new beginnings

Before I begin anything, I want to wish HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREATEST PERSON WHO EVER LIVED: my mom.

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You’re the best and the day doesn’t deserve your greatness, although it should be celebrated anyway! Love you!

Welcome to 2017! I’ve been on break for the past ten days and it’s been wonderful being home, but after a lot of relaxation and eating, I’m ready to get back into my routine.

I don’t really have New Years resolutions, but I’m looking forward to being more mindful and present this year. I tend to be frantically go-go-going and I think it heightens my anxiety. Sometimes, you have to relax and watch the world around you. So let’s go!

I’ll start the first post of 2017 with a recap of my vacation. It started with a day of biking at the beach. The day was a bit dreary, but the wind kicked up as I hit the beach and it was hard to pedal. This is a little scary looking, no?

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By the time I got back and finished getting ready, it was time to get to the airport super early. Traveling around the holidays is no joke. And traveling overnight means no sleep for me who cannot sleep on planes. Oh well. I read Amy Schumer’s book instead. This is the view back to Boston.

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Cold!

It was Christmas Eve morning by the time I arrived and it was time to celebrate. Note: thanks for the early pick-up and drop-off from the airport mom and dad!

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Lots of quality times with family was enjoyed. (Without pictures, I guess).

As well as time with friends.

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Finished off the year the way I started it, with a run outside!

*On the brink of 2016. (So innocent, so naive).

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It was colder and snowier this year, but watching for ice just made it more adventurous…

*On the brink of 2017. (A little more weathered).

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My New Year’s smooch this year.

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And before I knew it, it was time to catch my flight back to LA.

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All I wanted to do was sleep when I got home, but I didn’t want to disrupt my routine, so instead, I cleaned and got organized. Felt good! I stopped at the gym to fit in some strength training before heading out for a hike.

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The sun was not awaiting my arrival.

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After grocery shopping, I meal prepped and made dinner. Ravioli atop chicken sausage, spinach, red bell pepper, and zucchini. Ah my Gah, delicious! And it so happens to make up my lunches for the week as well.

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Oh, and yeah, I should be more consistent with my blog.

One Month!

Happy one month anniversary to me and LA!

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In some ways, I can’t believe I’ve already lived here for a month, but in others I feel like I’ve been here forever. It has something to do with how things came together job-wise, but also, life flies! Take advantage and live it while we can!* Chasing dreams isn’t always glamorous and it’s certainly not easy, and no matter the long-term successes and failures, the journey is worth it. Cliches have truth, friends!

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*Even if it scares you and believe me, this still scares me.

If you’ll remember, I am a personal trainer and so I’m used to standing on my feet all day, but the change of foot wear and profession has taken a hit to my feet. They are sore! After a day at work and a run, this is my total for the day:

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I’ll never complain about getting to move around, but I think they might deserve a pedicure soon- maybe to celebrate my one month anniversary!

Breakfast:

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Lunch was quinoa, black beans, brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Dinner:

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We’re halfway through the week!

Reflections

September has always felt like a fresh start thanks to countless years at school, but this one passed by in a blur thanks to my move. It strikes me how 2016 has been such a bizarre and impactful year in my life, both good and bad, from the very beginning. I lost my beloved cat and  aunt, both who I still can’t believe are gone. I became a personal trainer. Made new friends. Moved across the country. Started a new job. And I’m sure there are many other factors that have gone into this year. I’m not sure what’s to say about it other than a person’s ability to adapt is weird and empowering.

Tuesday’s most exciting part of the day was the fact that I mastered how to make a latte. My mom insists the foam makes a woman, but I was just focused on getting the milk to look like that. Yay me. Listen, it’s pertinent to my job.

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Breakfast was a yummy bowl of oats with almond milk, banana, raisins, walnuts, honey, and cinnamon. The picture makes me want to eat more right now.

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Lunch was another serving of quinoa and red beans with Brussels sprouts and spinach. No picture was snapped, but it looked just like it did yesterday.

Since it was National Taco Day, I decided to make more tacos for myself. This time, I grilled up some cod and served it over a medley of zucchini noodles and red pepper. Topped with soyaki and some hummus on the side.

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I’m doing pretty good for myself cooking. According to the scale at my new gym (that I don’t know if I trust or not), I’m down four pounds since I’ve moved. I’ve felt lighter and my clothes fit nicely, so I’ll roll with it.

I’ve remained solid in the exercise department even though it’s not my livelihood at the moment. Tuesday’s workout was a run/walk combination that ended with four minutes of HIIT that left me breathless. After a little yoga, I called it a night!

