Happy girls are the prettiest girls

12.30.2011

Christmas Goodies!

The holidays always bring so many goodies and baked delights! I love holiday baking {and eating!} so of course I have my favorite recipes to make each year. This may be a little late, as I made all the goodies before Christmas, but I wanted to share them anyway. 

I always, without fail, make the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe. I just pull a Chelsea and add a package of vanilla instant pudding mix to the sugar and butter {recipe found here!} These cookies aren't reserved for the holidays, I usually make them about 10 times a year, but they are my absolute favorite. 
I usually pick another cookie recipe or two to make, but it changes year to year. Sometimes I make snickerdoodles, oatmeal cookies, or other times I make peanut butter gems. I just sort of wing it and make whatever I am feeling.
I also love making candies! I usually make some fudge recipe that changes each year, and every time I curse myself for forgetting how hard it is to get fudge just right and swear I won't repeat the mistake the following year. This year, I am swearing off fudge making, and just enjoying the eating of it instead! Some recipes I have used for fudge can be found here, and here. Just know going in to it that fudge is tricky and doesn't always set right, even when you follow the recipe to a T!

Want to know my favorite holiday candy to make? Rocky road! It's so easy and always turns out great. And boy does it taste wonderful! Last year I made rocky road with almonds, but was annoyed by the almond skins in each bite of rocky road. This year I opted to use peanuts instead. I used this Joy of Baking recipe, but got bored trying to temper the chocolate and mixed in the marshmallows and peanuts early. Didn't mess the recipe up at all, but it probably won't be all shiny and brittle the way the recipe wanted. I'm still a fan, and it was so freaking good.


12.29.2011

2011 in review

Wooo hooo 2011 is coming to an end and a whole new year is before us! This is my obligatory review of the last year in blog land! Pop some corn, grab a cup of something tasty, and sit back for a trip down memory lane :) All links refer to the blog post I'm talking about, click on them if you want a refresher.

Last year, I decided to separate my work blog from all the life stuff I wanted to post, and voila, Happy Girl was born!  The Happy Girl title came from an Audrey Hepburn quote. I love it so much, I just had to use it.
Then I started blogging about how there is a first for everything, including a Bob Harper workout DVD and first time running the death hill that is St. Joseph's open space reserve. I've run it many, many times since, but that first time I was seriously unprepared!
I figured I needed to write a little about me post to introduce myself to the new readers who weren't familiar with my Hair by Adrian blog.
I finally figured I y first recipe post, the almost-parmigiana!
 I planned my wedding for the second time, with a limitless budget. I loved my wedding, but when you're young and broke, there are a lot of things that have to be sacrificed. This was my way to vicariously living through pretty photos and my imagination. Still one of my favorite posts to date.
My first spin set list. I was way in to spin classes at the time, and every upbeat song I heard was destined for a spin list. It could also be used as a workout set list, but spinning was on my brain.
My 101 in 1001 list. Boy that was a shocker to go back and see what I still haven't completed! 
First time trespassing and having to ride through the mud on a mountain bike ride with Nicole
 I finally got my first big girl road bike! The triathlon training got so much better when I shed some major bike pounds and picked up speed. 
That time I made Nicole model for me so I could style her hair, do her makeup, and make her pose for a photo shoot.
Or how about the shameless ways I have pimped out my guy friends, Bike Matt and Fireman Matt? Nothing came of those posts, but I did recently set up Fireman Matt with Nicole of the previous modeling link ;) I'm still working on Bike Matt.
There was that time that I had my first blogger meet up with Megan of Watch MeGo Run. It was amazing being able to connect in person with one of my favorite blog friends. The blogging community is seriously awesome. I'm looking forward to meeting more of you in 2012.
I was actually able to accomplish my 2011 New Year's resolution to complete a triathlon, which was awesome!
There was that one awesome day I spent on set doing hair, makeup, and styling for AB & The Sea's In the Sunshine music video. Later in the year, I worked on another music video doing hair and makeup for youtube sensation Kina Grannis.
I even got to visit my favorite place ever, Las Vegas! We went for Tiffany's national fitness competition, and stayed for fun. I also had my second blogger meet up, with Jen of Jagged Little Life.
I celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary with my love!
I stepped in front of the camera for once, instead of being behind it. My first attempt at modeling was a surprise success and I was very happy about it, the second, meh, not so much. 
I had my second and third egg donation cycles.
I posted the best chocolate cake recipe ever, and dubbed it "Time of the Month Cake"
I crashed my road bike and broke my finger, also got a ton of ouchie road rash.
I told of my love of Halloween and playing dress up in this post with pictures from Halloween's past.
I won "The Knot Best of Weddings 2012" for wedding hair and makeup in the San Francisco Bay Area, a huge honor and I can't wait to see what it brings for next year.
I hosted a friend for a week and took him all around the Bay Area.
I had fun at a few holiday parties, and hooked up Matt and Nicole on a blind date, which turned out fabulously! They are an official couple now :)
For my birthday, Billy wrote a surprise birthday haxx post. I did ask him to, just wasn't sure what he was going to write. I liked it!

