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Apr 082015
 

Hi friends! How is everyone today? Even though the weather is kind of crappy here, I’m in an oddly chipper mood. I’m not really sure why, but I’ll take it!

Since today’s Wednesday, I thought I would once again take the opportunity to join Jenn and tons of other bloggers from around the web in the good old What I Ate Wednesday linkup. Today Arman from The Big Man’s World is hosting the linkup. Thanks, Arman!

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Let’s take a look at my Monday, shall we?

Workout

My day began with another 6:00 am spin class at Revolve DC.

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I have to admit when I crawled out of bed at 5:15 I was feeling pretty miserable, but as soon as I got changed into my spin gear and took Jack for his walk I felt much better. By the time I arrived at the studio I was ready to sweat, and sweat I did.

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For whatever reason this workout felt extra tough on Monday, and I was totally red-faced and dripping by the time I headed back home. Lovely.

Breakfast #1

Once I got home, I drank a glass of fresh juice which included beets, carrots, lemon, celery and ginger.

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It was a tasty batch, but very lemony since we had a few lemons we needed to use up. It almost was more like lemonade than veggie juice!

Breakfast #2

After a much-needed shower, I dug into my second breakfast of the day: a bowl of 1/2 vanilla almond and 1/2 multigrain Special K cereal, plus skim milk and some raisins tossed in.

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Raisin Bran is one of my favorite childhood cereals, but I never buy it because it’s loaded with added sugar (you can even see the sugar coating the raisins). I don’t know why it took me this long to realize that if I added my own raisins to a regular bran-type cereal, I could make my own lightened up Raisin Bran. Duh! I can be so dense sometimes. Anyway, this is a really delicious combination that I’ve been enjoying all week. 🙂 Plus we are out of bananas at the moment, so raisins are a good way to make my bowl a bit more interesting.

Snack #1

As much as I love Special K cereal for breakfast, it does absolutely nothing for keeping me full. At around 10:30, I dug into half of a peanut butter crunch CLIF bar.

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I bought these CLIF bars on a whim at Costco a few weeks ago, and I have been absolutely loving them. In addition to the peanut butter crunch flavor, the box also came with chocolate chip. Both flavors are awesome!

These bars are great because they have 11g of protein, making them great for post-workout snacks. Granted I waited a little while after my workout to eat it, but at least I got that protein in! These are seriously delicious.

Lunch

At noon, I headed out into the gorgeous sunshine to meet my friend Claire for lunch. The weather was absolutely beautiful on Monday!

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Claire and I began working together back in 2012, and we have been close friends ever since. She recently got a new job near me in Silver Spring, and we are planning to have lunch together at least once a week. I’m so happy I’ll get to see her more!

We decided to head to Potbelly since she had two coupons for free sandwiches (woohoo!) and I opted for my usual turkey and swiss on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Yum, yum, yum.

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I had no problem finishing this off.

We sat outside since the weather was so nice, and had a great time chatting about her new job. Claire also lives in NoMa – the area Fabio and I are thinking about moving to – so I asked her about a million questions about the neighborhood. So nice to have a good resource!

Snack #2

After work I met Fabio at the dog park, which was so nice. On my walk over from the metro, I munched on the other half of the peanut butter CLIF bar (unpictured).

This winter we really didn’t make it to the dog park much, and on Monday I realized how much I missed this little routine. It’s just so nice to spend some time outside in the afternoon with my little family!

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Dinner

After the dog park we headed home, where I whipped up a quick dinner. As I mentioned, we had some lemons to use up, so I made this creamy lemon pepper orzo with chicken, and tossed in a fire-roasted red pepper that we had hanging out in in the fridge.

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It was delicious, and Fabio and I both gobbled it right up. There was also a ton of orzo leftover, which I have been adding to my salads all week. So good!

After dinner Fabio worked on his taxes, while I played around with fitting our furniture into our potential new apartment.

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Unfortunately it looks like not all of our furniture will fit, but all the important stuff is in there! I’m hoping to chat with Fabio tonight to make a decision one way or the other, so we will see what happens.

Question of the day: What did you miss most about spring?

I have to say the green trees, the longer days, and just being outside!

 Posted by on April 8, 2015
Dec 222016
 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go….

Hello, friends! Happy Thursday before Christmas! I don’t know about you guys, but I am SO ready for the holidays. Today is my last day at work for a little while, and then we have some busy travel plans that have us driving up to New York tonight to see Fabio’s family, and then driving back down to Maryland midday Saturday to spend time with my family. ‘Tis the season to be travelin’.

Before I get wrapped up in any of that fun stuff though, let’s have a little virtual coffee date!

How do you like my festive Christmas nails? Yes, I am THAT person. 

I always like taking these opportunities to tell you guys about random thoughts on my mind. Here we go!

