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!

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There’s a fly (or whatever) haunting my room. It’s been here the past two nights and although it could be mental, I feel like it keeps biting me and I get itchy. I don’t think it’s bed bugs (is it bed bugs!), but it’s annoying all the same.

You’re not welcome here, fly! You’d be happier outside, promise.

Anyway, let’s start Tuesday by throwing it back to the weekend. On Friday, I crushed it at the gym (after a few days break), quickly showered, then headed out for drinks with my cousins, Dan and Meghan, to watch/listen Dan DJ. It was a fun night, but I was also battling a cold/allergies (not exactly certain), so I was really looking forward to my bed.

On Saturday, I slept in to my heart’s content before it was time to feast on a pancake breakfast. I tore it up at the gym again, went grocery shopping, and meal prepped for the week ahead. Crockpot sesame chicken update to come later this week! My friend came over for a girl’s night and we made pasta and veggies, salad, and chocolate chip cookies.

Sunday included another restful morning. I enjoyed breakfast and hydrated before running in the beautiful weather- California winters for the win! Once I was a proper sweaty mess, I hopped in the shower and heading out to meet my cousins to see Beauty and the Beast. It was good- not as magical as the animated version, but enjoyable and magical all the same.

My car was due for an oil fill, so I did the adult thing and got it done. It’s actually strange how satisfying it feels to be productive. Continuing the theme of the weekend (relaxation and productivity), I folded laundry, got my things ready for the morning, and wrote for three hours.

I’m still not sure how the weekend passed by so fast, but it was a good one. Now we’re at the point where we can start looking forward to the next one. Happy Tuesday!

Where The Celebs At?

Happy Wednesday, party people! I’ve officially been in LaLaLand for one whole week and I’ve yet to see one celebrity. Say wha-at? I don’t even want to consider the number of celebrities that might have passed me by and I missed because I wasn’t observant enough. I was fairly certain I was going to be super famous and best friends with all of them by now… No? Well, at least I thought I’d be married to Chris Evans.

Maybe it’s because I’m spending so much time cooped up in the library getting some work done. Throughout college, I worked at a library, so it’s one of my happy places and never fails to make me productive.

Recap of yesterday:

Tuesday morning, I rolled out of bed for some cheesy eggs, an English muffin, and raspberries. Not a bad way to start the day at all.

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After getting some work done at home, I drove into Hollywood, which, weird!, to meet my cousin for lunch. It’s all about friendly faces these days, let me tell you. I’m still not used to looking up and seeing palm trees or the Hollywood sign in the distance on my commute.

It would be nice to insert a picture here, but alas, driving and snapping pictures is frowned upon.

When in doubt (or stress or anything), gym time never fails me and I crushed it with a strength training line-up of biceps, back, legs, and core before finishing up with a quick interval ride on the bike. For strength, I worked through four sets of fifteen reps, two exercises for biceps, five for back, and five for legs- those bad boys were shaking (in a good way). My core workout included three exercises and I meant to do three sets of twenty, but ended up doing four sets, so a good ‘oops’ I guess.

Let’s take a look at that workout:

Biceps- Cross-Body Curls, High Bicep Curls

Back- Single-Arm Rows, Weighted Supermans, Back Extensions, High Pulls, Standing Rows

Legs- Front Squats, Lunges, Deadlifts, Kneeling Side Leg Raises, Kettlebell Swings

Core- Flutter Kicks, V Ups, Side Plank Dips

Once I finished on the bike, I was good and sweaty and ready for a snack and a cup of coffee at home!

Greek yogurt will never be the same for me after I had the homemade version at a local Greek pantry back at home, but I made do with good ol’ Chobani, mixing up the strawberry flavor with a handful of blueberries and some almonds.

To the library it was, but first, I got a phone call from an old friend/advisor that was very much appreciated. I can’t express how grateful I am to get calls and texts from family and friends in general, never mind that I’m in a new state, following my dreams, and pretty much by my lonesome.

As I mentioned, I do love the library, so I pretty much closed it up and headed home to make dinner. If it works one night, why not make it again the second? Whole grains, check. Protein, check. Veggies, check. Fat, check. Yum factor, check!

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The rest of the night consisted of some reading and writing quality time. I must still be on East Coast time because as I’m typing, I’m longing to go to bed, but it’s only 9:40 here. Soon!

Here’s a selfie shot I had to take because my hair was on point and it would have been a waste for no one to have seen it.

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Feliz Navidad or Nah?

So I’ve been listening to Christmas music now for four days and I am officially over ‘Feliz Navidad.’ Listen, it’s a fun song, I’m usually for it, but no matter what station I am listening to on the radio, they play it every four songs. I’m not even kidding. I’ve probably now heard it nine times since Thursday- the same exact version. Chill! It just makes me wonder if radio stations think they’re being diverse by playing this song….let’s be a tad more creative, no?

