10 Things I’m Loving Lately (part 1)

Having gained some inspiration from an OhSheGlows recent post on the 8 things she’s loving recently, I’ve decided to do my own version.  Now, since I have a thing with numbers, I preferred posting 10 things I’m loving, as opposed to 8.  Hope you don’t mind!

1.) Great weather

Now this is a no brainer for the number one thing that I’m loving lately.  And sorry to all you folks who don’t live in California where the weather is pretty much perfect all of the time!  But come spring, Los Angeles really becomes the most lovely place around.  Long afternoons, 70 degrees at all times, a light breeze, the flowers are blooming-it’s great!  I’ve been feeling extra appreciative on my early morning runs for how beautiful the weather has been, not too cold, not too warm, and some amazing views to top it off.

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2.) Costco, Sprouts, and grocery shopping in general

If you don’t know me personally, I better start off by saying that my all time favorite activity, apart from eating and running of course, is grocery shopping.  I could absolutely be a contestant on Supermarket Sweep and I would win in a breeze.  Unfortunately, I’m a dirt poor student so I don’t always (never) have the disposable income to visit fancy food purveyors such as Costco, Sprouts, or Whole Foods. However, spring means spring break.  And spring break means going grocery shopping with mom and/or my sweetheart and slipping the occasional luxury item into the cart.

How did that get there?  Sure, I’ll take the $6 organic, fair trade, coconut-butter-peanut-butter spread!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m an independent, self-sufficient gal, so I’m still footing the bill for the great majority of what I eat.  But in addition to sneaking the rare fancy food into someones cart, spring has generally gotten me even more stoked about grocery shopping than usual.

Everything is in season, and everything tastes great!  So even my non-organic, sale kale tastes fresh and delish.

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This is my dream

3.) The Desert

Most specifically, the Mojave and Colorado Deserts.  I recently visited Desert Hot Springs and spent most of my time in Joshua Tree.  There is something so mystical and cleansing about Joshua Tree.  This is a national park that is like no where else you have ever been.  I felt like I was on Mars and I never wanted to leave! And no, I didn’t eat any mysterious cacti or anything of the sort, it was just a super cool place!

In addition to spending my days hiking, I also made sure to put in a lot of good hours by the pool.  My sweetheart and I stayed at the Sagewater Spa, which is the most darling small, but luxury motel.  Our room had a kitchen so we were able to make most all of our own meals.  The owner was beyond welcoming, and made us feel like we weren’t staying at a spa hotel, but rather, living in our own dream residence.  Did that sound too hippy dippy?

Anyhow, this is a very modern, relaxing place to stay.  I love Desert Hot Springs because unlike Palm Springs, there’s nothing to do!!! I loved not hearing any traffic, and not having anywhere to go or see. Very relaxing.

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Can you spot me?

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If you were wondering, that’s a Joshua Tree!

4.) Mediterranean Food

I’m going to be honest, it took me quite a few tries to actually spell that correctly. Back to the point though.

Spring weather makes me want to eat fresh food with tons of herbs.  Now, this pretty much sums up Mediterranean food, and it’s been tasting even more delicious than usual lately!

This evening I whipped myself up a Mediterranean salad made up of cucumber, fresh tomato (I finally learned how to properly core a tomato! Thanks YouTube!), Kalamata olives, red onion, cashew feta, PLUS dill, oregano, thyme, lemon, and of course, salt.  Are you hungry yet?

I got this recipe from the Vegan Eats World cookbook by Terry Hope Romero.  Now, if you’re a fan of the end all be all cookbook, Veganomicon, you will have recognized that name.  Terry is a co-author with Isa Chandra on several of the best vegan cookbooks out there.  So if you’re looking for somewhere to start with vegan cooking, look for those names!

5.) Jillian Michaels DVDs

As I mentioned previously, I’m on spring break.  So this means that I actually have time to work out! YIPPEEE!!!! I’ve gotten back into doing Jillian Michaels DVDs post-run to get my post-marathon muscles back in working shape.  For whatever reason, I’m always a bit hesitant to do weight bearing exercises while training for a marathon, so I’ve neglected my poor muscles for the past 6 months.  Thanks to Jillian (we’re on a first name basis now), I get the opportunity to gleefully suffer for 30mins-1 hour daily!  And no one gets me in better shape than her.

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OK. So I know that was just 5, but there are 5 more to come tomorrow.  It’s already 10:20pm, so that means I’m already up an hour past bedtime! Wish I was kidding

Ciao for now! 🙂

Winnie and Timmie (not pictured) are not included in my 10 things I'm loving this spring, because I love them so much already!  I love them through all seasons.  You'll quickly come to learn how obsessed I am with these pups.  Isn't she cute!?

Winnie and Timmie (not pictured) are not included in my 10 things I’m loving this spring, because I love them so much already! I love them through all seasons. You’ll quickly come to learn how obsessed I am with these pups. Isn’t she cute!?

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