I tried two new-to-me recipes this week, and both were delicious. First, I made the basil Thai chicken lettuce wraps from one of my favorite cookbooks, Eating in the Middle. Like every other recipe I’ve made from Andi’s book, this one was a hit!

We didn’t have any hoisin sauce so I made my own variation based on some recommendations I found on good ole Google, and it turned out great! I especially liked the large pieces of basil, which added so much flavor to every bite. Yum!

We ate these with lettuce wraps for dinner one night, and then I used the leftovers in a salad the next day. Fabio and I gave this recipe two thumbs up!

I also made the prosciutto-wrapped chicken from Cravings, my other favorite cookbook at the moment.

This was another delicious recipe, even if it wasn’t that healthy (I mean this recipe calls for bacon AND prosciutto – next time I’m skipping the bacon). We served this delicious chicken with a side salad and some bread for mopping up the tasty juices. It was another hit, and we even had some leftovers to enjoy another night. Win!

My knee has been bothering me lately, and my Physical Therapist friend, Sam, thinks it might be some tendinitis. I wound up skipping a boot camp with Anne and Kathleen on Monday because it was bothering me so much, which had me really bummed! It mostly hurts when I bend my knee 90 degrees or more, and after doing lots of lunges and squats during my bootcamp on Sunday, I figured it would be best to rest a bit and let it recover. Womp womp. Sam thinks that I haven’t been stretching my quads enough, so I’m hoping that with some extra stretching and lots of ice I can get back into action in no time.

Update: I wrote that last part on Tuesday night, and as of today (Thursday) I’m doing a little better. I wound up going for a short run yesterday and did a bootcamp with Anne this morning at MADabolic in Arlington. While my knee isn’t 100% better, I think things are improving slightly…maybe? Working out doesn’t seem to irritate much more than not working out, so I’m just keeping an eye on it for now. 

I had dinner with my friend Claire this week, and it was so nice to spend some time catching up with her. When we started working together back in 2012(ish), we talked all day every day! Now we will usually text around once a week and will get together every other month or so, which is not nearly enough! I miss my Claire!

Having dinner with her was really nice, and I have plans to see her a couple more times in the next week or two. Hooray! Time with girl friends is so important.

Wedding planning (and honeymoon planning) is still going really well! Recently we booked our florist, and I’m pretty sure we’ve landed on a bakery too. We’re scheduled to meet with the bakery toward the end of January for a full consultation, but my grandma has been buying cakes from there for years for my birthday and they’re always delicious. Plus, the woman has been such a pleasure to work with, AND our venue recommended her. All signs are pointing toward go!

We also have another visit to the wedding venue scheduled for that same weekend in mid-January, and I’m so excited to get some of the final details narrowed down. 🙂

Fabio also got his suit recently, which is a really nice custom made one! Now we just have to figure out what we want the groomsmen to wear, and where they should rent their suits from. I’m going to ask some of our other friends who got married recently what their experiences were like with places like Men’s Warehouse and…whatever other places offer suit rentals. Ha! Clearly I need to do some more research on this.

Honeymoon planning is also going really well, and I think we’ve nailed down our itinerary and are ready to buy our flights! Yay!

Also, my bachelorette party and bridal shower are in the process of being planned! My friends are planning the whole bachelorette party and surprising me with ALL of the details, so I have no clue where we are going. Eek! I love surprises, so this should be really fun. The bridal shower is not really a surprise, but my friends and family are still doing most of the planning themselves so I don’t know many details.

All the fun things!

I can’t believe I’ve been engaged for almost a whole year. On Sunday, it will have been one year since Fabio proposed! It really was SUCH a fun year for us, and I know I will look back so fondly of this year of engagement parties, wedding planning, and lots of champagne. 🙂

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Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. It’ll probably be pretty quiet on this front until after the holidays as I want to spend as much time with family as possible.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Question of the day: Are you traveling for the holidays?

 Posted by on December 22, 2016
Sep 092016
 

Hi friends! How was your week? Mine was pretty great, and I especially loved how fast it went by after the long weekend. Woohoo! Today I thought I’d share a recap of my highlights from the week in my usual Favorite Things Friday style. Enjoy!

Favorite Meal

After spending the holiday weekend in Massachusetts and New York, I was really happy to have a food delivery arrive on Tuesday since we hadn’t had a chance to make it to the grocery store. After a recommendation from an old coworker, Fabio and I tried out HelloFresh this week – a service that’s similar to Blue Apron but with a little more emphasis on healthy cooking – and we loved it!

All the ingredients for each meal come in a little cardboard box (except the refigerated meats, which are lower in the package by the ice packs) and I loved that you didn’t have to separate out all the different ingredients for each meal ahead of time. When it was time to cook dinner I just took the lid off the box, opened up the recipe book, and got started!

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I also really liked that the recipe book shows you the nutrition per person for each meal. It also had helpful articles and tips on the extra pages in the booklet. The bright and colorful images with step-by-step instructions also made the recipes very easy to follow.

