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
Feb 122018
 

Hey friends! I’m coming at you this morning (Saturday, as I write this) from a cafe in Baltimore – Fabio has a dentist appointment with our brother-in-law, Alex, and I decided to use this time to park myself down and do some writing. No stress and no pressure, which is exactly how I think blogging is supposed to be. Honestly, it’s been a big shift for me not to post two or three times every week, but I think giving myself the freedom not to blog has actually given me more creative inspiration to write about some more fun things. Like today!

Last week I took four workout classes – three on ClassPass and one at OrangeTheory Fitness – and I had a mix of instructors I loved and instructors that I just didn’t. This made me think about the topic for today’s post, a review of some of my favorite instructors and what makes them so great!

First, let’s talk about what’s not so great. I won’t name any names or even say what studio I went to, but I had an instructor on Thursday that left me feeling so turned off. Don’t get me wrong, her actual workout was challenging and left me feeling pretty good, but her attitude was a big NO for me. As soon as she walked into the room I got this sort of vibe from her – like she thought she was just soooo much better than everyone else there. She didn’t help anyone with form, she didn’t give much encouragement, she just told us what to do in kind of a bossy, this-is-what-comes-next tone of voice. It was almost like she thought she was “too cool” to give us any personal attention? Maybe she was just shy in actuality and that’s how it came across? When we left (Fabio was with me) we said goodbye and she didn’t even look us in the eye as she said “Byeeeeeee – have a good one.” As you’ll see from the rest of this post, this is totally NOT what I like in an instructor, especially when there are so many who get it right.

I also want to say quickly that while I’ve been taking classes through ClassPass all over the D.C. area since it first came the area in 2014 (wow!), there are still tons of classes that I haven’t been to and probably lots of awesome instructors that I’ve missed. These are just the ones I go to time and time again because I love them so much.

Stephen from BLAST DC and Fly Wheel/Fly Barre

Does anyone remember the “hardest barre class I ever took” back in 2015? Well, that was Stephen’s class. Back then I’m pretty sure he only taught barre, but he now also teaches spin at Flywheel and, what’s even better for me, bootcamp classes at BLAST DC. And what I said before about his barre class being super hard applies to everything he teaches – I took his class at BLAST earlier this week with my friend Kathleen, and told her I thought it was one of the hardest classes that I have EVER taken. Stephen is just really good at pushing you to work as hard as you can. He tells you to turn up the speed on your treadmill and hold your weights for 10 seconds longer than you thought you could, but always in a really positive, encouraging way. Another thing I love is his music!! He plays all the normal stuff, but then sometimes will throw in something amazing like Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey. I remember one time around the holidays he played a song from the Prince of Egypt during FlyWheel and I thought I was going to fall off my bike, I was so excited. Those fun throwbacks are so motivating! Lastly, Stephen is super nice, encouraging, and always gives you a high-five when you’re done with your workout. I love his classes and frequently look for him on the schedule!

Plus, I love following Stephen on Instagram @SnapsFromSteve!

Virginia from BodyMass Gym

Virginia and her husband Kris own BodyMass Gym in Arlington, and their blast class is one of my favorites! First, I will start by saying that there’s a very similar gym to BodyMass less than a block away from it, and it’s usually empty. But not BodyMass – every time we go it’s absolutely packed! It’s not too fancy (though there is a dog!!) but you can tell people come for the instructors and the workout. The blast class is interval bootcamp style with mostly strength exercises and a bit of cardio mixed in. Virginia knows everyone’s name and does the BEST job at walking around to correct form and encourage you. When ClassPass prompted me to vote for a top instructor for 2017, she’s the one I instantly thought of and voted for. I just think she does a great job at inspiring you and teaches you the right way to do something. I feel like even basic exercises – from my deadlifts to my squats – have all improved since I started taking her class. It’s also really hard, and I love her playlists of rap from the early 2000s. Ja Rule?! Yes!

Virgina also competed (competes?) in bodybuilding competitions, and her Instagram includes some really impressive photos. Follow her @VirginiaVKinkel!

(I should also say that I love all the coaches at BodyMass Gym – especially Chase! – but Virginia really stands out. I’ve also never taken a class with her husband Kris, but somehow he knows my name too, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know anything about my blog. Amazing!)

Earl and DeShay from Definitions

I’m clearly not the only one who likes Earl and DeShay from Definitions DC – Earl even won most motivating ClassPass instructor for 2016! Though I usually take DeShay’s classes because of scheduling, I’ve had Earl a number of times and love the big smile he wears during a class and his positivity. He also calls the different colored kettlebells and resistance bands flavors instead of colors (so the hardest resistance band, which is purple, he calls grape, and the heaviest kettlebell, which is orange, he calls tangerine) which I think is a cute little touch. DeShay is great too, and she always makes sure new students are welcomed by the rest of the class. They both know everyone’s name, and even have a system where they’ll take your picture and save it on their computer so they can always match a face to a name, even if you don’t attend their class reglarly. Though their gym space is small, the intervals they plan are really thoughtful and make great use of the equipment and space they do have. The classes always fly by and are a lot of fun!

