Fun Weekend Things

Welcome back from the weekend! I hope it treated you right and that Monday is doing the same.

My weekend started early Friday afternoon when I got off work and headed to a local amusement park with my mom. I’m not a huge daredevil in real life, but I do love a thrilling roller coaster!

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On Saturday, I started my day with this egg roll-up stuffed with scrambled eggs, bell peppers, mozzarella, and turkey pepperoni for a total of 3 points.

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I spent a good chunk of the day reading a mystery I couldn’t put down! For once, I wasn’t disappointed by the ending and it was a solid page-turner. I did tear myself away to fit in a great workout I was really feeling.

Doing a lot of barbell work, I focused on heavy weights 3 sets of 10 reps and did 100 jumps on the jump rope after each exercise. 5 upper body exercises, 5 lower body, and 2 core, which totaled to 1200 jumps! I enjoyed mixing the strength and cardio because it kept things moving and didn’t feel tedious. I also worked up a good sweat.

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For lunch, I heated up some chicken and veggie potstickers with lots of veggies- bell peppers, broccoli slaw, and bok choy- with a touch of hoisin sauce. Altogether, the meal was 7 points.

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I headed down to the park to meet up with my sister and her family and spent some quality baby time. She was feeling the not-so-hot weather and promptly napped.

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By dinner time, I was hungry! I grilled up chicken and veggies and splurged with some whole wheat pasta. I mixed everything with a lighter alfredo sauce and a sprinkling of cheese for a total of 13 points!

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Since it’s the weekend and I had most of my weekly points remaining, I very much savored some ice cream, while watching a movie- Table 19- which didn’t get great reviews but was free on HBO. I actually thought it was cute.

Sunday morning started with a cheese omelette, piece of toast, and raspberries.

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Then it was time for a muggy run! 3.1 solid miles of sweat.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent celebrating my Grandma’s birthday. It was nice to spend time with family and celebrate the day.

Happy birthday, Grandma!

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better late than never…

Sorry this is coming to you late today! Yesterday, my sister and her husband came over for dinner and between socializing and preparing for my early morning, I ran out of writing time. Better late than never!

The weather was SPECTACULAR around here yesterday and today. I know it’s problematic BIG TIME in the long run, but for now, I’m enjoying small favors. It’s tough going from the constant warmth of LA to the seasonal changes of the east coast.

Someone really loves the nice weather, it makes window-watching purr-fect.

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On Tuesday, I slept in a bit and warmed up with a quick strength circuit of all body exercises. At 7:00 am, it was already in the 50s, so I threw on a sweatshirt and a baseball hat and hit the streets. I got through 3.2 miles fairly comfortably (oof, the double adverb!) and felt nice and strong!

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For breakfast, I enjoyed a breakfast sandwich consisting of an egg, chicken sausage patty, and a slice of pepper jack all on top of an english muffin, berries on the side.

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For lunch, I had leftovers beef, broccoli, and cauliflower with brown rice.

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I helped my mom make an awesome dinner of blackened salmon, steak tips, cheesy potatoes, asparagus and red peppers, and caesar salad. It was SO good and I’m sorry for the lack of pictures.

By the time I hopped into bed on Tuesday night, I had reached 20,000 steps! Hope everyone’s having a great Wednesday!

long weekend aesthetic

It’s Tuesday, but it feels like a Monday, but it will be Friday sooner, so…

This weekend was a relaxing one, thanks in large part to the rainy, dreary weather. No, I’m not back on the east coast. The west coast is enduring its “usual” winter according to locals. It’s not cold, but the amount of rain we’ve gotten since I arrived in September is unreal.

Speaking of my arrival, we’re officially past the five months part of being out here. Things are solid, albeit still on the lonely side, but I think being a little lonely for a bit is an important part of life. I’m developing more independence and growing ever more comfortable with being just with me. Although, it’s not like I don’t have any friends and family out here, don’t fret.

I’d like to start this post off reminding you of my humanity, as last week I was in a meal prepping frenzy and allowed my lentil soup to simmer for a few minutes too long. In theory, this lentil ball would have made an excellent meatball substitute, but I brought it to work one day and was promptly judged, so I dumped it. It don’t look right! (Yes, I’m unaware of the incorrect grammar of that sentence).

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Not everything can look as perfect as the pancakes I forgot to snap a picture of before devouring yesterday morning.

Going back to the weekend, on Friday, all I wanted to do was sit on my couch and binge watch 30 Rock (remember, for research purposes), but nature had other plans and took away my power. Since it was still raining and all sorts of cozy, I hopped into bed early (I got home late from work to have drinks with friends) and promptly fell asleep. I did hear the heat kick in and sense the outside lights flicker on in a dreamy, sleepy haze during the night, so the power wasn’t lost for long.