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HelloFresh also puts on emphasis on sustainable and organic ingredients, and I really enjoyed these non-GMO black beans. They were organic and low sodium, and, in my opinion, you could taste the difference!

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The recipe that we made earlier this week was Chipotle-style chicken salads, and I loved all the fresh ingredients.

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It came together in a flash and Fabio and I both agreed it tasted just like Chiptole. Yum!

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Tonight we are having burgers with grilled pineapple and slaw on the side, and I can’t wait!

By the way, you can save $40 on your first HelloFresh box with my code 222525LP2GQZ at checkout. If you try it, I hope you enjoy these meals as much as we do!

Favorite “Oh No”

When Tuesday’s lunch went all over the carpet at work.

After I dropped my salad – which was already tossed in dressing and ready to eat – I couldn’t do anything but laugh. Seriously, what a way to start off the week! I think maybe there was some salad dressing on the outside of my container that caused it to slip out of my hands? Maybe? Either way, I felt pretty ridiculous using the office dustpan and broom to clean up afterwords. Then I took my embarrassed butt down to Subway since it was the closest option and I needed to grab something quickly before a meeting. Sigh.

Favorite Redo

Luckily, I did much better on the salad front on Wednesday, when I enjoyed the delicious goat cheese and peach salad from SweetGreen.

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This time I got my salad with shrimp instead of chicken per a recommendation from Aunt CC, and it was delicious! Yum! I’m going to be sad when this seasonal salad comes off the menu.

Favorite New Products

The folks from Skinny & Co. recently reached out to me asking if I wanted to try their coconut oil-based facial oil, body butter, oil pulling, and  sugar scrub. All their products are made from small batch, extra virgin, cold-processed coconut oil and are made with nothing but 100% pure, raw, wild-harvested coconuts. There are no chemicals, fillers, or preservatives in any of the products.

I am all about skin products that don’t have any harmful ingredients (I shudder to think about what future science will tell us about all the harmful toxins we’ve been rubbing on our skin for decades) so I was definitely on board to give them a try!

The package of products came in the mail earlier this week, and I’ve already tried out a couple of them.

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I’ve been using the coconut oil moisturizer for face and body before bed (I’ve put it on my face and hands) and when I wake up in the morning the oil is completely absorbed and leaves my skin feeling so refreshed and soft. I love this!

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I also tried the minty oil for mouth pulling, but truthfully I did not love the feeling of having a mouth full of oil so I’m not sure if pulling is really for me. (Psst – if you’ve never heard of pulling, it’s a process where you swish oil around in your mouth which is supposed to help remove bacteria that can otherwise be tough to get out. It’s supposed to help with bad breath, oral health, and even teeth whitening. You can read more about pulling here.) Also apparently you’re supposed to swish the oil for 20 minutes, but I could barely handle 20 seconds because of the weird mouth-feel. Hmm – I’m thinking of trying again because it is supposed to be so good for you. Has anyone else tried pulling?

Anyway, whether or not you’re a fan of pulling, I think you’ll like these products! So far I’ve loved all the ones I’ve tried, and can’t wait to give the after-shower razor burn oil a try and also use the sugar scrub. If you’re interested in trying these oils out you can get 15% off any Skinny & Co. order here with the code SKINNYCO15.

Favorite Shopping Trip

On Wednesday I met up with my friend Claire for a lunchtime shopping trip to TJ Maxx! She needed some wrapping paper and I needed some more dry shampoo (they sell this stuff at Ulta across the street for so much more – why wouldn’t I buy it from TJ Maxx?) and luckily I walked out with just a couple other little things: some adorable lamb dish towels and a potato masher which I’ve been needing for a while.

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I was pretty proud of myself for not giving in to temptation and buying more! Claire and I had a fun time catching up and decided we need more lunchtime shopping dates in the future. 🙂

Favorite Evening Workout

On Thursday night, Fabio and I joined my best friend (and Maid of Honor!) Bianca for a class at FlyWheel! Bianca was in town again for work, so we figured an evening spin class would be a fun way to get together.

Fabio and I arrived at FlyWheel a little early, so Fabio asked if we could stand in the cute alley next to FlyWheel so he could take over the Pokemon gym there. Sigh. What am I going to do with this guy.

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Before long Bianca arrived and then it was time for class!

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We wound up having a great class and it was so fun working out beside two of my favorite people. Bianca and Fabio both did absolutely awesome in the class too!

Afterwords, our little trio walked over to ShopHouse, a delicious Asian fast-casual restaurant that is set up sort of like Chipotle. Yum.

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We enjoyed our massive bowls (and took tons home for leftovers) while chatting, and it was such a nice evening.

Favorite New Workout

The very next morning (oof) Anne, Fabio, and I checked out a class at Madabolic, a new bootcamp-style franchise gym right in Clarendon. (Also let me tell you how impressed I was that Fabio joined me for BOTH workouts. He was a trooper this week!)

