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!


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


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?


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


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.


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!


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!


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. 🙂


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!).


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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!


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


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


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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!)


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.


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


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



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.


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


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


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


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


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!



Favorite Purchase – Nine West Purse from Tj Maxx


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. 😉


So far it’s been working out great!

Favorite Lunch – SweetGreen


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.


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?


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

Favorite New Show – Stranger Things

netflix stranger things poster


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
Aug 192016

Hi friends! Happy Fri-YAY! 🙂 I always like to spend a little time on Fridays looking back over the highlights from my week, so here’s a Favorite Things Friday post for ya’ with some of my favorite moments! Well ok, some are from last week too. 😉 Enjoy!

Favorite Run

On Thursday morning, I met up with my favorite workout buddy and neighbor, Anne! We decided to meet up for a running bootcamp instead of a class, which was a nice change of pace. It’s funny how a couple of years ago we pretty much only met up to run together, and then ClassPass came into our lives and switched everything up. Now that we are neighbors again I’m looking forward to joining her for more runs. 🙂 Yay!


Photo from Anne


For Thursday’s run, we decided to go along the Custis Trail in the direction of Falls Church, which I hadn’t explored much of yet (I usually run east toward my old stomping grounds of Courthouse/Rosslyn!). Along the way, we stopped for a couple mini bootcamps in parks and school parking lots. We did a few tricep dips, walking lunges, push-ups, supermans, crunches, and jumping squats. It was fun!


Photos from Anne

On our way back, we noticed a fallen branch over the trail, which I definitely don’t think was there on our way out or we would have noticed. We’ve had a lot of big thunderstorms roll through this week and the trees have definitely taken a hit! Good thing we weren’t running under this one when the branch fell. Yikes.


At the end of our workout, we had covered nearly 3.5 miles. Nice!

Side note: Work has been stressful lately, and when I woke up on Thursday morning I was in a really bad mood and was considering taking a sick day from work so I wouldn’t have to go in. I was just feeling really grumpy and like I was in a funk. After my run with Anne, I felt a thousand times better and I know it was the endorphins from our run that improved my mood (and the company, of course!). I actually was having trouble remembering why I felt so stressed/grumpy in the first place. It’s amazing what a little movement can do for your mood!

Favorite Gym Workout

It’s been ages since I’ve gone to a gym and not taken a class, but one of my friends from college invited me to work out with her recently and she goes to the Gold’s Gym in Arlington. Since it’s on ClassPass I agreed to go with her, but I didn’t want to just hop on the treadmill or elliptical without a plan. Thank goodness for Pinterest where I found this awesome treadmill workout!



It was a really good one and I felt like my time on the treadmill flew by! I definitely recommend this one for you gym rats out there who love the treadmill. 🙂

Favorite Face

This one!


I love when Jack is super tired and leaves his tongue out of his mouth. What a silly pup! I also get to bring him to work with me on Friday (it’s Thursday as I write this) and I’m so excited to see how he does at the office. Eek!

Favorite Routine

When we moved to Arlington I was a little worried that I’d no longer be able to fit my favorite spin class, FlyWheel, into my schedule. I used to take the 6:00 am classes at the Dupont location and then drive home to get ready for work afterwords, but neither the Dupont nor the CityCenter locations are close enough to my house to allow me to do that.

Luckily I realized that the CityCenter location is close enough to the metro that I can take the metro to the 7:00 am class, shower and get ready for work at FlyWheel, and then continue metroing on to work.


It’s been working out great so far and I’m so glad I found a solution to continue taking the class. Of course waiting in the crazy shower line and getting ready in the crowded locker room isn’t as nice as getting ready at home, but it’s worth it!

Favorite “Me” Time

Fabio has been having events after work about once a week lately, and I’ve actually been enjoying these evenings to have some time to myself. Usually I’ll stop by my new favorite sushi spot – Sushi 2 Go right by the metro – and pick up two rolls (either spicy tuna, eel, or Philadelphia), and then I come home, drink a glass of wine, and watch Parenthood until Fabio gets home.


As much as I love eating dinner with my little family and watching “our shows” together, I also like having nights to myself where I can eat what I want, watch what I want, and cry when I want (because if we’re being honest, I cry at every single episode of Parenthood. I’m on Season 4 and, holy cow, #allthefeels). It’s kinda nice!

