True Life: Sometimes I’m A Slob :(

Whoops! This posted before it was ready. This is what happens when I’m super organized and have it written and scheduled for the day ahead.

I want to first mention how sad I am to hear about Alan Rickman’s passing. I didn’t know David Bowie as much, but I know he was a fixture of so many people’s lives. With Alan Rickman, he brought a character to life so beloved in my memory, Snape, and my childhood, that I can’t help but mourn. RIP to the both of them.

I’m embarrassed to admit that my room is not the tidiest and coziest it can be. To the outside world, I am an organized person. I made two different versions of flashcards when studying for my test. I used to rewrite my notes from school. My calendar is in both written and wireless formats.

I just also have a terrible tendency to drop my clothes where they are, in part (and this sounds horrible, I know) because I have too many clothes filling my closet.

Listen. Okay. When I first got my office job over a year ago, I went ham at the store thinking I needed all of these clothes. And then I was making money to buy more clothes. And I wore such cute outfits (in my opinion) for the eight or so months I was working in the office.

Then, spoiler alert!, I quit that office job to start working in a gym that requires a somewhat bland uniform of black pants and a white or black shirt underneath a work-mandated jacket. Now I only wear a handful of the clothes in my closet along with exercise outfits and I won’t complain, especially if that’s really the only complaint I can offer, but my closet is kind of a sad place right now. All of those pretty and fancy clothes (so many dresses) just sitting there. So yeah, sometimes the not so pretty and fancy, but very well-worn clothes get tossed to the ground when I come home.

I’m sure one day I will find cause to wear them again, which is why I’m holding onto them, but I have donated certain items I won’t wear. So, in conclusion, this was a long-winded way of telling you that I need to do some organizing in my life.

It’s been a strange sort-of six months (seems longer and not long at all somehow), what with studying and passing my Personal Training test and now transitioning into that career, while figuring out where and who I want to be (but isn’t that just life?) Since graduating from college, I’ve found my life to flash in a series of unsettling moments and constant changes, but I know this is not a bad thing. It’s just a different thing, less comfortable. But when I feel a little (note, a lot) insecure about the happenings of my life and I allow the little details that I can control slip, I start to feel much more hectic than I should.

Long story short, I’ve got to pick up those damn pants and clean out my closets (I know, I’m the worst), and straighten myself out. Scary, fun, amazing, challenging, difficult, and inspiring things are happening, if only I keep a clear mind, heart, and soul.

You’re “welcome” for the rant, but I think most people just come to see the food.

We’ll start with last night’s dinner. Chicken cacciatore with whole wheat pasta, peppers, zucchini noodles, and asparagus. So.Tasty.

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We move onto this morning’s breakfast of this Champion. I can call myself a Champion sometimes because if not, who else would?

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The workout of the day will consist of Zumba taught by a friend! Followed up with some kickass kettlebell training I’ve strung together.

Happy and healthy living! Don’t be a slob (like me)!

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I’m Onto You, Suzanne Summers

I had a dream two nights ago that Suzanne Summers was stalking me, so you better believe I’ve been checking over my shoulder whenever I leave the house. We were cool Ms. Summers, don’t pull a Liza on me.* In the dream, we were participating in a Hunger Games-esque event, except it had nothing to do with death. If I remember correctly, then if Suzanne “tagged” me, then I had to go live outside in nature. This all seemed very plausible in my dream, but now makes no sense at all.

*If you forgot that Liza Minelli stalks me, then lucky you. It’s a thing. I’m sure I’ve written posts about it before. She’s remained stagnant as of late. Let’s not jinx that.

Anyways….is anyone else slightly alarmed that it’s already October 21? I’m sorry, but I thought it was still July of 2012. Time is flying! I better step up my studying because my test date is approaching.

Here are some eats from the past few days we’ve been away from each other.

Scenes from my dad’s birthday dinner Act I. Act II actually doesn’t have a picture, but my family went out and it was fun, happy, and delicious.

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A very interesting looking meal with waffles, scrambled eggs with a chicken sausage, and a big bowl of berries. My breakfasts are often big meals because they fuel me for my workouts and because it’s the best meal of the day.

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This stir fry was impressive. Steak, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and spinach over rice with ginger sesame dressing drizzled on top.

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Peanut butter toast can do no wrong.

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Grilled tilapia, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, and rotini. Yum!

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This morning’s plate of cakes. I can’t get enough of these!

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Workouts the past few days included grueling strength training sessions, lap swims, spin classes, long runs (slightly painful thanks to new shoes which I’ll debut tomorrow!), and core workouts that left me with sore abs whenever I sneeze (I sneeze a lot, ouch!).

In other news, I hung out with my family a lot this weekend which is always good for laughs and fun, enjoyed the nice weather with a few walks outside, cleaned and prepared for fall/winter (still more to do, ugh!), worked (it’s a blessing to love what I do), and lost a few years of my life trying to buy Star Wars tickets. For whatever reason, they are starting to premiere the new film BEFORE midnight, so my friend Stephanie and I have our tickets for 11:50. We like to stick to the idea of premiering a  movie at midnight, but in this situation, beggars really can’t be choosers. It is very exciting though and we are now two months away!

