aaaand we’re back.

We’re looking a little different around here these days! A fresh start was much needed and I think things are looking good. Please also note that in order to find the blog, the link is now http://www.strongerwithcaitlin.com.

Here’s a funny story to start your Monday off on the right foot. A week ago, in the wee hours of the morning, I heard Simba playing. He jumped up and was super cuddly, a common occurrence for him. Still half asleep and in the dark, I start petting him until I feel something moist but solid next to him. At first, I felt bad for the little guy, thinking he threw up or had a hairball, but then I realized in a year of having him, he’d never been sick. It hit me, in one of those sickening punchy ways what it was. A DEAD MOUSE. I threw it across the room and jumped up, trying to be quiet and thankful to Simba for his hard work, but also deeply disgusted. I stepped on it. At 4:30am, I was scrubbing my hands and feet and then had to throw away the mouse before work.

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How are you?

I’m feeling quite well! My mom and I are on Weight Watchers together and we’ve both made great strides. Thus far, I am down 14.2 pounds.

This weekend, I tried on a pair of black pants I had purchased a few years ago assuming they would fit, but they were always too tight. They fit PERFECTLY this weekend. It’s the small things with weight loss that keep you going.

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I’ll be back tomorrow with a weekend recap. In the meantime, check out the new sections of the blog, including an updated My Weight Loss Journey, Personal Training, and Writing.

Enjoy your Monday!

New York City!

It’s Monday and we’re all back to the real world! For me in particular, since this is my blog and it’s a bit of a shock having spent the past few days in New York City, aka my favorite place in the world!

After a whirlwind week of working, my friend Lauren and I hopped on the bus to visit our friends Bobby and Ruben. The bus ride was a little long, especially as the anticipation built, but we got through with a lot of chatting.

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Once we arrived late Thursday night, we had dinner at a Mexican place where lots of chips and salsa were had, as well as a grilled chicken and pepper dish that was pretty okay. It was time for bed as Lauren and I had a busy Friday planned.

On the definite agenda on Friday afternoon was the NBC tour, so we headed towards Times Square and had brunch at a diner. I selected the single pancake, scrambled eggs, and bacon, which hit the spot! I’m not used to waiting so long to eat in the morning, so I was hungry! The weather was beautiful and perfect for walking around, though Lauren and I might have been the only ones wearing shorts. On our travels, we noticed two very long lines, which I thought might be for those elusive eateries that Buzzfeed always posts, but one was for what we concluded was a Hamilton meet-and-greet (understandable) and the other was for Chik-fil-a ( a rousing, huh!?).

After we took in the scene, we found ourselves at 30 Rock! We found where we were supposed to meet for the tour and then we had an adventurous debacle trying to locate a restroom, and then a restroom that was actually open. We did make it back in plenty of time, but almost missed the tour anyways because we were browsing the store. Whoops! The tour was fun and informational, plus just plain cool getting to sit in the audience of SNL (sans actual show), but it wasn’t all that overwhelming. It didn’t help that Lauren and I were bunched in with a bunch of teenagers on a class trip.

Back into the sunshine and away from the teens, we made our way over to the Highline which we walked on our way to meet Bobby.Though it was a little congested, it’s such a nice walk with spectacular views. Here would be a great time to insert a pic of the view, but we were busy taking in the scene. Once we stepped off near Chelsea Market, it was time for some refreshments.

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The final leg of our afternoon took us to Union Square, where we hopped back on the subway to get ready for dinner that night. Lauren and I were excited to try Tao!

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The food was excellent, especially the sweet and sour cauliflower! We also shared chicken and pad thai dishes, finishing off with a giant mousse-filled fortune cookie. Post-dinner, we decided to take advantage of the still-warm and beautiful evening weather and hit up a rooftop bar. I can already predict this will be my favorite thing to do in the summer, even though I don’t think every place I go to will offer views of the Statue of Liberty.

