Good For The Skin-Inside & Out

I heard through the family grapevine today that my maternal grandmother was resting at home after suffering from burn injuries. She was brewing up a huge pot of barley tea and she accidentally spilled it. She was taken to the hospital and now resting at my uncle’s house. After my grandfather passed away (10 years exactly in a few months), my grandmother moved to my uncle’s home in Paraguay.

Hearing that my grandmother burned herself really upset me…in addition to the physical pain, I know she’s hurting because she burned her carefully cherished skin.

I come from a long line of women who did their best to stay out of the sun, wear a hat or use a sun umbrella…and yet I’m the girl who loves to lay out and soak in the blistering rays… and makes secret, almost shameful (sunglasses + hat) runs to tanning salon to fake n’ burn in the winter.

I remember watching my mother when I was young, slowly massaging creams and lotions onto her skin, taking extra care around her eyes and neck, using the same circular motions with her two fingers the way my grandmother had taught her. All that care has apparently worked…my mother is Dorian Gray….or Regis Philbin!

I’m still pretty lackadaisical about skin care…I “forget” sunblock and will fall asleep wearing make-up (the direct result of over indulging in celebrations!).

However, now that I’m gettin’ a little long in the tooth 😦 , I’m putting much more thought into what I put on my face. In my teens it was Noxzema (I used to love that fresh clean smell), and Oil of Olay facial cream. Then I moved to St. Ives exfoliating scrub in my 20’s and Burts Bees Night Cream.

However over Thanksgiving, my aunt, who is a hair and make-up artiste 😉 in Charlotte, introduced me to a new skin care line, Atomy. Over the years, she’s tried to convert me to other products and I’ve resisted because I didn’t see much difference in using the $50 jar of cream over my tried and true Oil of Olay and  Burts Bees. Well, Jeez Louise…I’ve been converted. My skin has never looked better! It’s softer, looks younger and seems to glow. (I know I sound like a late-night infomercial! But I really mean it! This stuff is the best!)

It definitely costs way more than my old Oil of Olay…but I’m hooked. I can curse my aunt in my head when I call her to order more for my supply! 🙂

But even the best cleansers and creams can’t do all the work. Today was kind of a weird schedule day, so I ended up grabbing bags of chips and snacks throughout the day…the completely fried…not baked, not sweet potato, but the full-fat heart clogging kind. To make up for it though I have a pretty good supper shaping up!

Organic spring mix from Sam’s Club…much cheaper than at the grocery store – less than $5.00 for a huge carton! (I know there’s all the gripe about huge mega stores…but it sure is nice to look at motor oil and pick up veggies!)

Also picked up from Sam’s- 1lb 9oz for less than $5.00…it isn’t organic but at that price, it tastes pretty darn good in my salads and smoothies!

Both items play key parts in my salad-spring mix, blueberries, strawberries, cherry tomatoes and cukes!

And I’m going to fire up the pan and grill up this baby in like 2.5 seconds!

A piece of Tilapia (I cut it in half because it was too large) seasoned with black pepper and Mrs. Dash’s salt-free lemon pepper seasoning.

A completely healthy meal that’s low in fat, cholesterol, calories and definitely cheaper than a trip to some fast food joint! (And super quick!!)

I’m excited to eat, maybe do some hoola hooping (indoor as it’s rainy and dreary here in the ATL!) and then wait for the results of the New Hampshire primary!


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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Last week I went to the dealership to fix my car. Unfortunately, after they ran the diagnostic test they didn’t have the necessary parts. So today, it was a return trip to the dealer to have her serviced. In addition to fixing the issue with the airbag, she got her front brakes done…she’s had a mini facelift!

Yeah, the balloons really cheer up the waiting area. 😉

It took a few hours so I was really thankful that I had my iPod, some books and snacks. But kudos to the service department, especially Rodney! He gets a 10 for customer service!!

After leaving the dealership with a numb rear (I don’t have much junk in the trunk 😀 and those chairs are really hard! My a** has been sittin’ in a lot of hard chairs lately!), I went to look for some oil. That’s right oil, baby! Hahaha…not the fun kind but rather the motor kind.

Sam’s Club actually beats out Amazon!

Finally came home for a really late late lunch/early bird dinner!

Castle is on tonight!!!

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Update continued…

The best kept secret to buying fresh fruits and veggies without breaking the bank…the Asian Markets! On Sunday, I made the drive a few miles outside ATL to Duluth…the land of the Asian Supermarkets! My favorites are H Mart and the fairly new Mega Mart.

