Search Results : anne

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
Nov 202017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Ours was a perfect mix of fun, productive, and relaxing. And the best part is that we didn’t travel anywhere far, which is nice after what feels like lots of weekends of being away from home. Here’s my recap!

Friday

On Friday evening, Fabio took me to see The Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center! He bought me tickets to the show for my birthday back in September, and I was so excited to finally get to go see the show. Fabio called me at 5:00 (when I was still at work) and told me I needed to come home immediately because he had just put a bottle of champagne in the fridge. Well ok then! 🙂

I packed up my stuff and arrived home just in time to help assemble an amazing cheese plate. Yum!

Instead of trying to squeeze in dinner before our 7:30 show, we decided instead to munch on prosciutto, salami, aged cheddar, dates, baguette, and the creamiest “cremux de bourgogne” cheese that we picked up from Wegman’s last week. I don’t know what kind of cheese it was, but it tasted like a mix of brie and cream cheese and was absolutely incredible. Yum! Plus plenty of champagne on the side.

Before long, it was time for us to hop in an uber over to the Kennedy Center! I’m always in awe of how pretty it is in there.

Check out the ceiling in the theater!

When we took our seats, I was thrilled to see they were pretty close to the front. Thanks to Fabio for snagging these for us!

My hubby!

As for the show itself, it was really good and really funny! It was written by the creators of South Park, which is a show Fabio and I both like, so I knew to expect lots of rather inappropriate (yet hilarious)  jokes. I can’t imagine what people must have thought if they didn’t know to expect this type of raunchy humor – yikes. But Fabio and I both enjoyed it, and were laughing pretty much the whole time!

When we stepped out to get a drink at intermission, we bumped into my friend Kathleen and her husband, Zack! It was really weird because I had just seen Kathleen at a workout the day before, and though we usually talk about our weekend plans, somehow neither one of us mentioned we were going to see Book of Mormon. We also were texting earlier that evening (when I was in the uber on the way to show) to coordinate our next workout date, and it didn’t come up then either! When I saw her and Zack standing by the bar, I couldn’t believe it!

We all chatted for a while and decided to meet up after the show for a drink. When the show ended, we headed to Georgetown Piano Bar and had a great time catching up over drinks. Fabio and Zack have met a few times before, but I feel like they’ve never really had a chance to talk one on one, and this was a great opportunity for that. Hooray for an impromptu double date!

We didn’t wind up getting home until midnight, which was rough since we had an early wake-up call!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, Fabio, Jack, and I all got ourselves ready for the VIDA Thrive 5K! We were treated to a beautiful sunrise on our drive over.

The race took place at East Potomac Park (aka Haines Point) and it was so beautiful being by the water.

We were so excited to have Jack run with us – his first official 5K! – especially since we heard there would be treats and prizes for the dogs. He was really good with all the people, and got lots of pets and love before the race began!

The pre-race atmosphere was a lot of fun too – there was a great DJ and some fun warm-up exercises.

Then at 8:00, we were off! The race course was an out-and-back along the tip of Haines Point, and although it was quite chilly, it was also pretty sunny which helped us feel comfortable.

Jack did a great job running with us – when we first started off he was SO excited and was pulling to run faster to catch up with the people in front of us. Eventually he slowed down to his normal pace/stopped pulling us, but he would still run ahead to try to catch up to people in front of us occasionally. 🙂 We stopped for one quick pee break, but otherwise he kept up a good pace with the rest of the runners.

We finished in 27 minutes and 9 seconds, which is definitely not my fastest 5K time, but considering we had Jack with us I think we did pretty well. When we crossed the finish line, we heard the announcer say “Here comes our first dog finisher” and everyone clapped/cheered for us. Woohoo!

Post-race selfie!

After taking advantage of the free bananas, water, and dog treats, it was time for awards! Sure enough, Jack was the first dog finisher (out of probably 6 or 7 dogs) and they brought him on stage to receive a medal! All the kids ran up to the stage to pet the winning dogs – haha!

I just love Jack’s face in that picture – he’s looking at Fabio like “please rescue me from this.” Ha!

Here’s a closer look at his medal – funny that it says “puppy division” even though Jack is 7 years old. (Saturday was actually his “birthday” – which is the anniversary of when we adopted him 6 years ago!)

