it’s almost like i’m a model. almost.

My friend Michelle is a talented photographer who asked me and my client/friend Eva to participate in a fitness themed photoshoot as she tried out her new camera. How could I turn down such an opportunity?

I’ve been trying to “build my brand” with my Instagram- Stronger with Caitlin- which means lots of pictures and there were only so many un-choreographed, sweaty selfies I could stomach posting. Really, Michelle was doing me a huge favor!

Here are some of the highlights.

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We laughed because as I am showing off my strength, I’m only lifting 5 pounds here. It’s what we had for props!

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My squats are getting deeper!

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I really do have a tiny ponytail.

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Toe point on…point.

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My arms are one of my sensitive areas, but I’m learning to love them for as they are.

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I’ve never smiled doing core work, let’s be honest.

To see more from this photoshoot and to check out more of Michelle’s work, go to http://www.michellegibbonsphotography.com/blog/fitness-lifestyle-session-with-caitlin-eva.

Thanks again, Michelle!

food, in pictures

Update on the fly: it’s still here, in my room. I’m starting to suspect devious intent.

I told myself I’d snap pictures of all my meals this week, but I broke that habit awhile ago and it was hard to remember all the time.

My one photographed breakfast: instant oatmeal (Trader Joe’s variety so it’s less icky with fake stuff, but quick in the morning) with an egg and cheese on a piece of toast. Fresh blueberries and banana were swirled into the oatmeal.

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My lunch of the week was sesame chicken with broccoli and red pepper made in the crockpot. I found a quick, easy, and few-ingredient recipe to whip up in 4 hours and it hit the spot, every day. Served with brown rice.

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My healthiest snack of the week were these carrots and almonds.

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One dinner this week was a giant spinach salad with veggies, chopped nuts, and grilled chicken. The grilled zucchini was an excellent complement to the uncooked peppers, carrots, and spinach.

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A second dinner was a chicken, veggie, quinoa alfredo. Quinoa does not cook glamorously in the microwave, but it does cook fast.

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Not a lot, but not too bad. Next week will be better.

Happy Thursday- let the countdown to the weekend commence!

Resourceful Girl!

Here at Casa Caitlin, I’ve been learning to do all sorts of new things, such as putting furniture together! My desk proved to be a lot more challenging than my desk, but thankfully, I thoroughly followed directions and was able to get the job done. In case of collapse, you will never know (except of course I’ll tell you because that’s just my way!)

It’s pretty cool to take a pile of objects:

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And turned it into this:

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Or these very confusing multiple parts (nowhere near as many were in the package):

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Into one cohesive thing:

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One might not find this impressive, but for me, it is!

There were two slight issues with the desk. One, I ended up putting two pieces together backwards so I had to fix that! Two, It’s nice to have a seat and a ledge other than my bed and/or couch!

Speaking of my bed, I’m finally ready to reveal my bedroom!

First, from the entrance way, you spot a few posters hanging on the wall.

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Next, we’ll pan over to two more posters and spot my bed by the window.

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Let’s glance once more at that beautiful chair and desk combination nicely arranged.

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And finally, take a glimpse into my closet.

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I’m really fortunate to have a ton of storage space because I don’t like clutter!

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Now onto food!

Check out this fabulous breakfast I prepared of scrambled eggs with a dose of cheese, toast, and a beautiful arrangement of fruit.

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Lunch included a massive salad of mixed greens, veggies, and feta, as well as grilled chicken and brown rice.

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Mid-day, I worked out the lower body, back, biceps, and core, which are all feeling a tad bit sore today. No cardio because I ran out of time.

At the library while I worked, I munched on some almonds and raisins to hold me over until dinner so that I could make the most of my time.

For dinner, I dined on grilled cod, brown rice, and spinach. I’m quite pleased with how the fish turned out because I wasn’t following any sort of instruction. I just sautéed the filet with some butter and salt and it didn’t need any saucy accompaniment.

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This morning, I woke to a breakfast of waffles and this tasty medley of fruit. I did take the extra time to arrange it, but only because it offered better picture quality, and actually, the banana framed itself that way so I just went for it.

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Another gigantic salad was my lunch. I tried to include all of the colors of the rainbow: green, yellow, orange, and red topped with feta, walnuts, and eventually grilled chicken.

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Not much more to report on at the moment, but hopefully the weekend will provide plenty to recap on Monday. Happy Weekend, friends!

Tuesday Things

Happy Birthday to my friend Katie! It’s going to be a great year, you maniac!

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Yesterday, I cleaned out my car (it was hot!) and this is what came from it.

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A little healthy snack to share from last night.

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A very hot run, but so worth it on this Tuesday morning!

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And a delicious breakfast post-sweat sesh.

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Who said healthy living wasn’t fun?

Have a wonderful Tuesday, friends!