Favorite Puzzle

My dad sent me this puzzle the other day, and I had a lot of fun doing it! Here are the rules: fill in the boxes below using only the numbers zero through nine, and don’t repeat any of the numebrs. The total has to be less than 100.



When he sent it to me, I pretty much had to stop all the work I was doing until I found the answer. Haha! Leave me a comment if you solve the puzzle or if you need a clue! 🙂

Favorite Dinner

Fabio’s mom was in town on Tuesday (from Bolivia!) and we drove over to Fabio’s uncle’s house in Centreville, VA, to meet them all for dinner. Fabio’s aunt cooked us the most amazing silpancho, our favorite Bolivian steak, along with rice, potatoes, a fried egg, and super fresh tomato salsa. It was SO good!


Of course the company was great too; it was so nice to see everyone!

Favorite Evening Adventure

Fabio and I took Jack up to the Clarendon dog park on Wednesday night, which was a nice treat for Jack. We hadn’t been over there in quite some time!


Of course he made a beeline right for the fountain and proceeded to get himself all wet and dirty, but it was hot out so we let him enjoy the cool water. 🙂

Favorite Surprise

I came home from work one day this week and saw this:


Yep, Fabio had started folding our laundry without me even having to ask him. Maybe this is normal in some households, but it’s not in ours! I was awfully thankful for this. 🙂

While I helped him finish the folding, Jack moved down to his favorite sleeping spot…


…under the bed. What a nut.

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

 Posted by on August 19, 2016
Jun 172016

Hi friends! We made it to Fridayyyy! Woop!! Did everyone have a good week? Mine was pretty excellent, the highlight of which was getting back into a normal routine with normal meals and workouts. After nearly three weeks away from home in places like Colombia, New Orleans, and Philly, I was so ready to get back to my daily grind this week. And sleep in my own bed. And snuggle with Jack. And use my electric toothbrush. (It’s the little things…)

Anyway, here are some highlights from the week in today’s edition of Favorite Things Friday!

Favorite Monday

This week I didn’t even mind that the Bachelorette wasn’t on, because I got to spend my Monday night with these lovely ladies!


My friend Vic was in town for a couple of days before heading off for her family vacation to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons (so jealous, take me back!), so my friend Megan and her husband JR hosted us all over for a BBQ!

JR grilled up some delicious steaks and asparagus while Megan cooked up a bunch of huge baked potatoes. It was pretty funny watching her cook the potatoes, which took longer than any of us would have thought. Oh well, they turned out perfectly!


I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday evening than BBQing with some of my favorite people. Thanks for having us, guys! 🙂

Favorite Sweat

After not getting in many good workouts for a couple of weeks there (except for a few short runs), I went back to ClassPass this week and got my sweat on.


Being able to take any type of class I want at any time is so wonderful, and I forgot how much I missed taking classes while I was away. Feeling the burn in my muscles and the sweat drip down my face was honestly one of the best feelings I had all week.


It’s amazing how much I’ve come to love fitness over the last few years, and how much better I feel when I’m in a good routine!

Favorite Meals

I also got back into home cooked meals this week, and we had a lot of good ones including marinated grilled salmon with ginger peach salsa along with some couscous and asparagus…


…and apricot balsamic chicken with brown rice and asparagus.


As nice as it was to have lots of wholesome nutrients in my dinners this week, I have to admit I’m over asparagus for a little while. I think I overdid it this week!

I also returned to having my favorite salads for lunch, which (as you remember) include a mix of greens, carrot slivers, roasted sweet potatoes & brown rice (prepped on Sunday), feta cheese, Craisins, and chicken. I <3 this salad so much, and I couldn’t wait to dig into it each day I had it this week.


There was one day where I decided to take a walk and buy lunch, and I landed on the seasonal Mexican corn elote bowl from SweetGreen. It was delicious!


SweetGreen is just the BEST. I don’t know what I’d do without them!

Favorite Sip

Fabio made us margaritas one night this week because we just had a tiny bit of tequila left in a bottle and we are trying to clean out our liquor cabinet.


And why are we cleaning out the liquor cabinet you ask??


We bought a town house!!!

Yes, things have been absolutely crazy around here with planning a wedding and traveling so much, and oh yeah, we added buying a house to the mix. 😉 You guys know we’ve been looking for a place to buy for quite some time, and then we found the perfect townhouse in Ballston (Arlington) right before we left for Colombia. While we would have loved to stay in DC, we knew we could get more space for our money if we branched out (back) to Arlington.