Then we took some cute “family” pictures by the water before heading home.

What a fun race! I loved that it was for a good cause, and obviously that Jack was included.

After the race we showered and headed to Silver Diner for some breakfast, and then moved to the couch where we lit our first fire of the season in our fireplace, and watched our current favorite show, The Man in the High Castle (on Amazon Prime TV).

Later that day we went to Home Depot to pick up a new garbage disposal (blehhh – ours broke a little while ago) and check out appliances for our kitchen renovation that we plan to tackle early in 2018.

Later that night we debated going out to meet up with friends at the bar, but both of us were feeling tired so Fabio made us cocktails at home instead. 🙂

Sunday

Sunday was the most productive day ever, and I cleaned the whole house and did laundry while Fabio fixed the garbage disposal and hung some new vanity lights in our bathrooms. I also planned what I’m going to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, made a very organized shopping list, and then hit up the grocery store! It wasn’t the most fun Sunday ever, but it was very necessary.

And there you have it – a recap of our fun/relaxing/productive weekend!

Question of the day: What was the last show/musical you saw? Are you handy around the house?

I’m not handy at all, but luckily with the help of YouTube Fabio is learning a lot and can tackle most smallish fixes around the house. 🙂

 Posted by on November 20, 2017
Nov 162017
 

Hi friends! Happy “Friday Eve” to you! 🙂 I had some random fun things I wanted to share with you all today, so I thought I’d list them out here in a Favorite Things style. Feel free to leave a comment below with some of the things you’re loving lately!

Favorite Happy Hour

Last week, the kind folks from the new 13|U luxury apartment building in D.C. invited me to bring some friends along to their grand opening. They were hosting a rooftop cocktail reception in conjunction with The Smith, a delicious restaurant that will be opening in Spring 2018 on the first floor of the building. (I’ve actually been to The Smith in NYC, and it’s fantastic!) Also, how crazy is it that The Smith will be in the building?

After work, Fabio and I joined our friends Jason, Courtney, and Kevin for a somewhat drizzly happy hour on the roof of the building. Though the weather wasn’t great, the building had some amazingly strong heat lamps for us to stand next to. It was worth it for this view!

I enjoyed one of the signature drinks – a fun bourbon concoction – and ate all the passed hors d’ouvres. 🙂 Everything tasted fantastic!

I think Fabio ate at least 6 of those little mushroom tacos shown above. Ha!

As for the building itself, it was incredible! As soon as we walked in the door I realized why it was called a “luxury” apartment building. Wow.

Check out the bathroom stall on the rooftop. High ceilings, marble everywhere, you get the idea.

All in all it was a really fun night, and I have to thank The Smith and JBG Smith for hosting us!

Favorite Read

If any of you have checked out my Books Page (which, oops, definitely needs to be updated), then you may know that Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth and World Without End are two of my most favorite books EVER. When Anne mentioned to me that the latest book in this “series” (they’re not really a series, but take place in the same setting at different time periods), Column of Fire, was available, I immediately purchased a copy on Amazon. (Note: I almost always read from my Kindle, but I decided this one was worth buying.)

I just started the book on Sunday, and I’m already through a good chunk of it! It’s so good – I can’t put it down!

Favorite Browse

My mom, Aunt CC, and I all love cookbooks, and we are all especially fond of the Southern Living Christmas collection cookbooks. So imagine my surprise when I received a package in the mail earlier this week with the 2017 book!

It turns out Aunt CC had mailed a copy to both my mom and me, and I’m SO looking forward to going through it. I’m planning to curl up with it on Sunday and flag some recipes that I’ll want to make during the holidays, and I’m way too excited about it. Thanks, CC!!

Favorite Upcoming “Race”

On Saturday morning, Fabio, Jack, and I will all be running the third annual VIDA-Thrive 5K Run/Walk at East Potomac Park. VIDA is donating 100 percent of race proceeds to Thrive DC – a local non-profit organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the DC area. VIDA kindly invited me to attend (and gave both Fabio and me a free bib!), and I was thrilled to learn that there will be special heats and prizes for dogs, as well as treats and a doggie station. Yes! It’s been a long time since we’ve run a 5K (though not that long since Jack and I have run 3 miles), so we’ll see how we do! We definitely aren’t planning to race it – especially since Jack will be with us and I’m sure a few other pups will be there – but I’m really excited about it! Registration is available here. I hope to see some of you out there!

