The Journaler

This, in some ways, is a window to my soul: my book is open. This is an honest reflection where I embrace the highs and lows, ups and downs, roller coaster of emotions I am often riding, the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly...but this is me, and this is my adventure...By revealing myself honestly I hope to inspire and encourage, because we all struggle sometimes and it's nice to know we're not alone. This is my experience as a small town girl living in a big city, trying to make my way while taking lots and lots of detours...

September 29, 2011

A Crooked Face

Hello. My name is Eliza, and I have a problem. You see, I have a crooked face apparently, and can't seem to find sunglasses that fit my face. This is a problem on a daily basis. So if you see me roaming the streets - yes, I know my sunglasses are crooked....

September 28, 2011

Just because I'm a "vegan" doesn't mean I can't make Sangria!!

Day 3 of being a Vegan and I am having no problems at all. Seriously, and I'm feeling good! I got out to the Civic Center Farmer's market today and picked up a few tasty items. I'm really into mint these days - in salad, smoothies, perhaps a mojito to celebrate the beautiful sunny weather that has finally hit SF!

I threw some into a smoothie today. I highly recommend this recipe, it was so yummy:

frozen mango (about 2 cups)
1/2 of a banana
1/2 cup soy milk
a few mint leaves
a touch of raw agave syrup

Being a Vegan seems like it may be limiting, but hey, at least I can make sangria, which I will be enjoying momentarily up on the roof....

This batch was especially fantastic! I discovered a new recipe you see...

1 bottle white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
1 bottle red (cab for me!)
1 orange sliced
1/2 apple chopped
1 pear
1 kiwi
a bunch of grapes (halved)
1 mango sliced
1 lemon squeezed
about a 1/3 cup of rum, gin, or brandy (I used rum)
1/3 cup sugar
top off with some juice - orange, tangerine, pineapple...whatever you've got!

Let it all marinate for a couple of hours (or until you just can't wait any longer!)

Although my current situation is temporary, I'm trying to enjoy it, and really can't complain. Today was hot and glorious so I joined the other "odd-hour" workers at the beach. Ahhhhhh, I haven't been to the beach in my bikini in probably over a year, which is a huge crime in my book, so I was a very happy girl today : )

September 27, 2011

Going Vegan

After a wonderful and relaxing, albeit gluttonous few days at home in Ventura, I'm back in SF and looking for a new cleansing challenge. So I've decided to try being vegan for a month. My plan however is to allow myself one cheat day, and if my cheat day comes and goes without my noticing, well that will be even better. So how does a girl who loves meat and all things dairy become vegan? And how will it make me feel? I will keep you updated! But don't expect me to post nearly naked pictures of myself to "display" my progress...hell to the no, thank you!

Yesterday was Day 1:

For breakfast I had 2 pieces of whole wheat toast with organic peanut butter: remember to stay away from processed foods and buy organic whenever possible; seriously it's so much better! There is a fantastic whole wheat bread at Trader Joes - with only three ingredients: organic whole wheat flour, filtered water, and sea salt - this bread is delicious!

I thought it would be a good idea to make a delicious lentil soup that I could enjoy for I went to Trader Joes (my fave aside from farmers markets) for some ingredients. Here is what my first ever all vegan shopping list looked like (again, organic whenever possible):

soy milk
mint tea
vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes
grape fruit
meatless balls (they are surprisingly very yummy)
brown rice
sunflower seeds
frozen mango
garbanzo beans
sunflower seeds

While I shopped my lentils were soaking in water, so they were ready for me when I got home. I got out the crock-pot (never used one before) and threw all the necessary ingredients in. Just google any lentil soup recipe and you'll find a good one. I let it simmer for 8 hours and it came out delicioso! I was very pleased. 

For lunch I made a yummy raw salad with arugula, garbanzo beans, grape fruit slices, corn, avocado, sunflower seeds, cilantro, and carrot. I'm really into easy home-made dressings so I'll usually just squeeze half a lemon, some olive oil, and a little raw agave syrup directly onto my salad with salt and pepper. mpwah! (fingers together on lips and explode outward...mpwah!)

om nom nom
For dinner I ate that scrumptious soup and made some brown rice to go with it (you could also have that whole wheat bread {pictured above} with some almond butter spread). I also drink lots and lots of tea and water all day long.

Day 2 (today):

I got my social media education on and watched a live webinar via MarketingProfs while I drank tea and ate cream of wheat with soy milk, chopped up banana, and cinnamon. 

I went for a long run (70 min. wooo!) all the way down to the beach and did a bit of interval walking - it has been glorious (I never use that word but find it appropriate at the moment) weather here in San Francisco. I can't believe I was in southern California and all I got was a week of nothing but fog; then I come back to SF and find the sun. It must have been hiding here all along! What are the odds? I guess this is the Indian Summer everyone talks about. I love it! I actually saw surfers down at the beach; "surfer speak" was music to my ears : )

I snacked on a granola bar, and then for lunch had a salad (much like the one from the previous day). For dinner tonight I plan on eating my soup and maybe making some sweet potato fries! I have the best and easiest recipe:

1 - 2 sweet potatoes sliced (to look like fries)
A whole lotta: paprika, cinnamon, and kosher salt
Olive oil

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Throw the ingredients into a bowl and mix it all together then spread evenly on the sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Be sure to toss and turn ingredients every 10 minutes. Voila! Perfection. Your welcome.