The town house a bit of a fixer-upper in that it needs some cosmetic updates, but it has brand new paint and carpet and there’s nothing actually wrong with it now – it just looks a little outdated. It has two bedrooms and a loft (perfect for all Fabio’s baseball stuff – the loft is totally going to be his new man cave) and is only a block and a half from the metro. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a back yard, but it does come with its very own parking space which we’ve never had before! Hey now! Gotta’ take what we can get. 😉

We actually close this coming Thursday, so things are moving along quickly! I wanted to wait to announce this big news until all the paperwork and everything had gone through, and even though we aren’t out of the woods yet, we are definitely getting closer. Cross your fingers that it all works out!

We’re actually planning to spend a lot of time this weekend packing everything up, as there’s still so much to do! Eeeeek!! 😀 I’ll share some pictures with you once we close next week and get the keys and everything. 🙂

Question of the day: For all the homeowners out there, do you have any tips? How about packing/moving tips?

 Posted by on June 17, 2016
May 202016

Hey friends! Happy FriYAY! I woke up in an excellent mood today. The sun is shining (even if it’s going to be short-lived again) and I’m really excited for this weekend!

We have a wedding to go to tomorrow, and although the weather is calling for 100% chance of rain and chilly temperatures, I know we’re still going to have a great time. A little rain can’t stop us!

Before we get to all the fun of the weekend though, let’s take a look at some other highlights from my week!

Favorite Breakfast

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love when Fabio cooks me breakfast. I think there’s just something about having someone else cook for you that seems to makes the food taste better. Is it just me?

I was especially loving his toast + sriracha + avocado + egg this week, but he also made me an arepa with cheese and an egg on another day. Delicious!


Favorite Dinners

We also had some really tasty (and easy) dinners this week! One night I made this egg white pizza bake complete with lots of veggies, pepperoni, sausage, and cheese. It’s all about balance! 😉 I strayed from the recipe a bit by spooning some tomato sauce over the top before I added the cheese, and it turned out great! There were tons of leftovers too, which is always nice for packing for lunch. I will definitely be making this again.


Jack is such a creeper.

We also are still loving our salmon!


The brown sugar salmon with avocado crema recipe from Eating in the Middle continues to be a favorite in our house, especially when it’s served with asparagus and couscous on the side. Yum!

Favorite Sight

Spring!! I just love this time of year when all the trees are bright green and everything looks so fresh. My apartment complex has a lot of really nice landscaping around it, and I especially love the rose bushes that are in bloom right now next to the dog park. So pretty!


Favorite Sweat

Like usual, I took a bootcamp class with my friends Anne and Kathleen this week, and we had a great time catching up while getting our sweat on! This time we took our fitness adventure over to the Metabolic Resistance Training class at  Definitions in Georgetown, which continues to be one of our favorite bootcamps. It’s a tough one!


Speaking of friends and fitness, this was the second week in a row where I’ve bumped into a few friends at FlyWheel during the 6:00 am spin class. While I always enjoy bumping into old friends, sometimes 6:00 am is too early for small talk with someone you haven’t seen in five years. I don’t think my brain is awake that early, haha!

Also since the sun was finally out toward the later half of the week, I was able to go for a run with my favorite four-legged running buddy. 🙂


Running with Jack always puts a smile on my face.

Favorite Weeknight Activity

This week we got to see Megan and JR for happy hour! Once I got out from work, the cloudy skies were starting to clear up, and I was more than ready for a drink.


Fabio and I wound up walking to happy hour, which was at Biergarten Haus on H Street. We are still thinking we might want to buy a row home in this area if we can find one in our price range, so we had fun taking a leisurely stroll to check out all the houses we’ve ogled on RedFin.

During our walk we passed this cute community garden, which is available to all the people who live in that neighborhood. I love this idea!


When we arrived, we had fun trying to pronounce the German beers on the menu. Weihenstephaner Kristall-Weiss…how do you say that?!


Then we ordered our giant beers, and enjoyed a mini date on the roof until Megan and JR arrived a little later.




Once Megan and JR got there, I was too busy chatting and having fun to take any more pictures. It’s always so fun getting together with them!

