07.13.2014

Can running be addictive?

Running

I really do think that running can be addictive, but at least it is a good addiction. I have never been a fan of running, but I always wanted to be. My husband runs and I always thought that it was so great that you could just put your running shoes on, go outside and run. No extra equipment and it has lots of benefits.

I’ve tried several times but it was impossible. I would set a goal of 20 minutes and I would spend the first 15 staring at my watch counting every single second until the torture was over. Needless to say, I stopped at 15, went back home and tried again the next year. This year I decided to try again, as always, but with a different approach; I used an app. I downloaded one that takes you from 0 to 5k in 8 weeks and I got hooked right away! I loved how it would pace the routine and tell you when you needed to run or walk. Yes walk! That way you don’t get burn out trying to run a marathon on your first day. You warm up for 5 minutes, then run for 1, then walk for 1, etc depending on the week you are in, and then you always finish with a 5 minute cool down. I loved it so much that I ended up skipping it a bit to push myself and run 20 or 25 minutes non-stop ahead of time. We even went on vacation and ran 3 or 4 days out of the whole week, even on my birthday; this is unheard of.

I think exercise begets exercise, whether it is running, biking, hiking, strength training, you name it. Once you get into a routine, your body asks for it and if you don’t do it, you don’t feel well, you’ll feel off. Last week I was sick and couldn’t go out for a run, but worst of all, I was very cranky and I blame it to not being able to run.

Golden-Gate-Bridge
Now I’m finally feeling better so this morning I went out for a run and made it to 4 miles. I’m not going to lie, but the last 0.25 miles were really tiring, but completely worth it. The drawback is that I think I am a little bit dehydrated and I will be sore tomorrow, but it is good sore. My next steps: running the Golden Gate Bridge (it’s not that long though but the views are great), running a 10k and maybe trail running. I’ll keep you posted.

07.11.2014

Skin Care Routine

Skin care routine
I have to say that I’m  the worst at following skin care routines, but today I decided to show you what I do, or at least what I attempt to do, every day. I know that everybody is different, but this is my 2 cents.

I only use a couple of products because I think that sometimes less is more, plus in my case, I forget I have all those extra creams, masks, etc, and end up throwing them out two years after I first opened. Unless I wear makeup, I pretty much wash my face with water and I’m good to go. I’ve done it my entire life and never had a problem. Obviously, everybody’s skin is different and we all need to do what’s best for us, but I really don’t believe in over cleansing, or using masks or exfoliating your skin every day, unless you really must do so. I need to add that I have combination skin, and probably the less sensitive skin you can come across. I can use pretty much anything on my face and it will stay the same, except for when I get one of those big pimples, but that’s for another post…

Skin care routine

Morning Skin Care Routine

Unless I go out for a jog or any other kind of workout, I just wash my face with water. It has always worked for me. As I said before, sometimes less is more. I’ve also heard that all that good stuff that happens to your skin overnight can go away if you use a cleanser in the morning. So there, that reinforces my ultra researched-state-of-the-art morning skin care routine. Ok, seriously, I am lazy and I figure that I can’t get my face that dirty just by sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night! After this I just use a moisturizer with SPF. Now I’m using Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer and a lip balm, whatever brand I have around.

Skin care routine

Night Skin Care Routine

If I don’t wear makeup, which happens way too often, I probably just use Bioderma for combination skin. It’s easy ;I just need to use a cotton pad, wipe my face off, and voilà clean skin. It is a micellar solution, so I don’t need to add the toner. Score! If I am wearing makeup that day, then I’ll use Bioderma and Philosophy. Both of them work to remove eye makeup too, especially the Philosophy cleanser. I just alternate which one I use first, unless I use my Clarisonic, which in this case it will first use Bioderma and then Philosophy with the Clarisonic. Speaking of Clarisonic, how do you like it? I have been having a love and hate relationship with it. I barely use it mainly because I forget about its existence, but the problem is that I charge it and when I start using it, maybe 4 days later, it stops working 10 seconds later. In any case, you can also use a washcloth as an exfoliator kind of thing.

Skin care routine

Sometimes I will use Lush Lip Scrub, which is yummy by the way. After this whole cleansing situation it is time for toner Murad. I don’t really have acne, just a pimple every once in a while on my chin, but I feel that this toner works to keep blemishes at bay. Then I finish with a night cream. I just ran out of my beloved Clarins, so for now I’m using a sample of L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream. As for eye cream, I don’t tend to use any, although I know I should get one soon.