Favorite Mix-It-Up Workouts

You guys have probably noticed that I’m all about the bootcamps lately – with a few spin classes, runs, and yoga classes here and there – but this week I mixed it up with two different workouts!

First, my work was holding a free Zumba class at the Sport & Health gym in our building.

I’ve taken a Zumba class before but it’s been years, and it was really fun! I still don’t think it’s that great of a workout for me – I worked up a sweat but just barely – but it was a lot of fun. I do love to dance, so I’ll have to incorporate this more often!

This week I also took a pilates reformer class with my friend Kathleen at District Pilates! They invited us both in to try it out, which was super nice of them.

Again, I had taken a reformer class before but not in years, and I really liked it! I found it pretty difficult since it’s so different from the workouts I usually do and worked a totally different set of muscles, but I could definitely see it as being a good workout to throw in now an again. It’s always good to switch things up!

The class itself was really good too, and I liked the instructor a lot. I would definitely go back!

Favorite Recent Purchases

When we were in downtown Frederick this past weekend, I picked up a few cute items from Relish Decor. (Also, I was OBSESSED with everything in that entire store!! I want to go back around the holidays to pick up some gifts for people!)

First, I got this adorable spoon rest for the stove.

Isn’t that so cute?!

And I also picked up this adorable black lab mug, which I’m now keeping at work! It’s perfect! 🙂

And there you have it – a few items that have been making me smile lately!

I hope you have a great Thursday!

Question of the day: What’s one thing that made you smile this week?

 Posted by on November 16, 2017
Nov 072017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend? We were originally planning to head up to NYC this weekend but changed our minds – we’ve been doing a ton of traveling on the weekends lately and have more in store for the rest of November and early December, so we decided to spend the weekend at home instead. It was a great decision in my mind! Here’s a look at what we were up to.

Friday

I don’t usually include workout recaps in these posts, but Anne and I got this adorable picture with Flex, the resident dog at Bodymass Gym, after our class on Friday morning, and I couldn’t resist sharing.

Isn’t he the cutest? I actually just bought a workout tank from Bodymass that says “I came for the gym and stayed for the dog.” It’s so cute, and I can’t wait to wear it next time I drop in! This was Anne’s last visit to Bodymass before the baby comes (she’s due on Thanksgiving!) so I’m glad we were able to snag this cute pic to remember our last hoorah!

On Friday evening, Fabio and I drove over to our friends’ Shriya and Abhi’s place to celebrate Shriya’s 30th birthday! Shriya and I used to work together years ago, and I’m so happy we still see each other regularly. This was a nice opportunity for us to meet Shriya and Abhi’s family too, many of whom we’d heard about over the years!

And there was cake, which is always the best part of birthday celebrations. 🙂 Mmmm, cake.

Before the cake, there was some unpictured vegetarian Mexican food, which was spicy but delicious.

Happy birthday, Shriya!

Saturday

Fabio headed out golfing with a friend on Saturday morning, so I stayed behind and wrote some thank you notes from the wedding. Yes the wedding was in June and it’s now November, but don’t I technically have a year to get them out?

We also decided to include printed photos of each guest (when we had photos of them, that is) inside the cards, so it took me a while to sort through all the photos we had printed and arrange them based on the recipients. I had been putting it off for a while, so it felt really good to make a dent in the project!

I also love how our cards turned out – we got these from Minted.

Eventually Fabio returned home (right as I used the last stamp we had, so it was a good stopping point anyway) and we headed out to run some errands. Before hitting any stores, we stopped into Bonchon, a new-to-me Korean BBQ spot that Fabio had been to before with coworkers. We decided to share an order of the pork buns and soy garlic wings, and everything was so delicious. Yum! I can definitely see us returning here.

After that, we made our way over to Home Goods to do some shopping! We’re in the market for a few things for the house, namely some new bedside tables, lamps, a headboard, a duvet cover, and everyday plates. We found some great everyday plates and a couple other odds and ends that we needed, but we still have a lot of items on the list.

