weekend things

Happy Monday, everyone! This weekend was another mix of busy and relaxing, sunny and rainy, and I was all for it.

My Friday started once I finished work and hopped in the pool for a swim. I got through 1.1 in about 45 minutes and was more than ready for lunch, which was a big salad. I had 8pm dinner plans that evening and had to take a nap to 1. Be able to make it ’til then and 2. Not snack on everything in the kitchen. Dinner was fun and we had ice cream for dessert, which always makes life worth living.

My Saturday started with this glorious breakfast. Poached eggs on toast with bacon.

E4711DE1-347D-47B7-B953-2B203EB6CB93.JPG

Once I was digested and hydrated, I headed out for a run. It was a perfect day! I do try to make the 3.1, but I ran out of flat real estate and would’ve had to go uphill to finish out, so I stuck to 3 miles. My legs were already feeling shot and it was a struggle to make it through.

E766C927-0DBC-4451-B452-866A4E64E25F.JPG

That afternoon, my sister and I went for lunch and a movie. First, we hit up a Greek restaurant for gyros.

7EC77C6B-84E6-4351-817D-59B8833CB2AA.JPG

Then we headed to the theater to take in Lady Bird, which was excellent. Female writer and director Greta Gerwig FTW!

My evening pretty much consisted of this:

46F53116-6EE8-49D1-A3E2-4C265E174CCB.JPG

I slept in way later than anticipated on Sunday, but I think my body was resting to avoid a cold. Plus, it was rainy, my favorite sleeping condition! I have a slight sniffle and tickle in the throat, but I’m persevering with mind over matter!

Breakfast was a stack of my favorite peanut butter pancakes. Still working on the art of the stack.

D8FBD785-64DB-4BF8-9637-4192499C0254.JPG

My workout was still a solid one. I started with strength training, upper, lower, than a mix of both and ended with 20 minutes of cycling. I love my workouts for my mind and body, but I’m also excited today is my rest day. I was definitely tired by the end.

Post-workout snuggles are always worth it.

IMG_3371.JPG

I got some household stuff done, including laundry and meal prep for today, went grocery shopping, and then relaxed. Sunday’s always call for an early night when I have to work at 5am on Mondays!

Crush your week!

Getting Back Into Routine

Happy birthday to my brother’s girlfriend, Cait!

So my sister and I might be the nerdiest sisters around. In truth, she’s the smart (and nerdy) one as she’s a librarian, but we both know more about Harry Potter than is probably the norm.

Such knowledge comes in handy when it’s trivia time. Listen, there are few things in life of which I am certain, but Harry Potter is one of them, so when it came time for trivia, you better believe I was confident.

IMG_5539

Lauren and I knew we didn’t need anyone else on our team and we ended up taking down the rest of the (much more stocked) teams to be crowned champions.

I think it’s okay to gloat a little bit!

It was the cherry on top of a great week of relaxation and vacation!

Monday hit full force with an early wake-up call, but it means I had a far more productive morning than I would if I slept in too late. Here was my beautiful breakfast.

IMG_5542

I love vacation and the occasional indulgence it brings, but I am always so ready to get back into my typical eating and exercise habits. It’s amazing how much the food you eat affects so much of your life, from how you feel to how you look. I tried to be careful-ish, especially when it came to eating between meals (which I didn’t), as well as alcohol consumption, but I definitely didn’t deprive myself of some extra savory and sweet foods.

To help get back into that healthy eating flow, I planned my meals for the week ahead of time. Lots of fruits and veggies make up some well-rounded and nutritious meals, but with a heavy yum factor!

Monday’s lunch was inspired by an unplanned trip to Trader Joe’s. In my defense, I only went to the store next door to pick up a prescription, but it wasn’t ready yet, so I stopped in! Chicken tikka masala minus the rice because I wanted that piece of naan and sautéed spinach. It looked heaping when I tossed it in a pan, but alas, it shrinks down to a mouthful.

Dinner was kind of a beauty, including salad topped with the usual selection of veggies, balsamic, and feta. For protein, I cooked up Buzzfeed’s garlic parmesan chicken tenders, and zucchini to use up the rest of the mixture! On the side, greek yogurt, blueberries, and almonds for a hit of fat and some extra protein.

IMG_5549

A quick breakfast of a hard-boiled egg and cheesestick fueled my Tuesday morning workout, before I came home for a post-workout whole wheat protein waffle and berries.

image

Lunch was already assembled, so I apologize for the ugliness of the picture. Packed up includes more of those chicken tenders and zucchini, a medley of carrots, celery, and red pepper with hummus, and Greek yogurt with raspberries and walnuts.

