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Oct 242014
 

*Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter my gummy bear giveaway! Details available here.*

Hey friends! Happy Friday! I’ve had a few fun things going on in the last couple of days, so let’s catch up shall we?

Revolve DC

Yesterday morning I went to a 6:00 am Body Ride class at Revolve DC. Have I mentioned lately how much I am loving trying out new studios as part of my free month of ClassPass? Well, I’m saying it now. It’s awesome! I could get used to this for sure.

Although there are tons of classes available through ClassPass, I constantly find myself drawn to ones with morning classes (you know me) that are about 10-15 minutes from my apartment. So far, I’m pleasantly surprised at the variety of options!

This week there was a morning spot available at Revolve DC, and since I had heard about Revolve from a lot of friends and fellow bloggers, I decided to check it out.

Before heading over to Revolve, I did some quick research on The Fit Crasher to see what I was in for (I learned my lesson after not researching reformer pilates) and I’m so glad I did! Once I read Meaghan’s review I realized there was plenty of street parking available near the studio, so I decided to drive instead of run there. This decision allowed to me to sleep in for an extra 5 minutes which was oh-so necessary. 😉

When I arrived at the studio about 5 minutes before class started, I was greeted to pumping music and a flurry of activity. By the time I arrived, I was one of the last ones to get settled! You definitely want to arrive early for this class; they start right away.

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After signing in and filling out a quick waiver, I paid the $2 rental fee for a pair of spin shoes. Then I dropped off my bag in one of the combination lockers (love!), filled up my water bottle from their filtered water fill station (love!), and headed into the class.

Mara was my instructor for the day, and she was nice enough to come over and help me clip into my bike pedals since I am a newbie to clip-in bikes and had zero clue how to do it. Whoops. I’m so glad she was there to help!

Then as the music was pumping, the lights turned down low and the class began. I really enjoyed the darkness of the spin room – it helped you focus on your form and speed instead of worrying about how much the person next to you is turning up her bike resistance or staring at your reflection in the mirror and thinking about how you look like a sweaty sleepwalker, since it is 6:00 am after all.

For the duration of each song, Mara would guide us through different exercises. From one minute sprints with 30 second rests, to gradually “climbing” a hill for a whole song until you could barely pedal by the end, there was a lot of variety.

About mid-way through the class we brought out the weights that were hanging by the bottom of our bikes, and completed a great upper body circuit. I don’t know if it’s just been a while since I’ve worked out my arms in a new way or what, but my shoulders were burning! In the best way, of course.

After this we did a bit more sprinting in and out of the saddle, and then the class was over. Just like that, 45 minutes later, I was dripping in sweat and feeling like I just had a really great workout.

photo (1)Such a fun way to switch up my morning routine!

Fit Crasher Happy Hour

Then last night after work, I met up with my fellow DC Fit Crashers!

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We’ve been blogging together for a couple of months now, and although I’ve met a couple of the crashers at fitness events here and there, and had met them all via Google hangout, it was nice to get us all together for a happy hour. Unfortunately Maggie got sick and wasn’t able to join us (feel better, Maggie!) and Meaghan was in New York so she obviously couldn’t join us, but it was great to get the rest of the group together.

We wound up meeting at Bar Charley, a nice bar in the middle of the DuPont Circle and U Street neighborhoods, which had some delicious food and hand-crafted drinks.

I wound up ordering a “shoulder to the wheel” for my cocktail, which was made up of  tequila, allspice, lemon, egg white, and whole bunch of other things that I couldn’t name. It was sweet and fruity – but not so much as to give me a headache – and I adored the frothy egg white on top. Yum.

As far as food goes, we decided to go with two of the “poutines and fries,” which were essentially french fries with delicious gourmet toppings. We got the Chesapeake (fries with Old Bay gravy (!), blue crab, and ricotta salata) and the Catalin (fries with avocado and some kind of chorizo, topped with a fried egg). The Catalin was really tasty, but the Cheapeake? Wow. As someone who was born and raised in Maryland, you better believe I was all over that. Yum.

Overall the food and drinks were great, and it was so nice to put faces to names and get to know this crew a little better 🙂

Run with Anne

This morning I met up with Anne for our weekly run! We decided to skip the track today since she’s running the Marine Corps 10K this weekend and wants to save her legs. Works for me!

We met in Courthouse at 6:00 am and decided to run into Georgetown, which is one of my favorite routes. It was a good one for today too since it was so dark and all the sidewalks are pretty well-lit (compared to some of our other favorite running trails which would have been pitch black).

It had been a little while since I’d seen her (we skipped last week due to thunderstorms) and we had so much to catch up on! We had so much fun chatting along the way.
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I always love running through Georgetown, even when it’s this dark out!

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After two miles we turned around and headed back up to Courthouse. Our pace was a little slower than usual (around 9:15 overall), but we stayed steady up through the mile-long hill of death home, which was really great. Once we were back, the sun was finally starting to rise, but we were too far from the water to see the sunrise. Boo. photo (1)

After our run we spent about 15 minutes walking for our cool down, which was so nice. It’s always so fun running and chatting with Anne!

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Good luck to anyone running the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend!

Questions of the day: How do you feel about spin classes? Do you have a signature cocktail?

 Posted by on October 24, 2014
Sep 102014
 

Good morning!

It’s Wednesday already, which means it’s What I Ate Wednesday time! I love this opportunity to reflect on my eats and workouts from the week. It’s a great way to take a snapshot of a single day, and see how I’m doing health and fitness-wise.

Today we’re taking a look at Tuesday. Let’s see how I did, shall we?

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As always, my thanks go to Jenn for hosting the linkup!