I already prefer working out in the evening to waking up before the sun, so long as I go to the gym before heading to my apartment. Routine, people. It’s a beautiful thing!

Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week!

Cheesy Business

We’ve made it to Thursday! The weekend is upon us, but hopefully, you’re still rocking this week. I had myself a pretty good Wednesday, what with nailing down a job, but the other parts of the day were pretty sweet too.

Especially this syrupy waffle from the morning. Paired with some fruit, it was perfection.

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For lunch, I dug into more of my quinoa dish, chock full of black beans, corn, broccoli, orange pepper, feta, and soyaki.

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I made myself a fancy dinner to celebrate last night. Not nearly as good as my mom’s, but I don’t make a terrible chicken parmesan. Vegetable medley and pasta on the side. One might say with too much cheese. But one would be wrong.

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Exercise was a run, walk combination totaling 4.5 miles! I ran for a mile at a medium-fast pace, walked the difference between my mileage and 15 minutes, ran another mile at a faster pace, walked, then did it a third time. I ended up continuing on to complete more than 4 miles with running, and finishing off with a walk. A quick yoga session ended my workout and left me dripping in sweat, the way I love it!

Lots of writing occurred in the hours after and we finally installed wi-fi! Things are continuing to fall into place and though I still suspect challenges ahead, I’m keeping a positive mindset.

Crush your Thursday!

Humble Bragging

Yesterday reminded me that I don’t have it all figured out- as though I needed reminding right now!?

Life is messy, beautiful, but chaotic. I am a creature who thrives on habit, can do wonderful things when pushed out of my comfort zone. I can also fall flat on my ass and feel like I’m drowning. Moving and adapts bing to new place and things is a difficult concept on its own, but life also loves to pop up with random obstacles. Not to complain, so much as reflect, because these problems I’m about to share are minuscule compared to all the issues in the world.

For instance, you can go grocery shopping and even though you make a detailed list, you can still end up in the store two more times that same day because you can never anticipate all of your needs. And at that same grocery store, you might even make a baby cry for smiling at him or her when trying to find the cucumbers.

If you are new to an area and don’t know your way around at all, you will have to rely on technology and sometimes, that technology will fail for no particular reason other than to complicate life.

Milk will boil over the pot. The Internet will not always run fast. Printers will not always print. People will steal your seat. Your computer will freeze on Do and Trump’s wide-open trap. You can get mad, scream, curse, and cry. Or you can call it as it is, and go home. Home will not be the home that you’re used to. It’s okay or it’s not. And that’s life.

Thankfully, I am okay and so ends my rant!

Good things happened yesterday too! For instance, I made some killer meals that I’ll feature in a moment. I got a lot of work and writing done, progress is being made. I had some great phone conversations with family and friends. I ran five miles…on a treadmill…and my legs didn’t collapse beneath me.

The day started with oatmeal. I sweetened this bowl with honey instead of maple syrup and it did the trick. The oats really fueled that run, along with chopped walnuts, raisins, a banana, and a cup of yogurt.

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For lunch, I made a big batch of quinoa with black beans and corn. I’ll have this throughout the week, but this particular plate featured broccoli, orange pepper, feta, and a sauce I picked up at Trader Joe’s called Soyaki. I walked into the store intending to buy both sauces separately, so this made life easy and yummy.

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I also enjoyed the sauce on my dinner. After trying to get to my cousin’s place to watch the debate (thanks again GPS, not), I whipped up these fish tacos instead. Cod over spinach and carrots on two corn tortillas. Delicious!

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After a strong writhing session, I fell into bed, looking forward to the new day, but still appreciating the current one. Even if it did make me feel like a clumsy, blubbering mess.

Humility is a beautiful thing.

Resourceful Girl!

Here at Casa Caitlin, I’ve been learning to do all sorts of new things, such as putting furniture together! My desk proved to be a lot more challenging than my desk, but thankfully, I thoroughly followed directions and was able to get the job done. In case of collapse, you will never know (except of course I’ll tell you because that’s just my way!)

It’s pretty cool to take a pile of objects:

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And turned it into this:

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Or these very confusing multiple parts (nowhere near as many were in the package):

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Into one cohesive thing:

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One might not find this impressive, but for me, it is!

There were two slight issues with the desk. One, I ended up putting two pieces together backwards so I had to fix that! Two, It’s nice to have a seat and a ledge other than my bed and/or couch!

Speaking of my bed, I’m finally ready to reveal my bedroom!

First, from the entrance way, you spot a few posters hanging on the wall.

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Next, we’ll pan over to two more posters and spot my bed by the window.

