weekend and travel plans

This weekend was one of relaxation after traveling. I did a lot of nothing, with some exercise thrown in to assuage the guilt.

I had taken a week off from working out thanks to my travel last week and it was much needed. On Saturday, I got back to it with a total body strength routine and some spinning and I was feeling those DOMS on Sunday. A run/walk combo helped stretch out my sore legs in particular, but they were still achey on Sunday night and this morning! I have a love/hate for this kind of pain, but it is the good kind of pain. I guess it was time to mix things up with my plan.

I was also able to catch up on sleep, which had gotten messed up when I took a red-eye to Boston last Friday. I don’t sleep well on planes, especially with my legs feeling a bit cramped. I had a couple of hours to nap once arriving home before my mom and I got mani/pedis for my cousin’s wedding. It was dancing time at the beautiful ceremony and reception and we were up past 2 am, which meant I was awake for the better part of 24+ hours and jet lagged. Whew. But it was well worth it.

The rest of my break was spent with my family, shopping, going to movies and dinner, and spending some quality time. It’s always hard to leave, but it was great to see everybody. Even though it’s a long flight from coast-to-coast, particularly east-to-west, it was nice to gain three hours of the day on the way back.

I captured some snapshots from the plane:

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It was hard to not include the wing of the plane in my photos, so that accounts for the odd angles.

Somehow, it’s Monday again. Enjoy it!

Scenes From A Weekend

What a way to start a Saturday morning: 50 degrees in February!

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Some people look super cute and glistening when they run. I look:

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Start of girls night!

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The best way to make a large head look small is to turn it into a head sandwich.

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Yeah, this girl actually used a map to get us to the bar.

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I just really wanted to dance, it was overwhelming.

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Tasty!

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I finally danced, on my own terms.

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We’re finally warming up, Coconut and me.

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No day is complete without food.

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And more food.

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I’ll be better about blogging. Promise.

Bump-y Weekend of Fun

Well, hey. It’s been awhile, which isn’t intentional and I’m not quite sure what happened to delay my posting. All I can say is that I’m back now to our regularly scheduled blogging. October is busy and somehow basically mid-way thru?

Let’s continue with a little weekend recap. Saturday morning started off at work, but after, I rushed home to finish up putting a few things together before hightailing it my friend Katie’s apartment. Our college friend Erin is getting married at the end of this month and we’ve already kicked off some of the celebrations with her bridal shower in August, but this time it was all about the Bachelorette.

My friends from school refer to ourselves as “the core four” as there are four of us who are really close and we’re all bridesmaids (except for the bride of course).

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We started off with a delicious potluck meal that included a buffalo chicken dip, chicken parmesan, pasta, garlic bread, salad, and cupcakes for dessert. Yum!

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I would zero in on the cupcakes, but hey! I made them and I have a hell of a sweet tooth.

Second event on the agenda was an improv show in the city. So freakin’ funny. There’s something about improv that is so raw and re-actional. As a writer, I’m all about the planning and the wording, but it’s so important to have instincts and gut reactions. Color me so so impressed! Definitely something to do again soon! Though I will say they should work on their margarita.

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The rest of the night was focused on celebrating Erin with some drinking and dancing. You have to dance when you drink because you burn off all those calories and it’s just so darn fun. It’s a rule. Look it up!

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The next day, started off with some brunch and lots of water and coffee. I went simple with eggs over easy, toast, sausage, and some home fries. My eggs were half raw, which would never happen in my kitchen. Brunch is about the experience and the people you’re eating with (sometimes) and not always about the food (we’re going with that for now). The woes of being a cook in a restaurant!

Once I got home, I focused some more on rehydrating before I headed out for a run. I am so sick of my feet falling asleep- I know I need new sneakers but I was in denial- but I still made it through a wonderful 6.25 mile run on a gorgeous day. Seriously, the weather this weekend was phenomenal. I walked another two miles home and just enjoyed being outside and listening to my music. Good music is everything when it comes to running and getting in that groove.