I am also brewing my very own heard me! Kombucha! This stuff is like $4.00 a bottle, but it is so easy to make. All you need to get going is a scobi, which supposedly isn't easy to find but if you know someone who makes Kombucha you're good. The scobi basically expands each time it's brewed and you can simply peal off a layer and give it to anyone who wants it!

My cousin is a Kombucha expert. Check out her blog (if you've gotten this far...geeezus sorry about the long post) to learn more about it and how to brew your very own:

Also, you may be asking yourself, "what the hell is Liza doing?" Well I'm not so sure I can answer that at the moment. All I can say, is that if my persistence pays off my patience will as well.

A lot has been going on, and I promised to always be real, honest, and personal with you all and I intend to do that, so I'll be playing catch-up on here for a while...stay tuned.

September 14, 2011


I never even knew this picture existed! And in a newspaper none-the-less. View the 
online publication and read the article. (That's me on the left.)
Ventura College Dance Dept. presents Dancing on the Edge (2007)

September 13, 2011

Hilarious giggle fit

This is probably old news, but if anyone hasn't seen the clip of Anderson Cooper loosing it on national television, you have got to watch this! It gets me every time....

September 11, 2011


Okay, so there's this new place -  just opened in January - 
and I think it could possibly take over the world...just sayin.

It's sushi and a burrito. What? I know, it sounds strange, but here it is.

El Tigre Sushirrito - Photo courtesy of Pop Sugar SF

Sushirrito lovingly creates "sushi-burritos" or "sushirritos," with super fresh ingredients brought together in an innovative way. This is not your average sushi roll...or burrito. 

For example, I had the Casanova: Steelhead Salmon, baby arugula, avocado, daicon radishes, tomato salsa, green onions and toasted pumpkin seeds (yum!). Sounds like an odd combination of ingredients but I thought it was very tasty and the sushi was fresh and had that "melt-in-your-mouth" quality. I'm anxious to try some of their other options, including a vegan roll.

Sushirrito is an eco-friendly company as well, which is great. They buy local and organic whenever possible, and actually describe where their produce comes from (how it is caught) and more about ways they implement sustainable practices in their restaurant. It is on the website under "impact."

It is lighter and much healthier than your average burrito. However, a friend of mine tried Sushirrito and found it to be a bit too much, because sushi is supposed to be, well, sushi. So for purists this may not satisfy your palet. I however am a huge fan of hand-rolls, so to me it is a ginormous hand roll. I also think the ingredients and recipes are very different from your average sushi roll, so the distinction makes it something entirely unique and something I can appreciate and enjoy.

I say yum and yes please!

September 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to the woman who gave me life

Hehehe thanks for that Mom ; )

Happy Birthday to the greatest Mom in the world - the support, encouragement, and love you've shown me throughout the years has kept me going. Seriously, I couldn't do it without you. You've always pushed me to be ambitious and live life vigorously, while also being their to lend an understanding ear and a shoulder to lean on (and in my 20's - to cry on. a lot. jeeezuss). You've always encouraged me to do the best thing for myself and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that and appreciate you.

I love you Mom!

sister, mom, me

My cute Mom


September 5, 2011

3 day weekends would make the world a much better place.

.....That is my theory and I'm sticking to it!

Day 1 to run errands, day 2 to just relax/take it easy/be lazy/do nothing/RECOVER from the shenanigans of the night before, and day 3 to get out and play!

This weekend was lovely and relaxing and I discovered a few new places around the city. And when I say "discover" I mean, for god's sake, where have I been all this time whilst all these great little gems were just sitting there being enjoyed by everyone but me!??

I finally tried Philz Coffee and was not disappointed. I had the "Philharmonic" - it is not an understatement to say that upon first sip I had a symphony in my mouth. Yes. I went there. It was the most amazing coffee I've ever had. They brew each cup individually and stir it into frothy, creamy perfection. Yum.

Other highlights of the weekend include happy hour at the Burritt Room in the Crescent Hotel, Shanghai King for gastronomical deliciousness, going to The Old Clam House with my nor-cal family, seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the Bali exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, Civic Center farmers market, and a little exploring in Pacific Heights (love that neighborhood).

What am I looking forward to in the coming months? Well for starters, how about a summer? I feel as if I was robbed of that this year - maybe it's because I literally got to enjoy 3 summers last year (due to traveling around the world), so now Mother Nature is going, "Hah! This year you'll get no summer at all!"- hmmm. So I am looking forward to an Indian Summer in SF, which I've heard so much about and am anxiously for (if it doesn't come I may want to kill myself) (jk) (but seriously). 

Happy week! Hope it's a sunny one.