Best of the Rest

of Saturday!

After brunch I hit the Santa Monica Farmers Market.

The farmers market was awesome! I got all my veggies and fruits for $19! This included: potatoes, kale, avocado, 2 tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, pepper, green beans, and cherries. Yum!

When I got home I had a salad with some chicken curry salad from Coral Tree Cafe. I gave some to Catie as a house warming present and she said it was really good so I decided to try it for myself! I put the chicken salad on top of an arugula salad, purple carrots, and green pepper (all FM buys!)

I LOVE the contrast of the purple carrots and the curry chicken salad. It was a delicious late lunch.

I went to Whole Foods earlier today (where they have 17 flavors of Larabars!) and stocked up. Before my run I had 1/2 of a Gingersnap flavored larabar.

Then I went on a 4.1 mile run which was good.

I haven’t gone to yoga this week and my hip is angry with me. I should have stretched more. I probably only ran just short of 4 miles. Today I read Runners World and they were talking about the importance of hills. My run is already very hilly so I felt good about that. RW said that you should push to run faster on the downhills and I incorporated that into my run. After my run I finished the larabar.

Then I relaxed until dinner. Dinner was roasted veggies with a multigrain pilaf.

I love Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pilaf because there are only a few ingredients and I know what all of them are and its well spiced. How can you argue with that? While cooking I snacked on this…

Cook the pilaf and combine with veggies.

Dinner! Tons of fiber in this meal so its super filling and everyone knows how I love a roasted veggie.

After dinner I noshed on a Z Bar. These were recommended to me by Carolyn, my fitness foodie friend, who said they tasted just like a cookie and were only 130 calories. Clearly I had to check this out. First, I checked the label to make sure that it was made of ingredients that I knew what they are and the calorie and sugar count. I figured if Carolyn likes them then there probably good for me.I decided to dig in.

It DOES taste just like a cookie! This was wonderful and I will be buying again. It was kinda like raw cookie dough with oats. I love oats, cookies and chocolate. All together was pretty much amazing.

Night readers!

Dream it, do it

Hey blog readers!

Before I get started, I went on a 4.1 mile run today and it was glorious. It was fast and I felt strong. Love that feeling. Nothing feels better than how strong my body feels.

Warning, this post is more “true life” than I typically post. I like to keep a barrier between my personal life and my blog life. For example, I don’t blog about my job, details of my classes or too too much about my friends (name dropping, maybe more but not much). It is a life style blog not my personal diary.

But today I make an exception because I think it’s important. Because I’ve read things like this in the past and its inspired me, so hopefully it will inspire someone else. This is something I never talked about out of fear that people would think I wasn’t smart, good enough, or worthy. But I know that’s not true and I think others should know it too. I’ve also been pretty open about this since my “She is Simmons” article was published last year and focused almost entirely on this issue.

The story starts in 1994.

I struggled academically a great deal when I was in elementary school. I didn’t know which way “b” and “d” faced. I couldn’t spell simple words like “like”. I actually spelled it “lick” until I was in third grade. My teachers and parents were concerned about me and eventually I was diagnosed with a learning disability and dyslexia.

I was deeply ashamed about my learning disability for many years. I tried to hide it from many people. I felt like I wasn’t “good” enough. I had separate classes for a few years, and support teachers, and extra supported study halls while I was in high school. Mostly I was very highly self conscious. And, I also worked hard. I was lucky to be in special ed classes with fantastic teachers and amazing resources, which not every student has access to (but they should). I had parents that supported me and were involved in my education. I had “IEP” tests every few years and had one in my junior year of high school.

On a pleasant June day after I had completed my junior year of high school I was informed that I no longer qualified for any special education accommodations. I remember feeling accomplished and validated. This is and will always be the proudest moment of my life.

In the time since then I have had so many blessings in my life. I went to the college of my choice. I did well there. I have been able to work at top research institutions, win fellowships, and be involved in leadership. I was able to apply to grad school, law school no less. Not just any law school but a fantastic law school. And I was accepted into my dream school where I wanted to pinch myself nearly daily to make sure that I wasn’t living some bizarre fantasy I dreamed up. And I didn’t fail out! I actually felt proud of my law school performance.