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Once we arrived and got our drinks- boozy popsicles in wine!- it started to rain! There was a cover and heat lamps above us, but they only lasted so long until we were the only ones left and had to leave.

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Lauren and I racked up a ton of steps, especially on Friday- almost 30,000, and then a lot on Saturday too!

On Saturday, we started our morning off right with a workout! I’m now a big fan of hitting up gyms for one-day passes when I travel! For my workout, I spent a half hour working through a strength training circuit before hopping on the treadmill for a run. Since losing the last ten pounds, I’ve definitely gotten faster and was able to stay at a strong, but comfortable pace, except that I was battling a bit of a bellyache. I finished my hour up with a core workout before getting ready for brunch.

This pretty much sums up brunch.

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Bottomless mimosas! For my actual meal, I chose eggs benedict with spinach with a side salad. Delicious! A little tipsy and a lot full, we made our way over to Central Park to sit in the sun and just relax. The best!

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That is the face of a happy girl! I mean, look at this view from lying on my back:

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Once the sun started to go down, so did the temperature, so we knew it was time to head back. For dinner, I had part of an amazing cauliflower (vegetable of the weekend!) crumble and spaghetti in a lemon cream sauce. For after-dinner drinks, we had trouble finding a spot that stuck, but we finally did find one (my poor, sore feet!) and enjoyed a nightcap before heading back to bed.

Sunday sadly was our final day and we kicked things off with brunch. I had trouble deciding, but the waiter recommended the hot dog (kind of an odd choice for brunch, sure) and it didn’t disappoint. By the time we got back to the apartment, Lauren and I decided to pack up and head out to stay in the general area of our bus. Even though we weren’t hungry at that time, we knew we would be once we were on the bus, so we trekked over to Whole Foods with our luggage and got some snacks.I enjoyed a roasted chicken sandwich and a cookie! The journey home was even longer than the one there, and even though I love and miss New York, I was happy to be home.

For one, after a weekend of indulgences, I always love getting back into my food and exercise routine as it’s so motivating to feel healthy again! Another, I always feel so inspired by the city and ready to work hard, so I know I’ve got a lot of exciting things to do over the next few months- and choices to make!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, wherever you are and whatever you did! Happy Monday!

My Omelet Flipping Skills Need Improvement

This morning, I had a vision as to what I wanted for breakfast. An omelet concocted of an egg, two egg whites, chicken sausage, chopped jalapeños, and shredded cheese. Thinking about it in bed, I could picture exactly what it should look like and once I lumbered down the stairs, I got to work!

This is a picture of a perfect omelet that I Googled.

This is a picture of my actual omelet, along with the rest of the meal.

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Forgive the strange lighting of the glare from the sun. Now that I look at it, the omelet almost looks artistic with the chopped jalapeño on top. I could erase everything I’ve written above and pretend like I intended it to look that way, or I’ll just leave it and allow the truth to be revealed- I am a bad omelet flipper!

Let’s talk some workouts now. On Wednesday, it was so nice out so I went for a brisk walk before hitting up the gym for strength training. The week has continued to be total body at 3 sets of 15 reps, so it was fast-paced and tiring to build up that endurance. On Thursday, I headed out for an amazing run. The weather was perfect to run with the sun beating down, but a slight chill in the air. I love Spring (so long as my allergies hold off!)

Now I’m ready to get to the rest of my Friday. I’m going to try to be better at snapping pictures during the weekend so that my recaps aren’t entirely too wordy.

On a more serious note, today is the third anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. My thoughts are with all of the people who continue to be affected in so many ways by the events of the day. It’s times like these that we must remember to appreciate the good in what life offers, to work hard, take risks, laugh, and love. Lately, I’ve been reminded of the brevity of life, and all the joys that can be found in it, despite the sorrow of loss. Live, and live as well as you can, with whatever you’ve got.

