weekend and travel plans

This weekend was one of relaxation after traveling. I did a lot of nothing, with some exercise thrown in to assuage the guilt.

I had taken a week off from working out thanks to my travel last week and it was much needed. On Saturday, I got back to it with a total body strength routine and some spinning and I was feeling those DOMS on Sunday. A run/walk combo helped stretch out my sore legs in particular, but they were still achey on Sunday night and this morning! I have a love/hate for this kind of pain, but it is the good kind of pain. I guess it was time to mix things up with my plan.

I was also able to catch up on sleep, which had gotten messed up when I took a red-eye to Boston last Friday. I don’t sleep well on planes, especially with my legs feeling a bit cramped. I had a couple of hours to nap once arriving home before my mom and I got mani/pedis for my cousin’s wedding. It was dancing time at the beautiful ceremony and reception and we were up past 2 am, which meant I was awake for the better part of 24+ hours and jet lagged. Whew. But it was well worth it.

The rest of my break was spent with my family, shopping, going to movies and dinner, and spending some quality time. It’s always hard to leave, but it was great to see everybody. Even though it’s a long flight from coast-to-coast, particularly east-to-west, it was nice to gain three hours of the day on the way back.

I captured some snapshots from the plane:

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It was hard to not include the wing of the plane in my photos, so that accounts for the odd angles.

Somehow, it’s Monday again. Enjoy it!

lately

TV shows: Veep (one of my favorites ever), Superstore, Blackish, Powerless, The Good Wife, and Big Little Lies- I read the book a few years and and loved it and thus far the HBO series is amazing. Reese and Nicole for the win!).

Books: The Boston Girl and Where’d You Go, Bernadette. 

Movies: Gifted (Chris Evans is a dream), Moana, The Princess and the Frog

Music/Podcasts: Moana soundtrack, Ingrid Michaelson, musicals, current pop hits, WDW Radio, Be Our Guest podcast, Missing Richard Simmons

Food: waffles with peanut butter and a drizzle of syrup, stir fries, and tacos

Exercise: running, spinning, hiking, and strength training

Hobbies: writing and researching for an upcoming trip (see below!)

Things I’m looking forward to: going home for a few days to attend my cousin’s wedding and see my family, my friend Stephanie visiting next month, and going to Disney World with my family in August!

2015 Blogging In Review

Here at Give Me My Crown Already, or maybe I should start using GMMCA, we like to celebrate occasions, all big and small. While I like to think we can start anew on all things good and fresh at any time, there’s something about the end of the year that makes you look back and reflect, as much as there’s something to looking towards a new year that makes you energized.

Having a blog really helps someone take a glance back at the past year!

A lot happened, as it seems to in life, most good, some sad, but they’ve all led me here.

The most popular post of the year was very clearly my open letter to Joy Behar after she blasted nurses for no reason.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/09/19/dear-joy-behar-a-thank-you-from-a-nurses-child/

Though my fame didn’t extend much farther than this post, it was still nice to have a brush of success. A preview of things to come, I hope. Though maybe I turned people off with my casual and totally innocent mocking of a faux-apocalypse scare.

For whatever reason, that I still do not understand, another popular post was the one that I entitled after a song.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/08/20/if-i-showed-you-my-flaws-if-i-couldnt-be-strong/

This is one of the most-searched and most-linked to posts and I don’t even remember what it’s about other than mentioning that song.

We had a lot of fun with recipes this year, something that I hope to do even more of in 2016. Stir fry for example.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/09/01/food-good-good-food-ive-got-it-all/

We also dedicated a lot of time to watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I can firmly tell you, there are no regrets.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/07/21/end-of-an-era-i-think-ive-used-that-joke-before/

Though I will tell you, there was a lot of hesitancy to start a new show so soon.

In the top two exciting things to happen in 2015, my sister and now brother-in law made things official and tied the knot this past June! I, of course, made a spectacular Maid of Honor, lacking only in humility.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/06/28/the-wedding/

What a perfect day it was with the weather, love, happiness, family, and friends!

Another of the top two most exciting things to happen to me, was when I decided to take a chance and make a change when it came to my professional life. Work is a huge part of how we live, love it, hate it, or grudgingly accept it, so we should make it count. I was miserable where I was and I was scared to move forward, but with a lot of support and a moment of blind courageousness, I took a chance. To get to work where I do now, with the people I’m working beside, and feeling as though I have a purpose, that is a blessing.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/07/13/changes/

This all led to a significant moment in my life that has been building for the past four years when I finally woke up and realized I needed to take responsibility for my life and choices. As an early Christmas present, I took and passed the test that marks me a certified Personal Trainer and I am so so excited to finally get started.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/12/21/ive-got-news/

2015 was a year with up’s and down’s and I’m very much choosing to reflect on all of the good in this post. I probably haven’t even gotten too deep into what this year offered me, but I’m so happy to have taken the time and opportunity to delve into it a bit so that I can truly leave 2015 feeling as though I lived through it with purpose, pleasure, and effort.

