weekend things

Another weekend is in the books. I thought with June, the sunshine and warmth would come with it, but LA has entered what they call “June Gloom.” I was also told that the clouds would disappear as we got to afternoon, but this did not happen this weekend.

Hopeful, I headed down to Laguna Beach with my cousins. We left in the late morning and made our way to the beautiful oceanside.

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It looked like this all day.

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And yet, beauty remains.

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I’ve wanted to go to the OC ever since watching The OC, but unfortunately, I didn’t meet my Seth Cohen on this trip. The water was warm enough and had the sun shone through even a little, I would’ve happily dove into those waves. But I remained on the shore a little chilly. Instead, I journaled, read, and walked along the rocks and tide pools. Oh, and ate a lot of unhealthy but yummy beach food.

There’s something about a beach day that wipes a girl out and once I got home, I showered and lounged for a bit before I went to see Wonder Woman. There are so many things I can say about the film, such as that there is power in representation and that we need a strong female lead more than ever, but I’ll keep it simple. It was a great movie and I really enjoyed it. When a film makes you laugh, cry, and think, you know it did a wonderful job. And it’s fun!

On Sunday, I didn’t have any particular plans. I took my time in the morning and happily enjoyed this breakfast.

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After a run to the grocery store, it was time to meal prep, which will be discussed further in tomorrow’s post! I also got myself hydrated enough for a run that I’ll admit wasn’t the smoothest thanks to some tenderness in my calves, but was otherwise successful! The sun might not have been out, but it was hot, and I worked up a good sweat.

My post-workout meal was a glamorous hotdog and broccoli followed up with some relaxing. I also took some time to throw together this baked oatmeal that will make for a couple yummy breakfasts.

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The rest of the night was spent writing, reading, and relaxing, which is pretty much how most Sundays should end.

Habits and the Power of Mindfulness

Hello, my name is Caitlin and it has been four days since I last dipped into the candy bowl. It’s become more of a habit than anything else. I get that it’s a delightful treat once in awhile, but I was starting to eat candy I don’t even like- ie, not chocolate! I’m being better about remaining more mindful and maintaining a positive attitude. This has helped keep me more consistent in my writing as well. The power of habit is all the same, we just have to tap into it.

There’s something about a walk on a warm, breezy day that is just good for the soul. This is especially true after a long, trafficky ride home from work. I racked up to extra miles for my day’s exercise as well. I suppose just the fact that the sun is shining down is enough.

My morning workout began with a body strength workout. I went through a circuit of squats, lunges, kickbacks, tricep dips, step ups, mountain climbers, push ups, mermaid raises, Russian twists, hip lifts, bicycle crunches, and v ups. I ran through it four times and was nice and sweaty by the time I was heading for the pool. I swam a mile in about 43 minutes and it took a few minutes to adjust to being out of the water when I finished. I can’t get over how much I adore swimming, but I also can’t write this post without mentioning this man who took up an entire lane and didn’t swim one lap. He just chilled there. It was lap time!

Breakfast was a chilled overnight oatmeal that hit the spot. For an guitar fruity kick, I ate some blueberries and raspberries on the side. The cinnamon, raisin, walnut combination never fails me. Hint, it all has to do with the complementary flavors of the chopped dates and mashed banana. So refreshing!

  
I was very proud of my lunch, which were leftovers of the meal I made on Sunday. My Parmesan crusted tilapia and shaved Brussels sprout salad held up well for a couple of days in the fridge. So bright, tasty, and nutritious! I’m not sure my pictures can quite convey the yumminess.

  

For a mid-day snack, I had prepared a bowl of cherry kefir and some freshly chopped strawberries. Although I was dubious before trying, the combination turned out to be excellent. I’m trying to be more creative with my snack combinations so I don’t grow bored and turn back to that candy jar.

Another colorful, flavorful, veggie-filled meal included steak, corn, a great big salad, and a side of nachos. I love food cooked on the grill because it can be so healthy and maybe a little because it is the epitome of summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hotdog or cheeseburger, but a good chicken, the am, or shrimp kebab with a side of grilled veggies doesn’t suck either.

  
We’ve reached mid-week, friends! I think it’s time we can start looking forward to the weekend! Any good plans?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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