On the Beach

It’s Monday, I’m back from my vacation, but instead of feeling down, I’m feeling revitalized! A vacation was much needed and there’s no better remedy than time away on the beach!

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Ok, so this wasn’t the exact beach, but it’s still a picture of me at the beach.

Last week, I worked Monday and Tuesday and took off early morning on the Fourth to head to my cousin and uncle’s house on the beach. Look who got to come along thanks to the heat wave!

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Simba did an excellent job adapting to his new beach house and spent a majority of his time exploring and staring outside at all the animals.

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Much of the afternoon on the Fourth was spent at the beach and it was HOT. There was a breeze when we started and the water was refreshing, but once we went to dry off, the breeze disappeared. I love reading on the beach, but there’s only so much heat this girl could take, so we headed back to shower and attend a lovely BBQ at a friend’s place.

The night was capped off with some fireworks, as the Fourth of July should. I don’t adore fireworks, especially amateur ones, but the view sure was pretty.

On Thursday, my brother and I cooked up some breakfast to get us started on the day. We spent much of the morning relaxing but when the boys went golfing, the rest of us headed to the beach. Since it wasn’t as hot, I was able to run the 1.25 mile and felt good! I didn’t end up going in the water this time, but I did take a nice walk on the beach and spent some quality time reading!

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After a refreshing shower and nice cocktail hour, we went into town for dinner. Pizza was on the menu, as we dined outside by the fire pit! We capped things off with a beverage before calling it a night.

The rain came in on Friday, but we were still able to walk around a local town. We got lunch and headed back to pick up Simba and go home. It was a lovely time!

It was nice to still have the weekend as a buffer after vacation. On Friday afternoon, I fit in a heavy barbell and jump rope workout to combat all the indulgences of the week. For dinner, I enjoyed shrimp tacos, caught up on work, and watched Game Night, which was cute.

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Saturday morning called for a run! I crushed 3.1 miles and hopped right into the pool after because even though the intense heat abated a bit, the sun was still hot! I spent a good deal of time reading before my sister and her family came over to enjoy the afternoon. We ate dinner, passed around the baby, and relaxed.

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On Sunday, I was up early to grocery shop and came home to make a veggie omelette for breakfast. After, I did a body strength circuit workout with jump roping intertwined. I was nice and sweaty after and once again ready to hop into the pool.

The afternoon consisted of reading, writing, and catching up on household things.

How was your weekend?

in the moment

Life can feel a little hectic when coming back from vacation, starting up a new job, and trying to settle into a new routine. My work ethic is being tested by a little guy named Simba who requires a lot of playtime attention that I’m happy to provide, BUT he also doesn’t like me to be on any kind of screen. Attention must always be focused on him, according to him.

I mean…

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He enjoys sitting and walking on my laptop keyboard and one time, I swear it, he typed out the word “purr!” He’ll also hit my hand until I put the phone down and he sits on it, same with my iPad. I guess he’s helping me live in the moment.

Disney Day One

Welcome back, Monday! I’m feeling the Monday Blues in particular because it means I’m back from vacation. After a long time of researching and planning, my family finally made it to Disney and it did not disappoint.

For the next few days, I’ll be going over the planning process along with the end result for a little travel blogging fun. Believe me, my sister, mom, and I put a lot of work into this trip.

Sunday morning came early as we trudged out to the airport and though we were running on fumes, we were excited to get to the Mouse. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel- Pop Century, a Value Resort because we didn’t plan on spending much time at the hotel, but still comfortable and fun-themed- and hopped on another bus to our first park of the trip.

It’s been 10 years since we’ve been to Disney World (only a month or so since I’ve been to Disneyland and aren’t I spoiled?) and we were all excited to be there together.

First up, Epcot!

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We were all hungry upon arrival, so we headed to Sunshine Seasons to enjoy a quick service meal. I’m impressed by all the healthy options Disney offers, although I for sure wasn’t worried too much by what I was eating and drinking during my vacation. After a tasty power salad, we started for the rides!

Disney vacationers staying on property get to make Fast Passes 60 days in advance, which meant my sister and mom were up early that morning to book them. For our first Epcot day, we got Mission Space- we’re thrill seekers, we are- Figment, and Frozen Ever After. Waiting in long lines suck, but if you are flexible and strategic enough, you don’t have to wait too long.