IMG_5550.JPG

Inspired in part by the workouts of Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Katie Ledecky, because let’s face it, they’re amazing, I decided to go lighter weight with a heavy focus on bodyweight exercises, and higher reps. I’m not too fond of high reps, but I’m looking to slim down and those exercises lead to it! I’m also upping my cardio, particularly with intervals running and sprinting on the bike, as well as jump roping.

Monday’s focus was on the chest, triceps, and shoulders, with a heavy dosage of core- all day every day! I can’t tell you how great it felt to be back in action! After my strength training, I jump roped, 1minute on, 30 seconds rest x 5, and hopped on the treadmill for a 20 minute workout, 2 minutes walking, 3 minutes running at a higher clip than I usually would for a longer run.

Tuesday’s objective included the back, lots of legs, and more core! For my cardio dosage, I took to the spin bike and cycled happily away. Right now, I like to ride in position one (flat on the seat) for 2 minutes, position two (standing up straight) for 2 minutes, then position three (hovering over the steering wheel) for 2 more minutes x 3 or 4 depending on how much time I have left.

On vacation, I took the entire week off from standardized exercise. I contemplated going on a run or two, but it was honestly super humid outside and I wasn’t feeling it. I wouldn’t normally suggest taking a whole week off, but I go hard 5-6 days a week and my body needed it. It helps me in particular because I know I’ll get right back to it once that week is up. Much of that no-exercise allowance is mental as much as it is physical.

Glad to be back to it!

Happy Birthday To Me Indeed!

Yesterday was the greatest day of the year, my birthday, but now that it’s over, we can start to look forward to the holidays! Before we move on so abruptly, however, let’s recap my super exciting birthday weekend extravaganza!

I was up very early on Saturday morning to catch my bus to New York City- my favorite place in the entire world! The bus ride wasn’t terrible and I slept for half of it, so I was feeling pretty swell once I arrived. In the city, I met my best friend from college, Stephanie, and we both agreed we were starving.

First on the menu was this delectable burger and fries. We were so hungry once we sat down to eat and I enjoyed this sucker. No roll was needed- I find if it’s nothing impressive, I’m not missing much. But boy, did this hit the spot!

IMG_4247

For most of the day, we walked around the city, just taking in the sights. Both of us share a favorite place in the city, which is the High Line- an elevated outdoor walkway near the river that has amazing views. It was super crowded on Saturday, but we weren’t in a rush.

IMG_4253

This city feeds my soul. Maybe it’s because I’m only a visitor or maybe it’s something more I don’t understand. It just makes me happy and inspired and it was exactly what I needed.

IMG_4254

Our travels took us through Chelsea Market where we stopped for a small treat at Doughnuttery, which has the best little doughnuts I’ve ever tasted. Wow! After, we made our way to Union Square where we walked through a Farmer’s Market and made our way to Barnes and Noble to do some browsing and rest our feet from all that walking!

For dinner, we met up with my friend, Bobby, who lives in the city for a Mexican-inspired dinner. We split an order of nachos to start and then Stephanie and I were still feeling the ramifications of lunch, so we split a chicken quesadilla for our meal, which was just enough. Since it was my birthday weekend, we also split dessert- churros and ice cream with chocolate sauce! It was dark in the restaurant and I felt weird taking a picture with flash, so I apologize for the lack of visuals.

Both Stephanie and I were tired from our early morning wake-up calls and walking around all day, so we headed across the river to stay at her friend’s place for the night, which was so helpful!

The next day, the sun came out and it was the perfect fall day! We had considered seeing a matinee, but with the weather so nice and fresh, neither of us wanted to be inside. Instead, we stopped at a bakery for a doughnut breakfast- I have never had so many doughnuts as I had this weekend and the one before at my friend’s wedding- whew. It was really good quality though, so I won’t complain!

Into the city we went where Stephanie rocked her new Chewie hat.

IMG_4262

We started walking from Wall Street and continued down Broadway until we found ourselves near Washington Square Park. That place is magnificent if only because of their quality public restrooms. Thank you! Since it was so nice out and the park bustling with excellent people watching opportunities, we decided on a picnic lunch. Where might we go? Only the place that makes the greatest invention known to man kind….Peanut Butter and Co! My love of their peanut butters, in particular their chocolate varieties are well known, so I’ve always wanted to stop by the shop for lunch. That we did! I selected the Dark Chocolate Dreams sandwich that included dark chocolate peanut butter, shredded coconut, and cherry preserves. Oh my.