Today I got a letter from New Trier (my former high school) that because I graduated 5 years ago my special education record was going to be destroyed. My record did not follow me to Simmons and it did not follow me to UCLA and now it will be destroyed. There is no more academic record of my disability. Today I feel like I have come full circle. I cried tears of joy for how far I’ve come. And I have so many people to thanks. My teachers, parents and myself. Its important for me to remember. Writing a memo might be hard, but there was a time when I couldn’t spell the work “like”. THAT is how far you can go.

I suppose I share this story to say that after this year is was important for me to remember that no matter what is put in your path there is a way to overcome it. I feel very strongly that truly anybody can overcome any obstacle. Nothing can hold you down if you work hard, stay positive and believe in yourself. There was a time when I didn’t think I would be able to live this dream that I have had the privilege to experience. Nothing is impossible.

So where do the champs go when they have something to celebrate? Yogurtland!

Obviously I had yogurtland for dinner. You only have your Sp Ed filed destroyed once, right?

Your right yogurtland, I do rule!

Today I decided to try coconut, pistachio, and chocolate!

Then I hit it with some toppings! Strawberries, chocolate chips, gummy bears, moochi, and “celebration” sprinkles!

And obviously there was total domination…

Well, not exactly healthy, but I was due to celebrate a little bit. Another fact about today: I took the LSAT two years ago today. 🙂 I think June 16th might just be my lucky day! Thanks for listening bloggies!

go to The Kitchen!

Happy Tuesday!

I am so full right now! I met up with my uncle Joe and my uncle Danny for dinner in Silver Lake after work. Silver lake is the silver lining of my job location. I work only 15 mins away! Tonight went to Kitchen and had an amazing dinner.

Cool wall, huh? The inside of the restaurant is very minimal and they have this awesome round red booth that we got to sit in. There is a great menu featuring a mixture of appies, entrees (lots of delicious fish! I had to say no to salmon, I’ve been a bit of a salmon monster recently with the smoked salmon sandwich’s and stuffed salmon) and sandwiches.

So cool. This turned out to be a truly epic meal. We started with calamari. The calamari was chewy and just crispy enough.

For my entree I ordered a favorite of mine: Mussels with garlic, roasted red pepper and basil.

Holy moley do I love my mussels! I had no problem polishing these babies off. They were light, summery, garlicy and delightful! I also had a treat off of Joe’s plate, goat cheese latkes!!

and here is the money shot…

I mean, do I need to use words to describe this? Goat cheese, check! Potato, check! Fried, check! I love it.

And just when you think the meal is over…

flourless chocolate cake. and if that was not enough…

strawberry. shortcake. I mean… do I even need to leave a comment here? So delish. I love an extravagant meal. And I haven’t worked out today so this is just a calorie wash which is completely fine with me. Today I weighed myself and realized that I have lost 15 lbs since the beginning of the year. I can’t complain. I have races and healthy eats in my future… its all good. Oh, and btw- The Kitchen comes highly recommended from me!

JP Licks

No offense LA, but I like my ice cream to be real. Not that I don’t have a place in my heart for Yogurtland and Pinkberry, but sometimes you just want REAL ice cream. My favorite place in Boston for real ice cream is JP Licks. There are a number of locations in Boston. Carolyn and I went to JP Lick, Harvard Square between happy hours.

I always order the same thing at JP Licks. I know its lame, but why should I mess with perfection? I always get oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips. The oatmeal cookie has oatmeal which I love but also has a slight cinnamon aftertaste which makes it even more delicious. The chocolate chips make me feel like I’m eating an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (my favorite cookie!) It should be noted that this is a low fat hard yogurt so I suppose it isn’t really ice cream but its more like ice cream than tart yogurt!

YUM! This is for real my favorite ever! I could have it everyday all day. OK, maybe not all day but its soooo good. I need to have this more than once a year.

Carolyn didn’t love her selection so she went back for oatmeal cookie also, and it was much more satisfactory.

Wish I could have it all the time. More proof that I have to combine Boston and LA into one super city!

Sweet in Harvard Square

On Monday I had an awesome brunch at Henrietta’s Table in the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square with my college mentor the amazing Theresa Perry. Henrietta’s Table is fantastic! Everyone check it out. Also, it was great to talk with Theresa (or as my family and I call her, Saint Theresa). It reminded me why I went to law school and allowed me to mentally refocus on what is important to me: legal avenues to comprehensive public education reform.