On Saturday, I took my time in the morning with a pancake breakfast and a kick-butt workout. After, I went out for pizza and ice cream with a friend, which is the kind of night that cannot be beat.

In the rain, you can always find the rainbow.

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I always think of my Grandma when I see a rainbow because we chased them in Ireland on our trip a few years ago. Hi, Grandma!

The forecast earlier in the week called for a bright and sunny day on Sunday, but it was overcast and windy. It made for excellent running weather and I felt stronger than I have in a lo-ong time. I love running outside. I do not love running on the treadmill. Thankfully the sun is staying out longer and longer and soon I’ll be able to run outside after work too. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be running my first 5k this weekend.

After my run, I headed downtown with my friend Brad, where we first discovered LA’s Grand Central Market. I opted for a chicken parm sandwich and saved the second half for a later meal. The journey was really so I could introduce Brad to the wonder that is the Last Bookstore. We had some fun and snapped some completely non-staged pictures…

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Okay, so maybe a little staged. But doesn’t it look magical? We enjoyed hiding in this nook full of encyclopedias and discussing the tragedy that is The Cursed Child. JK Rowling is still the queen, don’t you fret.

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We had actually planned to go to the beach, but my weather app was wrong, and this was a far more appropriate plan.

Back at home, I grocery shopped. I ask you, when is Trader Joes not crowded? It’s certainly not the case on a later Sunday evening. I also meal prepped, salads and store-bought soup (don’t judge me!) for this shortened week. The rest of the evening was relaxing and yet again rainy.

I didn’t sleep in quite as long on Monday because I was afraid it would affect my sleep cycle, but I certainly slept longer than I usually would on a weeknight. More pancakes and 30 Rock watching ensued before I headed out to a local coffee shop to write with Brad.

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Dirty = espresso in my chai latte. Quote on my journal from Meryl Streep quoting Carrie Fisher in her speech against the current president. I was actually quite productive in my writing, which followed into my workout, and again with my laundry. I might have been let a little too loose in Target as I came home with a basket full of food related items and bath related items. After preparing for the week ahead, I sat down to write this blog post and do some more writing.

I’m trying to be more consistent. Happy Tuesday vibes!

Reflections

September has always felt like a fresh start thanks to countless years at school, but this one passed by in a blur thanks to my move. It strikes me how 2016 has been such a bizarre and impactful year in my life, both good and bad, from the very beginning. I lost my beloved cat and  aunt, both who I still can’t believe are gone. I became a personal trainer. Made new friends. Moved across the country. Started a new job. And I’m sure there are many other factors that have gone into this year. I’m not sure what’s to say about it other than a person’s ability to adapt is weird and empowering.

Tuesday’s most exciting part of the day was the fact that I mastered how to make a latte. My mom insists the foam makes a woman, but I was just focused on getting the milk to look like that. Yay me. Listen, it’s pertinent to my job.

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Breakfast was a yummy bowl of oats with almond milk, banana, raisins, walnuts, honey, and cinnamon. The picture makes me want to eat more right now.

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Lunch was another serving of quinoa and red beans with Brussels sprouts and spinach. No picture was snapped, but it looked just like it did yesterday.

Since it was National Taco Day, I decided to make more tacos for myself. This time, I grilled up some cod and served it over a medley of zucchini noodles and red pepper. Topped with soyaki and some hummus on the side.

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I’m doing pretty good for myself cooking. According to the scale at my new gym (that I don’t know if I trust or not), I’m down four pounds since I’ve moved. I’ve felt lighter and my clothes fit nicely, so I’ll roll with it.

I’ve remained solid in the exercise department even though it’s not my livelihood at the moment. Tuesday’s workout was a run/walk combination that ended with four minutes of HIIT that left me breathless. After a little yoga, I called it a night!

I already prefer working out in the evening to waking up before the sun, so long as I go to the gym before heading to my apartment. Routine, people. It’s a beautiful thing!

Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week!

Vindicated

It only took 12 years, but I am finally vindicated. I guess the trick was actually moving to LA. Brangelina is OVER. Too bad we probably won’t get Brannier back.

Okay, so, I sound like a terrible person because you know, children are involved, but my poor 14 year old heart was broken all those years ago. Team Jen always!

Moving on…Monday wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t easy either. People keep reminding me that it’s not going to take several days to adjust to this new way of living and I totally understand that. It just hurts, mainly being away from my family. Emotional ups and downs are normal, but I’m trying to be strong and patient!

