weekend things

Sixteen years has felt like a lifetime and no time at all. Today, of course, marks the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11. It is a tragedy beyond scope of understanding and my thoughts remain with the victims and their families.

This time of year also marks the sixteenth anniversary of two important losses in my life, my Grandpa in July and my Nana just a few days ago. I was 11 when they passed and I’m going to be turning 28 in a few months. It seems so strange, how much time has passed, how much I have grown and changed and yet, how much I still miss them, not just on the anniversary, but every day.

My weekend started on Friday afternoon when I left work and headed out for a day with my mom. We shopped for wine, enjoyed lunch, and then relaxed the rest of the day. That night, I met up with some friends for dinner. It was so much fun to catch up, but unfortunately what I thought was allergies ended up being a full blown cold.

I made it through work on Saturday with a runny nose, sore throat, and stuffy ears, and even attempt a half hour on the bike, but spent the rest of the day curled up with this guy.

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Saturday night, I went over my friend Katie’s house with our other friend Stephanie where we made dinner and watched movies- The Lion King and Bad Grandpa.

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I probably shouldn’t have stretched my poor throat too far and I assure you my vocals were not up to par, but I had fun singing along to The Lion King anyway. Especially as my new kitten’s name is Simba…

On Sunday, it was shopping day. My mom, sister, and I headed up to the local outlets. My main purchase was new shoes. I got my running gait looked at and realized I have flat feet, so I needed special shoes. I’m excited to learn how much this affects my running!

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The other “big” purchase was a chewing toy for Simba. I’m not sure if kittens teeth, but he seems to need a sturdy toy in which to bite, that is not my hand! He loved the carrot and the box from my shoes.

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It was a low-key-ish weekend as I still try to fully recover from this cold. At the moment, the worst of it is a stuffed-up ear that’s throwing off my equilibrium a tad. Not fun, but I’m on the mend.

Happy Monday!

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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!

take your broken heart, turn it into art

Before I begin my weekend recap, I want you all to know that Meryl Streep made me bawl. She’s had a hell of a career, which we’ve been lucky to watch. But at the Golden Globes last night, she gave her best performance. It was raw, real, and so important. Donald Trump’s presidential platform ran on bigotry, hate, and ignorance of anyone who is different than him, and thank everything, so many people are different than him. But so many people aren’t. Electing him president validates the heinous actions and words of trying to make other people feel lesser. Now we all get to suffer the consequences.

Meryl ended her speech on a bittersweet note, quoting the late and beloved “Princess Leia,” Carrie Fisher. She quoted, “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

Let’s make that the credo of these next four years.

Saturday morning began on a perfect note, pancakes, coffee, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. 

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After I digested my meal and hydrated, I headed to the gym for a killer upper body body strength workout. Lots of push-ups, tricep dips, and shoulder work on this one. For cardio, I ended up doing a lot of walking for the day.

My post-workout snack was my first ever green juice. Spinach, kale, and pineapple. Delicious! I almost hate myself for loving it, especially because I don’t want to adopt an expensive habit!

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My friend Sara and I headed into the heart of Hollywood to the Second City improv open house to take a class. I wasn’t sure what to think, considering I’ve never done improv and only dabbled in acting when I was in elementary school, but I had fun! And I wasn’t terrible. I’ve read a lot about improv in books by Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Rachel Dratch, so even though I’m by no means an expert, I’ve learned from the experts. Glad to realize that my childhood stage fright has diminished.

So inspired were we after class, we decided to see an actual improv show. Second City was sold out, so we walked over to UCB to find that they too were sold out. Bummer. Plans diverted, we opted for Chinese takeout, Friends reruns, and some wii games.

I set my alarm early for Sunday (and by early, I mean early for Caitlin on a Sunday), ate an omelet, toast, and fruit breakfast, and headed back out with my friend Sara to hike.

I’m like, kind of obsessed with nature, you guys. My advanced apologies to all those back east who suffered through a snowstorm and are house bound thanks to the cold. Los Angeles hit the seventies this weekend. I’m not that sorry.

I’ll allow you to live vicariously through me.

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I’m obsessed with open roads. Metaphors or something.

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Seriously, the clouds.

 

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I climbed a rock and made it my temporary home.

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After our adventure, we ate the best tacos I’ve ever had in my life, journeyed to Ikea (my first time), then went to Target so I could buy a blender. Laundry, cleaning, crying over Meryl Streep, and writing this post made up the rest of my Sunday. Happy Monday, live well!

 

 

 

 

Weekend Recap and Food Pics

Hello to Monday!

I finally have some food pictures to share- I’ve been so bad about that lately. Let’s start with last night’s veggie heavy dinner.

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This dinner included a huge greek salad, grilled peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini, asparagus, and a delicious piece of salmon that I drizzled with barbecue mustard. Yum!

Now to today’s breakfast!