Alex from OrangeTheory Fitness Clarendon

Hopefully I’m not being biased here since Alex does read the blog (hi, Alex!) and is the one who invited me to try OrangeTheory in the first place. 🙂 BUT her classes are always packed, often with a waitlist of 20ish people trying to get in. I’ve heard plenty of people say how much they love her classes, so I know I’m not alone! Let me just set the stage for a minute – around this time last year (wait I actually just looked it up and it was exactly a year ago today – weird!) Alex invited me to try out a class at OrangeTheory so I went with Anne and Fabio. I remember loving the class and thinking it was really good/hard, but when I looked at the pricing sheet I knew it wasn’t going to happen – how could I justify paying that price on top of my monthly ClassPass fees? Every time I drove past an OTF after that I would think about it – it was just such a good class and I really liked how challenging it was. Then my friend Courtney moved to Clarendon from the West Coast, and she said she was in the market for a new fitness routine. I suggested we try out OTF since your first class is free and I knew she wouldn’t have to pay anything. So one morning we went together and I paid the drop-in fee to take another class with Alex. At this point, I knew it wasn’t something I could walk away from again. I just LOVED her class – how hard it was, how encouraging she is, and the music (she plays some great 2000s throwbacks, and I even heard some of my favorite old Simple Plan songs that took me back to middle school days). Alex is also really friendly and relatable, and I feel like we could totally be friends. I ran out of classes a couple weeks ago, and just shelled out $500 (ughhh) to get 30 more classes. Right now I am working out at OTF once a week, and I pretty much only take Alex’s classes. (The other instructors are good too, but I feel like I’d rather “save” my classes for Alex.) I’m a fairly frugal person in general, so the fact that Alex got me to splurge on another fitness program on top of ClassPass is pretty telling.

She’s another one who I like following on Instagram – @Alshabes.

Although there are lots of other instructors in the D.C. area that I really like – like Richard from FlyWheel Dupont and Graham from Urban Athletic Club, for exmaple – the ones above are the ones that really stand out for me. I will go out of my way to take their classes and will even move my schedule around if needed. Love these guys!

Question of the day: Who are your favorite DC-area instructors??

 Posted by on February 12, 2018
Feb 022018
 

Hey friends! Long time no talk, huh? Honestly I’m really happy with my decision to remove any pressure to blog in 2018 – work has been insane lately and I’ve been getting home around 7 or 8 p.m., at which point the thought of sitting down to blog makes me want to die. So I guess this was a good time for me to make that switch! That being said, I still want to share my life with you guys, so I have a bunch of random updates to share today! Let’s see…where to begin…

Well first, I will say that I’ve been eating some really delicious dinners lately, including this lightened up pad thai (an old favorite)….

This cilantro lime chicken meatball bowl with cauliflower/broccoli rice (a new recipe I tried and loved)…

And some unpictured sweet potato peanut soupbacon brussels sprouts fried rice, and golden soup. I’ve been trying my best to meal plan smartly for the last few weeks, and it’s been working out great. I know for some people cooking can be stressful, but it’s been a great way for me to unwind after a hard day. Plus having leftovers for lunch isn’t bad either!

I’ve also been getting up to lots of great workouts, including some with Anne! Yes, she’s back in action after having her baby girl in November, and I couldn’t be happier to have my workout buddy back.

Honestly, having a workout buddy to help keep you accountable makes SUCH a difference for me, especially when it comes to crawling out of bed for an early morning class. I’m so happy she’s back! We’ve been working out with Kathleen a lot too – it’s so nice to have our trio reunited.

We’ve also had some fun around here on the weekends, including bartender Fabio making us some delicious Saturday night cocktails…

…meeting up with cousins and my sister for a nice brunch at Summer House in Bethesda….

…and traveling up to New York to surprise my best friend Bianca for her 29th birthday. This was such a fun weekend, and I’m so glad we were able to surprise her. 🙂

Also, this is probably the MOST typical picture of Bianca and me. LOL!

Yep, sums us right up!

And now, what I know a bunch of you have been asking for, a kitchen update!

Ok so just a reminder, this is what we’re currently working with.

[Cue screeching horror movie music.]

Eek!

A few weeks ago we met with a designer who took a bunch of measurements of our kitchen and then worked with us to lay out a cabinet design exactly the way we wanted it. We went through about 4 rounds of different designs before landing on the one below.

I knew there were a few things I wanted (hood over the oven instead of the microwave, a few open shelves, some corner lazy susan cabinets, a cabinet for trash, etc.) and the designer worked with us to incorporate everything.

I love that the microwave is going to go below the new peninsula – we don’t use it much and I think the hood looks so much nicer above the oven.

I originally wanted gray cabinets on the bottom and white up top, but the gray ones were going to cost a lot more, so I decided I’m ok with going all white. This will allow us to splurge in some other areas, like adding crown molding throughout the downstairs and adding a fireplace mantle. Woot!!

We placed our order through cliqstuidos.com after looking around/getting some different quotes, and the cabinets should be here in about a month. Yay!

The next thing on our to-do list will be to pick out flooring (we are thinking hardwood or laminate that looks like hardwood – any recommendations?) and the countertop. We’re hoping to find something in quartz that looks like the image below:

And then from there we can buy the appliances, backsplash (we are thinking white subway tile with a gray grout), and hardware (I like some of the darker options).

Here are some of the new inspiration pictures I’m working from now that we’re doing white on white cabinets.

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So what do you guys think? Which picture do you like best? What color do you think we should get for the floor – something dark and grayish maybe?

