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Jan 202017
 

It’s Thursday night as I write this, and everyone is buzzing about inauguration tomorrow. I had the chance to take a spin by the White House after my workout this morning, and I couldn’t get over the fact that in just a few hours Donald Trump will be residing there (or, more likely, keeping his stuff there while he stays in his tower).

It sure will be sad to see the Obamas go. I can’t help but wonder how all of this is going to affect the city that I love so much (as well as the rest of the world…).

In addition the blockades around what seems like the entire city and millions of police everywhere, the inauguration hullabaloo seriously affected my commute home this evening. What’s usually a 15-minute drive for me took me over an hour. UGH. I guess everyone just wanted to get into (or out of) the city.

It’s an interesting time around here for sure!

Anyway, enough about inauguration – let’s get back to your regularly scheduled blog post with my Favorite Things Friday! Here are some of the things that made me smile this week. Let me know what you were loving this week in the comments below!

Favorite Workouts

As I mentioned last week, I’m going to start recapping my weekly workouts on Fridays to help keep myself accountable. Here’s what this week looked like.

  • Saturday, Jan. 14: Skiing in Otis!
  • Sunday, Jan. 15: Four-mile hike in Otis
  • Monday, Jan. 16: Rest day! My knees have been bothering me lately – I think it’s tendinitis – so I spent a lot of time on Monday icing and elevating them. They’re feeling a lot better now!
  • Tuesday, Jan. 17: Bootcamp at MADabolic in Arlington with Anne and Fabio!

Fabio took advantage of some New Year’s discounts and signed up for ClassPass (<–affiliate link for $30 off!) for the next few months. He’ll mostly be working out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I’m so excited to have him with me for classes! I think our upcoming bachelor/bachelorette parties may have had something to do with his new interest in fitness. 😉

Anyway, Tuesday’s class was a good one and I pushed myself hard with the weights I used. We did a series of kettlebell deadlifts that had my upper back and shoulders SO sore the next day. It was a great class!

  • Wednesday, Jan. 18: Bootcamp with Anne and Kathleen at Urban Athletic Club! It was another really good workout taught by our favorite instructor, Romain, and we did everything from burpees to jump rope to thrusters to bicep curls to suicides to wall balls. Plus a million other things.
  • Thursday, Jan. 19: Flywheel class with Fabio! He’s been to this class before but used a different email address this time, so as soon as we walked in we saw a nice welcome note for him. 🙂

Flywheel is without a doubt one of my favorite classes on ClassPass, and I was really happy to have Fabio there with me. It made everything more fun! My total power at the end of class was 259, which is significantly higher than my last two appearances at FlyWheel. I think maybe having Fabio next to me pushed me harder? Woohoo!

  • Friday, Jan. 20: Rest day!

Favorite Meal Plan

I’m still going strong with the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse! The recipes are all so tasty and if you don’t mind cooking, it’s a great way to jump-start a more nutritious diet. Personally, cooking de-stresses me at the end of the day, so it’s been a great fit. My two-week plan is over tomorrow (wah!) but I have something else in mind for after that. You know I’ll keep you posted! The good thing about this cookbook

The good thing about this cookbook is that I can repeat the recipes as many times as I want, and there is another two-week plan for Spring that I’m looking forward to.

Here are some of the best things I ate on the plan this week.

Unsweetened oatmeal + coconut milk + shredded, toasted coconut + one slivered date + cocoa powder (YUM!!)

Salads with leftovers from dinner.

These might look kind of boring, but I promise they aren’t at all. Clearly.

Rye crackers with avocado crema (leftover from dinner from the night before – see below). Plus some Emergen-C on the side because literally everyone is sick right now and I am trying to stay healthy!

Tacos with avocado crema, roasted red peppers, sauteed kale and onions, and quick pickled onions (these are so great!). Plus spicy black beans on the side. Yum!! This was a terrific meatless meal that even the skeptical Fabio enjoyed.

And I’ve still been enjoying mangoes twice a week for dessert! 🙂

All in all, I’ve really enjoyed this meal plan and recommend it to anyone who’s looking to eat a little healthier while still enjoying bold, delicious flavors.

Favorite Listen

My friends – who we call “gurlays” – started a collaborative playlist on Spotify last week and it is AMAZING! I love listening to the playlist and guessing which one of my friends added the song.

It makes me feel like I’m with them!

Also related to this, my friends and I recently made a group on Snapchat, and it’s been really fun to send snaps to each other all day in the group. 🙂 Sigh. I miss them!

Favorite Binge

This week, Fabio and I started watching The Last Kingdom on Netflix, and it is SO good!

[Source]

We are totally hooked and like it better than any show we’ve binge-watched in a while. It reminds me a lot of Game of Thrones, and I’m going to be so bummed when it’s over.

Other shows we’ve binged on recently that I enjoyed include The Crown and The OA. Both of those are great too!

Favorite Fresh

Last week we were on the phone with Fabio’s dad and he called us out on our lack of juicing lately. Bustedddd.

After that, Fabio and I decided to get back in the habit of making a big batch of fresh juice over the weekend and enjoying a small glass every morning. It’s been really nice, and hopefully is helping to keep us healthy during cold and flu season (knocking on wood…).

This week’s batch included kale, carrots, cucumber, apples, and an orange. Look at all that pulp!

We need to stock up on ginger, celery, and lemons which I also enjoy in this mix. Next week!

Favorite Delivery

My amazing friend Jess who lives across the pond in the Netherlands sent me the sweetest engagement present delivery this week: a sun hat with my new initials monogrammed on the brim!

I think it’s so adorable and can’t wait to wear it during upcoming wedding festivities and the honeymoon (and everything else after that, of course). Thank you, Jess!! I LOVE it!!

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

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

 Posted by on January 20, 2017
Jan 132017
 

Hi friends! How was your week? Did it go by quickly? Mine was a good one, but I’m especially happy that it’s almost over because I am SO excited about my weekend plans – we are driving up to my Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s place in Otis, Massachusetts for a weekend of skiing! Since it’s MLK weekend and Fabio and I both have off from work on Monday we figured it was the perfect time to make the trip up.

