May The Fourth Be With You!

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It’s Star Wars Day and we will go back to pretending that Han and Leia lived happily ever after (because after 30 years why mess with that?!)

This has pretty much been my breakfast of the week because it’s so good! The waffles are a game changer!

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This has also been the salad of the week. Grilled chicken, chopped mozzarella, tomato, carrots, peppers, cucumber, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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A dinner from the week: chicken sausage and meatballs, whole wheat penne, zucchini noodles, and spinach.

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I had a killer back/bicep workout on Monday, ending with some core work and a quick run focused on speed. Yesterday was a scheduled rest day, but I’ll be back at it today to work the chest and triceps. Hopefully I can get outside for another run, even if the sun won’t come out.

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Oh, Is The Force Awakening?

I love Star Wars from the moons of Endor to the sands of Tatooine, but even I’m thinking the marketing is a bit much. Commercials, for the multiple trailers that aren’t revealing much (a good thing!) to random things that have nothing to do with the War on the Stars, to all the toys and clothes and accessories and knickknacks and pattywacks. It’s a little crazy. I just hope that the film actually lives up to the hype.

Yes, it’s extra special because we get to see the original three stars again (and for the record, if Han and Leia aren’t happily married, I will be furious and unforgiving because you don’t just ruin 30+ years of memories just to make the storyline more convenient), and it’s super cool that we are getting to see these films represent more diversity. We are now 17 days away [because even though the movie debuts on the 18th, theaters start showing it on the 17th (I’ve already got my ticket for an 11:50 PM show on the 7th)]. And yeah, I just double-bracketed you.

But maybe we should chill on the marketing and the outrageousness until we can judge the movie ourselves? I still am not over the disappointment that was the prequels.

On that ultra nerdy, revealing note, let’s move onto the norm around here.

As promised, I tried my chickpea curry recipe for lunch yesterday. It was amazing! I can safely say that because one, it’s my stomach and two, it wasn’t fully my recipe. This was so so tasty and healthy and filling and makes me so happy.

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I’m sorry that the naan is really all you can see because the curry came out so dark. #noregrets.

This warm and toasty meal came after a cold, but strong 4-mile run. I felt especially good during the first two miles, wore down around the third mile, but then kept pulling through and up (hills!) on the fourth. A little stretching and a warm shower helped me recover.

After some study time, it was work time. This included a hunk of a salad I had to order out because of the lack of groceries after a busy weekend. It included lettuce (duh), peppers, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, feta, and grilled chicken topped with greek dressing. I jazzed it up by adding even more veggies because they never have enough. It was pretty awesome though.

For breakfast this morning, I scrambled up more eggs and enjoyed them with waffles and the sweetest bowl of berries I’ve had since summer. I was all set to rant about how it’s been three or four weeks since I’ve had a strawberry (thanks, grocery store), but then I found them in the fridge (thanks, mom!).

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On that note, I leave you with an apology for the amount of parentheses I’ve used in this one blog post. (I just get really excited).

 

 

I’m Onto You, Suzanne Summers

I had a dream two nights ago that Suzanne Summers was stalking me, so you better believe I’ve been checking over my shoulder whenever I leave the house. We were cool Ms. Summers, don’t pull a Liza on me.* In the dream, we were participating in a Hunger Games-esque event, except it had nothing to do with death. If I remember correctly, then if Suzanne “tagged” me, then I had to go live outside in nature. This all seemed very plausible in my dream, but now makes no sense at all.

*If you forgot that Liza Minelli stalks me, then lucky you. It’s a thing. I’m sure I’ve written posts about it before. She’s remained stagnant as of late. Let’s not jinx that.

Anyways….is anyone else slightly alarmed that it’s already October 21? I’m sorry, but I thought it was still July of 2012. Time is flying! I better step up my studying because my test date is approaching.

Here are some eats from the past few days we’ve been away from each other.

Scenes from my dad’s birthday dinner Act I. Act II actually doesn’t have a picture, but my family went out and it was fun, happy, and delicious.

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A very interesting looking meal with waffles, scrambled eggs with a chicken sausage, and a big bowl of berries. My breakfasts are often big meals because they fuel me for my workouts and because it’s the best meal of the day.

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This stir fry was impressive. Steak, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and spinach over rice with ginger sesame dressing drizzled on top.

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Peanut butter toast can do no wrong.

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Grilled tilapia, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, and rotini. Yum!

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This morning’s plate of cakes. I can’t get enough of these!

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Workouts the past few days included grueling strength training sessions, lap swims, spin classes, long runs (slightly painful thanks to new shoes which I’ll debut tomorrow!), and core workouts that left me with sore abs whenever I sneeze (I sneeze a lot, ouch!).