(Unpictured) Pre-breakfast Snack

Yesterday morning I met up with Anne for another one of our early morning track workouts, and since I knew I wouldn’t be eating for a few more hours, I ate a small handful of raw almonds beforehand for a little fuel. It did the trick! Almonds make great emergency snacks, and I always keep some at home, in the car, and in my snack drawer at work. 🙂

No pictures of this one, because who can remember to take a picture at 5:30 a.m.?

Workout

By 6:00 a.m., Anne and I were at the track and ready to go! It was dark at that hour, which was somewhat depressing. I guess those bright summer mornings are officially over!

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Luckily there was still enough light for us to see the track, and soon the sun started coming up.

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Once again, the track was really busy! I love that everyone is up and at ’em so early in the morning.

Our workout was pretty similar to last week’s, and looked a bit like this:

  • 1 mile warm up – pace: 9:21
  • 2 miles of sprint the straights, jog the curves – first mile overall average pace of 7:47, second mile 7:36 (YES!!!)
  • 1 mile cool down – pace: 8:40

We ended up doing 4.15 miles total (we went a little over by accident) at an average overall pace of 8:22. Thanks to Anne for keeping track on her Garmin!

Overall I was thrilled with this workout. I know everyone runs at different paces, and for some of you running a 7:36 mile might not be a big deal, but for me that is really fast!! I was so proud of us 🙂

Thanks, Anne for the great workout!!

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Next week we are going to try sprinting half the lap (not just the straights) and I’m so excited to see how fast we can get! Woohoo!

Breakfast

Once I got home from the track, I quickly showered and gobbled up a breakfast of whole wheat toast, natural PB, banana, honey, and chia seeds.

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I was running a little late for work because Anne and I got caught up talking while stretching, so I didn’t have time to make much else. This worked though! 😀

Lunch

Around 12:15 p.m. my tummy started rumbling, so I dug into my salad.

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Don’t be fooled by this picture, it was actually gigantic.

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In the mix was:

  • Spinach
  • “Power Geens” from Costco
  • Broccoli/carrot slaw
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Grilled chicken
  • Feta cheese
  • BBQ sauce dressing

I love that this salad was really voluminous – thus keeping me full – but was still low in calories because of all the veggies! These giant salads have been my go-to lunch lately. Yum!

Dinner

Well to be honest, it’s Tuesday night as I type this and I haven’t made dinner yet. Be right back while I go cook something!

Ok I’m back 😉

For dinner I made a pasta dish with chicken sausage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, and cheese.

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It was great!

Now I’m rummaging around trying to find something for my sweet tooth…perhaps a couple of Hershey Kisses will do the trick? 😉

Catch you guys later!

Question of the day: Is it dark when you wake up these days?

 Posted by on September 10, 2014
Apr 212017
 

Helloooo! How was your week? Mine was a good one and it went by really fast. Love when that happens!

I also got some good workouts in, so let’s take a look back shall we?

Sat., April 15 – Before heading over to Baltimore for Diane and Alex’s baby gender reveal on Saturday, I ran three miles with my favorite furry running partner, Jack! Through work, I recently heard about an app called Charity Miles that allows you to raise money for the charity of your choice with every walk, run, or bike ride you log through the app. I thought it was a really cool concept (and such an easy way to raise money for causes that are important to you!) so I gave it a shot on Saturday morning.

It was really easy to set up, and I loved knowing that my quick, three-mile run was able to make a difference!

Sun., April 16 – Rest day! I spent Easter soaking up lots of time with family. 🙂

Mon., April 17 – Another three-mile run with Jack! This time the Charity Miles app said “together we’ve earned $17,655,” so I was happy to see that more people had used the app over the weekend. I’m not sure exactly how much each mile adds to the donated total, but I still think it’s cool that a run I would have done anyway can help raise money for important causes!

Tues., April 18 – On Tuesday, Anne, Fabio, and I checked out a new-to-us bootcamp class at Bodymass Gym via ClassPass (<–affiliate link for $30 off!).

The class was conveniently located in Courthouse, and we didn’t have to feed the meter until 8:00 a.m. which was really nice. We wound up taking their Bodymass Blast class, which is a full-body workout with a mix of cardio and strength-based circuits. This is one of their smaller classes by design, which we liked since it gave us more time to work one-on-one with our instructor, Chaz. Chaz led us through a series of circuits with planks, push-ups, step-ups, goblet squats, burpees, lunges, and more. It was a really good workout, and we all agreed we’d happily return again soon!

Wed., April 19 – I did something a little different on Wednesday! I am trying to “save up” my ClassPass classes since I ran out so quickly last month, but I didn’t feel like doing another run either. Instead I packed up a couple of weights and a sweat towel and walked over to the tennis courts near my house!

From there I completed one of my old Kayla Itsines workouts (I did legs and cardio and used the bench for step-ups) and it was really hard! I hadn’t done one of those workouts in literally years, but I still had the PDF saved on my phone so it wasn’t hard to pull it up and quickly find the one I wanted to do. By the end of the two repeated circuits, my legs were burning and I was dripping in sweat! Success! This is definitely a workout I’ll have to add to my rotation more often.

Thurs., April 20 – On Thursday, I joined my buddies Kathleen and Anne for our weekly bootcamp class at Urban Athletic Club! The coaches all tease us because we usually chat during class — don’t they know we use our workout hour to catch up? It’s basically like a coffee date without the coffee. 🙂 We still work just as hard!

This week’s class was taught by Graham, the owner of UAC who we hadn’t had for a while. It was a great class and included broad jumps, walking lunges, pull-ups, jump rope, wall-balls, deadlifts, bicep curls, sit-ups, and more.

It was a good one!

Fri., April 21 – Rest day!

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today! I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Question of the day: When you’re not taking a class/going to the gym and you’re not running, what are some other ways you work out on your own?

