Masked Mexican Madness.

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With all of the madness going on lately, the Mr. and I have been head down working through our jobs, planning our wedding and a few other really big things going on.  Friday night I planned a little surprise for the Mr. to give us a chance to get our heads out of “doing” and get back to fun.

The last big surprise I planned was this – and we were overdue for something a little out of the ordinary. So I planned it with a girlfriend of mine whose husband is a good friend of the Mr’s.  We agreed.  All Surprise.  No Clues.  No Questions Allowed.

{plus, there was really no way these two were ever going to guess this one}

Lucha VaVOOM!

from their site:

Lucha VaVOOM is a non-stop, action-packed scream-a-thon, where Mexican Masked wrestlers flip and fly, performing breathtaking acrobatic feats.  It’s good vs. evil played out in a one fall, Lucha Libre exhibition-style match for maximum enjoyment.

In between matches, the finest, handpicked burlesque acts from around the world astound us; at Lucha VaVOOM, we like a little sexo with our violencia.  Raucous aerial acts, Pogo-stick peelers, hula-hoop hotties; we’ve got it all.

um. yes… pretty. much. got. it. all.

As we waited for the doors to the Mayan to open, the show began on the sidewalk next to us as the wrestlers arrived in beat up hearses and on top of coffins.

Once inside, we staked out our location ringside

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If you’re down for getting a little dirty, midgets flying into the air and dodging masked Mexican wrestlers as they dive out the ring, you have to sit ringside. {plus, there are about 20 huge bouncers surrounding the ring for the sole purpose of blocking, tackling and catching these wrestlers before they hit the crowd}



This was one of the most insane experiences we’ve ever had.  And by insane, I mean ridiculously fun. Who doesn’t love fat, sweaty men in spandex, a hulahooping striptease by a ladyboy and flying chickens?

Oh, not you??

Try again.  GO.  Pinky prom, you’ll change your mind.   Next show in LA is around Valentines Day. Who wants to come with us?

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This is absolutely the kind of fun you want need to have at least once in your life.

{MF Dre}

One Week to Mrs.

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One week from today I’m marrying my best friend.

{photo from this wedding}

Words can’t quite describe the emotions – excitement, adoration, hope, comfort, overwhelming love – but more than anything, I’m at ease.  I’ve never been more certain of this decision.

Love you Mr.

{your future MF Mrs.}

Pumpkin Bread.

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When I was young, my little brother came home from school with one of his typical kindergarten masterpieces – this time it involved a turkey that loosely resembled his grubby little hands.

(Source)

Like most of his masterpieces, this was placed front-and-center on fridge where my sister and I poked fun of it – being so.much.better at drawing turkeys –pfffft!  Little did we know that we were in fact looking at a piece of art that was truly one-of-a-kind.   On the back of the drawing was a recipe for arguably one of the most delicious Pumpkin Breads we had ever tried.  Arguably there hasn’t been a fall since 1985 that this recipe has not been made in our house at least 3x during the season.   Despite my family being spread far and wide across the country now there’s still a shared elation when the first signs of Canned Pumpkin hit the shelf.

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Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 3 1/3 cups Flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 2 cups Pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Nutmeg
  • 2/3 c. Water

Mix all ingredients together.  Bake at 350* for 1 hour 15 minutes.

NOTE:  This recipe makes 2 loaves.

You can make all the substitutions you want, but I truly discourage it. This recipe is meant to be enjoyed as-is.  I also don’t recommend that you cutting this recipe in half – pinky.prom that you’ll need a second loaf. instantly.

{MF Dre}

DIY Elbow Patches

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I’ve had an obsession with elbow patches for the last few years and I’ve totally contemplated sending out some of my favorite sweaters to Jack Foxley to sew on patches, but then I got one of my wild hairs and decided that I should first try to do them myself. I did a little bit of research, spent a long time at one of my favorite (and inexpensive) craft stores and was so thrilled by the final product that I used these as gifts for my sweet friends that showered me with love a few weeks back.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Shirt, Jacket or Sweater of your choice.  I used two of my favorite Saint Grace shirts.
  • Wool Roving
  • 36 Gauge Felting Needle
  • Floral Foam Cut to Size
  • 3″ Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter (or any shape you’d like)
  • Iron

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First, try on the shirt and place a piece of scotch tape about 1 -2 inches below the elbow.  Use the tape as the base for where you’ll line up the floral foam inside the sleeve.  After you’ve inserted the foam, line up the cookie cutter with the tape.