We’ve only seen it snowy up there once, and although I’m not sure how much snow they have right now I think the slopes should have enough for us to ski. (Not that I am a good skiier by any means…)

Plus their house is always so cozy in the winter!

Eek! I can’t wait!

Before I get too far ahead of myself though, let’s take a step back and talk about what made me smile this week in today’s Favorite Things Friday post. Feel free to play along in the comments below!

Favorite Workouts

Now that you know a little more about my goals for 2017, I thought I’d start sharing a recap of my weekly workouts to help keep myself accountable. Here’s a look at my workouts this week!

Monday’s class was a good one, and we focused on strength over speed. Our intervals included weighted elevated split lunges, kettlebell farmer’s carries, plank holds on the rings, and a kickboxing combo.

Photo from Anne!

We also got to use these new-to-me slide boards! Have you guys ever tried these? You put little booties on over your shoes and then slide back and forth along the board. You have to push off pretty hard to slide all the way across and you have to squat pretty low to keep your balance, so it’s a good workout! They kind of reminded me of skiing (or maybe that’s just because I have skiing on the brain?).

  • Tuesday, Jan. 10: Sculpt class at CorePower Yoga

The sculpt class at CorePower Yoga is not new to me in any way – in fact I used to take it once a week when it was still regularly available on ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $30 off!) – but this week I tried a new instructor who totally kicked my butt!! Her name is Monica and she teaches the sculpt class on Tuesday mornings at the Clarendon location (which is actually in Courthouse, but whatever). Fabio and I took a sculpt class on Friday at that studio on Friday last week, and there were maybe 15 or 20 people there. On Tuesday though, there were closer to 40! I knew right then that something was going to be different about this class, and as soon as Monica came into the room I saw why. I knew she was going to be tough, but man! Her class was killer! I will definitely be back.

Fabio and I took a sculpt class at that studio on Friday last week, and there were maybe 15 or 20 people there. On Tuesday though, there were closer to 40! I knew right then that something was going to be different about this class, and as soon as Monica came into the room I saw why. She looked really strong, and had a no-messing-around attitude. I knew she was going to be tough, but man! Her class was killer! Even though she was hard, she was still really positive and gave everyone a high-five after the tough cardio intervals. I will definitely be back to her class!

  • Wednesday, Jan. 11: Spin class at one of my old favs, Biker Barre

I always have a good time at Biker Barre since they plan the sprints and climbs to the beat of the music. It feels like you’re dancing on your bike! I always sweat a ton in spin class too, so it was nice to mix in this cardio with all the strength training I did this week.

  • Thursday, Jan. 12: Bootcamp at Definitions DC with Anne and Kathleen

Thursday’s class was another good one, and our instructor DeShay had us running through a bunch of intervals including of rowing, Russian twists with sandbags, burpee jacks, plyo jumps, kettlebell lifts and more. It’s always fun when I have my two workout buddies by my side!

Picture from Anne!

  • Friday, Jan. 13: Rest day!

I don’t think I’ve been stretching my quads enough after working out because I’ve been experiencing some pain around my knees that I think is due to some tenditinits. Womp womp. I’ve been foam rolling like crazy and trying to stretch more, so we will see if it gets any better. i figured another rest day wouldn’t hurt either!

All in all, I’d say it was a solid week of workouts!

Favorite Splurge

Anne and I have been going to MADabolic a lot lately; we like the classes and especially like that it’s right in Clarendon and only a quick drive from our houses. One thing I don’t like though is that they charge you to rent gloves every time the workout includes some kickboxing, which lately has been every time.

Even though it’s only a few dollars, I figured I should just buy some gloves of my own to save money in the long run. Plus, Anne and I like going to 9Round kickboxing on occasion, and I thought it would be nice to use my own gloves (truthfully, theirs are kind of stinky).

I wound up getting these gloves off Amazon (in pink, obviously) for $25 which I thought was a pretty good deal! I can’t wait to test them out.

Favorite Weather

Wow – the weather was absolutely GORGEOUS yesterday, and I treated myself to a long walk outside during my lunch break.

Amazing!

Favorite Surprise

On Monday, my friends let me know that FedEx had dropped off a little surprise for me. When I got home I practically ran out of the car to get the box, and when I opened it I saw the sweetest bachelorette surprise! (Warning: the photo below includes references to male genitalia…)

My sweet friends had written me a note that was themed like the Bachelor and talked about how season after season we watch people on the Bachelor/Bachelorette accept the final rose to find love, but since I already found love would I please accept a bouquet of penises for my bachelorette party! Ha! How thoughtful and funny. (For anyone who doesn’t know, most bachelorette parties in the U.S. have all sorts of penis-themed stuff, like straws and balloons and cakes and more. Don’t ask me why it’s a thing, it just is!)

Anyway, I thought this was super cute and it’s getting me even more excited for my bachelorette party in early March. My friends are planning the whole thing and keeping the destination a surprise, so I can’t wait to see where we go! Eek!

Favorite New Tradition

My dad bought Fabio and me each one of these weird little glow-in-the-dark figurines for Christmas, and we’ve been hiding them around the house ever since.

They’re really small – just a few inches tall – and they’re so fun to stash in places like the medicine cabinets, Fabio’s shoes, sock drawers, etc. They make me smile every time I see them in a new spot!

 

Favorite Late Christmas Gift

Remember my sweet friend Vic who got me the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse cookbook for Christmas? Well she also got me this awesome monogrammed apron that arrived earlier this week. I love it!

Favorite Snuggle Buddy

This is how I watched the Bachelor this week – with Jack literally laying across my body. Oh well, I didn’t mind. 🙂

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

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

 Posted by on January 13, 2017
Dec 162016
 

Every Friday afternoon at my job, our Chief Marketing Officer leads us in the weekly “Friday dance” around the office, conga-line style. She sings this catchy tune and then we all chime in at the right time with “Thank God it’s Friday.” It’s a lot of fun, and I’m so excited for 5:00 pm to roll around tomorrow (it’s Thursday night as I write this) so we can do the Friday dance and kick off the weekend! Woohoo!