I can’t get over this picture:

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I also bought another decal for my computer. I like the subtlety of my Harry Potter one that fits right over the apple on the Mac, and I thought I was continuing this trend when I bought this new one. Not so much. It’s huge! I had to cut it.

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I think my nerd is showing just a bit.

Also, my coffee mug looks super creepy in that picture and it was unintentional!

Happy Wednesday!

Confessions of a Chocaholic

I have a problem, two actually, and neither include that supposed apocalypse that was hyped. Well, so far, we’re safe.

First problem, my sweet tooth is out of control. Sugar is addictive and I am not strong against it. We’ve discussed my want for ice cream at length. I don’t just mean during the warm summer months. The need is hard even during the frigid winter. A day without ice cream is a wasted day, not worth living something in which I have to grow accustomed.

When it comes to sweets, I’m not big on the fruity candy or fancy desserts. I love ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate. On occasion, I’ll enjoy some cake so long as there’s ice cream on the side (don’t even think about putting it on top!).

Here’s what I have become.

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Yes, that is a candy wrapper (one of the Hershey miniatures) stuck in my STEERING WHEEL. In my defense, except there is no defense, the wind picked it up from one of my cup dispensers when I was driving with my windows down and it must have lodged into the wheel. I had to snap a pic and share in the embarrassment. If we can’t laugh, then I’m just a little bit pathetic.

I think we’ve all learned to pick up after ourselves and maybe to better combat cravings.

That second problem I mentioned: flies! I am being hunted down by what I’m pretty sure is the same pack of flies, whether I’m at work, running, sitting in my backyard, and even in my bedroom! Okay, that last one was an exaggeration as they were not in my bedroom, but the others were true. Usually it’s mosquitoes that are all up in my business, but they’ve been blessedly absent this summer. Back off, bugs!

Maybe if I stopped eating so much sugar, I wouldn’t seem as sweet…

Let’s move onto food. Last night’s dinner was veggie heavy. I enjoyed a piece of grilled swordfish with brown spinach rice, squash, broccoli, zucchini, and red pepper. Yum!

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This morning’s breakfast included an egg, chicken sausage, and pepper jack cheese sandwich with a banana and scoop of chocolate peanut butter.

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The goodness fueled me through my morning run before work. I ran two miles and ended with a couple of sprints that left me breathless in the best way! I need to be better about including intervals into my training, but they knock you out! I have some Yoga on the menu for later to top things off.

After work, I had lunch with a friend at Whole Foods. I was good and stacked my plate with lots of yummy vegetables, like fresh bell peppers, grilled artichokes and zucchini, and marinated mushrooms. I then added a scoop of macaroni and cheese and a chicken finger, but we all need our indulgences once in awhile.

Now’s the time for studying in my backyard with the beautiful breeze and warm sun shining down. God, do I love fall!

Sunday Productivity and Catch Up

Trauma left over from my school years means that I will always see Sundays as being that of productivity. Not that it’s such a bad thing because it means I get necessary chores done, such as laundry, cleaning, food prepping, etc. Rainy Sundays always inspire an extra edge to such productivity.

We start where we lead off, which to my best estimation, is Thursday morning! A homemade, whole grain waffle and a cup of Greek yogurt got things flowing. Notice the beauty of the chopped strawberries and banana!

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My workout for Thursday included a few strength circuits using kettle bells and medicine balls, as well as a lap swim. It had been about two weeks since I swam laps due to the pool closing down for cleaning, but I felt strong! Had I more time, I would have attempted a mile and a half, but I stuck with my mile and felt wonderful.

Lunch was a heaping bowl of salad with leftover steak, veggies, and beans, with ranch and barbecue sauce drizzled on top. I also had leftover rice for a boost of carbs.

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Dinner included these red pepper infused ravioli that I jazzed up with sundried tomato chicken meatballs, red pepper, and zucchini. I wasn’t much feeling marinara, so I added a pat of butter and cheese on top for extra flavoring.

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Friday morning, I was up early to fit in a workout. I cannot tell you how much I adore morning workouts (once I’m fully awake and moving), but I also cannot tell you how hard it is to get up when you don’t have to. My workout consisted of dumbbell and plyometric circuit training. I was drenched in sweat and reaping the benefits of endorphins as I left the gym to start the rest of the day.

Oh, but look what I was met with on my way home from the gym! I told you turkeys roamed this area. They usually come in hordes, but this guy was on his own. Don’t worry, I came to a complete stop to 1. let him cross and 2. take this picture.

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This egg sandwich topped with egg, chicken sausage, provolone, and jalapeños was a perfect recovery breakfast. Banana, strawberries, and blueberries complemented the flavors well.