As far as the timeline goes, the new cabinets will be here in one month so it’s time to get moving! Demo will start on Feb. 15, so we need to get everything moved out of our downstairs area before then (since we are redoing the flooring for the whole first floor). Eek! It’s going to be a lot of work (and a lot of money) but I think it’s going to turn out so great!

And one more question for you guys – since our kitchen will be out of commission for about a month, I’m thinking of doing a meal delivery service of premade dinners at that time. I would be interested in checking out one that’s Whole 30 or vegan or something (though I don’t know if I could get Fabio on board with that plan…) so please let me know if you have any suggestions.

*Edited to add:

LOL!*

Alright that’s all for now – I hope to be able to check in again relatively soon!

Question of the day: What do you think of our kitchen plans? Any recommendations?

 Posted by on February 2, 2018
Jan 162018
 

Hi friends! Thank you so much for the kind words after my 2018 goals and blogging update post – it’s so nice to know you guys are behind me no matter what my blogging schedule looks like moving forward. 🙂 For now, I wanted to pop in to share a super fun 3-day weekend that we had in Philly. I didn’t take a ton of photos because I wasn’t sure if I was going to post about it, but here I am on Monday evening with an urge to share, so I’m going for it!

Friday

On Friday evening, Fabio and I had a date night! Fabio’s on an international networking group at his job, and they’re planning a cool event to celebrate the Winter Olympics in a couple of weeks. They’re planning to serve Korean food at the event, and Fabio recently got to sample food from a couple of local Korean restaurants so he could help decide what to have at the event. He and his team wound up going with food from a place called Seoul Spice, and after he raved about it to me I made him promise to take me there for dinner. 🙂 We didn’t have plans for Friday evening, so a date night at the Korean spot was in order!

Seoul Spice is actually located in our old neighborhood of NoMa, and when we arrived we realized it was a fast-casual spot! Ha! I guess we should have looked it up ahead of time. Oh well – it was still a fun date night even it was more casual that we realized. Plus the food was SO delicious!

I went with the “Klassic” bowl with purple rice, and everything was so delicious. I definitely recommend this place if you’re in the area!

Saturday

Saturday morning began nice and slow. While I took Jack on a long walk, Fabio was busy at home making us lattes and arepas (basically Colombian corn pancakes, but not sweet at all). I made some soft-scrambled eggs to go with the arepas, and we enjoyed a delicious late breakfast.

After that, we got ourselves ready to head up to Philly! Our friend Jake turned 30 this weekend, and his fiance Greg threw a surprise party for him on Saturday night. Jake and Greg were both in Fabio’s fraternity in college, so many of his fraternity brothers were coming into town for it too. I couldn’t wait to see everyone!

We hit some traffic as soon as we arrived in Pennsylvania, but all things considered, we had a pretty easy drive up.

We arrived in Philly around 2 p.m., and then spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with our friends watching the Eagles playoff game at a bar near our hotel. Then at 8 p.m. we headed to the party, and the birthday boy (and his friend who was also turning 30) entered the room as we all yelled “Surprise!”

I think it’s safe to say Jake and his friend were surprised – they literally yelled, “Is all this for us?!”

Success! The party itself was so much fun, and Greg did a great job coordinating every detail. I miss these guys!

After the party, Fabio and I went out to another bar with his best friend, Hayden, and we spent the night dancing just like old times. So fun!

Sunday

On Sunday morning we had brunch plans with my good friend (and sorority sister/bridesmaid) Kristen, and her fiance Mark. We went to Girard Bruncherie to eat, and it was so, so delicious. Highly recommend this spot!

While we were there, Mark casually mentioned that next weekend they had plans to attend the Philadelphia Home Show, and we joked that we should drive back up to go with them. Then he said that the home show was also in town that weekend and that he happened to have two extra tickets to go. We then found ourselves making plans to go to the home show after brunch. Who knew we’d wind up doing something so random, impulsive, and adult?!

We wound up spending the next couple of hours walking around the Philly Home Show with Kristen and Mark as we checked out lots of different home renovation booths. It was super helpful to see different materials in person, especially since we’re meeting with the kitchen contractor later this week to start making real plans. We looked at cabinets, countertops, flooring options, hardware, and more, all with two of our favorite people by our sides. Yep, it was random, but so fun!

We said goodbye to Kristen and Mark around 3 p.m., and got home around 5:30 p.m., at which point Fabio offered to make chicken parm for dinner. What a treat! It was really cold out too, so we enjoyed a cozy fire at home while we ate.

Oh yes, and those are Fabio’s famous mozzarella sticks on the side. 🙂

After dinner, we stayed up way too late watching our current favorite Netflix show, The Travellers. Has anyone else been watching that one? We also recently watched Peaky Blinders and Godless, all of which have been amazing. Netflix is killing it with their original series lately!

Monday

We had talked about meeting up with our friend Jason for a FlyWheel class on Monday, but instead Fabio and I decided to have a lazy day at home. We slept in, we watched more Netflix, I took a nap, and then I did other important stuff like meal-planning and grocery shopping to prep for the week ahead. We currently have another fire in the fireplace, and Fabio’s making me dinner again. Woohoo! I could get used to this.

This week ahead should be a busy one – work is pretty busy right now and we are planning to get started with kitchen plans, which I’m getting SO excited for. I’m sure I’ll be sharing some updates about that soon!