Mega Mart is operated in the same style as the E Marts in Seoul, Korea…it’s very clean and organized! I can get a bunch of kale for $0.99 each, Fuji apples (the Rolls Royce of apples!) for $0.99lb and heck, even live lobster for $8.99lb! Tons of fruits, veggies and seafood.


Great for the green smoothies!

Fuji apples…keep in the refrigerator for an amazingly crunchy sweet snack.

Cilantro…3 bunches for $0.99!

Kaboucha squash…one of my favorites. Will definitely need to dedicate a post to it!

Hello Sebastian!

Little ladies like this all over the store, selling food and giving out tons of food samples! Seriously, you can just go and take a tour of the Mart and fill up on the samples!! 😀

H Mart is a bit older but still nice. The produce section is designed to almost look like Whole Foods.

Even the organic produce is much cheaper!

Fresh Tofu…does a body good!

Korean pears…yummmm!

Thank you Jesus!

The rest of the day was spent watching FOOTBALL! And the above statement applies to Tebow and Denver…what a game!!

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Whew! Things have been a little nutty! My computer got hurt…he’s been sick before by one virus or another…but this time he broke bones! His battery cord broke….worn out due to age (he’s ancient in laptop years!). Luckily, I was able to order a replacement through Amazon at a super cheap price. I heart Amazon!

D is working perfectly now so I’m good to go! Yeay! But instead of posting for every day that I’ve missed, I’ve just condensed the posts to two.

On Friday, I was able to finally catch up with my little sis Jess…no, she’s not a blood relative but she’s definitely family. We were fated to meet and become friends.

‘Tis quite a tale…

A few years ago, I was crushing on Wisconsin J… a Matthew McConaughey/Owen Wilson lookalike. He was/is (…the dude’s not dead!) cute and fun, with a whole lotta brains. He also had major game! 😉 At the time, I was working in the heart of Buckhead and one Friday I decided to do a little shopping at a boutique around the corner from my office. The store was empty except for one brunette. She and I were looking at all the same clothes and even left the store together…and our cars were parked right next to each other.

Fast forward a few hours…and we both ended up at the same bar! She and another girl introduced themselves…they were also friends of Wisconsin J! Oh what a small world!

We started with a girls night and ended up family! I will forever be thankful to Wisconsin J for introducing me to one of the best girlfriends anyone could ever have! The dude has the most awesome taste in women! 🙂 (He, or rather his crew, actually kinda introduced me to my other best friend as well.)

Side note: Wisconsin J really is a super cool guy (Jedi Master! Hahaha) and we’re all friends!

So that is the story of how Miss Jess became my little sister!

Anyway, this past Friday she came over with her favorite man Jack and a bottle of Coke but… he was quickly forgotten for Mr. Miller! 😉

(Trader Joe’s Chianti Salami, gluten-free crackers, Trader Joe’s Hummus, Trader Joe’s corn chips, veggies and Baked Ruffles.)

We did some light snacking and some heavy drinking and chatting…a perfect way to start off the weekend!

Saturday was spent working off the beer and watching some sports!

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E.T Skype Home

I remember when my family first moved back to the States from Seoul, a phone call to family would be a series of “Hello, is this ___________? It’s __________! Can you hear us? Yes I can hear you! How are you? Good! Well, we have to go, love you, bye!” The phone would be placed back with a sigh and a “well it was good to hear their voice” would be said by my parents. The reason? International calls cost an arm, a leg and a kidney!

Now there are so many ways to make free or super cheap calls to anywhere in the world. There’s Tango, Textfree, Whistle, Skype or tons of others! And forget about voice calls, we are mostly video baby! 😉

This morning I woke up and was able to hear my brother’s voice coming out of the computer. My little brother (rephrase: younger brother…he’s taller and definitely bigger than me now!) lives several thousands of miles away but thanks to Skype I can have my cup of joe in the morning while he’s sipping on a cold one! I’ve been able to take an MTV Cribs type of tour of his apartment while sitting in my living room! 😀

This morning’s hot topic: the new couch. Not just any couch but one where the end seats recline. Yes, I do realize that for the Architecture Digest crowd, a reclining couch is sooo not it. But for a 28-year-old guy coming home after work, being able to lazy back and relax in front of the flat screen…well it’s just short of heaven on earth!

After the chat, I slurped down a green smoothie made with kale, spinach, blueberries, apples and water. It sounds kinda nasty, looks kinda nasty but tastes really yummy!

