wan-na find something?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

happy leap day!

i'm going to disneyland!!

shocking, i know.  but it's all i can focus on.  the park is open for a full 24 hours, and the teen and i are totally going to take advantage.

what are you doing today?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

everything's better when it's free

after the 5K run i did back in november, i found out that there's a running club based near me that meets twice a week for training runs on local trails and at azusa pacific university's track.  so i "liked" their facebook page and got some great tips and advice from the posters.

then on friday, as i was perusing my facebook feed, something caught my eye:  one of the guys posted that he had a handful of complimentary entries first-come, first-served for a fun-sounding 8K run in brea.  i knew we didn't have anything planned that day, and so i dropped him a message to see if there were any left.

well, you know where this is going.

bright and early on sunday morning, i dragged my sleepy ass up out of the warm bed, busted out my sparkly running skirt, and got myself ready for a fun morning.  it was foggy when i left the house, and didn't clear up much as i headed south.  as i found myself a parking spot at the brea mall and headed out towards the start of the race, it was chilly and overcast.

i managed to find the group after a few circles around the parking lot where various local businesses were setting up tents and displays.  the others who'd claimed the comped tickets were sporting headbands and tees from a "tough mudder" obstacle course they'd done the day before, and did i feel intimidated?

well, hell yes i did.  but the group was super friendly and welcoming, and my awkwardness left me quickly.  we went through the registration process, claimed our bibs, hit the port-o-potties, and warmed up for the run together.  okay, we didn't actually go potty together, but you get it.  and at this race, the timing chips weren't attached to the back of the bibs like the other runs i've done.  instead, it was a little plastic piece that i attached to my shoe with a couple of little zip-ties.  and yes, i still have the pompoms on my shoes.  don't judge.

i didn't even have to ask for this - one of the guys volunteered to take it for me.

start line.

as the gun went off and the race began, i found myself again propelled by the crowd and the rush of adrenaline from being around other runners.  uh, i may have kept myself going by focusing on the kids who were sprinting ahead of me without stopping or slowing down.  i'm talking little kids here, people. and not even that - there were dogs who were smoking my ass.

along the course there were lots of cheering spectators and representatives from brea olinda high school (this run is the annual fundraiser for their music department).

lots of law enforcement from brea and neighboring cities in full effect to keep everyone in line and direct traffic as needed.  and if the barrage of cops didn't tip you off, there were signs like this where the streets were open in the opposite direction of the runners:

there's also a costume contest.  this guy was obviously in it to win it.  check out those bare feet, even.  cah-razy.

a welcome sight.

and even more so:

i was super duper stoked to see this looming ahead of me.

this is my clock time.  according to the official results page, though, my chip time was 51:51.  i'm quite satisfied with this, especially since i took more than a couple walk breaks.

here's the real reason a lot of people love this run - they bill themselves as having "orange county's finest finish line."  and sorry to the chick whose head i caught in this shot.  hey, at least i cropped it.

since the winners of the race came in somewhere around 28 minutes (ha!) with a whole lot of other folks right behind them, the food court was already quite the hotbed of activity by the time i arrived.  lines were forming, and they were looooong.

for some reason, aside from grabbing some hydration from this giant fort o'water:

i found myself drawn towards this tent for a smoothie.

it was dairy-free strawberry banana.  not my favorite, but beggars can't be choosers and i gulped it down with a grimace.

olive garden is also not a favorite of mine, but the pasta salad they were handing out was pretty tasty.

i found my new running friends, who were happily munching away on the grub, and steered me towards the rubio's table.  the smell coming from their grill was mouthwatering, and if it weren't for the super long line i would've gone back for seconds.

at the california pizza kitchen tent, we had our choice between the thai crunchy salad and their original bbq chicken salad.  i opted for the latter.

by then, i was ready for dessert.

but it was a little too much, so i capped it off with a sliver of pizza from bj's.

"are you eating one of everything?" asked the hub via text.  well, i didn't - but i came pretty damn close.

not bad for a last-minute freebie run, eh?  and now i have another bib to add to my growing collection!  i've now run a 5K, an 8K, a half marathon, and a 5.3-mile bridge race.  whee!

Monday, February 27, 2012

two birds, one stone

because we hadn't seen g-wan (the hub's paternal grandma) since before christmas, we decided to take advantage of a rare day off for the hub and drove up to see her.  she lives up in big bear, so we were in for a scenic ride and a nice visit.

since i knew it would be a fairly lengthy drive, i decided to capitalize on the time sitting on my ass and get a little pinteractive.  i'd bought the materials to make a new wreath (since, of course, the valentine's one was so two weeks ago and put away), and figured i could probably get through the assembly as i sat there in the passenger seat.

yeah, my camera focused on everything in the shot except the foam base i was actually going for.  oh, well.

i'd bought 1/4 yard of four different st. patrick's day-themed fabrics, and as we filled up at the gas station (not a cheap stop by any means - good gracious, over $4 a gallon!), i cut it all up into strips of various widths.

following the instructions - which were ridiculously simple, by the way - i got to work on tying strips around the base.  and way before we'd arrived at our destination, i'd made my way around the entire thing.

so i settled back and watched the pretty scenery out the window.