Take a minute of your day to do the same with your’s.

Weddings, Birthdays, and All Hallows Eve

Oh, boy what a weekend! A long weekend for me as Thursday kicked off my friend Erin’s Wedding Weekend! After a doctor’s appointment on Thursday morning, I met Erin at a local nail salon to get a pedicure. Not quite worth the money on my end as there wasn’t much more than just the painting of the nails, which by the way, smudged that night after plenty of dry time!

Thursday night’s agenda was the Rehearsal. Erin’s sister and two of my other friends from college, Katie and Stephanie, rounded out the bridal party. We practiced the ceremony a few times before it was time to head to the party for some wine and dinner. IMG_4165

That night, the intention was to watch Bridesmaids, but everyone was sleepy and headed to bed before the movie ended. It’s okay, we’ve all seen it before.

On Friday, we were up bright and early to enjoy breakfast made by Erin’s mom, as well as to get ready for the big day! The bridesmaids had to run a few errands first, which included the ultra important task of grabbing coffees! By the time we got back, it was time to get our hair done! I was obsessed with the way the stylist did it, but I can’t find any pictures of the back on my phone! Sadness. Here’s a peak at the full picture.

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And some more scenes from the wedding itself, which was beautiful! I’ll be honest and admit I got teary eyed as Erin walked down the aisle. Even though we’ve graduated three years ago, it still feels out of sorts to realize that we are now doing actual adult things! Maybe I’m out of sorts because I’ve “retired” twice already from different careers (it’s okay though because I’m on the right track now).

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Some bridesmaid hang time.

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The beautiful bride!

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Terrible angle for some of us, but it was the only picture of the four of us I got! Thank God for the professionals!

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I won this lantern, which was the centerpiece thanks to having the birthday closest to the day of the wedding.

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And here we are the day after the wedding, recuperating at a brunch.

It was a wonderful weekend and I know Erin and her now HUSBAND Stephen got their marriage and rest-of-their-lives-together off to a great, happy, loving start!

The day after the wedding was of course Halloween and all this girl did was put on a tiara (just a typical Saturday) and hand out some candy. I had high hopes for some study time but I was exhausted and all I could muster was some writing, while watching the classic Reese Witherspoon movie Sweet Home Alabama. Saturday also happened to be my sister’s 29th birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREN!

As we welcomed November on Sunday (ok, wait, where did August-October go!?!?), we also entered Caitlin Birthday Month! It’s a big deal, everyone! I’ve got super exciting plans to celebrate my birthday weekend coming up that I will divulge after the fact! Woohoo! Even though 26 is only famous (or shall I say infamous) for being the date I get kicked off my parent’s health insurance, I still like to celebrate and to be honored.

We did start the celebrations on Sunday afternoon with my sister, her husband, my brother, and his girlfriend coming over for a family dinner. I like to think I was Lauren’s greatest birthday present she ever received as we were born 9 days (and 3 years) apart. We often celebrated our birthdays at a joint party, which I don’t mind. On the menu were short ribs, chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, spinach, and a roasted veggie medley of Brussels sprouts, carrots, and red peppers. It was divine!

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For dessert, my mom made us an ice cream cake with coffee ice cream, hot fudge, marshmallow sauce, walnuts, and crushed oreos. Happy birthday to us! This just means the celebrations have begun NOT ended!

Having anticipated such a meal, I headed out for a run earlier that afternoon. On doctor’s orders, I had to keep it light as she believes my feet are going numb due to excessive muscle tension. That means I have to stretch, wa-ay more than I ever make time for. I know I’m terrible. But! I did just finish the portion on Flexibility Training in my textbook, so I’m in an excellent position to move forward.

I also noticed that I tend to lean forward during my stride, so I’m wondering if I’m placing too much tension on my ankles and that might be cutting off my circulation. Ugh.

Now that we’re all caught up, I’ll share one last picture of this morning’s breakfast before I head out for a workout and a productive day of studying/work. Just some scrambled eggs and egg whites, waffles, and a sweet bowl of berries!

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Welcome to my birthday month, friends! When all else fails and the days turn into darkness, remember, I’ll be getting presents and you’ll be getting Thanksgiving soon!

Bump-y Weekend of Fun

Well, hey. It’s been awhile, which isn’t intentional and I’m not quite sure what happened to delay my posting. All I can say is that I’m back now to our regularly scheduled blogging. October is busy and somehow basically mid-way thru?