Anyways, other than my questionable music choices, let’s catch up. Wednesday, after leaving you dreaming of Thanksgiving happiness of the next day, I hopped over to the gym for a quick workout. It included shoulders, back, legs, and core, and knocked me out.

After fitting in my workout, I went to see my Auntie Bea for our annual Thanksgiving-eve flick. There’s not much out that we both wanted to see in theaters, so we decided on Frozen, which she had never seen. Always makes me happy watching that movie!

I ended my night and started the next morning at work. On Thursday morning, once I got off, I headed home to fit in my own workout. My legs were still a little sore and tired from the previous day, so I settled on a three mile run/walk that got my metabolism revving before the big meal.

Thanksgiving was, like always, a wonderful, loving, and happy day full of excellent food and amazing times with my family. Hope yours was too!

My mom and I took our annual post-dinner walk.

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I was very thankful for a lot of things, including these butter rolls.

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And apple pie.

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But especially family!

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Nick suggested snapping the picture from this angle as it eliminated the prominence of my head.

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Perhaps, at this point, you’re a little sick of seeing my face.

I indulged on Friday by sleeping in longer than usual, enjoying my rest day from exercise, and eating leftovers. Most of the afternoon and evening was spent at work, but it was good to be on my feet and focused. Dinner included more leftovers. Since I had to be up early on Saturday morning for work, it was an early night’s sleep for me on Friday!

For breakfast on Saturday, I cooked up some eggs and toast. After work, I met my friend Nouha for a total body workout that ended with a tough core circuit of continuous movement. I really liked the routine I put together because it never stopped moving and never got boring. Nouha and I had lunch and some ice cream post-workout before I headed home for an afternoon of studying.

Other than making a dinner of leftover lobster ravioli with spinach, peppers, and mushrooms, I didn’t do much on Saturday night. It was rainy and cold, so I wasn’t opposed to curling up under the blanket and fitting in some quality writing time.

This morning, I was up bright and early thanks to an awesome Yoga class. I don’t do a lot of Yoga because I haven’t found the right intensity in a class (unless I want to pay up the big bucks for classes at a studio), but this one was worth it! I finished my day with a few minutes on the elliptical, going between steady and interval pacing.

So far, I’ve been productive. I folded laundry, cleaned, pulled up my garden, and took my first practice test for my PT exam. I also cleaned out my work bag and learned just where and why all of my mom’s spoons have disappeared.

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Now I’m off to do a little experimenting in the kitchen for lunch and to do more studying. Happy Sunday!

Sometimes, You Smell and Have To Buy New Things

Needed to edit this post to include a happy birthday shout out to my favorite, Amy Poehler! Woot!

In case you hadn’t realized, fall is coming. I wouldn’t keep harping on this except 1. I’m so excited and 2. Halloween is out in full force. We all know that if you buy the Halloween candy at this point, it’s not meant for Halloween. Otherwise you’d be offering stale candy to trick or treaters and that’s just rude. I’m all for eating chocolate, especially specially designed to mimic pumpkins or ghosts though.

We’ll get to how I discovered that Halloween costumes are all over in a second. First, let’s recap some meals.

If you read yesterday morning, you’ll know I had this delicious pumpkin French toast for breakfast.

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Lunch included leftover stuffed peppers with sauteed spinach and jalapeños for a kick. It was just what I needed after a heavy strength training session. I was quite proud of my gains yesterday and left with a sense of accomplishment. I must have been hungry when I got home though because there’s no picture of lunch. Whoops.

Between lunch and dinner, I also got to a kickboxing class. I am loving kickboxing! I think it has to do with the punching and kicking, but it’s a lot of fun and I feel like I’m getting in a real workout. I’m not usually a huge fan of group classes, but this is one I will try to get to on the regular!

Dinner was so good! Grilled swordfish is the new favorite fish in this house. We paired it with fresh broccoli and oh, hmm, what’s that cheesy thing? Mac and cheese? NOPE! Cauliflower au gratin. It has all the cheesy, warm, melt in your mouth goodness of macaroni and cheese but with vegetable instead of noodle. Don’t get me wrong, macaroni and cheese still holds a high up place in my heart, but this cauliflower dish is up there too! I just felt less guilty indulging in seconds.

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Okay so, last week we discovered I should never be let loose in Whole Foods, but yesterday we learned this is true of Target. Maybe I just shouldn’t shop. But I love it! I stopped at Target for trip numero uno after my strength workout because I wanted to pick up Mindy Kaling’s new book Why Not Me? which will soon be reviewed once I make my way through it- hopefully not too fast because I loved her first book and read it in a day and then I was sad it was over.

