of happy girl posts. My main cranky inducing issue is my healthy and fabulous clean eating diet. Now I am sure you are asking, "if it's so fabulous, why is it making you cranky?" Because I am struggling with major cravings for non-clean foods, that's why darling blog friend.

Oh you know, like cravings for pizza, tacos, croissants, chocolate chip cookie-peanut butter-s'mores, and so on. That last one made Tuesday REAL hard for me. I had the Today show on while at the gym getting in my Jillian Michaels Making the Cut circuit workout. Al Roker had Cat Cora on making grilled desserts, like the aforementioned s'mores. Aside from the requisite chocolate chunk and mallow, this s'more had a big slab of peanut butter and was housed between fresh chocolate chip cookies. I literally stopped doing pike push ups to see what was going on, and you guys, I died a little inside from a sincere and intense desire to HAVE that dessert, pronto. I could literally make only that s'more {well, maybe two others too} my cheat meal this weekend and be a very happy girl, indeed. 
Via, not Cat Cora's, but equally delicious looking!
Want the recipe?? Here you go! Cat Cora's grilled chocolate peanut butter s'mores try not to drool.

By the end of the day, I was a whiny mess that was focusing only on things I can't have, rather than on all of the good for me, tasty, whole foods I can have. There are really more options than I was limiting myself to, and I did end up having a tablespoon of melted sugar-free chocolate frosting and a handful of raspberries before bed. It made life worth living I tell ya!

I blame my cheat meal. 

You would think that having a meal where I can eat anything I want and can look forward to each week would be awesome; it is, and it does help during the week when I am trying to be good and not have treats. However, the intense carb and sugar cravings I go through, the withdrawals and detoxing I must do for several days after each cheat meal, really, really, suck. Sugar really is my addiction, and like so many addicts, I am better off not having a smidgen of it in my life, for fear of triggering a binge, or cravings that will leave me weak and feigning for my drug. Is that pathetic or what? 

So what do you do when you should be staying away from processed foods and refined sugar, but are bored with all of your tried and true recipes? You scour the Internet and beg your best blog friends to send you some of their favorites to switch it and add flavor to what has become a bland diet!

I am very much looking forward to making homemade sugar-free marshmallows and turning them into low carb rice crispy treats for my cheat. I am planning on using one, or both of these recipes:
{scroll down for the recipe}
I am also going to attempt to make my own Greek style yogurt, as I go through a giant tub of Fage 0% a week, and it's a little pricey, even at Costco. This recipe looks promising!
Now your turn! Either search out your favorite tried and true recipe, or scour the Internet to your heart's content, searching for whatever recipes strike your fancy that fall into the low carb, sugar-free range, and comment on this post or e-mail them to me hairbyadrian@gmail.com

I want new ways to fix my chicken breast, spice up my veggies, and new treats that won't break the calorie bank or set me back into detox mode. I trust ya! Now scoot, I'm hungry!!


Another Monday

...has come and gone! 

This weekend was filled with fitness competitions, bikini girls, early mornings, late evenings, an amazing cheat meal at Gordon Biersch brewery, lots of clients at the salon on Sunday, and ended with my feet swelling enormously and me wanting to go to bed at 10pm. 

Here are the rest of the competition {read: Nicole} pictures
Nicole and her bf Jason
Super model stunna
Freshly touched up before finals
Nicole with Tifffany, my bestie and Nicole's trainer, and Tom, Tiffany's hubby
Nicole working it on stage
Nicole stunning the crowd
Nicole and her "competition"
Side view
These were the top 3 {sadly Nicole didn't place} Billy and I know the girl in the center, who is one of Billy's sister's sorority sisters. The girl on the right in green won 1st place


On luck in life, and competitions

Sorry I missed my Friday Audrey post!! I really hit the ground running yesterday and never ended up posting. 

If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements and worthwhilenesses I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness, not my miscarriages or my father leaving home, but the joy of everything else. It will have been enough.
--Audrey Hepburn

Today I am providing hair and makeup, as well emotional services to my bestie Nicole as she presents 3 months of hard work to a panel of judges at her first fitness competition. We have been up since 5am, and are on a couple hour break after her first round on stage for pre-judging, then we head back at 5pm for finals when they award the top 5 finishers from each group. Nicole looked awesome and presented herself amazingly, the call outs gave us the idea that she made top 5, probably 4th place, which is great as this show is a national qualifier and can allow her to compete at the national level on her next try. Here are some quick pics I snapped with my phone, the rest are on my camera until further notice. 
From this at 7am before leaving the house
to this at 10:30am after we got through her registration
Nicole was trained by my amazing friend Tiffany whom I also do hair and makeup for
Cheese ball and I love it!
This photo I took off the LED screen of someone's camera because it was too hilarious! The girl in black looks like she wishes she stayed at home instead of stepping on stage next to Nicole!

