On the Beach

It’s Monday, I’m back from my vacation, but instead of feeling down, I’m feeling revitalized! A vacation was much needed and there’s no better remedy than time away on the beach!

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Ok, so this wasn’t the exact beach, but it’s still a picture of me at the beach.

Last week, I worked Monday and Tuesday and took off early morning on the Fourth to head to my cousin and uncle’s house on the beach. Look who got to come along thanks to the heat wave!

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Simba did an excellent job adapting to his new beach house and spent a majority of his time exploring and staring outside at all the animals.

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Much of the afternoon on the Fourth was spent at the beach and it was HOT. There was a breeze when we started and the water was refreshing, but once we went to dry off, the breeze disappeared. I love reading on the beach, but there’s only so much heat this girl could take, so we headed back to shower and attend a lovely BBQ at a friend’s place.

The night was capped off with some fireworks, as the Fourth of July should. I don’t adore fireworks, especially amateur ones, but the view sure was pretty.

On Thursday, my brother and I cooked up some breakfast to get us started on the day. We spent much of the morning relaxing but when the boys went golfing, the rest of us headed to the beach. Since it wasn’t as hot, I was able to run the 1.25 mile and felt good! I didn’t end up going in the water this time, but I did take a nice walk on the beach and spent some quality time reading!

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After a refreshing shower and nice cocktail hour, we went into town for dinner. Pizza was on the menu, as we dined outside by the fire pit! We capped things off with a beverage before calling it a night.

The rain came in on Friday, but we were still able to walk around a local town. We got lunch and headed back to pick up Simba and go home. It was a lovely time!

It was nice to still have the weekend as a buffer after vacation. On Friday afternoon, I fit in a heavy barbell and jump rope workout to combat all the indulgences of the week. For dinner, I enjoyed shrimp tacos, caught up on work, and watched Game Night, which was cute.

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Saturday morning called for a run! I crushed 3.1 miles and hopped right into the pool after because even though the intense heat abated a bit, the sun was still hot! I spent a good deal of time reading before my sister and her family came over to enjoy the afternoon. We ate dinner, passed around the baby, and relaxed.

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On Sunday, I was up early to grocery shop and came home to make a veggie omelette for breakfast. After, I did a body strength circuit workout with jump roping intertwined. I was nice and sweaty after and once again ready to hop into the pool.

The afternoon consisted of reading, writing, and catching up on household things.

How was your weekend?

weekend and travel plans

This weekend was one of relaxation after traveling. I did a lot of nothing, with some exercise thrown in to assuage the guilt.

I had taken a week off from working out thanks to my travel last week and it was much needed. On Saturday, I got back to it with a total body strength routine and some spinning and I was feeling those DOMS on Sunday. A run/walk combo helped stretch out my sore legs in particular, but they were still achey on Sunday night and this morning! I have a love/hate for this kind of pain, but it is the good kind of pain. I guess it was time to mix things up with my plan.

I was also able to catch up on sleep, which had gotten messed up when I took a red-eye to Boston last Friday. I don’t sleep well on planes, especially with my legs feeling a bit cramped. I had a couple of hours to nap once arriving home before my mom and I got mani/pedis for my cousin’s wedding. It was dancing time at the beautiful ceremony and reception and we were up past 2 am, which meant I was awake for the better part of 24+ hours and jet lagged. Whew. But it was well worth it.

The rest of my break was spent with my family, shopping, going to movies and dinner, and spending some quality time. It’s always hard to leave, but it was great to see everybody. Even though it’s a long flight from coast-to-coast, particularly east-to-west, it was nice to gain three hours of the day on the way back.

I captured some snapshots from the plane:

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It was hard to not include the wing of the plane in my photos, so that accounts for the odd angles.

Somehow, it’s Monday again. Enjoy it!

broken wing

I’m hoping I’m not making the wrong impression with this fly situation. It’s not like I have fleas or that my room is swarmed with bugs. I’m a clean person. There isn’t food lying around or mass amounts of trash. There was (is) one fly zooming around, haunting me. Just so we’re clear.

Probably looks like this:

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On another note, I’m starting to age. Well, yes, as this is a fact of life, but I’m starting to feel it. I put myself through grueling workouts six days a week and yet, I bust my shoulder PICKING UP MY BAG IN MY CAR. I must have twisted the wrong way and twinged the muscle in my wing because it was bothering me a little when it first happened and a lot later that afternoon. I found a makeshift foam roller to apply pressure to it, as well as someone willing to massage the area (don’t judge me) and it seemed to help a lot. I can still feel it right now, but it’s not anything damaging.

I know that it’s one of those cases where I pay close attention to every movement during a workout and not so much when I’m living every day life, but still. It’s almost offensive.

Feels like this:

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But I just enjoy being dramatic from time to time.

Side note: I don’t know what’s up with the animations, except I get more views when there’s pictures and I don’t have actual pictures, so. I got them from Google. I did not make them, nor am I taking credit for them. But I am accepting your laughs.