And there you have it, a very Happy Girl 2011 review :)



12.28.2011

Birthday Haxx!

Hello Wifeys "lovelies!"

Today is my wonderful wife's birthday, and thanks to one of your lovely hubbies, she thought it would be fun if I did guest blog on her birthday. That sounds bitter, but its not, really...So here I go! I don't even know where or how to start this, I mean...I read tons of blogs...have tons to say, but nowhere to go. It doesn't help I'm a little bitter at myself because when she originally brought up the idea of "guest blogging" for her I started making up little topics and posts in my head, and told myself I should write them down so I can knock something clever right out but naaaaah. Now I'm sitting here rambling in Adrian's "office" while she sleeps. Its amazing that the cat walked in, looked at me funny, then posted up just as he normally does when she is here...quite warm actually, I could get used to this.

Honestly I would just like to thank you all. I'd of never thought being part of a blogging community could have such a positive impact on somebody, but you all have truly made her a happier person, which is quite a feat for a generally positive and upbeat person. PLUS...now she will literally wave me away while she peruses her blogs to go play video games! And that is AWESOOOME! There have also been quite a few tasty treats baked up in our kitchen thanks to some amazing recipes from you guys (OMG...boyfriend cookies). Most importantly though, you guys have helped to encourage a more active lifestyle for her. Running has made her a much happier person, and I think with her knowing she can run a whatever k, she can handle just about any curve ball life throws at her. She really does inspire me. In fact, I'm hoping to actually run a 5k with her this year. I used to be athletic...I was a black belt once that could run a 7ish minute mile while chatting it up with friends until I destroyed my knee, got...old...insert excuse here. Time to sack up and get my sexy on!

And with that, I must bid you farewell, for now, mainly because this sleepy cocktail of Adrian-knows-what is really kicking my butt, and I made the mistake of rubbing my eyes and my contacts are all blurry now...wah.

Seriously though...thanks guys.

12.26.2011

HBBC week 5 update

I'm very much looking forward to the end of the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge. Sorry, I'm just kind of over feeling like I need to rack up points on a daily basis or face the humiliation of writing a big fat goose egg on the spreadsheet. I guess I like to motivate myself, and hate failing in any way, even if it's only not living up to the expectations I set for myself. Blame the type A personality I've got going for me. I even demoted my status from doer to builder a few weeks back. Not making me feel any better about the low numbers I continue to bring in. 

And enough of my pity party. 

HBBC week 5 update

Week 1: 3pts
Week 2: 4pts
Week 3: 27pts
Week 4: 9pts

Week 5: Dec. 17-23
Sat & Sun: 0
Mon: 40 mins yoga, f&v, 3pts
Tue: 3 mile run, 3pts
Wed: 80 mins yoga, f&v, 5pt
Thur: 5 mile run, 5pts
Fri: f&v 1pt
total: 17pts

Week 6: in progress
Sun: f&v 1pt
Mon: 5 mile run, 5pts

Post-Christmas blues

Well hello, lovelies! 

