Hi! My name is Jamie, and welcome to my day-to-day journey in finding balance in life. Although there are many surprises and challenges in our every day, I believe life can be made easier by controlling what we can. By eating real, honest, wholesome food, living an active lifestyle, and looking at things optimistically, we can feel free to attempt the impossible: take chances, make mistakes, yet still find our way back to balanced.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been almost a week since my last post, and I have so much to catch up on–but instead of doing a super long post I’m going to focus on the main event:
This last weekend was spent babysitting in Laguna Beach. The family I babysit for here in Evanston had a wedding to attend and asked if I could come along to help out. How could I pass up an offer like that!?
I like to take any opportunity to travel- I think it’s so great to discover new places, people, and ways of life. And this weekend was definitely a look into a wayyyy different life…
Let me start from the beginning.
When we arrived at the Montage Hotel, we needed some lunch- and stat! I was really hungry and craving something cool and refreshing. When I saw Crab Gazpacho on the menu, I knew I had to have it.
^^It was served in a bowl inside of a bowl of ice to keep it super chilled.^^
The verdict? Ehh. Not enough crab, and I like my gazpacho a little chunkier—and with croutons too! I feel like bread/croutons are an integral part of gazpacho, and this was definitely lacking.
What wasn’t lacking was the views at the hotel.
The grounds were immaculately manicured, and attention to detail was impeccable. They thought of everything here!
One thing that was unexpected was the overcast weather. It was overcast until about 3PM when the sun would finally break through the clouds. It was beautiful! And the cloudy-ish non-humid weather was actually a fantastic break from the smoldering Chicago weather that in my opinion is ENOUGH already!!! So sick of it!
The menus for lunch were perfect for light, filling, healthy meals.
There was ahi tuna salad…
^^In a coconut bowl^^
A grilled veggie pesto wrap…
^^With terra chips—haven’t had those in so long! YUM!^^
A salmon salad with Israeli cous cous…
^^Not as good as it looked 😦 ^^
Also soba noodles with tofu and veggies.
I need to start cooking with soba noodles more often! So healthy and such a great texture!!
Every morning I got a great work out in. The first morning I ran a very hilly 4.5 miles through one part of Laguna. The town is such a typical beach town, with houses built into the hills and very steep roads. The second day I took a beach boot camp class that seriously kicked my ass! It was so difficult and I was SO sore after. Have you ever taken a boot camp class at the gym? Yeah try that on soft sand—ouch! I was supposed to run 9 miles for my training on Sunday, but because of how sore I was and also because of all of the hills it was nearly impossible. I think I got about 8 in— and I was totally wiped out! Last day I was there I went swimming for about a half hour. It was so nice- and I forgot how hard swimming is! It really does work every single muscle in your body- and it’s so great because it’s low impact. So gave my legs a nice break :).
Needless to say, I was starving for breakfast every morning!!! Between the work outs and chasing three (adorable amazing!!!) kids around all day, I felt like I was always hungry. And constantly eating…
We ordered room service most of the days. I stuck with oatmeal for the most part, and tons of fresh fruit…
^^And some French Press coffee^^
GOTTA start making French Press- So strong like I like it and So easy!
The wedding festivities were endless. From a diner dinner on Thursday, to beach olympics Friday, to a western BBQ dinner Friday night, to the actual wedding Saturday, and an incredible brunch Sunday–it felt like we were there for weeks! Take a look at some FOOD highlights…
^^For a contest on which to cut^^
…The lego one won! It was so yummy—chocolate cake and those wheels were made of rice crispy treats!
The Sunday Brunch…
How cool are those center pieces? I love the concept of fruit as art!
^^Speaking of fruit as art…^^
^^My buffet pickings^^
After the brunch, the wedding festivities ended. Saralyn and I went to the Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters. It’s this event that happens for a month or so every summer in Laguna Beach.
^^This year the theme was “Eat Drink and be Merry^^
How fitting 🙂
There were some beautiful pieces of art-of all types– I really was enjoying all of the photography over anything else. One artist had taken a road trip through Colorado and captured so many awesome shots of nature at its finest–Something about seeing pictures of streams and creeks through mountains just sends chills down my body–just incredible.
^^The family I babysat was so nice to get me the poster on the top left— I had mentioned earlier that I loved it and they brought it home for me that night! Thank you!!!^^
After the festival, we wanted to get some food in town, and away from the hotel. We were recommended this place- Taco Loco. We were told it was healthy and delicious— so why not!?
Well, it was soo my kind of place!
^^The restaurant was on both sides of that little garage^^
One side was for ordering and drinks, and the other was where you picked up your food. It was very hippy-ish—between the food and the people who worked there. Plus there was a dessert called the “Hemp Brownie”. I had to ask what it was— It was just a vegan brownie made with hemp oil.
Ok onto what we ordered…
^^Fish taco for me, Mushroom taco for Saralyn^^
And we got the special of the day…
^^Mahi Mahi Nachos—AMAZING!!!!!^^
We of course loaded up with guac and spicy salsa– mmmmm!!!!!!!
For dinner that night we went to a place called Z Pizza whose tagline is “Authentic Flavors, Organic Ingredients^^.
It’s amazing what good ingredients can do to improve flavor!
^^Pesto Eggplant pizza on WW crust^^
Watch for this pizza to be recreated in my kitchen ASAP. It had pesto, caramelized onions, mozzarella, eggplant (sliced SO thin) and pine nuts. Perfection on a crust.
I’ll end with some beautiful scenery pictures—some that will soon be joining my wall of travel pictures in my bedroom. It was just so pretty in Laguna!
As I mentioned it wasn’t so sunny- the colors were muted and duller— and all of the dark coves meshed with the deep blue water color was instantly relaxing. Too bad my iPod has been broken. Some Alexi Murdoch would have been the perfect fit.
Now it’s as they say “back to the grind”
All I can think about is SLEEP! Can’t wait to get to that…