This weekend we were supposed to visit our wedding venue and a potential bakery with my mom, but now the forecast is calling for freezing rain on Saturday morning so we’re rescheduling for mid-January. Boo! On the plus side, this means I’ll have some time to do some of the Christmas shopping I desperately need to do, and I might even bake some festive treats for my coworkers. ‘Tis the season!

Before I get too far ahead of myself though, let’s take a look at what made me smile this week with today’s edition Favorite Things Friday! Feel free to play along in the comments below!

Favorite Dinner

After our fun weekend in New York City, the last thing we felt like doing on Sunday night was stop by the grocery store. Luckily we had one rogue Blue Apron meal hanging out in the fridge, and it was the best thing to come home to on Monday after work!

The meal was really tasty and included squid ink pasta, a delicious Thai tahini sauce, and lots of tasty vegetables (broccoli rabe, carrots, and quick pickled radishes). I also learned how to make crunchy garlic and peanuts like you see in some of those takeout Thai restaurants. Yum! This was a really delicious meal.

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Favorite Planning

Speaking of Thai food, Fabio and I are in the midst of planning our honeymoon to Southeast Asia!! We have a rough idea of the places we want to visit, but I am continuing to do research to make sure we make the most of our itinerary.

For anyone who has experience traveling in this area, maybe you can help us! 🙂 For some background: we are leaving right after our wedding (so in mid-June) and want to travel for two weeks. We want our trip to include some time relaxing on the beach (preferably at the beginning to get over jet lag), some time doing active adventures like hiking waterfalls, and some time exploring the culture (temples and elephant sanctuaries). Eeek! I want to pinch myself just typing that out. 🙂

We know that cramming too many locations into one trip is not a recommended strategy, but we did that when we went to Europe last year and found that we prefer to see as much as we can even if it means spending more time traveling from place to place. We also have no interest in spending time in Bankok and think of it more of a pit stop since that’s where the main airport is.

With all that being said, here’s our rough schedule:

  • Sunday, June 11 & Monday, June 12: Home → Bankok → Ko Samui
  • Tuesday, June 13: Ko Samui

[Ko Samui – Source]

  • Wednesday, June 14: Ko Samui
  • Thursday, June 15: Ko Samui
  • Friday, June 16: Ko Samui → Chiang Mai

[Chiang Mai – Source]

  • Saturday, June 17: Chiang Mai
  • Sunday, June 18: Chiang Mai
  • Monday, June 19: Chiang Mai → Pai
  • Tuesday, June 20: Pai
  • Wednesday, June 21: Pai → Chiang Mai
  • Thursday, June 22: Chiang Mai → Angkor Wat

[Angkor Wat – Source]

  • Friday, June 23: Angkor Wat
  • Saturday, June 24: Angkor Wat → Home

Eek!

If anyone has any tips or recommendations I’d love to hear them!

Favorite Sweat

This week I took two great bootcamp classes with Anne again via ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $30 off!), one at Urban Athletic Club and one at Definitions. The instructor at Definitions usually takes a video of everyone during the workout, and this week we asked if she could share it with us. She actually wound up compiling it in a really fun way, so I thought I’d share it with you guys here! It might take a second to load but should come up eventually.

So nice of her to do this for us, right?

Anne and I are planning to take another class at Definitions on Sunday morning with their new climb machine, and I’m really excited about it. Their classes are always challenging, but so fun when you have a buddy by your side!

Favorite Purchase

I know I mentioned this on Wednesday, but I recently decided we needed a Christmas ornament commemorating our first year in our first home! (And yes, next year I will likely buy a wedding one for us too. #sucker)

I bought this one from Etsy with our names, the year, and our address (which I blurred out for safety reasons) and I think it turned out so cute! It’s a nice quality too and I know it’s going to make me smile for many years to come. Yay!

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Favorite Festivities

I had a bunch of fun holiday festivities this week! First, we had an ugly sweater day at work, and I took the opportunity to wear a truly heinous amazing embellished vest that I got a few years back at a thrift store. I also listened to Christmas music while I worked, which made me one very happy camper. I love this time of year!

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Then we went out for a team holiday lunch at Ted’s Montana Grill, where I got the farmhouse salad with salmon. It was delicious!

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At our lunch we went around the table and said what our favorite moment of the year was, and I thought to myself – once again – how happy I am to have this job where I can make such a big difference for people with diabetes. It’s definitely stressful but so amazing!

Favorite Wednesday Adventure

On Wednesday night, we met up with a couple of our friends to see the Zoo lights! We stopped off for a beer first, and then spent the evening wandering around and enjoying the (free) festive displays.

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Yay!

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We were only able to go into the reptile house and small mammal house, but we had a nice time watching turtles, creepy snakes, small cats, mice, and other creatures. It was a lot of fun!

The lights too were really beautiful, and I can’t imagine how much time it took to wrap all the branches on these trees. Wow!

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It was definitely a fun evening!

Favorite Cozy

It’s super cold here on the East coast tonight with temperatures in the teens and wind chills in the single digits. Brrr! Thank goodness Fabio has gotten so good at making fires!

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Having a fireplace is just the best!

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

Question of the day: What made you smile this week? Do you have any honeymoon tips for me?

 Posted by on December 16, 2016
Dec 092016
 

Helloooo, and happy Friday to you! Is everyone ready for the weekend?

I know I am. Tomorrow evening (it’s Thursday night as I’m typing this), I’ll be hopping on a bus to NYC with Fabio and our friends, Megan and JR! Like last year and the year before, we wanted to plan a weekend trip up to the Big Apple to celebrate the holidays with some of our very best friends.

