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Jan 282016
 

Hi friends! How’s everyone doing today? I don’t have anything specific to chat about and instead have a bunch of random topics floating around in my head, so I thought I’d share them with you today Thinking Out Loud style. Thank you Amanda for hosting the linkup!

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Ready? Let’s jump right in.

1. Alright it’s official – I am over this snow. Walking into work has been quite the challenge since not all of the sidewalks are clear and the plows have pushed giant snow mounds in front of cross walks, making crossing the street a pain in the butt. Luckily the metro is back open so I’m able to get into work ok, but my car is still pretty inaccessible. Although most of the snow on top of my car has melted, it’s still blocked in by a lot of snow left over from the plows. Sigh. Is it Spring yet?

2. One good thing about being stuck inside is that it’s meant lots of time cuddling with my boys, and lots of movies! Fabio and I don’t usually have a ton of time to watch movies, but we wound up watching two of them in the last few days. First we watched The Water Diviner – as I mentioned on Tuesday – and then on Tuesday night we watched Mad Max: Fury Road. Ok, maybe this is pretty dumb of me, but I didn’t know Mad Max was part of a sequel and also totally not my kind of movie. A lot of Fabio’s friends really liked the movie, so we both had high hopes. However, within five minutes of watching I was rolling my eyes and hating the concept. Ugh. Luckily it was pretty action-packed so it held my interest, but I would definitely not recommend it. Anyone else see it?

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3. I’m loving this season of the Bachelor! This show is 100% my guilty pleasure and I am a-ok with that. So far my favorites are Amanda, Becca (I’ve always liked her!), Caila, and Lauren B. I also think Jubilee is really interesting and could see her going far. Olivia is absolutely crazy and drives me insane. She has to leave after next week, right?!

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4. Fabio and I are thinking about buying a place! This is actually something that’s been in the works for a while – we started talking to a loan officer back in the fall – but then once we got engaged we figured we should really get going on it so we know how much we can budget for the wedding and the condo/whatever-it-winds-up-being. The plan is to buy a place in DC when our current lease is up in June, and then have the wedding next Spring/Summer. We started looking at places a couple of weeks ago, and are starting to hone in our search. It’s a fun process, but a bit stressful too! I would love to hear any tips from those of you who are home owners!

5. Since we have so much going on (house/condo buying, wedding planning) I started looking for a part-time job to bring in some extra cash. Yesterday I applied to be a dog walker (can’t you just see me walking all the dogs?) and I’m also applying for a part-time copywriting/editing job since that’s always something I’ve enjoyed. I’ve also thought about babysitting, although my hours aren’t as flexible and I haven’t had much experience with kids since I was in high school. We shall see!

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6. This weekend we are visiting a TON of wedding venues, and will hopefully be able to make a decision on one! Originally the plan was to see half the places last weekend and then the other half this weekend, but with the snow storm last weekend they all got postponed to this weekend. It’s going to be a busy weekend of wedding planning, and I hope we aren’t super sick of wedding talk by the end! (Hard to imagine how that could happen…it’s so exciting right now!)

7. Is it Friday yet?  I’m ready for the weekend.

Alright friends, that’s all I have for today! I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

Questions of the day: Do you have a part-time job? Do you have any tips on buying a home? Are you watching this season’s The Bachelor?

 Posted by on January 28, 2016
Jan 272016
 

With mountains of snow piled up outside, it’s looking it might be a while before I can drive to any of my usual fitness classes. Luckily I have a gym right in my apartment building, but honestly I loathe going there.

Usually when I find myself in the gym, I wander around aimlessly from machine to machine and don’t really feel like I make the most of my time. I’ll hop on the treadmill or elliptical for a few minutes, think about how bored I am, and then go try out some of the machines, do some ab work, and get the heck out of there. Now that I’m so used to taking classes via ClassPass where an instructor tells me exactly what I should be doing, I am totally lost in the gym!

Nowadays when I head to the gym, I have to come prepared with a game plan.

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Also, when it comes to said game plan, I have to admit I’m a bit picky. Sure, there are millions of printable workouts out there in the interwebs, but I only like the ones that have pictures right next to the name of the movement. Does that make me weird? Lazy? I know what a burpee looks like even if there’s not a picture, but I just like having the photo there for reference and to clear up any questions I might have about my form. I can’t be the only one, right?

