better late than never…

Sorry this is coming to you late today! Yesterday, my sister and her husband came over for dinner and between socializing and preparing for my early morning, I ran out of writing time. Better late than never!

The weather was SPECTACULAR around here yesterday and today. I know it’s problematic BIG TIME in the long run, but for now, I’m enjoying small favors. It’s tough going from the constant warmth of LA to the seasonal changes of the east coast.

Someone really loves the nice weather, it makes window-watching purr-fect.

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On Tuesday, I slept in a bit and warmed up with a quick strength circuit of all body exercises. At 7:00 am, it was already in the 50s, so I threw on a sweatshirt and a baseball hat and hit the streets. I got through 3.2 miles fairly comfortably (oof, the double adverb!) and felt nice and strong!

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For breakfast, I enjoyed a breakfast sandwich consisting of an egg, chicken sausage patty, and a slice of pepper jack all on top of an english muffin, berries on the side.

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For lunch, I had leftovers beef, broccoli, and cauliflower with brown rice.

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I helped my mom make an awesome dinner of blackened salmon, steak tips, cheesy potatoes, asparagus and red peppers, and caesar salad. It was SO good and I’m sorry for the lack of pictures.

By the time I hopped into bed on Tuesday night, I had reached 20,000 steps! Hope everyone’s having a great Wednesday!

beachin’ weekend

Time is flying and here we are at Monday again! First, I want to say Happy Father’s Day to my dad who is the very best!

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On Friday night, I got out of work and had dinner and a movie with my cousin Meghan. We saw Rough Night, which was funny but not the best. I will say I haven’t laughed that hard at a movie in awhile though, so it’s worth seeing.

Saturday morning was all about relaxation, starting with a wonderful night’s rest and followed up with a breakfast. That afternoon, I headed downtown to Tacolandia, which meant endless tacos. We  learned that tacos are not something you can or should binge eat and we got full quickly.

That night, I headed over to a friend’s house where we had great conversation, yummy wine, and a fun movie with Scream 2.

The next day was beach day! My friend Brad and I headed to Manhattan Beach where the sun was shining and the waves were perfect.

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I haven’t been in water that warm in maybe forever, but it was fabulous! After, we headed to Palos Verdes to check out the cliff views.

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And to climb on some rocks.

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On the way back, I was checking out any damage to my hair when I caught this picture. My eyes are terrifying! (so of course I had to share).

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Sunday night consisted of dinner, Sex and the City, meal prep, and relaxation.

Cheers to the new week!

lately

TV: Cheers- I’ve finally admitted this is a thing I’m doing, rather than putting an episode on intermittently between shows…after five seasons.

Books: I’ve been reading quite a bit lately- I’m aiming for one a week- and right now I’m on the new-ish Tana French novel, The Trespasser

Music: Hamilton- it’s been over a year now and I still adore it

Food: french toast has been making more of an appearance in breakfast, as you’ll have seen in yesterday’s post- I’m still learning how to make it crispy rather than soggy in the middle; I’ve also been trying to be more experimental

Exercise: I’m calling it the Wonder Woman workout because I took a collection of exercises Gal Gadot did to train for the film, as well as my own stuff, and it’s crushing

Hobbies: the usual reading and writing; but also drinking a GALLON of water a day to try and make me feel better- I’m on day six of my goal for a month and so far it hasn’t been too hard

Things I’m Looking Forward To: weekends in LA and of course, still Disney

weekend report

Greetings, Monday! I’m one tired girl, but it’s all thanks to a great weekend.

Things got started the right way after work on Friday with a margarita and some chips and salsa with some friends. After, I watched some Netflix and happily slumbered my way into Saturday morning.

I had a hankering for some bacon, so I delayed breakfast in favor of grocery shopping and it actually helped beat the crowd! Breakfast was all the more delicious. After some hydration, I headed to the gym and knocked out a killer workout that involved strength training and a HIIT-inspired run. I was a sweaty, but happy mess.

I got a lot of chores done, including meal prepping for Monday, which always feels satisfying.

That night, I headed to Hollywood Forever Cemetery to take in a viewing of The Wizard of Oz. With some wine, cheese and crackers, popcorn, and friends, it was a great night. And a beautiful one to sit under the stars.

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I actually thought this picture was a lot nicer when I snapped it, but I guess it gets the point across…

On Sunday, I was up bright and early for a day at Disneyland to celebrate my cousin’s birthday. There’s nothing quite like Disney that makes you both walk and eat a ton.