Favorite Trip

Next week we are traveling to Colombia for vacation!! We leave Wednesday morning and I am so excited. Our friends Jojo and Jadd are meeting us down there, and pretty much all of Fabio’s family will be there too! We have lots of fun activities planned including touring Medellin and Cartagena, boat rides, horse back riding, spending time with family by the pool, and more. It should be a blast!


[Medellin, Source]


[Cartagena, Source]

I’m going to try to get a few posts scheduled for you guys while I’m away, but I’m pretty busy between now and when we leave so I’m not sure how many I’ll be able to write. Is there anything in particular you guys want to hear about?

Let me know!

Question of the day: What’s the coolest place you’ve traveled?

You can see some of my recaps from other trips here!

 Posted by on May 20, 2016
Apr 082016

Helloooo, and happy Friyay! 🙂 I had a perfectly wonderful week (which actually went by really quickly!) and there were lots of good things making me smile. Let’s take a look in today’s Favorite Things Friday post!

Favorite New Friend

Our neighbors/good friends Dom and Ash just adopted a puppy!


They won’t officially get her until tonight (she got spayed on Wednesday and needed some time to recuperate), but the foster family who has been raising her allowed Dom and Ash to watch her on Monday and Tuesday night. She is just the cutest little thing, and she and Jack got along great! Jack sometimes gets annoyed with puppies, but he liked this one. Look at them sharing this elephant toy…ah! So adorable.


By the way, this little princess doesn’t have a name yet! Her foster family has been calling her Adidas (like the brand I guess?) but Dom and Ash want to name her something else. They tossed around a couple of names including Riley, which I like, but are also looking for suggestions! If you have any good ideas feel free to leave them in the comments below!



Favorite (Cook) Book

I know I mentioned this cookbook on Wednesday, but I am absolutely loving Eating in the Middle. It arrived on Monday night and while Fabio sat down on the couch to get some work done, I curled up next to him with a glass of wine, a bunch of sticky notes, and my new cookbook! I think I must have flagged at least 15 recipes I want to make!


I’ve already made a bunch of them too including this chocolate chia seed breakfast pudding…


…banana, Greek yogurt parfaits with homemade peanut butter granola…


…lemon chicken with parsley and couscous…


…and my new favorite, brown sugar chili salmon with avocado crema! Wow, this one is a game changer for sure. Fabio and I couldn’t stop raving about it!


Between this new recipe and the honey-soy broiled salmon I’ve been making lately, I think it’s safe to say there’s a lot of salmon in my future. Yum!

Plus this cookbook is also where that lightened up Pad Thai comes from that I made twice in two weeks, so it’s safe to say these recipes are definitely going to become favorites in casa Chelsea y Fabio. 🙂

Favorite (Regular) Book

This week I flew through a book called The Hiding Place, and I absolutely loved it! If you enjoy reading historical fiction – especially WWII era books – you will love this one. What’s even better is that it is all based on real events and characters, so it draws you in even more. It does have a bit of a religious aspect to it which I don’t usually enjoy (I don’t like when books are too pushy with religion) but I actually really liked how it was woven into the story and it made me think about my own religious beliefs and thoughts. It was a good one! Now I’m sad that it’s over. Boo.



Favorite Surprise

My wonderful friends Megan, Vic, and Jess sent me the most amazing engagement presents this week!


They sent me this adorable his and her glasses set from Kate Spade, which I love, love, love.


Fabio and I both love drinking old fashioned cocktails (my grandpa has a special recipe for them, which he recently taught us) and I’m already looking forward to sipping one from these adorable glasses.

I see one in my future this weekend! (Also note the beautiful silver tray my mom and stepdad gave us when we first got engaged. 🙂 Yay!)


Then they also got us these adorable Kate Spade silver coasters that say things like “bottoms up” and “make it a double,” which are not only adorable but also much needed around here.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 10.26.12 AM

Look how warped our old coasters from J Crew are! I threw them right in the trash as soon as I opened up the box with the new ones. Haha!


What perfect gifts!

We also wound up getting a bunch of gifts at our engagement party that my dad took home with him since he drove to NYC and we took the bus, so I’m looking forward to getting those this weekend and seeing what else we got. Yay!

Favorite Lunch

I’ve been trying to step away from my desk during lunch more often, and one day this week I went to a little Greek restaurant down the street for a date with a gyro salad and my kindle.


I wound up staying at the restaurant for quite a while, and it was so nice to just relax in the middle of the day. I am supposed to get a full hour for lunch, but work is usually so busy that I don’t take the entire thing. This was a nice change of pace, and something I’m going to work on doing more often, especially as the weather gets nicer.

