Let the Rain Come

Hello Monday and hello to you!

Once again, I can’t believe how fast the weekend flew by. I had a ton of fun in the sun and spent the majority of the weekend relaxing. It might be a rainy week ahead, but at least we’ll all be at work anyway.

My friend/client snapped this shot of me training her on Friday afternoon. We were laughing, but really I was trying to get her to stop talking long enough to actually exercise!

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Lunch was a BLT salad.

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That afternoon, this guy had his annual check-up. He’s doing great! I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I adopted him. He’s the joy of my life.

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Later, I got to cuddle with the cutest baby I know, little Lily.

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On Saturday, I woke up and had a breakfast of an egg on toast with a sprinkling of cheese.

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It fueled me through a 2.25 mile run, including a massive hill at the end. Woo.

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My reward was an afternoon on the beach with my BFF!

It was a blast soaking up the sun and diving into waves. We headed into the city after for a drink and to walk around. It was such a lovely night outside and it was great walking around our old college neighborhood.

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Sunday morning included what I’m branding the BELT- bacon, egg, lettuce, and tomato. Delicious! We attended mass in the morning in honor of the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing.

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It was a nice moment to celebrate with family and we all went out to eat after.

That night, I went on a long walk with my parents, made these Skinnytaste bagels, and got some Sunday night things done.

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Anything great happen this weekend?

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“i’ve been high…i’ve been low…

I’ve been yes and I’ve been oh hell no. I’ve been rock ‘n roll and disco, won’t you save me San Francisco!?”

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I’m back from my trip to San Francisco to visit my friend Katie! We spent a lot of time in the city and the vineyards! I’ve been to California quite a bit on trips and uh, well, living here, but never out of SoCal, so when Katie mentioned she was house-sitting, I jumped at the chance to visit.

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My welcoming to Northern California was this view.

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Upon arrival, we headed into Chinatown. We walked around the neighborhood, checking out stores, sights, and scenes, and then enjoyed lunch.

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San Francisco is a beautiful city, but it’s also cold. Very easy to walk around, which enabled us to make our way over to Ghirardelli Square where we enjoyed an ice cream.

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Once we hit the water, I was able to take in the spectacular view, including Alcatraz.

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The next day, we headed over the bridge….

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and towards Sonoma, otherwise known as wine country where we dined and drank.

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I’m not a huge drinker and when I do, I prefer sweet wines and beers, so this was not exactly the place for me. But, I was in good company.

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It was also nice just to sit outside and enjoy the weather and the views. Sonoma is significantly warmer than the city, thankfully.

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It was time for more city exploring the following day.

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The ‘painted ladies’ is where they filmed the famous opening to Full House.

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But, it is not where the front of the house is actually located, so we didn’t make it there until my last day.

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I got to hitch a ride on the trolley, though not on the outside.

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We walked around the Presidio…

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…then ate dinner at a local pub before hanging out on the porch and having a glass of wine (my preferred sweet kind).

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My last day, after checking out the Full House house, we realized how difficult it can be to drive in San Francisco with all those hills- but the view!

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Went through the Presidio once again….

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Then through Robin Williams’ Tunnel.

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Then stopped at a local brewery for a beer (that I didn’t love, oops).

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It was a wonderful trip, but overall, I’ll always be a SoCal girl at heart.

Have a great Monday!

An Ode To Sneakers

I have a tough time letting go of sneakers. Think of all the miles and steps they’ve gone on with you. Some painful, some exuberant, long runs, short jaunts from the initial pain to the inexplicable comfort. I love my sneakers, but after a long winter slushing through the snow to get to the treadmill or the monotony on the treadmill, it’s time to say goodbye. I hate fitting new sneakers on my feet and those first few runs. I try to rack up a few miles by walking because inevitably there will be some pain and blisters. Eventually they start to feel normal and you don’t even appreciate how fitted they are to your feet, kind of like how you don’t yearn to feel “normal” until you’re sick. 