Because I was nursing my sore wing, when my friend suggested Happy Hour after work, I decided a rest day from the gym was in order. Felt like a Friday night, still just a Thursday. Regardless, it was a fun night chatting away with a friend, sipping a margarita, chomping on chips and queso, and eating a salad I didn’t have to prepare.

It’s Friday now, which means the weekend is near! Lots of adventuring, writing, and relaxing is in store for this girl.

What are your weekend plans?

adulting

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!

a day to remember

This weekend was all about the Women’s March for this girl! It was an incredible experience to share with over 2 million women and men who represented love, hope, equality, and progress. I got to laugh, shout, and listen to the likes of Jane Fonda speak on the importance of representation and equal rights. It is a historic, memorable day that, despite critics suggesting otherwise, will be revolutionary to this country. I am also proud to say that both my parents joined in on the march, in support of their children and themselves, and I can’t emphasize how much it means to me that I have two wonderful, intelligent parents who raised and educated two daughters and a son with equal love, support, and expectations.

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One last note: Nothing of quality ever got done by sitting quietly at home and minding your own business.  Our country is built on it.

Other than the march, it was a low-key weekend, thanks to the rain and the aftermath of a cold I was battling all week. Entertaining friends and family is always fun and worth while, but it takes a lot out of me, so I welcomed the relaxation.

Thankfully, I was able to fit in a few solid workouts this week, although much of my time outside of work was spent sleeping. Colds are no fun, but thanks to my constant vigilance, it never accumulated into anything too serious.

Here’s some food from the previous week.

A huge salad with chicken, pita and hummus, and some tempura cauliflower I tried from Trader Joes.

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Cod, zucchini noodles and spinach, and baked sweet potato fries. I was missing ketchup for those fries!

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A hunk of a salad topped with garlic-butter shrimp.

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Sesame ginger chicken with broccoli and spinach.

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A grilled cheese and soup on my sickliest evening. Notice the spinach- gotta fit in those vitamins! The soup was a roasted corn and red pepper from Trader Joes.

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Apparently I’m not good at snapping breakfast shots. This was a warm bowl of oats with peanut butter, blueberries, and strawberries.

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My lunch of the week was salads with chicken, pita, and hummus. I love meal prep because it makes the week so easy.

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After lots of rest and healthy eating, I’m feeling invigorated and ready to face the week! Happy Monday!

Shake It Off

After a few weeks’ hiatus, I’m back! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was busy as I hopped on a plane Tuesday night 9pm LA time, flew into New York City for a two hour delay, then made the final leg of my trip to Boston, arriving around 9am Boston time. I flew back to LA on Friday morning, so it was a whirlwind, but wonderful trip home. Though it was more of a teaser for Christmas break, I’m so happy to have been able to spend time with my family, eat delicious food, and relax.

I believe this picture was taken as my mom told me my head was too big.

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I have enjoyed my time in LA thus far, but I’ve felt out of sorts and overwhelmed these past few weeks, as I believe I’ve mentioned, but I decided I’m shaking myself out of it. Part of that is getting back into my writing routine. Life is busy and it’s hard to get into a routine after a long day of work, but writing is important to me and it’s why I moved out here, so I have to do it! Doing it!

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Upon my arrival back to LA, my Lyft driver gave me a gallon of some strange water she was promoting. Apparently, I am supposed to drink it within three days or the live cultures will die. I’m not drinking water that has living beings in it thank you very much. What a welcome back though!

Friday found me in a vegetative state. Had I known it would be the only warm, sunny day of the weekend, I may have felt more motivated to get up, but it started on a long plane journey and I was tired. Plus, my new bike- because yes, one of the blah things that have happened to me in the past few weeks is that my bike was stolen…out of my gated apartment building…where it was locked up- had loose handlebars and I didn’t have the tool to fix it yet, so really, I didn’t want to fall over them.

Regardless of any activity I should have done, Gilmore Girls dropped on Netflix and nothing else mattered. I watched two of the four-part series, napped, cooked dinner, then watched the other two. I loved it, smiled the entire time, and teared up a few times. As the creator/writer said that she ended it the way she always wanted to end it, I fear those last four words, however cryptic and cliff hanger-y, are it for the show, for real this time. I wouldn’t be opposed to more though, please and thank you!

On Saturday, I was on the metro to meet my friend for a hike in Malibu when the skies opened. Apparently, the only things to do in Malibu are go to the beach and hike, so we drove around for a bit before heading over to Santa Monica.

PSA: Don’t all-you-can-eat sushi. Sushi is not something you should ever overeat. Our reasoning for going to this restaurant was to try different types of sushi, but you had to eat all of what you ordered and would have to pay full price for any leftovers. We ordered two rolls too many and I had a piece in my mouth when my body decided it was too much and I had to spit it out. I was full, but it wasn’t that overly stuffed feeling so much as this is not something you should ever have too much of. The mayo-laden sushi glistened at me menacingly and thankfully the waitress took pity on us and took it away as our little secret and we didn’t have to pay. I am now on a six month hiatus from sushi, if not more.