I made a hunk of a salad for dinner to pair with the pizza my parents brought home from their lunch. I didn’t have the biggest appetite after running, but the meal hit the spot. For the rest of the night, I watched some episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer  studied (okay, so I did a little studying and a lot of watching). I also wrote quite a bit and ended up falling asleep later than I should have.

Regardless of my late start to sleep, I woke up early on Monday morning for our weekly grocery shopping trip. There was nothing but angst and pain when I realized the store didn’t have blueberries OR raspberries. That is a true nightmare. Thankfully, there were strawberries so I could keep it together. Also, I can eat apples again so we’re all good on the fruit front.

A strength training workout was also on the agenda. Despite feeling tired and somewhat affected still from Saturday night, I killed it at the gym with my lifting session and felt even stronger than last week when I hit a few milestones. To top things off, I worked through a body strength/plyometrics circuit that left me feeling nice, sweaty, and accomplished.

I should mention that I whacked my head yesterday too and am rocking the bruise and bump combination. It really was completely a moment of stupidity because all I did was bend over and knock it off something I knew was there. Whoops. I seemed to sleep fine last night and woke up so I doubt there’s a concussion…

Before work, I had a nap before a productive study session that cleared up a few points I wasn’t grasping before. I just used “before” a lot in that sentence. I was going to change it, but then I decided to mention it, so you can’t judge it. It’s a thing.

So here we are on Tuesday, which feels like a Monday, but we’re already that much closer to another Friday!

I started my day off with an egg and two egg white omelet with chicken sausage and cheese and a fresh homemade whole wheat waffle. Notice the grapes for fruit as there were no berries and the strawberries required a lot of moving other things around to get to them and I was hungry.

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Still delicious and spot-hitting!

Now for even more productivity, less head hitting, and a lovely (albeit rainy) day! Promise I won’t go as long between posts.

The Entertainer

Last night I went to see Billy Joel at Fenway. This is my second time seeing him and he does not fail to impress. Both of my parents are big fans and I started listening to his music on a family trip to Ireland. There is not one song that I don’t like. It’s funny because he could have played a complete different playlist last night that still would have been full of hits.

  
After every song, I kept shouting, “that one’s my favorite!” I don’t think there’s anything quite like hearing a packed stadium of 30,000+ people singing along to Piano Man or an a Capella version of The Longest Time. Even the two songs I didn’t know, I enjoyed. It was a perfect night for an outdoor concert too. Not too cold or warm, a few stars speckled the sky, and a great time with my parents and cousin Maura!

  
  
We started the night by hitting up a restaurant and getting a few drinks. I had a watermelon beer (the piece of watermelon on top was my favorite) and then had a glass of raspberry sangria. For my meal, I selected the chicken and shrimp sesame stir fry that was chock full of peppers, snap peas, and mushrooms on top a bed of jasmine rice. The portion size was just right so that I easily polished it off and washed it down with a soft serve cone in the stadium.

  
My workout for the day was a body strength circuit that had my sweating and sticky before I jumped into the pool to swim a mile. I was feeling strong yesterday and was in the zone and could have swam another mile (at least it yet like it) but I was on no time crunch and had to get ready for the concert! To add to my exercise for the day, we did quite a bit of walking to the concert and a ton of dancing! Once Billy came on stage, I didn’t sit for another two hours.

I was feeling sleepy this morning and took my time getting out of bed. Somehow it seemed easier at 5. I eventually got up and grilled up some French toast. In my batter, I tossed an egg, an egg white, a splash of milk, cinnamon, and vanilla together, soaked the bread, and fried it up. I thought I would get a little fancy with my topping and mixed a fourth of a cup of plain Greek yogurt and two tablespoons of dark chocolate peanut butter together. Combined with blueberries and banana, it was quite tasty. I ended up having too much for the toast, so I just ate the rest of it as a parfait.

  
As I enjoyed my breakfast, I watched a clip of Amy Schumer on Jimmy Fallon’s show talking about how she engaged in a bread eating war with Mindy Kaling and sexted from Katie Couric’s phone when she got up to use the bathroom. Comedy right now is huge, especially as people realize that women are actually funny. I am actually going to see Amy’s movie that comes out tonight, which she stars in and wrote. I think it’s so important to have celebrities, especially female, get so much positive exposure for being smart, funny, confident, and strong. And she was just nominated for an Emmy for her show Inside Amy Schumer, which is great!