We started on the Nemo ride, Spaceship Earth as it began to rain, and I enjoyed a nice nap on the last day of Ellen’s Energy Ride- I couldn’t help it, it was dark and cool in the theater! We ended up changing our Figment Fast Pass- you can do all the planning and still need to make lots of changes on the go- and didn’t ride it that day since it seemed to be experiencing some difficulty. After Mission Space and Test Track, we headed over to the World Showcase for a drink in Mexico.

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You can always tell which drink is mine by spotting the fruitiest one.

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Then headed to France for a frozen beverage for the girls and Germany for a bier for the boys.

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Even though it didn’t feel too hot, the humidity was brutal and I was sweating profusely. But I was just so happy to be there!

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After we walked around some more, it was time to ride Frozen! Very cute, but man those lines can go on for a long time!

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Near the end of the night, it was time for dinner at Le Cellier. We were on the Disney Dining Plan, which gave us one table service credit, one quick service credit, and two snack credits per day, and Le Cellier takes two table credits per person. It was well worth it! My sister and I split the 28 oz porterhouse with lobster mac and cheese and garlic mashed potatoes.

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It was truly one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. I had room for only a bite or two (or five) of the maple creme brûlée for dessert. By the time we finished, the park was closed, so we rolled ourselves out of there and back to the hotel.

With Sunday in the books, it was time to rest up for the next day! Tune in tomorrow to check out my recap of our Animal Kingdom/Hollywood Studios park hopper activities!

work it on out

After my long weekend away, last weekend, I was ready to hit the gym…kind of.

It was a vacation of indulgence between the vineyards, Ghirardelli, and In-n-Out, which is all well and good (except for my stomach) and we did our fair share of walking, but I was ready to return to normal.

When I did get back, I was up and early for the Red Sox/Angels day game in Anaheim and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back in time for the gym, coupled with the fact I didn’t touchdown in LA until 2 the previous morning. However, it was still late afternoon when I got back from the game (boo, we lost!), so I revved myself up to go!

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I wasn’t feeling my routine of late, so I worked through a standard total body workout targeting all the major muscle groups and finished with a half hour on the bike. It was good to work up a sweat.

That night, it was time to rejuvenate my workout routine. I’ve been doing total body lately, so this time, I broke it down into a split routine.

 

Workout Routine

Always gotta get in that core!

I’m a big fan of breaking up leg day like upper body workouts. I still feel the pain of my efforts, but I can target the muscle groups more effectively without tiring too much. Currently, I’m feeling the beautiful repercussions of mixing up my routine with those DOMS all over and a twinge in my core every time I laugh or sneeze.

“i’ve been high…i’ve been low…

I’ve been yes and I’ve been oh hell no. I’ve been rock ‘n roll and disco, won’t you save me San Francisco!?”

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I’m back from my trip to San Francisco to visit my friend Katie! We spent a lot of time in the city and the vineyards! I’ve been to California quite a bit on trips and uh, well, living here, but never out of SoCal, so when Katie mentioned she was house-sitting, I jumped at the chance to visit.

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My welcoming to Northern California was this view.

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Upon arrival, we headed into Chinatown. We walked around the neighborhood, checking out stores, sights, and scenes, and then enjoyed lunch.

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San Francisco is a beautiful city, but it’s also cold. Very easy to walk around, which enabled us to make our way over to Ghirardelli Square where we enjoyed an ice cream.

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Once we hit the water, I was able to take in the spectacular view, including Alcatraz.

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The next day, we headed over the bridge….

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and towards Sonoma, otherwise known as wine country where we dined and drank.

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I’m not a huge drinker and when I do, I prefer sweet wines and beers, so this was not exactly the place for me. But, I was in good company.

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It was also nice just to sit outside and enjoy the weather and the views. Sonoma is significantly warmer than the city, thankfully.

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It was time for more city exploring the following day.

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The ‘painted ladies’ is where they filmed the famous opening to Full House.

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But, it is not where the front of the house is actually located, so we didn’t make it there until my last day.

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I got to hitch a ride on the trolley, though not on the outside.

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We walked around the Presidio…

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…then ate dinner at a local pub before hanging out on the porch and having a glass of wine (my preferred sweet kind).