Either way, I have been reaching for printable workouts that have pictures to go along with them more and more this week, and since a bunch of you East Coast dwellers are probably snowed in like I am, I thought you might find it helpful to see where I go to find them.

1. POPSUGAR.com. I always see so many good printable workouts on POPSUGAR! While you can browse through all of the different types of workouts yourself, this post with 13 printable body weight workouts features a pretty good collection. While not all of them include pictures, a lot of them do! The POPSUGAR Fitness page on Pinterest also has a ton of good options. POPSUGAR is also a good source for general health and wellness news, and I like to browse around at everything else on their site whenever I have some free time.

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2. Greatist.comGreatist.com is another one of my favorite places to find printable workouts! I like that some of their workouts – like the one I’ve included below – even include detailed descriptions and animated GIFs to walk you through the exercises. They also usually include some kind of explanation as to how these moves positively affect your body (like the benefits of HIIT workouts), which I always like reading about. Like POPSUGAR, Greatist has a lot of other interesting health and wellness news in addition to workouts.

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3. WorkoutLabs.com. In the past, I had only ever browsed pre-existing workouts from WorkoutLabs via their Pinterest page. However, I recently learned that you can create custom printable workouts on this site by dragging and dropping exercises that you like to create your own workouts. How cool! I think you have to sign up to be a member to access some of the features, but if you’re just looking for free workouts they still have tons of those too.

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4. Blogilates.comLast year when I was recovering from foot surgery, I relied on the Blogilates YouTube channel for tons of pilates and low-impact workouts. I recently also discovered the printable workout section of the Blogilates website, which has lots of great options. I love that they are colorful and bright too; it makes me more inclined to actually do them. 😉

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5. Pinterest and GoogleOk, these two are pretty much no-brainers, but they are probably the easiest way to browse for exactly what type of printable workout interests you. Every time I see a printable workout on Pinterest, I pin it to my Fitness board for later. Then when I know I’m heading down the gym, I pull it up on the app and it’s so easy! Google is another good resource, especially if you’re looking for something specific.

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I hope these sources inspire some of you who are snowed in to get active in the gym, without the boredom!

Question of the day: Do you go to a gym? If so, what’s your routine there?

 Posted by on January 27, 2016
Jan 262016
 

Hi friends! We’ve had quite the snowy weekend over here; blizzard Jonas, aka Snowzilla, really hit us hard!

Friday

On Friday night, Fabio and I trekked a few blocks to meet our friends for drinks and dinner at a new bar near us called Wicked Bloom.

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The snow had only been falling for an hour or two, but there was already a lot of accumulation. It was also blowing like crazy! Blizzard winds are no joke. Luckily we were pretty bundled up and didn’t have a far walk, so it wasn’t bad. In fact, it was kind of fun!

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When we arrived at the bar we saw that it was packed! DC folks really love the bars when it snows, haha. We had a fun time on a triple date with our friends Claire, Kevin, Jojo, and Jadd. It was so nice catching up with them! I love that we are all neighbors. 🙂

On our way home the wind and snow had picked up even more, and when we got back my black scarf looked white.

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That’s a black scarf. 

So much snow.

We then took the elevator up to our friends’ apartment two floors above us where we brought Jack with us. It’s so nice having friends in the building!

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Saturday

Saturday morning we woke up to quite the snow storm! Jack was so impatient to get outside and explore.

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We bundled ourselves up, and headed out into the tundra!

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At first I made fun of Fabio for wearing a ski mask, but after being outside for a few minutes I was wishing I had one too! The snow was blowing around like crazy. Jack loved it, obviously.

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After letting him run around the dog park for a while, we took a walk to see how bad things were down the street. There was definitely a lot of snow!

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As soon as we turned the corner from our apartment complex, we saw that the streets and sidewalks were completely covered. We saw a few people out shoveling their steps, but for the most part it was about a foot and a half of untouched snow.

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Once again, Jack had a blast romping around in it.

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What a silly pup. 🙂

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Eventually we came inside and sat down to breakfast! I made us a delicious potato hash with bacon (!!) and Fabio made some delicious poached eggs to go on top.

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Perfect!

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Later we watched Frozen while sipping champagne, because why not?!

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Later in the afternoon I whipped up some snow day cookies (I used this recipe) and we got the apartment ready for a party!

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We have a bunch of friends who live in our building and in walking distance from us, so we invited everyone over for a snow day party. It wound up being quite a success and I’d guess we had about 15 people here! Two of our friends even took an Uber over from the Southwest Waterfront. Now that’s dedication! Sadly I didn’t get any pictures of our party because I was too busy enjoying the day with my friends. 🙂 It was a blast!