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My favorite scrambled egg/egg whites with cheese, berries, and waffles. I stopped at Target yesterday to buy myself some new sheets- excellent choice!- and couldn’t help but browse the food department. I found two new pancake/waffle mixes. I’ve had the Kodiak Cake brand before, all-natural and whole grain, but they now have protein-packed versions and I couldn’t help but buy both the buttermilk and the peanut butter variety. I went with buttermilk this morning and was not disappointed!

Yesterday, I found myself on a bit of a shopping spree, buying a few shirts and a cute jacket for the summer at the Loft and my new sheets and an organizer for work at Target. In addition to the mixes, I found my favorite protein bar flavors. Yay!

After, it was time to play some softball! I was feeling a little rusty, but I wasn’t a complete failure. The rain made things a bit on the unpleasant side because it was cold.

Going back to Saturday, I did very little more than sit on the couch for the evening, watching the Red Sox whoop the Yankees. Before that, I did earn my rest with a full morning of training and then a beautiful run outside. I’ve been lifting heavier this week and my limbs are starting to feel it. It pretty much wasn’t my fault that I was couch-ridden on Saturday because I was S-O-R-E, but in the best way. DOMS are real, man. Thanks to increasing my intensity, I actually am cutting down to only five official workouts a week. One day is mostly rest, but the last day will be active rest, like softball, Yoga, hiking, etc. Since we’re now in May, I think it’s the perfect time for it! I also really need to give my body a chance to recover from the strain!

Let’s all have a great week!

Bacon Grease Burns Through Styrofoam

Some cosmic force in this world doesn’t want me to have my bacon and eat it too. If you cook bacon, then you know that the grease isn’t good for the inner workings of the sink, so you’re supposed to dispose of it some other way. I had been putting it in a coffee mug that is never used for coffee purposes, but it was too hard to clean and my mom bought styrofoam cups just for this occasion.

It’s been awhile since I’ve cooked bacon, but thought I’d treat myself this morning and look what happened when I tried to be good and clean.

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Luckily, I got the cold water running fast and my hand is fine, but it was startling! I guess it makes a good blog story!

On another note, I got super emotional looking at the newly released Gilmore Girls’ revival pictures, so you can see I’ve got a lot going on for me right now.

Happy Monday…!

The weekend starts, as I have always assumed, on Friday. Even when you work on Friday, it just feels so much better. To start my day, I worked through a kettlebell and plyometric heavy total body workout. There’s nothing quite more refreshing than a solid, butt-kicking workout that works up all those good feelings. After work, I headed out with friends for dinner. I couldn’t stay out too late because I have an early Saturday morning shift, but it was nice to see everyone!

After work on Saturday, I wanted to nap, but I never feel particularly good enough afterwards, so instead, I headed out into the cool sunshine and had an amazing run. It felt so good to be outside under the sun, listening to music, and hitting that stride! Post-workout, I headed out to see Melissa McCarthy’s new movie The Boss. It was ridiculous, in a hilarious sort of way, and I continue to be amazed by Melissa’s fearless approach to comedy. I’m also super excited about the new Ghostbusters movie even though I’ve never seen the original! Speaking of Melissa McCarthy and Gilmore Girls, I’m so happy she’s going to make an appearance!

On Sunday, it was time for the weekly grocery shopping. I also took some time to change up my workout approach as I’ve decided to dedicate a week or two to total body workouts every day. I’m already tired! I enjoyed lunch out with my parents and grandma before heading to the gym to get started, finishing up with a few minutes on the elliptical, before working for a few hours. Sunday ended with a few chores, such as the mass amount of laundry that always seems to accumulate even though it feels like you’ve just done it!

Now time to food prep for the week, fit in a workout, catch the Sox home opener, and work! Happy Monday to you…don’t let the bacon grease get you down! Bacon grease doesn’t dictate your day.

 

I Should Never Speak Words

If you know me, you know I have a thing with words. With all humility I can muster, I am not terrible at writing, in fact, I think it’s one of my strongest attributes. Not to say that I have an overwhelming vocabulary, but I think I can string a few nice lines together. Verbally, not so much.

I should probably just not be allowed to speak. Too many words have I butchered the pronunciation without even realizing, until of course someone shouts it in my face. Paradigm, satiety, and traipsing to name some of the more recent words. Phrases are also something I should very much stay away from and not just because they’re cliche.

For example, when my mom asked me how my car was driving after it’s surgery (new battery), I told her it “was smooth as a sailor.” She kept talking past it so I thought I had gotten away with my mistake, but she made a point to mention that was not the correct statement near the end of conversation. It’s smooth as…well, actually, I can’t remember. The sea, maybe? In which case, I was close.

Perhaps the worst of all was when I explained to a friend how some guy gave me attitude. The expression is “gave me lip,” but I said “gave me tongue,” which is just completely wrong to say out loud to someone. He was very calm in correcting me, but I still had to slap face to palm. Or is it palm to face? I DON’T KNOW!