Besides these two cleansers, there is another one that I really love but I haven’t bought in a while. It is the Cleanse Off Oil from Mac. This one is a little bit tricky to use. Usually you’ll wet your face and then cleanse your skin, but not with this one. You need to apply it on dry skin and with dry hands. Then, you have to work it all over your face to make sure it lifts up all the make up. I like to do my eyes at the end because I don’t want to end up with eye makeup all over my face. Once you are done with this step you need put a little bit of water on your hands and massage your face with it. The oil will turn into a white lotion-type liquid. This cleanser removes everything. That’s why I love it. Do you sense a theme here? Moisturizer with SPF, cleansers that cleanse, remove makeup and eye makeup, and a cleanser that works as a toner too? Yup, I just like to reduce the number of steps, especially at night. But that doesn’t mean that every here and there I like to add something extra.

What do you like to use?

 

Disclaimer: I have purchased all of these products with my own money, with the exception of the L’Occitane Cream that was a gift from a friend. This is not a paid post.

07.07.2014

Spanish Omelet aka Tortilla de Patata

Tortilla de Patata - Spanish Omelette

Well, since this is my first post, I decided for it to be my daughter’s favorite dish, Spanish Omelet, or Tortilla de Patata or Tortilla Española. I like to think of it as the most important dish in the whole kingdom of Spain, closely followed by the paella, which is probably my favorite dish.
Unfortunately, I’m going to destroy it. Let me tell you why, this is NOT the right way to make a Spanish Omelet. Why? you may ask. See, I spent years and years not making it because I said that it was a little messy; mainly the aftermath after deep frying the potatoes. It isn’t really that bad, but I just didn’t want to deal with it. Either I made it in this easier way or I would just order it at some Spanish tapas place, and let’s face it, we don’t go to those restaurants that often.

Spanish Omelet – the non-traditional way

Ingredients:

2 potatoes (Idaho is what I use but Yukon Gold will work too)

onion to taste (I used a quarter of an onion)

4 or 5 eggs – it depends on the size of the potatoes

1/3 to 1/4 cup of olive oil

pinch of salt

Tortilla de Patata - Spanish Omelette

Instructions (my way):

Heat up some olive oil in low to medium heat. In the meantime, chop the onion and sauté it until translucent, don’t burn it because if you do you’ll have to start again. Here we are trying to infuse the oil with the onion flavor. This is completely worth it, but you can avoid it if you don’t like onions.

While this is happening, peel and cut the potatoes. Any size will do. I remember my grandma unevenly cutting them. I just cut them lengthwise twice, so I get four quarters, and then slice them more or less thinly. Put them in a microwave safe bowl.

Now the shortcut (at this point my sister would give me the evil look) –

Pour the sautéed onion, with the olive oil, over the potatoes and mix well. Make sure there’s just enough oil to cover them. If you didn’t infuse enough oil, no problem, just add a little bit of the regular one. Now you can go ahead and cover the bowl with plastic wrap, make some holes in it and put it in the microwave for 6-7 minutes. Once the time is up, stir the potatoes and put them back in the microwave for another 6 minutes.

{Now, if you want to do it the traditional way, you would have to deep-fry the potatoes and the onions together, until the potatoes start to cook through. At this point, you’ll take them out of the oil because you don’t want them crispy, just cooked through.}

Preheat a 10-inch skillet, in medium to low heat, with enough olive oil to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. I like to use a brush for this. In the meantime, beat the eggs and add the potatoes to them. Start with 4 eggs and work your way up if needed. The consistency should be pretty thick, 2 eggs per potato more or less. Add the potatoes and some salt to taste.

Pour the mixture into the skillet and let it set. When you see that the bottom is done and the top is starting to cook, put on some kitchen mittens (just in case), use a big plate or platter to cover the skillet, grab the whole thing, and over the sink (in order to avoid messes) flip the pan. Now you’ll have the half-cooked omelet on the plate and an empty skillet. Put it back on the stove and slide the omelet back into the skillet to finish cooking. Once the other side is done, put it on a serving plate.

Tortilla de Patata - Spanish Omelette

This dish, in my opinion, is best at room temperature and especially the next day. But, it doesn’t really matter. A Spanish omelet is good at any temperature and for any occasion. Enjoy!