I was also on a quest for Peanut Butter and Co’s specialty PUMPKIN SPICE peanut butter. So far, I’ve struck out at Stop & Shop, Whole Foods, and now Target. Bummer, I’ll have to order it online unless Christmas Tree Shoppe can represent. As you well know, Peanut Butter and Co is my favorite company thanks to their Dark and White Chocolate Peanut Butter goodness (that is nutritionally sound too!). Though there was no pumpkin spice to be found, I did walk away with a dark chocolate bottle and two pumpkin spice yogurts.

Also in the cart were dog treats because Mac needs his favorite things too. I needed new strength training gloves because mine STINK to high heaven and can no longer be cleansed through washing. I know, I’m disgusting, but I’m not even sorry. It’s a mark of a job well done. However, they needed to go because I couldn’t stand getting a whiff every rep.

Then I happened to cart by the electronics section, which in my defense, is near the book section! I’ve been contemplating getting a running watch because I no longer track with my phone as it is too rough! My brother’s girlfriend, Cait, recommended the Garmin Forerunner 15 to me because it also works in water- though I’m not sure if it tracks swims yet (TBD tomorrow!). That’s the one I asked for when I checked out and I realized it wasn’t the right one when I got home. They gave me the 10 by accident, which is cheaper, but also does nothing. I wanted a running GPS and step tracker so that I didn’t have to also use a Fitbit. Rude!

After kickboxing and dinner, I set out for Target trip numero dos and this time I was accompanied by my friend Rachel. After I made my exchange, it was time to browse. I got two new workout shirts, one of which is this super cool Star Wars tee with the only characters who matter best characters: the originals!

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I also got another one I’ll debut a little later on this week. Also in my basket was a pair of super comfy pajamas that got me even more excited for fall.

That’s when we discovered the Halloween costumes. Had I not already had one in mind, I might have gotten lost. I can’t reveal my Halloween costume to you yet, but here are a few of the options we perused last night.

Rachel wearing a terrifying Teddy Bear mask. I hate masks!

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This weird, but far less frightening “Captain Cool” mask.

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Me as a piece of pizza, which we know is one of my favorite things!

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Also as a hot dog.

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And this flamingo hat that I’m fairly certain is taller than I am. It was heavy on my head, but if I bought it, it would have required I bend through a doorway for the first time in my life! I didn’t buy it for the record.

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Much silliness ensued, but it was all fun!

This morning, I woke up raring to try my new watch! First, I had a quick breakfast. An egg, cheese, and chicken sausage sandwich on an english muffin. It also had jalapeños. I had a berry bowl as well.

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Even though it was still warm and the sun was out in full force, the air is no longer dripping with humidity. I had an excellent 3.1 mile run and another .5 walk before I hopped in the shower and ran some errands. Now I’ve got in two loads of laundry (one for gross workout clothes and the other for sheets) and an afternoon of studying in which to look forward.

Happy Wednesday to you!

My Textbook Thinks We’re Fat

Sometimes the titles of my blog posts write themselves. I’ve been reading the chapter on bioenergetics, which is how the body metabolizes energy and it keeps harping on the fact that the human body has endless supplies of fat to burn. We get it, textbook, thanks a lot.

Last night, I had a dream that left me feeling quite clever. I’m actually impressed with my dream state-of-mind. JK Rowling and I were BFFs. Well, okay, she was more of a mentor figure and there was no level of intellectual equality whatsoever, but I was still in her presence and learning from her. It’s a pity I don’t recall all of the wisdom I must have learned- I suspect that she too probably had this dream and it was real (DON’T TELL ME OTHERWISE). JK Rowling gave me, and some random people I care not to identify, not because I’m a jerk or secretive, but because I don’t remember) a quest to find some sort of item. I know, just like in Harry Potter! The item was something you could only discover through tears, which I discovered in my dream. This just goes to show how strong my imagination is even in this dream-filled state.

Writing down this dream does not seem to justify my point, but I still think it was silly, odd, and a little cool. Dreams are weird and I rarely understand them, but sometimes they sit with you and make you think you are going crazy. 

I finished my productive Sunday with a five mile run and a one mile walk in the rain that made me feel strong and happy. I also folded and put away my laundry and fit in some studying.

Dinner was roast chicken with stuffing, roasted potatoes and squash, spinach, and corn. You have to go all out when it’s finally cool enough to put on the oven!

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My morning started off on a delicious note. An egg and veggie scramble with spinach, tomato, and jalapeños, topped with cheese, was accompanied by whole grain waffles (I know I have a problem) and a banana.

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Breakfast fueled me through the dumbbell strength and core workout I did with my sister Lauren, as well as through my mile lap swim. It was quite the workout and by the time I got home and showered, I was ready for lunch!