Now onto a day of studying, writing, and exercising! Happy Friday!

The Wedding!

I have been a bad blogging lady lately and I apologize for that! These next few weeks will be busy, as have the past couple, but there are exciting things on the horizon that I can only begin to explain at the moment. And I will be back to explaining them!

First things first, it has been one week since we celebrated my sister Lauren and her now HUSBAND Nick’s wedding! It was truly a spectacular weekend of fun, love, and celebration.

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Our entire family and friends went up to the White Mountains for the weekend of the wedding. While the bride and groom to-be went up Wednesday, I headed up Thursday morning with my parents and the dog in one car and myself, my brother, my Grandma, and my brother’s girlfriend in the other. Upon arrival, we located the bride and groom and went off to grab some lunch. After, it was crunch time. We spent a good amount of time putting together flowers and pouring hot sauce into little containers- that was their goodie for the night.

At some point during our work stations, a groundskeeper came in asking if someone had a silver car- which someone did- and he was advised to put the window up because there was a bear in the car! Apparently, bears are all for chocolate and potato chips- I agree, bear.

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After that scare, it was time to get ready for the rehearsal dinner, mind you there was no real rehearsal. It was a beautiful evening with good food, heartfelt speeches, and a small night of celebration before the big day. Once we headed back to the hotel, we sat out on the front porch, overlooking the mountains and the golf course, sharing some stories and drinks.

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We were all up early on Friday- the big day- as there was much to be done. Starting with breakfast, I made sure my sister ate a filling meal and drank a ton of water. After, we did some last touch finishes on the decorations before heading out to get our hair done. I didn’t have too much of an idea in mind, but my hairdresser was excellent and got the importance of being a sassy Maid of Honor. I was very happy with my hair, as well as the job she did on my eyebrows. They looked real!

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After a quick stop for lunch, Lauren and I headed back to the hotel to get her ready for the first look pictures! Lauren and Nick decided to do their pictures beforehand, which works really well as they can enjoy the cocktail reception along with the guests. They shared their beautiful moment on a bridge heading into town, then went down to the river and stood on rocks. I am certain that those pictures will be incredible, but I am also certain that I would have had a heart attack if she had fallen in her dress.

I had about a half an hour to finish getting ready, so I zoomed back to the hotel, threw on my dress, and did my make up. All I need is a little bit, though I suppose that will remain to be seen once the official pictures come out. The bridal party and the parents and grandparents headed down the golf course to a small bridge where we all took pictures. Once we got back up to the main part of the hotel, we watched as all the guests started to arrive and make their way down to the ceremony area.

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I stood with Lauren for a few minutes in the bar as she iced her flowers in a glass of water- I’m not kidding, until everyone was ready for her. After a few minutes, it was time.

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As Nick and the groomsman took their place in front, the bridesmaids started to walk. I gave one last hug to my sister before it was my time to walk down a pretty major hill and stairs. I was focused on not falling in my new heels as well as keeping a smile on my face- not an easy feat. I will thank whoever yelled out my name and started a smattering of applause because they just know my love of attention.

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I did not anticipate how emotional I would get and there are a few pictures of me up there crying. On top of that, I was worried I would fall off the cliff because my knees were knocking. I don’t think I have ever experienced that level of adrenaline before, but I focused on breathing and being in the moment.

photo 4It was truly a beautiful ceremony, one officiated nicely by my cousin Maura, and before we knew it, it was time to make our way up to the porch for the cocktail hour.

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It was at this point that I said hello to people, ditched my heels, and put on my Maid of Honor tiara. The bride did not have any such thing, but she didn’t want one. Don’t worry, I had her permission. In fact, my sister was such a calm bride, that when my mom accidentally spilled a little red wine on her DRESS, she just found someone with a tide stick and took care of it. I think it was better since the ceremony had already happened.