IMG_4265

The sandwich was delicious, filling, and huge! I wanted to eat it all since it was such a novelty, but I had a hard time, especially because I paired it with a peanut butter milkshake. Don’t judge me, it was my birthday weekend! While we ate, we noticed how some people in the park didn’t mind having all of these pigeons hanging out on top of them. I was a little skeezed, but people will do as they do. I was too busy trying to take the perfect selfie to really judge.

IMG_4264

That was until a squirrel climbed onto my lap. No, I’m not joking or exaggerating. I felt something tickle my leg as I was pointing out something to Stephanie, looked down and saw the squirrel, screamed and ran away. Looking back, I’m thankful because it makes for a funny blog story. But still, ew! And as I ran away, I looked back and noticed the stinker staring me down.

After that little adventure, we were women on a mission. Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, we knew the sun was going to set around 4:40 PM that day and we wanted to see Central Park, so we got our walking shoes on and stepped up our stride and made it all the way to the park with time to spare. If you’re not familiar with the city, let me tell you, that is a hike. Wall Street, our starting location, is close to Brooklyn and well before the numbered streets begin, as well as Washington Square Park. Central Park is on 59th Street. It was a hike!

IMG_4266

Well worth the trip however!

IMG_4275

Once darkness set in, we decided it was time for a drink. We found a place that offered wine and cheese and we were sold. With our glasses of chianti, we split a mozzarella and prosciutto roll over arugula and tomatoes. Divine!

IMG_4276

Then it was time for more walking! We stopped at Bryant Park to browse the shops, where I picked out a birthday present for myself- this hat! I was very excited for my purchase!

IMG_4280

Instead of a full dinner, we agreed to stop at two separate places for drinks and an appetizer. Place two took us to a Chinese restaurant where we split crab rangoon and sesame chicken. Stephanie ordered the Mai Thai, but I stuck with wine.

IMG_4284

IMG_4285

By the time we finished our meal and checked to see how far away we were from my friend’s apartment, we decided we were tuckered out from walking and settled on an Uber. I wore my Garmin during the trip and calculated that in two days, we wracked up over 50,000 steps, which totals to about 30 miles (if I’m doing math right). I think it was quite acceptable that we were tired!

The next morning- my birthday!- we had to be up early for me to catch my bus because I had to work that night. It wouldn’t be my birthday if I didn’t stop for breakfast, so we found a diner near my bus stop. The eggs were normal and the waffle okay- honestly, I prefer making my own or Eggos even!

IMG_4286

Then it was time to say goodbye to my city.

IMG_4288

All the birthday love made it okay though! Thanks again to Stephanie for making the trip with me! And to my sister for picking me up back home! We decided to be good and made it to the gym for a workout where I led us through a series of circuits that included strength training, plyometrics, and core work!

My stomach was raging after that weekend of eating, so instead of going out, I was craving something healthy, delicious, and homemade. We threw together these salads with black bean veggie burgers for protein.

IMG_4289

After work, dinner was a veggie and chicken stir fry I topped with sesame ginger dressing.

IMG_4290

I also indulged in a birthday treat of my mom’s apple crisp!

It was a wonderful birthday filled with love and I felt warm and fuzzy! To end the day, Stephanie had tweeted a surprise, which led to this exchange.

IMG_4291

That was Freddie Prinze Jr. using a birthday cake emoji to wish me a happy birthday. Yup. I’m still blushing.

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!

IMG_3900

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.

IMG_3901

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.

IMG_3902

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.

IMG_3904

Weekend Catch Up!

Time for a peek back at the weekend!

Friday morning, started off with a strength workout before work. I ran through a dumbbell circuit before finishing up with a plyometric workout. My breakfast of choice was this egg, cheese, and chicken sausage sandwich with blueberries and pineapple on the side.

IMG_3755

After work, I met my friend Bobby in the city for a concert. On my walk over to the restaurant where we had dinner, I had to stop and capture this moment.

IMG_3757

It was absolutely mesmerizing, this moment where city meets nature.

Dinner before the show was a little unimpressive considering how delicious the dish sounded. I opted for mani mani in a tomato based sauce with peppers, but the fish didn’t have a ton of flavor. I could definitely recreate this at home with the right spice mixture! Sure did look good, though.

IMG_3758

Bobby and I have been fans of Idina Menzel for a long time now. It was great to be able to see her in concert!