After spending a ton of time at Home Goods, we had to head home pretty quickly to attend our friends Jojo and Jadd’s housewarming/engagement party! Jojo and Jadd invited us to their housewarming party ages ago, and then on Friday night, Jadd proposed to Jojo, turning their housewarming party into a surprise engagement party. When she texted me this picture I had a hard time containing my excitement!

We could not be happier for them and were so surprised by the turn in events! I actually really liked how Jadd planned all of this in advance – it felt like a fun surprise for all the guests, too. 🙂

I also giggled at this sign in their bathroom during the party – LOL!

We stayed out pretty late on Saturday night and had a great time at the party!

Sunday

Sunday was a pretty low-key day; it was rainy and dreary out so we spent a lot of time inside watching football from the couch. We did do some chores (laundry folding, meal prepping, etc.) and even made it to Target to look for some of the house items we didn’t pick up the day before (I got a new duvet cover, and, more importantly, got to check out the new Hearth & Hand line from Chip and Joanna!!).

It was a nice, quiet day, and we watched a few episodes of Stranger Things before calling it a night relatively early. Jack was sleepy too – I think the weather made us all move a little slower.

This weekend Fabio and I also decided to start planning our next big international trip (we try to take a big vacation every year) and are thinking that in 2018 we want to go to Spain and Portugal. Since our timing is so flexible, we were originally thinking we wanted to go over July 4 so we could watch the running of the bulls, but after looking into it it seems pretty inhumane, and I’m not sure it’s something we want to support. Instead we were thinking of going for Memorial Day when the weather is supposed to be nice/flowers will be in bloom, but we are still really up in the air about timing.

I obviously need to start doing more research (this is the only thing I’ve read so far) but would also love to get some initial recommendations for you all. We know we want to go for about two weeks, and would be open to traveling around to a few different places near Spain and Portugal (I’ve heard the ferry to Morocco is cool). We’ve never been to either country and are lucky enough that Fabio speaks fluent Spanish. We’d probably go just the two of us, but are toying with the idea of inviting family to join us. Please leave any recommendations in the comments below!

Question of the day: Have you ever been to Spain or Portugal? Do you have any suggestions?

 Posted by on November 7, 2017
Oct 272017
 

Hi friends! How was your week?

Mine was pretty crazy once again, but hopefully the end is in sight. I’m tired of leaving the office at 7 or 8 p.m. only to pull out my laptop and do more work after getting home. It’s fun and rewarding work (thank goodness!) but this schedule is exhausting!

Luckily I was able to step away for a little while this week to get more of a “regular” blog post written for you guys, which is a summary of some of my food and fitness updates from the last few weeks. I think I mentioned this a little while back, but when I’m stressed, I crave all the comfort foods. Of course life is all about balance, but I’ve definitely been doing my fair share of stress eating lately and I know I need to reign it in. Here’s a peek at how I’ve been trying to balance everything.

Fitness

Despite my busy schedule, I’m still prioritizing getting in a workout as much as I can during the week. That’s one of the benefits to being a morning workout person – no matter how late in the evenings I have to work, I’m still able to get a workout in since I get it over with as soon as I wake up!

ClassPass is still going strong (<–referral link for $40 off!) and I’m taking between two and three classes a week through there, usually with my buddies Anne and Kathleen. In the last few weeks, we’ve been making regular visits to Definitions, Urban Athletic Club (though we’re not a fan of this new format they’re trying out), Next Phase Studio, and BodyMass Gym.

While I like all of these classes a lot, BodyMass is probably my favorite now. We especially like the instructor Virginia, who’s super energetic and encouraging. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a cute pup named Flex that we get to play with when class is over. Love that place!

Anne is super pregnant right now, but trucking along like a champ! I’m sure going to miss her when she’s out after the baby is born. 🙁

Aside from my classes with the girls, I’m taking a lot of Orange Theory Fitness classes with my college friend Courtney who recently moved back to Arlington. I bought a pack of 14 classes a while back, and I’m going about once a week right now. The classes are challenging but fun, and I always feel like I got a really great workout afterwords. I’ve been going to the Clarendon location even though Ballston is in walking distance because a) it’s closer for Courtney and b) I really like the instructors, especially Alex who invited me to OTF in the first place back in February. She’s great!