I started my morning with a bite of comfort- waffles, strawberries, and a banana.

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After some writing and working, it was time to check out my new neighborhood in the best way possible, a run!

I cruised for the usual 3.1, but was very happy (and sweaty) when I finished. The sun wasn’t blaring and humidity wasn’t bad, but it was still hot! A quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich worked as my post-workout meal.

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We still don’t have Internet, so I headed out to the local library – my sister must be proud – to apply for jobs and get some more work done. By the time I got home, I was hungry! I threw a bunch of stuff together for dinner and it was delicious.

Stage 1:

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Grilled chicken, zucchini noodles, chopped yellow pepper, spinach, whole wheat penne, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. Yum in a bowl!

Complete:

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Check out this sunset!

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After some more writing and reading, it was time to call it an early night. All of these emotional and physical changes make for an exhausted girl! I might have used that line already, but it couldn’t be truer!

Hope your Tuesday is/has been magical, bloggy friends!

Harry Potter and the Strength Inside

Such a wonderful weekend! After work on Friday, I got moving in the kitchen to chop up some salads for dinner for me and my sister. Once we were done eating and chilling for awhile, the family (minus my brother-in-law who was on a hiking trip) went out for some ice cream on a perfect summer evening. I’m loving the purple cow frozen yogurt, which is black raspberry base with dark and white chocolate chips.

The next morning, I was back at it for work, and when I got home, it was nice to relax by the pool. Later that afternoon, my sister and I headed into town to get our tattoos. I’ve been wanting to commemorate my weight loss journey for awhile, and I finally found the perfect encapsulation!

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Strength is a reminder of what I’ve done, yet it is does not describe the end result so much as the path I had to take, the choices I had to make, and the ideology I possessed in order to keep going. The supremely cool part about it is that it’s written in my own cursive! Now whenever I’m running or lifting weights, or need strength in any other little or big task, I can just sneak a glimpse and move forward!

Up next, Lauren and I had a celebration to attend. Not only is July 31st the birthday of the greatest writer who ever lived, JK Rowling, and her creation, Harry Potter, but there was a midnight release of the next chapter of the Harry Potter legacy. The Cursed Child is in play form, which I wish desperately I could see in London, and it was fantastic. JK Rowling asked fans who saw the show not to spoil it and fans who were waiting eagerly to see or read not to seek spoilers, and I listened. Don’t mess with the queen! I read it in under three hours, crying, laughing, and reminiscing. A real blessing.

Here are some highlights of the midnight release at Barnes and Noble:

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Such a treat to wake up on Sunday morning, make an amazing breakfast, and read this spectacular play!

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After reading, I got down to Sunday chore business. First, a four mile run and a one mile walk that I crushed- thank Dumbledore for no humidity! Next, a little vacuuming action, some meal prep for the busy work days ahead, laundry washed and folded, and blog posts to write!

An awesome Sunday!

In Which I Adult

Monday is upon us. Does it always kind of feel like a Monday to you too? Regardless of if we want it, it comes and so we must deal. At least we have the previous weekend’s memories to discuss and the next weekend’s possible adventures to dream about to hold us over. Or, we could just live in the moment. Right?

We left off on Friday evening. I worked and then came home to make breakfast for dinner. A cheesy omelet with a side of waffles and spinach and peppers made all my dreams come true.

It was an early night as I was up early on Saturday morning for work. Breakfast was very similar, except the eggs were scrambled and I had a berry bowl instead of veggies.

For my Saturday workout, I went through a series of circuits- biceps, shoulders, back, and core- then took it back home to go for a run. I ran 2 miles at a steady pace then finished with some sprints.

Dinner was a strange concoction of pasta, leftover turkey (not from Thanksgiving for the record, but from turkey taco day), and a hunk of a salad. I ate everything as I got them ready so there was not one cohesive plate of which to get a picture.

As I made flashcards- lots and lots and lots of flashcards, my right hand is ACHING- I flipped on The Devil Wears Prada and then found a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon that I had to switch off so I could watch some study videos. I am adulting!

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3 days worth of flashcards, my friends.

I was up semi-earlyish again on Sunday for a Yoga class. Every Sunday should start with Yoga. It’s a great workout, stretches you out, and relaxes you. That’s a win-win-win!

More flashcard making and studying was had. I skipped over to my sister and brother-in-law’s house to watch some House Hunters, while making flashcards, before we met up with some other fine folks for dinner. This included a Christmas Cosmo that got me in the spirit of Christmas.

Now onto a workout, more studying- yes, more flashcards-and work. Happy Monday! It’s grind time.