Sunday

Sunday was bright and sunny, but still quite snowy! Fabio and I took Jack on an extra long walk, and the three of us wound up playing in the snow for quite a while (I bet we were out for about an hour and a half).

While we were out, we were pretty impressed by the amount of snow covering the cars on our street. I have no idea how I will be able dig my own car out…we don’t even own a shovel! That’s a problem for another day though.

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Eventually we came back in, had some breakfast (I think we had eggs?) and then later settled in for some hot chocolate.

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Yum!

Later in the day I got in the mood to bake, so I whipped up some banana bread (recipe from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook)….

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and homemade rolls (my mom’s recipe).

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It was a fun day, but we were definitely getting a little stir-crazy by the end of the day.

We finished up the evening with a movie; we watched The Water Diviner, which was pretty good. Has anyone else seen it?

Monday

Monday was another day snowed in – the government was closed so Fabio and I both got to work from home – and although that was fun for a while we got pretty bored when the work day was over. I wound up pouring myself a glass of wine by about 4:00, because again, why not?

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So here we are now on Monday evening as I write this, and we will see if I wind up going into work tomorrow!

Edited to add: Nope – still working from home. Sigh. I’m ready to get outta’ here!

Question of the day: Did you get snow from blizzard Jonas? If so, how much did you get?

I think we got about two feet!

 Posted by on January 26, 2016
Jan 222016
 

Hey there! How’s everyone doing today? I’m having a great day because this morning I got to work from home with my favorite guys!

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We are expecting a blizzard in DC starting tonight, and the weathermen are predicting about two feet of snow. That’s a lot for this area! Then again, sometimes they are totally wrong and it’s just flurries.

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I saw this on Facebook the other day and snapped a picture of it. It’s too true around here!

This time though, I think the weathermen might be right. It’s been pretty cold for the last couple of weeks (meaning the snow has a better chance of sticking) and everyone on the news has been talking about the storm non-stop and showing ominous storm clouds on the radar, so we will see what happens!

It actually snowed a bit on Wednesday night, and the whole area freaked out. I think the government was so worried about this weekend’s blizzard that they forgot to put salt down for the small storm on Wednesday. The roads were a mess! Fabio had a work dinner and when he came home, he said the roads were absolutely terrible. He saw so many fender benders and cars were slipping and sliding all over the place (I saw on the news that even the President’s motorcade was sliding around!). He wasn’t lying – this is what the traffic looked like at 9:43 pm. Crazy!

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Let’s hope things go better with this next storm. Gulp.

As for me, I’ve had a glorious day so far! Fabio made us some delicious cappuccinos to kick off the morning.

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And then made us scrambled eggs on top of an arepa, our favorite Colombian breakfast. Yum!

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I wound up dousing mine in Cholula hot sauce right after snapping this pic. 😉

The federal government is closed today as of noon, so we now have the rest of the afternoon off! We are meeting some friends down the street for dinner tonight, and we all said we were kind of excited to venture out into the snow. Luckily we live next to a bunch of restaurants and bars and hit up the grocery store for some extra supplies yesterday, so we should be all set for the storm! I predict a lot of drinking in our apartment with friends over the weekend, which is a-ok with me. Bring on the snow!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite thing to do when it snows?

You better believe I plan to watch Frozen and drink lots of hot chocolate with marshmallows. I could see some baking in my future too. 🙂

 Posted by on January 22, 2016
Jan 212016
 

Hello! How’s everyone doing today? I actually managed to remember to take pictures of my food and workouts for not one but two days this week, so today I thought I’d share them with you all! I always like seeing what other people eat during the day, and it seems like you guys do too. Let’s take a peek!

Tuesday

Tuesday morning kicked off with a spin class at one of my favorite studios, Biker Barre! Truthfully when I woke up I debated skipping the class when I saw that the “feels like” temperature was -1 degrees. Ugh. Luckily I powered through and made it to the class, even if I was freezing the whole time in the car. Brr!

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The class itself was fantastic – like usual – and our instructor Allison even gave us some major props for showing up early in the cold to work out at 6:00 am. She told us we had earned the endorphin high, and she was right! I felt so good once class was over, and was so happy that I had decided to stick it out and go.

When I got home, I had a glass of fresh juice!