After we ate ourselves silly, it was time to move around. We ended up doing some window shopping in Santa Monica and took in the sights.

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I should have snapped a picture of the pier all lit up at night, but shoulda coulda woulda and I did-ah not. Ha.

On Sunday, I woke up to more rain, so I cooked an omelet with an english muffin and fruit before heading over to the gym for my first workout in a week. It felt good! Nothing inspires motivation better than a kick ass workout.

In the afternoon, I went back to Santa Monica with my friend Brad where we got some writing done before heading back, making tacos for dinner, and readying for the work week ahead.

I’m in a better place and thinking positive thoughts. Sometimes, it’s good to struggle because it gives you some perspective and forces you to work that much harder. A hug from mom will heal anything. Plus, it doesn’t suck that it’s Christmas spirit time! No better excuse to fit in some shopping.

Happy Monday!

Bike Riding and Weird Massages

My weekend once again was the perfect combination of active and relaxing, starting with Friday night.

After work, like a champion, I headed to the gym and ran it out on the treadmill. This week, I wasn’t as tired as last, and I had a solid run before finishing it off with a quick Yoga flow. For dinner, I stir fried up some chicken, veggies, and brown rice.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what bad zucchini tastes like, it is not good. Luckily, I didn’t cut the zucchini into too small bites and I was able to scrape it out of the plate!

Some old Saturday Night Live episodes later and it was time to fall asleep, cus this girl was tired! Working 9-5 is hard, ya’ll.

On Saturday, I met up with a friend-of-a-friend for brunch before going to the gym to knock out a lower body workout. I biked over on the beautiful afternoon, then biked on over to a reflexology massage place for my sore feet. My feet were so swollen on Tuesday of this past week, they didn’t fit properly in my sneakers. This massage was $20 bucks, so I was weary of the quality.

Let’s just run this down for you:

An older man began my experience by massaging my forehead. As we know, I have a large forehead, so a long time was spent on this area. At one point, the gentleman began tickling my outer ears, which I thought was strange, but then he stuck his fingers in my ears, and I learned a new definition of “strange.” It was weird, but I didn’t hate it?

The man was clearly head honcho of this establishment as other workers kept coming over and talking to him, which was unsettling in an otherwise quiet situation. At one point, I thought a woman was trying to tell me to do something, so I opened my eyes and the woman hushed me, apologized, then stuck her hand on my forehead for a long time. I was then blind-folded, which I think was to hide the fact that a new worker took over my footwork, though I will tell you, once you’ve had giant, calloused fingers in your ears, you can decipher the difference of the petite, gentler touch of soft hands.

As mentioned above, my forehead is gaping, so it elevated the blindfold to the point of which I could see clearly. It was good that I distinguished this new individual as female when I was then planked on so that the massager could recenter my hips (or whatever the hell it was she was doing?) After some hand work, I rolled over and got all the sore spots in my shoulders and back worked out.

Listen, it was a weird experience, but it worked. For $20 bucks, I will accept your strange scenario and tip you for it.

It was dinnertime when I finished, so I pedaled over to my “local” taco shop before heading home to read and work on a new project. After some grocery shopping, it was time for bed.

Sunday is a great day to be outside seeking adventures. First up, was hike time. I actually went to the same place I did last week, this time with a meet-up group. The day was cooler, but in no means cool, and overcast, which made it great to be active.

Stopping at home for a few minutes, it was time to take my bike out for its first long journey. 18 miles is no joke. I’ve got a bike path, down the street from me, that leads to the huge Southern California coastal bike path that is remarkable. There are no words to describe the views and the feelings inspired by pedaling down this path.

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My intention was to go to Santa Monica and believe me, I kept waiting to see the enlightening sight of Santa Monica Pier, but as I rolled and rolled, I still couldn’t see it and I almost cried. At a stopover for a water and lunch break, I typed in my GPS location and realized I had ridden in the complete opposite of Santa Monica and had made it to Manhattan Beach. Since Manhattan (New York) is my favorite place in the entire universe (other than home), and I had never been there before, it was fitting.

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On my way back, I prayed for no hills, and had to stop to capture the above picture. I mean, what?

Back at my apartment and nursing my sore quads, it was time to meal prep for the coming week. Soup! It’s not appropriate in the warm, sunny SoCal environment, but back at home in Boston, it’s fall and prime time for soup.

I’ve had these lentils in my cabinets since back home, so it was time to cook ’em. I found the recipe online and added my own touches, such as doubling the recipe and adding zucchini.

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I had enough for four lunches of the week and enjoyed the remnants for dinner, paired with brown rice and a dash of cheese.

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Now I’m all cozy, full, and super sweaty.

It’s Monday, but let’s live like it’s Friday!