Abundant Harvest CSA

We bought a recurring membership to a local CSA called Abundant Harvest recently. We had tried out another CSA previously but found their boxes and produce to be disappointing. Abundant Harvest, however, had beautiful fruits and veggies, the folks involved were incredibly friendly and generous, and they include a ton of information (i.e. farmer contact information, recipes, storage info) with each box weekly.

CSA refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. (Wikipedia)

The cost is about $20 for a small box (they also have large boxes for about $10 more). They offer shipping for a fee, but they also have numerous pickup locations so we’ve opted to pickup the box each week. The boxes are always packed full, fresh, and ready to go!

There isn’t much else to add to our experience with Abundant Harvest, but I wanted to include some pictures of our weekly hauls and a few dishes we’ve made with our farm fresh produce. Enjoy!

Abundant Harvest week 3 #fresh #organic #csa

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Roasted veggies incoming #healthy

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Abundant Harvest: Week 6 #local #fresh #csa

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Abundant Harvest: Week 8 #fresh #local #csa

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Before and after: summer veggie tian (thank you @delthatcher for the recipe!) #csa #healthy #fresh

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Garmin Forerunner 10: First Impression

I finally took the plunge and purchased a GPS watch. I’d always told myself it was an excessive accessory, given that my phone had always been enough to track my runs. I’m not a competitive runner, so precision was never a priority of mine, and the phone was never THAT inaccurate. However, I recently upgraded to a much larger phone (iPhone 6+) and have found myself wishing I could lighten my running load. I also found myself wishing I could easily sync my runs to multiple trackers for the social groups since I have friends using various platforms.

Instead of running the various apps on my phone to track the same run, it seemed simpler to purchase a GPS watch that had the capability of importing, automatically or manually, to the sites I wanted to use (i.e. Runkeeper, Nike+). Add to the mix Amazon’s recent introduction of free same day shipping, and it was a perfect storm for the Garmin Forerunner 10 which arrived on my doorstep 2 days ago.



There wasn’t much to pull out. There’s the watch itself, the USB cradle to plug it into your computer for charging/syncing, and a few quick-start manuals. The watch came completely drained so it needed to sit on the charger overnight before I could take it out on a run. (I don’t know how long it actually takes to charge, but it wasn’t very fast.)

I also had to plug the watch in and download a few software updates which required connecting the watch to the cradle/computer to download an update, unplugging the watch for the update to process, then plugging it back in to check if there were more updates. I had to do this three times in total, which was a little annoying given my excitement to explore the watch but understandably necessary.


First Walk

Ok ok, I know I said the watch was near-dead, but I was impatient and used the watch the night I received the delivery after ~30 minutes of charging. I wanted to see how Garmin Connect, Garmin’s data management site, functioned and I needed at least one piece of data to do that. My boyfriend and I went for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, and I honestly thought the watch wasn’t going to make it (the battery bar was empty.) We made it back on watch battery fumes!

My initial thoughts:

  • I put on the watch, and I was shocked at how light it felt. It was extremely comfortable.
  • The material it’s made with is also grippy, so I found I initially fastened the watch too tight; after we started walking, I was able to loosen it to the point that I thought it might shift around, but it stayed put.
  • I read in reviews that the initial GPS locking may take a few minutes, so I stepped out onto our stoop, hit the “run” button, and prepared to wait. Less than 10 seconds later, I was ready to go! (Note: I live around one-story structures with few trees.)


First Run

The next morning, I hit the pavement for my first run. I didn’t discover anything new with the run versus the walk, but I did use the backlight since it was early (4:45am!) and dark (spoiler alert: the backlight worked!).


First Sync

RunKeeper doesn’t support direct syncing from Garmin Connect, so I’ve imported the GPX files directly using their import feature, and it worked flawlessly. All data, including GPS, imported without a hitch.

Nike+, however, has proved a greater challenge. Despite Nike+ supporting Garmin Connect automatic sync, the map data did not import for my walk or my run. I tried deleting those activities from Nike+ and instead tried this Nike+ Convert & Uploader tool to no avail. Nike+ has proven itself to me over and over again to be a glitchy, disappointing piece of software, but that’s a discussion for another post.


Garmin Connect

I am in love with Garmin Connect. The interface has everything I could want to see: graphs, lists, even monthly calendars with weekly summaries of my activities. It’s surprising how difficult it is to find a simple calendar of your activities!

