Perfection on a Plate

After I left you yesterday, I headed to the gym for a strength training circuit and a swim. I was experiencing some tenderness thanks to the bump on my head and side lunges, but otherwise felt great! The circuit included 6 sets of 8 reps of bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder raises, weighted lunges, alternating front raises, and a move that I think are called inverted rows, but I’m not positive. I also fit in a core workout of diamond push ups, mermaid raises, hip lifts, flutter kicks, sit ups, and Russian twists. Phew.

I was super happy during my swim because I’ve once again increased my mile time! Remember when it took me around 50 minutes? I’m now swimming a lap a minute, which after 36 laps that equal a minute equals a 36 minute mile! This also happened last Thursday so I was pleased that I kept my pace.

Important note. Don’t compare yourself to others in anything in life because then people would rarely have accomplishments. I say this because out of curiosity, I asked what a strong average mile swim time was and was told 20-25 minutes. Clearly, I have improvements to make, but I choose to focus on how far I have progressed rather than how much slower I am than other people. I mean, I’m faster than some folks, right?! Not that it matters…

My recovery lunch was this gorgeous thai chopped salad, a crunchy apple, and a handful of cheezits that hit the spot. Salad included baby spinach, red pepper, tomato, carrots, and cucumber with chicken, black beans, and feta mixed in with an Asian sesame dressing. Divine!

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I also felt good about my study time, put in some time at work, and made it back home for dinner and the first of the Democratic Debates. First, let’s focus on dinner. Grilled tilapia, spinach rice, corn on the cob, and grilled zucchini. A little hot sauce and a new mustard-barbecue sauce combination on the side.

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I won’t get too much into politics, but I will say that I enjoyed watching the debate and was impressed by a few candidates and had no patience for a few others. The best part of the night was following Twitter.

After some writing and once again staying up far too late as I was in a good groove, I was ready for bed. I woke up this morning with one thing on my mind- PANCAKES.

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This is my favorite recipe, possibly ever, and it prevents me from eating anyone else’s pancakes (mostly). I mean, seriously. Not only are they chock full of nutrients, but they are so peanut buttery and chocolatey. And look at those strawberries!

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That is a perfection speared by a fork.

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Pepper The Garden with Love

I want to start by saying I made a tiny mistake yesterday with my list of favorite tv shows. I know it got intense and you were all amazed that I would share such valuable information with you and I’m sure you’re disappointed that I was wrong! As is stands, I think I’m going to have to push The Golden Girls to a tie for the 5 spot with Gilmore Girls because I forgot about Psych! One could argue that Psych could not possibly be one of my favorites if I forgot about it, but I don’t really care what you think value your opinion and have to disagree.

I think it’s also important that you know there are so many other shows that did not make this list, like Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Broad City, Inside Amy Schumer, Modern Family, etc., etc., etc. Since we’re being honest, I will admit to you that my secret obsession is the show Baby Daddy on ABC Family. It’s super silly, but the characters have a lot of heart and the dialogue is great.

You’re welcome for sharing such privileged information.

Oh, also, you’ve probably noticed the changes in the design. I hope you like! It was time for a change. I took the cover picture myself a few years ago at Redondo Beach after finishing up the best run of my life. *Swoons for California*

My garden has been slow to grow this year, but I’m starting to notice some real progress. One tomato is evident from two plants, but I have TWO peppers. Two. That is two more than the previous two years. For whatever reason, I have never had much luck with my favorite vegetable, but finally luck is in my favor. All of my plants look healthy and seem to be flourishing, so I’m hoping to get some produce very soon. I was too lazy to step outside, but here is a view of my garden from upstairs and behind the screen. Kinda cute, right?! Notice the gross bug that is not so cute!

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Yesterday, I planned my gym time at a point where I would be hungry if I didn’t eat lunch beforehand, so I knew I had to get some protein and energy. I didn’t feel like cooking pasta or rice, so I just chopped up some veggies and stir-fried them to enjoy with a few chicken meatballs.