Question for any of you OTF regulars: Do you try to get your heart rate in a pyramid, with most of your time spent in green, then orange, then red? One of the instructors told us about this goal recently, but Courtney and I couldn’t quite figure out why you’d want to spend most of your time in the green zone vs. really pushing yourself during the workout. We’re told it’s so you can burn fat longer, but I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts!

Lastly, I’ve been dropping into the occasional spin class and yoga class and still running a bit with Jack, but bootcamp dates with friends are definitely taking up most of my workout schedule right now. 🙂

Food

Since I’ve been staying at work so late, I’ve been trying to cook big meals over the weekend that can last as leftovers throughout the week. As I mentioned, we had meatloaf on Sunday (it came out great!) and then I repurposed it for a few different meals throughout the week.

So for example, on Sunday we had it with mashed potatoes and broccoli (I told you, I want all the comfort foods right now!), and then on Tuesday we had it in a chopped salad with roasted acorn squash and spiced nuts. It was really good both ways! (And a little healthier on Tuesday, obviously).

The roasted acorn squash and spiced nuts were leftovers from another dish I made late last week: quinoa-and-kale-stuffed acorn squash with pecans that I found in the latest issue of Giant’s magazine, Savory. This was another really tasty meal!

As you can see, I’m definitely craving all the comfort foods, but I’m still not eating too unhealthfully, and I’m still having my standard breakfasts of cottage cheese+fresh berries and salads with either hard-boiled eggs or chicken for lunch, plus yogurts for an afternoon snack.

There was one night last week where I caved and got Jimmy Johns for dinner – including one of their giant cookies – and there have been some work treats like cookies and donuts floating around the office that made their way into my belly. But those days are to be expected, and that’s what all the planning is for the rest of the time, right? 😉

Questions of the day: What do you make for dinner when you know you won’t have time to cook? OTF peeps, what do you think of this pyramid goal thing?

 Posted by on October 27, 2017
Oct 112017
 

It’s 7:51 p.m., and I just got home from work (well – I came home from work, immediately changed into pjs, and then sat down to write this post). Life is super busy right now, and though I’m enjoying it, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for the old blog here.

Take yesterday for example. I work, work, worked until 5:45 p.m., and then I joined my coworkers for a kickboxing class at UFC Gym (maybe you remember the last time I went there? Probably not – it was ages ago!). Anyway, the hour-long class started at 6:30 p.m. and it was 20 minutes away in Alexandria so I didn’t get home until around 8. Then our friend Ciro came over to watch the Yankee game with Fabio, and then there was no way I was going to sit down and write a blog post. Or cook a healthy dinner. We wound up with Subway, which could have been worse I suppose.

Then there was today (Tuesday). I took a bootcamp class at Body Mass Gym with my friends Anne and Kathleen in the morning, and then headed into work for another completely manic day. It was go-go-go all day long, with lots of meetings to attend and deliverables to complete. Now I just got home and have to make dinner, and then I just want to relax!

I know I shouldn’t complain–I have a really interesting job and I get to work on really cool stuff. American Diabetes Month is coming up in November, and my coworker Carly and I are in charge of planning and executing the entire campaign. It’s sooooo much work for just two people to tackle, but it’s super rewarding and interesting! (I’m sure you’ll hear more about it here starting in November when I write about it. 🙂 You all are such good sports for humoring me on that stuff.)

But I just hate that right now this hectic schedule of mine doesn’t leave me with a ton of brain space–or time–for creative/fun writing here on the blog. But that’s just the way it is right now, and I know in a couple of weeks my schedule will be back to normal.

For now I’m just continuing to do the best I can to keep the rest of my life balanced, namely with exercise. I find that when I’m stressed, working out can be like therapy for me and helps me set the day off on the right foot. When I skip a day of working out, I feel more sluggish and blah for the whole day. Working out just helps me feel sane and normal right now, which is exactly what I need!

