Perfect Summer Weekend

Hi! I hope the weekend was glorious! We had great weather all the way through, even though rain was threatening on Saturday.

After work on Friday, I fit in a sweaty total body workout with a little dose of cardio at the end. When I got home, my sister and her family came over to hang outside and I got some quality auntie time.

IMG_4795

I was woken early and abruptly on Saturday by a cat who was ready to seize the day, but once I set him loose, I fell back asleep until almost 10am. I guess I needed my rest!

When I was up for good, I started the day with two poached eggs on a whole wheat toast and a big bowl of watermelon.

IMG_4846

As I digested and hydrated, I watched an episode of Safe on Netflix. I started it on Thursday and was dismayed that I only had time to watch one episode. I was hooked from the start!

I tore myself away from the screen long enough to crush a 3.1 mile run. It was super hot, but my usual trail is shadowy and there was a nice breeze to guide me through. My legs felt strong!

IMG_4849

Upon my arrival home, I jumped in the pool to cool down- much needed- and dived into this Greek salad with chicken. Perfect fuel to re-energize. It looks a little bland because of the blanket of dressing, but I promise there was a load of veggies underneath, including baby spinach, bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, and tomato!

IMG_4851

My mom and I went grocery shopping in the afternoon to prepare for the week- lots of healthy choices! On Weight Watchers, it’s good to mix things up so we don’t get sick of certain foods and turn to less than great options.

I settled down to finish Safe- there were only eight episodes- and was sad, but satisfied when it ended. I sort of predicted the ending by the penultimate episode, but I wasn’t disappointed.

For dinner, I grilled up some shrimp in blackening seasoning, lime juice, teriyaki sauce, and sriracha and they were so good! I threw them atop two corn tortillas with bell peppers, broccoli slaw, and a dollop of sour cream mixed with the same ingredients as the shrimp. Note to remind myself to do this more often, maybe with Greek yogurt! Such a little detail added so much flavor to my meal! I also had a few chips to round out my meal.

IMG_4852

I assume this meal would pair well with cold beer or a tequila beverage of some sort, but I was saving my extra calories for some Saturday night ice cream! What can I say, your girl’s got a sweet tooth.

The rest of the night, I watched the Red Sox and played hard with my main dude. He’s been very busy lately and is constantly on the prowl. Of course, I mean the Sim-dude.

image

On Sunday, I was up early to hit the beach! We got breakfast to start off the day. Two eggs over easy with whole wheat toast and a big bowl of fruit. My mom shared a slice of bacon with me too.

IMG_4854

My favorite part about the beach is going in the water. It was chilly, but the waves enticing, and we stayed in for quite awhile twice.

IMG_4855

I think that’s actually a person’s Shoulder and not my thumb. And no visit to the beach is complete without some ice cream. It’s all part of healthy living!

IMG_4857

Let the Rain Come

Hello Monday and hello to you!

Once again, I can’t believe how fast the weekend flew by. I had a ton of fun in the sun and spent the majority of the weekend relaxing. It might be a rainy week ahead, but at least we’ll all be at work anyway.

My friend/client snapped this shot of me training her on Friday afternoon. We were laughing, but really I was trying to get her to stop talking long enough to actually exercise!

IMG_4791 2.JPG

Lunch was a BLT salad.

06853EFB-C5B2-4E75-B8F4-179E407B659C.JPG

That afternoon, this guy had his annual check-up. He’s doing great! I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I adopted him. He’s the joy of my life.

F3AF46F6-86C7-4388-94A9-0498BA4FDDEE.JPG

Later, I got to cuddle with the cutest baby I know, little Lily.

F7D020CC-A3FB-453B-A5F0-E6AE340250EA.JPG

On Saturday, I woke up and had a breakfast of an egg on toast with a sprinkling of cheese.

DB2BD8D6-CA62-4420-9465-D616251B91A2.JPG

It fueled me through a 2.25 mile run, including a massive hill at the end. Woo.