 Posted by on April 21, 2017
Apr 192017
 

On Saturday morning, Fabio and I drove over to his sister Diane’s house for her baby gender reveal party! We were told to wear pink or blue based on our guess, and since Fabio and I knew that most of the family was rooting for a boy, we decided to represent team pink. We even brought some pink champagne!

We arrived around 11:00 a.m. and immediately got to work getting ready for the party. While Diane and her husband Alex finished getting ready for the day, Fabio and I joined his dad and other sister, Karen, at the grocery store to get some last minute party decorations.

It was a packed car with the four of us and all the balloons and flowers, but luckily it was a short ride!

When we got back to Diane and Alex’s house, we saw that Alex’s sister Michelle had set up the rest of the party decorations. We were ready to go!

How cute are these mini strollers and baby rattles? Michelle did such a great job with everything!

Team girl!!

Before we got started on the baby gender festivities, we set up a quick Easter egg hunt for Fabio’s niece, Sofia. The Easter bunny (aka, Fabio) hid eggs all around the yard!

Then we unleashed Sofia on the backyard! She was able to find all the eggs fairly quickly, though she needed hints for some of the tougher ones. 😉

Then we switched roles and Sofia hid all the eggs for the adults to find! Diane, Alex, Karen, Karen’s husband Martin, Fabio, and I all ran around the yard like crazy looking for eggs.

So fun!!

Sofia is a good hider. 😉

After the Easter egg hunt, Alex’s parents arrived and it was time to eat! We had a delicious spread of Greek salad, cheese bread, pita, dips, spanakopita, mixed veggies, chicken kabobs, pesto pasta salad, and pirozhkis (Russian pastries filled with ground beef). I wound up trying a bit of everything, and it was all delicious!

We all finished eating quickly because that meant it was time to find out the gender of Diane and Alex’s baby!

Their doctor actually found out the sex of the baby a week before, but Diane and Alex didn’t want to know the results yet so they had their doctor put the results in a sealed envelope, which they gave to a bakery. That way we were all surprised when they cut into the cake! Ready??

It’s a boy!!

Yayyy!!! Everyone was so excited, especially since most of the family was hoping for a boy. 🙂

Congrats, Diane and Alex!

Sadly, team pink was wrong. Boo! Haha!

But of course, we are just so happy for Diane and Alex and wish them a healthy pregnancy and delivery!

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the sunshine! We sat around drinking wine (well, not Diane), dancing with Sofia, and playing games in the yard.

This face!! LOL.

So fun!

Once the sun went down, we headed inside for cheese and fruit. How cute is this little plate Diane assembled?

The boys watched the Capital’s hockey game downstairs, while the girls felt the baby kicking!

This was my first time every feeling a baby move inside the womb and it was incredible! A little strange – like there was a little alien in there – but so wonderfully amazing. 🙂

Sunday

On Sunday morning we were up bright and early to meet my family for church! Fabio’s dad and Diane joined us, so it was nice to have our two families together!

Then we headed to my mom’s house for an amazing Easter feast. My mom really outdid herself with the spread!

My only contribution was this little bunny that garnished the plate of smoked turkey. It’s made with half a canned pear, a maraschino cherry, two raisins, two slivered almonds, and cottage cheese. It’s one of our favorite Easter traditions!

We stayed at my mom’s house for a few hours before eventually returning home in the late afternoon. It was a busy weekend for sure!

Question of the day: Have you ever been to a baby gender reveal party? How did the mom/dad-to-be make the announcement?

 Posted by on April 19, 2017
Apr 142017
 

Hi there! How was your week? It sure was a beautiful one over here, with plenty of days filled with sunshine and warm temperatures! More on that in a minute. 🙂 For now, let’s chat about my workouts this week!

Sat., April 8 – Rest day! This was a fun day spent having my second wedding dress fitting, celebrating my dad’s birthday with my grandparents, and meeting my friend Hana out in D.C. It was a busy one, so working out wasn’t a priority. Then again, Hana and I did tear up the dance floor on Saturday night, so that might count as a workout! 🙂

Sun., April 9 – Rest day! We spent this day doing yard work and prepping for the week ahead. There was also a nap involved after all the late-night dancing the night before. 😉

Mon., April 10 – On Monday morning, I ran three miles with Jack. Three miles is my favorite distance for just a normal, not-training-for-anything-but-want-to-hit-the-pavement run. It doesn’t feel too challenging, doesn’t take too long, but still feels like an accomplishment. Jack loves this distance too! 🙂

Tues., April 11 – FlyWheel class with Fabio! This week we went to the Dupont location instead of City Center (where we usually go), and we took a class with one of my favorite instructors, Richard! We hadn’t had him in a while and I forgot how tough his classes are. Tuesday’s class had tons of hills! Oof!

Wed., April 12 – I ran out of ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $30 off!) classes early this month for some reason, which was a huge bummer! (I have the 10 class plan.) Last week I wanted to take one more class on Thursday or Friday, until I realized I would have been left without any classes for this week. Aw man!

I used my last class on Tuesday for FlyWheel, so on Wednesday morning I planned to complete an at-home workout in my living room. I had picked out the workout and everything the night before, but when I woke up on Wednesday morning I just had no motivation to crawl out of bed. Apparently, I now need the accountability of a workout buddy or a ClassPass fine to get myself out of bed for an at-home bootcamp! How times have changed! This day wound up turning into a rest day. Womp womp.

Thurs., April 13 – Even though I was out of ClassPass classes, I wound up buying a discounted class through their app to take a bootcamp class at Urban Athletic Club with my buddies Anne and Kathleen. We had a new-to-us instructor named Howard, and he was great! Classes on Thursdays are strength-based with a lot less cardio, and we all enjoyed the workout! And the foam rolling at the end, which is when we like to chat and catch up. 🙂 (This picture is actually from last week’s class!)

