All posts by Natasha Perera

Rugby, travel, improv, food, fashion. Contact me at natasha@underthesticks.net!

Hydration

I’m working really hard on drinking more water.  I have started taking water bottles everywhere in an effort to help flush toxins out of my body, cleanse my skin, and help digestion. It’s especially important to drink tons of water when the weather gets hot and fry.

J bought a cute mason jar to fill up water for me. I decided to try some water infused with fruits to give it an extra kick. I used cut strawberries (and later limes), but will also do oranges and lemons! It isn’t supposed to taste like fruit juice, but rather a slightly sweeter tasting water. 

 

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I had some cut up watermelon as a snack. I cut it into cubes and throw it in a plastic container in the fridge so that I can easily grab it and go whenever I please. It’s perfect for bite size snacking. 

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What’s your favorite way to get some extra hydration in during the summer?

Stocking up on Groceries

 

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Grocery shopping is my favorite “chore” ever. I know some people hate doing it, but something about shopping and comparing prices is so relaxing to me. I shop everywhere from Trader Joe’s to Sprouts to Costco to Ralph’s. I don’t mind going from store to store as long as I’m getting the best prices. Luckily they are all within fifteen minutes of me, so it makes things easy.

Sprouts is a great place to visit on Wednesdays because it’s Double Ad Wednesday! That means that last week’s ad AND this week’s ad are in effect. Double the savings and double the food to purchase!

Examples of where I typically purchase things:
Trader Joe’s: Bread (1.99 a loaf), Orange juice (1.99 a carton)
Sprouts: Shredded cheese (2.00 for a small carton), Bread pudding (2.00 for a portion), Eggs (99c [sale] for 12)
Costco: Frozen chicken (16.00 for six pounds)
Ralph’s: Dog food (1.00 a can), Oranges (89c a pound)

I tend to do big grocery trips every two or three weeks and stock up on perishable items whenever I run out. There are certain things that I need in my fridge at all time. They include: soy milk, eggs, orange juice, cheese, bread, chicken, and some sort of fruit.

Where do you like to shop for groceries?

Bourbon and Tapatio Chicken Salad

Have you ever thought about how “a chicken salad” and “chicken salad” are two different things? The first refers to a bed of lettuce and chicken, while the second refers to a concoction of mayo and shredded chicken. Well, this is one of my favorite recipes ever and is a chicken salad.

 

bourbon-chicken-salad

Ingredients:
Chicken:
Uncooked Chicken Breast
Stubbs Hickory Bourbon Marinade
Tapatio Sauce

Salad:
Romaine Lettuce
Spinach
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Cilantro
Bolthouse Farms Ranch Dressing

 

Directions:

Defrost your chicken breast and marinade in sauce. Make sure the pieces are covered completely and feel free to “massage” those suckers! Add four tablespoons of Tapatio sauce to the mix to give it an extra spice. Cover with saran wrap and let soak for at least 30 minutes. While it is marinading, prepare your salad. 

I used whole romaine lettuce because it was cheaper than the salad packs. Cut the leaves into small pieces, about two inches by two inches. 
Cut spinach into bite size pieces and mixed with lettuce. 
Cut cucumbers into thin pieces and diced tomatoes into small cubes. Add cilantro to taste. 

 

salad-toppings

 

Grill your chicken until it is fully cooked. Slice into thin pieces. Top your salad with Bolthouse Farms Ranch Dressing and enjoy!

 

bourbon-chicken-salad-

 

 

USA Rugby v Japan

As someone who’s been involved in the rugby community for more than fourteen years, nothing gets me more excited than seeing professional rugby being played in my own backyard. USA played Japan last night in a night of big hits, crisp passes, and a beautiful hat trick by Blaine Scully.
We headed to the venue about half an hour before kick off to meet up with friends and teammates. I’ve grown up in such a tight-knit rugby community that it’s hard to go to a game without running into someone you know. Personally, I love it! It certainly gives a “family” feel to the sport. We become more than just spectators watching a game together because we can all experience it.
Last year’s game against Tonga in the same venue didn’t sell as well as expected, so I was pleased to see more tickets were sold for this match. Rugby is growing at such a fast pace, it’s incredible! I love sharing my passion and love for the sport and seeing a professional game is a great way for newbies to get their feet wet.
Many people were tailgating in the parking lot, some repping USA jerseys, others decked out in red, white, and blue, and some even in sumo outfits. Needless to say, it sure is a party at rugby games. The girls and I dressed as patriotically as we could and the boys wore jerseys.

 

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 I spent the first half of the game at the 50 meter line and spent the second half behind the try zone. Having never seen Japan play rugby before, I was impressed with their caliber of play. Although they were smaller than USA, their technique was spot on. They hit rucks quickly and efficiently. They also had incredibly crisp passes and were able to place their kicks tactically. They qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup, so it’ll be great to see how they progress this year. 
   USA was filled with a good mix of players I’ve seen throughout the years and new players. I’ve grown up watching Todd Clever and Chris Wyles (who captained the match) and am always impressed by their hard work ethic as a forward and back, respectively. USA players made some great hits and an early on interception set the stage for the match, certainly exciting the home crowd. The game was pretty back and forth, with strength being shown on USA’s wings, who had solid breakaways throughout the match. 
   Japan was able to capitalize on breakaways in the scrum, and in my opinion, there was too much hesitation in kicking. I’ve been taught that missed tackles lose games, but a golden rule that’s just as important is that poor kicks can cost you. For professional players who should be used to kicking under pressure and clearing the ball from their “red zone”, there was a little too much hesitation and delay. There was quite a bit of kicking from both sides. 
   The game was fairly close throughout the entirety of the game, and USA fans tried hard to pump the home team up with chants and yells. (Maybe a few fans were a bit drunk..? ;)). Things got quite exciting at the end. With just about ten minutes to go, the score was just 34-29, with Japan only a try away.  USA gave away a penalty right in front of the posts, which was successfully kicked, giving Japan a lead of 37-24. While the crowd was hopeful that in ten minutes USA could score, convert, and make a penalty kick, unfortunately the cards didn’t get played that way. 
   I have a habit of sticking behind my camera during big events and missing out on the fun, so I didn’t snap many pictures. However, you can find some at the USA Rugby Facebook
   Overall, the game was much more successful than last year. Although the seats in the pictures are fully open, the sides we were sitting on were packed, which is great. One can only hope that with more of a marketing push, the stadium will be packed next year, for whichever team comes our way!
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Welcome to Under The Sticks

Hello, all! I am so excited to bring you the official Under The Sticks website. My name is Natasha. I am a Southern California native who enjoys playing rugby, traveling, performing improv comedy, cooking, and writing. Be sure to check out the tabs above and get acquainted with the site!

I look forward to hearing from you and taking this journey together. I can be reached via email at Natasha@UnderTheSticks.Net at any time.

Cheers!