4DD7D79C-DAFD-41D9-99D4-70E5A8B45E09.JPG

My reward was an afternoon on the beach with my BFF!

It was a blast soaking up the sun and diving into waves. We headed into the city after for a drink and to walk around. It was such a lovely night outside and it was great walking around our old college neighborhood.

E53864B0-1600-4720-B5F4-F48E8DDDDF15.JPG

Sunday morning included what I’m branding the BELT- bacon, egg, lettuce, and tomato. Delicious! We attended mass in the morning in honor of the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing.

BD34A6D7-342A-49E6-845A-E6E1232AD043.JPG

It was a nice moment to celebrate with family and we all went out to eat after.

That night, I went on a long walk with my parents, made these Skinnytaste bagels, and got some Sunday night things done.

922EC621-FE2D-4FA4-9CC6-C4A3767554E2.JPG

Anything great happen this weekend?

to the ocean, the mountains, and back again

Another Monday, another wistful look back at the weekend. It was a good one, yet again, a perfect combination of restful and active.

The week was a long one and I was looking forward to the oblivion of a relaxing Friday night at home, but instead, I buckled up and went to a networking event with some co-worker friends. To get some energy beforehand, I headed out for a short run, which allowed me to soak up some sun and positivity. It was a fun night and I enjoyed chatting it up with friends. I very much loved falling into bed and sleeping to my heart’s content as Saturday began.

I didn’t have anything planned for the weekend, so I texted my cousin Meghan to see what was up, and she suggested Long Beach. This was on my to-do list for sure, so I was eager to go, after pancakes and a workout!

3E310A25-AFC5-460D-BDF9-B55AD7462197.JPG

We made the trek and were ready for lunch once we arrived. The idea to sit outside was mutual all around, except we didn’t factor in the wind. Wind in LA spring is real. We lost menus and chips, chips! The food was good though and once our bellies were full, we were ready to explore the area.

You’d think beaches would be easy and plentiful to find in Long Beach, but you would be wrong. I don’t know what our problem was, but it took us forever to find one. Once we were there, it was nice, but windy.

IMG_0871 3.JPG

I’m itching for summer and the ability to dive into the waves and not be considered a crazy person. My love of the ocean often battles my hatred of freezing cold water, but once the summer sun comes out strong and the wind dies down, I’ll gladly numb myself to get in that ocean.

Gotta love walking on the beach!

Once we headed home, I trekked over to the grocery store and did a lot of nothing for the rest of the night.

Sunday was my most active day. It was beautiful out, still windy, but the sunshine was calling my name. My first stop was the local climbing spot.

614E518D-7009-4CB7-B8C4-A904F65890C1.JPG

Spring is in full bloom in lovely Southern California, and at one point, I stopped dead looking up at the flowers covering the mountain. It was one of those “wow” moments for sure, but my pictures couldn’t captivate the true beauty.

D69E153E-CD91-4E67-814C-870140298C94.JPG

Once on top, I looked to my left towards the ocean and the right towards the mountains and city.

D3ED57CC-7C7A-409B-811C-CD0BFA784D7F.JPG

Damn.

D008167B-5BFE-43B2-A02F-F6A6B24A9FCB.JPG

I had to make a quick stop at Target (it’s never really quick or cheap!) to pick up an air-pump for my bike, so I could pedal over to the beach. I’m not certain that it made much difference, and my back tire seemed a little draggy, and riding against the wind did not help my cause, but with the beach as my destination, I continued on with determination.

The ride was spectacular. The bike path to the beach is always pretty, but the river was sparkling and the flowers overwhelming and despite the pain of riding, I felt the joy.

BE7399F8-2A16-4F93-9C9E-21540929F957.JPG

At the beach, I pulled over to the rocks and sat myself down for some quality time with my journal, the sun, and the water. Find me below aiming for pensive and ending up squinty.