Fri., April 14 – I’m not quite sure yet about my plans for tomorrow (it’s Thursday night as I type this) but it will either include using up my last class at CorePower Yoga on a sculpt class, or sleeping in a little more and going for another run with Jack. We will see! Thank goodness my ClassPass resets on Saturday!

All in all, this was definitely not my best week of workouts. I could blame it on ClassPass, but I know part of it was also just me being lazy. I can tell that by my food too – I did ok at sticking to healthy choices, but I also snuck a few treats here and there that I definitely could have done without.

Knowing myself, I know that this is also a bit of a mental game for me. With the wedding coming up on June 10 (eek!!) I know I’m probably going to go super crazy with healthy eating and exercise during the month of May, and I guess I’m giving myself permission to enjoy this last bit of time where I don’t have to feel guilty if I eat a cookie that my coworker offers me or sleep in on a random Wednesday that I should have worked out. Of course I know I shouldn’t feel that guilt at all – I should just do my best to balance healthy choices with a few indulgences here and there – but I know as soon as it’s crunch time before the wedding that guilt is going to come on strong.

Anyway, enough about that. Let’s talk about a couple of other highlights from the week – namely, the weather! Spring is definitely here, and everything is blooming. Look at these tress in my neighborhood!

We have a beautiful azalea bush in front of our house, and it is so, so close to being in full bloom. There are a few flowers out already, but I can’t wait until they all open up in a couple of days!

Pretty much every day this week has been beautiful, and I did my best to get out for a walk during my lunch breaks. On Tuesday I had some more work to do once I got home around 6:00, but I was able to take it outside and finish working on the front stoop with my favorite furry buddy! And it was HOT!

And now that we removed that annoying stump, we can use our grill!

We wound up using it on Wednesday night and are planning to use it again tonight (Thursday). On Wednesday we had burgers and sweet potato fries, and while Fabio grilled I kept him company with Jack outside!

Yummmm.

I can’t wait for more grilling now that warm weather is here!

Well friends, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and for those who celebrate it, happy Easter and passover! We have a very full weekend ahead of us, and I’m excited to get it started!

Question of the day: Do you grill? If so, how often? Do you ever play weird mental games with yourself when it comes to being healthy?

 Posted by on April 14, 2017
Apr 122017
 

Earlier this week I looked at the date and realized my wedding is just two months away. Ah! Where did the time go? I feel like I’ve been engaged for so long and my wedding always felt so far away, and now it’s really weird that now it’s just around the corner. Eeek!

Since my mind is pretty much focused on all things wedding at the moment, I figured I would give you guys an update today!

Bridal Shower

My bridal shower is going to be more like a backyard BBQ, and couples will be invited! I’ve been to a bunch of traditional bridal showers where it’s ladies only and everyone watches the bride open up a bunch of gifts, and while that tradition is beautiful, it never really felt like me. I’d rather have a more casual get-together with both guys and girls, and I’m not planning to spend a lot of time opening up gifts in front of everyone (I figured I would just talk to some of the ladies who might want me to open their gifts, and do that separately, away from the whole party).

The shower will be at my dad’s house on April 29, so it’s coming up really soon! I’m also having my wedding makeup trial that morning, so I’ll have a full face of makeup for the party. Hey, whatever works, right? Now I’m debtating…should I get a blow out too? Decisions, decisions.

My dad, cousin, and a couple of my bridesmaids are taking care of all the planning for the party, so the only thing I have to do is figure out what to wear! Woohoo!

I wound up buying this fun maxi skirt, which arrived in the mail last week.

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I think it’s perfect for a bridal shower! Now I’m on the hunt for a top to match. I can’t tell if it needs to be white or ivory (or some other color, like gray?) so I’m planning to head to the mall soon to look around. Suggestions are welcome! Either way, things are moving right along for the shower!

Rehearsal Dinner

Another thing I’ve been shopping for is my rehearsal dinner! I went to the mall with my mom a couple of weekends ago to look for a dress, and though I saw lots of pretty things, I didn’t see anything that seemed right for my rehearsal dinner.

After thinking about it a bit more and doing some research online, I decided what I really wanted was a white jumpsuit. I thought it would be trendy and modern, but still sophisticated and elegant. Here are some of the ones I looked at online.

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I loved this one above, but it only comes in petite sizes and I was worried it would be too short.

In the end, I wound up getting this one from Nordstrom!

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It also arrived last week, and I absolutely LOVE it. It’s a great material, super flattering, and has an open back (which I’m going to need to buy a stick-on bra for – please let me know if you have any suggestions for ones you like!).

The slits up the side are also very fun, and I think it’s going to be perfect for the rehearsal dinner. Granted, it’s a bit dressier than I initially thought I wanted, but I figured if anyone can be overdressed at a rehearsal dinner it’s the bride! Right?

Wedding

Wedding planning itself is going…so-so. Unfortunately, our wedding coordinator with the venue had unexpected surgery in early March, and we’re not sure when she’s going to be back. Initially we were told she’d be back at the end of March, but now we’re being told it will be sometime in May. Her replacement planner seems ok, but I just really love our coordinator. She’s been working at the venue doing weddings for 30 years, and just knows so much! I really hope everything went ok with her surgery – I sent a get well soon card to her house – but selfishly I hope she is able to come back to work soon!

Her replacement planner seems ok, but I just really love our coordinator. She’s been working at the venue doing weddings for 30 years, and she just knows so much! I really hope everything went ok with her surgery – I sent a get well soon card to her house – but selfishly I hope she is able to come back to work soon!

Either way, I feel confident that between her replacement and my compulsive, type A personality, everything will go smoothly.

