Monthly Archives: July 2013

Daytripping in the LA Fairfax District

Lacma

Over the 4th of July weekend, my daughter & I had the opportunity to go into “the city” for a Mommy & Me day. My husband had to work that Saturday, so I thought – let’s explore LA!

We started off with a visit to Fonuts. This is a specialty donut shop that bakes their donuts instead of the traditional frying. They have vegan & gluten-free donuts, as well as some specialty flavors like Chorizo Cheddar, Blueberry Earl Grey, Coconut Passion Fruit, Salted Caramel & Maple Bacon.

Fonuts

After we got our sweet treat fix, we headed to Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). There is so much to see, both indoors & out. One of our favorites is to visit the Boone Children’s Gallery where your kids can paint & read books.

Lights

Of course, no visit would be complete without seeing the famous Levitated Mass!

Rock

If you have a child 17 years old or younger, make sure to sign them up for Arts For NexGen LACMA. It’s a free membership & enables your child to go into the museum for free. Also each NexGen member can bring one adult guest into the museum for free. What a great deal!

After we visited LACMA, we walked next door to the La Brea Tar Pits. My daughter was content to just look at the tar pits from the outside, so we opted to not go into the museum. Perhaps next time…

Pits

After all of that culture, we decided to head over to The Grove for a quick visit to Barnes & Noble. We’ve been to The Grove many times, so we decided to skip the usual visits to the Farmers Market, trolley & dancing fountains. Our focus was just on going to the bookstore. Tip: Remember to get your ticket validated, as the first 2 hours are free with validation.

TheGrove

There is so much to see & do in Los Angeles! Sometimes the best visits are in your own backyard.

My Essentials

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There are certain things that I cannot live without, especially now that I’m a mom. First up – coffee! I try to limit myself to one cup of caffeine a day, whether it is coffee or a Diet Coke. Anything more & then I get too jittery. However, I need at least one drink to help me power through my day. Plus it enables me to keep up with my kid.

I typically get a Starbucks skinny vanilla latte, but I’ll also go to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for their tea latte drinks. Usually I go to Starbucks though because they are easier to find (hello, on every corner) AND because I’m a gold card member.

The other must have for me are Wet Wipes. I keep a canister in my car & a pack in my purse. If I’m not wiping my daughter’s hands after she eats something messy, then I’m using it on my hands after I pump some gas. How can you not wash your hands after you touch that filthy handle?

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I exercise a lot & one thing I NEED to have is good workout shoes. I like running shoes with good support, otherwise my heel or the arch of my foot start to hurt. I like to buy shoes with a little pop of color.

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Now that the summer months are upon us, I make sure to drink plenty of water. After a while though, I get tired of the “non-taste.” Occasionally I will put lemon slices in it. My latest obsession though is Mio. It’s liquid drops of heaven for your water! Ok, that may be an exaggeration but I think it is pretty neat. Think of it as a “next-level” version of Crystal Light. The best part is that it is zero calories!

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Lastly, one of the coolest things that I have bought recently is my Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation. This tiny thing can charge my smartphone, my Kindle, hubby’s iPad & my iTouch. Since we are always on the go during the summertime, I just throw this in my handbag. I like to follow the ABC rule (always be charging). Now there is no need to worry if I’m not near an outlet or can’t use my car charger!

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How about you? What are your essentials & must haves? I would love to hear from you, so please sound off in the comment section below!

Strong is the New Skinny

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Confession: I am a gym rat. There have been periods in my life where I stopped going to the gym – pregnancy, stressful job, etc. However, in general, I live for going to the gym.

Let’s back up a bit… Back in high school, my fitness goals had less to do with being healthy & more to do about losing weight. Let’s just say that the scale has not been my friend since 11th grade. Lol…

Since then, my position has evolved towards the goal of being healthy, fit & physically challenged. I feel better (both physically & mentally) after a good workout. Last year, during the weeks & months where I could barely make it to the gym once or twice a week, I felt sluggish & tired. I decided in late March of this year to make a change & have started hitting the gym 3-4 times a week.

My latest obsession is TRX, which is a form of resistance training that uses your own bodyweight. It is a total core workout, while also strengthening your arms, chest & legs. I did stand-up paddleboarding for the first time in Hawaii last month & everyone told me that I would be sore the next day. To prep for this, I did TRX once or twice a week & did push-ups and plank exercises. To my amazement, I was not sore the day after my SUP experience!

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Once in a while, I do exercise outdoors. One thing I like to do is hike. Being that I live in LA, there are many, many outdoor trails to choose from. My favorite one is the trail in Griffith Park, starting from the base of Fern Dell Drive. I like to take the trail up to the Griffith Observatory. There are gorgeous views along the way of the Hollywood sign & downtown LA.

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The best part of the hike is the reward at the end. I like to hit up Trails Cafe on Fern Dell Drive. They have yummy scones, coffee & teas. My favorite though is the avocado sandwich! Vegetarians take note: this sandwich has sprouts, tomatoes, cheese & soy bacon bits! Heaven…

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Do you have a fitness routine? What is your favorite exercise? I would love to hear from you, so please sound off in the comment section below!

Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

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Later in the year, I will be celebrating a milestone birthday. Yep, I’m turning 40! While that may seem daunting to some, I’m actually feeling better about it than when I turned 30. There’s a R&B song titled “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” & in my opinion that’s a good phrase to live by.

I started this summer with the intention of doing new things that I’ve never tried, sort of like a bucket list. I’ve always wanted to try paddleboarding & while we were in Hawaii last month, I finally got my chance to try stand-up paddleboarding. I loved it!

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I’ve decided to embrace the fact that I am turning 40 – own it, embrace it, lean into it, love it, etc. There’s no point in mourning the fact that I am not in my 30’s anymore. I’m actually glad to get out of that decade! When I was 29 years old, I had set up so many goals & expectations of where I wanted to be when I was in my 30’s – both career & personal goals. Some were met, others were not.

Rather than setting fixed goals this time around (and then beating myself up for not meeting these said goals), I’ve decided to reframe how I look at these things. At this point, I feel better about setting intentions.

What do I mean by “intention?” An intention is to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct your energy & focus towards something or to aim. I like to think of it as a floating goal. For instance, one of my intentions is to do a 5K this year. Now if I had a fixed goal of doing a 5K, then I would say – I’m doing a 5K on July 27th & I’m going to meet or beat my run time from 2009. (Phew…) That’s exhausting just thinking & writing about it. I’m just going work on my exercise/fitness plans & if the right 5K race comes along, I’ll sign up. Easy, peasy…

What say you? How do you feel about approaching a milestone birthday? Did you set up goals for yourself, take stock in your life, etc. or did you just throw yourself a fabulous party, relax & lean into it? Share your response in the comments section below!