Question of the day: Have you ever had a surprise party planned for you?

My best friend Bianca planned one for me when I turned 15. It was at my own house and I was STILL shocked!!

 Posted by on January 16, 2018
Jan 112018
 

Hello there! Happy Thursday! Today I’m popping in to share some thoughts and goals for 2018, and share a blogging update with you.

I’m not the kind of person who makes official New Year’s resolutions (except for the year I vowed to start flossing my teeth every day, which is a habit I’ve continued with years later), but I do like to take the opportunity of the new year to evaluate what’s going on in my life and think about where I want to focus my energy. Here are some of the things I’m going to work toward this year!

 

Life

This year Fabio and I have two big things planned: 1) to redo the kitchen and 2) to travel to Spain and Portugal over the summer. These aren’t goals necessarily, but they are events on our calendar that will require considerable planning when it comes to both our finances and logistics.

Kitchen renovations are slated to start in the next month or two (we just started interviewing potential contractors!) and we’re realizing that the cost will be a bit more than we had originally saved for. (As you may remember, Fabio’s super into managing our finances, and he’s we’ve decided we’d like to pay for everything in full vs. taking out a loan.)

That means we’re going to have to hold the purse strings a bit tighter, and aside from a ski trip we already committed to, we’re planning to use the month of February as a “no spending” month. This means we will cook at home instead of eating out, and try to avoid spending money over the weekends. It’s only for a few weeks and we generally like doing that stuff anyway (i.e., we like cooking), so hopefully it will be doable and will help us get where we need to be financially for the kitchen. If not, we always have our back-up savings accounts, though we’d rather not have to tap into those. Fingers crossed!

Of course a project like this takes a lot of planning coordination too, which I’m having fun with in my free time. 😊 Here are some of the inspo pictures, as well as what we’re dealing with now. Yikes.

(Sorry I don’t have sources for these – I’ve had them saved on my phone for a while!)

Pretty, right? I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

I’m also starting to plan for our Eurotrip later this year, and I’m sure we’ll start looking at flights soon. Yay!

This year will also be super busy with weddings – I think we have 8 on the calendar so far – so I’m noting that here as something else that’s on my mind for the year ahead. Yep, we’re really going to need to watch our finances in 2018. Eek.

*And for anyone wondering/if my grandma reads this, no, there is no baby planned for 2018! There’s plenty of time for that in the next few years or so. 😉*

 

Work

Work is still going really well, and I love my coworkers and the work that I do on a day-to-day basis. I feel fulfilled by my job and I don’t wake up in the morning and dread going into the office (which is something I think a lot of people experience, and something I’ve experienced before).

That being said, I do have some personal goals I want to work on to help me progress in my career, including becoming a more creative writer. Over the last year and a half or so that I’ve been at my current job, I’ve noticed that I’m pretty decent at long-form writing (talking points, press releases, emails, newsletters, etc.) but writing shorter, pithy content (like ad copy or catchy headlines) is harder for me. So, in addition to focusing on advancing my career, working with my team, etc., I want to make more of an effort to take some classes or trainings on the side to improve this skillset. I’ve already flagged a few courses on Lynda.com for creative writing and marketing strategy, and now I just have to make the time to do them!

 

Health

When it comes to health and fitness this year, I actually don’t have too many goals. Mostly I’m just excited to be back in a routine after the holidays, and I’m enjoying the feeling of filling my body with good-for-me foods and getting my sweat on. I know I gained a couple of pounds in December – likely due to the 1,000 cookies I ate and #allthecheese – but I’m not worried about losing it; I know my weight will even back out after a couple of weeks back in my routine.

I’m not sure if I’ll run any races this year or not; I’m just planning to go where my body and my plans takes me. For now I’m still loving Orangetheory Fitness, bootcamps, spin, and yoga, plus some very short runs with Jack when it’s not negative degrees outside.

I did recently make an appointment with my PCP for a physical since it’s been a couple of years since I’ve had one. Preventive care is so important!

 

Blog & An Update

As you can see, I have quite a few goals for 2018. Unfortunately, none of them revolve around growing the blog. You know, I started this blog back in 2012 and back then it was so exciting and something I couldn’t wait to do when I got home from work. I had all these ideas and all this passion to get my message out there to the world, and I just don’t feel that spark anymore.

I think a big part of the shift has been because of my career – when I started CET I was right out of college and doing unfulfilling work like compiling media monitoring reports and taking minutes during client calls. I needed the blog as my outlet to make a small difference in the world. And now, 6 years later, I have a job where I actually do get to write about important health topics and I do get to share them with the world.

Working in a health-focused nonprofit where I get to coordinate campaigns like “Get Fit Don’t Sit Day” and “National Healthy Lunch Day” has filled that void that I had before. Work is also much more stressful, and sitting down to stare at the computer for an extra hour at the end of the day isn’t something I enjoy much anymore. I’ve come to realize that unwinding at home with my family – and unplugging – is something I enjoy much more.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I rarely share my food or my fitness on the blog anymore, and while part of that is because I’ve finally found a routine that works for me and there’s only so many pictures of cottage cheese and blueberries that a person would ever be interested in seeing, a bigger part of it is because I don’t feel called to share that stuff all the time anymore.