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Our class was pretty challenging and had us moving between five different stations for the duration of the class: Ski Erg (a cool new-to-me machine that’s sort of a mix between skiing and a rower), medicine ball toss, block hops, broad jumps, and resistance band pulls.

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The studio seemed very well organized and had a lot of good equipment, so I’m sure the workouts here vary a ton.

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Our class was nice and challenging, and I know if Madabolic gets on ClassPass then Anne and I will be frequent visitors.

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Fun!

Favorite Learning

I decided I want to try to learn calligraphy so that when it comes time to work on wedding crafts I won’t need to hire someone. I don’t care about it being perfect, but having some decent handwriting for things like wedding invitations and signs would be nice!

I discovered these PDFs called Learn Calligraphy for a Latte (i.e., the PDFs cost the same amount as a latte) and so far I’ve really enjoyed them! It’s also really calming writing out all those letters – sort of like what I imagine those adult coloring books are like.

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The PDFs show you step by step how to create lettering in a bunch of different fonts, and though you start out with simple print like you see above, eventually it walks you through how to write in pretty script lettering. We will see how it goes!

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

Question of the day: What made you smile this week?

*Please note this post was not sponsored in any way, but does include a few affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for your support.*

 Posted by on September 9, 2016
Aug 312016
 

Hey there! I had fun recapping my Monday last week, so I thought I’d do the same thing today. I hope you guys enjoy another edition of Monday in Review!

I woke up at 6:05 on Monday morning and began my day with a sleepy walk around the neighborhood with Jack. I let him run around off-leash at the park while I listened to a Bon Appetit podcast, so it was a nice way to start the day.

At 6:40, my chariot (Anne!) arrived to pick me up. We drove into Georgetown with a beautiful sunrise, and before we knew it we were sweating to another great workout at Urban Athletic Club.

We had a fun class taught by Romain which included some jump roping.

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I’m never very good at jump roping, but it definitely is fun and it’s a great way to get your heart pumping!

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This was our first class without our friend Kathleen, who actually wound up having her baby yesterday. Woohoo! Kathleen was such a trooper and kept the workouts going up until a few weeks ago. Amazing! Congratulations, Kathleen – we will miss you while you’re out!

After class, I hopped in the shower at UAC and then took the bus over to the metro. I’m reading a really good book right now called Katherine, so I really enjoyed my hour on the metro to read it.

Before I knew it, I had arrived at work and it was time to dig into breakfast: plain Greek yogurt drizzled with a little honey, plus a banana and homemade peanut granola from my favorite Eating in the Middle cookbook.

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This granola is like crack, and I’ve even found myself reaching for handfuls after dinner when I’m craving something sweet. It’s delicious!

My yogurt bowl tupperware was a little too small once I added all my toppings, but I was too lazy to grab a bigger bowl out of the office kitchen. #keepingitreal

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After working all morning I took a break for lunch, which was a salad with couscous, chicken, feta cheese, carrots, Craisins, and avocado. Plus balsamic dressing. Yum! I picked up some pearl couscous during my last trip to the grocery store, and I’m liking these larger rice-like grains a lot!

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While I ate I read some blogs at my desk (ugh I know – I should have gone outside, but my email inbox kept pinging and it was hard to totally step away) and then it was back to work.

I took a break at around 3:30 (like usual) for a snack! On Monday I had a peach and a mug of raspberry green tea.

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Sadly my peach was a bit of a dud – it was sort of mealy/flavorless – so I wound up tossing it after a couple of bites. Boo.

After work, I walked over to 8407 Kitchen Bar to meet two of my old coworkers for dinner! (One of whom is my friend Claire, who you guys hear about often!)

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8407 Kitchen Bar is a fun little spot that’s sort of tucked away from the main drag of downtown Silver Spring, and they have great happy hour specials and delicious food. We wound up ordering spinach artichoke dip, calamari, and deviled eggs (all unpictured because I was having too much fun chatting) and then a while later we wound up ordering a second order of the deviled eggs because they were so yummy.

Having dinner with my old coworkers made me realize how much I miss working with them every day, but it also made me feel incredibly lucky that we still keep in touch as much as we do. It’s important to keep up those relationships!

Claire rode the metro home with me up until Noma (man, I miss being her neighbor!) and then I rode the rest of the way home by myself. I actually wound up getting caught up in reading and responding to emails once Claire got off the train, and I went two stops farther than I needed to on the metro! Oops – that never happens!

Luckily I realized my mistake and quickly got back on a train in the other direction, but then when I got to metro center to transfer trains I forgot I was on the opposite side of the platform as usual, and got on another train in the wrong direction! Ah!

At this point I started reading my kindle which sucked me in for a while, and eventually I looked up to see what stop we were at and I realized I had gone pretty far in the wrong direction – again. Of course when I got out to transfer there were no trains coming for a while, so I waited at the deserted L’enfant Plaza station for a while.