This year I’ll be spending time with my best friends from high school (Bianca, Hana, and Sam) as we as my best friends from college (known as Sloppytown or The Gurlays). I can’t wait for us all to be reunited again!

Eeek!

Before I can dive into the weekend fun though, let’s talk about some of the things that made me smile this week with my usual Favorite Things Friday post! Feel free to play along in the comments below and let me know what you were loving this week.

Favorite Purchase

A while back, my friend Cait raved to me about her new favorite cookbook, Cravings by Chrissy Teigen. At the time I had just bought Eating in the Middle, a cookbook by Andie Mitchell, and so I raved back about that one.

Then my mom got me the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook for my birthday, and I realized how ridiculously happy it makes me to read a new cookbook.

I know they might not be for everyone – certainly the Internet has changed the way most people find recipes – but there is something about flipping through the pages of a book with beautiful glossy photographs and flagging recipes that I know I want to make in the future. It also makes meal planning a lot easier because I can just look back at the pages I’ve bookmarked when it’s time to select a recipe.

So, last week when I saw Chrissy Tiegen’s cookbook included on a holiday gift guide I was reading, I decided to treat myself to it.

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As predicted, it made me way too happy as I sat on the couch flipping through the pages.

I’ve already made two of the recipes from the book: the veggie stew and the cobb salad. Both were incredible! Admittedly Fabio was skeptical about both dishes (veggie stew??? “Just” a salad for dinner???) but even he agreed that they were both a hit. Yay!

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Anyway, all three of the cookbooks I mentioned above have amazing recipes in them, so if you’re looking for a gift to give a foodie in your life I definitely recommend them!

Favorite View

On Wednesday morning, Fabio, Jack, and I drove over to the National Mall to meet our friend Dan for a running date! Sadly we weren’t able to connect with Dan – he didn’t bring his phone with him and after waiting for him in our agreed upon spot for 10 minutes we just decided to start running. (When we talked to him later he said he waited for us for about 10 minutes too, so we still don’t know what happened!) Anyway, we had a nice little family run on the National Mall and got to enjoy quite the views!

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I love that we got to see the National Christmas tree!

It was quite cold and gray out on Wednesday, but on our way home we got to enjoy a nice pink sunrise. Too bad it wasn’t like that while we were running!

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In other workout news, I took not one but two great bootcamp classes with Anne this week via ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $30 off!). Now that Anne isn’t training for any races, she’s planning to take more bootcamp classes with me during this week. This is fantastic news for me because having a workout buddy keeps me accountable (plus, it’s always fun to chat with her during class). Hooray!

Favorite Treat

I know I mentioned this on Wednesday, but the peppermint chocolate sandwich cookies from Giant are so freaking delicious and addicting. I am thinking of buying more when we finish this box…and I NEVER buy cookies. Help!

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Favorite Spirit

It’s the mooooooost wonderful time of the year. I love all things holiday, and there were a bunch of holiday related sights and events this week that made me smile.

First, there is ABC Family’s (now called Free Form??) Christmas lineup. The other night Fabio was out at a work holiday party so I wound up watching The Santa Claus and then Elf, which are two of my all-time favorite movies. I think I’ve seen them both way too many times (especially the Santa Claus which I basically watched on repeat as a kid) but they never get old to me.

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Then there’s our fireplace, which I think is so cozy and cute right now with the little stockings. Plus there’s nothing better than a warm fire when it’s cold out! Fabio’s gotten really good at building the fires too.

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Lastly, holiday cards started arriving in the mail this week from our friends and family! These make me so happy and I love displaying them on the Christmas tree. Here’s a cute one from Jess and Erick! Miss you guys! <3

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Favorite New Friend

Our friends Jojo and Jadd are watching Jack for us this weekend while we’re in New York, so earlier this evening we dropped him off at their house. They recently adopted an adorable pup named Tilly, and Jack and Tilly were instant BFFs. Yay! I’m so happy to know he’ll be in good hands while we’re gone. 🙂

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Thanks again for watching him, guys!

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

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

 Posted by on December 9, 2016
Nov 182016
 

Hi friends! How was your week? Mine was a really crazy one with a couple of nights staying a little late in the office (and then celebrating with a happy hour tonight, Thursday) so I’m going to keep things brief today because I am pooped! Here’s a look at some of my favorite moments from the week–please feel free to play along in the comments!

Favorite Sight

Now that we have an upstairs and a downstairs, we’ve noticed some pretty funny behavior from Jack! His toy basket is downstairs in the living room, but he loves having toys upstairs in the bedroom too. Unfortunately he’s not so good at bringing them back down, so the other day when we were getting into bed I counted nine of his toys on and around the bed. Seriously, nine!

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Jack is one of those dogs who never destroys his toys, and occasionally we’ll buy him new ones so his toy collection is massive right now. He plays with all of them though so I can’t bare to throw any away!

Favorite Workout

On Wednesday, Anne and I were joined by our friend Kathleen for a bootcamp class at our favorite spot, Urban Athletic Club! Kaltheen had her baby back at the end of August, so she hadn’t been able to join us for a while, and it was SO nice having her back! We had so much to catch up on.

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Plus, can we talk about how awesome Kathleen is for being back in these intense bootcamp classes with a two-month-old (ish) baby? She is seriously so impressive.

Favorite Planning

Wedding planning is still going well, and this week I’ve been coordinating with our florist! I had a great phone call with her a week or so ago, and then on Monday she sent along the proposal and plan. I started getting so excited as I read through her plan because it seems like she totally “gets” my vision, and everything she included sounds so incredibly beautiful. Her proposal is a bit above our budget, but I’ve asked her to scale some of the items back to make it work, and my awesome mom is offering to help us pay for some of it. Yay! Thanks mom!

Here’s one of my inspiration pictures! 🙂

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[This picture has been saved to my desktop for ages, so I can’t remember the souce!]

This whole process just got me even more excited for the rest of wedding planning; up next we have an appointment with a potential bakery to taste some cake flavors, and we are going back to our wedding venue in a couple of weeks to nail down some more details. So far, it’s all coming together really nicely!