The cocktail hour ended in a flash and we all headed up to the Carriage House where we enjoyed the reception. It was fun to dance in as we were announced and to watch the first dance that Lauren and Nick had spent weeks practicing- very sweet!

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Both Nick’s brother and I did a great job of portraying our happy (and somewhat jokey) feelings for the bride and groom. We got the room laughing and yes, weeping, but I think everyone was ready for dinner once we finished. Shout out to my Uncle Mike for his “uncles’ speech” as well!

The food was a delicious barbecue spread of grilled chicken, steak tips, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, corn bread, salad, and potato chips. After everyone had their share, the DJ got us all up dancing. It was such a fun night of dancing, singing, and laughing and though it ended too soon- as it always does- it is a night that we will always remember, especially I hope, the Bride and Groom!

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The rest of the weekend whizzed by in a flash, but we had so much fun together and I’m so glad we could all spend such a fantastic weekend together!

Julie Andrews Is A Goddess Angel Baby

Last night, I drifted off to sleep listening to the Oscars. At some point, I woke up and it was still playing. When they announced Lady Gaga was performing next, I declared it time for bed. Little did I know that JULIE FREAKING ANDREWS would be making an appearance at the end of her performance. Julie Andrews is a goddess angel baby and I would have liked to see the beautiful moment when the entire audience gave her the standing ovation she deserves. I mean, I got to see it on Youtube, and for the record, Gaga rocked it, but it would have been a real life moment. This is why the Oscars don’t need to be 5.78 hours long. And on a Sunday night!

When I was younger, I used to watch The Sound of Music over and over again- bless my Nana who watched it with me- but I was an active participant, pretending to be Liesel or Maria, putting on a pretty dress and leaping across my living room while singing as loud as I could. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I feel it is a pertinent moment in my life. Julie Andrews is the essence of talent and class.

My love of celebrities battled my love of sleep and sleep won out. Granted, not until after I saw Chris Evans present. It doesn’t help that many of my favorites didn’t even attend. In that case, my curiosity would have gotten the best of sleep.

Despite keeping me up later than usual, waking up this morning for my workout didn’t prove too difficult. It was more of the prospect of stepping outside into the freezing cold world that made things difficult. After a large glass of water, I brewed myself a small cup of coffee and ate a tortilla stuffed with almond butter, banana, and strawberries. I made a few of these, along with a couple of eggs, to be prepared for the week ahead. I did try to mix things up a bit, so you’ll see more throughout the week.

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My workout today included a kettlebell circuit that got the blood flowing. I ran through 4 sets of 10 reps of swings, deadlifts, high lifts, arrow lunges, and kickback rows. After, I did a few planks- 1.5 minutes for a front plank, 1 minute on each side for side planks. More strength training was on the menu and I did 4 sets of 10 reps of dumbbells- alternating shoulder to knee presses, hammer curls, then shoulder raises, overhead tricep extensions, and bench presses on the stability ball. Nouha joined me, which helped me forget how early it was!

I wanted to take a break from running due to my left foot falling asleep the day before, so I rode the elliptical for a mediocre cardio workout for 20 minutes, followed by 4 minutes on the bike doing a Tabata Interval workout. It was a great workout and an amazing way to start the day!

After coming home and getting ready for the rest of my day, I made an egg and cheese sandwich. One egg, a few pieces of pepper jack cheese, on top of an English muffin, and a side of blueberries and sweet pineapple, made an excellent morning pick-me-up.

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It’s hard to believe that four of these meatballs are one serving because they are so filling and tasty! On Sunday, I stir fried a bunch of vegetables and brown rice, enough to make two lunches, and took half of it for yesterday’s lunch. To go along with these ginger teriyaki chicken meatballs, I sautéed everything in a teriyaki marinade, which was an excellent combination. To complete my meal, I polished off a pear- a recent obsession- and two hershey nuggets. Perfecto!

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Dinner provided a medley of flavors and colors. Steak fajitas are one of our favorite meals, which we complemented with peppers, mushrooms, and a salad made of lettuce, carrots, and tomato. For mine, I folded my tortilla in half like a quesadilla and filled it with cheese. I had a couple of spoonfuls of rice to go along with it.