Garmin Connect also syncs to MyFitnessPal so I can see my calories in/out with my graphs and reports. If it weren’t for the social features of RunKeeper and Nike+, I think I’d be happy with MyFitnessPal and Garmin Connect by themselves!

Happy Easter!

I’ve neglected the blog lately due to a lot of things going on in life. Namely, we moved! There are a lot of things I want to write about – running, cooking, cleaning, design – but for now, just to break the silence, I wanted to write a quick update on a smattering of topics.


We moved from Long Beach, CA to the foothills! I’ve been both looking forward to, and dreading, this change of scenery.


We traded the ocean for mountains.

Some of the pros include: no port fumes; more room in our larger apartment; quieter neighborhood which is great for work; safer neighborhood which is great for running. Some of the cons include: fewer businesses within walking distance; less central to neighboring LA cities and friends; more expensive; hotter and hillier which is miserable for running.


Boxes everywhere a few weeks ago.

Our new apartment is a much more open floorplan than our old place. There are many windows and sliding doors to a large, sunny patio, making for a beautiful and bright place. I already feel happier here than in our old apartment, purely because of the sunlight and trees. We are on the ground level, with no neighbors above or below. We have only one shared wall, and that is with our property manager, which means little to no excess noise!


Our back patio has several large flowerbeds which I’m very excited to clean up and plant. We are leaning toward a hardier flowerbed with plants that won’t require much watering. Responsible for the environment AND less work for us? Win! We’ll likely look into cacti, roses, basil, and peppers but I’ll ask the nurseries for recommendations.


The flowerbeds need some TLC.

Part of the excitement is depleted though given the state of our flower beds. They’re full of weeds, shards of glass, and a watering system that isn’t installed properly. There is going to be a lot of work before new plants can be introduced.


With our new apartment too I’ve been making an effort to be very conscious of our cleaning schedule and decorations. I want to make an effort to keep up with cleanliness, and make the apartment look its best. We got a little lazy at times with our old place, which resulted in some serious deep cleaning when we moved out. I don’t want to have to go through that again.

I’ll definitely be making a post soon about the full schedule, what I like about it, what I don’t like about it, etc. I basically took an example cleaning schedule that included weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual cleaning tasks, manually imported it to Google Drive so it could be an editable spreadsheet, and adjusted a few of the items to fit our apartment and lifestyle better. So far, I really like the schedule. It keeps me accountable and my house clean without being overbearing or excessive. I’m excited to write about this!


I tried to go for a run the other day, but the route I chose had nearly all of the sidewalks blocked off, or no sidewalks at all along the road. I wound up turning it in after only a mile and a half.

To be honest, that run attempt was miserable, aside from the sidewalk problems. It was so hot and dry that I was wheezing more than usual after only being out for about 15-20 minutes. The run was mostly uphill, which is something I’m not used to but is unavoidable given our new surroundings. All in all, it was a wakeup call and we’ll hopefully be getting a treadmill soon so help get back into running shape while slowly acclimating to the change in environment.

In the meantime though, I’ve started Yoga with Adriene‘s 30 Days of Yoga! I’m only 3 days in but it’s really enjoyable stretching and strengthening my body in ways running can’t offer.


Whew, there are even more quick updates I can throw on here but that’s enough for now. We need to pick up some yummy dessert for Easter dinner with the boyfriend’s parents, and relax before the week starts!


I hope everyone has a lovely and yummy Easter!

Running Outside: Lesson #4

After the humbling experience of falling over my own feet in public, I realized very quickly how difficult the situation would have been if I had broken my leg. Nobody knew I was going for a run at that moment in time. I wasn’t very near a road for help to easily reach me, nor did I know how to exactly describe my location. I didn’t know anyone who could pick me up, and didn’t have a taxi or driving app like Uber on my phone.  I needed to make sure that, god forbid another accident happen while I’m out on my own, that I’m prepared and know what I need to do. I also needed to remind myself to pay close attention to what is around me.

This is just a compilation or sort of check list of items I realized, fixed, or wanted to keep in mind for future runs.