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Eventually a train came, but it was a blue line train which only goes as far as Rosslyn (I needed orange or silver). I quickly called Fabio and asked if he could pick me up from Rosslyn since the next orange or silver trains would be another 12 minutes. Luckily he agreed, and before long I was in Rosslyn waiting for my second chariot of the day.

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Ugh – what a nightmare. And I didn’t even have any wine at dinner! Sheesh! I wound up not getting home until almost 10:00, and by that time I was ready for bed.

The end!

Question of the day: When was the last time you made a stupid travel blunder?

 Posted by on August 31, 2016
Aug 102016
 

As you know, Fabio and I got invited to a ton of weddings this year, and a few months back when I was planning what I would wear to each of them I got really stumped! While I definitely have a decent amount of nice dresses to wear to weddings, there came a point where I realized I was probably going to have to go out an buy something new to wear for at least some of them.

It was around this time that I started thinking about trying Rent the Runway! A few of my friends had tried it in the past and were pleased with how everything worked out, so after staring at my collection of dresses that I’ve worn tons of times already, I decided to give it a shot.

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Signing up was easy, and once I was logged in I browsed through tons of dresses that I liked and was able to save them to different “wish lists” in my account. I made lists for the different weddings I was planning to get dresses for (one for Jay and Meg’s black tie wedding and one for Bobby and Dani’s regular one) and then once I had a few contenders I took screenshots of my options and sent them to a few of my girlfriends for feedback (as one does). They helped me narrow down my choices and then I selected the dates I would need the dresses for, chose my size, clicked my way through the payment process and voila! Dresses = purchased.

A couple of days before Bobby and Dani’s wedding, the first dress arrived! For this wedding, I initially chose the Sangria Claire Dress from Elizabeth and James, which was $70 to rent and would have cost $365 to buy.

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When you order a dress from Rent the Runway you can get a second size for free, so I got a 4 and a 6. When I tried on the 4 it was SUPER tight, but I tried on the 6 and it fit ok. It was definitely still tight, but I was ok with how it looked. Unfortunately when I took the size 6 dress off I noticed it had a bit of a stain/water mark on it, and since it was so close to the wedding I didn’t think I would have time to get it dry cleaned. Obviously this was very, very annoying and definitely wasn’t a good first impression for my experience with Rent the Runway.

Thankfully I had Friday off from work due to my summer flex schedule so I was able to bring both sizes of the dress to my local Rent the Runway store in Georgetown and make an exchange. When I explained my situation to the staff at the store they were very apologetic and immediately set me up with a computer so I could browse the dresses in their store and exchange the dresses with something that would work.

I wound up finding a dress that I actually liked even more than the original one, and I got a $25 credit to my account because of the stain issue. Not bad at all!

The dress that I got from the store is the Lavender Floral Marceline Maxi dress from Parker (size 4), which cost $80 to rent and would have cost $398 to buy.

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(FYI – that’s a slit in the back.)

I really loved this dress and felt so good in it at Bobby and Dani’s wedding. I also received a ton of compliments on it too! It was a little long on me but I wore flat sandals since it was an outdoor wedding on the water, and I’m sure if I had worn heels it would have been fine.

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When I was done with the dress I zipped it back into the bag and dropped it off at a UPS box down the street from me, which was the easiest thing ever. I was actually sort of sad to return this one; it was so beautiful and I bet I could have found an occasion to wear it again.

Then a few days later, my dress arrived for Jay and Meg’s black tie wedding! For this wedding I chose the Hudson Gown by Laundry by Shelli Segal (size 4) which cost $100 to rent and would have been $325 to buy.

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I especially loved the back of this one!

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I tried to order a size 4 and a size 6 of this dress since the second size is free, but the 6 was unavailable so I wound up getting a size 4 and a size 8. The 4 fit pretty well but was a little snug and the 8 was HUGE up top so I think a 6 really would have been best, but in the end the 4 was just fine.

This dress was absolutely perfect for Jay and Meg’s wedding, and once again I received so, so, so many compliments on it.

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I also thought that Rent the Runway was perfect for this occasion because I don’t go to many black tie events that would require me to actually own a dress like this, and even if I did, a bright red dress is pretty memorable so I wouldn’t want to wear it again for quite a while. Renting this dress from Rent the Runway was perfect!

All in all, I was really happy with my experience with Rent the Runway even if it didn’t start off on the best foot. I thought the ordering process was really easy and the staff at the store made me feel a lot better about having to go in to make an exchange due to a stain on one of the dresses. I loved both of the dresses that I got and even surprised myself by wanting to keep the first one. I do think this service is fairly expensive just to rent a dress (I’m very cheap/frugal!) but I definitely think it’s worth it for special occasions like black tie weddings or if you have 7 weddings to go to in one year. 😉

First time users of Rent the Runway can also get $30 off with my referral code here. If you try it out, I hope you like the service as much as I did!