54467FF3-F0E7-4FDB-AFD1-78D32660A31A.JPG

I reveled in the warmth of it all for a long while, until I felt the pull of home. Even though the wind was lessened at this point, my legs were tired (and my back tire probably still low), so it was a challenging ride. Why is bike riding so difficult for me? I’m in good cardio shape. I run and spin at the gym, so something’s not adding up. I think it’s my bike…probably?

60D616D0-D019-4943-8377-DA4C70899A1D.JPG

Back at my apartment, it was cooking time. First, I showered and threw on my robe to be my ultra comfiest. I’ll have a post at some point this week with some meals from the past couple weeks, but I cooked my dinner, made a few breakfasts for the week, then even made tomorrow night’s dinner. Pretty nifty.

I’m trying to be efficient with breakfast because I’m going to try and get my lazy butt up in the morning to workout. I’ve been good about my evening workouts, but with the sun staying out later, I’m hoping to free up some time after work.

There’s nothing like time spent at the ocean and in the mountains to fill up the soul. Happy Monday!

Beware the Pigeons

Happy Monday! A little recap of the weekend lies ahead.

On Friday, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than sit on my couch and veg. I watched some 30 Rock and just chilled, but was lulled to sleep fairly early.

I even ended up waking before my alarm on Saturday to eat a pancake breakfast and work it out at the gym.

In the afternoon, I went to the Science Center to try and be smarter see the Pixar Exhibit. My first impression was of these beautiful trees that made me feel as though I was transported to a magical world.

16670F7B-3FCF-4F2F-9D88-36319DB6EFE2.JPG

Expectations were high, but then I met up with my cousins and we got lunch. Tables were full, so we ate outside and I can’t tell you how many birds surrounded the seating area. Every so often, as one, they would fly away suddenly. Long story short, on one of these instances, a pigeon clipped my head with its wing.

I got hit in the head by a pigeon.

I don’t know how else to emphasize this. Such an instance has inspired me to blog again because although ridiculous, it is also hilarious. A few minutes later, I was then hit in the head by a balloon that a kid popped. On the way home, I was worried for my noggin, you know, rule of three, but thankfully, all circumstances seemed to end there.

Back to the reason I was at the museum in the first place, the Pixar Exhibit, it was cool, but overcrowded by kids with minimal supervision and limited understanding of any of the science behind it. I give the museum itself an, eh, but that, as my cousin Sebastian pointed out, is probably thanks in large part to the Boston Museum of Science being amazing. Nothing else can quite live up to it.

Because I’m a cool cat, the rest of my Saturday included grocery shopping, meal prepping for the week ahead, lots of Netflix (30 Rock and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), writing, and reading. I wanted to watch Saturday Night Live, well, live, but I was tired and ending up falling asleep early.

On Sunday, I slept in a bit, enjoyed breakfast, and tried to make a lentil soup that ended up looking more like lentil goop. I’m sure you’ll see evidence of this travesty at some point this week because although it looks disgusting, I’m not above eating it. For the record, it still tastes well enough.

I was quite active, starting with Yoga on the new mat I purchased for 7 dollars. This feels like a steal, so please don’t take that away from me. I ran through my own routine, which oiled me up for the best run I’ve had in awhile.

Speaking of running, while my family suffered another snow storm back home on the east coast, I took to the sunny streets of Los Angeles for a sweaty run. It was in the seventies something and amazing outside.

Maybe I wasn’t the nicest daughter/sister/cousin by sending out this shot, but I couldn’t resist. At least many of them get a snow day today!

3588442D-800F-44F3-A635-64FB52B1FA3E.JPG

After my run, I fueled up with a piece of peanut butter toast and yogurt with strawberries and lots of water before I decided it was far too nice out to be locked up inside and took my bike out for a spin.

With the beach on my mind, there was only one destination intended, but the ride was not smooth. For whatever reason (there’s a reason), this ride was hard and slow (-er than usual) and I realized, on my eighth mile back from the beach and because another rider called out to me, that my back tire was low. Whoops. Here I was thinking I was out of shape, when really, I’m in excellent shape to ride that long on a flat tire. That’s what I’m telling myself.