IMG_3769

The highlight of the show, and there were a ton of amazing moments, had to be when she called up all the kids to help her sing Let it Go. I seriously almost started to cry. I think I’m going to have to go with this moment, magnified by watching someone so talented do something incredible with that talent, as my Friday moment of strength.

IMG_3773

I was up Saturday morning to work early. I had poached eggs over toast and a banana for my breakfast but didn’t get a picture. For lunch, I munched on a large salad and a turkey and cheddar wrap.

After work, I headed out as the sun began to go down for a magnificent run around a local lake. I don’t know why I don’t do this route more often. Sticking around my neighborhood is more convenient, but this area is still hilly so the terrain prevents a nice challenge, yet it’s not so extreme that I can elongate my run. The lake is five miles around on the nose and I felt strong throughout. It’s strange because running hasn’t left me feeling great after for the past few months, but recently things have improved and I’ve loved it again!

Extra points for running this route…this view after. Not one ounce of alteration.

IMG_3781

This would absolutely constitute as my Saturday moment of strength, sitting on a log and looking out into the water as my body rested.

I had a waffle with a smear of peanut butter right when I got home, then feasted on a salmon salad for my dinner. Later, we went over my neighbor’s house for some s’mores and conversation before an early to bed call for me.

Sunday was busy! I had to open at work so it was a bit of a shock to be called out of bed by my alarm. I had enough time to make eggs and some waffles for my breakfast, which helped me wake up and be okay in the alert world. Right after work, I drove to my friend Erin’s bridal shower, for whom I am honored to be one of her bridesmaids.

Erin is my first friend from college to be getting married. It’s kind of strange for the four of us to be celebrating this momentous occasion, but wonderful too! We had a great day and I think Erin enjoyed herself.

IMG_3787

We didn’t have time for many pictures, but here is a nice one of me and my friend/college roommate Stephanie.

IMG_3796

The rest of Sunday was spent at my sister’s house having dinner and watching Father of the Bride. I cannot get over how young the entire cast looks in that movie, especially Steve Martin. With the grey hair, I used to think he was so old! Not to mention how young the marrying couple are makes me feel very old. Lauren and I ordered an Indian food spread that included vegetarian samosas, garlic naan, chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, and basmati rice. It had been awhile since I had Indian and I had a real hankering for it. The food was decent, but lacking in spices like my dinner on Friday! It was nice to spend some sisterly quality time together regardless. Sister bonding made up my moment of strength on Sunday- both in regards to my actual sister and my college friends!

I kicked off Monday with another morning workout. I love my morning workouts, though it’s hard to justify waking up so early on days that I don’t have to, which is why they haven’t been happening on a consistent basis. I did a dumbbell strength workout including bicep curls, tricep extensions, alternating front raises, shoulder raises, weighted lunges, and high pulls. For my core workout, I ran through a circuit of kneeling kickbacks, tricep push ups, alternating ankle grabs, crunches, Russian twists, and side plank push ups. For cardio, I did some plyometric work that included box jumps, high knees, skater jumps, and jump roping. To finish my workout, I did a little Yoga with planks, shoulder stands, and a bridge.

My breakfast was delicious! I scrambled two eggs and two egg whites with some cheese, toasted a piece of whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread, and chopped up some strawberries and banana for sweetness.

IMG_3831

I packed a great lunch for work too! It consisted of a vegetable laden salad with chicken and a cup of plain Greek yogurt and oodles of red grapes. Red grapes are huge in my family right now.

IMG_3832

I snacked on a few celery and carrot sticks for an extra veggie kick later in the day.

For dinner, I enjoyed grilled salmon, roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, and buttered, cheesy pasta.

IMG_3833

My moment of strength came during my studying time as it really hits me how complicated and beautiful the body is. The particular moment of clarity was reading about muscle spindles and how they protect the body from overextending its muscles when stretching. There is a stretch reflex that kicks in as you simply lift your leg. I mean, this is simple stuff, but it never occurred to me as to how impressive it all is!

It was a happy Monday and a wonderful weekend. Any moments of strength, joy, food, or exercise you want to share?

It’s Been Awhile, But I’ve Still Got It

Well, it’s been awhile. I’ve been a little busy working on a few writing projects that I can’t talk about at the moment. Very exciting stuff though. Let’s see where we left off..