I still enjoy sharing what I’m up to on the weekends, and I’m sure I’ll still post about food and fitness every now and then, but here’s my plan for blogging in 2018: I’m freeing myself from the pressure to post. I’m taking away that obligation that I set for myself. I want to shift my feeling of “I have to blog” to “I get to blog.”

If I want to post, I will. If I had a really fun weekend or took a really awesome class and I feel excited to sit down at the computer and share about it, then I will. I won’t worry about what day it is, I’ll just post it. And on the other hand, if I feel like I don’t have anything particularly interesting to share or the thought of looking at a computer screen for one more minute makes me want to tear my eyeballs out, then I won’t. Simple.

I know this will be a change and I’ll probably lose a lot of readers, but I feel like it’s something that’s been a long-time coming for me. There are so many blogs out there these days that share content much better than mine, and no one likes reading content from a burnt-out blogger anyway. I can always reevaluate this plan a little later on in 2018 and see how I’m doing, but for now, I think this is the way I need to go.

I hope you all can understand my thinking behind this change, and that you’ll be there for me when I do decide to drop in with a post, be it twice a week, once a week, or once a month.

And, if you’re missing hearing from me, you can always catch me over on Instagram @ChelseaEatsTreats.

Over and out!

Question of the day: What are some of your goals for 2018? Do you make actual resolutions? What do you think of the shift in the blogging schedule?

 Posted by on January 11, 2018
Jan 052018
 

Hi friends! Today I’m back with the very last recap of our beautiful wedding. Man, it sure took me a while to get through all of these, didn’t it? Today’s post will recap the most fun part of the wedding: the dancing! As usual, here are my vendor notes:

  • DJ: Crow Entertainment (we worked with CJ, and he was SO great! He got everyone’s names right, and we had some tough ones! Plus his playlist was fantastic!)
  • Photography: Lauren Nievod (I’ve already raved about her a ton of times – 100% recommend)
  • Venue: Wye River Conference Center (amazing Eastern Shore/riverfront hotel with beautiful grounds. Can only be booked by groups, meaning our guests took up the whole thing)

If you missed any past recaps you can find them here.

And now, let’s jump right in!

For our first song, I wanted to start off with something to honor my grandparents, who have been married for 63 years! I had talked to my DJ about this ahead of time, and he asked all the married couples to head out onto the dance floor for a special dance.

It was crazy to see a bunch of our friends on the dance floor – we’ve been to so many weddings in the last few years that we actually have a lot of married friends now!

Jess & Erick

 

Megan & JR

Grae & Dan and Rebecca & Richard

Plus some family members too!

After everyone danced for a little while, the DJ would ask the couples to sit down based on how long they’ve been married. He started with “sit down if you’ve only been married for an hour.” Ha! Guess that’s us.

Then he continued counting down different amounts of time until only my grandparents were left on the dance floor!

I thought this was a really fun way to celebrate their marriage, and it got everyone’s attention on the dance floor. 🙂

Yay, Grandma and Grandpa!

After that, the boys headed out to make a toast at the bar…

…and the ladies hit the dance floor!

I was so happy with how the reception went as a whole; we had given our DJ a list of songs that we definitely wanted him to play and a few to steer clear of. He totally listened to our suggestions and added a few selections of his own. Everything was a hit!

As for the dance floor itself, it was totally packed during the whole wedding! Many of the venue’s employees told us the next day that they’d never seen a wedding there where every single guest was up and dancing. What can I say, our friends and family like to dance!

One good thing about being under the tent was that when the dance floor got too crowded, people just danced on the grass either by the tables or outside the tent. Of course my mom and stepdad did some of this since they need a lot of room when they dance. 🙂

A couple other guests danced out there too!

There were also different pockets of people on the dancefloor – I guess because of where their tables were set up and what part of the dance floor was closest to them – so I made sure to move around the floor so I danced with every group a few times. Fabio and I didn’t really do the whole go from table to table greeting people thing (we didn’t spend much time on dinner and didn’t think we would have time to visit everyone), so instead we mingled on the dance floor instead. I think that’s more our style anyway. 🙂

Here are the bridesmaids/my friends!

And this amazing selfie that Fabio’s friends got!

(Also with our Snapchat filter!)

We also danced with my family/family friends! (How cute is my grandma – my mom’s mom – dancing with Fabio’s dad?)

Plus Aunt CC and me, of course.

And my sister danced with Fabio’s dad!

And you probably recognize these guys, though they’re usually in sweaty gym clothes when I post their pictures: Anne and Kathleen!

Fabio’s family was really fun to dance with too, and they got up to some crazy dance moves.

For example, check out this photo sequence with Fabio’s Tia Clara. She’s always a hoot, and these pictures continue to crack me up.

Yes, that’s Fabio crawling between her legs. Ha!

Fabio’s family are all really good dancers, and I made sure to do some salsa dancing with them too. I specifically remember singing to Despacito with Fabio’s Colombian cousin in this picture. 🙂

I’ve gotten really close with Fabio’s cousins over the last couple of years, and now I feel like they’re truly my cousins too! I love this one with his (my!) cousin Maria Clara. <3

And then, of course, I did plenty of dancing with my husband too!

 

These two pictures sum us up perfectly. I love them!

 

Yayyy!

Before we knew it, our time was up and it was time to leave the tent for the after party.