Happy Birthday, Maura

Today marks the birthday of one of my very favorite people in this world. Thanks for the many trips to New York, Connecticut, into Boston, and at the Stage Door; for being a voice of reason and support; a vote of constant confidence and wisdom; for being the best cousin and Godmother; and for your overall kindness and brilliance.

May your day be as wonderful as you are, Maura (although I don’t see how that’s possible)!

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Happy birthday!!!

Happy Birthday…And Then I Threw Up

21 years and some months ago on this very day, a four year old Caitlin slid down the wall in a department store crying and promptly threw up. This scene could have occurred at any point in my childhood as I have always been dramatic and still on occasion, throw up when I’m overly excited. This scene in particular details the moment I realized I was no longer going to be my Uncle Mike and Aunt Stacy’s favorite.

We can say that I am their favorite niece (they won’t admit it out loud in front of other people but we know it to be true), but I did not take the announcement of my soon-to-be cousin’s arrival very well. Especially when it was followed up with a brother AND another little cousin!

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One might say it was a slow climb, but we got there eventually. I even named my favorite baby doll after her, Erin Elizabeth.

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We’ve always been cousins, but over the past few years, we’ve grown to be friends. There are few people in this world who can make me laugh as hard than these two suckers.

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From our shenanigans at family parties (they should know by now to separate us…)

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To drinking wine and playing Jax with our mothers who made us this crazy.

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Deciding last minute to buy tickets to a One Direction concert and knowing almost every word to each song.

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And having the same expression to mock the people taking selfie videos in front of us.

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Looking pretty cool in our twin helmets while horseback riding.

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Knowing that friends Snapchat each other and family Snapchat each other and screenshot the embarrassing moments.

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Going to the same college and being an alleged beacon of support and guidance when we both know we’re just going to get into more trouble.

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Face timing when we’re separated during the holidays and trying to look ridiculous.

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And knowing how to get dressed up just as well.

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To Erin on your 21st birthday, here’s to many more years of laughter, fun, and wine!!!

Traditions, Family, and Christmas

Traditions are a big part of what make the holidays so special. I’ve been incredibly fortunate for an incredible amount of reasons, but this time of year in particular, I am most grateful for my family, good fortune, and health. Holidays help us, if nothing more, to reflect and appreciate what we have been given in life- if we are lucky. I try to make an effort to show my appreciation, especially to my family, and to think of those who aren’t as lucky.

Family and traditions go together. Sometimes things change over the years or new traditions are made, but the feelings they inspire remain the same. From the house being decorated in every nook and crannie, to the tree-George the 25th- to the last minute rush of getting the Christmas cards out, there are many layers that go into making Christmas special.

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Growing up, I was always the one who set up the manger scene. I can’t remember if I had written this as a post or if it was included in the post that disappeared, but when I was younger, I was obsessed with Barbies and dolls, and I viewed the manger set as more of my playthings. I used to pretend that it was a family welcoming a new baby, which, in its simplest form, is completely true. People may joke, but I don’t play with them anymore, but I do still take an immense joy in setting it up each year to perfection. No one else can do it quite right.

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There’s the mantle with the Christmas scene set up in picture perfect sequence, the tree shining (still lacking in decorations, but that is yet to come). We have the homemade stockings that were gifted to us at birth, the holiday scented candles, and Christmas tunes blaring. Even my family’s favorite picture of all time, the one my mom “photoshopped” in order to fit us all in the same frame by cutting off my Grandma’s petite head and floating her above the rest of us.

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I also happen to be incredibly lucky in that my family remains close and we are all able to spend the holidays together. Christmas Eve starts off with a warm lunch, followed by mass (singing those carols is my favorite part), then having the entire family over to celebrate. From the food, present opening, and the laughter and love, I couldn’t ask for anything more. Christmas Day begins later, even today, than my brother Jimmy and I prefer, as we wait for our sister, Lauren to arrive (or in the younger years, wake up), but after we open our gifts from Santa and one another, we feast on a big breakfast and relax until it’s time for cheesy potatoes that my Auntie Bea makes.

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Many of these traditions have foundations built upon memories of my childhood, which make it that much more special. To be fair, it is never too late to begin a new tradition, but Christmas is the time I remember the people who I’ve lost and miss them the most. Watching old videos from when I’m younger helps to show my Nana and Auntie Tee who spoiled us in love and gifts and were the sources of light, love, and laughter for my siblings and me. I remember Christmas at my grandparents house when my Grandpa was still with us, all of the family sitting around the living room and just being together. It’s sad, but cathartic, and so important to remember these times, and these people, everyday, but particularly on these special days, that emphasize love and appreciation.

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Holidays can be commercialized and materialistic, and I won’t claim to be innocent of this. But that is never my focus or the way I choose to center my celebrations. For me, life and holidays, are all about family, love, and appreciation, and I am incredibly fortunate to be blessed with all three and so much more.

If we are even luckier, check back in tomorrow to see if I was able to convince my family to model all the beautiful Christmas sweaters we have in our collection!