weekend living

I would be remiss not to start today’s post in commemoration of 9/11. I can’t believe it has been 17 years. Such a sad day for the country. It was also the day of my nana’s wake, so my emotions were frenzied. Let’s all take a moment to think of the victims of this day.

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My weekend started on Friday with dinner with my mom and my brother’s girlfriend, Cait (girlfriend-in law?). It was a lovely night and we were able to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather…finally.

On Saturday, I had a relaxing morning with breakfast and some TV watching with my mom.

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The afternoon was productive with some errands, veggie prepping, and a workout. My jump roping was a little challenging as my shorts kept falling down!

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That night, I met up with some friends to attend a 30th birthday party. I was in charge of this veggie platter flower.

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Sunday was another productive day with lots of shopping. I should probably reel in on the clothes shopping for my niece. Everything is just too darn cute! She needs clothes, she’s been naked baby all summer with the heat!

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Once we got home, I had a quick bite to eat before heading out on a 4 mile run.

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My two running goals right now are to 1). Run a 30 or under minute 5k and 2). Run a half marathon. More on point numero uno tomorrow!

On Sunday night, the fam squad came over for an excellent homemade Italian dinner. A perfect way to end (or start) the week!

Bump-y Weekend of Fun

Well, hey. It’s been awhile, which isn’t intentional and I’m not quite sure what happened to delay my posting. All I can say is that I’m back now to our regularly scheduled blogging. October is busy and somehow basically mid-way thru?

Let’s continue with a little weekend recap. Saturday morning started off at work, but after, I rushed home to finish up putting a few things together before hightailing it my friend Katie’s apartment. Our college friend Erin is getting married at the end of this month and we’ve already kicked off some of the celebrations with her bridal shower in August, but this time it was all about the Bachelorette.

My friends from school refer to ourselves as “the core four” as there are four of us who are really close and we’re all bridesmaids (except for the bride of course).

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We started off with a delicious potluck meal that included a buffalo chicken dip, chicken parmesan, pasta, garlic bread, salad, and cupcakes for dessert. Yum!

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I would zero in on the cupcakes, but hey! I made them and I have a hell of a sweet tooth.

Second event on the agenda was an improv show in the city. So freakin’ funny. There’s something about improv that is so raw and re-actional. As a writer, I’m all about the planning and the wording, but it’s so important to have instincts and gut reactions. Color me so so impressed! Definitely something to do again soon! Though I will say they should work on their margarita.

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The rest of the night was focused on celebrating Erin with some drinking and dancing. You have to dance when you drink because you burn off all those calories and it’s just so darn fun. It’s a rule. Look it up!

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The next day, started off with some brunch and lots of water and coffee. I went simple with eggs over easy, toast, sausage, and some home fries. My eggs were half raw, which would never happen in my kitchen. Brunch is about the experience and the people you’re eating with (sometimes) and not always about the food (we’re going with that for now). The woes of being a cook in a restaurant!

Once I got home, I focused some more on rehydrating before I headed out for a run. I am so sick of my feet falling asleep- I know I need new sneakers but I was in denial- but I still made it through a wonderful 6.25 mile run on a gorgeous day. Seriously, the weather this weekend was phenomenal. I walked another two miles home and just enjoyed being outside and listening to my music. Good music is everything when it comes to running and getting in that groove.

I made a hunk of a salad for dinner to pair with the pizza my parents brought home from their lunch. I didn’t have the biggest appetite after running, but the meal hit the spot. For the rest of the night, I watched some episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer  studied (okay, so I did a little studying and a lot of watching). I also wrote quite a bit and ended up falling asleep later than I should have.

Regardless of my late start to sleep, I woke up early on Monday morning for our weekly grocery shopping trip. There was nothing but angst and pain when I realized the store didn’t have blueberries OR raspberries. That is a true nightmare. Thankfully, there were strawberries so I could keep it together. Also, I can eat apples again so we’re all good on the fruit front.

A strength training workout was also on the agenda. Despite feeling tired and somewhat affected still from Saturday night, I killed it at the gym with my lifting session and felt even stronger than last week when I hit a few milestones. To top things off, I worked through a body strength/plyometrics circuit that left me feeling nice, sweaty, and accomplished.