  

 Sneakers are definitely replaceable, but as I “run” through them, I like to take a moment to remember and to appreciate every step, every stride, every puddle, every crunch, every minute, every mile. It makes me feel proud every time I get through another pair of sneakers because I know they were truly used. All the sneakers that have now dusted over or gone to the trash, they’re proof of the work and accomplishment of what I have been able to do these past THREE years. The more worn and rundown they are, the harder I’ve worked, the more I’ve achieved. With fitness, just stepping out the door and making it to the gym is an accomplishment. Revel in it. 

  

Weekends always pass by so quickly in a wonderful way. I’ve had a great weekend of friends, family, food, exercise, and fun, starting on Friday morning with a workout and a bowl of oats. For my workout, I ran through a dumbbell strength routine before finishing up with a sweaty Plyometrics workout. Oatmeal included dark chocolate peanut butter, blueberries, raspberries, and coconut. So delicious!

 

I followed my oatmeal up with leftover pizza and a fresh salad for lunch.

 

 

For dinner, I met up with my friend Molly for our favorite meal at Border Cafe, the blackened salmon salad with warm tostito chips and margaritas of course.

 

 

Saturday was move in day for Lauren and Nick, so I know I needed a substantial breakfast to get going. Peanut butter pancakes are a jewel of life. Fresh, tasty, and nutritious!

 

 

A quick hot dog on a toasted roll and salad helped me refuel.

 

  

After the move, I took myself over to the gym-damn the snow for foiling my plan to run outside!- and started with a stretch session and some Yoga. On the treadmill, I ran 4.1 miles and felt sweaty and tired by the end, looking forward to a full day of rest on Sunday!

My dinner was this delicious stir fry made with veggies, whole wheat bow tie pasta, and chicken meatballs in a Thai peanut sauce. Yum!

 

Before grocery shopping on Sunday, I woke up to some poached eggs over toast. Buttery, warm, and oh so good.

 

 

For lunch, I met my friend Katie in the city. The sun was shining and the air was chilly, with a touch of warmth. I got a barbecue pork sandwich and we split some fries. After, we meandered our way over to some stores and I bought two new shirts, new socks, and a giant coffee mug. 

  

We also stopped into Ben and Jerry’s for some disappointing ice cream. The flavor was halted by the ice chips swirled inside and the taste was not fresh. Disappointing! I have high standards for my ice cream people. 

When I got home, I went on a walk with my mom and the dog before setting up in the kitchen for a veggie chopping session. It is so much easier to chop veggies for lunch in advance so I can just toss everything together in a jiff! So much more to do at night than be making lunches. I was able to get all of my laundry done on Saturday so Sunday was just a relaxing night before the week ahead.

What’s the best thing you did this weekend?

New York, New York

Whenever I pull into New York City, a warmth spreads through the center of my chest. It feels like my soul is home. It’s hard to describe and somewhat weird to claim that a place can feel such a part of you, but I also can’t deny it. New York is my favorite place in the world, besides my actual home “home” and that’s mostly because of my family.

I was feeling in my element in New York.

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I pulled into the city on Friday night at 10:00 PM exactly. The ride up was interesting because the bus was a half hour late arriving and the waiting area filled up quickly. I don’t handle my travel plans being changed very well, so the wait to even get on the bus was excruciating and there were too many people in a small space. I ended up stepping outside in the freezing cold. Even though it was chilly, the tension in my chest lessened and I felt a lot better. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long for it to finally arrive. Once it did, I thought I selected a seat next to a friendly face, but either that person or the one in front of me had an uneasy stomach and the ride was filled with disgusting smells almost the entire way.

Once I did get there, I made my way on the subway to my friends’ Bobby and Ruben’s apartment and we all enjoyed a late dinner. It was restaurant week in the city, so we were able to splurge at nicer restaurants. The whole pre fixe menu includes a choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert, which sounds amazing, but leaves you amazingly full. At Lure FishBar, I started with tasty shrimp tempura, enjoyed a miso-glazed piece of perfectly cooked salmon on a bed of spinach, mushrooms, and snap peas, and finished with one of the best apple crumbles I have ever had. It was almost spoiled on me because by that point, I was so full and the serving generous. I really did enjoy myself.