Favorite Work Project

As I mentioned, work was super busy this week with a couple of later than normal nights in the office. The reason for the hectic schedule was that we were putting together a petition asking Congress to hold hearings with all entities in the insulin supply chain to determine why insulin is so expensive and help make it more affordable for people with diabetes. This is a really important issue, and I was so happy to be a part of it!

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In case you’re not up to speed on this topic, insulin prices have tripled in the past few years. People with diabetes–epsecially those with type 1–need insulin every day to stay alive. There’s no alternative drug. So, when the price rises and rises, it makes it extremely difficult for these people to get by. Some try to ration their insulin (which is very dangerous) and others do without other important necessities like groceries so they can pay for their medications. It’s a really sad situation, and I’m so happy that I work for an organization that’s out there making a difference. If you’re interested, you can sign our petition here!

It was also a TON of work and I was leading the project from the marketing/communication perspective, so I was really happy when everything went out the door smoothly. We even had a work happy hour tonight to celebrate! Woohoo!

Alright friends, unfortunately that’s all I have time for today. Have a great weekend!

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

 Posted by on November 18, 2016
Oct 282016
 

Hello, hello! Happy Friday to you! How was your week? Mine was a busy one with lots of exciting work projects that made the days fly by! Love that!

Also, I know a bunch of you are interested in hearing more about what I’m doing relating to diabetes and public health for the new job, and I have some really cool stuff in the works that I’m planning to share with you next week. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I thought I’d use today to take a look back at my week, Favorite Things Friday style! Please play along and tell me about something that made you smile this week in the comments below!

Favorite Reference

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[Source]

I know I’ve blogged about this before, but this infographic from Buzzfeed showing the best way to make hard-boiled eggs is something I have been referring back to every Sunday afternoon when it comes time to cook my hard boiled eggs for the week ahead. I’ve looked at it so many times that there’s really no need for me to keep pulling it up week after week, but for some reason it gives me confidence that my eggs are going to turn out perfectly every time as long as I follow these instructions. And they always do!

Plus, I love that Buzzfeed tested out a bunch of different methods for making eggs to make sure they figured out the best strategy. I think the vinegar really makes a difference in making them easy to peel!

Favorite Cookbook

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I mentioned on Monday that I got a new cookbook from my mom called Cook’s Illustrated, and even though I’ve only had it for a week, I’ve already made a bunch of recipes from it! On Monday evening we enjoyed sautéed chicken in a lemon caper sauce, and it was delicious! We had some salad greens and rosemary roasted potatoes on the side. Yum!

Similar to the hardboiled egg approach I mentioned above, the cookbook is written by chefs who test dozens of variations on a recipe before deciding which version works best. Love this concept!

I also made the quick and easy biscuits one night this week for a last minute potluck Fabio had at work, and they were literally the quickest thing to make. Ever!

This cookbook has been amazing so far!

Favorite Celebrations

On Tuesday, I celebrated two very important people’s birthdays: Catrina’s and Fabio’s! This is always one of my favorite days of the year because I get to celebrate two of my very best friends.

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Photos from our trip to the San Diego zoo!

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Typical.

Happy birthday, you two!! I love you both so much!!

Favorite Birthday Meal

On Tuesday, I used my new cookbook to put together a delicious pan of baked ziti, per request from the birthday boy. It was a little more work than your usual baked ziti recipe, but it turned out SO well! Plus it recommended using cottage cheese instead of ricotta, which I liked a lot since cottage cheese is higher in protein. Delicious!

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I also noticed a smiley face baked on to the cheese. 🙂 How perfect for a birthday!

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Haha!

Favorite Birthday Outing

On Wednesday, I took Fabio out for a surprise adventure! After walking over to the metro, we hopped on and headed into DC. It was fun keeping everything a surprise, especially since Fabio didn’t know which stop we were getting off on! Eventually we got off at Metro Center, and I walked us over to Pi for pizza before the evening’s main event.

We opted for a deep dish version with sauce on top of the cheese, and it was delicious. We also shared an order of wings since we were worried the small pizza wouldn’t be enough food for both of us, but it definitely was. #AllTheFood

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After dinner, we walked over to E St Cinema for the evening’s main event: a free whiskey tasting and showing of Anthony Bourdain’s new YouTube show, Raw Craft! I had read about the free event online, and since it took place the day after Fabio’s birthday, I thought it would be a fun thing for us to do to celebrate.

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There was a bit of a line to get into the theater, but luckily we made it in with no problems. The seats quickly filled up, and I have a feeling some of the people in line behind us weren’t able to go in. Yikes!

Each seat had a tray of whiskey on it, plus we all received goody bags with a bottle of water and caramel popcorn.

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Soon enough our host for the evening came out to talk to us about the whiskey (she’s from Scottland and explained that we were actually drinking Scotch). She also told us some interesting details about each type of whiskey, and although I thought they all tasted exactly the same, Fabio seemed to really enjoy the last one (he like whiskey a lot more than I do).

Then we watched an episode of the new season of Raw Craft, which is a show on YouTube where Anthony Bourdain interviews people who work hard to master a certain craft. While one of the episodes is dedicated to the Balvenie whiskey distillery–who provided the whiskey–this particular episode showcased a shoe cobbler in Los Angeles who makes all his custom shoes 100% by hand. It was really interesting, and the shoe cobbler was actually in attendance! It was really cool to hear from him, and we found out that his cheapest shoes sell for $6500. Woah. Guess I won’t be getting any of those anytime soon.

At any rate, it was a really fun event and I’m so glad we checked it out!

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Favorite Salad Add-in

Last week I made an effort to clean out our freezer, and I noticed we had some smoked salmon that had been in there for a while. Fabio’s not a huge fan of smoked salmon so I’d been avoiding it for a while, but then I had the idea to use it in my salads this week! Yes!!