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If there are seams in your shirt, make sure you center the cookie cutter across the seam to ensure the patch sits evenly on both sides.

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Unravel some of your wool roving and piece it inside the cookie cutter. I started out with light coverage and kept adding more to get the desired patch weight I preferred.

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Using a 36 gauge roving needle, start to press the wool roving down.  I found it was easier to start from the outside and work my way in, but you can do this however it works best for you.  Continue until the wool is well pressed into the floral foam.  Feel free to add more roving to fill spots that can use more coverage.

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Remove the Floral Foam and using an Iron on Wool Setting, press the patch into the shirt to help flatten stray wool as well as set the patch into the shirt.

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I wrapped these up in Gable Boxes with a note attached reminding my friends to hand wash and line dry with care

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These DIY Elbow Patches were seriously so easy and so much fun to make. They make the perfect birthday, holiday or any occasion gift for the friends (and kids) you love.

Happy Patching.

{MF Dre}

A Brilliant Run.

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A few weeks ago I was invited by Fitfluential and Mizuno Running to join the Mezamashii Project.

The Mezamashii Run Project is an effort by Mizuno to help create a more euphoric running experience — a more “brilliant” run — for more runners everywhere.  The word “mezamashii” means “eye-opening” or “brilliant” in Japanese — it’s a word that captures the euphoric feeling of a brilliant run.

Instead of spending multi-million dollars on a huge marketing blitz, Mizuno invited thousands of runners to receive a free pair of shoes with the hopes that their shoes would deliver on this quest to help runners discover the euphoria that comes with a brilliant run.

You know me, I have good runs and I’ve certainly encountered some of Murphy’s Laws during my daily running as well, but the good ones…they’re the reason I keep running, each and every day.

Despite my many years of running, I’ve actually never run in Mizunos. Everyone I know that runs in them literally raves about them so I’ve been pretty eager to try them.  I’ve run in just about every other brand but the last time I wore Mizunos was back in high school when they were the cool volleyball shoes to wear.  {side note, I didn’t play Volleyball.  total poser}

So when I was invited to join in, I scrolled through the myriad of running options that Mizuno has and also used their Precision Fit  guide and selected the Wave Rider 15s – a mid-lightweight shoe, with great cushion and just enough stability for often heavy mileage weeks.

I pulled these out of the box about two weeks ago and thus far, I’ve put about 35 miles on them, rotating them in with my Brooks PureFlows.

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Here are my thoughts so far:

Color.  I LOVE the fact that they’re yellow and gold. Gold is hands down my favorite color and my favorite element.  Looks alone, I’d marry these shoes.

Stability & Cushion.  I’ve gotten very used to a minimalist shoe and I was pretty hesitant about the Wave Riders feeling clunky.  They are most definitely “more shoe” but they’re also much more stable across all terrains – road, trail, grass, gravel path, wood chips.  Whereas the PureFlows flex across the terrain with their softer and lighter DNA, I feel more protected and less reaction/feedback from the road in the Wave Riders. I kind of coast on top of the terrain in these vs. shifting with it.  I’m not sure whether I like that or not yet.

Box to Run.   These shoes didn’t need any time to break in.  They went from box to road and so far, I haven’t had any issue with them.

Heel to Toe Drop.  These Mizunos have a 12m heel to toe drop. My Brooks have a 4mm.  As a converted mid-foot runner, its easier to strike mid-foot in the Brooks and I think they’ve been critical to helping me train my gait.  I haven’t noticed any challenge going backwards to the 12mm, but I’m paying close attention to ensure I don’t get lazy in my stride.

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Overall my experience has been pretty great.  I probably need to put about 25-30 more miles on them – including a 10+ miler on them to fully determine how “mezamashii” they are, but since we’re still dating, I’m going to say that I like them a lot.  Let’s see how the next few run dates go.

{MF Dre}

PS – If you’re interested in testing out some Mizunos,  you can sign up to participate in The Mezamashii Run Project by visiting www.mezamashiirunproject.com and click on “Apply for an invite” to sign up for the weekly giveaway.

DT Alert: Plan Check.