Favorite Night Out

On Wednesday night, Fabio and I headed over to the Howard Theater to watch Jake and Amir, the guys from one of our favorite podcasts, If I Were You!


These guys are so funny, and their podcast always cracks me up. Be warned though: it can be vulgar at times! Seeing them live was awesome, and I’m so glad Fabio and I were able to go. Tickets were really cheap and Howard Theater is only a 5 minute bus ride (or 20 minute walk when the weather is nice) from our apartment!


This was our second time at Howard Theater and I think we are going to try to go more often. It’s so fun!

Favorite Morning View

Hello, Capitol Building! Glad to see your scaffolding is finally coming down.


As seen during a 3 mile run with my favorite furry friend.

Speaking of said friend…

Favorite Work From Home View

I got to work from home on Thursday and I loved spending more time with this guy. Is this what he does all day when we’re at work? Sign me up for that job…



The end!

Question of the day: What made you smile this week? Doing anything fun this weekend?

Fabio and I have some fun plans on the agenda, but truthfully I am just so excited to spending the weekend AT HOME! We’ve been doing so much traveling over the weekends and I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve spent a Saturday night in my own bed. I’m so ready for that!

 Posted by on April 8, 2016
Apr 012016

Hi friends! How is everyone doing? There were about a million times this week when I wanted to check in with a another post, but unfortunately life just got in my way. Sigh. I had things to do after work almost every day this week, so there just wasn’t a lot of time to get my thoughts written out.

I still want to share them with you though, so in lieu of a Favorite Things Friday post I thought I’d tell you about all my food and fitness highlights from the week, plus a few other things that made me smile. I’ll try not to get too wordy on ya! 😉


Workouts this week were great! In addition to a couple of runs with Jack, I took two awesome classes. The first was on Tuesday, when I took the TRX class at Reformation Fitness. This class is no joke and I’m always surprised by how hard it is. Tuesday’s class focused a lot on our core muscles, and I was so sore for the next few days that coughing and laughing was pretty painful. I sorta love that feeling though!

Here I am afterwards, enjoying the feeling of finishing an awesome, butt-kicking workout. Yay!

The other class I took this week was a spin class at FlyWheel!


For some reason I wasn’t feeling as energized as usual/didn’t think I was pushing it as much as I usually can, but then again it might have just been a tougher instructor. Either way, I was dripping in sweat when I was done, which is always a good thing in my book. Love those classes!


Breakfasts this week consisted mostly of eggs! We had them in every way – scrambled with mushrooms and peppers, fried on a piece of toast with avocado and hot sauce, and just plain scrambled on their own.


While I was loving the egg kick, I did switch things up on Thursday with a yogurt bowl. This mix included plain Greek yogurt, honey, raspberries, blueberries, and crushed pecans. Yummy!



I had a bunch of my standard salads this week (as usual…) but I was able to switch things up for two of the days. On one day, I made some lettuce wraps with hummus, grilled chicken, Swiss cheese, and pickles. I wound up having three wraps this size, and it was a nice break from my salads! I especially loved the pickles on top. Yum!


We also ran out of produce by the end of the week and our fridge was looking pretty pathetic, so I hit up Cava Grill for lunch on Thursday and got a nice big salad from there.


In the mix: mesclun mixed greens, baby spinach, 1/2 chicken, 1/2 spicy lamb meatballs, feta cheese, hummus, tzatziki, pickled onions, cucumber/tomato salsa, quinoa, plus a fresh lemon wedge squeezed over the top. So delicious!

This Cava Grill just opened near my office and it’s always been one of my favorite fast-casual places, so I’m definitely going to be getting lunch from there more often. Yum!


Pretty much every day this week I had mixed berries and nuts as an afternoon snack.


It gets the job done!


Dinners this week have been very yummy!

One night we had pork loin again (we bought a HUGE one from Costco a couple weeks ago and froze a bunch) and this time I served it with peas & carrots and sautéed apples.


This meal totally reminded me of something my mom would make for me as a kid. Those sautéed apples were always my favorite!

We also had more of the lightened up Pad Thai that I mentioned last week, which was great for using up the second half of our head of cabbage.


So good! Love that recipe.