I should mention that I whacked my head yesterday too and am rocking the bruise and bump combination. It really was completely a moment of stupidity because all I did was bend over and knock it off something I knew was there. Whoops. I seemed to sleep fine last night and woke up so I doubt there’s a concussion…

Before work, I had a nap before a productive study session that cleared up a few points I wasn’t grasping before. I just used “before” a lot in that sentence. I was going to change it, but then I decided to mention it, so you can’t judge it. It’s a thing.

So here we are on Tuesday, which feels like a Monday, but we’re already that much closer to another Friday!

I started my day off with an egg and two egg white omelet with chicken sausage and cheese and a fresh homemade whole wheat waffle. Notice the grapes for fruit as there were no berries and the strawberries required a lot of moving other things around to get to them and I was hungry.

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Still delicious and spot-hitting!

Now for even more productivity, less head hitting, and a lovely (albeit rainy) day! Promise I won’t go as long between posts.

Weekend Round Up

Happy Monday! It’s a beautiful, hot summer’s day in August and there’s so much to discuss about the weekend. Let’s hop to it!

Before going out to celebrate my cousin’s birthday on Saturday night, I headed out for a muggy and buggy run. It actually wasn’t too bad. I took it slow and made it through my 3.1 mile run without issue. I finished up with two more miles of going between walking and running and fending off all the mosquitoes. Just as I was heading back inside, thunder and lightning filled the sky. It was kinda pretty though.

I finished my workout for the day with a half hour of Yoga that focused a lot on my core and stretching my legs and hips. Yoga always feels best to me post-run because my body is limber and moves a lot easier than going it cold.

My sister Lauren and her husband Nick came by for dinner before heading out to the bar. I chopped up a medley of vegetables, including peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and summer squash in some olive oil and garlic, while Lauren grilled up some chicken. Rice rounded out the meal nicely.

We had a blast celebrating my cousin Erin on her 21st birthday and I had a bit more to drink than usual, but nothing extreme. I don’t usually like to expend so many calories on alcohol, but from the amount of sweat I lost from my run, I wasn’t too worried about it just for that night.

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There was not a picture taken of me last night where I could shroud my big head.

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On Sunday, I woke up hankering for a big breakfast. I had to work for the majority of the day, so I knew I needed something to fuel me through a workout and a shift. I scrambled up two eggs with chopped peppers, spinach, tomato, and jalapeños (turns out, the seeds are what spices it up). I sprinkled the mixture with some cheese. We didn’t have any traditional toast, so for my carb of choice, I pulled out some waffles. There was very little fruit left over from the week, so I had a third of a banana and a mouthful of blueberries. Good thing for those veggies!

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I had limited time for my workout, so I went through a body strength circuit of the basic and best moves: squats, lunges, kickbacks, dips, calf raises, step ups, push ups, mountain climbers, hip lifts, alternating ankle grabs, sit ups, and Russian twists. I did five sets of ten reps and finished up with a few minutes on the elliptical.

To refuel, I had a tall glass of chocolate milk before heading to work!

After work, I met up with my friends Lauren and Andrea who I haven’t seen in awhile. We went to a taco place and chatted over drinks, a margarita for me and just one, chips and queso, and grilled corn. For my main, I went with the hot dog that sounded great on paper. I make a better hot dog. What matters most is the company however and for that, I was grateful.

Shout out to my brother’s girlfriend, Cait, whose birthday it was on Sunday!

The egg, waffle combination left a good impression on me for this morning’s breakfast! I scrambled up two eggs, sans veggies cus we’re out! I enjoyed half a banana and a large handful of grapes that I found after I took the picture.

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Odd story, those grapes were not in the fridge yesterday because I was looking for them, but they were there today AND a magical banana appeared this morning. I actually did not hide it from Nick this time!

Now it’s time for me to go be a productive lady! A workout and lots of study time are on tap for me. Go have yourself a great day!

Tis The Season for Eating- Have I Said That Already?

I’ve been really into Taylor Swift’s new song, Blank Spaces, and I’ve been singing really loudly in the car during my commute. It’s lucky no one can hear me because I was certain that she was singing something about “Starbucks” lovers until I read online by happenstance that it was “long list of ex-lovers.” It shouldn’t seem like those should sound alike, but when you next hear the song, listen for it, and you’ll hear it too!