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The meal was filling enough to power me through my workout! My usual swim is 40 laps (a lap meaning back and forth counting as one), which is a little more than a mile. I aimed to do 50 and then realized that I only needed 4 more to make a mile and a half, so of course I went for it. I am not a fast swimmer and I have a lot to learn when it comes to my kicking technique, but my cross-training with running and weights has meant that I have good stamina. I don’t rest between laps because I see it as more like a long-distance run where you wouldn’t stop there either. By the end, my lungs were aching, but I felt strong. I headed upstairs for a quick body strength circuit of leg lifts, squats, lunges, kickbacks, push-ups, mountain climbers, elevated hip lifts, and step ups for five sets of 10 reps. I was hungry when I got home so I melted some cheese on top of a few tostitos for some yum.

Dinner was delicious as well. We had a medley of chicken and steak tips with brown spinach rice and a spinach salad. It was a perfect night to sit in the backyard and enjoy the weather, though it was still hot! I have to admit, it’s been weird eating meals and relaxing without watching anything. I’m having Buffy withdrawals! But I have to be strong.

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It’s another hot day out there, though the cool breeze coming in is confusing. My run will have to be delayed until the sun starts to set, unless I suck it up and run on the treadmill.

For breakfast, I poached some eggs over toast. I haven’t had this in quite some time and it was nice to revert back to an old favorite. A little bacon on the side made things a little saltier and crunchier.

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A few hours later, I had a cup of Chobani Pomegranate yogurt and a sprinkle of coconut granola. I’m not in a big meal kind of mood, so I think at some point, I will make myself a salad or some veggie sticks for a more well-rounded meal, but for right now, it hit the spot!

I’ve been in a cleaning frenzy and tweeting like crazy, which means I am procrastinating my studying and writing. Fear not, those things get done, I just need to maintain a clean space if I want to have a clear mind. I also just really like to tweet.

End of An Era; I Think I’ve Used That Joke Before…

Hello, my name is Caitlin and I am a binge watcher.

It’s not a joke actually. Like I really just watched a whole lot of episodes in three days. A season full, okay? That’s twenty two episodes that run 42-43 minutes apiece that I watched in three days. Netflix is wonderful, bizarre, and dangerous. Having the ability to just push play on the next episode (OR NOT HAVE TO TOUCH ANYTHING AT ALL) is too easy and convenient. Albeit, I did not complain. And one can argue that I simply don’t have to have Netflix anymore. I’m just saying, it’s dangerous for someone who likes to watch television to have access to so much television.

That being said, I am very sad to be done with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, I could have slowed down, but I was hooked. I will say that while it took me three days to watch the final season (I’m on a staycation technically), it took me about three weeks to watch the previous season because it was emotionally challenging. I feel comfortable and secure in admitting to you my obsession with TV only because I can claim it’s for research purposes. Hello?! I want to write for TV, so I have to watch TV. It’s not my fault, it’s a requirement.

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Too soon Netflix! Too soon!

There is a clear reason as to why I don’t watch too many shows on Netflix and that is because I become invested. It can be hard for me to get into a show, but once I’m in, I’m hooked. Just fry me up. That was a lame statement, but I’m keeping it just so I can talk about how lame it was. After much deliberation, obsession, and dedication, I am ready to make another claim. Friends, after years and years and years, has been dethroned for the highly esteemed number one favorite show of all-time in my heart. While I still love Friends, it will have to make-do with number two (rhyming, ugh). This is important to no one else, besides me, but I think it’s a pretty momentous occasion. As it stands, my favorites are now: Buffy, Friends, Lost, The Golden Girls, and Gilmore Girls.

What you can take from this is that I am one eclectic girl. Look at that diversity in my choice of shows! Actually, there’s probably not that much diversity at all except that some of them are different genres. It’s funny because I only ever watched one and a half of those shows at the time live. Buffy was on when I was younger and should not have been watching at that age because I could not comprehend or appreciate the depth of emotions and torment that it shows. I just liked the action and the romantics and Sarah Michelle Gellar was my favorite because she married Freddie Prinze Jr., which is still impressive, but also, she’s damn good in this show! I also only watched about two and a half seasons and didn’t remember a whole lot of it once I went and rewatched all of it. (Note: rewatched keeps autocorrecting to rewetted and I don’t know that I understand what that means).