When planning out our timeline for the day, I knew I wanted to do a bouquet toss but didn’t want to use up valuable reception time on it. Instead, I did a more casual bouquet toss in the grass outside the tent as everyone was leaving. My cousin Yasi caught it!

(I also wound up throwing a smaller bouquet that was used on the dessert table so I could save mine. It worked out great!)

After that, we all hopped on the venue’s shuttle for the after party! We held it in one of the houses on the property, and it had a really cool atrium ceiling and balcony by the upstairs rooms. My dad brought a sound system/light machine from home, which made the space really fun! Fabio and I climbed up on the balcony to thank everyone for coming, and then the party kicked off!

(We had another Snapchat filter for the after party!)

It was so fun spending more time with our guests, and I was happy to see that our family joined us for the party as well. 🙂

I had debated changing into another outfit, but I decided that I spent so much money on my dress that I wanted to keep it on for as long as possible!

We ordered something like 30 pizzas for the after party (this is just one stack), and somehow they ALL got eaten by the end of the night. Crazy!

We had purchased alcohol from Costco ahead of time, which made everything really easy. It seemed like everyone had an absolute blast – I know I did!

Jack came to the after party too, and goodness only knows how much pizza he ate. Everyone kept telling me that they fed him some – LOL!

He was definitely the hit of the party. 🙂

Overall it was the perfect way to end our night and was just SO much fun.

We finally stumbled back to our room at around 3:30 a.m. Oof! What a long day.

I think everyone was hurting a bit in the morning, and our friend sent us this picture on her way to meeting for breakfast. Ha!

Yep, it was a fun wedding and after party, that’s for sure.

We had a really nice breakfast the next morning under the tent, and then around noon we all said our goodbyes and Fabio and I headed off to Thailand! But you already know that part of the story. 🙂

Aaaand that concludes the blog recap of our amazing wedding! Everything just went so perfectly – you always hear that things won’t go according to plan but we just got so, so, so lucky with the weather and the venue and our vendors and everything. I remember we both had humungous grins the whole drive home, and we couldn’t stop saying how lucky we were. <3

Question of the day: Do you like when weddings have traditional elements like the bouquet toss and garter toss, or would you rather spend more time dancing?

 Posted by on January 5, 2018
Dec 202017
 

Helloooo, and welcome to another wedding recap! Man, I thought I’d be able to wrap everything up in one last post, but who am I kidding–I’m going to need at least one more after this to fit everything in! I might not make it to my goal of recapping everything by the end of 2017, but I’m still going to try!

Today’s recap kicks off the wedding reception! If you missed any of my past recaps you can find those here.

As usual, I have a couple of vendor notes to share with you guys:

  • DJ: Crow Entertainment (we worked with CJ, and he was SO great! He got everyone’s names right, and we had some tough ones! Plus his playlist was fantastic!)
  • Dessert: Peace of Cake (the prettiest and most delicious desserts!!)
  • Photography: Lauren Nievod (I’ve already raved about her a ton of times – 100% recommend)
  • Venue: Wye River Conference Center (amazing Eastern Shore/riverfront hotel with beautiful grounds. Can only be booked by groups, meaning our guests took up the whole thing)

And with that, let’s dive right in!

As soon as cocktail hour was over, the DJ instructed everyone to take their seats under the tent. Then he pressed play on “You make my dreams” by Daryl Hall & John Oates, which we used as our bridal party entrance song! (BTW, this song is currently being used in a Chili’s commercial, and every time I hear it come on it makes me think of the wedding!)

First up, my mom and stepdad! Don’t they look so great?! They danced in a bit, but also kept things classy (per usual).

Up next came my dad and stepmom, who danced a little bit more. 🙂

But Fabio’s parents, however, really got into it! They’re both great dancers, so I’m not surprised.

Then came the bridal party! I had sent them all an email leading up to the wedding letting them know who they’d be walking in with and encouraged them to work together to come up with a fun entrance, and they did NOT disappoint. We had some really fun ones!

Here are Kristen and Tom…

Jon and Catrina…

Jay and Megan…

And Diane and Alex!

Honestly, everyone had a great entrance – even my sister who wound up having to walk in by herself due to some confusion with the flower girl. 🙂 Yay, bridal party!

When it got to be our turn, Fabio and I realized we hadn’t planned anything for ourselves! Ha! So we looked at each other and just decided to run into the tent.

Woohoo!

It seemed to work out well. 🙂

I had also told our bridal party to circle the dance floor once they entered the tent, which made for a super special first dance with all our best friends surrounding us. It obviously looked nice for the pictures too. 🙂

Our first dance song was “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur, and as soon as the music started, our bridal party all linked arms and started swaying to the music.

Fabio and I had originally thought about taking dance lessons for our first dance, but after talking to our friend Kristen (who’s a dancer), she suggested we do whatever feels natural to us. Having to worry about choreographed dance steps isn’t really our personality, so we took her advice and just kind of winged it. I actually think we did pretty well!

We even got a few spins in, which was fun since the bottom of my dress spun out. 🙂

P.S. How great is Catrina’s face in that photo above?

And then before we knew it, our song was coming to an end!

