Fun Weekend Things

Welcome back from the weekend! I hope it treated you right and that Monday is doing the same.

My weekend started early Friday afternoon when I got off work and headed to a local amusement park with my mom. I’m not a huge daredevil in real life, but I do love a thrilling roller coaster!

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On Saturday, I started my day with this egg roll-up stuffed with scrambled eggs, bell peppers, mozzarella, and turkey pepperoni for a total of 3 points.

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I spent a good chunk of the day reading a mystery I couldn’t put down! For once, I wasn’t disappointed by the ending and it was a solid page-turner. I did tear myself away to fit in a great workout I was really feeling.

Doing a lot of barbell work, I focused on heavy weights 3 sets of 10 reps and did 100 jumps on the jump rope after each exercise. 5 upper body exercises, 5 lower body, and 2 core, which totaled to 1200 jumps! I enjoyed mixing the strength and cardio because it kept things moving and didn’t feel tedious. I also worked up a good sweat.

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For lunch, I heated up some chicken and veggie potstickers with lots of veggies- bell peppers, broccoli slaw, and bok choy- with a touch of hoisin sauce. Altogether, the meal was 7 points.

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I headed down to the park to meet up with my sister and her family and spent some quality baby time. She was feeling the not-so-hot weather and promptly napped.

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By dinner time, I was hungry! I grilled up chicken and veggies and splurged with some whole wheat pasta. I mixed everything with a lighter alfredo sauce and a sprinkling of cheese for a total of 13 points!

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Since it’s the weekend and I had most of my weekly points remaining, I very much savored some ice cream, while watching a movie- Table 19- which didn’t get great reviews but was free on HBO. I actually thought it was cute.

Sunday morning started with a cheese omelette, piece of toast, and raspberries.

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Then it was time for a muggy run! 3.1 solid miles of sweat.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent celebrating my Grandma’s birthday. It was nice to spend time with family and celebrate the day.

Happy birthday, Grandma!

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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..

vacations days

It’s been a busy few weeks with family visiting, and this girl is happy but tired! First up, was my cousin Carolyn’s Bachelorette Weekend. Dinner, karaoke, and fun times ensued!

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I am fairly certain that had American Idol not been cancelled last year, I would have won this past season. And there’s no way to prove otherwise.

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This also meant that my mom was here!!!!!

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We broke off from the group and had ourselves an extended vacation that meant two days at Disneyland, which we took by storm. No one was safe as we navigated our way through crowds, utilized our Fast Passes to the best of our abilities, and had a blast. Even in the rain, stuck on a giant ferris wheel that swung side-to-side.

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The next day was spent on the beach- Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu.

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We caught the sunset.

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It was not easy saying goodbye (until April!), but things were made slightly easier by the arrival of my brother Jimmy and his girlfriend Cait!

Our first stop was the WB Tour, one of my favorite tourist attractions. Jimmy realized his life long dream to drive a bat-vehicle.

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And we chatted on the Friends couch. I don’t know why my go-to move was to lean backwards, but I think it works for the scene.

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The next day included a long, difficult, and sweaty hike to the top of the Hollywood Sign. I understand it’s rude to complain about the heat to my East Coast readers, but it was hot! And we all got sunburned. Whoops.

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We took a paddle boat out on Echo Park, which was not my favorite activity once I was stewing out in the sun. If you look closely enough, you can spot the sweat behind my glasses.

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They were amazed by the views at Griffith Observatory, another one of my favorite places.

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I had to take this picture and post on social media- the day back home was hit by a bunch of snow and I was being a beach bum.

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The snow actually postponed their flight home and extended their vacation. While I headed back to work, they enjoyed a few days of explorations on their own.

It was so nice to see everyone and to act like a tourist again in my new city. Before I knew it, six months has passed! Six months, crazy!

Yer A Wizard, Margaret

I find this title hilarious and I kept saying it to my mom these last few days, for reasons you will soon discover!