More to come later! Have a great weekend! Wish us luck for later this evening and hopefully a top 5 placing!!


Orange cream smoothie

The clean eating diet I am currently following suggests having a source of protein at every meal and snack, all 5-6 of them each day. Sometimes I have a hard time wanting to choke down another 4 ounces of chicken, turkey, tuna or egg whites, so I have had to get creative. 

Smoothies are a great way to pack in the protein without having to eat a meat source, and they double as an awesome treat in the summer when it's sweltering out and all you really want is ice cream. 

Tonight I fixed Billy and I this recipe, and you know what, it was nice!
Via google image search
Orange cream protein smoothie
Makes 2 servings, share with a loved one or save the rest for later!
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, I used Designer Whey 
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond/soy/or skim milk, I went with almond
  • 1/4 cup 100% citrus juice, I used tangerine because it's what I had
  • 10 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. I like to give it a little longer run on the liquefy setting so it adds more air and feels like you have more to drink. But that's just me ;)

Nutrition info {using my specified ingredients}
2 servings
104 calories each 
10g protein
16g carbs
2g fat
4g fiber
11g sugar {only 1g added sugar from protein powder, the rest is naturally occurring in the juice and orange}


What I'm loving...?

Happy....what day is it? Anyone else feel totally discombobulated this week? Holiday weekends do that to me, but it feels so weird today. Oh yeah, Wednesday!! Happy Wednesday!

What I'm loving today:
~True Blood Season 4. Just watched the first two episodes. 
Waiting sucked, I am so glad it's back!!! Even if it is a cheesy vampire show. I need my V fix, don't judge me. 

~Air conditioning. It's definitely summer here in California with temperatures in the 90's.
I am grateful that my weather isn't the weather of the Midwest or Southeast. Y'all have it BAD!

~My sweet blog friends. I love being able to shoot an e-mail, comment, gchat and even text to you lovely ladies, and have real conversations like IRL friends. I just love you gals, you make me so happy!

~My new Ralph Lauren bikini!
It looks like this one, but with fuscia stripes instead of black. It's preppy and perfect, I love it!

~My sweet baby loves. 
My Hemi cat found a nice place to stay cool in the heat--the bathroom sink! He used to do that all the time as a wee little guy, so it's nice to have him remind me of my first year of marriage and caring for a spry little kitty, even if we have both aged 4 years ;)

What are you loving this week?


Holiday weekend recap

Well hello again lovelies!! 

I am posting from my brand spanking new Acer laptop, a present from Billy and his dad, Willy, on the 4th of July. I know, I know, it was America's birthday, not mine, but I will obviously appreciate it more than 'Merica will. And I needed it. Cat hair clogged fans short CPUs. I said it was like the laptop equivalent of cardiac arrest. 

I'm still trying to get used to the keyboard and the new layout. It's wider than my HP, and prettier too. Hopefully having a fully functioning laptop means I will be posting a little more regularly. I miss having most of the day off for myself. Even starting work at 12:30pm is a total cramp on my free time. Wah, cry you a river, right?! I'm so spoiled with my weekday schedule, its disgusting.

So, the holiday weekend! Saturday was full of salon clients, and Sunday started out as a bridal trial only, then I had two last minute call in haircuts, which I gladly obliged. Sunday evening we spent over at Billy's folks' house, where I was tempted by homemade peach pie and Mama's fabulous rum cake. My 2 1/2 year old nephew Tyler "helped" her make it, and he spilled some rum, so he had to add more. It smelt delicious. 

Monday I got up and went to the gym, which was surprisingly packed. Billy and I got a call from his brother-in-law and dad saying they were at Frys, which was having a big sale, and they wanted to buy me a new laptop. Well, certainly you can! We hurried over to Frys, approved the laptop, and we all headed over to the folks for some 4th family time. I decided that I would go a little crazy off my clean eating diet by enjoying some hint of lime tortilla chips with homemade nacho fixings, Doritos {which, I am not a huge fan of, but the MSG told me otherwise}, half a tuna sandwich on Wonder bread {ultimate white flour indulgence right there}, and some of my favorite rum cake. I was quickly shown that my system had adapted to my clean eating ways, and was forced into an unpleasant food coma that had to be remedied with a nap and some fetal position. I cleaned it up for dinner, but had peach pie and ice cream for dessert. We watched movies, I played with my laptop, and we all just sort of hung around and enjoyed the neighborhood fireworks. 

