I’m a Retailer’s Dream

Ok, yesterday I was wrong. There is something better than an afternoon walk, a morning run outside! Now that I’ve taken my runs outdoors- praise!- I need to get into the kind of shape that allows me to maneuver up and down hills. This is not easy. I’m at a good clip running 3.1 miles, but by the end, I’m tired. I think after next week, I’ll stretch it back out to four and progress from there. It’s not easy running up hills and in my neighborhood, flat surfaces are hard to come by. Soon, an extension of my route will be necessary.

Before getting out there in the sun, I started my day with some Yoga. I can’t believe how stiff my body is in the morning. I don’t realize it until I’m doing Yoga and I can’t stretch as far down as when I’m  warmed up. My plan of attack for the summer is to do strength training with weights 2 days a week, body strength 2 days a week, and Yoga another two. My cardio would be running, swimming, and Plyometrics. I’m trying to mix things up a bit, but also keep my body healthy!

Breakfast was a warm and filling bowl of peanut buttery oats. I enjoyed it with strawberries stirred in, with a big cup of coffee, and some reading material. While I am in the middle of a novel, the past couple of days, I’ve been reading television scripts like a fiend. It’s fun to be able to picture the actors portraying them, but they are also really beneficial to my own writing.

  
For lunch, I mowed down on a stir fry. This one had chicken, veggies, and brown rice. Two hours later, I was starving so I had my snack of grapes, carrots, and a cheesestick early. I was wondering why I was so hungry so early and my mom suggested I wasn’t eating enough fat. See, fat is important! For tomorrow’s lunch, I added a sprinkle of cheese, which I hope evens things out and fills me up! Still tasty though!

  
Sausages, pasta, and a veggie medley were on the menu for dinner. Among the marinara goodness, one might find peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli.

  
Among other things going on in my life, I’m trying to decipher two things about the Red Sox. One is more pressing. How can they keep scoring huge amounts of tuns and losing the game? Going into the season, I thought we had mediocre pitching. To lose 11-8 is dismal. Get your ish together, friends, or I’m dusting off my glove and trying out because apparently we have no standards!

The second matter is a bit more personal. The Red Sox merchandising folks are out to get me. Let me lay it out for you. In 2003, I start to become a huge Sox fan and realize my crush on Nomar Garciaparra is full on love. I buy myself his shirt. They trade him- actually, let’s not go down that road because it’s too painful still! Ok, fine. A season or two later, I buy myself a Johnny  Damon shirt. He signs in hell shortly after. This one player, Jeremy Hermida, was projected to be a huge star, but injuries plagued his young career and his original team trades him. The Sox get him and I hear how everyone thinks he might finally find his groove. He does well for a week or two, I think he’s cute, so I buy his shirt. Doomsday, then he’s released. But then I still have my beloved Jacoby Ellsbury and I think we are going to have one of those one-team forever type relationships. I buy his short and he signs in hell too. Last season, I’m looking for a new shirt because obviously the others haven’t worked out- though I still wear Nomar- and I play it carefully. I put so much thought and caution into this purchase. I wait awhile into the season. I listen to the radio and the tv. Who’s the hottest prospect, who’s on the team for a good long while. I go with our hot stud of a new third baseman Will Middlebrooks. What happens? He’sinjured or in a slump and boom, he’s traded. For the record, it was between him and Grady Sizemore.

So I’m heading to a game soon and I’m thinking to myself how I might want to buy a new shirt. Mookie’s got a chance to be a franchise player, I think. Hanley’s fun  to watch, I murmur, but then I think, oh but Blake Swihart might be coming up soon. And them it hits me. I’m a jinx. Or, at the very least, I choose players’ shirts my my eyes and my heart, rather than my baseball knowing mind. If I were a GM of a baseball team, we might go 0-162, but we’d be on all the covers of the magazines.

No matter the cause, I’ll keep my distance from Mookie especially. Maybe it’s time I go for an  opposing team’s shirt?

Habits and the Power of Mindfulness

Hello, my name is Caitlin and it has been four days since I last dipped into the candy bowl. It’s become more of a habit than anything else. I get that it’s a delightful treat once in awhile, but I was starting to eat candy I don’t even like- ie, not chocolate! I’m being better about remaining more mindful and maintaining a positive attitude. This has helped keep me more consistent in my writing as well. The power of habit is all the same, we just have to tap into it.

There’s something about a walk on a warm, breezy day that is just good for the soul. This is especially true after a long, trafficky ride home from work. I racked up to extra miles for my day’s exercise as well. I suppose just the fact that the sun is shining down is enough.