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This batch was made with beets, celery, kale, an apple, a grapefruit, and ginger. It was a good one!

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After taking a shower and getting ready for the day, I sat down for breakfast: a plain Greek yogurt bowl with a banana, blackberries, honey (unpictured), granola and peanuts (for healthy fats).

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I recently bought a new-to-me Special K granola, and I was really happy with the amount of protein per serving (6g) and sugar (9g, compared to many others I looked at with 13g).

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Delicious!

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The yogurt bowl kept me full for a long time, and I didn’t wind up sitting down to lunch until around 1:30. That’s really late for me! For lunch I had a leftover slice of pizza from the weekend, which was really tasty but didn’t do much to fill me up.

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I wound up snacking on an apple shortly after lunch. That did the trick!

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Later in the evening, I made this spaghetti squash “mac and cheese” which turned out really well!

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Mine wound up being a little wet – I don’t think I cooked the milk for long enough – but it was still really tasty and we have plenty of leftovers to have during the rest of the week.

Later on, I snacked on a delicious apple tart that Fabio’s dad gave us over the weekend from a French bakery.
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It was very simple and light, which was the perfect way to end the evening. Fabio and I each had a small piece while we finished up watching Making a Murderer. What a crazy show!

Wednesday

Wednesday morning began with another glass of juice, and then I headed to a 7:00 am class at Urban Athletic Club with my friends Anne and Kathleen!

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We had another great workout that included hanging knee lifts (recreated above!), sprints, wall balls, chin ups, TRX mountain climbers, goblet squats, walking lunges, high knees, push-ups to side planks, and more. Phew! It was a tough one!

When I got to work, I quickly showered in the locker room in our building, headed upstairs with dripping wet hair, and ate a yogurt bowl that I had packed from home. Taking 7:00 am classes is a bit of a challenge for me schedule-wise, but I always manage to get to work somewhat in time. 😉

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Later in the day, I dug into a huge salad with mixed greens, slivered carrots, brown rice, chicken, Craisins, and feta cheese. Yum!

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Yesterday’s snack was a small handful of mixed nuts and dried fruit, which was just enough to hold me over until dinner time.

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It was another really cold day and even started snowing when I got home, so all I wanted for dinner was soup! Luckily we had some leftover sweet potato and acorn squash soup in the freezer that I was able to thaw, plus some crusty bread from the same French bakery on the side. Yum!

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As I sat on the couch watching old episodes of Bobby Flay Throwdown on Netflix (Fabio was at a work event so I binged on crappy TV) my sweet tooth started calling to me. When we picked up Jack from my mom’s house on Sunday, she sent some flourless chocolate cake home with us (made with just eggs, butter, and cocoa powder!!) so I obviously needed some of that. With melted peanut butter on top, of course.

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So good!

Overall I would say these two days of meals and workouts were pretty typical for me – some good and healthy choices and some not. Some days are better than others, and that’s ok with me. I just try my best!

Question of the day: What’s the best thing you’ve eaten so far this week?

 Posted by on January 21, 2016
Jan 192016
 

Wow – what a weekend! This was a really busy one for us, but a lot of fun too. Here are the highlights!

Friday

We had a really exciting Friday night that included some pasta and chicken eaten from the couch, laundry, and about 4 episodes of Marking a Murderer. We are obsessed! We just have a few episodes left now and I can’t wait to see what happens. Is anyone else watching?

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we drove up to New York! On our way up we stopped by my mom’s house to drop off Jack (she kindly watched him for us over the weekend). While we were there, she made us some delicious egg sandwiches on her homemade rolls for breakfast. Yum!! Thanks, mom!

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Before long, we had made it to New York!

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Like usual, the views of downtown NYC from Brooklyn were stunning.

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From Brooklyn we headed over to Queens to have lunch with Fabio’s dad. We met at Colombian restaurant and enjoyed some delicious beef soup and a skirt steak with rice and beans.

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All the food was incredible, and it made me wish we had more Colombian restaurants in DC. It’s always so good!

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After lunch, we got changed and then drove out to Long Island for the reason of our trip: the engagement party of our friends Jay and Meg!

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Photo borrowed from Meg’s Facebook. 🙂

Jay’s favorite color is orange, and since Meg wouldn’t let him make orange the wedding color (I don’t blame her…) she compromised and let him have an orange themed engagement party. Everyone there wound up wearing something orange, and it was quite festive! We had a fun evening catching up with our friends and getting excited for all of Jay and Meg’s wedding festivities to come.