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I’ve always been a fan of the restaurants lining Sawtelle Bvd. in “Little Osaka” –  West LA’s Japanese thoroughfare.  They’ve got everything – shabu shabu, sushi, curry, charcoal-grilled meat, ramen, and imported groceries.  With so many restaurants side-by-side along this street its pretty difficult to pick where to stumble into.  In the last few months, I noticed a new decidedly un-Japanese spot pop up on the North end of the street, Plan Check and decided to try it this week with a fun friend I met through my obsession with lulu.

(source)

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Intrigued by the menu filled with craft beers, waygu beef burgers and sweet potato waffle fries, add this to the list of gastropubs lining the city.

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We started with the Stuffed Mushroom – a Portobello stuffed with swiss cheese, crispy kale and steak sauce.  Serious heaven.
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Then followed it up with the Albacore Tuna with Tempura Rockshrimp and the PCB (Plan Check Burger)
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If you’re a fan of Umami Burger, the burgers at Plan Check are easily recognized by the creative toppings and intensely delicious beef flavor because the menu has been created by former chef, Ernesto Uchimura.  We absolutely killed the burger.  It was amazing.  The tuna was OK.  I would definitely not order it again not because it was bad, but it hardly lived up to the DT factor that the mushroom and burger brought.

aaaaand then there was dessert

Cruller Donuts with Fresh Whipped Cream and Bananas.

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baked fresh.to.order.   these are musts.

I was thinking about how I’d rate Plan Check on the DT Scale.  Where I netted was that I would certainly go back – I’d bring the Mr. we’d have a burger, some beers, maybe some waffle cut sweet potato fries, and of course some Donuts — we’d completely fat out for the night – but once I’d taken the Mr.,  I wouldn’t go back again.  For me the menu is entirely too small and not that diverse.  It’s absolutely great for a cocktail and a bite, but there isn’t enough diversity to the menu for my tastes and if I’m really craving a burger and a beer, I’d rather stumble into Father’s Office where arguably they have the best burger in town.

The verdict on Plan Check:  Blow your diet on this {but only once}.

{MF Dre}

Two Half’s. One Weekend.

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Whoops. This might have just happened. 

I swore that the wedding was going to be the #lastbigthing for the year.  But now that I’m just two weeks shy of being a Mrs., I guess I am just not quite ready to throw in the towel and turn off my crazy relax for the rest of the year.  According to this schedule, the weekend after our wedding I’m slated to run not one, but TWO half marathons.

In all honesty, I am not 100% I am running Santa Barbara.  After last year’s race, they offered such a steep discount to pre-register for 2012, that I hopped on that train.  I LOVED that race (except for Mile 11) and it was particularly special to me because it marked a huge physical and athletic comeback for me.  Then we started planning our wedding and when I realized the SB race was a week after we would be tying the knot I put a HUGE tbd on that race and decided to run if I felt like it.  {side note: if you’re curious we’ve opted to postpone our honeymoon for a few months post-wedding}

Whelp, when I received a free bib via active.com for the Malibu International Marathon this week, I couldn’t resist saying Yes.  Total Sucker for a Race. (and racing two in a weekend).  I opted for the half, figuring that it was probably the safer decision – both mentally and physically.

From what I’ve heard, this is supposed to be one of the top 5 most beautiful courses — here’s the description of the Half from their site.

Here’s where the beauty really begins! You will be running on the beautiful cliffs lining the undeveloped coastline. Take in the beauty of the land and sea until mile 6 where you come to civilization and the restaurant Neptunes Net, across from the famous surf of County Line. Here you will come to the first of the small rollers which will challenge you to the end.

The final six miles roll along the coast past the north Malibu mansions, with owners like Brad Pitt and many other Hollywood stars. The final mile brings you across the bluffs where you pass the Malibu sign and drop downhill past the Trancas market, and Starbucks. A few hundred more yards to the entrance at Zuma beach and, congratulations, you’ve just finished the race to Malibu! Get some food and refreshments and cool your legs in the surf at the beautiful beach in the sun. Look around, you’ve just run to Paradise!

From the looks of this video, this race seems to be the quintessential So-Cal race, running along the Malibu coast, watching Surfers, Sup-pers, Dolphins and more along the course.

I’m still not totally sure I’m going to run both.  SB seems more of a stretch at this point than Malibu given that it’s a 2 hour drive from our home Saturday morning…but I haven’t ruled any of my crazy out yet.

Anyone else running either of these races? Anyone want to join me for a double-header?

{MF Dre}