Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Caught up in the Royal Wedding Frenzy

Okay. I admit it. I’m totally caught up in the Royal Wedding frenzy.

After months of trying to avoid watching "Entertainment Tonight" to follow the William and Kate wedding gossip (even though I secretly wanted to), I admit defeat. I’m hooked…and yes, I want to see what her dress looks like…her shoes…her flowers…the whole deal. In fact, if someone gave me ticket to London, I would be standing outside Westminster with the masses.

I’m not sure if I would go so far as to buy a tea towel or coffee mug with Will and Kate’s smiling face on them, but who knows. I could get caught up in the moment and lose all sense of style.

This has nothing to do with the media, the Queen or even the fact that I have British citizenship. It’s all about Princess Di…and nostalgia.

In 1981, I watched her wedding on TV with my mom. I was a little girl back then, but my mom and I stayed up all night drinking tea and eating homemade scones while watching the Royal Wedding. I have three younger brothers – so mom/daughter girl time was rare.

Now it’s royal wedding time again, and as the excitement builds, it feels like it's 1981 again and another modern day fairy tale is about to happen. Just like it was 30 years ago, the future is bright that not even the British tabloids can find a scandal. It’s young love. That’s why so many of us can’t help but watch. With so much death and destruction going on, finally something positive is consuming the news world. It brings out the optimistic side in us – even when we jest and say it won’t last.

However, this time I won’t be watching the wedding with my mom in my jammies, but will be at the news station. Yes, I’ll be working…but when it’s news like this, it’s going to be worth coming into the station at 1 a.m. to be part of the action as it unfolds.

Plus, you have to remember, I’m totally into this.

I’ve bought special English Breakfast loose leaf tea to drink during my shift and I have scones planned for my snack. I’ve even researched local royal wedding watch parties and am planning to crash the one at the Fox and Goose, one of Sacramento’s British pubs, to see what other wedding fans think and take a bunch of photos and video– on behalf of the news station, of course.

The Fox and Goose won’t be serving scones and my super tasty tea, but they will have non-alcoholic champagne and crumpets to toast the royal couple in style. I do like crumpets with butter. Yum!!

So bring on the Royals! I’m ready for some good news!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What happened to coffee with the girls?

It’s Week 2 of my IFPP training and so far I’ve learned that I don’t mind the weight training and the cardio. But I really don’t like plymetrics.

It turns out I have no coordination. None. However, I am suffering through them.

But the hardest part of the training is how it’s affecting my social life.

For the last two weeks, my girlfriends have called and wanted to catch up over drinks. When I suggest we meet for coffee instead as I shouldn’t be having alcohol until my June show, here’s their answer:

“Oh yeah. Call me in June and let me know how it went.”


What kind of answer is that? Whatever happened to hanging out and having coffee with the girls? Have we become so influenced by “Sex and the City” and “Gossip Girls” that girlfriends can’t connect over java anymore? I swear, I’ve had three girlfriends give me the same brush in the last two weeks and I’m stunned.

Sure, I love wine and a really good martini, but hanging with the girls shouldn’t be about the beverage, but about connecting with each other.

Suddenly I'm missing the old days when a group of us would get together at the nearest coffee bar and chat for hours over tea and brownies. In fact, I checked with a few of my gal-pals who I’ve known since high school and discovered they still do that.

Last week, they met at a coffee shop in a bookstore for girl-talk and spent the afternoon catching up on life. Sure, it’s not as fancy as getting dressed up and hanging out a wine bar, but it is quality time and that’s all that matters.

While I won’t be hanging with my drinking friends until the end of June, I am going to take advantage of my new wine-free situation by taking myself on little java/tea adventure tour -- because I'm working my butt off with this workout and need a little calorie free treat every once and a while.

So...over the next 8 weeks, I’m on a quest to check out the best coffee shops in the area.

So far I’ve been to:

• Temple – Relaxing if you can get a seat and they are open until 11 p.m. so a great place to hang.

• Peets - Best tea so far. I’m a big fan of the Black Current and the Scottish Breakfast tea.