The package of smoked salmon even came with a honey mustard dill sauce that I’ve been using for the salad dressing, and my salads all week have been so delicious. What a nice change of pace!

img_6218 Favorite LOL

This Harry Potter-themed article about Donald Trump had me laughing out loud this week. I think all my Harry Potter fans out there will get a kick of this one.
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Other funny highlights from the article included:

“Trump, whose unusually-styled hair is believed to hide a face on the back of his head….”

“If destroyed, this would cause his organisation to fail and his acolytes, known as the Debt Eaters for their habit of bankruptcy, to disband.”

“The Orange Lord is not concerned by this petty attack,” said a spokesman for the Trump campaign.

“To show he meant business, Trump took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves to threaten anyone who would wish him harm. However when Trump handed his jacket to his spokesman to hold, the spokesman cried ‘Dobby’s Free!’, and vanished.”

HA! People are so funny.

Favorite Jack Picture

Yesterday when I came home from work, I noticed Jack was nowhere to be seen. I finally found him hiding from me in the bedroom, and I realized he must have done something “bad.” I went to see what he had done, and realized he had taken a tupperware container out of the sink and licked it clean. All things considered, this wasn’t bad at all, but he didn’t know that. He knew he did something he wasn’t supposed to, so the guilty dog act was in full effect.

He had me giggling to myself with all his silly facial expressions. This dog is SO guilty!

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Haha!

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Is anyone doing anything for Halloween? What are you dressing as?

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

 Posted by on October 28, 2016
Oct 142016
 

Hellooooooo! Happy Friday to you! How was your week? Mine was one of the best I’ve had in a while; I think having the new job really reset my intention and motivation, and I felt so happy every single day. Yay!

Here are some of the items in particular that made me smile. Please play along in the comments below!

Favorite Fall Change

Now that cooler weather has arrived, we have been leaving the window on our storm door open to get a fresh breeze inside. This was obviously something we couldn’t do when it as a million degrees outside, and last weekend when we figured out how to open that particular window on the door it was SO nice having a breeze come through the living room. Plus, Jack absolutely loves sitting by the door and sniffing all the bunnies that seem to hang out on our patch of grass or the sidewalk.

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I think they just like teasing him!!

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Favorite Update

Do you guys remember the travel wall that we had in our old apartment? It was definitely one of my favorite features in our old place, and I loved seeing pictures every day that brought back such happy memories.

Well we’ve been on quite a few trips since we last updated it, so before we hung the frames in our new house we wanted to add some more pictures to the collection.

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Unfortunately Ikea discontinued the black frames that we used last time, so we are going with a similar-looking white frame this time around. The frames will be almost evenly split between black and white, so hopefully it won’t look too crazy.

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We’re planning to have the frames going up the stairs, and are going to try to get the pictures hung this weekend. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t look too much like a hot mess!

Psst – we are also getting our recessed lighting put in downstairs on Monday and I could NOT be more excited. #adulting

Favorite Dinner Out

Our good friend Jason (also one of Fabio’s groomsmen) just started a work project in McLeans, Virginia, so he’ll be in town a lot for the next few weeks. Yay!!

We decided to meet up with him for dinner on Tuesday at Earl’s Kitchen and Bar in Tysons Corner, and it was really good! We all agreed we loved the atmosphere, and although my warm kale salad was just ok, Fabio’s burger was AMAZING. I only had one bite, but it was one of the best I’ve tasted in a long time!

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I can’t wait to have more dinners with Jason during these next few weeks! We are also planning to go to a few fitness classes together since he’s a gym rat like me. I can’t wait to take him to all my favorite spots!

Favorite Switch Up

This week I switched things up a bit by heading back to November Project! I hadn’t been in ages, but I decided to go after hearing that some folks from my job would be there to promote an event we have coming up. Cool!

I dragged Fabio with me (despite his protests) and we arrived at the Lincoln Memorial for the free workout just as the sun was starting to come up.

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We spent the next 30 minutes running up and down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with tons of other DC fitness fanatics, and also mixed in a couple of runs around the Memorial, squats, and push-ups.

About midway through we were called off the stairs (per National Park Service rules we have to be off the steps by 7:00 a.m.) and I took that opportunity to snap a picture of the sunrise. So beautiful!!

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After that, we did some tabata work on the ground including burpees, mountain climbers, and super mans.

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All the burpees.

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Before we knew it, our workout was over and it was time for the announcement from my coworkers!

The event they were there to promote is called Game on Greater Washington, and it’s a fun event at FedEx Field (the Redskins stadium) on Saturday, Oct. 22 to raise awareness about diabetes. The morning will start off with a 5K (both a run and a walk), and cycling events at varying distances. Then there will be a huge party at the stadium with live music, a zipline, an obstacle course, a climbing wall, moon bounces, and more. I think it’s going to be so much fun!

To promote the event, my coworkers were joined by former Redskins cornerback, Fred Smoot.

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It was awesome that Fred came to November Project and helped pump everyone up for the event!

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Then my coworkers handed out bananas and water bottles that had stickers with the event information printed on them, and then it was time for us to head home. What a successful morning! I felt so proud to work for such an amazing organization that’s out there making a difference. 🙂

Favorite Thought-Provoker

I took a spin class this week at Revolve, and though I’ve been there a bunch of times I just wasn’t feeling it this time. I think it was a mix of the instructor and her playlist, but I just kept feeling like I could have taught a better class myself.

Now I’m toying with the idea of looking into getting spin certified and possibly becoming an instructor. I know it would be a lot of work so it’s not a decision I’m planning to take lightly, but I want to at least start researching. Maybe? What do you guys think?

Favorite Oops

Last week, I placed an order for a Blue Apron delivery. Then I got an email saying my payment to HelloFresh had been processed. What the heck?

Apparently a while back when we ordered HelloFresh I must have just paused my account instead of actually canceling it, so we received another box of food from them. (This happened to me before with Blue Apron too. Will I ever learn?)