My morning workout began with a body strength workout. I went through a circuit of squats, lunges, kickbacks, tricep dips, step ups, mountain climbers, push ups, mermaid raises, Russian twists, hip lifts, bicycle crunches, and v ups. I ran through it four times and was nice and sweaty by the time I was heading for the pool. I swam a mile in about 43 minutes and it took a few minutes to adjust to being out of the water when I finished. I can’t get over how much I adore swimming, but I also can’t write this post without mentioning this man who took up an entire lane and didn’t swim one lap. He just chilled there. It was lap time!

Breakfast was a chilled overnight oatmeal that hit the spot. For an guitar fruity kick, I ate some blueberries and raspberries on the side. The cinnamon, raisin, walnut combination never fails me. Hint, it all has to do with the complementary flavors of the chopped dates and mashed banana. So refreshing!

  
I was very proud of my lunch, which were leftovers of the meal I made on Sunday. My Parmesan crusted tilapia and shaved Brussels sprout salad held up well for a couple of days in the fridge. So bright, tasty, and nutritious! I’m not sure my pictures can quite convey the yumminess.

  

For a mid-day snack, I had prepared a bowl of cherry kefir and some freshly chopped strawberries. Although I was dubious before trying, the combination turned out to be excellent. I’m trying to be more creative with my snack combinations so I don’t grow bored and turn back to that candy jar.

Another colorful, flavorful, veggie-filled meal included steak, corn, a great big salad, and a side of nachos. I love food cooked on the grill because it can be so healthy and maybe a little because it is the epitome of summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hotdog or cheeseburger, but a good chicken, the am, or shrimp kebab with a side of grilled veggies doesn’t suck either.

  
We’ve reached mid-week, friends! I think it’s time we can start looking forward to the weekend! Any good plans?

Legs As White As Snow

At dinner over the weekend, I wore one of my new dresses and was feeling really good about myself. My calves are my best features as they have been honed by strength training and running and I’m quite proud of them. We were standing around talking before heading out and my aunt asked me if I put anything on my legs. My initial assumption was to believe that she was complimenting them in some way as they may have looked shiny or something, but then she said, “Oh, I thought you were wearing white stockings.”

Listen, it’s been a long, bleary winter. Forgive me if my body is pasty and as white as snow.

I can’t believe at this point that Monday has already come and gone and we are into Tuesday. When my alarm went off in the morning, officially signaling the end of the weekend, I wanted to just snuggle into my pillow a little deeper. I had a bit of trouble falling asleep last night because my mind was racing with writing ideas. This is a positive, but I’m also tired, though as the day turned out, I didn’t feel overly tired.

Instead of rolling over, I rolled myself out of bed and threw on my clothes. I went through my usual routine and once I got to the gym, I started with some plank action. I’m alternating between full planks and forearm planks to mix things up. After, I meandered over to the barbells to run through circuit training. For each move, I performed reps by 10x8x6x4 going up in weight, then finished at a medium weight with 8x8x8. By the end, my muscles were feeling the effects of hard work. To throw in some cardio, I jumped on the treadmill for five minutes of sprints before doing some box jumps, jumping jacks, and jump rope. It was an excellent way to start the week!

Breakfast was a glorious invention my Aunt Dawn recommended. It’s an egg sandwich maker that allows you to cook everything within five minutes. All I had to do was throw in an English muffin, cheese, ham, and an egg. It came out toasty, melty, and delicious. It kept me full for a long while too and I wasn’t hungry again until it was lunchtime! Some fruit added to the meal.

photo 1

I made a couple of stir frys for the week on Sunday and this is one of them. Welcome back chicken teriyaki meatballs! I mixed my veggies with a little teriyaki sauce over buckwheat noodles and happily chowed down for lunch.

photo 2

No extra snack was needed as it was someone’s birthday at work and we had ice cream cake to celebrate. My favorite kind of anything!

For dinner, we broiled scallops- one of the best kinds of seafood!- and enjoyed them with some lobster ravioli. Spinach, peppers, and mushrooms were a nice added touch in the marinara sauce.

  
Nothing really else exciting to report except that I am trying to convince myself that my runny nose, deep cough, and chest burn are all to do with allergy symptoms rather than that terrible chest cold/flu that is going around. I can’t be sick for the beginning of May!

I Didn’t Pull Out My Eyelashes

There was an incident on Friday night. I suppose this is why they say not to look at your electronics right before bed because you end up staying up later than you should, which makes your eyes sleepy and itchy and when you go to rub them, something comes off that looks a lot like your eyelashes. 

I flew out of bed to verify that I indeed still had my eyelashes intact. To make doubly sure, I applied mascara to make sure that the lashes extended and were as full as usual. Crisis diverted.