After I met up with Carolyn and she lured me into Sweet in Harvard Square. Actually, I was a willing participant who only needed a little coaxing. And by little coaxing I mean she said, “Oh look, its Sweet!”

Frequent readers know that Sweet is one of my favorite cup cake places. They first opened in Back Bay on Massachusetts Ave. and have now expanded to Harvard Square. I opted for the old favorite the coconut chocolate cupcake.

Oh man do I love Sweet! Light cake deliciousness. The coconut is a temporary thing and I highly recommend it. Sometimes they use too much frosting for some, but this has less frosting and it is so good. Clearly holds its own with cupcake shops of LA.

Spending the Day with Shahrin

Last Saturday and Sunday I spent the “day” with Shahrin. Technically, it was two days but sadly only ended up being a little of 24 hours. We made the most of it though hitting Harvard Square, Sushi, watching numerous TV shows, feasting on her mom and aunts excellent cooking, getting pastries in the North End, and shopping in Faneuil Hall. Whew. Here is a short recap:

First things first, Shahrin gave me back my copy of Unaccustomed Earth and in it she had a spare key from my Boston apartment. Cool, huh? Then we had lunch. First thing you have to know is that the food at Shahrin’s house is always amazing. I had five pieces of fish when I arrived Saturday. On Sunday I had this eggplant:

The sauce is so good! You can always count on flavorful food when you visit Shahrin. We also enjoyed raspberry tea. The tea is loose leaf so Shahrin and I bought “tea balls” for the tea (insert inappropriate joke here).

Then we went to the North End and I took this picture of the Custom House. The last weekend my friends and I were in Boston together we stayed with our friend Catie there.

I remember when the big dig was going on and this whole area was a dirt hole. Now its really pretty with grass, trees, and fountains.

We went to a little cafe in the North End where we could get canolli and tiramisu. There is a lot of talk about Mike’s Pastry and I will be the first to tell you that Mike’s is good. However, Mike’s is also busy and not really any better than any other of the amazing North End cafes. We went to a cafe further down Hanover, the main drag, which was less crowded and has delicious pastries. I had a chocolate covered canolli

Shahrin had a tiramisu and of course we ate off each others plates

and then we had a latte and an espresso

I love the North End, or “Little Italy”. I snapped some pictures on my way to Quincy Market. Here we have Modern Pastry and Paul Revere’s house:

Then we went to Quincy Market where we indulged in a little shopping and we got drinks at Anthem. I really loved their drink selections but the service was a little bit slow. Shahrin had a ginger margarita and I had a sparkler, which is a pear compote with a prosecco.

We also took a photo shoot because we waited about 45 mins for our drinks:

Finally we got drinks!!

While the service left a lot to be desired the drinks were amazing. My sparkler was really light and very summer appropriate. I love a pear cocktail because its fruity but not sweet. I really don’t like overly sweet drinks. Pear is a good fresh flavor without being too much. I also love ginger so the margarita was delicious. Then it was about that time when we had to say good bye and we were sad…

I hate saying goodbye to that face! I really miss Shahrin. I was a little misty eyed on the T after I left. Shahrin is an amazing friend who would literally do anything for me if I wanted her to. She has always been there for me. She really is my hero. After I left Shahrin I went off to Allston to spend more time with Carolyn.

The Happiest Place on Earth

Today, David and I went to Disneyland. I went to Disneyland on my birthday last August (because I was able to get in for free) and I had been to Disneyland and Disney World on several occasions. David hadn’t been to Disneyland since 1995!

After a long trip on the freeway we arrived!!! Monday at Disneyland + it was overcast. There was almost no one there. Literally we walked right onto Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion with no wait. We also went to the pirate island (which was Swiss Family Robinson at one time- sadly no more). We only had to wait for 10 mins to get on the runaway train, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, It’s a Small World, and we waited 20 for the Matterhorn and  Space Mountain. After a few rides we got lunch. We ate at the Orleans Cafe, a lovely recommendation from Ms. Catie Shea who is a Disneyland aficionado.

