Remember Me?

I’m backkkkkkk!

It has been nearly a year and a half since I’ve written, and while I can’t promise regular updates, I can say that I’ve missed writing.

Well I should clarify. Personal writing. I do a lot of writing. Just normally it’s about brand results or strategy. I try to pepper my personality in it when I can, but let’s be real…that’s not what they’re paying me for.

I often think I live a boring life. If you asked me what’s new, I would probably respond “nothing.” But that can’t be said if it’s been a year and a half since we checked in. So I guess I owe you some updates.

Update #1:
I went to Italy in May of 2014 with one of my closest friends, Jill. Italy?! You might ask. What the hell did you eat in Italy? Tomatoes? Cheese? Well…if that was all I had eaten, I would still be one happy gal. But fun fact – Celiac is so prevalent in Italy that all children are tested at age 5. And if one has Celiac, they receive a government stipend since it’s generally understood that gluten free food is more expensive. And because of that, restaurants are incredibly gluten-free friendly. All I had to say was “Yo solo cheliaca” and I had dishes not on the menu brought out to me.

Jill was such a sweetheart and only slightly judged me the first night when I ordered two main dishes and two desserts because I found out I could have gluten free lasagna AND eat my gluten free pizza TOO. If it wasn’t for all the walking we did, I would have gained, easily, 20 pounds. I had gelato every day (and twice if possible). Jill and I one night each ordered a bottle of wine and got majorly judged by the owner. But hey…when you’re young and in Italy and the wine is good….

And now she’s getting married in less than two months! But that’s a whole other story.

Update #2:
I bought a car. This is much less exciting than Italy, but seems relevant. My very much beloved 2000 gold Maxima that I’d had since high school eventually required so much work that it wasn’t worth the money. It also had some brake issues and made me nervous to drive it. So a few days before my birthday, I bought my first car. Yep…that’s about all there is to tell. Oh. It’s a 2010 Acura TSX. And it’s black. Because you were curious.

Update #3:
I turned 26. So now this blog title is 3 years out of date. Clearly I’m on top of things. Really, this only means I can’t be on my parent’s insurance anymore. Birthdays are officially less exciting.

Update #4:
I bought a house. I guess this is worth spending some time on because it seems like a big deal (clearly I’m downplaying this because I officially feel broke). I decided earlier this year that I should consider purchasing one because the end of lease was coming up, I didn’t want to move just to move, and I had some money saved.

To make a VERY long story short, I got a really good deal on a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house and build a renovation loan into the mortgage. I gutted the kitchen, had everything painted, redid part of the bathroom, got new light fixtures, etc. etc. And no, I haven’t showcased the before/after photos. My mom even realized her artistic gift and painted something for my living room.

It’s been a labor of love with so many people helping me throughout the process. Might sound a little cheesy, but I’m grateful, thankful, blessed.

Update #5:
I got a cat! If you follow me on ANY form of social media, you know this. His name is Edison and he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I won’t say too much about him so I don’t get judged too quickly as a cat lady, but he’s pretty awesome. We play tag and fetch and he comes when I call. So basically he’s a dog that uses a litter box.

Update #6:
I’m running a half marathon. Yep. You might want to reread that. I signed up on a whim and then convinced a friend to do it with me. It’s October 11. In Cincinnati. And I should clarify that I’m in the 3:1 group which means I run three minutes and walk a minute. But I think it still counts. My back and hip have held up so far. Oh, and it’s all women which is exciting!

Update #7:
I went to Alaska in February with my friend/coworker, Jordann. That was also sort of a whim decision. It was only 25,000 sky miles and we wanted to see the Northern Lights. We got really fortunate and had the best showing of the season that night. Absolutely breathtaking. They danced! If you have the chance, go see them. It’s worth surviving the -30 degree weather.

I also went to Ireland with my dad. Major bucket list item done – I’ve wanted to go since I was a little girl (I mean…I did Irish Dance after all). I had a work trip to London for just a few days, and decided to extend the trip. And my dad, who I get my Irish roots from, flew over to spend that time with me. We were only there a few days, and I’m dying to go back!

I know I’m missing a bunch of things, but those are the major things I can think of. Also, my creative juices are leeching out and suddenly I’m much less inspired. So wow – aside from Italy, this had almost nothing to do with food. But hey…that’s life. Until next time!