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Lunch happened while I was at work, so we ordered out. I selected this delicious chicken kebob greek salad that hit the spot. It was full of perfectly seasoned and moist grilled chicken, fresh veggies, and the added yumminess of feta and greek dressing.

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I was in a weird mood on Friday when it came for dinner as all I wanted was French toast. I used some multigrain cinnamon raisin bread and topped the pieces with peanut butter and jelly and paired the delicacy with a banana. My French toast recipe just consists of an egg, almond milk, cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla. In the fall (SOON!), I add pumpkin to the batter for perfection on a plate.

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Saturday was a busy day. I woke up before the sun to get to work, but not before enjoying a peanut butter toast breakfast.

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Kind of looks exactly like my French toast dinner, but I can promise it was not even close to as fancy.

After work, I booked it home for a quick lunch of leftover ravioli before heading off to my hair appointment. No, I won’t debut my new hair quite yet because I haven’t showered yet- still haven’t ran today- so I will premiere it tomorrow!

With my hair all fresh and blonde(r), which by the way, has just forced people into calling me a red-head more frequently, I met my cousins to go to the One Direction concert. Woo! I thought I would know more songs, but the concert was mostly their new stuff. We still had a blast despite some drizzling. It was a fun cousin bonding time!

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Oh, crap. I just realized I inadvertently premiered my hair after saying I wouldn’t yet. Okay, it was rainy and a little humid so my hair was frizzled. Don’t judge the cut (or blondness) just yet.

I woke up this morning to my mom calling me to go grocery shopping, but the most exciting part was that she had already made me poached eggs. I’m quite spoiled like that.

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While shopping, I picked up some cans of pumpkin (woo!) and this baby pumpkin for my desk that I named Spike. Spike is a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer which I explained to my mom and she assumed he was a pumpkin…Fangs to come.

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Lunch was a simple greek yogurt and an english muffin with peanut butter as I’m preparing for my run. I’ll have some sort of veggie dish for my recovery fuel after.

With a load of laundry in the mix, some reading already done, and these legs ready to take off, I’m having myself a great Sunday.

Cheers to yours!

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!

Spring Cleaning- It’s Time

Green chocolate chip cookies! I just took my mom’s regular chocolate chip cookie recipe and threw in some green dye. I wanted to make them minty, but I didn’t have the extract and I wasn’t going to over exert myself by running to the store.

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The alarm blared unexpectedly this morning, but regardless if I could believe that it couldn’t possibly be time already, it certainly was. I tore myself away from my warm, comfortable bed, chugged water, and dug into a peanut butter tortilla. One of my favorites to get me up in the morning! It was almost rude to have had to brush SNOW off of my car because I thought we had left all that behind, but alas, it had to be done.

At the gym, I ran through a kettlebell circuit of alternating swings, goblet squats, alternating shoulder presses, tricep pushbacks, and high pulls. After, I was able to hold a plank for a minute and a half and side planks for a minute on each side. I tried to squeeze in a few more strength moves using the barbell, but my arms must have been tired because my sets weren’t as strong as I’ve grown accustomed. I also had a difficult time on the treadmill with my legs being sore, which seems odd since I had two consecutive rest days. I think traveling and sitting for long periods of time is counterproductive in terms of building strength. I did get some walking in, but when you’re on the road for seven hours, it can be tiring in the not so good way. I’ve also been battling through a bit of a cold that hasn’t materialized into much yet- knock on wood- but it can still tire the body. I made it through and was happy to have just gotten through my routine. I always feel much more refreshed having started the day with a workout!

My tastebuds were feeling a bit eclectic this morning, so I settled on an egg with a buttered piece of toast and peanut butter toast on the other slice. Paired with some fresh, juicy strawberries and sweet blackberries and I had myself an excellent Monday morning meal!

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Lunch composed of a delicious miso soup my sister made the evening before. Soup was just what I needed and went so well with the fresh crispness of my salad. Someone actually complimented my salad at work and all I could say is, “It’s kinda my thing.” I take great pleasure in chopping up all the veggies and tossing them together. Except for whatever reason, I hate washing lettuce. Most times I just use baby spinach anyways.

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Now that the winter weather is hopefully disintegrating- despite snow in the early morning, it was DIVINE outside this afternoon- we had our first potpie of the season just last night. Chicken, veggies, creamy sauce smothered together in a crispy, buttery crust served with mashed potatoes and spinach. Can’t get much better than that goodness for a Monday evening.

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To welcome Spring a little faster, I decided to paint my nails a nice and bright pink. After so much travel and disruption to routine- trust me, I’m not complaining!- this week is all about spring cleaning. I’m organizing my room, clothes, and all things I do and don’t need/use anymore. Last night focused on the loads of laundry I needed to wash, fold, and put away.  I may not love cleaning, but I love the aftermath! And well, part of me does love the cleaning. Sometimes. I think I just like to feel productive. We also got the bridal shower invitations completed and sent out into the mail, which is far more exciting than any cleaning. This is getting real!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!