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It was a great day, into the night, but I was a tired girl by the end of it.

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Reflection Time

First of all, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to my mama. She’s the best.

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On Friday, I realized it had been five years since I graduated college. This made me reflective and several pages in my journal is a testament to that. The truth is, the years don’t really matter, except that we can no longer count life in “school years.” I am no longer a super-senior of real life. I just am. And yet, I still have nightmares where I’m lost in high school and can’t find my classes, so what does that signify?

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When the picture above was taken, I felt like I was on top of the world. I had just lost a ton of weight, I was graduating with honors, and even though I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, I had a temporary summer job, and I figured I would figure it out. Five years later and I’ve held five different jobs, all for the better, lending to well-rounded life experiences and honing professional skills, and I keep telling myself that it’s important to figure out what you don’t want to do, as much as what you do want.

Life is not perfect or easy, but I have been blessed. There have been struggles and losses and hardships, but I’m choosing right now to focus on the good. Those top three, since graduating, include becoming a published writer, getting my personal training certification, and moving to LA- if only because I had been talking about it for five years, so it was move or shut up.

*My parents would probably like me to insert my Master’s degree into this list and while yes, this is an accomplishment, I have (un)gracefully retired from teaching and will never use the degree in the traditional sense. Call it an invisible fourth choice if you must.

I should also note that this blog is also five years old and I’ve been trying for five years to find a direction for it, but it’s been chaotic. Such is life.

Looking back at pictures of my friends, I found this gem.

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This was taken six years ago right before I started my weight loss journey. This girl is me, and yet, I do not recognize her. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t particularly enjoy looking in the mirror at this time. But, a few months after this was snapped, I did look at myself in the mirror, long and hard, and I discovered that I was worth more than I realized. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times. My relationship to myself did not better after I lost weight. I chose myself and saved myself because I liked myself, and it helped me find the strength to exercise, eat right, and be kinder to my body, mind, and soul.

It’s funny that I struck this particular pose because in just a few months, I would be employing that strength, both physically and mentally, and completely uprooting my life for the better.

This blurb was longer than I expected when I first started typing, but the only other matter of the weekend I’d like to discuss is that I saw Billy Joel at Dodger Stadium and it was awesome. I love him and I’m not sorry for it.

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Also, Dodger Stadium looks strange without that large looming wall in left field. Just sayin..

Beachin’ Weekend

I had a beachin’ weekend! (Yeah, I started with a pun, NOT SORRY). My weekend kicked off on Friday night as I headed home, enjoyed a glass of wine with a chicken stirfry, and some tv catch-up. It was glorious to go to bed and know that I had nothing planned for the next day. And then to wake up on Saturday morning, then roll back on over for a little bit longer. When I did get up, I enjoyed a pancake breakfast- all from scratch, using my peanut butter pancake recipe.

Since switching my workouts to the morning, I’m able to have a weekend day as a rest day and Saturday was the chosen one. It was SO nice out, like 85, and all I wanted was to be outside. How can you not celebrate Earth Day when nature gifts us with this!?:

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However, drink enough water before you leave the house, boys and girls, especially if you’re going to lounge out in the sun. I had a wonderful vision of me laying my towel out on the beach and getting in some quality writing time.

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What ended up happening was I sweated profusely, melted the chocolate in my trail mix, and suffered from a headache. Out of principle, I stuck it out for the hour because I had paid for the parking (not too much thankfully), but I needed to not be there. The water I had didn’t even ease my headache, nor did going to a shopping mall and Target! When I’m not in the mood to shop, you know there’s a problem. Once I got home, I drank a lot of water and made my dinner.

Once I was feeling better, my friend Brad came over to “start” Big Little Lies. I say “start” because we watched four or five episodes already. Had we started earlier, I think we would have finished. Maybe he won’t notice if I finish without him…we’re still on season two of Downton Abbey because we were waiting on each other.

On Sunday morning, I made some scrambled eggs and waffles, drank a ton of water, and headed out for a run/walk. When I started, I didn’t think much of where I was going, but eventually, I did find my way to the beach. I’m four miles away from the beach, which is amazing, so of course I have to take advantage. I mean, look at this.

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The beach is (9 times out of 10) my happy place. There is something so imperfectly beautiful about waves crashing onto the sand that moves me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my writing tools with me, but it was nice to spend some time relaxing, meditating, and unplugged.