In other news, I hung out with my family a lot this weekend which is always good for laughs and fun, enjoyed the nice weather with a few walks outside, cleaned and prepared for fall/winter (still more to do, ugh!), worked (it’s a blessing to love what I do), and lost a few years of my life trying to buy Star Wars tickets. For whatever reason, they are starting to premiere the new film BEFORE midnight, so my friend Stephanie and I have our tickets for 11:50. We like to stick to the idea of premiering a  movie at midnight, but in this situation, beggars really can’t be choosers. It is very exciting though and we are now two months away!

I can’t get over this picture:

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I also bought another decal for my computer. I like the subtlety of my Harry Potter one that fits right over the apple on the Mac, and I thought I was continuing this trend when I bought this new one. Not so much. It’s huge! I had to cut it.

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I think my nerd is showing just a bit.

Also, my coffee mug looks super creepy in that picture and it was unintentional!

Happy Wednesday!

Sometimes, You Smell and Have To Buy New Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Also as a hot dog.

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

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Much silliness ensued, but it was all fun!

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

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

Happy Wednesday to you!

Laughing in the Morning

Are you sick of me yet? I hope not because there is more blogging to come! Please keep reading and sharing if you like it!

The first thing I did this morning was laugh. I don’t stay up late enough to watch late night talk shows, but I do like to catch the best parts the next day. Had I known who was going to be on Jimmy Fallon last night, I may have made an exception. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, or as I call them, Tamy, are the best. I can’t wait for their movie to come out in December, though on the same day as Star Wars, which I feel like is just asking for failure. I will definitely see it after I watch Star Wars about 8 times (unless they did something bad to Han and Leia, in which case, forget about it!) Anyways, if you want a good laugh, check out the video below. You’re welcome.

Tina Fey, Amy Poehler Play 'True Confessions' on <em>Tonight Show</em> — Watch

Fittingly- if you are a Parks and Rec fan- on this humid day, I woke up with a hankering for a waffle. For a quick breakfast, I will turn to Van’s whole grain waffles, which are tasty, but today I was in no rush and wanted to get some use out of my waffle maker. It’s been awhile. I have trouble making a waffle for one because I’m still learning the measurements that best fit the waffle maker and today was no exception. I used the toasted coconut batter I got from Stonewall Kitchen and it was a little too much as evidenced by it dribbling out on the sides. The end result was a little messy, but delicious. I served it up with a dollop of peanut butter (okay, more than a dollop), jelly, and a medley of fruit.

  
Now that I’ve done a bit of blogging, it’s time to get studying! 

May the Fourth Be With You

Time to do a little recap of the weekend. Friday night, my friend Stephanie came to town for a little roomie reunion. First stop was pizza and salad for dinner. The pizza was hot and I was hungry, so I ended up burning the roof of my mouth that is still tender. Not fun, but still tasty.

After dinner was time to go see the new Avengers movie. I like action films and I love Chris Evans, but this one was not as good as the original and nowhere near as good as the recent Captain America Winter Soldier. I think there were so many characters and too long action sequences that quality dialogue and character development got lost. I think I would have feared for the end of the world a little more if there was more sentimentality involved. Still a quality movie, but not as good as their usual.

Saturday was Red Sox day! Stephanie and I headed into Boston during the late morning and had lunch at our favorite old haunt, UBurger. It’s seriously the best burger in town. The fries and onion rings aren’t so bad either.

  
After lunch, we headed into the game. We had pretty good seats and the sun was shining, but the game was a little blah. When I, at the game, I like to see a ton of runs scored to keep the momentum going. I hate when pitchers move so slowly because it prevents a natural rhythm flowing on either side. I would like to remind you of when I posted right before the season starting that Blake Swihart would be our starting catcher come May. I went to the game on May 2nd and saw his debut. I’m a little psychic, but hella baseball savvy. Just don’t let me buy his jersey.

 The afternoon was still pleasant, even after a disappointing loss, so we took advantage of walking around the city. There were definitely a lot of people out, but I think everyone was just in a good mood because of the long winter we had. We walked up Newbury Street, around the Common, and back down Boylston where we stopped at another old college favorite for dinner.

  
This place has the best Chinese food. Often times when I eat Chinese, it’s too oily and doesn’t sit right in my stomach. This was not the case. We split an order of crab Rangoon, spring rolls, and sesame chicken with brown rice. Perfect size for sharing! To walk off dinner, we took the train stop farthest away from where we were. Throughout the day, I racked up 16,500 steps!

  
That night, we had a bit of a movie marathon. I can’t remember the name but the first movie we watched starred Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, two of my favorites, but it was a little strange. Amy was flawless as usual and it was meant to make a mockery of romantic comedies, but it was a tad too silly for my tastes. Next, we watched a strange little thriller called The Babadook that was just weird and not as scary as our typical standards.