What a week of eating it has been. I was not practicing what I preach, but it’s in the past, cannot be changed, and therefore I can only look forward. It is so hard when everyone wants to go out to eat or normal routines get interrupted. Overall, I don’t think I did too bad, but I didn’t feel my best, which means there was room for improvement.

Remember, the holidays are hard with all the celebrating and food is a big piece of that. If you can aim to eat well and exercise properly most of the time and get yourself back into a strong routine after, it will be fine! I remind myself of this every day.

The week started off on the right note with a delicious bowl of baked oatmeal, stuffed with dark chocolate peanut butter, banana, blueberries, and raspberries. It’s quite a dark picture.

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This egg and cheesestick was a great pre-workout fueler. I followed up my workout with an amazing egg and cheese sandwich with a piece of bacon and some berries on top.

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Warm peanut butter toast got me up and moving the next morning. After my workout, I looked towards this chilled bowl of overnight oats that helped me refuel. It was full of walnuts, raisins, and banana.

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Thursday morning, I had a day off from the gym and plenty of time to make a big breakfast for myself. I hadn’t gotten to make my favorite peanut butter pancakes in what feels like a long time, so I was so happy to wake up to these. I threw a generous handful of blueberries into my batter and served the cakes with more peanut butter, toasted coconut, a smear of jelly, and raspberries.

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I should have snapped a picture before I wrapped this bad boy up, but I can assure you it was filled with peanut butter, banana, and chopped strawberries, and it was so good! When I got home from the gym, my mom a as off from work for the day so she was kind enough to poach me up an egg. I got so excited, I forgot a picture!

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Saturday morning, I woke up drowsy and off my game. I scarfed down some eggs and toast, both over done, before heading out to try on bridesmaid dresses! It was very exciting and I can’t wait to show you all….in June! At least the food looks edible here.

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This breakfast was much nicer before my mom and I headed out grocery shopping, which wasn’t that bad! I could eat poached eggs every single morning. They are so buttery and delicious and healthy!

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Lunch started with leftover curry. I threw in chickpeas, snap peas, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms over brown rice. It was a delicious, warming bowl in the middle of a cold afternoon.

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You are going to be quite bored of my lunches this week. On Sunday, I stirred up a big batch of black beans, brown rice, chopped veggies, and marinara sauce. It was very tasty, filling, and quick, but boring.

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I guess I wasn’t as boring as I thought. One of the days, I added some tilapia on top, which was a pleasant surprise to the taste buds.

Ok, this getting awkward. The next day, I actually chose leftover macaroni and cheese over the rice and beans. I kept things healthy by throwing another piece of tilapia and some veggies on top. I actually ate the fish and veggies in a different bowl because I don’t like anything messing with my Mac and cheese, regardless of how good it might taste.

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The next day at lunchtime I had a Chinese food luncheon and didn’t remember to take a picture. I splurged on all the favorites like lo mein, general gau chicken, and crab Rangoon. It tasted delicious, but I felt off afterwards and I’m not sure why.

As I mentioned, I went out with my sister and all the bridesmaids to get our dresses. After, we stopped at TGIFridays for what turned out to be a long lunch because of terrible service. To go along with our celebratory bottle of wine, I chose the grilled chicken marinated in soy sauce, over spinach, yellow squash, mushrooms, and a side of tomato and mozzarella salad. It was very flavorful and I’m hoping a healthy option! Those types of restaurants can be difficult, especially with so many overwhelmingly tempting options, but I tried to aim for lots of veggies and grilled options.

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On Sunday, my mom and I finished our holiday shopping at my new favorite store, The Loft! I am obsessed with their clothes and it can be hard to contain myself. On the way home, we stopped to pick up a bite to eat. I went with this grilled chicken salad that had so much chicken, I put the leftovers in my lunch the next day. The place we went to also happens to have excellent pizza, so I got myself a slice to accompany the salad.

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The week for dinners started off at a nice function at a steak house. I opted for a small piece of steak, want ever kind of fish this was- it was good!-, Caesar salad, green beans, yummy mashed potatoes, and a dinner roll. I can’t help myself. I love dinner rolls. I’m not ashamed.

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This tilapia was excellent smothered in a lemon pepper seasoning. I enjoyed it with a cheesy baked potato, a zucchini and pepper mixture, broccoli, and half an egg roll.

