Women Run The World, Obviously


Waking up extra early, sitting in traffic, fighting for parking, waiting in line for half an hour, standing for the whole duration of the opening session. All this for the Women’s Conference. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am deeply honored to have had the opportunity to experience this convergence of amazing, well-spoken, dynamic women. I cried. I laughed. I listened. I learned. I came away inspired.

Here is a recap in pictures:

imageBeing the First Lady of California, Maria Shriver has been responsible for putting together this annual Women’s Conference. I attended a few years back and I have to say, my experience this year far surpassed the previous. Perhaps Maria wanted to go out with a bang? Whatever the case, she did a fantastic job.

imageMichelle Obama closed out the opening session by addressing her cause: military families.

imageAfter the opening session, we broke out into our morning conversation topics. I attended “It’s Time To Talk About Your Happiness” (with Deepak Chopra and Goldie Hawn)

imageLunch Session: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Both women shared their trials and tribulations of being a woman during a time when it was truly a man’s world and Sandra expressed what it was like to finally break the glass ceiling of the highest court in the US. To me, these two embody the word empowerment.

imageThe Village! Free goodies and samples! ♥ ♥

imageGrand Finale. Oprah was presented with a Minerva award along with four other amazing women.

imageSarah McLachlan performed during the Grand Finale. I’ve always loved her music and I was already in awe when I saw her on TV during the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Games, but seeing her LIVE? Chills down my spine.

imageThe loot I came away with = 3 bags full. My shoulder hurt like hell throughout the day, but seriously, how can you say no to free stuff?

I’m not sure if I’ll get the opportunity to attend next year, but I wonder what it will be like without Maria at the helm…


Apparently I’m Delicious

My 2nd attempt to hike the Mt. Wilson trail was pretty much a FAIL. I only made it to the second stop: Orchard Camp. Along the way, I seriously wanted to just keel over and die. This trail is no joke, especially in 80 degree heat.

I’d like to blame my physical weakness on the fact that I didn’t eat much for breakfast – just a few pieces of fruit. But it was most likely because I haven’t exercised regularly in months! Yup, that’s how I do it. No exercise for a month and then BAM, 30 mile bike ride or 8 mile hike. My body loves me.

A few days later, I started to itch at work. A few hours later, I counted 18 bumps all over my body; Two more bites developed over the next couple of days. At first, some of my coworkers thought it was fleas, but the bites really didn’t resemble flea bites (I googled :)). The big welts seemed more like spider or mosquito bites. Regardless, whatever bug(s) bit me had a good freakin’ meal. You’re welcome.

How To Gain 10 Pounds In One Day

1. I woke up early, skipped breakfast and drove down to Long Beach for the Long Beach Street Food Fest where I was on a field surrounded by popular food trucks such as Buttermilk, Calbi, An-Joo, Grilled Cheese Truck, Lomo Arigato, etc.


2. For the sake of being adventurous or just for the sake of being a fat ass, I gorged myself with food that actually turned out to be not so good. For example:

a. Lomo Arigato’s Lomo Saltado + Inka Kola. After a 20 minute wait for the food, I was expecting deliciousness. However, I was presented with cold fries, cold rice and tough beef. At least the green sauce was good (and SUPER SPICY), but not good enough to make this worth $10!

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b. An-Joo’s Korean Fried Chicken. $7 for 3 pieces of chicken and a side of daikon. Not exactly a good deal and not the best chicken I’ve ever had either, but I would eat it again…

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c. Buttermilk’s Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Bites ($3), Buttermilk Brick ($4) and Cake Donut Bites ($2). The chocolate chips were completely unnecessary, the rosemary over-powered the Buttermilk Brick and the donut bites were nothing exciting.

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d. Calbi’s Shrimp Taco and Beef Taco ($1.99 each). Despite the 10 minute wait to order and the 25 minute wait for food, this was the first truck that produced good food. I wish I ordered more food from this truck!

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e. World Fare’s side of Truffle Mac & Cheese Balls ($3.50?). BEST THING AT LB STREET FOOD FEST!

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f. Don Chow’s Taco Sampler ($6). I don’t remember anything about the tacos, except that after a couple of bites, I did not want to eat them anymore.

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3. I left LB Street Food Fest unsatisfied, but with a full stomach. I took a food coma induced nap in preparation for the next event, LA Street Food Fest.

4. I attended said LA Street Food Fest and ate my heart out. Forget the pictures, I just focused on eating everything in front of my face.