 

 

 

Bacon Grease Burns Through Styrofoam

Some cosmic force in this world doesn’t want me to have my bacon and eat it too. If you cook bacon, then you know that the grease isn’t good for the inner workings of the sink, so you’re supposed to dispose of it some other way. I had been putting it in a coffee mug that is never used for coffee purposes, but it was too hard to clean and my mom bought styrofoam cups just for this occasion.

It’s been awhile since I’ve cooked bacon, but thought I’d treat myself this morning and look what happened when I tried to be good and clean.

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Luckily, I got the cold water running fast and my hand is fine, but it was startling! I guess it makes a good blog story!

On another note, I got super emotional looking at the newly released Gilmore Girls’ revival pictures, so you can see I’ve got a lot going on for me right now.

Happy Monday…!

The weekend starts, as I have always assumed, on Friday. Even when you work on Friday, it just feels so much better. To start my day, I worked through a kettlebell and plyometric heavy total body workout. There’s nothing quite more refreshing than a solid, butt-kicking workout that works up all those good feelings. After work, I headed out with friends for dinner. I couldn’t stay out too late because I have an early Saturday morning shift, but it was nice to see everyone!

After work on Saturday, I wanted to nap, but I never feel particularly good enough afterwards, so instead, I headed out into the cool sunshine and had an amazing run. It felt so good to be outside under the sun, listening to music, and hitting that stride! Post-workout, I headed out to see Melissa McCarthy’s new movie The Boss. It was ridiculous, in a hilarious sort of way, and I continue to be amazed by Melissa’s fearless approach to comedy. I’m also super excited about the new Ghostbusters movie even though I’ve never seen the original! Speaking of Melissa McCarthy and Gilmore Girls, I’m so happy she’s going to make an appearance!

On Sunday, it was time for the weekly grocery shopping. I also took some time to change up my workout approach as I’ve decided to dedicate a week or two to total body workouts every day. I’m already tired! I enjoyed lunch out with my parents and grandma before heading to the gym to get started, finishing up with a few minutes on the elliptical, before working for a few hours. Sunday ended with a few chores, such as the mass amount of laundry that always seems to accumulate even though it feels like you’ve just done it!

Now time to food prep for the week, fit in a workout, catch the Sox home opener, and work! Happy Monday to you…don’t let the bacon grease get you down! Bacon grease doesn’t dictate your day.

 

Go Ahead And Ask Me How The Red Sox Did

Really baseball? I was so excited about the start of the season, in yesterday’s post I wrote, “At least I have baseball,” and what happened? Baseball was cancelled! It wasn’t that Monday was a bad day so much as it was an off one for me. Weird, not terrible but not great things happened and I was in a bit of a funk, which I think is to be expected. The snow certainly didn’t help, nor did the POSTPONEMENT of the baseball season thanks to a bit of cold (it could have been freezing, I don’t even know).

I at least did get a good amount of writing in during the day, which rarely happens. I just have to be consistent with it. Once I trekked through the snow to the gym, I fit in a killer tricep, chest, core workout before work. Always helps to get a sweat on.

Anyways, today is a new day and I’m bursting out of my funk! Here’s a food pic!

This lovely revelation was last night’s dinner, consisting of pulled pork, brown rice, zucchini, peppers, and spinach. Delicious!

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Here, have another! This morning’s breakfast was a heaping bowl of warm oats to fuel me through my early morning run and workday.

Dare I say, Go Red Sox!? (Or is it still to chilly for the big bad boys of baseball?)

I’m Not Paranoid, But…

I’m not saying I’m paranoid, but if you have a Mac (or a computer in general), then you’ve probably noticed the little green light near the camera lens glow when you haven’t turned on the camera. I’d taken to ignoring it in the past, but then I was babysitting my neighbor and she had a piece of tape over hers and I had to ask about it. It’s a precaution that is unfortunate and not altogether overcautious considering this world in which we live. Regardless of whether it’s necessary, the tape that now graces my screen makes me feel just a bit better. Let’s not be creepy, people!