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Let’s glance once more at that beautiful chair and desk combination nicely arranged.

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And finally, take a glimpse into my closet.

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I’m really fortunate to have a ton of storage space because I don’t like clutter!

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Now onto food!

Check out this fabulous breakfast I prepared of scrambled eggs with a dose of cheese, toast, and a beautiful arrangement of fruit.

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Lunch included a massive salad of mixed greens, veggies, and feta, as well as grilled chicken and brown rice.

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Mid-day, I worked out the lower body, back, biceps, and core, which are all feeling a tad bit sore today. No cardio because I ran out of time.

At the library while I worked, I munched on some almonds and raisins to hold me over until dinner so that I could make the most of my time.

For dinner, I dined on grilled cod, brown rice, and spinach. I’m quite pleased with how the fish turned out because I wasn’t following any sort of instruction. I just sautéed the filet with some butter and salt and it didn’t need any saucy accompaniment.

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This morning, I woke to a breakfast of waffles and this tasty medley of fruit. I did take the extra time to arrange it, but only because it offered better picture quality, and actually, the banana framed itself that way so I just went for it.

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Another gigantic salad was my lunch. I tried to include all of the colors of the rainbow: green, yellow, orange, and red topped with feta, walnuts, and eventually grilled chicken.

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Not much more to report on at the moment, but hopefully the weekend will provide plenty to recap on Monday. Happy Weekend, friends!

Things

A week and a day in and still no celebrity sightings. I’m trying not to be discouraged, but really, you move to LA and you expect to see some random celebrities acting just like you and me, walking down the street. Do I glance over at the cubicle next to me and see my future husband, Chris Evans, at the library? No, instead I get a teen napping on his backpack. At Starbucks do I spot my future BFF Sarah Michelle Gellar ordering the same beverage? No, I get two dudes joking about putting mayonnaise in their coffee. Am I heavy lifting weights next to the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the gym? Nope, just some old lady who needs help adjusting the seat but then proceeds to do freaking reverse crunches on an incline.

People keep joking that all the celebrities are in Boston, which hardy har- not funny!

For the record, only two of those celebrities are ones I’d like to meet. Spoiler: The Terminator is not one of them.

Again, this lack of celebritydom could be a symptom of my being unobservant, but I just don’t think so. Bring on the celebs!

Back to focus, I’ll tell you a little bit about my Wednesday. A day starting out with this beautiful bowl of oats is always a good one in my book!

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I mixed things up with almond milk, mashed banana, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins, and a dash of maple syrup. Muy delicioso!

At the gym, with my actual new BFF reverse crunching like a pro, I worked through triceps, shoulders, and chest, and I’m already feeling the repercussions. Again, in the best way. Core was pretty crushing with rollouts that did not want to be rolled out, especially at 3 sets of 20 reps. Worth it in the end, I hope. To top off my exercise for the day, I did things old-school and hopped on the arc trainer for a sweaty fifteen minutes- five steady-state, five intervals, five steady-state before calling it a day.

To refuel, I loaded up with strawberries and half a banana with some chocolate peanut butter. Refreshing!

I’m on The Order of the Phoenix for my Harry Potter re-read and it’s stressing me out. I’ve been avoiding it for a week and now I’ve just started and it’s stressful. You can’t imagine the pain if you haven’t read it before. There’s just so much angst. I love the book, don’t get me wrong, but boy does it bring out the emotions. I’m anticipating every scene as though I haven’t read it before. (Put in italics because such a notion is preposterous!)

For lunch, I headed back into Hollywood, The Grove area, to meet my cousin and two of her co-workers for an informational lunch. Again, it’s good to have human contact!

Look what I spotted!

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Back to the library to get some work done for this chick, as you probably predicted from my reference of the teen and his backpack. He was sleeping, in the spot that I had deemed mine over the past two days might I add, and I both support and resent him for it. Sleeping is important, but also, one, move and two, Chris Evans could have sat there, you waste of space.

For dinner, I went out with my friend Brad and his twin brother Reid, my new roommate!, at a vegan restaurant in town. Again, I ate vegan and did not have a celebrity sighting. The sacrifices I’m making. Not, I suppose, that celebrity sightings is the reason I moved out here because totally not, but still, it ups my cool factor.

I dined on sesame “chicken,” which was actually yummy cauliflower, brown rice, and broccoli. I have nothing against veganism and will eat a meal as such, but I’m still very much tied to meat and other various animal products. So sue me, but actually, please don’t.

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I’ve been writing and editing like crazy, which is important, and the actual reason for me being out here. Let’s hope that creativity keeps flowing! Secret to success: the more you do, the more that comes.