Once at the beach, I pulled over to do some writing while taking in this view.

6C650AA5-8388-4D07-9CE3-D75662FFAA5B.JPG

Had I not been by bike, I would’ve stayed to watch the sunset, but it’s February and the weather has been what it’s been, so I think I’ve got some sunsets in my future (knock on wood).

For the rest of the afternoon, I had some errands to run and things to do, but once I got home, I made myself dinner, threw in the laundry, and prepped for the week ahead, including a new workout plan. Call me a nerd, but there’s something satisfying about a new workout plan.

E00DE564-6F1D-4793-ACF0-7E6EBE7E0C32.JPG

As I write this on Sunday night, I’m hoping to wake up earlier than usual and exercise in the morning. It all depends on how I sleep tonight. It would be nice to just go home, eat, write, and sleep in the evenings, but thus far, I’ve been consistent with my post-work exercising. My body’s ideal workout time is late morning, early afternoon, which is prime for very few people’s schedules. Pick your poison I guess!

No matter how your Monday or week goes, at least you won’t get hit in the head by a pigeon. Probably.

Happy Monday!

I’m trying to be consistent, but then I get out of the habit of blogging! At least I did some fun stuff over the weekend.

Friday night, it was gym-time. I really wasn’t feeling like going after a long week at work, but I had taken Thursday off and knew I would feel better once I finished. I ended up killing a lower body workout, ending with a run and felt great! Lunch at work was fried chicken- heavy- so for dinner, I had half a sandwich and a cup of tomato soup. The perfect accompaniment? The new season of Fuller House. Yes, it’s outrageously cheesy, but they know it, they use it well, and it’s all sorts of adorable. Nostalgia is in!

On Saturday, I was happy to not set an alarm and zzz. For breakfast, I made myself a veggie scramble and a waffle. So good and quite the meal to fuel my hike. My friend and I decided to hike to the Hollywood Sign, which is no easy feat. We took the long way and about a quarter of a mile in, I needed to pee. So we turned around and I used the MOST DISGUSTING port-a-potty known to man. It’s a good thing I can squat. But, I was better for it, and crushed that hike. I mean…

IMG_6127.JPG

IMG_6130.JPG

I can’t get enough of the view, even on a cloudy day!

IMG_6135.JPG

IMG_6138.JPG

By the time we hiked down, it was time for food and you better believe I worked for those chips and salsa. After dinner, we saw Office Christmas Party, which was funny but also, when are we going to allow women to be powerful and in charge and not a total bitch? I expect more than anti-feminist jokes in a movie that features Jennifer Aniston and Kate McKinnon. C’mon!

I was sore and had wracked up 21,000+ steps on my Saturday, but I did myself a favor and trekked out to the grocery store to get it done! It might not be the most glamorous way to spend a Saturday night, but it made my Sunday that much better.

Speaking on Sunday, it was time for more Fuller House while I munched on my pancake breakfast, folded laundry, and cleaned. After breakfast, I tossed a bunch of stuff into the crockpot and headed out for a bike ride. I love the beach. I always thought New York City was the city of my soul, but the ocean gets me. Surf’s up! Okay, I can’t pull that off and I’d probably make a terrible surfer, but it’s still on my LA Bucket List.

IMG_6139.JPG

(Side Note: Does anyone else remember that show California Dreams? I loved that ish.)

I rode for about 35 minutes and found myself a bench in which to gaze out into the ocean and write. Can’t.Beat.That. I really wanted to walk down to the water, but leaving my bike is a sensitive topic since it was, ya know, stolen.

After I headed back and grabbed a quick pb&j, I walked over to the gym and killed a body weight/plyometric-heavy workout. I mean, jumping plie squats, no but yes. Or yes, but no? Who cares, I did it. And loved it.