I am sorely regretting all of those food indiscretions today. I have been craving sugar and carbs big time, and boy is it harder to say no! Lesson learned. 
All photos via weheartit.com
I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend! 


On Paris, and an update on my week

Paris is always a good idea.
--Audrey Hepburn

Oh sweet blog friends, I am so sorry about my lack of posts this week! My silly old laptop decided it wanted to start acting up on me. It's had a pretty good life, although I have dropped it many times, and there was a weird rattling sound, and it often overheated. My father-in-law, the mechanical engineer that he is, took it apart and realized my fan was clogged with cat hair, my processor was probably fried, and my motherboard was most likely in need of replacing. So that is why I haven't been posting much, for want of a computer to do it from. Thankfully Billy has a little notebook laptop that I am currently working on, but it is not ideal. I miss my 17 inch screen and full size keyboard. This will have to do for now.

Now, to fill you in on this Happy Girl's life! I have been a busy bee!! Nanny work was heavy this week, so by the time I got home each night I felt fried. The mornings were full of socializing with friends, getting my hair done {a tragic story with a happy ending for another day} and of course Jillian Michael's Making the Cut workouts. Which I need to talk to you about.

Jillian is known for kicking butt. Her Biggest Loser persona and workout DVDs are intense and she yells at you a lot, but in a good way. This book has an outline for 30 days of workouts, including rest days. I have to tell you, these book workouts are crazy! They are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) circuits mixing cardio and resistance training. I finished day 8 today, and I think I have been a little sore all over every single day since I started. They push you to the max in about 30 minutes, and I end up pouring sweat like I would on a run. I also have gotten in 2 separate 5+ mile runs, and another yoga class. That yoga class was awesome, I really liked the teacher. I even surprised myself by getting into a "flying" pose, with my right leg extended forward and resting on my right triceps, the left extended behind me, with all my weight balancing on my hands. No idea what it was called, but I managed it for a second. Though I did fall out of crow pose, hard onto my left knee, so don't think I am some cool yogi now. I still think yoga is freaking hard. More props to you ladies who do it all the time. 

My difficult workouts, combined with my cleaned up diet devoid of processed foods, flour, and sugars is AMAZING, in all capital letters for a reason. I have successfully kicked my plateau, losing 3lbs!! I am officially in the 120's y'all, and it makes me SO happy. I haven't been this weight since high school. I also feel tighter, my muscles more defined, and I am pretty happy with the way my body is looking, even at night after eating all day, big change there.

These 2 weeks have not been easy, by any means. I have had to push myself really hard with my workouts, and exercise every last bit of self-control and will power I possess to keep from eating all the yummy processed and "fake" food I normally would let slip into my diet. Going to my in-laws house is a total trigger for me to overeat anything in sight, mostly starchy white carbs. While over there fixing my laptop, I managed to bring my own dinner and resist doughnuts, Pepperidge Farms cookies, scalloped potatoes, and Doritos, that all happened to be within sight when I walked in. I did let Billy eat whatever he wanted, and I would smell everything, which was almost as good as eating it because I didn't get the insulin rush or the calories from it. 

I started reading Tosca Reno's The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped, and I am learning a lot about clean eating and how much better it is for you. I am also learning about the horrors of sugar. You know I am a sugar fiend; I love all things baked, both good and bad, and I could eat my weight in sugary things if it was in front of me. I think this is partly due to the addictive nature of sugar, and I really liked something Tosca said about it. 

"I rank sugar's dangerous effects up there with cocaine and heroine. All 3 are white powders, all give you a high & crushing lows, all are highly addictive and destroy you. Sugar may be even more dangerous because it's legal and we are not prepared for it's disastrous effects." 

Powerful stuff, ladies. 
I highly recommend both Jillian Michaels Making the Cut, and Tosca Reno's The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped (or any of her other eat-clean books) for anyone who wants to get in shape and lose those last 10 pounds that are hanging on for dear life. 

Happy weekend lovelies! 
Oh, Happy Canada day to my ladies to the north, Alison, Nicole and Leigh! Also happy 4th of July to all my girls here in the States! 

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