Overall it was a really good week of eating and exercise, and I will tell you that I am officially two pounds below that stupid number that I’m always stuck at. Hooray! Now I’m not usually one to care about a number on the scale, but I really did set a goal for myself to get under that darn number for our engagement party (which is tomorrow!!!) and I’m pretty proud of myself for getting to it. 🙂

Other Highlights from the Week

Here are some other things that made me smile this week!

Leftover candy from Easter + Dance Moms on TV when Fabio was out playing a softball game. YES.


Coffee in my favorite new mug!


This guy when I come home from work and all he wants is a belly rub.


…and also when he just wants to snuggle with us on the couch.


When your hair salon gives you wine while you’re waiting for your highlights to finish up.



And when you love how the highlights came out!


I’m ready for my party!!

Aaaaand, now we’re all caught up! Have a good weekend my friends!

Question of the day: What was the best thing you ate this week? Have you ever dyed your hair?

I haven’t had highlights in more than a year!! It’s usually more money than I want to spend on myself, but I decided it was worth it for my engagement party. 🙂

 Posted by on April 1, 2016
Mar 112016

Hey there, and happy Friyayyyy!!


Phew, we made it through the week. Fabio even made me a delicious cappuccino this morning to celebrate the week being over. Can’t complain about that!

All in all I had a pretty wonderful week, and I’d like to tell you about it Fravorite-Things-Friday style. Here are some things that made me smile this week!

Favorite Lunch

I have gotten pretty good at making salads that I love, but then sometimes I have one that someone else made for me and it just makes me think – wow, this is so much better. 😉 One day this week I popped over to SweetGreen on my lunch break and enjoyed a delicious salad with butternut squash, apples, blue cheese, and chicken. There were some other add-ins thrown into the mix but now I can’t remember what they were.


Delicious! Plus, I always really enjoy the warm bread at SweetGreen. Be still, my carb-loving heart!

Favorite Mail Delivery 

I think I mentioned this on the blog before, but my Aunt CC and Uncle Steve are throwing us an engagement party in NYC in April and I am SO excited!! A lot of Fabio’s family is from New York, so having the opportunity to have one of the wedding events up there will be really nice for his family. We also have a lot of friends who live in the city, so it’s pretty convenient for most of the guests. The party is going to be relatively small – mostly just family and the bridal party – but that almost is making me more excited for the event because I’ll really be able to talk to everyone. This week the invitations arrived in the mail, and now I’m even more excited. EEEEKKK!!


Favorite Breakfast

This week I rediscovered my love for the two ingredient pancake. For some reason I hadn’t had one in a while, and when I had a couple of spotty bananas on my hands and a ton of eggs to use up I decided to go for it. It was just as delicious as I remembered! This time I tried my hand at making an extra large pancake and then splitting it in half so Fabio and I could each have some. I wound up using two bananas and three eggs and it worked out perfectly! I also threw a tiny bit of salt, cinnamon, and vanilla into the “batter.” Yum! Topped with pb…of course.


I think I’ll be adding this one back into the rotation!

Favorite Sip

One of my best friends (and Maid of Honors!) Bianca sent me an adorable mug that says “Does this ring make me look engaged” and I have been sipping my green tea from it all week. It just makes me so darn happy!


Favorite Snack

Cold, red grapes! I have been munching on these as an afternoon snack all week and they have been so delicious. As I mentioned last week, I am really trying to cut chocolate/dessert out from my diet for a little while, and these grapes are such a good alternative.


Favorite Morning

There was one day this week when Fabio and I randomly were ready for work about 15 minutes earlier than usual, so we decided to stop and get coffees from Au Bon Pain on our walk to the metro. It was a beautiful day outside, so we spent our extra 15 minutes standing in the sunshine and enjoying our coffee.


It was quite the treat, and I was instantly in a great mood afterword.

Favorite Milestone

It is really starting to feel like Spring (Summer?) around here! This week we had unseasonably warm temperatures and I was not complaining one bit. I think Spring might be here to stay?


Loving. It.

Favorite Workout

I had a lot of really good workouts this week, but my favorite one has got to be a nice four mile run along the Georgetown waterfront with my friends Anne and Kathleen.


It was another beautiful day, and we enjoyed watching the sunrise over the Potomac.


Like usual, we chatted the entire time which made the miles fly by. Before we knew it, we had run past the Lincoln Memorial and down to the end of the reflecting pond, and it was time to turn back around.