Back to the store it was, this time to Target, and it was MADNESS. I don’t like people surrounding me while shopping on the best of days, but this was chaos. I got what I needed, stood in line for too long, and hit the road.

Sunday night was productive. First, a dinner of chicken, broccoli, spinach, and ziti with a side salad. Then, I prepared my meals for the week, this time chicken and two-bean chili that smelled (and tasted) divine. Yay for new, yummy recipes! Next up, I needed to touch up my hair because it’s the holidays and people be paying attention. I also, importantly, finally got some nail polish remover and wiped away the buck wild nail polish sporadically on my nails. Yuck.

A new workout plan was in the cards, particularly of the core, which is always exciting (genuinely). Blog post writing time, regular writing time, and reading before bed, and I was ready for a full night sleep and to start the week!

Get it!

 

I’ve Got That Boom Boom and That Sass

When you read my title of this post, please do so to the tempo of Britney Jean Spears’ “I’ve Got That Boom Boom.” It’s relevant to a piece of this post.

Who’s the dumb-dumb who got burned in all the wrong places? That would be me. I actually put on sunscreen this time too, but it was the spray kind and I slathered it on the beach, which means it went flying everywhere except for my body. Now I’m left with weird and painful stripes of red.

Note: Ibuprofin works like a beast. My favorite thing ever created.

With all my recapping and busy time, I haven’t had a chance to talk about exercise in awhile. Things were a little murky even before vacation because I came down with the sniffles, if you’ll recall. Once they cleared, I attempted a workout, but had to take it easy because I was still feeling weaker than usual.

Vacation happened and even though there was a lot of walking, I didn’t do anything exercisey except for that magnificent hike that left my thighs burning for days after. I’m sure it also had to do with my sitting on a plane for five and a half hours.

I got back into the flow of things on Friday with a strength and plyometric workout. On Saturday, I fit in some Yoga and a walk/run that felt a little sore, but good to move. I’ve been trying to do more Yoga, even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes and on my own.

Since I had to work in the morning on Sunday then head up to the Cape for a day after, I woke up super special early to fit in a morning workout that consisted of strength training. It felt good to be up and moving early again, though not enough to do it on a consistent basis when I don’t have to. So long as I fit in exercise at all!

On Monday, I was able to get myself up again because I wanted to try out a Yoga class they offer on the beach! I think I romanticized the idea too much in my head because even though being outside and by the water was spectacular, walking in the sand is hard enough. Trying to do all the poses definitely challenged me. I also would have liked to have done it a little earlier in the morning so that the sun wasn’t quite at full blast. Regardless, it was an amazing experience!

I’ve been wanting to mix things up a little bit with exercise, so on Tuesday after work, I decided to try a kickboxing class. It went by a different name on the schedule, so I didn’t even know it was kickboxing until I got there. I think watching Buffy inspired me to act a little kick-ass and I had a blast. My punching and kicking skills could use a ton of improvement, however, but at least I still have my sass to back me up.

The workout was great, but it didn’t put me through the ringer like I enjoy in my exercise, so after, I went upstairs to fit in a kettlebell strength workout. At the end, I did a quick core circuit that included dual moves like mountain climbing push-ups and sit up Russian twists. They were grueling, but awesome!

Tonight, I knew I wanted to fit in a run and some more Yoga, but with the humidity levels going crazy outside, I decided to take it into the treadmill. It’s not my favorite to do, but I got a good rhythm going with my new playlist and fit in a half hour run that left me nice and sweaty before I dropped into Yoga class. I always forget how much I like Yoga until I do it, but it’s one of those things that I will let slide in order to fit in more intense workouts in a shorter amount of time. I’m working on it!

Even though everything has been amazing, positive experiences, this summer has felt a little off when it comes to routine. I left my job and started a new one- which by the way, I am loving- then went on vacation before I felt settled. It’s always surreal to make changes and I am not complaining, but I haven’t felt as productive in other regards of my life, like studying and writing.