Happy post-Christmas to you all! Now, I don't how you feel the day after Christmas, but I usually get a little...blue. It's like all of the hoopla leading up to Christmas day, all of the shopping, the lines, the mall traffic, the folks who take the Christmas spirit and shove it up everyone else's you-know-whats with their bad attitudes, all of that ends as soon as you go to sleep on Christmas night. It's sort of like wedding planning in that way. Your 6 months, a year, or longer of planning and anticipating all winds up on your big day, and then...nothing. 

I am not going to dwell on the feelings that come the day after Christmas though, we are going to celebrate the start of a new week, almost a new year, and enjoy it! 

First of all, head on over to Life of Meg's and see if she is hosting her awesome blog hop, Mingle Monday. I have the lovely Meg to thank for many of the awesome friendships I have made through blogging, so make sure you get on over there and mingle with other amazing bloggers!

I've gotten off to a good start so far with a 5 mile run, now I just need to do the mountain of laundry that has piled up, clean up the house that looks like it was bombed by wrapping paper and presents, and then I will think of venturing out to return a few things. 

Hope you are making the most of your Monday, and aren't letting the post-Christmas blues get you down!

12.23.2011

Holiday parties

{allow me to get my inner "woo girl" going}
Wooooooooooooooo!!! 

It's almost Christmas, it's Friday, and I have another week of vacation ahead of me {minus a short day at the salon on Saturday}.

I certainly hope you have been enjoying your week before Christmas. I very much enjoyed a few days off, working out in the mornings, running errands and relaxing during the day, and even having a few days of Harry Potter movie marathons to keep me going while gift wrapping. 

Since it's the season for holiday parties, I thought I would share a couple photos from the two I have been to lately! The first is a photobooth picture from Billy's company holiday party. I had so much fun with my pal Nicole, whom we set up on a blind date with Billy's co-worker  fireman Matt {remember him?}.
The next photos are from Billy and Matt's department dinner. Nicole was once again in tow as Matt's date. It's safe to say they hit it off and are practically inseparable now! I'm a happy little match maker, when my pairings go off without a hitch.
I love this man!
 One drink. One very strong drink, and I can't even hold my own head up, so Nicole had to help. Matt photo bombed us.
 That's my drinking face. Nicole is giving off gangsta vibes and Matt's laughing at us both.
 I must think I am quite the artist once I have a drink in me. We were given crayons to draw on the paper table cloths, and this is the caricature of Matt and Nicole I came up with! And then I drew myself in stick form!
That's one incredibly strong drink, let me tell you. It was a blood orange martini, but there was nothing orange about it. All liquor! I was dying, and that is all I had to drink. Yes, I am a lightweight, cheap date, etc. 

Hope all of your holiday parties have been merry and bright! 

Merry Christmas!!

12.20.2011

HBBC week 4 update

Oh, HBBC, why do you have to fall during the BUSIEST time of the year for me? 

Maybe it just wasn't meant for me to win, or even increase my exercise and better my eating. I feel like a failure, and when I get to that point, I usually just say "screw it" and just give in to the bad eating and couch sitting. Last week I could hardly break away from my guest to go for a run, so I gave in to yummy food instead. I'm surprised I got even 9 points out of it! Here's hoping this week and next are better. 

Week 1: 3pts
Week 2: 4pts
Week 3: 27pts

Week 4 Dec. 10-16
Sat and Sunday, nada
Mon: f&v 1pt
Tues: 5 mile run 5pts
Wed: f&v 1pt
Thur: f&v 1pt
Fri: 1 mile walk in SF 1pt
total 9pts

Week 5: Dec. 17-23
Sat and Sun, hah! 0
Mon: 40 mins yoga, f&v  3pts
Tues: 5k run 3pts

Really long explanation of my absence

It's Tuesday? Already? I'm not quite ready to be back in full blogging mode, but I did want to give you an extensive update as to why I have been away for the last week! I had a friend come to town on Monday evening, and stay through to Saturday. All of that tourist-ing {totes just made that up}, entertaining, and socializing has taken it's toll on me. I was still working while he was here, and I took on an extra babysitting gig that, get this, happened to start at 5am. So for 3 days in a row I was up at 4am, and home by 8:30am, then went about my day, worked the afternoons, entertained at night, and fell exhausted into my bed, only to rinse and repeat the following day. Thus the complete lack of blogging on  my part. 