Other wedding items are also going well – I recently coordinated with the hair people, makeup people, photographer, and florist on a day-of timeline, which took a lot of work. All the girls received their bridesmaid’s dresses, and all of the groomsmen except one have their suits. I’ve been talking to the florist and the bakery and we are all set there. I think the next thing on my to-do list is to work more closely with the DJ. It’s all coming together!

Honeymoon

A lot has been happening on the honeymoon front! We recently booked our flights to Thailand and are now working out the exact itinerary for our trip! We had a general idea before, but wanted to wait to book our flights to pin down which days we’d be doing what. Now that we know exactly what our schedule will look like, we are doing fun things like booking our day trip to the Elephant Nature Park – the elephant reserve that takes in abused elephants and lets you feed them and play in the river with them – and book our hotel on the beach. Eeeek!

[Source – This is also a great recap of what we’ll be doing at the park]

Because I’m so type A and love planning, this is one of my favorite things to do! I’m currently deeply immersed in articles about the best places to eat, the coolest neighborhoods, and the most unique bars, and I couldn’t be happier. 🙂

And that’s about it as far as the latest wedding planning updates go. All in all, it’s coming along nicely and I think (hope?) we are in pretty good shape.

Before I sign off for the day, I have to give some major props to my good friend Shriya who recently opened up her own makeup artistry business, SKK Beauty! Since it’s also wedding-related, I figured this was a good time to share about it. 🙂

To celebrate the launch of her website, she’s running a limited time offer for 2017 brides through May 9. As part of the offer, they get a free makeup trial ($85 value) when they book four or more wedding attendants.

Here’s why Shriya said she started SKK: “I felt like makeup artists in the DMV area either cost an arm and leg for event makeup, were inconveniently located (i.e., did not travel to the client’s home or venue), or did not take into consideration the client’s skin type and overall makeup style preferences, and you ended up with a cake face or something totally different than what you imagined. I wanted to provide a service that was fairly priced, offered in-home service, AND really listened to client’s needs and preferences to create a flawless look. While I always listen to my own client’s desires, my personal style is elegance and glamor without feeling or looking caked.”

Go Shriya! I’m so proud of her for taking on this new adventure.

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Question of the day: What color shirt do you think I should look for to go with the bridal shower skirt? Do you have any recommendations for those sticky bras?

 Posted by on April 12, 2017
Apr 072017
 

Spring is here in the nation’s capital!! We enjoyed some beautiful weather this week, and everything is finally starting to turn green. Look at these pretty trees by my office!

Last week I had a work event that went late on Thursday night, so I didn’t get the chance to pop in with a weekly workout update for you guys. I actually missed writing it; I always like reflecting on the week’s workouts to see if I had enough variety in terms of cardio, strength, and stability/stretching (yoga). Let’s get back to it with a look at this week’s workouts, shall we?

Sat., April – Short, shake-out run with Jack. We only covered a mile, which was fine with me. Mostly I just wanted to move my legs a bit!

Sun., April – Cherry Blossom 10 Miler!! I’m still feeling so happy about that seven-second PR. Woohoo!

Mon., April – Rest day! I actually wasn’t feeling too sore after the race, but I figured a rest day to stretch and foam roll never hurt anybody.

Tues., April – Fabio and I took a 7:00 a.m. Hot Power Fusion class at CorePower Yoga on Tuesday! We’ve taken this class once before, and it’s very similar to CPY’s Yoga 2 class but with a bit more strength involved. And, it is HOT! Phew! Fabio and I were dripping in sweat by the end. We also agreed we really liked the instructor, Lorenzo, and his core workout at the end was pretty great (read: hard!).

Wed., April – I actually wound up doing two workouts on Wednesday! In the morning, I joined my buddies Anne and Kathleen for a bootcamp at Urban Athletic Club. It was a hard one and we went through the three stations doing various exercises including kettlebell swings, deadlifts, box pushes, mountain climbers on sliders and the TRX, broad jumps, burpees, chest presses, pull-ups, jump rope, Russian twists, and more. Phew!

It was a good one!

In the evening, Fabio and I drove into Southwest to join a few of his coworkers for a free yoga class at Blind Whino, an awesome arts club housed in an old Baptist church from 1886.

The building is incredible, and the whole space is decorated with amazing, colorful art inside and out. As soon as we walked inside, we saw a bunch of butterflies!

So cool!

Blind Whino hosts free yoga classes every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the performance area, which is upstairs. The space was so cool! (They also rent out Blind Whino for events, and their website has some photos of wedding receptions that have taken place in this room! How cool!)

Throughout the whole practice, I couldn’t stop my eyes from wandering to all the different art on the walls and ceiling. Savasana was especially interesting since I spent it looking up at a ceiling painted in a million different colors.

The class itself was pretty good, and our instructor did a good job at making the class appropriate for all levels of yogis. The class felt a lot like a beginner’s yoga class with lots of simple explanations for the poses, but we also got into a few challenging inversions too so there was something for everyone.

Once the class was over, we walked around the rest of the building to check out more of the art. There was a big cherry blossom display downstairs, which looked similar to the real ones blooming along the Tidal Basin!

Fabio and I thought this space was just so cool, and we are so glad his coworkers told us about the free yoga classes. We will be back!

Thurs., April 6 – Another rest day! Somehow I really blew through my ClassPass (<– referral link for $30 off!!) classes this month, and I now only have one class left between now and the end of next week. Womp womp. I was planning to take a spin class on Thursday, but once I saw that I didn’t have enough classes to get me through next week I canceled and took a rest day instead. Plus, since I did two workouts on Wednesday I figured that was good enough. 🙂

Fri., April 7 – It’s Thursday night as I write this, but tomorrow’s plan is to run 3 miles with Jack in the morning!

All in all it wasn’t my best week of workouts – there was a lot more yoga than usual and I could have included a bit more cardio – but I was still happy with how things went, especially after the successful 10-miler on Sunday.