Let’s continue with a little weekend recap. Saturday morning started off at work, but after, I rushed home to finish up putting a few things together before hightailing it my friend Katie’s apartment. Our college friend Erin is getting married at the end of this month and we’ve already kicked off some of the celebrations with her bridal shower in August, but this time it was all about the Bachelorette.

My friends from school refer to ourselves as “the core four” as there are four of us who are really close and we’re all bridesmaids (except for the bride of course).

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We started off with a delicious potluck meal that included a buffalo chicken dip, chicken parmesan, pasta, garlic bread, salad, and cupcakes for dessert. Yum!

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I would zero in on the cupcakes, but hey! I made them and I have a hell of a sweet tooth.

Second event on the agenda was an improv show in the city. So freakin’ funny. There’s something about improv that is so raw and re-actional. As a writer, I’m all about the planning and the wording, but it’s so important to have instincts and gut reactions. Color me so so impressed! Definitely something to do again soon! Though I will say they should work on their margarita.

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The rest of the night was focused on celebrating Erin with some drinking and dancing. You have to dance when you drink because you burn off all those calories and it’s just so darn fun. It’s a rule. Look it up!

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The next day, started off with some brunch and lots of water and coffee. I went simple with eggs over easy, toast, sausage, and some home fries. My eggs were half raw, which would never happen in my kitchen. Brunch is about the experience and the people you’re eating with (sometimes) and not always about the food (we’re going with that for now). The woes of being a cook in a restaurant!

Once I got home, I focused some more on rehydrating before I headed out for a run. I am so sick of my feet falling asleep- I know I need new sneakers but I was in denial- but I still made it through a wonderful 6.25 mile run on a gorgeous day. Seriously, the weather this weekend was phenomenal. I walked another two miles home and just enjoyed being outside and listening to my music. Good music is everything when it comes to running and getting in that groove.

I made a hunk of a salad for dinner to pair with the pizza my parents brought home from their lunch. I didn’t have the biggest appetite after running, but the meal hit the spot. For the rest of the night, I watched some episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer  studied (okay, so I did a little studying and a lot of watching). I also wrote quite a bit and ended up falling asleep later than I should have.

Regardless of my late start to sleep, I woke up early on Monday morning for our weekly grocery shopping trip. There was nothing but angst and pain when I realized the store didn’t have blueberries OR raspberries. That is a true nightmare. Thankfully, there were strawberries so I could keep it together. Also, I can eat apples again so we’re all good on the fruit front.

A strength training workout was also on the agenda. Despite feeling tired and somewhat affected still from Saturday night, I killed it at the gym with my lifting session and felt even stronger than last week when I hit a few milestones. To top things off, I worked through a body strength/plyometrics circuit that left me feeling nice, sweaty, and accomplished.

I should mention that I whacked my head yesterday too and am rocking the bruise and bump combination. It really was completely a moment of stupidity because all I did was bend over and knock it off something I knew was there. Whoops. I seemed to sleep fine last night and woke up so I doubt there’s a concussion…

Before work, I had a nap before a productive study session that cleared up a few points I wasn’t grasping before. I just used “before” a lot in that sentence. I was going to change it, but then I decided to mention it, so you can’t judge it. It’s a thing.

So here we are on Tuesday, which feels like a Monday, but we’re already that much closer to another Friday!

I started my day off with an egg and two egg white omelet with chicken sausage and cheese and a fresh homemade whole wheat waffle. Notice the grapes for fruit as there were no berries and the strawberries required a lot of moving other things around to get to them and I was hungry.

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Still delicious and spot-hitting!

Now for even more productivity, less head hitting, and a lovely (albeit rainy) day! Promise I won’t go as long between posts.

I’m the Maid of Honor, B*tch

I had a dream last night that a man stole my sister’s “precious” graphing calculator and we were all stressed out about it. Like, she was really upset. So I hunted the man down, doing a stakeout and everything and I took him down with a taser. Over a graphic calculator, while screaming “I’m the Maid of Honor, Bitch!” After, everyone congratulated me and I would tell them, “I’m just being a good Maid of Honor.”

Dream interpretation anyone? I’ll go first. I think it’s clear that I am not recuperating from the wedding being over. It’s been a rough few months since.

On another note, I ate a peach and didn’t die. Oh? You do this on the regular? Well then you must not have a pitted fruit allergy that precludes you from eating juicy, delicious peaches. I was tentative, but persevered and turns out, I didn’t show any symptoms. Yay me!

