how i eat my yogurt

It's usually just like this...yogurt, strawberries, mangos and white peaches with granola or cereal. In this pic, I used Trader Joe's organic trek mix. Oh, and flax seed, which I forgot this time. Blueberries are great too. Perfect for a light breakfast or afternoon snack, it's both yummy and healthy!


go green

Since my move to Highland Park, I have made some small attempts at living a lower impact lifestyle. Here are some things I've done, and maybe you can too.

1. Drive less: I know it sounds crazy, but public transportation is possible in Los Angeles. I've been to the South Pasadena Farmer's Market, Old Town Pasadena, LAX, Central Library, Downtown Farmer's Market, Universal City Walk, Hollywood Bowl, Ahmanson Theater, Paseo Colorado using it to name a few. I mostly use the rail, but have also been on the bus. Use the Metro Trip Planner to figure out what to do. Get a monthly pass for $62.

2. Take yourself to the airport and back: Use the LAX Flyaway bus for $4 one way. Get to Union Station by bus or rail. From there the Flyaway takes you directly to the airport, and stops at every terminal. Buses leave every half hour. Recently I've noticed buses going to and from Westwood and Van Nuys as well. It is super-convenient! Save your friends and family a trip through traffic and beat those hideous gas prices.

3. De-junk mail: Save some trees. As of today I am free from junk mail! Say goodbye to credit card and insurance offers, Valpak, DMA, ShopWise, MoneyMailer and more. I did it quick and easy through the LAist blog (image by greenlagirl).

4. BYOB: Bring your own bag to the grocery store. You know you're getting sick of those plastic bags piling up in your kitchen and you will never use all of them to line your bathroom trash bin. I use the Trader Joe's bag but any canvas bag will do, and keep it in the car. Just say no to the plastic bag (image by envirowoman).


wine country

I went to Napa Valley last weekend for wine tasting. It was nice to get away from the city and be in the vineyards. Now I think I can tell a little bit of the difference between wines. I did tons of research on Chowhound so if you want to know wineries that offer quality but free or cheap tastings, or good eats up there, let me know and I'll send you the info. From the wineries we visited, I recommend Cosentino. It's lesser known but great wine with an intimate and friendly atmosphere. Our wine pourer was down to earth and funny. They have a good Sauvignon Blanc and an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. Also, here are links to the best maps I found of Napa and Sonoma. And this is a map of Napa with a legend. If I ever had one, I think I'd want a wine tasting weekend in Napa for my bachelorette party. ;)


thursday nights

In July and August, Thursday nights will be open with live music at Descanso Gardens. Enjoy jazz or Pasadena POPS rehearsals along with the beautiful gardens for $3.50 (free for members)! I went last week and had a lovely picnic with my Phad Thai and Guiness. It rocked. Then I took a stroll and marvelled at these amazing dahlias, which are currently in full bloom. I love Descanso. I grew up 5 minutes from it, went as a kid and then went every December from 7-12th grade with my orchestra for our holiday tour. But I also like it because most of the gardens consist of trees in their natural environment (i.e. weren't transplanted there). For $70 you can get a couple's membership and enjoy the gardens all year round.


doner kebab

Yesterday I found out that Spitz, a local food joint in Eagle Rock, is the creation of two Occidental College alums. One of the guys studied abroad in Spain, where he discovered the delicious doner kebab sold on every corner by street vendors. The doner kebab was brought to Spain by Turkish guest-workers in Germany after WWII, from where it spread through Europe. Upon graduating, he and a friend started this business.

As I had been to Turkey 3 years ago, I had tasted the doner before. Spitz's version is healthier and lighter, to cater to Californian taste buds. I had the chicken doner, with sweet potato fries and a root beer. You can choose between the lavash wraps or the focaccia bread, which I got. Will got the beef/lamb and they also have falafel and veggie. Inside are greens with tzaziki sauce and hummus. We thought they could give less fries and more sandwich, but overall, it was yummy!