I will leave you with this last fun tidbit from the week. On Tuesday evening, Fabio and I headed out to walk Jack together after work, as we usually do. The weather was so beautiful (70 degrees), and when we got to the park where we always take Jack, we saw that the local high school’s baseball team was playing. Since it was so nice out, we decided to sit on the bleachers and watch the game for a while.

In case you’re a new reader, Fabio is a HUGE baseball fan, so he was really happy to be out there watching a game for free. I was just happy for some extra time in the sunshine!

Once we had watched a little more than an inning, we decided to head back home, but not before stopping at the concession stand so Fabio could get a hot dog. What would a baseball game be without a hot dog?

He was nice enough to give me two bites on the walk home too. What a guy. 😉

Question of the day: What sports did you play in high school?

Fabio played baseball, and I was a cheerleader!

Throwback pic with Bianca and Hana!!

I’m on the bottom there somewhere…

I have a feeling we’ll be stopping by more of these high school baseball games throughout the year, and I’m dying to go to one of the football games in the fall to watch the cheerleaders!

 Posted by on April 7, 2017
Apr 052017
 

On Sunday morning, Fabio and I ran the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler for the second time! Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Here’s my recap!

Waking up & Getting there

In years past, the metro has been open for this race, but this year it wasn’t because of Safe Track updates (ugh). I knew requesting an uber was going to be a nightmare, but we had plans for after the race so I didn’t think biking to the start was a good idea either.

In the end, we decided to set the alarm for 5:50 a.m., giving us plenty of time to get ready, walk Jack, and request an uber. Usually when we request an uber or lyft the car arrives within a couple of minutes, and since the race is only about 10 minutes from our house, I thought we had plenty of time to get there by the 7:30 start time.

When I requested the uber at 6:25, the app told me a car was 9 minutes away but was going to cost me $57!! Holy cow!! (Typically this trip would cost about $12.) Luckily I didn’t cancel because the uber wound up taking more than 20 minutes to arrive, and I was a nervous wreck the whole time.

I absolutely hate when things beyond my control go awry, and I was getting really anxious watching the minutes tick by and seeing that the driver was still so far away. In the end, I went back upstairs to make the bed, straighten up, and eat my CLIF bar while Fabio watched for the uber. This wound up being a really good distraction and was a much better alternative to me watching the little car on the app get closer verrrrrrry slowly. Ha!

Finally at like 6:45 our uber driver arrived, and we were on our way to the race start (after spending nearly $60. Sheesh!). Fabio and I put our bibs on in the car so we’d be ready to go as soon as we got there.

We wound up arriving later than we wanted but still with plenty of time to spare. Phew!

The Start

When we got out of our uber we could see that it was looking like a gorgeous day, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the low/mid 40s. Perfect!

People were already starting to line up in their corrals by this point, so Fabio and I quickly joined the masses in the blue corral. We were lucky to spot my friend Kathleen right away!

Kathleen and I were both running as part of the Cabot Fit Team, so we got to wear these fun “cheesy” tanks! Kathleen was brave and wore hers by itself, and though she was freezing at the start I think that was probably the better choice. I wound up being hot in my long sleeves later!

The corral started to fill up quickly, and we had a nice time chatting and stretching while we waited.

Eventually we found Anne and her husband Matt, who had also had uber problems in the morning. I’m glad we all made it on time!

Before long, we started moving forward in the line as the other waves started running. At this point I was focusing on a couple of last-minute goals/reminders for the race: don’t start off too fast, remember to focus on breathing, and aim for a pace between 8:45 and 8:50 if I want to PR, but don’t worry too much if that seems out of reach. I just wanted to enjoy the day!

One last selfie before the race!

And then we were off!

Miles 1 – 4

For any of you who have run this race before, you know that the course takes you from the Washington Monument toward the Lincoln Memorial and across Arlington Memorial Bridge. At this point all of the sites of the monuments are really exciting, and there’s pretty decent crowd support. I remember seeing one of the National’s bobblehead costumes on the bridge last time and high-fiving him, and I did the same this time. 🙂 I snapped a photo on the way back over Arlington Memorial Bridge because I couldn’t get over the gorgeous morning! Can you see the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument below?

Our next leg took us down Rock Creek Parkway under the Kennedy Center and then looped back toward the Washington Monument.

The first two miles included a lot of bobbing and weaving to try to find a good pace with all the people around us, but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. Maybe the fact that I knew I’d have to do that helped as well.

I was feeling really great during this part of the race, and I even remember at one point around the end of mile one, I had a good song playing in my ears (I listened to Hamilton since that worked well during my training) and a big smile on my face, and I reached down to squeeze Fabio’s hand. (He’s a trooper and always runs beside me.) I was just in a happy place!

Despite the congestion, we were able to stick with our pace goals during this section too, even if we did go a little fast for miles two and three. (Like usual.)

  • Mile 1: 8:56
  • Mile 2: 8:38
  • Mile 3: 8:36
  • Mile 4: 8:53

Miles 5 – 7

Around mile 5 we passed the Washington Monument again, and I was hoping to spot my dad and sister who I knew were coming to spectate. Sadly I didn’t see them, but there was a ton of crowd support and I was feeling pretty good. I also knew the “boring” part of the race was coming up, so I tried my best to soak up the energy of the moment.

After the monument, we passed the Tidal Basin (the cherry blossoms were still in bloom and looked great!) and then made our long trek down Hains Point. This area is a lot quieter than the rest of the race, and is basically an out and back along a long peninsula, so it takes a while and is just kind of boring.

Of course now looking back at this picture of beautiful cherry blossoms and the Potomac River I feel like such a jerk saying it could be anything but amazing, but it’s just not my favorite section of the race.

At one point I felt a cramp coming on, but I focused on breathing slowly and deeply and I was able to keep it away. Phew!