We had fun watching some crew members row back to Georgetown too. They were much faster than we were. 😉


What a perfect way to start the day. 🙂 It’s been a long time since I’ve gone for a run with Anne (and I’ve never run with Kathleen before) but I think we are going to try to do this more often. It’s good to switch things up from our usual once-a-week bootcamps!

Favorite Evening Activity

The weather has been so warm out that we’ve been able to use the grill for dinner!


Hooray! Bring on the BBQ.

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

 Posted by on March 11, 2016
Jan 152016

Hellooooo! Phew – we made it to Friday! The beginning of this week felt like it was dragging on forever, but then the end of this week just sped right by for me. Anyone else?

There were definitely some times this week when I felt like I had what I like the call the “January blues” – when the cold weather and darkness just makes me feel really tired and so blah – but luckily there was lots of good stuff happening too that made me smile. Let’s take a look with today’s edition of Favorite Things Friday! Feel free to tell me about your favorite things from the week in the comments below. 🙂

Favorite Sight

I am so loving that it’s still light out when I leave work at 5:00! I can already see a difference in the amount of daylight we are getting (thank goodness!) and I’ve been seeing some pretty awesome sunsets this week too.


We may still be a long way off from spring, but I’ll take it!

Favorite Run

Last night I took Jack for a run, and I didn’t need a jacket! When I got home my weather app said 47 degrees, which is basically a heat wave compared to the temps earlier in the week.


We also decided to try a new route (er – I guess I decided that) and we ran right in front of Union Station.


Like usual, it was bustling with people so Jack and I tried to stay toward the outside of the sidewalk. I’ve always loved Union Station – something about the energy of the people and the beautiful sights of the Capitol just make me happy – so it was really fun to run past it! At the end of our run we had covered 3 miles, and I was pretty happy with our new route. 🙂

Favorite Breakfast

The hotel next to my office building held a charity fundraiser this week where they offered fresh chicken and waffles to people who donated $5 toward “Give Kids the World,” a charity that provides tickets and accommodations to theme parks in Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses.

A delicious breakfast and an opportunity to give back to kids? Don’t mind if I do. 🙂


Favorite Accomplishment

Lately I’ve been feeling like I attend the same few classes on ClassPass over and over, and I wanted to challenge myself to try something new. This week I tried not one but two  new-to-me studios in DC, and I felt pretty darn proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone.

First, I took a spin class at Reformation Fitness (read about that here) and then I took a bootcamp class at BodySmith. It turns out BodySmith was actually a regular gym that held its bootcamp class in a room off to the side.


While that’s never my favorite set-up (it usually means the music can’t be as loud, for one thing) the class was still good! We completed a ton of different activities including battle ropes, kettlebell swings, box jumps, push-ups, sit-ups, Russian twists, kettlebell rows and more. It was great! Plus, like I said, I am just proud of myself for trying something new.

Favorite Weeknight

On Wednesday night, Fabio and I met up with our good friends Megan and JR to celebrate our engagement!


Obviously we had to recreate the picture we took in the summer of 2014 when Megan got engaged!

(Minus Jess, of course. Miss you!!)

Sadly it’s much colder and darker in our version. We even tried to take the picture with our hoods up, but Fabio said we looked like dorks. (We did.)


Haha! 😀

For dinner we decided to try out Crisp, a new Southern-style restaurant in Bloomingdale, my favorite nearby neighborhood. I had heard so many good things about Crisp, and it did not disappoint! First, Megan and I both agreed that the restaurant itself was absolutely adorable, and it reminded us a lot of a spot you’d find in New York City. The drinks menu looked amazing and we all giggled over names like “5 star Uber driver” and “do you have an iPhone 7 charger.” Haha!

The food was delicious too, and Megan and I both got the patty melt.


It was insanely delicious, and we both had leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day. Woohoo!

Such a fun night with our friends. 🙂

Favorite Snuggler

This guy.


One day this week Jack was feeling especially cuddly, and he didn’t leave my side on the couch for the whole evening. What a cuddle bug.

Favorite Nails

As soon as Fabio and I got engaged on Christmas, his sister Diane gave me a bottle of Essie nail polish with the name “She Said Yes!” I obviously had to try it right away, and I have to say I’m a big fan. 🙂


Having a new ring on my finger doesn’t hurt either! 🙂

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I have Monday off from work so I most likely won’t be popping back in until Tuesday. Chat with you then!

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


 Posted by on January 15, 2016