I will say my diet hasn’t been super amazing lately – I’m eating all the healthy meals that I planned and prepped for myself over the weekend, but I’m also stress-eating. Mostly delicious, sweet, sugary carbs. When they’re available. And when I have time for snacks. Which actually, hasn’t been all that often during the day. But that doesn’t mean I’m not craving them!

Anyway, I guess all of this is a really long-winded way of saying that I have quite a bit going on right now, and I apologize for not having a super interesting post for you today. And, no pictures. Womp womp. I’ll try to get my act together to have something better on Friday, but if I wind up not popping in, you’ll know why.

Until next time, my friends!

Question of the day: Do you stress eat?

 Posted by on October 11, 2017
Oct 052017
 

It’s time for another wedding weekend recap! When we last left off, our rehearsal dinner had just wrapped up, and I thought our evening was mostly over. Little did I know my amazing bridesmaids had an awesome surprise up their sleeves!

After dinner, presents, and photos by the river, I was brought inside where I saw a big projection screen and a projector set up. Everyone gathered around, and my bridesmaids announced that they’d been putting together a slideshow of photos for Fabio and me.

Unbeknownst to me, my 10 amazing bridesmaids had reached out to our family and friends to collect photos of us from years past.

Fabio and I seated ourselves front and center, and the rest of our friends and family gathered around to watch the slideshow!

When the slideshow began, I heard the first strains of Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn, which was one of my favorite songs growing up. Pictures began flashing on the screen from when I was a baby all the way up until early college, which was when Fabio and I met. There were so many pictures in the slideshow, many of which I had somehow never seen before.

Some of them were definitely awkward/embarrassing, but that was part of the fun!If you look carefully, you’ll spot my friends Bianca and Hana in this one!

If you look carefully in this next one, you’ll spot my friends/bridesmaids, Bianca and Hana!

It was really fun having our family and friends surrounding us for the show – there was lots of cheering and laughing when certain photos came on the screen.

I love this picture of my grandma – my dad’s mom – reaching across my grandpa to hold my mom’s hand. 🙂

Seeing all of our family and friends blend together made everything even more special!

Before long, Red Dirt Road ended and Empire State of Mind came on. Since Fabio grew up in New York, this was one of his favorite songs! Then came all of his adorable baby photos – what a cutie!

Again, there was a lot of cheering and laughter when a new photo would come onto the screen!

It was also so nice having our photographer there to capture the joy we felt during these moments!

This was such an amazing surprise, and I can’t thank my maid of honor, Bianca, enough for spearheading this and doing something so special for us. It meant the world!

Of course it also made me appreciate my soon-to-be husband! 🙂

When the slideshow was over, we lingered in the main house for a little bit longer before walking over to an after party we had planned earlier. This was our chance to relax, let loose, and really catch up with all of our friends. My dad had brought a stereo and light system with him from home, so we enjoyed lots of good music and dancing. It was so much fun!! Take me back!

Best maid of honor ever!

And that night I went to bed for the last time as an unmarried woman, and I remember having the biggest smile on my face when I laid down. What a perfect day!

Question of the day: Tell me about something special you’ve seen at a rehearsal dinner or wedding.

 Posted by on October 5, 2017
Oct 022017
 

**Edited to add: I woke up this morning to the devastating news about the shooting in Las Vegas. My heart is broken by the evilness, and my thoughts and prayers are with anyone who was affected. <3

Hello there, and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun weekend!

Ours was mostly spent celebrating my birthday at my grandparents’ house on the Chesapeake Bay! It was a lot of fun, but went by way too fast.

Friday

Fabio and I were initially planning to drive down to my grandparents’ house on Friday after work, but due to an accident on the bay bridge, our GPS was showing it would take two hours to get there (instead of the usual hour and 10 minutes). Ugh.

Instead of sitting in all that traffic, we decided to stay home and make the drive in the morning instead. We wound up making one of the Hello Fresh meals we had in the fridge (roast pork with cauliflower mashed potatoes, apple pan sauce, and snap peas) and watching a movie. We watched The Founder and while I really enjoyed it, I fell asleep about 3/4 of the way through. Oops! 🙂

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we made the drive to my grandparents’ house, and didn’t have to sit in any traffic. Woohoo!