My sister says my struggle is because I am a strong and frequent reader. I must pick up my vocabulary from reading, which means I wouldn’t necessarily hear the words. I am also a champion speller, which backs up the reading theory.

What I think she’s trying to say is that I’m a genius and I overwhelm everyone with my unique ability to bypass every rule in the English language and just go with what sounds right in my own damn brain.

Point 1: Caitlin. Point 0: World.

Let’s see, for food, the past few days. Breakfast yesterday was peanut butter pancakes, lunch was a cheese, spinach, and red pepper quesadilla, and dinner was turkey tacos.

Yesterday was my rest day from official exercise, but I did go for a refreshing, brisk walk around my neighborhood.

Today, I had a piece of wheat toast with a smear of peanut butter and half a banana before my workout. Post-workout, I had a cup of Greek yogurt with blueberries and granola. Lunch was out with my mom and it was a Greek salad with toasted ravioli. Yum!

I killed it at the gym this morning. I started off with an awesome Spin class that wrecked my legs (in a good way) and finished off with a few strength circuits. First, I mixed up triceps and chest exercises and followed it up with leg and core workouts.

Some shopping, dining, and studying followed.

Happy Friday, people! Hug your loved ones a little harder, live your lives a little brighter, be kind, forgive, and relax.

Bones, Moon, Friends, Family, and Fun: Weekend Update

Hello and Happy Monday! I’m spending my morning memorizing bones in the human body. I’ve made a ton of progress in studying anatomy- as it pertains to personal training- and I have my friend Nouha to thank! Let’s recap the weekend to find out how.

I was unable to truly appreciate National Pancake Day on Saturday because I opened at work. I had to make due with some peanut butter toast and a banana.

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Not that I’m complaining because it was still a great meal!

After work, I headed over to Nouha’s house where she tutored me on some of the more harrowing subjects, mainly, the nervous system and skeletal system. While my textbook offered me a good amount of information, I was coming into it without a lot of knowledge, so I needed someone to help fill in the gaps and talk it out with me to make sense. I’m feeling a lot better about it now!

For lunch, we feasted on rotisserie chicken sandwiches, which I enjoyed with some cheese and mustard and a handful of tostitos. Thanks for your wisdom, Nouha!

By the time I got home, my legs were itching to go. Motivated from my great run last weekend, I was hoping I could work that magic again. Success! I headed down to a local track and took off for what ended up being a 7 mile run. I felt strong and proud, especially by the end, and I think I could have gone on a bit longer had I not had plans that night. I ended with a sprint for the last leg of the lap.

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The one thing I will say about running that sucks is how it leaves sores all over my body. This includes chafing- which didn’t happen thanks to my leggings!- and the points where my body rubs against the lines of my panties and bra. I don’t feel it during the run, but after it’s a bear. I need to research better ways to avoid/heal this phenomena, but if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know! As I grow stronger in running and realize that I can make it through longer runs, I’m wanting to go further with it and a lack of pain will be an enormous help!

For my recovery meal, I had dinner with my friend Rachel and indulged in a delicious cheeseburger. I took off the bun for the second half of it and enjoyed with a veggie-ful salad on the side. I didn’t want to detriment my gains so badly, but I was raring for that burger!

It was cold on Saturday night and I was more than happy to cuddle up under the covers with the chill seeping out of the window. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling a little sniffley today…

Sunday morning, I was up for grocery shopping. Before that, however, it was time to celebrate National Pancake Day a little belatedly with this plate of peanut butter goodness.

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With the groceries put away, I also folded laundry and chopped some veggies for dinner to throw into the crockpot before I went out to lunch with my mom. We ended up at a bar in a local pizza place to watch Tom Brady land his 400th touchdown pass- no big deal. Along with pumpkin beers, we shared honey chipotle wings and a red pepper pizza. Go Pats!

Back at home, I set up in the backyard for a study session. Out of the direct sun, I actually had to throw on a sweatshirt. To get in some extra steps as it was my rest day, we walked the dog some more before dinner.

Chicken cacciatore was on the menu and cooking for the majority of the day in the crockpot. It included tender chicken that fell right off the bone, a medley of bell peppers, mushrooms, and onion- which I actively ate around because I hate them. Some broccoli and angel hair pasta rounded out the meal.

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I was in the shower when I got the call about the moon, so I tossed on some warm clothes and headed out to see what the fuss was. I had high expectations, and it was pretty cool, though I thought the moon might look a little redder. It was fun to congregate out in the street and backyard by the fire pit to watch.

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Seemed a lot closer when watching in person.

This morning, I woke up and made myself some breakfast. Today’s choice was an omelet with cheese and chicken sausage. I paired it with two whole wheat waffles and a big bowl of fruit. Notice how I’m rocking the Halloween mug in the corner.

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For the rest of the day, I have a workout and studying before work. Hope everyone enjoys another great week!