Can we hug and make up, and not have you clicking the unsubscribe button please? Thanks!

Josh is a Portland, OR native who is currently living in Spokane, WA. He had some time on his hands and was bored, so I suggested he take a road trip down to California and visit me. Um, turns out he is open to suggestion, because wouldn't you know it, he did it. Drove 15 hours just to visit the sprawling suburbia of San Jose and the Bay Area. I had to keep him occupied and make him think that my city and the surrounding area is the BEST place ever! 

Tuesday I was the best hostess {that's sarcasm} ever and drug him off his aerobed at 6:30am to go for a run with my meet up group at 7am. It was chilly, but apparently Josh thinks our California weather is toasty warm, compared to the 4 degrees F he was experiencing in Spokane prior to his visit. He wore shorts and a long sleeved shirt. I threw him side eyes in my capris, and 2 layers of shirts. 

After a stop and go 5 mile run, we cleaned up and headed to Santa Cruz to check out the Mystery Spot. It's this cool local "gravitational anomaly" that has all sorts of weird characteristics, like water and balls rolling uphill, or dramatic height changes just by changing places with a similarly tall counterpart. Need picture proof?
We walked up the walls inside a cabin at the center of the Mystery Spot's 300 foot diameter.
That plank we're standing on? Completely level. Doesn't look it though, right?
Picture 1, they are in height order, left to right short to tall. Picture 2, they swapped so it's tall to short, left to right, but hey! they look to be the same height in picture 2!

We worked up an appetite at the Mystery Spot, so we went to my favorite Santa Cruz Restaurant, Burger. Seriously, I adore this little place for the awesome atmosphere and the amazing and extensive menu! I have gotten a different burger each time I've been, and never been disappointed. This time around I had The Bubba, a turkey burger with house made teriyake sauce, grilled pineapple, and healthy fixings. Josh got a burger with Bluto Brutus, that had 3 patties and a fried egg. He was completely and thoroughly stuffed. We also got fries and the best milkshakes made from Marianne's Ice Cream, a local creamery in SC. I had mint chip and he had peanut butter. 

Wednesday I had to work at 5am, so I came home and took a nap before heading to downtown Los Gatos, a cute town bordering San Jose that I visit frequently. We had Pizza My Heart for lunch, walked around the strip, had coffee and tea at the Great Bear cafe, and got cupcakes at Icing on the Cake. De-licious!

Thursday I worked at 5am again, so I took a nap, then dragged Josh to DSW for some try on window shopping. I tried to get him to buy a pair of Cole Haan with Nike Air soles, but no dice. We then went to Santana Row, this swanky open air mall with really high end stores and awesome restaurants. We walked the row, checking out the fancy digs, and I even picked up a Christmas gift for my boss at Anthropologie. We then had lunch at Yard House, and were way stuffed when we left. When I got home from work, I picked up the boys and we went downtown for a San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche hockey game. I couldn't believe our luck, the game was AWESOME, and they even won with a very tight 3rd period!

Friday I worked my final 5am shift, and then was excited for a day off nannying! After a nap, Josh and I visited my friend Melissa who works at Google. She treated us to lunch {it's free for employees and guests, and is quite the extensive spread!} and then took us to the Google store where I did a little shopping. We then toured the campuses, since there are many, and took pictures with the Android statues! They had brought in a snow maker to create a winter wonderland for the statues, but it was slushy and mostly melted in our 60 degree temps.
 


After having too much fun at Google headquarters, we continued up to San Francisco. We started at the Metreon, which is undergoing a lot of construction and didn't have all the fun stuff I was hoping to see available. Since we were close, we walked to Union Square and checked out the ice rink, the giant Christmas tree, and best of all, the kitties and puppies for adoption in the Macy's window displays courtesy of the SPCA.