So this week we had not only a delivery of food and recipes from Blue Apron, but one from HelloFresh too. Yikes! Needless to say, we’ve had a lot of yummy dinners this week, and will continue to enjoy some next week. 🙂

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Favorite Burn

Fabio’s coworker just started a candle company called Winoscandles made from old wine bottles, and she kindly gifted me a vanilla flavored one with coffee beans. We’ve been enjoying it every night this week!

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Favorite Spooky

The fog was very spooky around here this week, and one particular morning when I took Jack to the park I was feeling very Halloweeny. Look at that fog!

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Sheesh!

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today! Have a great weekend!

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

 Posted by on October 14, 2016
Sep 302016
 

Hello there, and happy Fri-YAY!! 🙂 How did your week go? Mine was great, especially since it was filled with so many fun birthday festivities. Here’s a look back, Favorite Things Friday style! Feel free to play along in the comments below and tell me something that made you smile this week.

Favorite Smells

On Tuesday (my birthday!) I got three bouquets of flowers, so my desk smelled amazing!

First, when I came into work, I found a lovely bouquet of flowers from my coworker Shameeka on my desk. She’s the best! (Hi Shameeka!)

Then a little later in the day, I received a delivery of these beautiful flowers from Aunt CC and Uncle Steve!

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These flowers smelled so good, and they’ve opened up beautifully. Look how great they look now!

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I love smelling them throughout the day. 🙂

Then after that, another delivery guy came to our office, this time with flowers from my mom and stepdad. Aren’t they gorgeous too?

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By the end of the day, my desk was resembling a garden and smelled so, so good.

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I decided to leave the flowers from my mom and CC at work so I could enjoy them during the day, but I took the ones from Shameeka home. I was pretty nervous about taking them on the metro during rush hour – where I am usually crammed onto the train with tons of strangers pushing into me – but it wound up working out ok.

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The flowers made it home in one piece, and they looked great in the new Tiffany vase I got from my friend Hana’s family during our engagement party. Yay!

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I love fresh flowers so much, so I was definitely happy to get so many on my birthday. 🙂

Favorite Dinner

For my birthday dinner, Fabio took me out to Cheestique, a wine and cheese restaurant right down the street from our house. We ordered a bottle of wine and a mixed plate of cheese and meat to share, and everything was delicious!

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After we finished our cheese plate, we decided to also split a grilled cheese with goat cheese, bacon, and avocado. NOM!

The highlight of the night though was when Fabio handed me a card (he hates spending money on cards) that had a bunch of really sweet sentiments about how this is our year, how we’re going to make our new house a home, and how he’s proud of me in everything that I do. Cue the waterworks.

Fabio and I aren’t exchanging gifts for our birthdays this year (we are opting to get recessed lighting in our kitchen and living room instead….#adulting) so this card was especially sweet.

Spending the evening chatting with Fabio about anything and everything was exactly how I would have pictured a perfect birthday evening, so I was definitely in my happy place. 🙂

Favorite Snack

When we paid the bill at Cheesetique, we received a 10% off coupon for the retail portion of the store, where you can buy cheese, meats, and wine to take home. We wound up getting some delicious aged cheddar from the Netherlands called Beemer, as well as some prosciutto. We enjoyed it after work later in the week with some wine, which made it feel like my birthday celebration continued long into the week. 🙂

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So fun!

Favorite Purchase

In addition to the beautiful flowers, Aunt CC and Uncle Steve also sent me a gift card to Lululemon! Obviously I wasted no time in putting it to use and picked up a couple of goodies there earlier this week. I wound up spending way more than the gift card was for, but I hardly ever treat myself to new workout gear and I really needed some new stuff. #TreatYoSelf

My favorite item that I purchased was a pair of these green “Tight Stuff Tight II” crops. I especially love the scalloped edges, as well as the little silver detailing at the bottom of these pants. These are also super comfortable and didn’t feel like they would fall down at all during bootcamps, which is obviously important. I have a feeling I’ll be living in these this fall and winter.

Green Lululemon Tight Stuff Tight II

I also got a pair of the gray spotted “Pace Rival” crops. Again these were super comfortable, and I felt like I could match them with tons of different tops.

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Love them!

Last but not least, I got a simple blue racerback tank (this one is similar) because it was on sale and I felt like I would get a ton of wear out of it.

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Having new workout gear always makes me so much more motivated to get my sweat on! I can’t wait to break these in. 🙂

I also asked the woman at the checkout if I could have a small bag (instead of one of the big ones) since I use them as lunch bags. She said that was fine and even wound up giving me three extra bags!

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Now I have four new Lululemon lunch bags to use, which makes me way happier than it probably should. Haha!

Favorite Workout

Workouts were pretty good this week, and one of my favorites included a class at 9Round in Courthouse where Anne and I enjoyed a quick 30-minute kickboxing circuit earlier this week.

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We had a different instructor from last time, but Anne and I agreed that we liked both instructors a lot. I have a feeling we’ll be returning here much more often since these classes are on ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $30 off!).

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Favorite Home-Cooked Dinner

The weather has been really crappy this week – chilly and rainy almost every day – so I made this healthy bacon pumpkin pasta for dinner last night.

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I love this recipe because it’s so incredibly easy, and it uses pumpkin to create a “sauce” for the pasta, and it tastes a lot like mac and cheese! It’s really delicious and not that bad for you either. I definitely want to bring this recipe back into the rotation now that fall is here! Give it a shot! 🙂

Favorite Podcasts

I discovered two new-to-me podcasts recently, and I wanted to take a minute to tell you about them for all my podcast-loving readers out there.

First, my friend Jess told me about the Bon Appetit foodcast a while back, and I’m loving it! I think I already mentioned here on the blog, but my love for it continues so I’m mentioning it again. If you’re a foodie and like watching the Food Network, reading food blogs, looking at cookbooks, etc., then I predict you’ll enjoy this one. Be warned though: it can make you really hungry!