I also really understand the Nervous System. Listen, I’ve been stuck on the “Basic Human Science” chapter for awhile now with my Personal Training studying because I am terrible at science. It’s been quite the process but now that I have a grasp on it, things are going well. I would go as far as to say that today’s moment of strength came from studying and realizing that I actually grasp the concepts. In part, this is due to proof that hard work and diligence show results. It’s also just really cool and important to understand how the body works, how complex it is, and how important it is that we treat our bodies the right way. I might be taking it a bit too far, however, because on my way to work today, I yelled at a smoking woman for damaging her muscle spindles. We were both in our cars and she couldn’t hear me, but I know she felt it.

Let’s talk about the food for the day! Breakfast was this quick homemade waffle. I smeared peanut butter and jelly all over it and enjoyed with a bowl of berries.

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It was excellent fuel for my workout today, which included a kettlebell circuit, a medicine ball circuit, and a plyometric circuit and ended with sprints. I’ve never run so hard (on the treadmill) as I did today and even though my workout was killer, I felt powerful. Nothing better than that feeling!

Lunch was leftover pizza from last night’s dinner. I chopped up a bunch of celery and peppers, along with some carrots, that I dipped in some ranch dressing to go along with the slices.

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As I mentioned, I had a peach a little while later and I lived to tell about it.

The rest of the day was filled with studying and working. Before I left, I had a cup of Greek yogurt with some grapes to tide me over until dinner. My body was overheated from sitting outside and the yogurt was actually really refreshing.

When I got home from work, I heated leftover ravioli with a couple of chicken meatballs and a stir fry of veggies.

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All good here! Hope everyone has a lovely Friday!

It’s Been Awhile, But I’ve Still Got It

Well, it’s been awhile. I’ve been a little busy working on a few writing projects that I can’t talk about at the moment. Very exciting stuff though. Let’s see where we left off..

Last Saturday was my sister’s Bachelorette Party. We went to a dueling piano bar called Howl at the Moon and danced and sang and drank. It was fun to see my sister enjoying herself. Surprising us all, she is the one who dances the hardest, for the longest. The little librarian can bring it!

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This is our group all together. I think we all enjoyed celebrating Lauren. Not too long until the wedding now!

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The next day was Mother’s Day and super hot, but we celebrated by taking my mom up to her favorite lobster shack so she could chow down on her favorite food…lobster. It was crowded and hot in there, but it was nice to celebrate with my favorite people.

Nothing major to note from the week except I was struggling with feeling tired. I think it’s due in large part to my allergies. A strange thing occurred on Friday when I twinged my back. I’m not sure what move did it exactly, but I was moving through my dumbbell strength routine and all of a sudden my back felt strained. It didn’t actually hurt badly until I was at work, so I spent a lot of the day standing (which is a good thing). It hurt even more on Saturday morning after laying on it all night. I must have been tired because I fell asleep at 10:00 PM and didn’t wake up until 10:00 AM the next day. With some motrin in me, I made my favorite peanut butter pancakes.

For lunch, my brother and I went out for pizza with my Grandma. The pizza was delicious, but more importantly, it was really nice to spend time with my Grandma. She also asked why I haven’t been blogging, so no more excuses.

I was thinking of taking the day off for exercise, but I decided to head out for a walk and ended up running. The odd thing is, my back felt a lot better from having run. It must have stretched out my back, which is weird to me because it hurt to stretch or do Yoga. I won’t question it.

After, I babysat and got a lot of writing done, which made my soul happy.

On Sunday, I slept in again and it was glorious. I grilled up some French toast for myself and used THE LAST OF MY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTERS. I’m not saying this is an emergency, but I need to stock up ASAP. After breakfast, I curled up with The Girl on the Train that I got from the library. Somehow, I’m not sure how, I ended up finishing the entire thing by the end of the day. I did dedicate a ton of the day to reading, but I also happened to get a few other things done. It was SO good. I will recap this, and Lena Dunham’s book, which I also read last week coming up. Other Sunday fun day things included a rest day, grocery shopping, laundry, meal prepping, and lounging out in the sun.

Monday brought me back to reality with an early morning workout. I went through a lighter strength workout because even though I’m feeling better, I don’t want to test it so soon. I headed home after to run two miles outside, mostly up hill. It was killer, in a great way.

Breakfast was a delectable breakfast sandwich with an egg, slice of pepper jack, and bacon on an English muffin. I had a bowl of raspberries and strawberries on the side.

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Lunch was a spectacular salad stocked with an array of bright veggies and chicken. The breakfast sandwich held me over for a long time, but I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch when it came time for it. I had a yogurt with blueberries a few hours later.

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Now that we are so close to the wedding and summer, it’s time to focus on my healthy eating. These meals are helping. After a brisk two mile walk, I sat down with a piece of grilled swordfish, brown spinach rice, and broccoli. Hot sauce brings out the spice and the taste that much more.

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What have you been up to?