From Union Square I drove us to Chrissy Field to try to catch the Golden Gate Bridge in sunset glory, and I was lucky! Thankfully, SF was absolutely gorgeous when we visited, all blue skies, and about 60 degrees. Usual for the fall but unheard of for December. I'm a sucker for a good sunset, and seeing the bridge back lit against a sherbet colored sky was breathtaking.
A little blurry, but what can you expect from a moving car?

Presidio buildings along Chrissy Field with the SF skyline in the background. That streak is on my windshield!
A better shot of the skyline
A great clear shot of Alcatraz island just beyond the Presidio buildings.
Hello, gorgeous sky!

Friday evening I made my yummy chicken Parmesan for dinner with peanut butter M&Ms cookies for dessert, then we went to Los Gatos to meet up with some friends. We didn't stay long, but Josh did get an idea of the bar scene in the area. Totally not my scene by the way. I thought we were crazy for leaving the house at 10pm on a Friday night. I was ready to call it a night and go to bed! Josh ended up leaving a little after midnight, because driving through California in the dark isn't very dangerous, but Oregon and Washington can be, so it's better to do those states while it's light out.

It was a great week of exploring my city and the surrounding areas, and seeing it all through the eyes of a newbie. I am proud to say he left with a list of 30 places he wants to apply in order to move to the area to experience this life for himself! He loved it!

12.12.2011

Road ID coupon

Hey friends! Just have a quick post with a cool coupon code for you!

For Christmas I asked for a Road ID bracelet to wear when I am running, biking, or swimming outside. I typically train by myself, and even when I am with other people they don't have all my contact info or medical history off the top of their heads. I needed something easy for emergency personnel or good Samaritans to use to notify my loved ones of any accident I could find myself in. Having recently crashed my bike while out on a ride by myself, I realized just how necessary this info is to have on me at all times. 

I placed an order last week, and Road ID gave me a cool coupon code to be used up to 20 times in the next month by all of you!  When you place your own order for your Road ID, use coupon code ThanksGuillermo9722373 at checkout for $1 off your order! I got the Road ID slim in black with 3 phone numbers and info that I have no known allergies on it. 
You can get a thicker band, a shoe ID, or a necklace instead of the wrist or ankle band, so there are options for everyone! Even your pet can have a Road ID! There's even an option to pay a little extra for a year subscription to the Road ID interactive band that allows you to store more emergency info online that can be accessed by EMS or hospital staff with the unique serial number on your Road ID bracelet. Pretty nifty.

Psst: This makes a GREAT Christmas gift for an active loved one, and it's not super expensive! Get on it!

12.09.2011

HBBC week 3 update

Sorry I have been slacking on the blog posting this week. It's been a little chaotic, which is weird since I had two days off...Never sure why exactly my days off seem to be my most full and least time devoted to blogging, but that's the way it is, I guess.

Finally, I am able to work out the way I am used to!! HBBC was a tragedy for the first two weeks that I was forced to do nothing recovering from surgery, so I am happy to be back in the game and racking up points. 
HBBC update
Week 1: 3 pts
week 2: 4 pts

Week 3: Dec.3-Dec.9
Mon 3 mile run 3 pts, fruits/veg 1 pt= 4 pts
Tues 5 mile run 5 pts, fruits/veg 1 pt= 6 pts
Wed 90 mins yoga 4.5 pts, fruits/veg 1 pt= 5.5 pts
Thurs 5 mile run 5 pts, fruits/veg 1 pt= 6 pts
Fri 90 mins yoga 4.5pts, fruits/veg 1 pt= 5.5 pts {all planned, of course!}
week 3 total: 27 pts
Total pts 34

I recently joined meetup.com, an online community that connects people with like minded interests in your area. First I joined a Girlfriends Club that a friend co-organized, and then I found the Bay Area Runners group and joined that too. Since then, I have been receiving e-mails and notifications about all of the cool running meet ups in my area, but I was so sad I couldn't run. That all changed this week, when I joined a meet up on Tuesday and Thursday for a God awfully early 7am run. I met some awesome people who I plan on running with frequently, even though it is super early, cold, and my warm bed seriously tries to eat me when my alarm goes off. Running with my new friends really helped push me to get some miles in and keep a solid pace. I felt great on all 3 of my runs this week, which is saying something after a few weeks off.