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But, once you run/walk four miles to the beach, you also have to run four miles back. I had anticipated this because I’m not a complete idiot, but had I planned better, I would have brought water or money to buy water. The journey home was a little more unpleasant, but not altogether bad. The flowers must have loved the rainy LA winter because these flowers went on for acres.

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By the time I got home, I was sweating from my eyeballs and really needed water, but it was an accomplishment! In the end, it was a perfect four mile run, four mile walk split, so I was pleased. After a much needed shower and rehydration, I was a hungry girl. I headed out to a local hole-in-the-wall spot for delicious Indian curry, rice, veggies, and naan. So good! The price wasn’t bad either, so I’ll definitely be back!

The rest of my Sunday evening was spent writing and prepping for the week ahead. Have a fantastic Monday!!

weekend, workout, and waffles

And here we are again at Monday…no complaints because I had a fine weekend for myself.

On Friday, I’d been battling a headache, so I went to the gym after work to try and work it off. When in doubt, I usually can fight things off with a solid workout, and I was right! There’s nothing quite like a hard-hitting strength workout followed up by a sweaty run to get you into the Friday vibes. The rest of Friday included a casual evening of good food, tv watching, and SLEEP. I cannot emphasize my love for going to sleep on a Friday night knowing there is nothing pressing on Saturday. GLORIOUS.

The difference between my Friday night dinner:

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Is in the side dish:

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Both were delicious and celebratory as Saturday was National Waffle Day.

On Saturday, I nailed a shoulder, ab/adductor, glute, and core workout before hitting the spin bike for a HIIT ride. I walked to and from the gym to fit in some extra rays (I’m hoping my east-coasters will find me TAN when I go home for a wedding next month – if you comment on it then, you get a cookie because then I know you’re reading my blog). Next, I headed to an LA staple, the Getty Museum in the Hollywood Hills (I think). My friend and I took the architecture tour which was interesting. Art is not my thing exactly, but I have more maturity than I did in the third grade (sort-of) and was able to appreciate it more. Would still rather be seeing a Broadway show to fill my culture quota, but I’m afraid that the closest this girl gets to “cultured” is pop.

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That view though!

My friend and I ate dinner at a cheesy Italian restaurant before driving back. We passed a man dressed in full Jester costume, with make-up, hanging out under the freeway, and it was spooky. Yay for expressing yourself? So long as there’s no nefarious deeds being done.

This is what I enjoyed while watching my show, curled up on the couch.

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Yup, that is fact. It has a slightly different texture than regular ice cream, but it’s still delicious. For the record, I did not eat it all in one sitting, although, I totally could have.

I enjoyed sleeping in again on Sunday before I woke up for some pancakes. I’m obsessed with my small pan because it makes the perfect omelette, as evidenced in the two above pictures. After I digested, it was time for a run.

I wish I snapped a picture because I ran along the bike path (it’s allowed, I checked), which is by a river. It eventually leads to the ocean, but I wasn’t up for that yet. It’s quick-ish on a bike, but a bit far for a run (for me) to and fro. I also got in some at-home yoga, which felt like a nice stretch and extended my sweat time for a bit.

For fuel, I gobbled down a pb&j, showered, then headed out to treat myself to a massage. It was just what I needed. At work, I am constantly on my feet and running around, and I add some grueling, yet satisfying workouts six days a week, so my body needed some love. For whatever reason, I carry my stress (which to be fair, isn’t a lot, but it exists) in my top left shoulder. When I was at a job I was stressing over a few years ago, I had to ask the masseuse to stop as he prodded my knots, but these ones were easy-peasy.

The stress-relief lasted until I tried to find a parking spot at Trader Joes, but fortunately, it didn’t take too long and I quickly grabbed my things and got home.

It was time for whatever I was making in this bad-boy (lunches for the week and Sunday night’s dinner).

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Chicken chili, served this evening with a handful of tortilla chips.

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Chock full of veggies – collard greens, red bell peppers, zucchini, and corn – beans – black and red – and chicken! SO good and SO easy. I had shopped the night before for a few items I needed so that I could toss everything together in the morning. Meal prep = simple and healthy with a crockpot.

The rest of the evening was productive with laundry and writing. I’ve given myself a homework assignment that I’ll fill you in on later in the week. Don’t fret, it’s the good kind.

Happy Monday!