Which of course meant a big kiss. 🙂

After our first dance was over, we went right into dances with our parents. To save time/maximize time spent on the dance floor later, we just danced to one song (“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, which is a special one for my dad and me), and it was nice to have all four of us on the dance floor together. Fabio and his mom had a nice little step going on, but my dad and I just kind of swayed. (Again with the winging it thing!) 🙂

Once that was over, my grandpa shared a blessing so everyone could start eating their salads and bread. This was something special I wanted to include since my grandparents mean so much to me, and my grandpa is pretty involved with his church.

Fun fact: I actually hand-wrote him a card asking him to read a blessing and mailed to his house a few months before the wedding, even though I see him and my grandma pretty frequently. He seemed to really appreciate this gesture, and it was nice to ask him in a somewhat special way. (We did this with our aunts for the readings too!)

Anyway, my grandpa did a great job!

Then while people dug into their salads, we got started with speeches! My dad went first.

My dad and Fabio worked together at one point a few years ago doing government work, so my dad made a joke about how every dad wants to know all about his daughter’s boyfriend, so my dad’s solution was to hire Fabio and then make him go through an official government background check. Ha! This was actually true – Fabio did have to get a background check for that job – so it was pretty funny.

My dad did a great job at making us laugh while also bringing in lots of emotion, which was a common theme with all the speeches at our wedding.

I’ve always been a daddy’s girl, so this was a really nice moment for me. 🙂

Up next was my stepsister, Maggie! Maggie started off by saying she was going to do something a little different from a regular speech, by singing an original song that she wrote!

This caught me totally by surprise, and then I realized there was a keyboard and microphone set up by the DJ booth. Had that been there the whole time?

Maggie is a great singer and really creative, and her song was all about the relationship of sisters and love.

Her last line in the song had something to do with how when times are hard or I’m feeling lonely, I should remember all the love here today, and I totally lost it. Wow – I was NOT expecting to get so emotional during her speech (/song)!

It was so, so sweet of her to write and sing us a song, and it’s a memory I will always cherish.

After that was the best man, Hayden!

Fabio and Hayden met freshman year of college, and I met them both during our sophomore year, so I was kind of nervous about what kind of stories Hayden was going to bring up in his speech. We have been through a LOT of crazy times together (usually involving too much alcohol) so I didn’t know what to expect. In the end, he shared a funny story that involved drinking and the Yankees, which was appropriate given Fabio’s love for the team and luckily not too embarrassing.

Ok, so it was a little embarrassing.

But I had made him promise to run his speech by his girlfriend, his sister, and his mom before the big day, so luckily it wasn’t too bad. I actually think he did a fantastic job!

Last but not least, my best friend and other Maid of Honor, Bianca!

Bianca tends to get emotional, so I was definitely expecting some tears from this one.

In the end, Bianca had me cracking up for 99.9% of her speech, and I only got super emotional at the end.

There was one point where I felt sure I was ugly-crying, but from the pictures, it doesn’t like it was too bad. She really got me though, and I felt #alltheemotions.

My best friend! <3

Then we did a quick little cake-cutting ceremony while the DJ played “Cake (I only Came for the Cake)” by DJ Too Tan. My friend Megan got us these adorable Kate Spade cake-cutters, so I made a crazy face at her which was captured on camera. Ha!

When Fabio and I cut the cake, we agreed not to smash each other’s faces into it.

However, that didn’t mean I couldn’t put some on Fabio’s nose, right?

He got me back after that, which was pretty fun. 🙂

Yay!

And after that, the rest of the night was spent on the dance floor!! More in the next recap!

Question of the day: Would you take dance lessons or wing it? Cake smashed in the face or no?

 Posted by on December 20, 2017
Dec 152017
 

Hey there! It’s time for another wedding recap, this time with some photos from cocktail hour! If you missed any of my past recaps, you can find those here.

As usual, here are some vendor notes for the photos in this post:

  • Dessert: Peace of Cake (the prettiest and most delicious desserts!!)
  • Florist: Monteray Farms (Amy Wilkins was truly amazing to work with. If you have an Eastern Shore wedding, I would totally recommend her!)
  • Photography: Lauren Nievod (I’ve already raved about her a ton of times – 100% recommend)
  • Venue: Wye River Conference Center (amazing Eastern Shore/riverfront hotel with beautiful grounds. Can only be booked by groups, meaning our guests took up the whole thing)

And now, let’s dive right in!

As soon as our wedding ceremony ended, we walked up the pathway to the patio and grassy area where cocktail hour would be held!

In this area, we also had a couple of tables with our guest book and boxes for cards, and the staff at the Wye River Conference Center hung our cool wooden photo frame that my MoH/best friend Bianca made us for our engagement party the year before!

Before we got started with cocktail hour, we took some beautiful family portraits. We had the photo lists planned out ahead of time and we had told all of our family to be ready for pictures immediately following the ceremony, which made everything go a lot faster.

Here’s Fabio’s family…

And my dad, stepmom, and sister!

And then we got some with my mom, stepdad, stepsister, and her boyfriend!

We had a few other iterations of these – some with just the parents, some with my grandparents, etc. – but after about 20 minutes we had wrapped up pictures and could enjoy our cocktail hour!

At this point my mom and Aunt CC went with me into the house to tie my dress up into its bustle (which was a lot more complicated than we had hoped), but before long we were back outside with everyone enjoying the party.

This space was so beautiful for cocktail hour – there was a nice patio with tables and chairs but a lot more room out on the grass. It was so beautiful!

Our guests seemed to really enjoy the passed hors d’ouvres too – sadly I didn’t get to try any!