Lessons learned:
– LA Street Street Food Fest > Long Beach Street Food Fest
– Not all food trucks serve good food
– Long lines do not necessarily equate to good food
– Paying extra $$ for VIP is worth it
– Keep hydrated throughout the day, but drink as little as possible during the actual event in order to save room for food
– Sunscreen is my friend

I Exercise When I Want To

And during 4th of July weekend, I wanted to.

We rented some bikes and rode from the Santa Monica pier to Marina Del Rey. I wanted to go further, but we didn’t have enough time. The bike path at the beach is pretty cool to ride on, if you don’t mind people blatantly ignoring the “BIKE ONLY” rule. Either people think “BIKE ONLY” means anything with wheels (i.e. baby strollers) or they just don’t give a shit and think it’s a free-for-all walkway. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to suddenly break in order to avoid hitting people who decide to leisurely cross the bike path, oblivious to the fact that I’m less than 50 feet away.

Even though I was extremely sore from bike riding (note to self: adjusting the seat prior to riding is a MUST), I hiked a small part of the Mt. Wilson Trail the next day. This was my first time hiking this trail, so when I heard that people use this trail to train for Half Dome, I almost peed in my pants.

Because we started so late in the day (about 3PM), we had to turn back after the first stop. First Water Junction is located about 1.5 miles from the trailhead with an elevation gain of about 1000′. I found this to be a moderate hike given that it was pretty much a steady incline the whole way with some areas being steeper than others. What made this more challenging was the heat! I’m actually glad we didn’t start earlier since the sun would have been blazing down on us the entire time. Next time, I’m planning to hike to the summit of Mt. Wilson (7 miles, 5000′ elevation gain). I hope I live to blog about it.

Sunny Weekends

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I spent a few hours on Sunday at the Rose Bowl for the Flea Market. This event happens only once a month, every 2nd Sunday of the month to be exact. I should have checked the weather, but I was too lazy to, so I played it safe by wearing a light cardigan over a tube-top sundress. After walking only half way to the entrance from my parking spot, I had to take my cardigan off because it was so damn HOT! Well… bare shoulders + no sunscreen + blazing hot sun = not only a horrible sunburn that hurts on touch, but also a ridiculous tan line from my purse.

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The girls and I mainly looked at purses and shoes since these items were basically at every booth. After awhile, everything started looking the same to me. I did come home with a small black purse that was in great condition for only $15!


I’m on a Kayak!

I went down to Long Beach on Sunday expecting some fun in the sun out on the water… except there was no sun, which was totally bizarre since it was blazing hot on Saturday! You’d think that California weather would be more predictable, but lately it hasn’t been. Despite the lack of sun, I still had a blast.

We rented our single kayaks from Kayaks on the Water for $8/hr (pro-rated after the first hour). I’m sure the kayaks usually run out quickly, but since it was overcast that day, there were still some kayaks available for rent when we arrived. After we signed up, we were given some laminated maps and a brief description of the area. Then we were handed our life jackets and we picked out our paddles and kayaks. Simple as that, and we were off.

Of course I came prepared with my swimsuit bottom and boardshorts on, but unfortunately I did forget other necessities: a towel to dry off after a quick rinse and a change of clothes would have made me more comfortable during lunch. Sitting on wet bottoms = no bueno.

After our workout, we stuffed ourselves at Open Sesame, only a 5 minute drive away. Open Sesame is a Mediterranean restaurant that offers classics such as hummus/baba ghannouj, tabouleh, schwarma and kabobs. Seating is limited due to the small size of the restaurant and for those who want to know, there is only one bathroom. We waited about 20 minutes for a table – not bad for a Sunday afternoon. The prices are a bit steep for lunch (our entrees averaged about $15), but you definitely get more than enough food. All of the meats had great flavor and were cooked properly. I especially loved the spicy hummus. Yum!


I started developing heartburn about a year and a half ago, or at least that’s when I actually noticed. What started out as a painful burning sensation in my chest quickly progressed into waking up in the middle of the night with stomach pains. Yes, the Dr. confirmed, I was suffering from an ulcer. I was prescribed a medicine to reduce the production of acid in my stomach (Protonix) and ordered to follow a strict diet.

