Getting Back Into Routine

Happy birthday to my brother’s girlfriend, Cait!

So my sister and I might be the nerdiest sisters around. In truth, she’s the smart (and nerdy) one as she’s a librarian, but we both know more about Harry Potter than is probably the norm.

Such knowledge comes in handy when it’s trivia time. Listen, there are few things in life of which I am certain, but Harry Potter is one of them, so when it came time for trivia, you better believe I was confident.

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Lauren and I knew we didn’t need anyone else on our team and we ended up taking down the rest of the (much more stocked) teams to be crowned champions.

I think it’s okay to gloat a little bit!

It was the cherry on top of a great week of relaxation and vacation!

Monday hit full force with an early wake-up call, but it means I had a far more productive morning than I would if I slept in too late. Here was my beautiful breakfast.

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I love vacation and the occasional indulgence it brings, but I am always so ready to get back into my typical eating and exercise habits. It’s amazing how much the food you eat affects so much of your life, from how you feel to how you look. I tried to be careful-ish, especially when it came to eating between meals (which I didn’t), as well as alcohol consumption, but I definitely didn’t deprive myself of some extra savory and sweet foods.

To help get back into that healthy eating flow, I planned my meals for the week ahead of time. Lots of fruits and veggies make up some well-rounded and nutritious meals, but with a heavy yum factor!

Monday’s lunch was inspired by an unplanned trip to Trader Joe’s. In my defense, I only went to the store next door to pick up a prescription, but it wasn’t ready yet, so I stopped in! Chicken tikka masala minus the rice because I wanted that piece of naan and sautéed spinach. It looked heaping when I tossed it in a pan, but alas, it shrinks down to a mouthful.

Dinner was kind of a beauty, including salad topped with the usual selection of veggies, balsamic, and feta. For protein, I cooked up Buzzfeed’s garlic parmesan chicken tenders, and zucchini to use up the rest of the mixture! On the side, greek yogurt, blueberries, and almonds for a hit of fat and some extra protein.

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A quick breakfast of a hard-boiled egg and cheesestick fueled my Tuesday morning workout, before I came home for a post-workout whole wheat protein waffle and berries.

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Lunch was already assembled, so I apologize for the ugliness of the picture. Packed up includes more of those chicken tenders and zucchini, a medley of carrots, celery, and red pepper with hummus, and Greek yogurt with raspberries and walnuts.

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Inspired in part by the workouts of Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Katie Ledecky, because let’s face it, they’re amazing, I decided to go lighter weight with a heavy focus on bodyweight exercises, and higher reps. I’m not too fond of high reps, but I’m looking to slim down and those exercises lead to it! I’m also upping my cardio, particularly with intervals running and sprinting on the bike, as well as jump roping.

Monday’s focus was on the chest, triceps, and shoulders, with a heavy dosage of core- all day every day! I can’t tell you how great it felt to be back in action! After my strength training, I jump roped, 1minute on, 30 seconds rest x 5, and hopped on the treadmill for a 20 minute workout, 2 minutes walking, 3 minutes running at a higher clip than I usually would for a longer run.

Tuesday’s objective included the back, lots of legs, and more core! For my cardio dosage, I took to the spin bike and cycled happily away. Right now, I like to ride in position one (flat on the seat) for 2 minutes, position two (standing up straight) for 2 minutes, then position three (hovering over the steering wheel) for 2 more minutes x 3 or 4 depending on how much time I have left.

On vacation, I took the entire week off from standardized exercise. I contemplated going on a run or two, but it was honestly super humid outside and I wasn’t feeling it. I wouldn’t normally suggest taking a whole week off, but I go hard 5-6 days a week and my body needed it. It helps me in particular because I know I’ll get right back to it once that week is up. Much of that no-exercise allowance is mental as much as it is physical.

Glad to be back to it!

Vacation Recap!

Happy birthday to my cousin Erin!

Vacation is a glorious thing, but so is settling back into routine. After a week away, I’m ready to get back into my usual healthy eating and exercise schedule- more on that later though. Let’s talk about the fun!