when we got to g-wan's house, the bean was stoked to find that there was fresh snow to play in.  the hub and i had thought that there wasn't much of the fluffy stuff around and didn't bring stuff like her boots or another pair of pants to change into, but there's no stopping a 4-year-old when there's something as fun as snow to jump in.

she totally throws like a girl.

luckily, it was nice and warm inside the house.

and she was thrilled to play with pebbles, g-wan's rather spoiled and somewhat temperamental yorkie.  it'd been a while since we'd seen her, and i was rather startled to see how much weight this dog's put on.

anyway, we had a lovely visit and treated g-wan to a nice lunch at one of her favorite joints in town.  it was nice to see her, and she seemed pleased at our visit.  we really need to get up there more often.

back at home, i put my wreath up on the mantel.  it looks a little...sparse, though.  i think i need to add more strips, or perhaps some sort of sparkly shamrock embellishment.  in any case, i have a shitton of strips left over.  i could probably make another wreath with it all - hell, maybe even two.


Friday, February 24, 2012

hip hop and pop

there are no words to describe the fun that the bean and i had when we saw the fresh beat band in concert last weekend.  seriously, we had such a blast and i hope she actually remembers it as she gets older.

but that's what this blog is for, right?  although i'm sure i'll be in some major trouble when she gets a gander at some of the pictures i've shared here.  heh.  oh, well.  that's okay.

anyway, i'd put off telling her about going to the concert until just a few days before - mostly so i wouldn't have to field "is it time to go see the fresh beat band YET?" queries every five minutes or so.  even though i was working on her kiki costume in bits and pieces over the last few weeks, she didn't really pick up on it.  but it dawned on her as she was twirling in joy over the news - "mommy!  i can wear my kick-ee (which is how she pronounces "kiki") costume. AND MY ROCK STAR JACKET TOO!"  hilarious.

a pre-show photo.  yes, she dug out that microphone and said she had to bring it along.  and i sure wasn't gonna argue with her.  she wasn't thrilled with that headband, though.  "it doesn't have holes in it like the one that kick-ee wears, mom.  it's not the same!"  oy vey.  she IS my kid. 

since club nokia is right by staples center, we got stuck in that inevitable downtown l.a. traffic.  ugh.  "mommy, the fresh beat band is far far away from our house!"  indeed.  but we finally arrived, found a parking spot in the garage right underneath the venue, and found the table to check in for the afterparty right at the top of the stairs.

yup, i said afterparty.  i'd stumbled upon the opportunity to upgrade our tickets to include a dance party after the show, healthy snacks, and a meet & greet with the fresh beats themselves.  and i couldn't pass it up - after all, she had to show kick-ee her awesome ensemble, right?  so i coughed up the last of my fun money i had stashed away (i'd planned on buying some cute shoes and maybe a couple of new pieces for my spring wardrobe, but this was more important) and did a twirl of my own in anticipation of the bean's reaction to it all.  yeah, she's met them once before - but now, two years later, she's actually a huge fan and knows all of the songs and stuff.  most excellent.

even though we'd left the house later than i'd wanted to, we still managed to get to our seats in plenty of time.  and happily, we were right in the center and had a pretty good view.  the venue is rather small anyway, so it seemed that any seat was a good one.

along with those lanyards, we'd been given posters of the band, wristbands for entry into the afterparty, and a note in the monkey's favorite font with more information on what to expect.

about ten minutes after we'd sat down, the lights went down and it was showtime.

the bean was so fun to watch.  she sang with gusto into that microphone, took off the rock star jacket when she worked up a sweat, and rushed to put it back on when it was time for that particular song.

i'm not gonna lie - i was having a great time too.  we'd bought the CD of their music the moment it came out and it'd been on continuous loop in the car for the last couple of weeks.

my friend kelley and i had bought our tickets together to take the kids, but she ended up being called away for business.  happily, her husband g was able to juggle his plans around and bring li'l d.

all too soon, it was over.

as we made our way out of the arena, we ran into someone familiar - patrick levis, the actor who plays "reed" on "the fresh beat band."  i never really paid attention before, but he's super cute in person.  he was really nice to the bean and chatted with us for a few minutes before we headed into the party.

the healthy snacks were in buckets on the bar - oat bran pretzels, apple chips, and water.

there were fun activities for the kids to keep them happy as they waited for their turn to meet the band.

we managed to get into the second group of folks for the meet & greet.

a couple of the backup dancers bounced out and showed the kids some of the choreography for one of the band's songs.  it was fun watching the bean follow along (and she did a pretty darn good job, too).

our turn to get in line for our photo op with the band came pretty quickly.  and as we waited, i took note of the rules:

the bean walked up shyly towards them and tara perry, who plays "marina," gave her a big grin and playfully told her "oh my goodness, i thought kiki was sitting over here!  you look just like her!" my girl beamed at her and gave her a big ol' hug, high-fived thomas hobson, who plays "shout," and then stood right in front of "kiki" herself, yvette gonzales-nacer.

aaaaand here's the money shot:

by the way - those rules?  so not enforced.  because i managed to snag this:

oh, that twist (otherwise known as jon beavers.  yeah, yeah, i know).  such a cutie.  and i'm totally not a creep, because i later found out that he's 30.

well, yeah.  there's the fact that i googled him when i got home to get that information.  huh.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...