I am not supposed to eat/drink:

  • Spicy foods
  • Tomato-based sauces
  • Chocolate
  • Anything carbonated and caffeinated
  • Citrus fruits or drinks

I am supposed to:

  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly
  • Eat smaller meals, more frequently
  • Be relaxed at mealtime
  • Avoid eating within 3 hours of bedtime
  • Avoid NSAIDS
  • Avoid period of hunger and overeating

Have I followed these general guidelines religiously in order to save my health? No, and shame on me for not doing so. I drink tea everyday and soda/coffee a few times a week. I CANNOT give up spicy foods. I am guilty of falling asleep right after dinner. I eat my lunch while working and when it’s really busy, I don’t eat at all. So, it looks like I’ve broken EVERY single rule.

(picture found here)

Not surprisingly, my stomach started acting up recently – it was due time. I didn’t recognize the symptoms at first because somehow I never experienced another ulcer episode after the initial one; I thought I was just suffering from a bad case of food poisoning. I even made the mistake of eating an orange because I thought the citrus would “kill the bacteria”. Sometimes my logical reasoning baffles me.

Despite experiencing excruciating stomach pains for the 2nd time now, I’m still not sure if I can follow the rules. Hell, I even made mapo tofu for lunch last week. I don’t know whether I feel more guilty for breaking the rules or for not even trying to follow them.


After more than a decade of getting an average of 5 hours of sleep per night, my body has finally reached its breaking point. I’m currently in the process of reworking my daily schedule to accommodate 8 hours of sleep, meaning I have to stop sleeping at 1AM!

Since I’ve been sleeping earlier, Henry has been informing me about my sleeping habits. Apparently I like to toss and turn and wrestle my blanket. I don’t use my pillows and sometimes I end up laying diagonally on my bed.

Apparently, he finds this hilarious.

Doesn’t everybody sleep like this?

Down With The Sickness

I’ve been severely congested for the past few days. My nose is so red and raw from the constant need to shoot out snot, I look like Rudolph. I’m sure this is contagious so I probably shouldn’t have gone to work.

Not only have I been congested, I’ve also had muffled hearing in BOTH ears! I guess I’ve been taking my hearing for granted because I never realized how much it SUCKS to not be able to hear clearly. My boss freaked me out by telling me about his friend who started having muffled hearing one day and never regained full auditory capability. Needless to say, I b-lined to the nearest urgent care center. One look in my ears was all the doctor needed to diagnose me with… ear infections!

Really? Ear infection? How the heck did I get ear infections? The Dr. said it was caused by my prolonged sinus congestion, but I think it was a combination of that + the higher elevation in Mammoth. So, following Dr.’s orders, I’m currently drugged up on Sudafed (12 hour), Ibuprofen, Amoxicillin and Guaifenesin (Mucinex generic). Isn’t taking meds such a drag?

Well, looks like “March Madness” has turned to “March Sickness”.

Note to self: Take it easy, woman. You’re not in college anymore.

March Madness

March is definitely going to be a crazy month! This is what I have going on: Mammoth, Vegas, Mammoth .. in that order. Usually, I really look forward to sleeping in on the weekends, but I realized this morning that I won’t be able to sleep in on the weekends for the next three weeks. And by sleeping in, I do not mean getting into bed at 6am and sleeping until 12pm (likely the scenario in Vegas).

I haven’t been to Mammoth yet this season, so I can’t wait! It’s even more enticing since Mammoth has been getting dumped on these past few weeks (or this entire season practically). The weather has been quite cooperative; with all the snowfall we’ve been getting in So Cal, you can even go as far as to consider the conditions at the local mountains (Big Bear and Mt High) as being “great”. The weather man predicts that a snowstorm will hit while we’re in Mammoth this weekend. The last time I was there during a snowstorm, I was able to board all the way down to the gondola from my condo! AWESOME!!


Now, I just hope that the Vons in Mammoth has King’s Hawaiian Bread in stock because I’m dying to make my delicious hawaiian bread pudding.

Changing Priorities

I’ve canceled my subscriptions for Us Weekly and InStyle in favor of Cooking Light. Yes, you read correctly: Cooking Light. My last few purchases have been an All-Clad 12 inch fry pan, a Wusthof Classic 8 inch hollow-ground chef’s knife and a Wusthof honing steel. I stress not about my outfits for the week, but about my meals for the week. At this point in my life, I feel like I live and breathe food.

My love for food and cooking has evolved from calling 2 packets of beef flavored ramen a meal in college to creating and executing a 5 course meal this past Valentine’s Day. I’ve come a long way, to say the least.