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I can’t wait for their wedding in August!

Sunday

On Sunday morning, after sleeping in for a while at Fabio’s dad’s house, we drove out to Long Island again, this time for a shiva to honor my friend Megan’s stepfather, David. David unfortunately passed away suddenly last week, and I’m so thankful that we were already planning to be in New York so I could be there for Megan during this time. I also was happy to be able to drop off some cookies that I made for her on Thursday to cheer her up (I used this recipe). I figured even when you’re sad, cookies can make you feel a little better.

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Please send your thoughts and prayers over to Megan and her family today if you can; this is a really hard time for her. <3

We wound up driving home on Sunday afternoon, and got back with just enough time to watch one more episode of Making a Murderer before happily hitting the hay. I was exhausted!

Monday

Fabio and I had off from work on Monday, so we joined my mom and dad for a site visit of a wedding venue! We wound up visiting Brittland Estates, a beautiful manor home set on 500 acres right on the Chester River.

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While it’s sort of in the middle of nowhere, Brittland would be like a mini destination wedding because you can rent out the entire house – which sleeps about 30 people – for the whole weekend.

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It also has a pool and we could also bring my dad’s boat up for the weekend, so there would be lots of activities for guests.

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While I know this is the first venue we are seeing, I can’t get it out of my head and I feel like it’s going to be very difficult for another one to top this. We shall see!

After our venue tour the four of us stopped for a quick lunch at Luisa’s Cucina Italaiana in Chestertown. Fabio got his favorite thing ever, a chicken Parmesan sub, and I got a pizza with prosciutto.

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Everything was delicious, and we had so much fun talking about the wedding venue and next steps for planning. We are looking at another venue next weekend, and I’ll keep you guys posted about how it is!

The rest of the evening included a trip to the grocery store and watching the Bachelor. For those who are watching, what did you think? Personally I can’t stand Olivia, and I can’t believe Lace left! I also don’t really mind Jubilee.

Question of the day: What do you think of this season’s The Bachelor? If you’ve planned a wedding, how many venues did you visit before deciding on one?

 Posted by on January 19, 2016
Jan 152016
 

Hellooooo! Phew – we made it to Friday! The beginning of this week felt like it was dragging on forever, but then the end of this week just sped right by for me. Anyone else?

There were definitely some times this week when I felt like I had what I like the call the “January blues” – when the cold weather and darkness just makes me feel really tired and so blah – but luckily there was lots of good stuff happening too that made me smile. Let’s take a look with today’s edition of Favorite Things Friday! Feel free to tell me about your favorite things from the week in the comments below. 🙂

Favorite Sight

I am so loving that it’s still light out when I leave work at 5:00! I can already see a difference in the amount of daylight we are getting (thank goodness!) and I’ve been seeing some pretty awesome sunsets this week too.

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We may still be a long way off from spring, but I’ll take it!

Favorite Run

Last night I took Jack for a run, and I didn’t need a jacket! When I got home my weather app said 47 degrees, which is basically a heat wave compared to the temps earlier in the week.

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We also decided to try a new route (er – I guess I decided that) and we ran right in front of Union Station.

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Like usual, it was bustling with people so Jack and I tried to stay toward the outside of the sidewalk. I’ve always loved Union Station – something about the energy of the people and the beautiful sights of the Capitol just make me happy – so it was really fun to run past it! At the end of our run we had covered 3 miles, and I was pretty happy with our new route. 🙂

Favorite Breakfast

The hotel next to my office building held a charity fundraiser this week where they offered fresh chicken and waffles to people who donated $5 toward “Give Kids the World,” a charity that provides tickets and accommodations to theme parks in Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses.

A delicious breakfast and an opportunity to give back to kids? Don’t mind if I do. 🙂

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Favorite Accomplishment

Lately I’ve been feeling like I attend the same few classes on ClassPass over and over, and I wanted to challenge myself to try something new. This week I tried not one but two  new-to-me studios in DC, and I felt pretty darn proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone.

First, I took a spin class at Reformation Fitness (read about that here) and then I took a bootcamp class at BodySmith. It turns out BodySmith was actually a regular gym that held its bootcamp class in a room off to the side.

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While that’s never my favorite set-up (it usually means the music can’t be as loud, for one thing) the class was still good! We completed a ton of different activities including battle ropes, kettlebell swings, box jumps, push-ups, sit-ups, Russian twists, kettlebell rows and more. It was great! Plus, like I said, I am just proud of myself for trying something new.