Last Saturday was my sister’s Bachelorette Party. We went to a dueling piano bar called Howl at the Moon and danced and sang and drank. It was fun to see my sister enjoying herself. Surprising us all, she is the one who dances the hardest, for the longest. The little librarian can bring it!

photo 2

This is our group all together. I think we all enjoyed celebrating Lauren. Not too long until the wedding now!

photo 1

The next day was Mother’s Day and super hot, but we celebrated by taking my mom up to her favorite lobster shack so she could chow down on her favorite food…lobster. It was crowded and hot in there, but it was nice to celebrate with my favorite people.

Nothing major to note from the week except I was struggling with feeling tired. I think it’s due in large part to my allergies. A strange thing occurred on Friday when I twinged my back. I’m not sure what move did it exactly, but I was moving through my dumbbell strength routine and all of a sudden my back felt strained. It didn’t actually hurt badly until I was at work, so I spent a lot of the day standing (which is a good thing). It hurt even more on Saturday morning after laying on it all night. I must have been tired because I fell asleep at 10:00 PM and didn’t wake up until 10:00 AM the next day. With some motrin in me, I made my favorite peanut butter pancakes.

For lunch, my brother and I went out for pizza with my Grandma. The pizza was delicious, but more importantly, it was really nice to spend time with my Grandma. She also asked why I haven’t been blogging, so no more excuses.

I was thinking of taking the day off for exercise, but I decided to head out for a walk and ended up running. The odd thing is, my back felt a lot better from having run. It must have stretched out my back, which is weird to me because it hurt to stretch or do Yoga. I won’t question it.

After, I babysat and got a lot of writing done, which made my soul happy.

On Sunday, I slept in again and it was glorious. I grilled up some French toast for myself and used THE LAST OF MY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTERS. I’m not saying this is an emergency, but I need to stock up ASAP. After breakfast, I curled up with The Girl on the Train that I got from the library. Somehow, I’m not sure how, I ended up finishing the entire thing by the end of the day. I did dedicate a ton of the day to reading, but I also happened to get a few other things done. It was SO good. I will recap this, and Lena Dunham’s book, which I also read last week coming up. Other Sunday fun day things included a rest day, grocery shopping, laundry, meal prepping, and lounging out in the sun.

Monday brought me back to reality with an early morning workout. I went through a lighter strength workout because even though I’m feeling better, I don’t want to test it so soon. I headed home after to run two miles outside, mostly up hill. It was killer, in a great way.

Breakfast was a delectable breakfast sandwich with an egg, slice of pepper jack, and bacon on an English muffin. I had a bowl of raspberries and strawberries on the side.

photo 1

Lunch was a spectacular salad stocked with an array of bright veggies and chicken. The breakfast sandwich held me over for a long time, but I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch when it came time for it. I had a yogurt with blueberries a few hours later.

photo 2

Now that we are so close to the wedding and summer, it’s time to focus on my healthy eating. These meals are helping. After a brisk two mile walk, I sat down with a piece of grilled swordfish, brown spinach rice, and broccoli. Hot sauce brings out the spice and the taste that much more.

photo 3

What have you been up to?

A Few Good MOHMents of the Weekend

Get it? Cus I’m the Maid Of Honor!?

One of the best parts about a wedding in the family are the parties leading up to the main event. The fun factor all depends on the people involved. Obviously, I think very highly of my sister Lauren and her fiancé Nick as I will be standing next to them as the Maid of Honor. This weekend, my mom and I planned an adventure away to celebrate with Lauren, our cousins, and aunts. Thanks to them, it was a weekend full of fun, laughs, food, and relaxation.

Lauren and I hit the road on Friday after work. We were excited despite the fog billowing around us and by the time we arrived, we were ready for a pizza dinner- Yes, I’m an awesome MOH and ordered her a gluten free pizza before heading out. Unfortunately, the pool was closed by the time we arrived, but we enjoyed our dinner while sipping on some wine with my mom, cousin Maura, and aunts Bea, Stacy, and Dawn. After dinner, we started to play Reverse Charades- where the team acts out the words and one person guesses. By the end of the night, we were playing Cards Against Humanity and laughing so hard, I went to bed with sore abs.

11146182_10206729566020827_622157708049726501_n

We did not go to bed quietly as we are a rambunctious, loud, competitive, and funny as hell group and we couldn’t resist pulling a couple of pranks on each other.

11146277_10206729565140805_7382315628774891452_n

My mom actually got hit with a brief stomach bug, but she was a trooper and recuperated quickly in time for group manis/pedis. My feet definitely needed some special treatment. It was nice to relax and chat while getting pampered.

