Baby, You’re A Firework

Hello! Last night Ben surprised me by remembering we had a date planned and I didn’t get to post again yesterday.

He offered to take me to my favorite restaurant, Whole Foods Hot Bar, but since we wanted to see a movie too we opted for something that made more sense location wise: The Veggie Grill.IMG_2569

The Veggie Grill is a vegetarian chain in SoCal.


The only thing you really need to know is that they have sweet potato fries. The rest are just details.

IMG_2568 IMG_2576

I got the “Grill’n Chick’n”. It came on a whole wheat bun with guac and amazing chipotle ranch. I don’t miss chicken sandwiches, but I do enjoy eating a hearty fake meat filled sandwich :)IMG_2570

With a side of Miso Kale. I never cook kale expect for making Kale Chips. I am missing out.


After dinner we went to see “Waiting for Superman”. It is a documentary about the American public school system. It shows how many public schools, especially in lower income areas, are failing kids and also highlights some great charter schools that are trying to beat the odds.

waiting for superman

As someone who is a minority, and is from an area not too far from one of the “failing” schools mentioned in the film, I think it’s a great opportunity for people to see the movie and start a conversation about our kids and school system. 

My mom is a teacher and I know she works hard and puts a ton of work and heart into those kids. It’s a complicated issue and I don’t know how to fix it. But we need to.

After the movie we stopped by Yogurtland. It’s in the same complex as the Veggie Grill and  the Indie theater. Another reason Irvine is amazing. yogurtland

And I’ll show you lunch because it was too good not to.


This morning I went on a run in my Long Beach Marathon tech shirt. I really like that it’s not white for once.  IMG_2581

I stole some of Ben’s cinnamon roll with pumpkin cream cheese because it was the last one and is amazing! I’m getting more of these!!


When I came back from my run I had a massive yogurt bowl with the disposable spoon we got at Cha for Tea yesterday.IMG_2585 I wonder how many times I can use it before the plastic starts breaking down and gives me cancer?


Ben’s Comment of the Day:

Me: (seeing Ben eating Dark Choc PB Cups) “You can’t eat those before lunch!”

Ben: “This IS lunch!” IMG_2592


This morning I set off on 7.5 miles. I felt so good and happy to be running again. This was my first “real run” since Sunday. While I was running I thought about how amazing I did at the marathon last week. I am very very proud of myself. IMG_2394

Ben tells me I am a genetic anomaly and I think it’s true, but in a good way :)

No one runs in my family.

I am not built like a runner.

My bones aren’t weightless.

My legs aren’t gazelle-like.

As a child, no one ever said,

“Now that one…she’s going

to be a runner.”

I am not a marathon runner.

But, I know that no one

is a marathon runner until

they actually run one.

– Nike Ad

I don’t look like a runner. I know I get a lot of shit on this blog for referencing any type of goal to lose weight, but I have 30 pounds on most of the girls I’m running with – And I stick with them. (The numbers don’t lie and please don’t leave a comment on here telling me anything different. Seriously.) I don’t know why I love this as much as I do. I don’t know how I manage to stick with the “skinny” girls. I don’t know how I ran my first marathon in 4:15 at 157 pounds. I don’t know a lot things*…

Maybe it’s because I’m a firework?

Question: Why are you a firework?

Leave a comment here OR write a blog post about why you’re a firework and link to it in the comments. Let’s start a blog movement this week – everyone post about why you’re a Firework! Own it and post it!!

*Wait. I do know something. I know that if I can do it, you can do it.

Updates to Add: All fireworks are different. You can be a firework no matter how you look :)


  1. says

    I don’t know man…I know you can do it, and you kick ass at it, but I don’t think I could do it! My caboose would hold me back, and I aint kidding.

    I think I’m a firework because of my little spit fire personality. One of my best friends described me as someone who “you would think was a bitch just by looking at her, but once you get to know that girl, she’s a pistol and the funniest person I know. I could listen to her for hours!”. Leave it to BFFs to tell it like it is.

  2. says

    I’m so not a firework. I’ve got 30 pounds on other runners, too. But, unlike you, I’m slow as can be and struggle every time. In fact, I’m procrastinating right now when I said I’m going for a run all day. But to be fair, I just came back from dress shopping, which was unsuccessful and depressing, so this coffee break is well deserved, right? Boo.

    Anyway, I think you’re an awesome firework!