12.05.2011

Whirlwind weekend adventures

Whew, what a weekend! Hundreds of miles were driven, lots of bodybuilders were seen, and my girl brought home a trophy for her 5th place win! 

I am thrilled to be home, posted up on the couch with my sick Billy, my wonderful laptop back in it's rightful place on my lap. Tonight we're watching movies and cuddling up for lost time apart this weekend, my favorite! 

What I learned this weekend
~I still miss my Mr. B whenever I am away from him, even for a short time.
~While sitting on the couch eating pizza, after just having watched me dance and sing {badly} to DJ Kahlid "All I do is Win", Billy says to me: "Eff, I'm glad you're home. I missed you!" 
~I need to get back to the gym for some serious strength training.
~I miss running so badly, I am so glad I start again this week!
~I could never be a fitness competitor. They work so stinking hard for those bodies, and have to KEEP working that hard to maintain, no me gusta. I like easy, and that certainly isn't!
~I am now an official Bombshell stylist, or so says the two Team Bombshell girls I worked with this weekend. Both of which placed top 5 in both their classes!
~I love Muscle Egg chocolate egg whites! It's liquid egg whites you can drink, and doesn't taste like eggs, which is good for me, since I HATE eggs but know their value to my diet. I'm ordering a gallon this week.
~Friends with Benefits is a super awesome movie, a new favorite. Limitless was better than expected, but the cinematography made me dizzy.

HBBC update
Week 1: 3 pts
week 2: Nov.26-Dec.2
Sat. 11/26 7 servings fruits and veggies 1 pt
Mon. 11/28 7 servings fruits and veggies 1 pt
Tue. 11/29 7 servings fruits and veggies 1 pt
Thur. 12/1 20 min Jillian Michaels Ripped workout 1 pt
week 2 total 4 pts
Total pts 7


12.02.2011

On the road to winning

By the time this post hits your feed, I will be well on my way to southern California in a car packed with lots of food {only the healthy variety for this road trip}, and one of my favorite people along with her sweet hubby. We will be gone all weekend, as Tiffany is competing in her fourth fitness competition in the last 13 months. I have been by her side for each one, providing stage worthy makeup and sassy hair, a calming and reassuring presence, and of course, one of the most bad ass cheering sections in the whole auditorium as she walks across the stage. 
Tiffany works hard to look like this. It's not some "Oh I workout 3 times a week and eat whatever I want most of the time" kind of deals {that's MY fitness outlook hah!}. No, she is up every morning and on her treadmill before she can even think about breakfast, sprinting, lunging, squatting and sprinting some more for a good 45 minutes. Later in the day she has a strength training session, and then another treadmill workout. Every. Day. Her diet is always on point, filled with nutritious veggies, complex carbs and muscle building protein. She got a cheat meal once a week up until this last week, but she always stuck to the diet the rest of the time. I admire her so much!
Yup, I am wearing a "Team Tiffany" shirt that I made in the above pic. That's her cute face too ;)
I envy her resolve, her will power, her drive, and most of all, her strength. She has taught me so much about nutrition, how the different foods you put in your body affect you more than just on the scale, and how effective exercise is so different from just "working out". 
Tiffany has been working with new trainers in preparation for this show, and I can't believe the changes I have seen in her. Her diet changed, her exercise routine changed, and she of course changed with it. This chick is always in awesome shape, but seeing the definition many weeks out that I normally only see on her when she's on stage was astounding. I know she will do well, and I have my fingers crossed that she will place high. 
Good luck Tiffany! I will be screaming for you until I am hoarse! 

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