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Saturday morning was full of excitement because a lot was happening in the day. The starting point of which were crepes at a nearby creperie for breakfast. I selected a buckwheat crepe stuffed with some sort of fancy cheese and topped with two poached eggs and ham. It came with a salad on the side. It was an eggs Benedict crepe, but I chose not to have Hollandaise sauce because the egg yolk makes everything creamy and buttery enough and I wanted to cut extra calories out when I could.

After breakfast, Bobby, Ruben, and I headed to the theatre to watch Kristin Chenoweth in her latest Broadway Show, On the Twentieth Century. My one complaint would be that Kristin was simply not on stage for long enough. Every moment that she was, she was brilliant, per usual. The fact that Kristin Chenoweth is back on Broadway is just right. Her delivery reminded me a lot of Madeline Kahn, famous in roles from Young Frankenstein and Clue among many others, which is fitting because Madeline originated the role. The show is still in previews and already the actors have a strong grasp of their roles and deliveries, which only makes me more excited to go later on in the production when things become more solidified. The songs were operatic and beautifully arranged, the dance numbers spectacular, and even though there was a brief technological delay midway through the second act, the scenery and technology were delightful. It’s an old-school type of musical, which makes for a fun experience. I’m also now a big fan of Andy Karl’s biceps. Broadway always leaves me feeling so happy and fulfilled whenever I leave a show. There is no truer expression of talent than a live show, musical or otherwise, and it’s so exciting to know that each performance changes time-to-time. I laughed throughout the show and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, even when stepping outside into the frigid cold.

A fun little side note was after the show, I came face-to-face with Sarah Michelle Gellar. I was a huge Buffy fan when I was younger and it was a little surreal to see someone so close unexpectedly. Most of my celebrity encounters have been purposeful at the stage door, so it was just funny to have a surprise. She was with her daughter though, so I just let her be. See, I can be a mature celebrity-obsessed human!

After the show, Bobby and I walked around for a little while taking in the sights. We ended up stopping for a quick snack. I shot this picture when we were inside the food court. Yes, that is the Statue of Liberty looming in the background. Such a spectacular view!

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Saturday night, my friend Brad arrived from LA. It was so great to see him and spend time with him on my coast! We all went out for a Mexican dinner, once again stuffing our faces. Along with some chips and salsa, I selected the chicken tacos with peppers and cheese. So good!

We were feeling ambitious on Saturday and decided to fit in a workout before heading out for a day of exploration. Bobby, Brad, and I went to a class at Barry’s Bootcamp. I thought I was in good shape, but I suffered throughout the class. While I often focus on reps and sets, this class featured time lengths, such as starting with two minutes straight of bicep curls. I was already feeling the burn during the first strength section when we jumped on the treadmill for an intense run. I can run long distance at a medium (okay, to slow speed), but I cannot sprint quickly. Though I ended up getting a great workout, it was definitely a struggle and I left feeling exhausted, but full of energy.

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After getting ready, we headed out for another filling meal. I went with a burger that was very tasty, but very filling. Much to our surprise, and my intense displeasure, by the time we finally got going on our adventures of the city, it started to snow! I didn’t even bring my snow boots. I think it’s haunting me, you guys. Brad enjoyed the snow for about 2.5 seconds until it got cold and wet and unpleasant. We walked for a few minutes before stopping into a tea shop for a quick break. A little while later, Brad and I ended up heading out to Barnes and Noble to do a little writing. My view from the Union Square Barnes and Noble inspired quite a few words onto the page.

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We ended the night with a dinner at Scarpetta, once again going the restaurant week menu. I started with a Brussel sprout, sausage, and chickpea soup, moved onto a homemade spaghetti dish, and ending with a mini chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream. It was delicious, but so heavy and I’m looking forward to getting back to my regular eating habits. I don’t ever like feeling so full that it’s uncomfortable, but when you have that price, you don’t want to pass it by, and you certainly don’t want to waste the food. Such a deal happens so rarely.

New York is always so much fun, but it also is so hard for me to leave each time. It helps to have a great family at home, but I just love this city with my whole heart. Thanks to Bobby, Ruben, and Brad for making this trip so special!

Back to the real world!