In between miles six and seven I couldn’t remember if we were on mile six or mile seven, but I started to get pretty tired and the run no longer felt as easy or mindless as it did in the beginning. I was still doing ok, but I remember noticing a difference. I also stopped looking at our pace at this point because I didn’t want to feel disappointed if we were going too slow — I just wanted to keep going.

Despite low crowd support going down Hains Point, there were two notable exceptions: a female DJ complete with a turn table and huge speakers, and a table that was set up with free beer and Oreos. As we got close to the end of Hains Point Fabio asked if we were getting close to where the spot where the free beer/Oreo people were set up last time we ran this race, and I said we were. Once we saw them he asked if I wanted a beer and when I said no, he sprinted over and drank some! Haha! I kept chugging along (pun intended) and he ran back to meet me once he was done. Haha! Typical Fabio.

  • Mile 5: 8:39
  • Mile 6: 8:46
  • Mile 7: 8:46

Miles 8 – 10

I was feeling pretty good for mile eight and just kept telling myself that I only had two miles left to go. Just two! I could do this, and maybe even PR (I still wasn’t looking at my watch, but just tried to keep up a steady and speedy pace).

I sort of hit a wall at mile nine and regretted not ever making it to the full nine miles during my training, but I knew I was so close. I also knew we had a big hill ahead of us for the finish, so I think that was getting in my head a little.

Eventually we rounded the corner and I was so thankful to be done with Hains Point and back among the big crowds — plus I knew my dad and sister were there somewhere! As I looked for them, I knew it was time to sprint up the long hill to the finish. Fabio sprinted a bit ahead of me at the very end, but I still threw in everything that was left in the tank!

  • Mile 8: 8:52
  • Mile 9: 8:46
  • Mile 10: 8:48

We crossed the finish line with big grins on our faces, and when I looked down I saw that my final time was 1:28:28! I knew my last 10 miler PR was also 1:28, so I quickly scrambled to look up my last time. It was 1:28:35! Fabio and I PRed by SEVEN seconds!! (Our average pace was 8:45, which was exactly what I was aiming for.) I was pretty ecstatic at this point, and just remember feeling so happy that a) it went so well and b) it was over. 🙂

After the finish

Sadly my dad and sister didn’t see us cross the finish line – there were just sooo many people – but they met up with us as soon as we were done. It was so nice to have them there supporting us and adding to crowds!

We also met up with a bunch of our friends at this point, including Fabio’s fraternity brother (and groomsman), Jason!

Go Terps!

We hung around with Jason’s family for a little while, who also ran the race. Go Team Hershman!

And before long, we also found Anne and Kathleen!

Woohoo! My favorite workout buddies!!

A little while later, all the members of the Cabot Fit Team met up by the monument for a group photo. Everyone did so great during the race!

Meanwhile, I was just happy to have my favorite running buddy by my side. Fabio really is such a trooper for running the race with me (I know running is not his favorite) and for sticking by my side the whole time. I wound up weaving a lot throughout the course to try to stay at our pace in the big crowds, and he never lost me once! Having him there is a big mental boost, even if we didn’t talk during the race. He’s the best!

And of course, I have to thank my awesome dad and sister for coming out to cheer us on!! It sounds like they had a nice time, even though they didn’t see us until after the race.

All in all, this was an awesome first step back into the distance running scene. I hadn’t run a race since December 2014 because of my foot surgery, and this race showed me that I can absolutely still do distance runs and my fitness and endurance levels haven’t changed.

I also noticed a big change in my attitude toward running this time around; I didn’t put as much pressure on myself which allowed me to really just enjoy the moment. Hopefully I can focus on doing this more often!

And now…should I sign up for another race? I’m thinking about the Across the Bay 10K in November since I’ve always wanted to run that one but used to have a conflict with work during that week every year. Now that I’m in a new job I think this might be the year to do it!

Question of the day: If you ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, how did it go for you? Have any of you run the Across the Bay 10K before?

 Posted by on April 5, 2017
Apr 032017
 

Hi friends! Did you have a good weekend? Fabio and I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler earlier today (it’s Sunday as I type this up) and it could not have gone better! I have a lot to say about the race, so you can expect a full race recap later this week. In the meantime, let me tell you about the rest of my weekend!

Friday

When I got home from work on Friday, I saw that my friends from Giant had sent me some of their new Toasted Coconut products to try out!

My box included some toasted coconut granola, cookies, and pancake mix. So far we’ve tried the cookies, which are pretty tasty! I’m not a huge coconut lover, but I did like these.

Thank you, Giant!

After putting away my goodies and taking Jack for a walk with Fabio, we hopped on the metro and headed into D.C. to pick up our packets for the big race on Sunday. The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler expo was held at the National Building Museum, as usual!

When we arrived at the expo, there was a happy hour going on complete with free beer and live music, so we hung out for a bit enjoying the pre-race atmosphere.

One of our good friends (and Fabio’s groomsman) Jason was in town to run the race, so he met up with us at the expo for a beer before we all headed out for dinner.

When researching a restaurant for dinner, I decided on Rebellion since the menu looked great and happy hour lasted until 8:00 p.m. Win! We snagged a table downstairs at the bar and enjoyed the fun atmosphere and drinks!

For my meal, I got the turkey burger with roasted beets and burrata, plus brussels sprouts on the side. Holy yum. This was definitely a delicious meal.

These were possibly the best brussels sprouts I’ve ever had! All the Parmesan cheese probably explains the reason for that. 😉

It was a really fun night with two of my favorite guys, but I was happy when we headed home around 9:30 p.m. instead of staying out and drinking for longer. Hooray for early nights!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, my mom and I met up for a morning of shopping! My mom has a dress in mind that she thinks she wants to wear to our wedding, but we wanted to go shopping to see if there was anything else she liked better. After popping into a bunch of stores at Tyson’s Galleria, she decided she didn’t see anything she liked more than the dress she already has, which was a good thing. Money saved!