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For the big Christmas tree decorating ceremony, we all enjoyed massive amounts of Mac and cheese. As my maid of honor duties entail, I supported my sister by also trying the gluten free option and it wasn’t bad. Teriyaki chicken, Brussels sprouts, peppers, and squash were also delicious, but were really the side pieces to the main event.

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My brother was quite mad for this next meal because I stepped away from the stove, leaving my quesadilla to grill to perfection, while he stayed in front of his, rapt with attention and burned it three times over. I don’t know what to say, luck was on my side with this meal. Grilled steak, cheese, and peppers made this meal.

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Friday night meant another holiday party. I enjoyed homemade potato chips, brushetta made with sweet pickles, and an incredible arugula salad made with red and yellow tomatoes, corn, and Parmesan cheese. I went with a cheeseburger without the bun and more salad on the side instead of fries to make up for all those potato chips I couldn’t stop eating. The meal wo as complete with a bite-sized piece of cheesecake. Sorry, no pictures! I was bad this week remembering to get them!

More leftover Mac and cheese was my dinner on Saturday night after a bit of a fail at the gym. I also had some leftover Brussels sprouts, peppers, zucchini, and squash with a splash of hot sauce to keep things interesting. Notice how the two parts are separate.

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After a big lunch on Sunday, I wasn’t starving. I opted for half a grilled cheese sandwich and cup of soup that hit the spot! Have a great week of eating, regardless of what you do or don’t celebrate!

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Halloween Excitement!

If you follow me on Twitter, which you SHOULD at https://twitter.com/Lady_Brightly because I find myself hilarious and I don’t hold back or censure myself as I do on Facebook, then you would know that last night I teased this year’s Halloween costume.

Obviously, I’ve always loved Halloween because chocolate is the fruit of the Gods and all that is right and sweet with the world (PUN!). One may argue that I also am a bit of a dramatist and diva, which I take great pride in, so dressing up as someone else is thrilling. As a child, I dressed up a lot as a princess, which from my blog name should not surprise you in the slightest.

Over the years, there was the brief tomboy stage of my life where I decided to be a karate kid, which has unfortunately been immortalized in an unfortunate picture my mom has now framed and on display in the living room. Then there was the practical choice, a cheerleader, for a number of years because I was a cheerleader and I happened to have the costume on hand. Of course, the rebellious stage kicked in and I went for the scary part of Halloween and upped my ante as a vampire or just plain dead-cheerleader. Creative, I know.

Recent years has proved to be more difficult when it comes to costumes. I can only be a vampire or witch so many times in a row to be socially accepted, just because I had the materials on hand. Sometimes, I just throw on whatever pink I have in my closet and finish it off with a crown. I’ve also had a lot of experience and success dressing as Harry Potter characters, such as Hedwig- my award-winning costume in a costume contest, Luna, and last year’s Sassy Harry Potter.

This year, I wanted to return to my roots and tweeted my excitement last night. I said, “A little teaser: you’ll have to read my blog tomorrow to learn what I decided to be for #Halloween. I’m shivering with excitement!”

Without further ado, I’m going to be Elsa from Frozen and the costume is on its way!

When I first came up with the idea, I knew I needed an Anna, which my friend Katie has since accepted. Though I want my costume to be fabulous, I’m also not willing to spend a ton of money on it. My first inclination was to get a light blue, long-sleeved leotard and pair it with a blue tutu and one of my tiaras. A little research took me to Ebay where I found the entire Elsa costume for a decent price, so I took the gamble and went for it. Hopefully it will pay off because I am so darn excited!

Once I get my hands on that costume, I’ll never wear anything else. In fact, I think my sister should just have all of us bridesmaids wear Elsa costumes for dresses.

Also, knowing my costume as you now do, you probably spotted a bit of a very clever pun in my tweet. I was SHIVERING with excitement. You shiver because you’re cold and Elsa is FROZEN. I know, I can’t stand it either.

I’m excited to celebrate Halloween the day after with my sister because it’s her birthday. There’s only so many times I can joke that Halloween is the perfect birthday for her because she’s a witch, ha ha, because she’s totally not. All she had to do to get her revenge was wait for the candy to be dropped in each of our pillow cases before she’d pull the whole, “it’s my birthday,” and get all the extra candy. On the actual day of Halloween, I am excited to dress up as Elsa and hand out candy/ eat half of the bowl. Saying that now though, I think there’s a post on how to handle Holiday eating coming in the future!

How excited are you for Halloween?