I loved seeing people use our photo frame too!

Meanwhile, our photographers took some beautiful pictures of all our wedding reception details. Our florist Amy Wilkins brought these amazing rustic doors for us to use for the escort cards – I just love how they turned out!

And here’s the reception space – we worked with the wedding coordinator at the Wye River Conference Center and the florist to come up with this design. We used a mix of round tables and rectangular ones and had a whole mix of flowers for the centerpieces. We were going for sort of a garden theme, but I didn’t want anything too matchy-matchy. I love how it all turned out!

This super long rectangular table seated most of the bridal party and their dates, and it was really nice for me to have everyone together!

And Fabio and I got to enjoy a beautiful sweetheart table!

And check out this AMAZING dessert display – our florist Amy provided all the different tiered structures, our cute little dessert bites are from Peace of Cake, and the Wye River Conference Center people helped set everything up. I could NOT be more pleased with how it all turned out!!

Also since Fabio is allergic to shellfish but we wanted to include crabs in our wedding since we were on the Eastern Shore, we included some adorable crab sugar cookies on the dessert display!

So cute, right? We also had a bunch of to-go cardboard boxes for our guests so people could take these treats back to their rooms after the wedding. 🙂

I mean, I clearly love treats, so this was the perfect dessert option for me. 🙂

And then we had a small vanilla buttercream cake to cut!

I think everything came out so beautifully!

As the sun started to set, Fabio and I snuck away for a few husband and wife portraits. I love how these came out too!

My hubby!

After that, it was time to party! Next recap will be the reception!

Question of the day: Cake at weddings or other treats?

 Posted by on December 15, 2017
Dec 142017
 

It’s beginning to look feel a lot like Christmas…

Phew! It’s finally getting cold around these parts! Brrrr! I kind of like it though – it makes me feel more festive and ready for the holidays!

How are you guys doing today? It’s been forever since I wrote more than two words about food and fitness, so I’m planning to share an update on that with you today.

But first, did I ever show you our tree this year? Fabio and I picked it up from Home Depot after work last Monday. We’ve learned that all the tree places near us are totally swamped on weekends in December and sell out of most of their trees, so last year we bought our tree on a weeknight and had much better luck. We tried the same thing this year, and practically had the place to ourselves! I think we have a new tradition on our hands, at least for now.

When we set up it up and started decorating, I was thrilled to see that Elf was playing on Freeform (anyone else still think of it as ABC Family?).

Woohoo–my favorite Christmas movie! (Home Alone is my second fav, followed by the original cartoon version of The Grinch).

While I put the lights and the ribbon on, Fabio headed outside to do our outdoor decorations. We keep things pretty simple outside – just some candles and wreaths in the windows, and white lights outlining the door with a white star on top. (The light-up star and lights were given to us by my grandparents  last year – hooray for free decorations!)

When Fabio came back inside, we finished decorating the tree together. I always wait for him to do the ornaments since we always buy an ornament when we travel, and each Christmas we have a blast looking back at old ones and reminiscing about past trips. We had a new one for Thailand this year, plus a few “just married” ones!

I think our other decorations look pretty cute too – we have a fun, red sequin “Holly Jolly” pillow, and our little bar area is decked out in “snow” and nutcrackers.

There’s also a string of battery-operated thin white lights hung across this area, which unfortunately you can’t see here. They’re super cute though!

Ok so, now that I’ve blabbered on about the holidays, let’s talk food and fitness!

As far as workouts go, I’ve still been chugging along with ClassPass, though I’ve been thinking a bit about switching up my plan. I’ve really been loving Orange Theory lately, and I’ve found that for the last two months I haven’t been used up all my CP classes. Plus CP is beta testing a new “credits” format, which I’m still trying to figure out if I like. Anyone else on the new credits plan?

For now though, I’m still putting CP to good use with classes at Urban Athletic Club, BodyMass Gym, Definitions, and Biker Barre. Speaking of Urban Athletic Club, the Georgetown location is closing this weekend! We’ve been going there for years, and it’s hard to believe we won’t be going back there anymore. I’m sure we’ll still visit the Glover Park and Shaw locations though, which we’ve been going to a bit more lately.

Now that Anne has had her baby, Kathleen and I are going to classes just the two of us. We miss Anne and can’t wait to have her back, but I’m so lucky that I still have a solid workout buddy!

I’m currently averaging around 3 classes per week with a couple of runs with Jack thrown in between, and I’m feeling like that’s a decent enough amount for right now.

As far as food goes…well, I could be doing better. I feel like I always gain weight around this time of year – it starts with my birthday in late September, then I eat candy around Halloween, then it’s Thanksgiving, and then the treats really come around during the holidays. My work environment is the worst for trying to make good food choices too – every day there are new treats to enjoy.

In theory, I should pick and choose what to splurge on and only enjoy the items that I decide are worth it. But something about sitting at my desk (feeling bored, most likely) and knowing there are delicious brownies, cookies, bagels, and pie available for at any point really tests my willpower. I know it’s not a huge deal if I eat treats here and there, but every day for the whole month of December is a problem (for me).

But it is what it is, and if I eat too much I just try to do better the next day.

Alright – that’s all I have for you guys today! Have a wonderful Thursday!

Question of the day: How do you handle treats around the holidays?

 Posted by on December 14, 2017