I’m ashamed to admit that it didn’t take long for me to forget to snap a photo of my meals before I eat. The only meal I have to show you in the past 24 hours is this one from dinner. Chicken stir fry chock full of vibrant veggies and brown rice.

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It is a thing of wonder.

My workout yesterday consisted of strength training that hit my triceps, chest, and legs. Lately, I’ve been doing four exercises for each part of the body and three sets of fifteen reps each. It creates a good burn, but a burn nonetheless. Since focusing more on endurance, I’ve noticed that I’ve still been able to go up in weight, which is satisfying. After the strength portion, I focused on some core work before hopping on a bike for some Tabata sprints.

Other than exercising, writing, and working, I’ve been watching Chelsea Handler’s new docu-series on Netflix, Chelsea Does, and thus far, I’ve loved it. I’ve always found her funny- i.e. when I met her at a book signing and she signed my book “Caitlin sucks eggs, Love Chelsea.”- and I watched Chelsea Lately a ton, but this new series has a serious and poignant edge to it that raises a lot of good questions and portrays interesting perspectives to difficult or not well-known topics. I’ll go more in-depth once I finish the series, but I highly recommend it and I am looking forward to her new series debuting!

As to how I’m doing, I can admit that the pain isn’t as fresh, but I’m not healed. There’s a sorrowful glow that sits in my stomach. This morning, the blankets had bunched up around my legs and it reminded me of when he would curl up on my bed and later, I heard a noise that sounded like the thud Bandit would make when he jumped up on my desk. Then I remember what happened and it hits me all over again.

Yet, we keep on going because living our lives is a wondrous thing.

I Should Never Speak Words

If you know me, you know I have a thing with words. With all humility I can muster, I am not terrible at writing, in fact, I think it’s one of my strongest attributes. Not to say that I have an overwhelming vocabulary, but I think I can string a few nice lines together. Verbally, not so much.

I should probably just not be allowed to speak. Too many words have I butchered the pronunciation without even realizing, until of course someone shouts it in my face. Paradigm, satiety, and traipsing to name some of the more recent words. Phrases are also something I should very much stay away from and not just because they’re cliche.

For example, when my mom asked me how my car was driving after it’s surgery (new battery), I told her it “was smooth as a sailor.” She kept talking past it so I thought I had gotten away with my mistake, but she made a point to mention that was not the correct statement near the end of conversation. It’s smooth as…well, actually, I can’t remember. The sea, maybe? In which case, I was close.

Perhaps the worst of all was when I explained to a friend how some guy gave me attitude. The expression is “gave me lip,” but I said “gave me tongue,” which is just completely wrong to say out loud to someone. He was very calm in correcting me, but I still had to slap face to palm. Or is it palm to face? I DON’T KNOW!

My sister says my struggle is because I am a strong and frequent reader. I must pick up my vocabulary from reading, which means I wouldn’t necessarily hear the words. I am also a champion speller, which backs up the reading theory.

What I think she’s trying to say is that I’m a genius and I overwhelm everyone with my unique ability to bypass every rule in the English language and just go with what sounds right in my own damn brain.

Point 1: Caitlin. Point 0: World.

Let’s see, for food, the past few days. Breakfast yesterday was peanut butter pancakes, lunch was a cheese, spinach, and red pepper quesadilla, and dinner was turkey tacos.

Yesterday was my rest day from official exercise, but I did go for a refreshing, brisk walk around my neighborhood.

Today, I had a piece of wheat toast with a smear of peanut butter and half a banana before my workout. Post-workout, I had a cup of Greek yogurt with blueberries and granola. Lunch was out with my mom and it was a Greek salad with toasted ravioli. Yum!

I killed it at the gym this morning. I started off with an awesome Spin class that wrecked my legs (in a good way) and finished off with a few strength circuits. First, I mixed up triceps and chest exercises and followed it up with leg and core workouts.

Some shopping, dining, and studying followed.

Happy Friday, people! Hug your loved ones a little harder, live your lives a little brighter, be kind, forgive, and relax.