Favorite Weeknight

On Wednesday night, Fabio and I met up with our good friends Megan and JR to celebrate our engagement!

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Obviously we had to recreate the picture we took in the summer of 2014 when Megan got engaged!

(Minus Jess, of course. Miss you!!)

Sadly it’s much colder and darker in our version. We even tried to take the picture with our hoods up, but Fabio said we looked like dorks. (We did.)

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Haha! 😀

For dinner we decided to try out Crisp, a new Southern-style restaurant in Bloomingdale, my favorite nearby neighborhood. I had heard so many good things about Crisp, and it did not disappoint! First, Megan and I both agreed that the restaurant itself was absolutely adorable, and it reminded us a lot of a spot you’d find in New York City. The drinks menu looked amazing and we all giggled over names like “5 star Uber driver” and “do you have an iPhone 7 charger.” Haha!

The food was delicious too, and Megan and I both got the patty melt.

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It was insanely delicious, and we both had leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day. Woohoo!

Such a fun night with our friends. 🙂

Favorite Snuggler

This guy.

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One day this week Jack was feeling especially cuddly, and he didn’t leave my side on the couch for the whole evening. What a cuddle bug.

Favorite Nails

As soon as Fabio and I got engaged on Christmas, his sister Diane gave me a bottle of Essie nail polish with the name “She Said Yes!” I obviously had to try it right away, and I have to say I’m a big fan. 🙂

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Having a new ring on my finger doesn’t hurt either! 🙂

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I have Monday off from work so I most likely won’t be popping back in until Tuesday. Chat with you then!

Question of the day: Tell me one thing that made you smile this week.

 

 Posted by on January 15, 2016
Jan 132016
 

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing today? I always like reading day-in-the-life style posts, and since it’s been a while since I’ve written one myself, I thought I’d share one with you today. I actually want to start including these in the blog rotation a bit more frequently, but we’ll have to see if I can remember to take enough pictures during my day to keep that up. 🙂 Anyway, here’s a look at my Tuesday!

My morning kicked off with a 6:00 am spin class at Reformation Fitness.

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I’d been to Reformation Fitness once before for their Metabolic Conditioning class, but I hadn’t tried their spin class before. They also recently opened a new studio only 8 minutes away from my apartment (!!), so I was excited to check it out!

The class was great, and our instructor Paul had us pedaling our tushes off. He also had some great songs on his playlist, and I found myself singing along to myself more than once. It was awesome!

Lately I’ve been having a really hard time getting up for my 6:00 am classes, and I find myself feeling extra grumpy and sleepy when I climb out of the warm covers (truthfully, I always feel a little grumpy and sleepy when I get out of bed at 5:00 am, but lately it’s been even worse). I’ve found that one thing that really helps is knowing that I can use some of the new fitness gear I got over the holidays. I didn’t wind up getting a ton of new stuff this year (two headbands, two water bottles, and a pair of shorts), but I’ve been rationing out the things I did get for the mornings when I’m feeling particularly cranky so it gives me a little something extra to feel excited about.

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New Athleta headband!

It definitely helps!

After my workout I came home, showered, and then sat down for breakfast. I had one of the egg cups I made over the weekend, and it was easy and delicious!

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I also had a Vitamin D supplement that I picked up from my work meeting that I went to in Los Angeles in November. While I was there, I talked with some vitamin folks about two things: probiotics and Vitamin D. Last time I visited my doctor, she recommended that I take a Vitamin D supplement since almost everyone she tests is low in that vitamin, which is important for bone strength and prevention of osteoporosis (calcium can’t be absorbed in the body without Vitamin D). I told her I already take a multivitamin with Vitamin D in it, but she said oftentimes that’s not enough for people. When I talked to the vitamin folks at my meeting in LA, they said the same thing and gave me a few samples of their once-weekly Vitamin D supplement. Since it’s January and I haven’t been outside in the daylight much in the last couple of weeks (uhh…except in Jamaica 🙂 lol) I decided now was as good a time as any to take the supplement.

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Do you guys take multivitamins? How about Vitamin D supplements or probiotics? It’s something I am interested in learning more about so I’d love to hear about what you all do!

After breakfast, Fabio and I walked to the metro together (ughh – it finally feels like winter around here) and then it was work, work, work.