We arrived in time for lunch, and after quickly eating some sandwiches, the boys (my dad, grandpa, and Fabio) headed out for a game of golf. While they played, I got to spend the day with my grandma and sister, and our four collective black labs – Jack, my grandparents’ dog Cindy, and my dad’s dogs, Max and Lexi.

The four dogs get along great and had a blast playing in the backyard. 🙂

Since I knew the boys would be golfing for a while, I had planned to spend the day prepping dinner with my sister. She’s 12 and doesn’t cook a whole lot at home, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for her to test out her cooking skills! We spent some time looking through a couple of cookbooks I had brought with me, and then once we had picked out a couple of recipes to make we headed to the grocery store together. Then it was time to get to work!

My sous chef!

We wound up making these butternut squash lasagna rolls and these brussels sprouts with pancetta.

Cooking with my sister was a lot of fun!

Right around the time we finished prepping dinner, we got a call from the boys saying they were finished with their game. We decided to meet them up at the clubhouse for a drink, at which point my sister took hold of my phone and took a bunch of funny pictures on Snapchat.

I don’t even know how she did this!? Haha!

A little while later we headed back to the house, where I opened up birthday presents from my family. They gave me some great gifts! 🙂 Thank you, guys!

Before sitting down to dinner, we spent some time outside playing with the dogs in the yard again.

It was such a beautiful night – I’m always in awe of the view from their house.

Once it got dark, we headed inside to eat. Everyone seemed to enjoy the butternut squash lasagna rolls and brussels sprouts, and my sister ate three helpings of the sprouts! She’s a picky eater and doesn’t eat a ton of vegetables, so this was a big win for me. 🙂

After dinner, it was time for birthday cake! Look how beautiful this cake is that my grandma got from Peace of Cake (the same vendor that did our wedding desserts)…

Isn’t that so beautiful? Happy birthday to meeeeee…. 🙂

Unbeknownst to anyone, my grandma accidentally bought trick birthday candles, which were just about impossible to blow out. It was so funny!

So funny! The cake also was extremely delicious, with fresh raspberries and a lemon curd filling. Yummm.

Even the shell decorations were delicious (they were made of white chocolate!) and I enjoyed eating the edible pearls and sparkles.

My dad, stepmom, and sister headed home after dinner, but Fabio and I decided to extend our visit by staying the night. 🙂

Sunday

Fabio made us all bacon and egg sandwiches on English muffins for breakfast on Sunday (yum!) and after that, we packed up our stuff and said goodbye to my grandparents.

Back at home, we ran a bunch of errands and cleaned the whole house from top to bottom. I also got out our fall decorations and realized that I don’t have nearly as many as I thought. Time to go to TJ Maxx! 🙂

While I cleaned and decorated, Fabio worked on organizing our new pantry and a peg board we have in our storage room. It feels so good to be organized!

And when I asked Fabio what he wanted for dinner a little while ago, he said he wasn’t too hungry so I suggested having leftover birthday cake for dinner. He agreed, so that’s what we had! 😉

And now I’m finishing up this post with the football game on, and am thinking of going to bed early. It was a busy weekend!

Question of the day: When was the last time you had dessert for dinner?

 Posted by on October 2, 2017
Sep 292017
 

On Wednesday this week, I celebrated my 28th birthday! It was a really perfect day, and it started off with an awesome sweat session with Anne and her friend Kath at SweatBox!

I’d heard about SweatBox a few months ago from someone else who had tried it out, and I was immediately intrigued! Then when a PR rep emailed me last week about trying a class, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Sign me up! It didn’t hurt that I’d be trying the class on my birthday either. 🙂

SweatBox is located on U Street in the same building as the VIDA gym (you can even use VIDA’s showers!). The format of the class is very unique – the space is split up into different “boxes,” each of which has its own spin bike, weights, and TRX.

You are able to complete the whole workout without ever leaving your box, which is great because you don’t waste time moving from one station to another or swapping out equipment. You also wear heart rate monitors for the workout and get to see your stats on the screen, which is always a big motivator for me.

We wound up completing a whole bunch of different circuits that incorporated sprints on the bike, jumping lunges, chest presses, bicep curls, burpees, and more. It was definitely a full body workout! I really liked the music too.