We’re back on track as they say and I am hoping to get going on a few new ideas I have regarding the blog. Keep checking in!

What got your heart pumping this week?

Part One: California Here We Come

Hello, friends! I’m back from my much appreciated vacation to Southern California and I am so excited to share my trip.

IMG_3623

I love my home and I love sleeping in my own bed again, but I adore California. I’m sad to be back and it runs deeper than the usual “ugh vacation is over” syndrome. We’ll get more into why I love California so much a little later, but right now, let’s start with a recap!

My friend, Molly, and I decided we wanted to go to LA a few months ago and the build up was thrilling. I knew we would be great travel companions because we both love food, walking, and celebrities. We’re also both low maintenance and can roll with the flow, which is important when vacationing. We woke up early last Friday morning to catch our 6:00 AM flight. For breakfast, we got egg sandwiches, coffees, and bananas from McDonalds- who by the way, uses real eggs in their sandwiches, making them the healthiest fast food choice for breakfast- before hopping onto the plane. Because it was so early, it was hard to believe that the trip was actually happening- in a good way!

IMG_3445

The flight was seamless, no turbulence, which is the way I like it. The six hours was a little long, especially because neither of us could sleep from being excited but also stiff in our seats. Once we landed, it didn’t take long to adjust to the wonder that is California weather. It’s hot out there, for sure, but there is not an ounce of humidity, which makes such a difference.

Palm trees and Molly’s uncle were waiting to welcome us to California. He was kind enough to pick us up from the airport and drop us off at the hotel who were not quite ready for us to check in.

IMG_3462

We were both so tired so it was a bit of a bummer to not be able to get into our hotel room yet, but the adrenaline of being on vacation kept us moving and we decided to explore the area a little before lunch. There weren’t many options around us, but we did find a Mexican buffet that was quite good, but neither of us were hungry or alert enough to take advantage of a buffet, which is not actually a bad thing.

IMG_3451

After lunch, we meandered back to our hotel with still an hour or so to go before we could check in. Luckily, the pool area was gorgeous and we could sit and relax while taking in the glorious sun. I have to admit, it was almost painful to not be able to dive into the water since my bathing suit was in my bag.

IMG_3455

Finally it was time to check into the hotel and we got settled. It’s so strange to be typing all of this because it feels like so long ago, but also so recent, that it’s disorienting! A shower was much needed after a long trip and sitting out in the sun, but we had to call the front desk because we couldn’t figure out the shower! This sounds embarrassing, but in order to get it to work, you had to pull it really hard. I was afraid if I did that without prompting, I would break it!

IMG_3450

After we recovered, we decided to be adventurous and took the train into Hollywood. Public transportation is sparse and a little shady in LA, but our hotel was right next to the station that took us to Hollywood, so we couldn’t go wrong.

IMG_3463

It was fun, but crowded, to walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and I am more than a little disappointed that I did not find Kristin Chenoweth’s newly installed star, but I also wasn’t going to force my way through the crowd to find it. I am not a slow walker and I am also not patient when it comes to people stopping in the middle of the sidewalk every few seconds.

IMG_3454

For dinner, we decided upon California Pizza Kitchen, which they actually have back at home, but it was still an excellent choice. Molly and I split a tasty hot vegetable salad and a cheese pizza. For dessert, we headed to the Ghirardelli store right across the street and got ice cream with the amazing hot fudge on top. I can honestly tell you, we were not concerned about calories this trip, especially when it comes to dessert. So worth it. Oddly enough, on my return, all I was craving was one of my huge salads. At least that’s a good sign!

IMG_3455

It was a semi-early night and we headed back to the hotel, but we stayed up late watching weird episodes of My Strange Addiction and laughing at our overall silliness. On our way into the hotel, we discovered something looming over us.

IMG_3460

Check out the blog this week for more updates! Our trip gets more and more interesting throughout the days!