Question of the day: Have you ever tried Rent the Runway? How did it go?

Note: This post was not sponsored in any way, although it does include a referral link. All opinions are my own. Thank you for your support. 

 Posted by on August 10, 2016
Jul 052016
 

Hey, hey! I hope you all had a wonderful fourth of July! I had an extra long weekend due to a flex day at work, which I definitely needed since we moved out of our apartment and into the town house!

Friday

On Friday morning, I woke up relatively early (for a day off) and headed straight to the DMV to switch my driver’s license and license plates over to Virginia. Luckily the lines weren’t too long, and I was driving away with my new plates by 10:30 am. Not bad at all!

When I got back to the apartment, my mom was there waiting for me! She had driven over to help us pack, which was a HUGE help. Meanwhile, Fabio loaded up the car for another trip over to the town house. My dad met him there with another load of stuff he’d been storing for us in his basement, which again was so nice and helpful.

My dad also gave us these cute F & C lights as a housewarming present. Aren’t they cute?

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I need to get some batteries for the & sign and a new lightbulb for the top of the C, but I can’t wait to use these cute little signs in our new place. 🙂

After working for a while we all met up for a quick lunch at Liberty Tavern, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how awesome my parents are for driving over to help us move. They are the best!

Fabio and I spent the rest of the day moving more stuff over in the car, as well as making two trips to Target and a stop at Home Goods. Phew! It was a busy day.

Saturday

Saturday was our big moving day! First thing in the morning, Fabio and I headed over to UHAUL to pick up our moving truck.

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Then we drove the truck over to the apartment where our friends Jojo, Jadd, Claire, and Kevin were waiting for us! After a bunch of trips down the freight elevator, we had the truck fully loaded except for a few small items (one of which was Jack).

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Yep – Jack got to ride shot gun in the truck right next to Fabio. Haha!

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Claire and Kevin helped us unpack the truck along with my stepsister Maggie and her boyfriend Nick (they had arrived as we were packing up the truck) so we got everything unloaded in no time. Claire and Kevin had to leave shortly after unpacking, but Maggie and Nick hung around for a celebratory lunch! We walked over to our favorite Mexican place, Uncle Julio’s where I enjoyed some delicious tacos.

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Yum!

After Maggie and Nick left, Fabio and I continued packing along with some help from our next set of visitors – Fabio’s sister Diane and brother-in-law, Alex! They helped us make some great progress in unpacking boxes and organizing the town house.

Of course, we may have procrastinated a bit…

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…but all in all we made great headway!

I just have to say how appreciative I am to all the friends and family who helped us move. We couldn’t have done this without you guys! <3

Sunday

Sunday morning was spent clearing out the last loads of boxes/miscellaneous items from the apartment (my dad helped us again with his big car!) before we drove over to my grandparents’ house for a break! My aunt, uncle, and cousin were in town from Arizona for the 4th of July, so we figured it was worth taking a break from the move to go see them.

It was kind of a crappy day outside – overcast and a little chilly – but it was still beautiful on the water (as usual).

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🙂

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We wound up going for a quick boat ride despite the chilly weather, and it was a lot of fun! (Having some adult beverages didn’t hurt either…)

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Afterwords, grillmaster Fabio cooked us up some burgers and hot dogs.

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For dessert we had homemade chocolate cake (and wine!) and I was definitely in my happy place. Ah, this break was definitely needed.

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I’m so glad we made the trip over to my grandparents’ house and got to spend some time relaxing with family on this busy moving weekend!

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Monday

On Monday, the fourth of July, we were back at it with the unpacking. And boy, did we have a lot to conquer.

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Yikes!

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Luckily we made a lot of progress and decided to take a break from unpacking to run some errands. It was another crappy day out and rained almost the whole day, so I didn’t mind spending my 4th of July at Lowe’s and Best Buy. #homeownerproblems

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At least my TOMS were patriotic!

Then we stopped by the apartment to finish cleaning up and turn in our keys!

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*Sigh* I’m going to miss this kitchen.

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We also had half a bottle wine in the fridge and I didn’t feel like packing it, soooo I drank it. From the bottle because we didn’t have any cups. Just keepin’ it classy over here!

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The rest of the evening was spent pretending like it wasn’t the fourth of July and avoiding social media; we didn’t really want to see all the fun BBQs and fireworks that we were missing out on in favor of assembling blinds and closet organizers. 😉

Even though we might not have had the most fun or exciting July 4, I feel so incredibly fortunate to have a home of my own! Being a homeowner is a huge step for us, and we enjoyed this long weekend in our own way. I fell incredibly grateful for everything that’s happening in my life right now, even if it does mean spending holiday weekends surrounded by cardboard boxes and bubble wrap.

Question of the day:
Did you see fireworks this holiday weekend?

Even though we didn’t get to actually sit down and watch any fireworks, we actually saw plenty from the car as we drove around this weekend!