My goal for this trip was to be healthy. There was a ton of walking all day which was good. I had ratatouille for lunch:

I could have made a worse choice. Disneyland has HUGE portions, but this was corn, tomato, asparagus and a mixture or zucchini, squash, eggplant and onion. There was a bit of cheese on top, and of course, whatever they cook this in adds calories. Overall, it was pretty good. David had a three cheese Monti Cristo, which is where healthy eating kinda died. I had a solid portion of his which was more desserty than anything. Luckily, I let it go and enjoyed the park. Sometimes, you eat unhealthy things. Crap happens. We enjoyed the park:

And then I snacked on pineapple “whip” from the tiki room fruit stand, which was the only snack I had in park!

Tomorrow David goes home to Chicago, and I will go to yoga. I ran on Saturday (2.5 ish miles with stair running). I’ve had two full days off minus some serious walking. Every day for the past three my feet have killed me after walking. I am excited to go to yoga and then Boston on Wednesday, which we all know will include some serious walking and health, right Carolyn?

New Car!

Sorry I didn’t blog yesterday, but I was busy getting this…

Yay! Proud owners of a 2006 Toyota Corolla! Yes, its used, but it’s in great condition and runs well. I went to carmax and it was super easy to get my car. Literally, test drove it and decided I liked it and drove it off the lot. I also went to Target and got a beach chair and stocked up on cat food. Bonus of having a car is that I can buy 24 cans of food at one time. The I drove home on the 101 to the 405 (I went 70, I felt like a 16 year old). I got off the freeway and drove directly to Susie Cakes.

Yum! I went on a run (which was something I hadn’t done for several days between finals and being hung over from celebrating finals). Then I enjoyed my cupcake. I got Mocha this time and it was really good. Super moist, but not as moist as the pineapple upside down cupcake.

Today I have a busy day planned: reading the New York Times, going to the library and donation yoga. I cannot wait to drive all over the city! This means great things for Left Coast Contessa!

#101 Finish 1L

I cannot believe this year is over! This has been a challenging year for me and I feel so accomplished now that its over. Nothing matches the feeling of taking on a challenge, working hard, and finishing the task. Of course, yesterday was a gorgeous LA day:

Seriously, I’m never leaving. I love that its almost always going to be a perfect day is LA.

We had our final from 1:15 til 4:45, then we were shuffled from the testing room directly to the courtyard for this…

and this…

I knew when I got the email that there would be cake after the final that I picked the right law school. I love UCLA because literally all I wanted after the final was cake and champagne. And of course there were picture.

And there were drinks…   Car bomb and margaritas and champagne oh my.

I have to admit that I’m a little sluggish this AM but that’s OK because I have NOTHING to do today. Well, actually not nothing. I have a pool party in the Valley to attend. But nothing that requires brain power. I have to get going but, UCLA LAW class of 2012, we did it!!

3 done, ONE TO GO!

Can you see it? The finish line is in my sights! There will probably not be any blogging here until Friday. I have my final final in two days (Civ Pro) and Thursday night will be a party night with no blogging. There are so many things I cannot wait to do after I’m done with finals:

  • Get a car
  • Read the Sunday New York Times
  • Go to the beach
  • Get a library card
  • Try a donation based yoga studio in Santa Monica
  • See my little bro, whose visiting LA a week from Thursday!

There is so much to look forward to, not to mention the huge feeling of relief when 1L ends. I mentioned getting back into yoga, and I definitely need to. My hips and knees have been really tight since I got back into running and are starting to hurt slightly. On my off running days I’m going to start going to yoga. Until I get my car I’m doing yoga from home. This presents a slight challenge:

Perhaps “play with Izzy” should be on my list of things to do. I get the feeling she is restless. And hungry. The past two nights she has started counter surfing and trying to eat a bag of bread. I almost always have some type of food on the kitchen counter and its never been an issue.I had to hide all the food!

As mentioned today I had a final. Then I went on an awesome run! My post final runs are always some of my best. After I had roasted brussle sprouts with multi grain pilaf. After I entered my calories into “Lose It!” I realized that with my food, minus the running and walking calories I burned, I still had 900 calories that I could consume. Obviously I went to the promise land:

And obviously I had no problem finishing it off:

Red velvet + chocolate = amazing. OK, I’m going to enjoy my night off because tomorrow it is ON!