I started my vacation early Saturday morning with a trip to the mountains of New Hampshire. I didn’t take too many pictures, but here’s one with the view from the house.

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On Saturday, we enjoyed lunch before heading to the house to get situated. Fun story: my parents and I were walking on the road to stretch our legs and explore a bit and were met with a very low, threatening growl. Pretty sure it was a bear! You can imagine we hurried back to the house and didn’t do much more exploring around the house! For dinner that night, we ordered in and enjoyed the view of the stars on the porch.

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Sunday, we went to a bit of a theme park. There was a mountain coaster that featured individual carts that carried you up at a leisurely pace before thrusting you down the mountain at a speed you can control- full speed, baby! Another attraction was an alpine slide. To get there, we took a ski lift, which was cool if you looked out at the mountains and uncool if you looked down. The slides did not feel as stable, so I definitely did not go as fast because I could just see myself getting tossed off! The other attraction I tried was the tower we leapt off into a huge balloon thing- great description, I know. The initial height was about 35 feet (I think), but the second one was more. It’s funny how scary it was, even though I knew it was perfectly safe. That night, we ordered in again and relaxed.

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Kayaking was our main plan of action on Monday. I wished I could share the sights, scenes, and struggles of our kayaking trip, but I could envision myself capsizing and left my phone in the safety of the car. Water levels have been low due to the lack of snow this past winter, but there were only a few parts that were too low that you couldn’t get through without getting out of the boat and pushing. Even though we were going downstream, kayaking is challenging, especially figuring out the strokes and proper form, but it was a lot of fun and a great workout! After a much deserved lunch, we headed back to relax before going into down and exploring the shops.

After breakfast on Tuesday, it was time to hit the road! The trip is a long one home, but the scenery is amazing. I fell asleep a few times, but you better believe I was excited to sleep in my own bed. Oh, that was until I discovered the MOUSE droppings in my newly washed sheets. YUP. We have a mouse (I hope just the one). I was already missing my cat, Bandit, but even more so now that I know he kept the rodents out. So sleep was a little wary that night, but once I woke up Wednesday morning, it was time to head in the opposite direction to the ocean!

My mom and I made good time in the morning and thanks to the rain, it was a perfect day for a movie date. We saw Bad Moms and though it was a little strange in a few parts, I laughed out loud quite a few times. Everyone else on the Cape decided it was a great movie day too, so we had to sit in the front row. After the movie, we headed to my uncle’s house, said ‘hello’ and stepped out for dinner. Wanting to stretch our legs, we walked to the beach- bear free!- and stopped for an ice cream before going back.

The end of the week/weekend gifted us perfect conditions for the beach. Thursday, we had breakfast and relaxed before even more relaxing on the beach. The water was super warm, which meant I was on shark alert, but was much appreciated from the humidity. That night, we enjoyed some beachside dining, more ice cream, and some Olympics watching- amazing stuff!

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Friday, my mom, cousin Maura, and I took a trip to Provincetown as I’ve never been there and neither of them had been for awhile. It’s a typical oceanfront town, but fun nonetheless. We were up early to beat traffic, had a delicious breakfast at a local shop in town, and enjoyed a trolley tour around the area. After a bit of walking around and some shopping, we decided it was time to go back and hit the beach. The waves were incredible, but it was rocky getting in and out, so that led to some dangerous-ish conditions. That night, we made dinner at home and watched more of the Olympics.

My dad and the dog came Friday night, so on Saturday, we went for a very sweaty walk before going back to the beach. Thank goodness for the breeze! After an excellent dinner out, it was time to head back home. It was nice to be back in my own bed again, even though I’m on high alert for the mouse, and Sunday was the perfect day to prepare for Monday.

Great vacation!

If Voldemort and Mary Poppins Had A Baby My Mind Would Explode

Because I’m just so timely, let’s talk the Olympics. Oh, sorry, the 2012 LONDON Olympics.

LONDON LONDON LONDON LONDON LONDON LONDON LONDON LONDON!!!