For now, we will say, Day Two was another successful, eventful day in the land of Caitlin. My mom and I were up early in the morning to hit up breakfast so my mom could get to her conference.

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As she went off for the day, I headed back to the room to do some work. I kept trying to get in a workout that I had specially planned for the elaborate gym this facility has. Note: and by elaborate I mean a treadmill, a bike, a bench, and medicine balls. That’s it, but I still planned a kick-ass workout routine that I had to modify when I couldn’t get into the room. Something was broken or whatever.

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I got down and dirty with some body strength moves in the hotel room: tricep dips, push-ups, squats, lunge knee-ups, jumping jacks, and supermans, as well as a core circuit of plank step-outs, side plank dips, suitcases, and flutter kicks. A run would have topped things off nicely, but at least it wasn’t from lack of motivation!

After my workout, I got ready for the day and had my first LA driving experience. It was early in the afternoon, still busy, but nothing like what I will soon come to know. But I survived and I definitely feel more comfortable.

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My destination was to my apartment where I moved in a lot more of my stuff and started to get organized. It was good to see what I still need to purchase to set up my room, which pretty much means a lot more hangars. A few hours in, my stomach was rumbling, so I found a local pizza joint and enjoyed. It was pretty much a Chipotle for pizza.

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Whoever decided to ship my bedframe four days earlier than the first expected date, which is usually excellent, but in my case, I wasn’t in the state, so I ended up having to pick up the box.

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Yes, I lugged this bad boy up some stairs that, for the record, has a warning label on it saying, “Warning- Heavy. Only carry with lift,” which is exactly why I lift weights. With a little help from my roommate, I got my bedframe up and ready for the mattress, which came ten minutes after I left to head back to the hotel.

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That’s a sneak peek at my room!

I was all set to hang out in the room for a bit before meeting my mom at the Convention Center, but I had the brilliant idea of taking the free shuttle over, which was leaving as I was coming in. Resourceful!

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Why was I meeting my mom there? Oh, you know, to hang out in random lines and then to hop on a bus for an hour in traffic.

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Oh, right! There was another reason. HARRY POTTER WORLD at Universal Studios. Yeah, so I teared up a bit, but it was amazing and exactly as I would have imagined it. Thanks to the conference, the park was closed down just for us and we got to go on rides multiple times in what should have taken hours to go on one. Thanks for being so smart, mom!

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Hogwarts!

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Butterbeer!

The Harry Potter rides were amazing, but we even found time to do some other attractions, which were excellent. My mom has the spirit of an exuberant child at amusement parks and we laughed our way through the night!

After a long, tiring, but brilliant day, we finally made it back to the hotel and jumped right into bed!

Day Two is another one for the history books!

Day One!

It’s in the books, folks! I made it through one day in LA, waking up in my cozy bed in Boston and now about to fall asleep in my new home in LA. It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling. I can’t decide if I’m incredibly brave or stupid, but I’m going with both because it’s good to be versatile.

A little nervous. Kind of excited.

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After an early morning wake-up call and a for-now goodbye, my mom and I headed to the airport (thanks Dad and Mac!) for her conference and my new life. Once through security, it was time for a semi-ish breakfast.

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Now boarded, I kept waiting for that meaningful last moment in Boston, but the plane kept pretending to take off without actually leaving and I ended up kind of falling asleep. Look at this dude trying to judge my moment!

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I was very excited to get off the plane, though it was a smooth ride, so I could stretch these legs! After I collected my bags, my mom and I hitched a ride to our hotel for the next few nights. By the time we put our bags down, I was so hungry (I really wouldn’t last long on a deserted island) so we headed into the city to find something to eat. Sandwiches did the trick, all the way through dinner, and we ate at noon LA time. Damn good though!

Our post-lunch activities included walking around to find a store to buy wine. My mother will not accept tiny refrigerated bottles of wine, but she was pleased that convenience stores sell alcohol in CA. The wine came in handy later.