 Posted by on July 5, 2016
Apr 272016
 

Hello, and happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going well so far!

My Monday and Tuesday were pretty great, so I thought I’d share some of the highlights with you today.

Monday was a rest day for me fitness-wise, so I got to sleep in until 7:00 am. Glorious! It’s funny because a while back I never would have scheduled a rest day on a Monday. I used to think that working out on Monday was the best (only?) way to set myself up for a healthy week ahead, and while I still know that it helps, I also know that after a busy weekend without much sleep, sometimes I just need Mondays to recover. I’ve learned that just because I don’t work out on a Monday doesn’t mean I will suddenly fall off the wagon and make unhealthy choices for the rest of the week, but it’s taken some time for me to learn that about myself.

Anyway, sleeping in was great and it was followed by a delicious bowl of yogurt after I took Jack for his morning walk. In my bowl: Stonyfield plain Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, banana slices, blackberries, and crushed pecans.

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Yum!

Then it was off to work, work, work, work, work (in the words of Rhianna).

Soon enough, I took a break for lunch! I had one of my favorite go-to salads complete with mixed greens, brown rice, sweet potatoes, roasted chicken, feta cheese, and craisins. I’ve been keeping a bottle of Newman’s Own parmesan balsamic dressing in the fridge at work, and it’s delicious with this combo!

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I started craving my snack right around 3:30 – as per usual – and was bummed to discover that my giant honeycrisp apple was so big that it didn’t even fit in my apple slicer. Crazy!

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I cut it up the normal way, but still couldn’t get over how big it was. Sheesh! It was a particularly tasty one too. 🙂

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The weather was really beautiful on Monday, so after work Fabio and I took Jack for a nice long walk. We also walked Riley, our neighbor’s adorable black lab puppy, and let them play for a while afterwords in our apartment. They are just the cutest when they play together!

Once dinnertime rolled around, we decided to continue taking advantage of the beautiful weather by skipping the spaghetti squash casserole I was planning to make so we could grill outside instead! We had some burgers in the freezer and some broccoli we needed to use up, so it was the perfect alternative.

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Yum! We enjoyed our burgers and broccoli with some baked beans on the side. Delicious!

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It was such a fun summery evening, and it got me so excited for more warm weather in the weeks to come.

After dinner, we enjoyed some fresh mango for dessert! Yum!

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Tuesday

My Tuesday morning began with a yoga class! I joined my friend Jojo for a sunrise class at Shaw Yoga. I hadn’t been to a good yoga class in ages and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Shaw Yoga! It was a really nice class and I especially loved that the instructor rubbed some essential oils on us during savasana. I also love that it’s on ClassPass. 😉 I will definitely be back!

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Post yoga selfie ftw

Then I had another (unpictured) yogurt bowl for breakfast, and instead of one of my go-to salads for lunch I met up with my friend Claire at Cava Grill! I ordered a bowl with mixed greens, brown rice, 1/2 chicken, 1/2 lamb meatballs, tzatziki, hummus, plus tons of veggies.

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Not only was the food delicious, but it was another beautiful day and I had such a fun time sitting outside and catching up with Claire. What a perfect midday break!

After my work day was over I had something else fun on the agenda: dinner with my family and some family friends at Uncle Julio’s!

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I got to sit next to these two. 🙂

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Uncle Julio’s is one of my dad’s favorite restaurants, and he goes so often that he has racked up a lot of points for their preferred customer program. He recently reached some sort of milestone in their program that allowed him to have an appetizer party for a bunch of people, so we were all excited to join him for some chips, queso, guacamole, and chicken quesadillas. Don’t mind if I do!

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For dessert we ordered a chocolate piñata (at the insistence of my little sister), which was a hollow chocolate bowl filled with fruit and mini churros inside. My sister got to be the one to crack it open!

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Yum!! This was a really fun dessert to order for a big group.

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After dinner we walked around Dick’s Sporting Goods for a little while where my dad and Fabio geeked out over golf stuff and I tried my best not to buy new fitness gear. Gulp. It was dangerous in there!

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And that wraps up my Monday and Tuesday! 🙂

Question of the day: Does your family have a restaurant they go to all the time? If so, what is it?

 Posted by on April 27, 2016
Apr 042016
 

This past weekend, Fabio and I were joined by our closest friends and family for an engagement party in New York City. My amazing Aunt CC and Uncle Steve threw the party for us, and I don’t think they will ever know how appreciative we are. We had an absolutely amazing time, and none of it would have been possible without them. Thank you CC and Steve!!

Here comes the recap, complete with about a million pictures!

Friday

Fabio and I took the bus up to NYC on Friday night, and we arrived in the big apple around 11:00 pm. From there we met my mom, stepdad, stepsister, her boyfriend, CC, and Steve at a bar near our hotel (we stayed at the Empire Hotel in Columbus Circle and it was great!). We had a few celebratory drinks (glasses of prosecco for me!) and then called it a night. We had a big day on Saturday!