11146309_2349533497750_3016243295731431591_n

By the time we finished with our nails, it was time for a bite to eat. We stopped at Stonewall Kitchen to try out the cafe before browsing. I chose a piece of quiche with tomatoes, spinach, and bacon and a fruit cup. The fruit cup was generous and juicy and the quiche was so-so with a couple of dry spots throughout. I think it would have been quite delicious had it just come out of the oven and not been one of the last pieces in the dish. At the store, I purchased a new jelly that I am SO excited to use and share with you all. I also selected a pancake mix that has fairly good ingredients, so I’m hoping it tastes great too!

After lunch and some shopping, we headed over to the outlets for a little shopping. We were all full and a bit tired, so we ended up only going to a few stores, but I bought a cute pair of shoes and a couple of skirts. This spring and summer, I think I will be wearing a lot of dresses and skirts. I’m so sick of the cold and pants are part of that!

Back at the hotel, my mom, Auntie Stacy, and I headed down to the pool. It was nice to be in the pool not just for swimming laps. We headed over to the hot tub for a bit after, but I do not have a high tolerance for hot water to that degree and I found myself jumping back into the pool every so often to cool off.

By the time we headed back to the rooms and readied for the evening, it was time for dinner. My cousins Meghan and Carolyn and Aunt Kristen had arrived by that time and we all headed out for a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant. Since it was a fancy occasion, I decided on some sort of pineapple rum cocktail that was tasty, mostly because it tasted just like juice. I stuck with one for that. We all shared a bunch of salads before our meal, Lauren and I going with caesar, and they split them in the kitchen for us- good service move! For my entree, I went with the Pasta Melange, which is a seafood dish stocked with lobster meat, giant shrimp, and perfectly cooked scallops. It’s a downright shame that scallops are so expensive because they are one of my favorite foods! Tomatoes, peppers, and angel hair were mixed in with the fish in a cheesy cream sauce that was utterly delectable. I ate all the seafood out of it and a good portion of the pasta, but I stopped myself when I felt comfortably full. To celebrate, we ordered a few desserts to be passed around, so it was nice to have a selection of bites to try without gorging.

Back at the hotel, we engaged in more games. My Aunt Dawn had brought Hollywood Game Night, which is really fun except for one category. In it, you have to sing “do-do” instead of lyrics for people to guess songs. It sounds so easy and you feel like you should be able to perform easily, but the words playing in your head and the do-dos do not translate out loud as you may think. Suffice to say, I wasn’t great and earned us 0 points on my round. For the record, they should have gotten my do-doed version of “Singing In the Rain.” It was outstanding.

At bed time, there were a few more antics involving a severed peep, which I found again on my pillow the next morning. We were all tired from the day though, so people settled down much faster.

11140103_10206729565340810_8497505594057052428_n

In the morning, we got ready and checked out of the hotel so that we could go to a diner for breakfast. I had a blueberry pancake, two eggs over easy, bacon, and sausage. It was so good, but a big meal and kept me full way past lunch. To burn off those extra calories, Lauren, my mom, Stacy, and Dawn headed over to the beach area to enjoy the sunshine.

photo 4

Sunday was fabulous in regards to sunshine and warmth. There was no wind and the sun felt fantastic, so we walked the length of the beach, even stopping to test the water, which wasn’t bad. We couldn’t resist checking out a few stores and making some purchases before getting back into the cars.

photo 2

At that point, my sister and I went our own way home, since she wanted to make a final stop at the outlets. We both found a few good bargains that we were excited about. Just before that, we realized we had a hankering for ice cream and stopped at a small store on the side of the road. Turns out, they had PEANUT BUTTER OREO ice cream and it was delicious! We enjoyed our scoops outside on the benches, soaking up even more sunshine. HELLO SPRING, please don’t leave.

The ride home wasn’t bad at all. After I dropped her off at home and reunited her with her groom, I threw a lunch together for myself for Monday (bleh) and headed out for a walk/run combination. Sundays are usually my day off, but I didn’t do much by ways of exercise on Saturday and it was so nice out that I couldn’t resist. I finished four miles before my friend Molly texted me and met me up for a few more miles walking.

Home, I threw another load of laundry into the wash, had a quick dinner, and readied for the week ahead as much as I could.

It was an amazing weekend and I’m so glad we all got together to celebrate Lauren. Thanks to everyone for coming and making it so fun!

photo 3

Also of note before I finish off: HILLARY ’16! *More to come tomorrow.