• Organic Co-op, -- They have this green chai latte that is incredible. However, it’s totally not relaxing there. Too loud inside and homeless people bug you for money if you sit on their patio.
  • Tupelo - Tea was a little lacking and no real good pastries (I only looked for when I could eat them).  But they did have a really good looking hot chocolate.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Outside the comfort zone challenge for 2011

Each year I like to do at least one thing completely out of my comfort zone -- but it can’t something someone else made me do. It’s got to be something that I’ve always wanted to do.

Last year I did my first triathlon and went to Guatemala as a trip historian. Both of them pushed me in different ways. The triathlon challenged me physically and spending a week working out of a tiny clinic in the middle of nowhere in a third world country challenged me mentally and emotionally. Both of these adventures were life changing and incredible.

IFBB Pro Vanessa Campbell
So what’s my challenge for this year? Well, I have a couple, but one that I started working on this week is going to push me to workout harder, eat smarter and be dedicated. I’m talking about Team Bombshell.

In March, I attended a Bombshell Bootcamp in Daytona. It cost me $249 for the weekend, and it was three intense days of weight training, cardio and squats. I’m mentioning the squats as they were killer. In fact, I had trouble walking the next day and had to use the handicap-assist bars to lower myself to the toilet. Stop laughing. I swear I hurt like I had never hurt before—and it was fabulous.

My trainers were fitness expert Shannon Dey, who writes for various fitness magazines, and IFBB Pro Vanessa Campbell – who totally whipped my butt into shape.

So after spending the entire weekend realizing that I’m not in as good shape as I thought, I decided that this is going to be my challenge this year.

And it will be a challenge, because you know, I’m not exactly a spring chicken…and I really love chocolate and wine - both of which are not on their meal plans:-(

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spencer On the Go coming to Sacramento

Spencer on the Go will be at the 2011 Sacramento Mobile Food Festival on April 30 2011. Now this is exciting news for all foodies living in the area. If you don't know why I'm excited then you haven't checked out the yummy gourmet food they have in their truck.

Usually, the only place I get to have Spencer's food is when I'm hanging at Terroir Natural Wine Merchant and Bar in San Francisco (love it!). Spencer On the Go's converted taco truck is usually parked across the street and serves really great French Take-Out. I'm not talking fries and onion soup. I'm talking good stuff like fois gras and bread, escargot lollipops, goat cheese salad, lamb burgers and this cheesy potato casserole that is to die for.

I've been known to go back for seconds and don't like to share when it comes to fois gras, so if you want some of the good stuff, you better show up early on April 30. The trucks will be parked at Fremont Park.

Sactomofo starts at Noon and goes until 6 p.m. In addition to Spencer's truck, there will be about 12 other different vendors.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Taste Restaurant: The perfect way to end a day of wine tasting

Grilled tuna
Fine dining in Amador County’s Plymouth? I would have never considered driving 45 minutes to Plymouth for dinner, but that was before I ventured into Taste Restaurant. Now I'm telling all my friends about it because this place is too good to miss.

Located on the town’s Main Street, Taste Restaurant is a decadent delight – and the perfect way to end a day of wine tasting in the foothills. From their best-selling mushroom cigars to their main courses, you won’t be disappointed. I got the crab citrus salad, followed by the grilled tuna and practically licked my plate clean. It was soooo good.

Of course, I couldn’t stop with just that. I had to follow up my meal with one of their incredible desserts – and I recommend you do the same because they are one-of-a-kind creations that you won’t find any place else. In fact, I couldn’t decide and ended up ordering two: The carro-miso, which is a beer soaked carrot cake with mascarpone cream, and the chocolate beet cake – which sounded strange, but was the best dessert I had eaten in a while. It’s red beet mousse with chocolate gelato and raspberry coulis.

The beet cake
See? It doesn’t sound good – and it’s very red, but it’s worth every calorie.

And here's a little tip....if you want to try Taste but don’t want to spend a whole lot of money, then I recommend driving up on Monday night. That’s when they have their prix fix menu. You’ll get 3 courses for $30 – not a bad deal for the great taste of Taste!