I’ve been complimented on my sandwich making abilities before and I can’t say that I disagree. This particular sandwich included chicken, provolone, bacon, and spicy mustard. On the side, I enjoyed carrots, celery, and red peppers with hummus as well as some tostitos. I have NO idea why autocorrect just changes tostitos to tomtits, but it made me incredibly happy and I just had to share. Thank you, autocorrect.

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The afternoon was spent sitting outside, enjoying the cool breeze and the warm sun, sipping on pumpkin spice coffee, wearing a sweatshirt, and studying my hardest. These concepts are not the easiest I’ve ever had to comprehend, but I’m learning how much hard work and dedication pay off.

To end this post, I dare to share a selfie of my new hair…without make-up! I know, I’m a total badass. But at least I’m a blonder badass.

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Sunday Productivity and Catch Up

Trauma left over from my school years means that I will always see Sundays as being that of productivity. Not that it’s such a bad thing because it means I get necessary chores done, such as laundry, cleaning, food prepping, etc. Rainy Sundays always inspire an extra edge to such productivity.

We start where we lead off, which to my best estimation, is Thursday morning! A homemade, whole grain waffle and a cup of Greek yogurt got things flowing. Notice the beauty of the chopped strawberries and banana!

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My workout for Thursday included a few strength circuits using kettle bells and medicine balls, as well as a lap swim. It had been about two weeks since I swam laps due to the pool closing down for cleaning, but I felt strong! Had I more time, I would have attempted a mile and a half, but I stuck with my mile and felt wonderful.

Lunch was a heaping bowl of salad with leftover steak, veggies, and beans, with ranch and barbecue sauce drizzled on top. I also had leftover rice for a boost of carbs.

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Dinner included these red pepper infused ravioli that I jazzed up with sundried tomato chicken meatballs, red pepper, and zucchini. I wasn’t much feeling marinara, so I added a pat of butter and cheese on top for extra flavoring.

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Friday morning, I was up early to fit in a workout. I cannot tell you how much I adore morning workouts (once I’m fully awake and moving), but I also cannot tell you how hard it is to get up when you don’t have to. My workout consisted of dumbbell and plyometric circuit training. I was drenched in sweat and reaping the benefits of endorphins as I left the gym to start the rest of the day.

Oh, but look what I was met with on my way home from the gym! I told you turkeys roamed this area. They usually come in hordes, but this guy was on his own. Don’t worry, I came to a complete stop to 1. let him cross and 2. take this picture.

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This egg sandwich topped with egg, chicken sausage, provolone, and jalapeños was a perfect recovery breakfast. Banana, strawberries, and blueberries complemented the flavors well.

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Lunch happened while I was at work, so we ordered out. I selected this delicious chicken kebob greek salad that hit the spot. It was full of perfectly seasoned and moist grilled chicken, fresh veggies, and the added yumminess of feta and greek dressing.

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I was in a weird mood on Friday when it came for dinner as all I wanted was French toast. I used some multigrain cinnamon raisin bread and topped the pieces with peanut butter and jelly and paired the delicacy with a banana. My French toast recipe just consists of an egg, almond milk, cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla. In the fall (SOON!), I add pumpkin to the batter for perfection on a plate.

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Saturday was a busy day. I woke up before the sun to get to work, but not before enjoying a peanut butter toast breakfast.

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Kind of looks exactly like my French toast dinner, but I can promise it was not even close to as fancy.

After work, I booked it home for a quick lunch of leftover ravioli before heading off to my hair appointment. No, I won’t debut my new hair quite yet because I haven’t showered yet- still haven’t ran today- so I will premiere it tomorrow!

With my hair all fresh and blonde(r), which by the way, has just forced people into calling me a red-head more frequently, I met my cousins to go to the One Direction concert. Woo! I thought I would know more songs, but the concert was mostly their new stuff. We still had a blast despite some drizzling. It was a fun cousin bonding time!

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Oh, crap. I just realized I inadvertently premiered my hair after saying I wouldn’t yet. Okay, it was rainy and a little humid so my hair was frizzled. Don’t judge the cut (or blondness) just yet.

I woke up this morning to my mom calling me to go grocery shopping, but the most exciting part was that she had already made me poached eggs. I’m quite spoiled like that.

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While shopping, I picked up some cans of pumpkin (woo!) and this baby pumpkin for my desk that I named Spike. Spike is a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer which I explained to my mom and she assumed he was a pumpkin…Fangs to come.

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Lunch was a simple greek yogurt and an english muffin with peanut butter as I’m preparing for my run. I’ll have some sort of veggie dish for my recovery fuel after.

With a load of laundry in the mix, some reading already done, and these legs ready to take off, I’m having myself a great Sunday.

Cheers to yours!