Back at the hotel, we welcomed my car to its new life too! There was a brief, terrifying moment, when all I saw was a BMW on the truck that was most definitely not mine, but then the guy called out to me from across the street and there she was! Such an easy way to get that car cross-country. I can only imagine what Princess must have seen on her journey. The other things that were reunited were my slippers. Due to circumstances I don’t need to get into, let’s just accept that one slipper made the trek in my car, the other in my suitcase. I found it funny.

Now aided with a car, we headed to one of my favorite places in the world- Santa Monica.

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The ocean immediately put me at ease, reminding me that it’s important to try new things, chase after dreams, and explore this world.

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My mom loved Santa Monica too, from the water to the Pier, where we rode the roller coaster and ferris wheel on a perfect September day.

 

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Some more exploring found us a new friend!

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The afternoon ended with an ice cream cone before we headed out to take a peek at my new apartment. I can’t divulge pictures yet, but I am both excited and relieved for these new developments.

Things that I learned about LA numero uno: No one is lying to you. Traffic sucks. It tooks us about 50 minutes to go 9 miles from my apartment to the hotel. Yikes. This is the thing that will probably be the most challenging for me. But let me tell you, everything else I saw today just makes me excited!

Fun fact: my mom prefers traveling with an actual map over an app. I don’t disagree with her, if I had the time to analyze a map every time I drove!

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Tucked into bed, it was time for a shared glass of wine.

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Now it’s time to give into these heavy-lidded eyes (and yeah, it’s still super early LA time, but give a girl a break!) It sure does help to have my mom here to help transition me through this move!

The Radio Needs to Pull Themselves Together

Here at Give Me My Crown Already, we are all about truth and honesty, so I’m going to lay one on you. I’m a little bit nervous about it actually, but here goes.

Taylor Swift kinda scares me.

There, I said it. I can’t take it back.

Sometimes despite myself, I love Taylor’s music. Each song is catchy and sing-along-able and just fun.

But does it make anyone else a little nervous about how good she is at spouting these songs off? I used to think that she was throwing cheap shots at her exes and enemies, but then I realized that’s the essence of almost every other creative facet, so why shouldn’t she do it? More power to her. But damn, she’s a strong song writer.

There was an SNL skit a few years ago that satirized the way in which Taylor Swift has taken over the world. And yes, I think she might have actually taken over the world, this cute little blonde woman who holds so much power. In the skit, all of these people would try to deny liking Taylor Swift, but then one of her songs would play and it would hit them, they liked her music. Everyone does, unless of course you are strongly Team Katy.

My idea for this blog post was inspired by my conversation with my mom this morning in the car on our way to our shopping adventure. I was having her listen to the new song Wildest Dream because the other day, as I was driving to work, every single one of my pre-set channels was playing that song. This might say more about what I select as my pre-set channels, but still, I think we can agree that the radio can afford to play different songs once in awhile.

So yes, Taylor Swift in her overwhelming popularity kinda scares me, but she is one kick-ass chick and so far, I’m finding I’m quite alright with her world domination. We could have far worse options. For example, she would make a better presidential candidate than say, Donald Trump.

To recap the day thus far, I woke up this morning ready for breakfast. I scrambled up an egg with two egg whites and heated up two whole wheat waffles to accompany it. My phone was charging while I was eating so there is no picture.

As I mentioned before, my mom and I headed up to our local outlets for a much needed therapy shopping trip. Shopping is good for the soul and for your health because we racked up a ton of steps! I got a few more pair of pants and some cute new shirts, so I’m very pleased.

Mid-way through, we stopped for lunch as I was starting to feel a little hangry. We both enjoyed a balsamic chicken wrap with lettuce, peppers, and tomato. Not too shabby! On the way out, we stopped for a cone at the Dairy Queen, which was so refreshing.

In the stores, it was so cold, we suspect because they want us to buy all the warm fall and winter clothes, but outside it was still nice and warm. Now we just want to wear our fun new clothes, but I will not rush the sun away.

Have a good rest of your day!