I’ve seen episodes of Gilmore Girls when it was on live, but I never got into it until after it came on Netflix and I decided to give it a whirl. I’m so glad I did too (except for that last season, ugh). The first and only episode I’ve seen of Lost while it aired was the finale. There was so much hype and I don’t need too much mystery or context to be able to appreciate an ending, so I wanted to watch it. If I liked how it ended, I figured I could watch it. In the end, I’m not sure how I felt about that ending, but I went back and watched it anyways and it was epic.

I wasn’t or was barely alive when The Golden Girls aired, but thanks to Lifetime and syndication, I started to watch it in high school and became obsessed. It’s just such a fun and lovable and funny show that makes me feel nostalgic, which I am a huge sucker for. With Friends, I did watch much of it when it was running, but probably not all- I was four when it started?- but because of syndication and to all the DVDs I spent uber loads of money on that are now five bucks apiece, I was caught up by the time it ended. I distinctly remember watching the finale, surrounding myself with tissues, and sobbing. I will not go as far as to say it was a tragic moment in my life- I still remember the Brad/Jennifer break up- but it was an end of an era.

And now here again we have reached an end of another era. I say most of this in jest, though I do find these shows to be important to me. It’s like coming to an end of a really good book, especially a series (HARRY POTTER) and having to say goodbye to those characters and those places that made you fall in love. This is what makes television stand out farther to me than movies. If you’re lucky, with a show, there are so many seasons and episodes to spend with the characters. It’s part of what inspires me to be a writer- to bring to life people whose emotions, actions, and thoughts can be so different and so similar to yours at the same time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it over and over again: if you have a set of solid characters played by actors who bring them to life (in the case of novels, the author’s voice is the said-actor in my opinion), then you can do anything with them.

All of this leads to a big question I am sure all of you are dying to know! What show will be next? Actually, none. Not for now. One, I need time to mourn Buffy. Seven seasons, um no matter how fast you watch them, is no small feat and I need time to process. I waited about a year after finishing Gilmore Girls before getting into another show because clearly I am obsessive and cannot be stopped. Now is the time to enjoy some me time, in the sun, maybe reading a book and definitely studying.

This whole rant started by my wanting to make a joke about being a binge watching addict. My apologies, continue with your day. Except actually, finish reading before you do.

Yesterday’s workout was strength heavy. I ran through the usual barbell exercises, performing six sets of eight reps for power moves like bench presses, deadlifts, and squat presses and four sets of twelve reps for additional exercises such as bicep curls and tricep extensions. I can feel myself growing stronger, which (opinion) probably means I am going to one day become a vampire slayer. (Fact) I ran away screaming from my cat when he tried to bite me.

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I followed a strength workout with a core one that left me wanting to stay down on the mat for a little while, but instead got me in the direction of the bike, which I rode for a few minutes.

Last night’s dinner was a big old salad with grilled chicken, which I paired with a piece of corn and a slice of toast. Simple, yet effective. I enjoyed this while sitting poolside as the sun started to fall asleep, the bugs started to crawl, and I didn’t notice much of anything else because I was watching Netflix. I said it was fun, not healthy.

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At breakfast time, I was very Maid of Honorly and Sisterly and did a favor for my sister and her husband and decided it was worth just powering through the last three episodes of Buffy. I grilled myself some eggs and served it with peanut butter on toast, half a banana, and some blueberries. It was a delightful breakfast sprinkled with occasional tears. I can almost feel your judgment through our virtual screens, but remember, this is partly satirical. (A very small part, but shh).

IMG_3374Now that I’ve finished, it’s time to go out into the world again! Except that it’s ninety degrees and the sun is too bright.

Just kidding, it’s hot as balls. (I don’t use that feature to my advantage enough).