Speed Racer and Food Grazer

I had such a good weekend! Saturday morning I got in my sweat session before the boyfriend I headed across town for a quick lunch before we had some plans. Lunch was at Pizzicato. I got a slice of the Puttenesca and a caesar salad. It was delicious and full of salt (something I was craving that day).

After lunch we headed over to Malibu Raceway to use a Groupon I bought for two people to take part in the race car track and arcade. It was a good deal for two people and a great way to kill an afternoon.

We started with the arcade. Most of the arcade games were free but some you had to pay for (bummer–I really wanted to try skeeball). It was fun but only held our attention for so long, you know, being adults and everything. But we did do a game together that was fun–a two person shooting zombies game. Not to brag or anything, but I was a pretty good shot!

Next up: Race car driving!

There were two different kinds of cars. One was the bigger, adult-type car (which we chose) or there were the smaller bumper car types that were for both adults or kids, but they didn’t go very fast. Luckily it was a nice day out, a bit overcast but warm. I was a tad skeeved out about the helmet situation but luckily they had disposable shower caps to wear underneath (yay! No head lice!).

There was a pretty long wait to get a race car, but it was really fun to watch. Some people were really timid drivers, driving super slow. Some were speed racers and some wiped out on the corners. We each got 6 tickets which meant six laps around the track. It was very well organized and a super fun place. Michael was in a car in front of me and he was a speed racer.

He was in the purple car seen in the above photo. My car was orange with flames on it! The first lap was really hard. I wasn’t used to the gas peddle yet and it was very jerky, like someone just learning how to drive. By the second lap I got better at it and by the third I was able to speed up and take the turns faster.


That’s me! It was so much fun! Michael went a lot faster than me, 58 seconds on the track and my best time was 69 seconds, but I still had a blast and trust me, it felt like I was going super fast in the little car. After we had done our laps, totally high from the adrenaline, we headed back to our side of town for my friend Sam’s big 40th birthday party.

The party was held at Sam’s friend’s house in the hills by Mount Tabor with gorgeous views below. The house was classy and elegant, complete with a pool and a small meditation house in the garden that looked like it was straight from Japan. There was bamboo around the perimeter to create a private little sanctuary in the garden.

Doesn’t that look like paradise? I could totally live in that bungalow. The party was so much fun. There was a big group of people that came to celebrate Sam’s special day and about half of them were my old coworkers from my last job. It was so much fun to catch up with them. Some of them I still see on a regular basis (a few are people I see almost every day on the bus leaving downtown) and the others I hadn’t seen in a few years.

The dinner was catered by Baja Fresh so there was TONS of food. And some of the guests also brought things to share. I kid you not, there was massive amounts of food to feed an army. There was a fruit platter, veggie tray, some various dips and crackers, a gorgeous fruit torte, lots of Mexican food and more beverages than could be drunk.

When Michael and I got there, we both grabbed a beer as we mingled and eventually we grabbed plates of dinner. I made sensible choices for dinner–one taco, some rice and beans, salad, a few chips and two taquitos (I only ate one).

At the party I faced one of my biggest challenges in my weight loss journey: the buffet. Buffets and potlucks are really hard for me to resist. There is so much temptation and really, really good food. It’s hard for me to resist eating it all. I did well by eating dinner on my plate, away from the buffet and the temptation. But later on when we were all mingling, I found myself back in the kitchen talking to friends and mindlessly grazing. Some of it was healthy stuff–the fruit and veggie trays. But some of it was the not so healthy parts (brownies, churros, onion dip with crackers…).

How did I do? I definitely ate way too much. My stomach was bordering on unpleasantly full, but not miserable yet. I skipped the cake and had another small cookie and a churro instead. Boy was it good! I stopped eating and told myself I’d had enough food. Even though I really wanted just a few more bites. At some point, I need to learn how to enjoy myself and not beat myself up for the occasional splurges and mess ups.

Sam’s party was fantastic and I had a great time. Some of the party moved inside to the stylish basement to dance under the disco ball to songs from our youth. It was such a fun night! I was happy to be able to help my friend celebrate her birthday.

QUESTION: What food challenges did you face this weekend? How did you do?

Wedding Texas-Style

I love weddings. I look at wedding websites online because I love seeing what people do. The fads, the styles, the traditions (old and new)…so much fun! I took a ton of photos over the weekend and wanted to share just a few of them with everyone. It was such a beautiful wedding, probably one of the best I’ve ever been to.

The wedding was scheduled for 6pm on Saturday night.  It was hot–but not intolerable. The chairs were set up outside in front of the chapel.

We got seated and the wedding started. The groom came down the hotel stairs with the preacher.

The bridesmaids and groomsmen arrived in an old pickup truck–which was so cute! I loved their entrance. They had simple brown dresses and beautiful sunflowers (my favorite flowers).

Then Melina arrived with her dad in a horse-drawn carriage. It was a dramatic and classy way to arrive.

She got out of the carriage and her dad walked her down the isle. I loved her dress. She looked absolutely beautiful.

The ceremony was fairly short and sweet. When they kissed a family member from the groom’s side shouted  “Way to go Bubba!” and then everyone cheered. It was very funny.

While the bride and groom left for pictures the guests enjoyed cocktail hour. There were drinks set up in the old general store. I loved the idea of a cocktail hour afterward. It’s a great way for people to socialize, have a snack and not be famished waiting for dinner.

And waiters walked around with appetizers while everyone socialized in the yard. My favorite appetizer were the jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon. Oh MY! Those were fantastic! Smokey and creamy. Loved it.

After a bit we all moved into the barn for the reception. It was lit by Christmas lights and totally adorable. I loved the simpleness of it all.

The bride and groom made their entrance and immediately went into their first dance. I liked that. It was a cool way to get it done.

After awhile it was time for dinner. It was buffet style served by the caterers. I got the brisket and the Jalapeño sausage.

It came with twice Baked potatoes, sweet jalapeño corn, green salad and white bread. I apologize for the quality of the picture. It was really dark in the barn.

The sausage was the best. It was so spicy and delicious. I ate waaay too much. I was stuffed to the brim and couldn’t imagine ever eating again. And then I ate cake. 🙂 They did the cake cutting. I had a small piece of the wedding cake and a small piece of the groom’s cake (red velvet) and a glass of champagne for the toast.

There were speeches from the father of the bride, the maid of honor and best man.

Then: dancing. I love dancing–it doesn’t matter what kind! But Michael isn’t into that. 🙁 He did dance with me outside where no one could see us.

I joined the group for one song. I don’t listen to country music so I have no idea what song it was. It was clearly a hit because the whole place was on the dance floor and everyone knew the moves (but me) but I did it. And it was a blast!

After that Michael and I made the rounds around the room before heading back to the farmhouse to pack. We had an early drive back to Austin.

Congrats to the happy couple!

Grandma & Me

I was sad to leave the ranch. It was such a cool little hideaway–truly an escape from the “modern” world. As a city girl it was a fun experience for me.

On Sunday we drove to Austin and then flew to Dallas. We had a few hours to kill so we sat in the Cantina Laredo. We split some guacamole and I had a beer (from Portland no less!). It was one of the funnest trips I’ve had in a long time. It was cool stepping out into another world and explore different cultures.

QUESTION: What’s the best wedding you’ve ever been to? What made it special?