I really enjoyed SweatBox and thought it was a perfect way to kick off my birthday. 🙂

The rest of my morning was fairly uneventful (I had my free Starbucks coffee and enjoyed some cottage cheese + blueberries at my desk) and then around 11 a.m. my phone rang. The receptionist told me she had some Georgetown cupcakes for me at the front desk, which naturally sent me scurrying from my seat to retrieve them. It turns out they were from Fabio!! I have the best husband. 🙂

I waited until after lunch time to open them up, at which point I enjoyed a chocolate one with vanilla cream cheese frosting and set aside a chocolate peanut butter one to take home.

I put the rest of the cupcakes on the shared countertop in my office so the rest of my team could enjoy them, and they were gone in minutes. They were a huge hit!

A little while later my phone rang again, and this time it was flowers!

These were from my amazing best friend, Bianca! They are so beautiful and the lilies smell especially great. Everyone who walks past my desk comments on them!

Then – and I think I got a bit annoying at this point – my phone rang a third time, this time with an edible arrangement from my dad! I think the receptionist was ready to kill me. 🙂

I shared these with my team too, so even people who missed out on the cupcakes were able to enjoy some sugary birthday treats.

At the end of the day, my coworkers surprised me with a card and a gift certificate to SweetGreen! They know me so well. 🙂

I had such a great day at work, and everyone kept coming over to wish me a happy birthday and comment on all my goodies. 🙂 I know I’m incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life!

When I got home, I had a package from Aunt CC and Uncle Steve! Inside was a gift certificate to Lululemon and a beautiful Kate Spade necklace. Woohoo! Thank you, CC and Steve!

Then after walking Jack, Fabio poured me a glass of wine and we sat on the couch chatting for a while before it was time for a birthday celebration dinner.

I knew Fabio had made reservations somewhere but didn’t know where we were headed. When it was time to leave, we hopped in the car and headed to…Filomena! I’d only been to Filomena once a very long time ago, and even then I’d only been for happy hour and hadn’t had a chance to enjoy their famous handmade pasta. Fabio and I both love Italian food, so it was a perfect choice! Good thing he made a reservation too – it was packed! But we had a nice little table for two to ourselves.

We started our meal with some bread and a bottle of wine, and then placed our orders before it was time for me to open my card. It had glitter and puppies on the front, so obviously he picked a good one. 🙂

Inside there were two tickets to see the Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center in November! I always love “experience” gifts, and I was really excited about this one. I can’t wait!!

Soon our appetizer of fried mozzarella arrived…

…and then my entree came! I got one of the specials which was a kind of pasta/sweet Italian sausage roll-up, and it was SO good!

Everything was delicious (so fresh! so flavorful!) but there was so. much. food.

We both wound up with leftovers and I was too full to even order any birthday dessert. That’s how you KNOW I was full!

Before we left, our waiter brought over some amaro and sambuca to enjoy, along with some coffee beans for flavor (as if a bottle of wine wasn’t enough! Plus since Fabio drove I drank my fair share for sure. Oof!).

Fabio and I had such a wonderful evening talking, laughing, and enjoying the delicious food and drinks. What a perfect birthday dinner!

We even grabbed a photo with some of the Halloween decor on our way out. 🙂

When we got home I spent some time tinkering around downstairs, and just when I was about to head upstairs Fabio pulled out the cupcake that I had brought home from work earlier with a lit candle on top. He then proceeded to sing happy birthday to me in the kitchen. 🙂

I don’t know how, but he seriously caught me off guard with this – I feel like one minute I was talking to him about something and the next he had already sneakily gotten the candle and lighter from the drawer, opened the fridge, put the candle on the cupcake, and lit it. Maybe the wine had something to do with how surprised I was by this?

Either way, it was super cute and spontaneous, and I love that he thought to do this. (Even though both of us were too full to eat the cupcake – we wound up putting it back in the fridge! Ha!).

Overall it was the absolute perfect birthday, and I wouldn’t have asked for anything different. It was very clear to me that I have so many wonderful people in my life, and I went to bed feeling so thankful for all of them. <3

Question of the day: Experience gifts or regular gifts?

 Posted by on September 29, 2017