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What I ate

Remember when this was a food blog and I talked about what I ate since I can’t have gluten? You don’t? Fail.

I admittedly am much better at talking about myself than food, mainly because I’m not huge into cooking. If you had called me before September ’11, I could have done a blog on baking. I am a baking fiend. My specialty is white chocolate raspberry cheesecake by scratch. But when you’re gluten intolerant and do everything possible to avoid being sick, even baking losing it’s fun. And gluten free baking is messy and complicated and simply not worth it to me.

So what have I been eating? Well, instead of a typical burger trip to LA this year, it became a pizza trip. Burgers without buns make me desperately sad and gluten free bread is the pits. It’s dry, falls apart and makes everything so damn messy. I did have a burger at The Counter, probably one of my favorite burger places in California. The bun was eh at best.

I’m still not sure how I didn’t get this on myself.

I discovered my new favorite sushi while in Santa Barbara. A baked California roll, add cream cheese, topped with spicy creamy sauce. Sometimes known as a volcano roll, always known as delicious. It came right before someone landed on my friend’s car, denting in her roof, quickly halting our roadtrip to San Francisco. That’s really all the details I have about that. We don’t know what happened. We do know that most of our Friday was spent at the police station, getting an estimate and filing an insurance claim. But life happens. And I got Yogurtland out of the deal.

What else did I eat in California? Well…let me show you. And yes. Everything is gluten free. As a fun side note, a surprising thing gluten is in is frozen yogurt. Thankfully Yogurtland told me what flavors had gluten in them and which didn’t. Orange Leaf…learn from them.

 In order:

1. Babycake cupcakes. Chocolate mint, carrot cake and red velvet cake

2. Rooibos tea latte that reminded me of South Africa

3. Pinkberry. It never gets old.

4. Acai bowl from Backyard Bowls. If you’re ever in Santa Barbara, check it out. It’s seriously delicious.

5. Most deserved frozen yogurt ever.

6. Cinnamon roll from Breakaway Bakery that we carried up to the Griffith Park Observatory

7. Last meal of the trip.

I swear I ate other things on the trip aside from the food group known as sugar. I threw in some protein, vegetables and hydration along the way. But for now, it’s back to my grind. While dreaming of frozen yogurt, sushi and Santa Barbara.

Let the Roadtrip Begin…

Tomorrow will begin one of my favorite parts of the year. And I don’t mean time of the year specifically…tomorrow I will be back in California.

I went to LA 5-6 times last year to visit friends I had out there, but unfortunately this year, this will most likely be my only trip to the City of Angels.

Despite most people’s hatred of LA, I have a deep love for the city. So much so that I even planned on moving out there after graduation. Clearly that didn’t happen, so vacations there will have to do.

This trip will be a little different because my friend Cathy and I are planning on taking a roadtrip to who knows where. She and I are both planners (I’m a logistics queen), but neither of us were really sure what we wanted to do with this roadtrip, so I suggested we just go where the wind blows us – and after a little hyperventilating on both of our ends, we agreed.

Cathy and I have known each other since Junior year of high school when I switched schools and used to visit her at her shift at Moe’s and eat loaded quesadillas   (clearly pre-gluten intolerance). We’d then go play endless games of Mario Party at her house and pretend to study for AP History and English tests (although Cathy would end up really studying.)

Cathy went to USC (South California) for college and I headed off to Miami (Ohio), but for one beautiful summer, she decided to take classes in Oxford and lived with me after I got back from Asia. We spent equal amount times studying O Chem (her) and Calculus (me) while doing things like laying out, trying to perfect a signature cookie recipe and watching season upon season of LOST.

These days, our reunions consist mainly of Yelping where our next place to eat is. This will be my first trip to see her since I found out I was gluten intolerant, so that changes things significantly; however, one of my favorite things about Cathy is that she’s always willing to try something new. We’ve gone to Vegas twice together, seen what The Abbey was all about, gotten Thai massages, been surprised with birthday cakes, had spa days…the list really doesn’t end. She’s also been my counselor through too many guy situations.

Now my beautiful Kwanster is following her dreams of being a fashion designer at FIDM, and I literally drool over the drawings she produces. She is so talented, and I’m truly blessed to know her.

I also can’t wait to see where we end up.

Hopefully next time I post, I’ll have photos that aren’t 3+ years old.