Usually I do enjoy myself the summer Olympics, especially swimming and gymnastics, but this year it is in LONDON! Have you heard that?? It’s like, my favorite culture ever. Because they have THE Queen, Prince Harry, JK Rowling, Hogwarts, Shakespeare, tea and scones, and British accents. I mean, America is awesome in its own right, don’t get me wrong, but there is just something about the English culture that makes me so excited I can’t stop talking. Just ask my mom, she seems to think I’ve been cutting into her “relaxation time” just because I wanted to show her funny videos of Twilight fans reacting to the affair….

Anyways, London. Top three things I’m excited for:

1. The Royal Family. Obama is awesome, but in this country we lack the figure heads who represent our country without having to muddle things up with politics. I suppose that Hillary Clinton is kind of like our Queen (HILLARY ’16!) and Oprah wants to be. Side note: WHAT HAPPENED TO OPRAH? WHY HAS SHE BEEN SO QUIET? I’m going to start what’s probably a rumor and completely false but perhaps a bit wishful thinking: Oprah is going to be Obama’s running mate. HAHA, I wish, but that’s why she’s been so quiet. Anyways, back to the Queen who is so adorable and precious that I am sure she can pack a whollop if she wants to.

Personal story about the Queen (Kind of personal story about the Queen) [Story heard from a cab driver in London about the Queen who heard the story on the news] When my family and I visited my sister in Oxford a few years ago, we also went to London and one of our cab drivers told us the following story. They had to tighten up security at Buckingham Palace because a random man hopped the fence and invited himself for tea in the Queen’s private chambers (of secrets). Only problem is, it was morning and the Queen was sleeping. Imagine the tiny, adorable, bad ass queen snoozing away in her big ass bed, waking up to find this man sitting in a chair by her bed….watching her sleep… And you know how she reacted? She treated him like a guest and ordered some tea while secretly informing security and graciously kicking his ass out of the palace. Um… if this had happened to me, and I am part royalty according to myself, I wouldn’t be alive because I would have either had a heart attack, scared myself to death, or rolled off the bed. Who else can be that classy???

Also, there’s just something about William and Kate that is adorable. And Prince Harry, my future husband! Seriously, gingers in Britain give gingers in America a bad rap. More proof? Ron Weasley and the entire Weasley family. I have it all worked out though, if I marry Harry, I would be a princess but not have to worry as much as the future queen. BOOM. Crown me.

I don’t even mind Charles and Camilla that’s how much I love the royal family!!

There is a video of me from over a year ago my friend has of me standing outside Buckingham Palace. No, I did not hop the fence, but being so adventurous, I did something almost as equally (not at all) risky. I, Princess Caitlin, stuck my hand through the poles of the gate of Buckingham Palace. I’m not kidding. Wow. I know. The security people were scary FYI, as they should be after reading the above story! And for the record, although I was obsessed with screaming out “HELEN MIRREN” throughout the entire trip, I have not actually seen the film the Queen as my friend Erin cannot comprehend.

2. I read a headline that said something like, “GIANT MARY POPPINS TO BANISH GIANT LORD VOLDEMORT DURING OPENING CEREMONY!”

Julie Andrews, who is another one of my favorite people on a list that includes a high number of British people: Jo Rowling, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, etc.., taking down Voldemort. I just. I can’t handle it. I will probably cry. And maybe Jo will even be there with the torch or something…rumor is the Queen is going to light it. Um….
They are doing a special tribute to the lustrous literary British world and this would be part of it. I don’t even know what to say about it, mostly because my mind’s imagination probably cannot envision how glorious the actual thing will be. And trust, I am envisioning glory.

3. Ryan Lochte (and the actual games).

Michael Phelps, you are awesome, but Lochte is adorable. No, I shouldn’t play favorites because they’re both Team USA. No, I shouldn’t base my favorites off of looks and/or personality. But I don’t care because hot damn, I love me some Ryan Lochte.

Good luck to every single athlete involved in every single country involved in the Olympics! Amazing people showing how amazing one’s body can be!

Another side note: If any legitimate person/company/business/etc is looking for a writer or blogger, or wants to pay me to write this blog, please do so because I’ll need a new job soon and I think I have a voice that will extend to the people!