Saturday

Saturday morning was pretty rainy, but I was so excited for the party that it didn’t matter at all. Fabio, my mom, my stepdad, and I started off our day with a rainy walk over to a bagel shop!

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I ordered an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese, lox, and tomato, plus a coffee on the side. Hit the spot!

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Then after showering up, my mom and I headed over to DryBar in Bryant Park for blowouts with my friends! My little sister Nicole joined us as well, and she had a blast getting ready with the big girls.

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🙂

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They gave us each glasses of champagne at the DryBar, and there were cookies set out by the register too. My kind of place!

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Doesn’t my mom look beautiful in her purple suit? She’s so chic!

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Me & my home friends, Bianca and Hana! Stollen from Hana’s snapchat, of course. 😉

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(Don’t mind the makeup-free face!)

Then after quickly getting changed and made up back at the hotel (it had stopped raining!), it was time for our party!

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The party was held at Distilled NY, a fun bar in Tribeca. When we walked in, we saw that CC had outdone herself with the decorations. There were cupcakes, cake pops, vases, frames, and adorable personal touches everywhere we looked!

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How cute is all of this?!

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IMG_0175I especially liked this custom wooden guest book that CC bought for us from Etsy. There were a few silver paint pens set out, and guests were encouraged to sign the board for us. 

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Amusing side story: I asked my little sister to be the first one to sign the board, and she just wrote out her name in basic print. I had to explain that she was supposed to write something else too, like Congratulations or draw some hearts or something. She thought she was only supposed to write her name, which I thought was so cute! Haha!

I am in love with this banner that CC got us too, which is also from Etsy.

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CC even bought nice soaps for everyone to take home…

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…and had little stations where people could leave us advice.

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She seriously thought of everything!

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Then it was time to party!

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There were about 55 people there, and we had an open bar with passed hors d’ouvres from 2:00 – 5:00 pm. So fun!

I love this picture with my dad and little sister.

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My mom and CC!

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The moms! (Don’t you love those corsages CC got us?)

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My mom, dad, stepmom, and little sister!

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Me and my sister <3

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My mom and dad!

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I’m such a Daddy’s girl 🙂

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Fabio’s family!

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A bunch of our friends came to the party too!

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Look at all these handsome men. 🙂

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So fun! Here I am with my friend Claire…

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And with my besties Bianca and Hana!

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Later in the day I switched from drinking wine to this delicious cucumber drink with a sprig of rosemary in it. Delicious!

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Us with Aunt CC, aka the best party planner ever!

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Eating treats of course!

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Oh yeah, CC also hired a professional photographer (!!) to be at the event and take pictures of everyone. I kid you not – I told you she went above and beyond! At one point, he asked Fabio and I to step with him off to the side so he could film this new video thing where part of the image is frozen while the rest of it is a moving video. I didn’t understand what he was talking about at all, but went along with it.

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Well as you may have already seen via my instagram, it turned out awesome!

How cool is that? I have no idea how he did it, but it makes me even more excited to see the rest of the pictures he took. He’s clearly very talented! I’ll share them with you when I have them!

Things got a little silly later in the evening, and we kept the party going for much longer into the night. We went to a couple more bars, and just had the most amazing time with friends and family!

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<3

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Overall the party was so much fun, and I felt so lucky to have all my friends and family surrounding us for the special occasion. I loved how well Fabio’s family got along with mine (our parents and siblings have all met numerous times, but this was the first time the cousins, aunts, and uncles all met) and seeing our families and friends intertwined just put the biggest smile on my face. This event just made me even more excited for the rest of our wedding festivities to come!

Sunday

My family and I had a nice breakfast at our hotel on Sunday morning, where we recapped all the fun we had the day before. 🙂

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And then at noon we hopped on our bus back to DC!

I just have to thank CC and Steve one more time for throwing us such an amazing party. It was absolutely NOT necessary (AT ALL!!) but I am so, so, so thankful that they organized all of this for us. It was such an incredible day, and I know we will have the best memories of this party for the rest of our lives. You guys are the best!!

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Question of the day: Have you ever been to a blowout bar? It was really cool! I definitely want to go again.

 Posted by on April 4, 2016
Jan 262016
 

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

Friday

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

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

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

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

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That’s a black scarf. 

So much snow.

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

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Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What a silly pup. 🙂

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

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Perfect!

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

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

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

Sunday

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

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

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

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Yum!

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

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and homemade rolls (my mom’s recipe).

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

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

Monday

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

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

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

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

I think we got about two feet!

 Posted by on January 26, 2016
Jan 082016
 

Phew! We made it to Friday!

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

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

Favorite Milestone

Obviously, being engaged!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Foods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Show

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

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

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

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

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

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🙂

Favorite Sweat

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

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

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

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Yay! 🙂

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

 Posted by on January 8, 2016