After shopping, we stopped for a fancy ladies’ lunch at L’Auberge Chez Francois, a delicious French place!

We started off our meal with glasses of champagne to celebrate another successful wedding-related outing. Cheers!

Then we enjoyed some delicious bread and shared a small cheese tart. Yum!

We both got the lemon sole for our entree, and couldn’t get over how perfectly cooked the fish was. The buttery sauce was to die for!

Obviously such a nice lunch wouldn’t be complete without dessert, so we shared the hazelnut souffle. It was fantastic. I ate a lot of good food over the weekend, but this was probably the most memorable thing I ate. Yum!

Thanks for such a fun lunch, mom!

After lunch, I relaxed at home with Fabio for a while before it was time to head back into D.C. for a Cherry Blossom 10 Miler runner’s dinner! (I was still pretty full from lunch, but I’m always able to make room for food! 😉 )

My good friend Anne invited me to run the race as part of the Cabot Fit Team, which meant we got invited to the welcome dinner at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

There was a big buffet for everyone, and I helped myself to a little bit of everything.

The dinner was really interesting, and I enjoyed getting to talk to my friends as well as meet some new people. The other folks at our table were medical volunteers for the race, so it was really nice talking to them about what they do. It just made me even more appreciative of all the race volunteers out there! (Especially after having done it once myself…in the pouring rain, no less.)

After dinner, we all headed home to get ready for the race and get plenty of sleep.

Sunday

Sunday was the big day! As I said earlier, things couldn’t have gone better with the race and Fabio and I were both so happy with how everything went. Woohoo! Details to come!

After the race, we celebrated with brunch at Mussel Bar in Ballston with my dad and sister who came to spectate. Everything was delicious!

Good thing I burned a lot of calories during the run since I ate so much good food this weekend. It definitely didn’t cancel out the food, but maybe it helped a little? 😉 Ah well, life is short, so eat good food!

After our celebration brunch, my dad and sister headed home and Fabio and I took some much-needed showers before diving into our chores of the day: namely meal prepping and grocery shopping.

I wore my new Cherry Blossom 10 Miler t-shirt (and my favorite apron) for meal prep, and was a happy camper!

After that, I took a nap on the couch (#necessary) and now I’m writing this post!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and for those of you who ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite race?

 Posted by on April 3, 2017
Mar 242017
 

Hi friends! I’m going to keep things short and sweet today for two reasons.

Reason number one: A furry visitor just got here (it’s Thursday night as I type this), and I feel like I should give him some attention! We are dog sitting for our good friends Megan and JR this weekend while they attend a wedding in Florida, and it’s always a lot of fun when we have Tully staying with us.

When I brought Tully home today after work, he and Jack spent a decent amount of time sprinting in circles around the couch. There was also a lot of squeak toy action happening, so things are pretty noisy and chaotic around here at the moment. I feel like a mom whose kid is having a sleepover!

And the other reason I’m keeping things short today: Fabio is finally home from his work trip! Yayyy! He’s been gone since 5 a.m. on Sunday morning, which was entirely too long in my book. Jack and I missed him!

Before I sign off though, let’s chat quickly about my workouts this week.

Sat., March 18: Rest day! Fabio and I were supposed to do a long run this day, but our schedule wound up getting really crowded with other appointments so we decided to postpone it until this weekend instead.

Sun., March 19: Another rest day! I spent this day cleaning the house, running a million errands, and getting a lot of wedding planning done. 🙂

Mon., March 20: Three mile run with Jack! This run actually felt pretty easy and my pace got back into the 8:50 range, which is more in line with how I used to run back in the day. When I started training for this Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, I felt like I would never get back to feeling like three miles was an “easy” distance, but it’s looking I’m finally back in that place. Yay!

Tues., March 21: On Tuesday, Anne, Kathleen, and I took a bootcamp class at Definitions. It was a really good class, and took us through three stations with a variety of exercises including curtsy lunges with kettlebells, TRX rows, pushups, one-legged squats, jump squats, ab V-ups, rowing, and more. We definitely worked up a sweat, and had a great time chatting throughout the workout like usual.

Wed., March 22: On Wednesday, Anne and I headed out for another bootcamp, this time at Urban Athletic Club! Our instructor Romain took us through a workout that was half AMRAP (as many reps as possible) and half 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off. Our exercises included box pushes, hurdle/sprints, burpees, kettlebell swings, TRX rows, up and down planks, wall balls, TRX mountain climbers, pull-ups, jump rope, kettlebell snatches, overhead presses, bicep curls, and treadmill running. Honestly when I saw treadmill running on the board I was disappointed, but then Romain explained we wouldn’t actually be turning the treadmill on – he wanted us to move the tread just with our feet! It was tough and added a fun new element to our usual lineup.

It was a good one!

Thurs., March 23: Rest day! After two days in a row of early wakeup calls and showering in the crappy shower at work, I wanted a day to sleep in and get ready at home.

Fri., March 24: Tomorrow I have a spin class at Revolve DC on the agenda!

Alright friends, I’m calling it a night. Have a good weekend!

Question of the day: Do you ever pet sit for friends? If so, do the pets ever do anything weird?

We once watched a dog for Fabio’s coworker who used to steal all of Fabio’s dirty socks out of the hamper and drag them around the house! I also remember he wouldn’t let go of them when you asked for them back, haha!

Then again, Jack brings whatever clothing item we last wore to the front door every time we leave the house (he also grabs clothes out of the hamper) so I guess our own dog is pretty weird. The worst is when he brings our sweaty gym clothes to the door and then we have guests over! Eek!

 Posted by on March 24, 2017