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This next podcast is a new one that I discovered from the Top Charts feature in the iPhone podcasts app: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. This one is a bit nerdy and a little out there, but if you’re a Harry Potter superfan like I am, then I think you’ll enjoy it.

In a nutshell, the two hosts go chapter by chapter through the Harry Potter books and look for themes like friendship, bravery, commitment, etc. They read out different passages of the book and make you think about the story and the characters in new ways. I really like these podcasts because not only do they allow me to relive one of my favorite stories ever, but they help me to remember to be a better person and reinforce some important life-lessons. Like I said, this one is definitely a little out there, but if you love Harry Potter then I recommend giving it a try.

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Pssst…You can find recommendations for more of my favorite podcasts here!

Favorite Upcoming Event

Don’t forget: It’s not too late to sign up to join me on Sunday, October 16 at 6:00 pm for a Sunday Runners dinner with Pacers Running at the Whole Foods on P St. Find more details here, and sign up here!

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

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

 Posted by on September 30, 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 262016
 

Hello there, and happy Friday to you! Did you have a nice week? Here are some of the things that made me smile this week, Favorite Things Friday style. 🙂

Favorite New Salad Add-In – Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Lentils

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I think I mentioned this last week, but Trader Joe’s fully cooked lentils are my new favorite salad add-in! They are perfectly seasoned and add a great flavor to any salad, plus they provide a boost of protein and fiber. I liked them so much I am thinking about adding lentil-cooking to my usual Sunday meal prep. What do you guys think? Do you cook your own lentils? Do you add spices to them? I think it’s time to start researching!

Favorite New Nutrition Tracker – MyFitnessPal Macros

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Lately I’ve been curious about tracking my macros, and after googling macro trackers I realized that MyFitnessPal has this functionality built into its app. I used to use MFP back in the day to track calories and nutrients, but I love that they now have macro tracker as well.

One thing I noticed this week from tracking is that I don’t crave sweets/dessert as much when my macro levels are on track. Interesting, right? After dinner I almost always crave a little something sweet, and I found that if I ate close to my goal macros during the day then I didn’t crave the sugar as much. Of course this could have been a one-off occurrence so I’m going to continue tracking, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

Then again I am usually pretty bad at sticking with trackers like this – especially when there’s no real goal in my mind – so we will see how long it lasts!

Favorite Mood – FlyWheel

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Last week when I visited FlyWheel I was feeling sort of off. I was super tired that day for some reason, and just didn’t push myself as hard as usual during class. The instructor and playlist also make a huge difference for me which definitely could have had something to do with it, but for whatever reason I was just off my game.

This week when I went I was feeling MUCH better, and I was even spinning in 2nd and 3rd place for most of the class. When I got home I compared my personal FlyWheel stats online, and I saw that I had performed much better this time around. I’m not sure what was going on last week – maybe I wasn’t getting enough sleep? – but whatever the reason I was happy to see improvement this week!

Favorite Wednesday activity – Happy Hour with my MoH

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My good friend and Maid of Honor, Bianca, was in town this week for work training, and Fabio and I joined her for happy hour on Wednesday. Since Bianca is from Maryland like I am, her family joined us for the evening as well. We had a fun night catching up with her family!

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<3

Favorite Purchase – Nine West Purse from Tj Maxx

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I recently decided it was time for a new work bag, so I headed over to TJ Maxx on my lunch break one day to scope out the options. I spotted this black and tan tote bag from Nine West that only cost $29! (This one is similar.) The funny part is that they had another purse that looked just like it from Michael Kors that cost significantly more (close to $200). No thanks – I’ll stick with my $30 version for now. 😉

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So far it’s been working out great!

Favorite Lunch – SweetGreen

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I ran out of salad greens on Tuesday this week, so from Wednesday on it was pretty much all SweetGreen all the time. I can’t help it – their salads are just so delicious! Right now I’m loving their peach and goat cheese summer salad with chicken added for protein. Yum! I’m going to be so sad when this one comes off the rotation.

Favorite New Podcasts – YHL & Bon Appetit

Is anyone else out there enjoying the Young House Love podcasts? As a long-time YHL blog reader, I am loving these fun podcasts about DIY, home decor, blogging, and more. I missed hearing from John and Sherry now that they don’t write for their blog as regularly, and it’s been nice to catch up with them via a weekly podcast.

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Another podcast I’m loving lately is the Bon Appetit foodcast! This one was a recommendation from my friend Jess, who is a food lover like I am, and I’m so glad she told me about this one! I never get tired of hearing about food, and I love that this one interviews famous chefs and gives me ideas for restaurants I want to check out. After listening to this, I’m now dying to go to Bad Saint, a Filipino restaurant in Columbia Heights that was ranked #2 on Bon Appetit’s list of 2016 best restaurants. Has anyone been?

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Psst – looking for even more podcasts? Find a list of my favorites here

Favorite New Show – Stranger Things

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I feel like everyone is watching this Netflix show right now! A coworker first told me about it and now I’m seeing it pop up on blogs around the interwebs. I have to warn you, it’s a little scary and not great to watch before bed. Even so, Fabio and I are devouring this show (we started on Monday) and I think we’re going to be finished with it before we know it (maybe by the end of the weekend?). It’s so good!

Favorite For A Good Cause – Elect-A-Pet 2016

I recently got an email from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) about their Elect-A-Pet 2016 election, and the dog lover in my couldn’t resist posting an announcement about it. According to the email, this year’s national election has inspired the AWLA to create “Elect-a-Pet 2016,” a political spin on their annual photo competition. To participate in the election, you just submit a picture of your pet to the election ($30 per entry) and then try to get more votes than any other pet!

Elvis is currently in the lead with 720 votes. 🙂

Elect-a-pet 2016

All proceeds go to the animals, of course! I’m thinking about adding a picture of Jack to the competition, but I have to look at the rules more carefully since I don’t live in Alexandria. Either way, I love this idea for a fundraiser and hope a couple of you will participate!

Question of the day: What made you smile today?

 Posted by on August 26, 2016