Sunday morning brought my peanut butter pancakes. It was seriously so nice out and I couldn’t wait to get outside! After Stephanie headed home in the early afternoon, I laced up my sneakers and took off for a run. I did 3.1 miles but was feeling tightness in my calves. I topped it off with a 3 mile walk and a few sprints once my legs loosened up. After getting some chores done, I headed out for a 2 mile walk with my mom. Overall, I set a new record for steps- 20,000. Every single one was worth it out there in the he sun and warmth. It was such a perfect day.

   
I finished off my day with a quality writing session. I’ve been staying up about an hour later than usual to write and so far it hasn’t effected my morning workouts or made me too tired. If anything, I, feeling even better knowing I’m making time for my passion. It fills the soul in other ways.

I got up this morning and took myself to the gym for a strength workout. It was an intense one with a to of heavy weights using the barbell. Performing each move in reps of 10x10x8x8x6x6x4x4, I kept raising the weight. My routine included dead lifts, bicep curls, rows, high pulls, shoulder presses, squat presses, leg presses, bench presses, shoulder raises, and tricep extensions. It took so long, I didn’t have time for cardio, but that’s quite alright because I went for a nice walk with my mom in the afternoon.

Breakfast was a quick egg sandwich made on an English muffin with pepperjack cheese, ham, and an egg. It actually kept me full until lunch, later in the day than usual. I enjoyed a stir fry made with chicken, black beans, veggies, and cilantro lime brown rice I made based off of Chipotle. All I did was toss cilantro, lime juice, and olive lil into the rice pan. It was quite good and something a little different! I had an orange for dessert.

  
For an afternoon snack, I enjoyed some Trader Joe’s peanut butter cup trail mix that has little peanut butter cups, dried cherries, almonds, and cashews. It’s my favorite- the right combination of nutritious and indulgent!

On the even more beautiful Monday- 80 degrees!- dinner was a fresh piece of swordfish grilled with some peppers and zucchini. I had a little brown spinach rice to go with it, along with some of these crunchy green bean fries and leftover cauliflower.

And finally, May the Fourth Be With You! Happy Star Wars day!

  

  Just ignore the fact that this posted a day after…

An Appointment with the Hair Doctor, Ham Solo, and Birthday Wishes

You know those great moments in the middle of the night when you wake up and have to pee? You glance at your clock and you still have a few more hours rest, so you snuggle under the covers and full back to sleep blissful and cozy.

Yeah, that happened to me this morning and it was 4:58. Technically I still had 17 minutes of rest, but that flew by and I was a miserable lump. And I couldn’t hold it in until then so knock off another three minutes. Whiny, I know.

Once at the gym, I built up more motivation. First up was a body strength workout using some stretch bands and a medicine ball. I did squats, lunges, kneeling kickbacks, push-ups, hip lifts, Russian twists- or as I prefer to call them, rushin’ twists because they hurt so good- mermaid raises, v ups, and sit ups. I finished with some planks, a couple that were elevated. By the time I hopped into the pool, my abs were burning. Today was sprint day in the pool. By the time I was done and out of the pool, I was still catching my breath. The key to sprints in the pool is continuous and fast kicking followed by long, quick strokes to get into a groove. Wooo-eeeeeee.

Breakfast was a stovetop oatmeal that came together quite quickly. I did my usual stovetop oats with some white chocolate peanut butter and raspberry peach jam mixed in. Strawberries and blueberries joined the concoction. 

 

Stir frys are so simple, healthy, and delicious. I’m liking the buckwheat noodles for something a little different and heartier. I paired them with a combination of chicken and chickpeas, veggies, sesame oil, and Thai peanut sauce. A bag of popcorn came on the side.

 

  

After work, I had a hair appointment scheduled, but I accidentally said I had to go to the hair doctor, which is just funny. The dead ends needed to be chopped badly and after it finished, I felt so refreshed!

 

 I was on my own for dinner and had a hankering for pizza. Some slices and a great big salad popped into my mind and wouldn’t waver! I ordered a small so I could take the same for lunch. Delightful!

  

I feel obsessed with weather lately, but HELLO!? It’s been crazy nice out lately and we have had such a long, cold, butter, snowy winter. A little sun and warmth- and appreciation for it- won’t hurt you!

Also, I need to mention the new Star Wars trailer because HAN SOLO! (Autocorrect tried to make it say Ham Solo, which is just funny). I can’t wait to see Leia in it too, specifically with Han. Don’t even get me started if they aren’t happily married. Stay on my good side, Abrams.

Finally, a very Happy HAPPY birthday to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Molly! Have a great day, brotha! (Yes, that was a Lost reference).