Friday morning started with quite a workout! With muscles no longer so sore, I went through a dumbbell circuit that involved lots of heavy weights. I hopped on the treadmill for five minutes of sprinting, which by the way, sucks less when you are running off the treadmill and going freestyle, but sometimes you have to make do, then I went through an intense, tiring Plyometrics workout. I almost talked myself out of burpees, but I sucked it up and got through it. Ending with five minutes of jump roping makes things burn, but I left feeling so powerful!

Since Friday traffic is lessened, I had time to whip up these pancakes from a mix I bought at Stonewall Kitchen- toasted coconut. They were a little flatter than my homemade recuperating, but still delicious! I topped them with some peanut butter and jelly and enjoyed a bowl of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries that were so juicy.

  
For lunch, I ate another stir fry. I ran out of my Thai peanut sauce and only had a little to spare for the dish, so I drizzled some chili sauce for a kick of flavor. Divine!

  
I wanted a soup and sandwich for dinner on Thursday, but they ended up giving me a full sandwich so I really only had a bite of soup. It was a ham and cheddar with mixed greens on a baguette with honey mustard. Not too shabby. For soup, I had a tomato based broth with corn.

On Saturday, I expected a relaxing and refreshing day, which started out with these peanut butter pancakes that made my heart and tummy happy.

  
Turns out, springtime cleaning had another idea in mind for my Saturday afternoon. I spent most of the day raking up dead grass, which is great exercise. I still had a run on tap afterwards and it was amazing to be outside in the sun to rack up 3.1 miles. I added another 2 of walking since it was so nice out. When I got back, I went through a half hour Yoga sequence that was the cherry on top of another great week of exercise!

After my day of labor, I sat down to enjoy my leftover soup with a fresh roll and some veggie sticks.

  
I was very excited to make a stop in Barnes and Noble after dinner last night because it’s one of my favorite places. I really like to walk around and browse, but I did end up purchasing a new journal, JK Rowling’s illustrated version of her Harvard Commencement speech from 2008, and  the Bell Jar, which I’ve been wanting to reread.
Sunday morning, I woke up feeling only slightly hungry, a rarity, so I toasted an English muffin and smeared peanut butter on top. I also had a small bowl of raisin bran with chopped banana, so I guess I was hungrier than I claimed.

Now lunch was something I was quite proud of. I ended up taking my Parmesan zucchini recipe and applying it to tilapia. Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, and basil all mixed together. Drizzle the fish with a little olive oil and coat it with the Parmesan mix. With the oven at 400, cook for 12 minutes. In the future, I think I will try broiling it for a minute or two longer just to make it a bit crispier. So good! On the side, I made myself a shaved brussel sprout salad that included shaved carrots, chopped peppers, craisins, and pistachios mixed in the rose blush dressing I adore. An original Caitlin gourmet dish that made enough for lunch the next day! One might claim restaurant worthy.

  
Sundays, as I like them, are often spent cleaning and prepping meals for the week. Not only do I enjoy taking the time to create healthy, fresh, quality meals, but it also allows me time during the busy week to do other things that I enjoy. The fish and brussel sprout salad was one meal and I spent good time chopping up more veggies and readying dishes you will be drooling over throughout the week. Laundry was folded, my room was cleaned, then I sat down to put in a good amount of time writing. Diligence!

For dinner, I had a craving for hot dogs which was stimulated by my afternoon walk. All around me, people were at their grilles for a good old barbecue and I knew I needed to get on that as well. I paired the dogs with some veggie sticks and tempura broccoli which was a fun change. 

Enjoy the week!

Errors Don’t Lead to Smooth Reading

As I was typing up tomorrow morning’s post, I was noticing how my ipad was autocorrecting correctly spelled words to nonsense. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I decided to glance back at last week’s posts and there are quite a few nonsense errors! I am a little embarrassed because I pride myself in spelling, especially when supposedly backed by autocorrect. You have failed me.

Siri just said I failed myself.

Siri May have a point actually. I could blame it on the winter and snow, waking up early and having long days, but lately I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I’ve not been utilizing my time to be as productive with things I should be, and want, to be doing.

For instance, I blog fairly consistently during the week, but when it comes to my other writing, I’ve been lacking. It’s a ton easier to sit down in front of the tv and just watch. Mindless fun. There’s a time for television and writing and I have to be better at finding a balance. Especially in that this is something I want to pursue further. I’ve been good these past few days and I feel as though I have been awakened with a new mindset and diligence, so I think only positive things lie ahead.

One thing that is helping me get back into my writing groove is journaling. I bought a new one last night for a fresh start. Journaling my random thoughts or a recap of my day helps spark my creative process so I can turn it on in other endeavors. I can’t say what, but I started a project last night that I’m really excited about.

