You guys, I was making a joke about rabbits being eaten by a fox earlier today- it’s funny if you were there- and I come home to find that some rabbits have helped themselves to my zucchini plants. That is a pure act of hatred. You may remember the time I chased a turkey away with a hockey stick. I will hold nothing back.

  
Anyways, it’s been rainy and cold around here, which makes for perfect sleeping weather. Tuesday, I tore myself out of bed for a body strength workout and a swim. On Wednesday, I started my day off with a walk that got my legs moving and followed with a run. I only had a few minutes left over for some Yoga, but it made for a good stretch!

Overnight oats made for a great breakfast after the gym. I did the usual base with mashed banana and dates soaked along with blueberries and strawberries. Very refreshing!

Wednesday’s breakfast included two eggs over easy with a slice of cheese, a piece of toast, a chicken sausage, and a bowl of fruit. Yum!

 
Lunches the past two days included a huge salad topped with tilapia and a stir fry with tons of veggies and chicken meatballs.

  
I enjoyed chicken with a creamy white sauce, lots of veggies, and a baked sweet potato that was fantastic. Tilapia with Brussels sprouts and pasta also made for a tasty dinner!

 
That’s all for now. Watch out for bunnies! 

Quick Check In

I don’t know how we’ve made it to Wednesday already. The days are flying by far too fast, especially the weekends. I’m glad for that because it brought the warm weather fairly quickly, but if things want to slow down during the summer, I’d be okay with that.

This morning started with a body strength workout. I did four sets of ten reps of a circuit: squats, lunges, kickbacks, calf raises, tricep dips, step ups, push ups, mountain climbers, mermaid raises, Russian twists, hip lifts, v ups, bicycle crunches, and reverse crunches. I did a few planks before diving into the pool. I was definitely sore when I first got started, but once I warmed up, I took off and got in my mile.

Breakfast was an overnight oatmeal chilling in the fridge. I mixed things up a bit and did my standard base with chopped strawberries band walnuts, it was quite refreshing. For an added bite of protein, I had a cheesestick.

  
Lunch delved into a little Cinco de Mayo celebration. I had a chicken quesadilla that we as tasty but very filling! My stomach was mad at me for the rest of the afternoon and I didn’t eat dinner until much later. Dinner was a stir fry using the leftover swordfish. Swordfish does not translate well into leftovers. At least not like this. I wasn’t too into this meal, but it was small anyways. Just the fish with a medley of veggies. I did eat most of the vegetables to fit in my servings.

Now im off to fit in some writing before falling into bed early!

Happy Wednesday!

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?

Sorry If I Slapped Your Face

I think I slapped someone with my backstroke in the pool. It as an accident. When I started my lap, I was alone in the lane, but I was joined,midst know its and *smack.* I think I was more startled than he was injured.

Regardless, I had a great workout that started with a body strength circuit I ran through three times. The circuit included step ups, squats, lunges, push ups, mountain climbers, mermaid raises, elevated hip lifts, v ups, bicycle crunches, Russian twists, and rollouts. I had a nice sweat rolling before I changed into my suit and took it to the pool. Today was my sprint day in the pool and I quickly found myself short of breath, in a good way. By the end, I was energized, awake, and ready to face the day!

Wednesday, woke up feeling sore from the day’s before, so I did a Yoga sequence at home then ran outside. I’m glad I did because it was beautiful out? Even though it’s been harder to get myself up in the morning, it has also been lighter out so when I step outside,the sun is there to greet me. By the time I was running, it was warm and sunny, better I think than it was in the afternoon. It felt good to have a nice stretch with Yoga.

My breakfasts the past couple of days included peanut butter toast on Thursday with a hard-boiled egg and fruit.

 
Wednesday was a cup of Greek yogurt with berries and a waffle with peanut butter and half a banana.

  

Stir frys have been big with me for lunch these past couple of days. I enjoyed brown rice with chicken and veggies on Thursday.

  
On Wednesday, I ate buckwheat noodles with chicken and veggies. Nice and colorful! Buckwheat noodles seem heartier to me and I’ve really enjoyed them.

  
A salad with some chicken was the main item on the dinner menu on Thursday. I paired it with half of a baked potato, green beans, and some leftover Chinese food, which was our dinner on Wednesday- forgot the picture for that!

 
The past few weekends have been an absolute blast celebrating my sister and her fiancé with family and friends, but this weekend is about relaxation! I do have a few exciting things planned, but I expect to spend a ton of time writing and catching up on tv.

