Snow In February, WHAT?!

Remember a week ago when it was in the 50s/60s, warm and sunny, and not snowing? Actually, I’m okay with snow because it’s February and I live in New England. Yes, driving in it can be scary, especially when you live on top of a few massive hills, or when you get stuck in a parking lot that hasn’t been plowed but you can’t be late for work- shout out to the plow man who guided me through that discouraging time! But then you drive around post-storm and this is what you see and you start to believe in heaven on earth:

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And there’s nothing quite like being comfy and cozy and warm at home, curled up with a book or rewatching The Office, one of my brightest decisions, and watching the snow accumulate (knowing that soon you will be cold and itchy and shoveling).

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Was that bitter? It sounded bitter.

After shoveling (great source of cardio and resistance training!), I headed to work. My post-work meal was dinner out with my friend Molly. I feasted on a blackened salmon salad made up of baby spinach, black beans, corn, and red pepper. Delicious! Even though it was cold and still a tad snowy, we went out for a frozen treat. I opted for the black raspberry frozen yogurt that was yummy!

On Saturday, I woke up early for work and then headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house for lunch. Like I mentioned, the ride over was amazing. My body was sore from all that shoveling and the rest of my workouts for the week, so I enjoyed my rest day and opted to stay in for the remainder of the night for a relaxing Netflix and writing evening. For dinner, I had leftover pasta, chicken meatballs, and so many delectable roasted Brussels sprouts.

Sunday morning started with some auntie and kitty time. I’m sure my sister and brother-in-law are thrilled that my mom and I stopped in to visit with Coconut, but they really have no choice. After, we headed over to the grocery store, with everyone else in the state, it seems. Yesterday, it was so beautiful out, so my mom and I took the dog out for a long walk to warm me up for my workout. My official workout consisted of strength training- biceps, back, shoulders, and core- followed up with HIIT cardio- burpees to box jumps and sprints on the bike. I’m fighting off symptoms of a cold and my chest was burning, so cardio was a little difficult.

Be on the lookout tomorrow for a new snowy day home workout that I am about to start planning! I happen to have a few exercise items at home that most people might not, but I will include some modifications that anyone can do! Just because it’s snowing and you’d rather stay under blankets, doesn’t mean you can’t get your heart rate up for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. If you want that hot chocolate and couch time, you better earn it! Happy Monday!

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Sometimes, You Just Need Whipped Cream

I shared this note last night on Facebook, but I wanted to extend the sentiment on my blog:

The beautiful thing about people like David Bowie and Alan Rickman is that they lived as their authentic selves. Creativity sparks ideas, inspiration, and movement. Such endeavors appeal to our humanity. It’s why we love them. It’s why we mourn. At the end of the day, we are all human. We all suffer, struggle, and fail, but these passionate types, these people, they, we, we all triumph, shine, and overcome. In death, we love and we grieve, but we also remember that they have lived, with us and for us, and that is a remarkable thing.

So when they say, “Let’s Dance,” we respond, “Always.”

A bit on the less serious side: Exciting news! According to Facebook, I joined the social media world 10 years ago from this very day. I don’t know how to feel about this. Old, for one. I was in high school 10 years ago. From my calculations, I would have been 16, so a sophomore? Yikes. A lot has changed in the past 10 years and I’m not ashamed to say, the majority of that has been for the good. If we’re being real though, that’s not so much a milestone for me as it is for Facebook. Good for you, book of faces.

On a list of other random happenings in my life, I’m beginning to suspect that I’m just into hot chocolate for the whipped cream on top. I’m not even sorry. Yes, the chocolatey, warm goodness makes the melty whipped cream taste that much better, but when I’ve had my share of the cream and it’s just the hot chocolate left, I’m all, eh.

My morning started with a quick, repeating meal before my Spin class. Peanut butter and jelly on an English Muffin. Wrong cannot be done with this combination. Warm, toasty, peanutty, and sweet.

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For my workout, it included the aforementioned Spin class, which was killer thanks to a ton of sprints and hill climbing. It’s butt-kicking, but works up a great sweat! I finished with a brief core workout before heading home to get my inner- Yogi on.

I’ll also take you back to last night’s dinner of chicken drumsticks, brown spinach rice, roasted Brussels sprouts, and a big salad.

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Now onto the work, work, work that needs to be done. It’s Friday though, so Happy Weekend-having to you all!

Walking Decorations- Christmas Sweater Modeling

We are trying something new around here called Fashion Fridays. Trust me, I know I’m not a fashionista, but I do love clothes, so I thought I might show off a few outfits once in awhile. I can’t promise it as a weekly posting yet, mostly because I’ll probably forget to take a lot of pictures. It sounds a bit self-indulgent actually, but I have a fun one to start?

Dangle a bit of fame in front of people and you can get them to do quite a bit. As promised in my last post, I attempted to get my family to model my mother’s collection of Christmas sweaters at our family dinner/tree decorating festivities and they did.

I set the tone the night before by inquiring about their interest in participating in a favor I had. Because some people are not the best responders when it comes to texting, I also said I took their silence as an affirmative answer, and somehow they all answered quickly.

After dinner, they were slow to rise from the table, but once their assigned sweaters were comfortably worn, it gave them new life. In fact, none of them took theirs off until it was time to leave or go to bed. I suspect the spirit of Christmas graced them through these fluorescent, jingling sweaters and we are all better for it.

Here we have our cutest participator, Mac. He chose the Grinch sweatshirt as the white shown brightly off of his fur, it’s durability allowed him to roll up his sleeves, and the fact that the Grinch has a pet dog himself in the movie. He did not want to take this off and he usually frets over any clothing in which we try to adorn him.

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Next we find this happy couple, my brother Jimmy and his girlfriend Cait. While Cait was an eager model, Jimmy needed some convincing at first. He bypassed the sweater I had preselected for him to choose this far more mild one and put it around his shoulders. College has made him preppier.

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A nicer picture by the still bare Christmas tree.

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Nick, my sister Lauren’s fiancée, didn’t blink an eye as he put on this award winning sweater and joined Jimmy and Cait by the tree.

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As Jimmy and Lauren went to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate, Cait and Nick took a completely candid photo admiring my manger scene.

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Yes, I too took part in the festivities.

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Cait loved the candy cane! And the camera.

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Finally, we’ve found Lauren with her steaming mugs of chocolate.

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I do believe this picture should go on the wedding album.

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My mom, who is Christmas spirit didn’t have to put on a sweater because she was already wearing one! She is also an excellent gift wrapper. Note, I had asked her for a basket the night before and she said she didn’t have one.

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Group shot! Jimmy warmed up to the idea of the sweaters and finally put on the one I had picked for him. The faux fur collar suits him.

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It’s a good thing I have a big head because it would be hard to see me squeezing in the back here.

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It’s always necessary to get a picture around the fireplace, that wasn’t on, and the beautiful mantelpiece, surrounded by decorations.

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I couldn’t end without another solo shot of the golden child himself.

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And an extra, extremely humble final picture of me with my favorite ornament, verifying my proudest moment.

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You’re welcome.