Another way to maximize my time is to take advantage of my commute. It’s not terrible, but it is time exhaustive, so I’ve been trying to think of things I can do. Obviously, I’m limited in the fact that I drive. Instead of the radio all the time, I’m going to start listening to audiobooks and I just downloaded a tape recorder app that would allow me to speak out story ideas and plots. It will definitely seem silly at first, especially when having to playback, but I think it will turn out to be an excellent tool.

How do you maximize your awake time to make sure everything you need, and WANT, to do gets done?

Sorry If I Slapped Your Face

I think I slapped someone with my backstroke in the pool. It as an accident. When I started my lap, I was alone in the lane, but I was joined,midst know its and *smack.* I think I was more startled than he was injured.

Regardless, I had a great workout that started with a body strength circuit I ran through three times. The circuit included step ups, squats, lunges, push ups, mountain climbers, mermaid raises, elevated hip lifts, v ups, bicycle crunches, Russian twists, and rollouts. I had a nice sweat rolling before I changed into my suit and took it to the pool. Today was my sprint day in the pool and I quickly found myself short of breath, in a good way. By the end, I was energized, awake, and ready to face the day!

Wednesday, woke up feeling sore from the day’s before, so I did a Yoga sequence at home then ran outside. I’m glad I did because it was beautiful out? Even though it’s been harder to get myself up in the morning, it has also been lighter out so when I step outside,the sun is there to greet me. By the time I was running, it was warm and sunny, better I think than it was in the afternoon. It felt good to have a nice stretch with Yoga.

My breakfasts the past couple of days included peanut butter toast on Thursday with a hard-boiled egg and fruit.

 
Wednesday was a cup of Greek yogurt with berries and a waffle with peanut butter and half a banana.

  

Stir frys have been big with me for lunch these past couple of days. I enjoyed brown rice with chicken and veggies on Thursday.

  
On Wednesday, I ate buckwheat noodles with chicken and veggies. Nice and colorful! Buckwheat noodles seem heartier to me and I’ve really enjoyed them.

  
A salad with some chicken was the main item on the dinner menu on Thursday. I paired it with half of a baked potato, green beans, and some leftover Chinese food, which was our dinner on Wednesday- forgot the picture for that!

 
The past few weekends have been an absolute blast celebrating my sister and her fiancé with family and friends, but this weekend is about relaxation! I do have a few exciting things planned, but I expect to spend a ton of time writing and catching up on tv.

A Look Back

I was in charge of dog and cat duties Tuesday morning, so I expected to have to wake up a tad earlier than usual. Upon waking just a few minutes before my alarm rang, I found that we were in the middle of a raging thunder storm and no one should be expected to go out in that. Two of us slept in, while one of us hid under the bed. That would be my cat, Bandit. He’s big and brave except when it comes to storms.

When I did pull myself out of bed, I found that even that extra half hour of sleep made quite the difference. Unfortunately it cut into my workout time a bit, but it was a nice surprise. I walked the dog then took myself to the gym for a swim. I ended up swimming my fastest mile and my shoulders, combined with a strength workout from the day before, left my shoulders feeling sore. It was a great way to start the day and I ended with a longer walk on baht turned out to be a spectacular day!

Breakfast was this big, warm bowl of oats I concocted. Peanut butter, jelly, strawberries, and blueberries.

  
Lunch was a delicious stir fry I threw together with veggies, chicken, and buckwheat noodles mixed together in Thai peanut sauce. I paired it with a pear.

  
For dinner, I made another stir fry with chicken, veggies, and brown rice.

  
Looking back over the weekend, on Monday, I cooked up my pancakes for a hearty meal that filled me through a strength workout and a run.

  
For lunch, I threw a plate of leftovers together to refuel after my workout. Some macaroni and cheese with veggies. Dinner was a chicken curry dish I bought from Trader Joes with a piece of naan and lots of veggies.

Looking even further back to Sunday, I enjoyed some poached eggs over toast to energize my shopping trip. It was quite a sweep for spring/summer clothing! Lunch was a quick slice of pizza mid-shopping.

When I got home, it was still nice out, so I threw on my new sneakers and got to it!

  
I wasn’t feeling spectacular afterwards, so a little later I ate some toast with peanut butter for my dinner.

Further further back is Saturday. Shower day! My mom and I hosted my sister Lauren’s bridal shower at Tavern in the Square and it was quite lovely. While the bride and groom meandered the room, guests feasted on   brunch assortment of omelets, scrambled eggs, bacon, French toast, veggies, macaroni and cheese, and fruit. It was delicious! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, especially Lauren and Nick, which is most important!

   
    For dinner, we snacked on some chips and salsa before ordering pizzas. I had a salad for a hit of veggies. By the way, banana peppers on pizza is the way to go!

Finally, on Friday night, I went out to celebrate my friend Molly’s birthday. A group of us went to a Mexican place and I had one of my favorite dishes- blackened salmon over a salad with tostito chips on the side.