A Look Back

I was in charge of dog and cat duties Tuesday morning, so I expected to have to wake up a tad earlier than usual. Upon waking just a few minutes before my alarm rang, I found that we were in the middle of a raging thunder storm and no one should be expected to go out in that. Two of us slept in, while one of us hid under the bed. That would be my cat, Bandit. He’s big and brave except when it comes to storms.

When I did pull myself out of bed, I found that even that extra half hour of sleep made quite the difference. Unfortunately it cut into my workout time a bit, but it was a nice surprise. I walked the dog then took myself to the gym for a swim. I ended up swimming my fastest mile and my shoulders, combined with a strength workout from the day before, left my shoulders feeling sore. It was a great way to start the day and I ended with a longer walk on baht turned out to be a spectacular day!

Breakfast was this big, warm bowl of oats I concocted. Peanut butter, jelly, strawberries, and blueberries.

  
Lunch was a delicious stir fry I threw together with veggies, chicken, and buckwheat noodles mixed together in Thai peanut sauce. I paired it with a pear.

  
For dinner, I made another stir fry with chicken, veggies, and brown rice.

  
Looking back over the weekend, on Monday, I cooked up my pancakes for a hearty meal that filled me through a strength workout and a run.

  
For lunch, I threw a plate of leftovers together to refuel after my workout. Some macaroni and cheese with veggies. Dinner was a chicken curry dish I bought from Trader Joes with a piece of naan and lots of veggies.

Looking even further back to Sunday, I enjoyed some poached eggs over toast to energize my shopping trip. It was quite a sweep for spring/summer clothing! Lunch was a quick slice of pizza mid-shopping.

When I got home, it was still nice out, so I threw on my new sneakers and got to it!

  
I wasn’t feeling spectacular afterwards, so a little later I ate some toast with peanut butter for my dinner.

Further further back is Saturday. Shower day! My mom and I hosted my sister Lauren’s bridal shower at Tavern in the Square and it was quite lovely. While the bride and groom meandered the room, guests feasted on   brunch assortment of omelets, scrambled eggs, bacon, French toast, veggies, macaroni and cheese, and fruit. It was delicious! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, especially Lauren and Nick, which is most important!

   
    For dinner, we snacked on some chips and salsa before ordering pizzas. I had a salad for a hit of veggies. By the way, banana peppers on pizza is the way to go!

Finally, on Friday night, I went out to celebrate my friend Molly’s birthday. A group of us went to a Mexican place and I had one of my favorite dishes- blackened salmon over a salad with tostito chips on the side.

  

No April Fool’s Here! It’s A Review!

I’ve retired from April Fool’s Day because I know how to learn my lesson. A few year’s ago when my sister was living in Argentina, I decided it would be funny to email her that I was feeling too overwhelmed and would be dropping out of school. This would be ridiculous on many levels, but primarily because my parents never would have allowed it unless something was seriously wrong. Now, at the bottom of the post, I wrote APRIL FOOLS in huge font, and she should have been suspicious given my propensity for humor and past reputation, but she was thrown off I guess with the time change. Anyways, it happened to be a day she was traveling so I couldn’t even reach her to explain it was all a joke, she only realized when she looked down at her ticket and saw what the date was. I’m no longer allowed to prank…her at least.

As promised, I have a book review to share with you all. I took out Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker from the library and quickly became entranced by the topic. It’s a short book from the perspective of a pubescent teem girl who is battling the repercussions of growing older and the changes that come with it, along with a massive alternation in the way the world works.

It’s never explicitly explained exactly what has happened, how, and why, but time has slowed. Days grow longer, as do nights. Among the chaos, fear, and danger of this realization, species die, illnesses arise, and crops can no longer be grown naturally. Tensions rise between those who remain on “clock time” and the few, now ostracized, who prefer to live by the sun.

It’s interesting to read how people acclimate to even the most extreme changes. What once seems normal, is foreign. Things like pineapple-gasp!- are no longer. Grapes cost over 100/pound. The sun is to fierce to be outside and people work, go to school, and live their daily lives in the darkness. Personalities shift as well as some relationships crumble and others grow stronger. Despite this, many people adjust, though there are always those who don’t.

Among the changes to the earth’s rotation, life still progresses for this little girl. She still has those awkward moments puberty and being a middle schooler provide. She still has crushes on boys and complicated friendships. She comes to realize that her parents are human, susceptible to weaknesses and changes like everyone else. Loss and happiness are ever present and the daily ministrations of life still seem like the biggest things in the world, even with the larger things happening in the world that have nothing to do with her, because it’s her life and aren’t we all like this?