At around 12:30 I stopped for lunch: a delicious salad with mixed greens, chicken, quinioa, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sliced carrots, Craisins, and goat cheese.

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Yum!

I wound up working while I ate, and instead took my lunch break with my coworkers to browse around the nearby TJ Maxx. I didn’t buy anything (AHH! It’s so hard not buying anything in that store!) but I did see this adorable dog blanket that said “let’s stay home and snuggle.” I snapped a picture and sent it to Fabio since that’s a pretty frequently used saying in our house. 🙂

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A little later in the day, I snacked on some mango slices from Nuts.com. I actually got these as a free sample when I bought some nuts over the holidays.

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They’re really tasty (though a little tougher than some other brands I’ve tried) and I especially love the ingredients list: organic mango. That’s it!

Eventually my work day was over and it was time to go home. While I started working on this post, Fabio made us dinner! This week we skipped our usual grocery haul and instead are trying to make our way through some of the extra food in our fridge and freezer. Fabio wound up making a delicious steak, and I reheated some brown rice I had made over the weekend along with some peas we had in the freezer. Dinner = done!

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We ended the night by watching the State of the Union address, which Jack was less than enthused about. 🙂

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The end!

Question of the day: Tell me one thing about your Tuesday.

 Posted by on January 13, 2016
Jan 112016
 

Hi friends! Did everyone have a nice weekend? Mine was pretty fun, and included a good mix of productivity, fun, and relaxation. Here are the highlights!

Friday

Fabio and I had a date night on Friday evening! After work, we headed into Chinatown for dinner and a movie. I always love seeing the big archway that spans the street in Chinatown. It’s so pretty!

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For dinner, we headed to a new-to-us fast casual spot called Beef ‘N Bread. The small restaurant features delicious sandwiches with fun sauces and toppings. Fabio and I each ordered a different roast beef sandwich – I got the Cali Beef and he got the Kansas City – and then we cut them both in half and shared.

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Both were incredibly delicious, and we were really impressed with this cute little spot. If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat in Chinatown, definitely check out Beef ‘N Bread!

After dinner, we walked over to the movie theater to watch the new Star Wars movie. Fabio and I never watched Star Wars growing up, but we borrowed the DVDs from a neighbor of ours and over the last month or so we’ve managed to watch all of them. The newest one was my favorite yet, and I think even people who aren’t huge Star Wars fans would enjoy the movie. It was great!

Saturday

Fabio headed out to play golf on Saturday with my dad and grandpa (the weather has been unseasonably warm this winter – who would have thought he could play golf in January?!) so I stayed home with Jack and got some things done around the house.

First up was breakfast, which was an omelet made with kale and sauteed onions. Plus bacon on the side. 🙂

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The kale totally cancels out the calories from the bacon, right? 😉

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While I was in the kitchen, I decided to whip up some egg cups to eat during the week.

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All I did was saute a little extra kale and onions, and then whisk up a bunch of eggs along with some cheese, salt and pepper. Then I greased a muffin dish and poured some of the egg mixture along with the kale and onions into each muffin cup. Then I baked the tray at 350 degrees for about 25 mins. And voila! Breakfast for the week was done. 🙂

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Soon enough Fabio was home from golf, and I made us a nice dinner of peanut crusted salmon, brown rice, and asparagus.

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We even sat at the table like real humans, and listened to some nice music while we ate. It was like date night part two! 🙂

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After dinner, we drove into Baltimore to celebrate Alex’s – Fabio’s brother-in-law’s – 30th birthday!

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We spent the night bopping around Baltimore and checking out different bars with a bunch of Alex’s friends. Luckily we’ve met a lot of them before, so it was really fun! We also invited a few of our Baltimore friends to join us, so it was a really fun night with a good group.

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When in Baltimore, drink Natty Bos. 

We even attempted to play Bear Pong – giant beer pong – but I was really bad at it. Phew! Throwing that big ball into the bucket was tough.

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Later in the night we headed over to a bar called Bond Street, where we wound up running into a bunch of our friends from college who were in town for a wedding. What a nice coincidence!

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Me with my friend Lauren

Sadly, we found out later that one of my very best friends, Kristen, was at the same bar as us but we didn’t see her. She was in town from Philly for the wedding, and unfortunately neither one of us knew the other person was in Baltimore. Wah!! Wish I could have seen her!

On the way home from the bar we got stuck in a rain storm, and we got really drenched. Sigh.