  3. Amy says

    I am a firework because I am not that typical “runner” and I still keep doing it. I have at least 40 lbs on the other gals but I don’t care. I could sit and be depressed about it. But I don’t.
    Looking back at this year-I have done all long distance runs. Something that I never would have dreamed of doing even in 2009. I did a 9 miler in April, a 10K in July, a 1/2 in October and next month I am going back to my “roots” by doing a 5K in beautiful SF. And after every race, I feel powerful, colorful, explosive and full of life…like a firework.

  4. Amanda says

    You did awesome in that marathon! Really awesome. Don’t worry about not looking like a runner, what DOES a runner look like? I don’t look like one either: I’m slow, short and am working through some ITBS. Nobody runs in my family either….. we seem to have a few things in common Monica, lol.

  5. Kristin says

    Hey Monica,

    I regularly read and identify with you! I am also a non-traditional runner (short, 25 lbs overweight) that can run fast! I also find an odd sense of accomplishment at being fast even though no one expects me to be :) I am working hard to lose weight this winter in hopes of experiencing racing at a healthier weight next summer and sometimes I wonder if it won’t be as fun…although I am sure my body will thank me and think that it is much more fun :) Keep on trucking you are awesome!

  6. says

    I don’t look like a runner either. And I’m not really fast. But I’m a firework because next weekend I’ll be running my 7th half-marathon!

  7. E says

    Hey Monica! I love your blog and think you look great! Any chance you can show us a picture of the package the TJ’s cinnamon rolls came in. I went looking for them but couldn’t find them and honestly didn’t know where to look! Thanks :)

  8. says

    Ha ha! I am love the poppy cheese – I’ll bite. I am a firework cuz I don’t give up – I mean really don’t give up – stubborn as a mule. Running is my TNT, it makes me stronger, physically – but most of all mentally. I am learning to push till I have nothing left. Yes, I am still a little “thick” whatever…I do it. How rad is it to know what your body is capable of!?!? Society tells me to look a certain way…my body is more then visual – I know what it can do, and I am impressed.

  9. Sahar says

    I got to visit the Veggie Grill last time I was in SoCal – so yummy! I got a kid’s meal with the chik’n nuggets so I could try the sweet potato fries and their chocolate pudding. I highly recommend it!

    I’m a firework because even though I had to put running on the backburner for health reasons, I am still determined to get back out there because running is seriously the only physical activity that I have ever enjoyed and felt comfortable doing. Even if I have to start over from scratch with endurance, I won’t give up!

  10. says

    I’ve been told I look like a runner…talk and relatively skinny…but truthfully I MADE myself a runner. I HATED RUNNING and never did until about a year ago! So despite “looking” like a runner, it took hard hard work.

  11. says

    I know I don’t look like a runner, but I love it anyway! I weigh nearly 150 lbs, but I used to weigh nearly 200!! I’m TOTALLY a firework 😉 I did my first half marathon this year and I have my third in just a few weeks. I’m thinking about doing a full next year.

    Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t compare yourself to other runners. You rock :)

  12. says

    Wow I can’t believe people have the nerve to leave mean comments like that! I think you are amazing and I wish I could run a marathon at 4:15! It probably take me double that 😉

  13. says

    Whenever I’m feeling down about running, I remind myself that I have 50-60 pounds on the people I run with and I feel proud. Not upset. But proud that I can get out there and run. I definitely think I’d be a little faster if I could lose 30-ish pounds and I do want to work on losing but that’s a whole different story. I’m glad you’re proud of yourself!

    Everytime we’re at the Spectrum, I think of trying that place out. I’ve got to go sometime.

    As teachers, I REALLY want to plan a date to see “Waiting for Superman.” I think I’ll probably cry.

    I definitely want to run a half-mary with you one of these days! I wish I could be trained in time for Malibu!

  14. says

    I totally don’t look like a runner either. Unless, I starve myself, I never well. The skinny runner girls, to whom it comes naturally, all weigh 30-40 pounds less than me. But you know what? I go the distance. I put in the work, mentally and physically. I have two serious chronic illnesses and I still get out there most days, just me and the pavement. Screw “looking like a marathoner” — I am one so it doesn’t matter what I look like.

    I was just talking to my boyfriend about genetic runners vs. ….just runners. He is Kenyan, so it is pretty interesting. I think it’s true that he doesn’t have to work as hard as I do to run well.

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