The perspective of the book seems old and wise, which makes sense because it’s the little girl looking back at this time of her life. Much of what she discusses is seeped in observations influenced by hindsight. Her reflections are beautiful and thoughtful. With the threat of Global Warming growing ever present and the changes in the atmosphere and weather far more severe, this topic is definitely something to consider. 

This weekend, I also finished watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The show is a Netflix original comedy created and produced by Tina Fey. The premise is about a young woman, played by Ellie Kemper who was Erin in The Office and was also in Bridesmaids, who was kidnapped as a young girl by a cult leader who tells four women that there has been an apocalypse and the bomb shelter he has them locked in is the only source protecting them. The first moments of the show reveals the “mole women” being rescued and then becoming viral sensations. On a publicity tour in New York, Kimmy Schmidt decides she wants to lead an adventurous life and chooses to stay in my New York rather than go back to Indiana. Now she is an almost thirty year old woman who has the cultural knowledge of a fifteen year old girl, who has been damaged by this heartbreaking incident, yet remains optimistic.

The show is quirky and weird. The premise alone as a comedy seems outrageous. My favorite part are the supporting characters, The sassy roommate, the jaded landlord, the wealthy and shallow boss, and so on. I also think Ellie Kemper does an excellent job, but it’s the cast of characters that make the show worthwhile. The episodes are about twenty minutes long, very weird, but full of smart jokes, and genius guest star appearances. I cannot ruin this because the shock value alone is so clever.

I’m sad that I’ve already finished the season, but it left off at a satisfying point. I’m still intrigued and want to know what happens next and I think that is a mark of any quality show. Thus far, the jokes are funny. The characters endearing, and the writing clever. For me, it’s not quite at the level of Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, or The Mindy Project, but it certainly has the makings and the potential to get there. But honestly, it’s not like Tina Fey can do bring anyways. Watch!

Breakfast was a little weird this morning. After the gym, I ate a hard-boiled egg, but we were having a bagel morning at work and so I figured one in like three years would not do harm. I chose a sesame one with a smear of cream cheese and it was quite good. No time for pictures though.

Lunch was a simple salad with some grilled salmon on top. Since I had a carb-heavy breakfast and ice cream cake to celebrate a birthday, I felt satisfied by just the salad until I got home from work and ate a pear. Thankfully, I still seem fine to eat them. Last week my eyes were red, raw, and sensitive, but I started to take an allergy pill before night and it cleared right up. I might even be brave and try an apple, but only when I’m home and Benadryl is accessible.

  

Dinner was simple and tasty. Grilled chicken paired with leftover brown rice, roasted brussel sprouts, and a dollop of leftover cauliflower gratin. Delicious! The trick to these sprouts are salt, pepper, and a mixture of olive oil and maple syrup.

 

 My workout this morning began with a body strength workout. I performed four sets of ten moves with step ups, squats, lunges, kickbacks, burpees, push ups, mountain climbers, mermaid raises, hip lifts, ankle grabs, v ups, and Russian twists. I did a few planks before jumping into the pool for my cardio. I switched things up just a little by doing three sets of sprints. Very tiring, but very refreshing. I’m just loving the effects of hemming on my body when mixed with running and strength training. I also went for a brisk walk when I got home from work because at 40*, it felt spectacularly warm!

Rainy But Warm

Rainy days are better than snowy days, at least that’s what I’m telling myself. It seems almost unfair that on one of the first warm days of the year, it pours. I won’t complain so long as it stays this warm. Although I was the dummy who wore really cute shoes that won’t hold up in water. Let’s see if they recover. 

Breakfast this morning was more scrambled eggs. I like keeping them simple by mixing them with a little butter in the pan. I sprinkled some cheese on top and enjoyed my eggs with peanut buttered toast and some berries.

  

I found a new dressing and now I’m obsessed. It’s some kind of red blush thing and it has such a tasty tang to it. My salad this day had the usual veggie medley with some leftover tilapia on top. On the side, I had a piece of falafel and a Baggie of popcorn. The up close and personal pictures of salads make it look that much better.

  

As much as I love home-cooking, sometimes all you need in life is pizza. Especially on rainy days! I had roasted red pepper with sautéed spinach and mushrooms. Delicious!

  

When I woke up for the gym this morning, it wasn’t raining yet and was actually quite pleasant, however dark. I worked through a pretty intense strength workout using the stability ball and medicine ball. My abs were burning by the time I jumped in the pool to get in my laps. I did the same routine I’ve done the past couple of times and I think I’m ready to mix things up again. I can’t get over what a big difference swimming had added to my workouts and how my body feels- so much healthier and not as sore after! 

Hey, guess what!? It’s Friday! Happy weekend!