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I have to admit it was kind of fun walking/running home in the rain though.

Overall, it was such a fun night!

Sunday

Sunday was very relaxing, and included lots of TV watching (we watched Making a Murderer, the sad Redskins game, and the Golden Globes) as well as cleaning and some blog work.

It was a great way to end the weekend!

Question of the day: Did you watch the Golden Globes? Who did you think was best dressed?

I loved J. Lo’s ensemble! Those diamonds! *Swoon*

 Posted by on January 11, 2016
Jan 082016
 

Phew! We made it to Friday!

This week was an especially tough one for me because, in addition to jumping back into a busy work week after an amazing vacation, I started feeling like I was getting sick toward the end of the week. No bueno! I’m going to try to take things easy over the weekend in the hopes that I can beat this thing before it gets too bad, but we shall see!

Luckily, I had lots of other fun things going on this week that made me smile. Let’s take a look in today’s Favorite Things Friday post!

Favorite Milestone

Obviously, being engaged!

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Come on, you knew this was coming, right? All week I received tons of kind wishes from friends and family (and you guys! Thank you!) that had me smiling from ear to ear.

I even received a few thoughtful gifts/mementos, like this adorable card from my friend Hana and a nice bottle of wine from one of Fabio’s coworkers.

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I also went out to lunch with my friend Claire to celebrate, which was an awesome mid-week treat. 🙂 We wound up going to MOD Pizza, a Chipotle-style pizza place where you can create your own pizzas. Too cool!

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I wound up making a mini pizza with white sauce, red onions, basil, tomatoes, sausage, and brussels sprouts. I also ordered a “mini salad” on the side, which actually wound up being pretty big!

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MOD Pizza was delicious, and I definitely want to go back to try other pizza combos. It was so fun to create your own!

Claire had a few engagement goodies for me too, because she’s the best. Thank you to everyone for your kind wishes and gifts this week!

Favorite Foods

After all the festivities over the holidays, it felt great to get back to some of my regular (read: healthier) foods this week. I was able to pack a giant salad for lunch every day this week (except when I went out to lunch with Claire) and it felt so good to get all those nutrients back into my system. I was seriously lacking on my intake of veggies over the break!

I have also been eating some delicious apples this week (plus some trail mix on the day I snapped this picture), and trying to plan for healthier dinners as well.

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One day I made a big pot of this chicken tortilla soup, topped with Greek yogurt, cilantro, cheese, and homemade tortilla crisps. Yummy! This was especially nice since it’s been really cold this week.

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On another night, I made a weeknight staple in our house: hummus chicken with broccoli fritters!

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It might not look like much, but this meal is very easy and delicious. Fabio and I both really enjoy this meal and make it quite frequently when we’re looking for easy and delicious weeknight dinners.

Also, I just have to stop for a minute to mention the wine that’s pictured above. My stepsister Maggie bought me this bottle for Christmas, and it’s great! The taste is really nice – fresh and smooth – and how adorable is the bottle?

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Obviously she knows I love anything with a dog on it. 🙂 Thanks, Maggie!

Favorite Show

It’s baaaaaack! Did anyone watch the Bachelor this week? Fabio and I had too much fun watching this seriously cheesy/hilarious show, and we couldn’t help giggling over all the dramatic girls. Plus, we enjoyed some champagne while we watched (because, #Monday) and I even had a little piece of chocolate leftover from Christmas.

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Hey, just because I’m making healthier meal choices overall doesn’t mean I’m cutting out all my treats! 🙂

So, what do you all think about this season’s contestants? There are some crazy ones, right? (Lace!!)

I actually have some insider information about one of the girls who makes it to hometowns, but I won’t ruin it for you! (She is from the same hometown as Fabio’s coworker Annie, and Annie told us that there were pictures on social media of Ben at her high school.)

Jack, on the other hand, was not interested in the Bachelor at all.

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🙂

Favorite Sweat

I got some great workouts in this week, including a spin class at Biker Barre and a really tough workout at Urban Athletic Club! (I had another class scheduled for today, but since I’m not feeling so hot I canceled it.)

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For some reason (umm, maybe all the Christmas cookies?), this week’s classes were really tough! Phew!

Also, my friends Anne and Kathleen were both really excited over my engagement, and we took this cute (if sweaty) picture at the end of class to commemorate the occasion.

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Yay! 🙂

Question of the day: Tell me one thing that made you smile this week.

 Posted by on January 8, 2016