  1. I have downloaded Uber to my phone and added a taxi service’s number to my contacts. In the event that I’m running and a local friend isn’t available, I may need an alternative way to get home, or if necessary, an emergency clinic.
  2. Be familiar with road names and landmarks throughout my route. The day of my fall, I couldn’t have said the name of the road I’d been on last. That was unacceptable if I needed emergency help. Likewise, today on my route I took a wrong turn. I made sure that I continued running a route I was familiar with, and simply made up distance by looping near home.
  3. Ensure someone knows exactly when and where I’ve gone out for a run, and when I’ve returned. This is a pretty cut and dry one: if you’re late to get back in touch with them, they’ll know to check on you. In a worst case scenario, they may be the first to know something’s awry which could be the difference between life or death.
  4. I always bring my ID, debit card and petty cash on a run. You never know when you may need to pay a cab, buy a water if you’re feeling nauseous far from home, etc.
  5. Run during daylight. If running late, make sure to run a safe, well lit, familiar route (and don’t forget reflective gear!).
  6. Be aware of those around you. Cross the street to avoid someone, within reason/judgement, if it’s safer.
  7. Listen to your surroundings. Do not listen to music so loud that you can’t hear what’s going on around you! You can’t easily hear a car coming down an alley over blasting a workout playlist.

I know most of the above I was taught or told while growing up, but it’s never a bad idea to remind yourself the basics from time to time.

I’ve often wondered if I should invest in jogger’s pepper spray to carry with me; I think I’ll only invest in a bottle if I’m going to run in rural areas or when it’s dark outside. I read the book Onward! which detailed a woman’s blog throughout her marathon training, in which she took safety very seriously. She was so serious that she hired protection, went to self defense classes, etc. I’m not sure I want or need to invest that much time and money into personal defense, but when it comes to your safety, is there such a thing as too much?

Falling Down

The other day, on a simple 3-mile training day for my half marathon training plan, I tripped over my own feet and fell. I hurt myself physically, but felt the effects more significantly to my ego and motivation.


I got ready for my run per usual, headed out to the street, stretched, and ran. I ran across the bridge and down to the bike path along the water, per usual. “Man, the weather is gorgeous. I should take a picture along the water to post to Facebook.” Here is where my eyes began to water terribly, the sun reflecting off the water irritating them. “Ugh, I really should’ve worn my visor today.” Rubbing my eyes with my sweaty hands made things worse from the salt on my skin. “Wow, I might need to start walking so I can calm my eyes.” Nevertheless, I continued running, rounding a corner along the path, struggling to keep my eyes open enough to see.

During all of this, I had my headphones in, music blaring. “I really like this song…”


Due to my distractions, it really isn’t a surprise that I stumbled and fell. It was a dramatic, delayed stumble – the kind where it takes several long strides, and you feel like time has slowed to a crawl. “This fall is absurd,” I remember thinking to myself. Then, it’s fast-forwarded; the pavement slams into your jaw, and the next thing you know you’re holding your throbbing leg whilst on your back in the rocky dirt beside the path.

The best I can put together is I was too close to the edge of the cement bike path, where there’s a good foot drop off. While I did try to catch myself with my hands, my right hand missed the path and hit air. My face followed, the right side of my chin slamming into the pavement, and I rolled off the path onto my back. I fell to my knees so violently on the pavement that I swore my right leg was broken. I had no feeling below the knee, and the most I could do for several minutes was hug my right leg to my chest, trying to muster the kahunas to feel for a break. I checked my chin and mouth first to make sure none of my teeth had been knocked loose (they hadn’t). I also eventually determined I hadn’t broken my leg either, thankfully.


Several people walked past me without saying a word while I laid on my back in the dirt. I was angry at the time, wondering how the men who couldn’t have missed my dramatic fall had the lack of manners than to at least ask if I was ok. Truthfully, I’m not sure I would have done differently if someone wasn’t actively calling for help. It’s an interesting contrast to the demeanor of people I passed running in the Florida Keys.

After I decided I really had no choice than to walk home (no friends nearby to come help me, and not close enough to a road for a taxi or Uber to reach me…) I managed to eventually stand up. My right knee still felt like I had seriously injured it, despite not being able to feel a break. I brushed off dirt, and began my shameful 1-mile hobble home. Surprisingly, my right leg felt looser by the end of my walk, although several days in and my knees still feel very weak (though in less pain).


In the end, I escaped my fall with two severely skinned knees, a deeply bruised right knee, a sprained hand, and bruised/scraped chin (the inside my mouth was bleeding from my teeth as well). I’m not sure when I should run again. I’m taking it a day at a time to see how stable my knees feel, but I’m anxious to get back to my training plan. I nearly cried out of frustration once the adrenaline rush wore off and I realized I was out of commission for a while, just as I was really getting excited about running regularly. I keep reminding myself that it’s only matter of getting back up again.