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My last day, after checking out the Full House house, we realized how difficult it can be to drive in San Francisco with all those hills- but the view!

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Went through the Presidio once again….

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Then through Robin Williams’ Tunnel.

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Then stopped at a local brewery for a beer (that I didn’t love, oops).

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It was a wonderful trip, but overall, I’ll always be a SoCal girl at heart.

Have a great Monday!

vacations days

It’s been a busy few weeks with family visiting, and this girl is happy but tired! First up, was my cousin Carolyn’s Bachelorette Weekend. Dinner, karaoke, and fun times ensued!

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I am fairly certain that had American Idol not been cancelled last year, I would have won this past season. And there’s no way to prove otherwise.

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This also meant that my mom was here!!!!!

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We broke off from the group and had ourselves an extended vacation that meant two days at Disneyland, which we took by storm. No one was safe as we navigated our way through crowds, utilized our Fast Passes to the best of our abilities, and had a blast. Even in the rain, stuck on a giant ferris wheel that swung side-to-side.

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The next day was spent on the beach- Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu.

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We caught the sunset.

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It was not easy saying goodbye (until April!), but things were made slightly easier by the arrival of my brother Jimmy and his girlfriend Cait!

Our first stop was the WB Tour, one of my favorite tourist attractions. Jimmy realized his life long dream to drive a bat-vehicle.

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And we chatted on the Friends couch. I don’t know why my go-to move was to lean backwards, but I think it works for the scene.

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The next day included a long, difficult, and sweaty hike to the top of the Hollywood Sign. I understand it’s rude to complain about the heat to my East Coast readers, but it was hot! And we all got sunburned. Whoops.

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We took a paddle boat out on Echo Park, which was not my favorite activity once I was stewing out in the sun. If you look closely enough, you can spot the sweat behind my glasses.

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They were amazed by the views at Griffith Observatory, another one of my favorite places.

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I had to take this picture and post on social media- the day back home was hit by a bunch of snow and I was being a beach bum.

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The snow actually postponed their flight home and extended their vacation. While I headed back to work, they enjoyed a few days of explorations on their own.

It was so nice to see everyone and to act like a tourist again in my new city. Before I knew it, six months has passed! Six months, crazy!

new beginnings

Before I begin anything, I want to wish HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREATEST PERSON WHO EVER LIVED: my mom.

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You’re the best and the day doesn’t deserve your greatness, although it should be celebrated anyway! Love you!

Welcome to 2017! I’ve been on break for the past ten days and it’s been wonderful being home, but after a lot of relaxation and eating, I’m ready to get back into my routine.

I don’t really have New Years resolutions, but I’m looking forward to being more mindful and present this year. I tend to be frantically go-go-going and I think it heightens my anxiety. Sometimes, you have to relax and watch the world around you. So let’s go!

I’ll start the first post of 2017 with a recap of my vacation. It started with a day of biking at the beach. The day was a bit dreary, but the wind kicked up as I hit the beach and it was hard to pedal. This is a little scary looking, no?

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By the time I got back and finished getting ready, it was time to get to the airport super early. Traveling around the holidays is no joke. And traveling overnight means no sleep for me who cannot sleep on planes. Oh well. I read Amy Schumer’s book instead. This is the view back to Boston.

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Cold!

It was Christmas Eve morning by the time I arrived and it was time to celebrate. Note: thanks for the early pick-up and drop-off from the airport mom and dad!

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Lots of quality times with family was enjoyed. (Without pictures, I guess).

As well as time with friends.

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Finished off the year the way I started it, with a run outside!

*On the brink of 2016. (So innocent, so naive).

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It was colder and snowier this year, but watching for ice just made it more adventurous…

*On the brink of 2017. (A little more weathered).

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My New Year’s smooch this year.

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And before I knew it, it was time to catch my flight back to LA.

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All I wanted to do was sleep when I got home, but I didn’t want to disrupt my routine, so instead, I cleaned and got organized. Felt good! I stopped at the gym to fit in some strength training before heading out for a hike.

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The sun was not awaiting my arrival.

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After grocery shopping, I meal prepped and made dinner. Ravioli atop chicken sausage, spinach, red bell pepper, and zucchini. Ah my Gah, delicious! And it so happens to make up my lunches for the week as well.

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Oh, and yeah, I should be more consistent with my blog.