Okay…I may be exaggerating a little…it’ll never taste like a mocha caramel frappaccino…but the taste isn’t that bad and blended in the right amounts, the taste of apple is most prominent. And the health benefits are AMAZING! (I wish there was a way to have that word read in the “Oprah” voice!) Unlike juicing you still have the nice fibrous bits to scoop and eat with a spoon.

Like an athlete preparing for the big game; I was hydrated, nourished and mentally in the zone to cross out a dreaded to-do off my list. I was prepared for my mission into the deep dark dreaded depths of Dante’s inferno…a federal gov’s bureaucratic branch office…the office of the Social Security Administration.

I’ve spent the last few years moving a lot…which finally resulted in the misplacement of my SS card. I know I can request it via mail, but I feel much better just going and getting it done. (Much more satisfaction in checking it off my list! Hahaha!)

I was ready for the long lines, dreary people and customer no-service. I packed a book in my purse and headed out expecting to waste the entire morning sitting in a hard chair. And…

I wasn’t disappointed. I couldn’t even put on my IPod headphones to space out because the numbers were called over the intercom (is it 1995 in here?!).

At least it’s done and in about two weeks I’ll have my new card.

I was very happy to go to they gym today. I needed to burn off some stress! I did a 30 minute light jog on the treadmill and then…I did my new favorite workout! The Tabata!

It’s a 4 minute workout that consists of running (or any other cardio activity) as fast as possible for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds, then repeating the activity for 20 seconds, resting for 10, etc. The program was developed by Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., a former researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, for the Japanese National speed skating team.

It sounds really easy, but it kicks a**! The 20 seconds has to be done at the highest level of intensity. I felt completely wiped out afterwards and could barely stand straight!

I came home to a hot hot hot shower. And am about to start on some good eats; baked kobocha squash, grilled tofu with mushrooms, broccoli, and red peppers! Yum yum!

After supper I plan to read a bit and then watch something/anything on TV! (Maybe with a glass of wine!)

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It Never Hurts To Ask

One of the things on my to-do list for this week was to take my car to the mechanic; in the beginning of December the airbag light lit up like rudolph’s red nose…and stayed lit. I took it by the dealership once before Christmas and found out that my car was just this past the warranty. They were going to charge me $69.99 for the diagnostic test which I wouldn’t have to pay if I got the repairs. I was told that the repairs could be anything that would range from $300 to $3,000…I wasn’t too happy.

In fact, I was quite livid…nothing irks me more than when something breaks right when the warranty ends. I feel gypped! 😦

Well, with it being the busy holiday season of shopping, eating and drinking, I didn’t put much thought into fixing it before Christmas. I did however, begin to email the automotive company’s corporate officers and the consumer affairs department to relay my grievances. (I even followed up with emails while laying out in the warm Miami sun!)

Well hello 2012, hello Paul (my mechanic).  I took it to him yesterday to run a diagnostic test and I was supposed to take my car to him today to have it fixed… but then I got the call. A representative from corporate said that he would call the dealership and have them fix it for free as a one time good will act. Yipeeee! Hallelujah!  🙂 I’m doing the happy dance!!

Now I’m in a smiley happy place and beginning to make supper (in the South!)/dinner. After a month of overindulging on comforting delicious hips-spanning foods, I’ve returned to eating my normal diet. But, today I’m adding something new! (My friends know I love to try new foods…and I luck out 50% of the time! Hahaha!) Today’s new arrival is a sesame ginger salad dressing by Walden Farms. I was at Kroger looking for a new salad dressing and this one looked really interesting. It’s cholesterol free, carbohydrate free, sugar-free, fat-free, calorie free and most importantly gluten free…I’m hoping it isn’t taste-free. (I’m a bit doubtful about the taste of anything that is calorie free.) I’m making a humongous salad with organic spring mix, cherry tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, walnuts and a large glug of the dressing!

After supper I’m planning on settling down in my comfy flannel pj’s (it’s a freezing 34 degrees  today!) and begin reading my new book! I’ve decided to re-read the classics this year. Most of the books that I read in high school and college are just a hazy memory. So I dug out some old books and I’m starting with my slightly torn copy of Frankenstein. (Hahaha and if you look closely you can see a part of my thumb in the picture!)

Hopefully, I’ll be done with this one soon!

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Hello World!

I decided to start this blog as a way for me to stay focused this year. I’ve realized that the past few years I’ve been coasting by….which as fun as it’s been, it’s time for me to get a bit more serious.  But as a last hoorah I spent New Years in lovely Miami surrounded by fun friends, old and new. It brought back many fun memories of times spent on warm waters during cold winters!

I had a great 2007 after spending it in Miami so I’m crossing my fingers that this will be a big year as well!

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