Jan 112018
 

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

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

 

Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Work

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

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

 

Health

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

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

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

 

Blog & An Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Over and out!

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

 Posted by on January 11, 2018
Dec 222017
 

Hi friends! I have the day off from work today and am planning to spend it getting a few last things ready for Christmas. All our gifts are wrapped and the house is clean, so today will be spent doing some cooking! Then this afternoon, I’m heading over to my mom’s house to help her decorate the tree, and this evening I’ll be hanging with my best friends from home for our annual gingerbread house making get-together. Woohoo!

I’ll try to pop in sometime next week with an update for you guys, but just in case I don’t, I’ll see you back here in 2018!

For those of you who celebrate it, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and (just in case), a happy New Year!

XOXO

 

 

 Posted by on December 22, 2017
Dec 142017
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Posted by on December 14, 2017
Nov 302017
 

**LOL – I first titled this post “Wednesday Musings” before realizing today is Thursday. Whoops!**

Greetings from the Amtrak train somewhere in Delaware!

I’m on my way up to New York City (Fabio is meeting me up there later today) for a super fun weekend — check out what’s on the agenda;

Tonight: A fancy black tie gala I got invited to through work. The cocktail hour is hosted by Facebook and the after party is hosted by Google (or maybe it’s the other way around – I forget!). Fabio is coming with me, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Tomorrow: Fabio and I both requested off from work, so we’ll be spending the day in the city! His best friend (also best man) Hayden has off from work too, so the three of us will be hanging out all day. I hope to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree (since it got lit last night!) and maybe pop into a museum. Then in the evening, Fabio and Hayden are having a guys night, and my best friend (also maid of honor) Bianca and I will be having dinner just us ladies! I can’t wait!

Saturday: My friend Catrina and her girlfriend Jacquelyn are coming into town from San Diego, and we’ll be getting together with all of our other college friends! (These are the ones I’ve called sloppytown and/or gurlays in past blog posts.) We have a full agenda of fun stuff planned, and I’m really excited about it!! Woohoo!!

Then we come home on Sunday – via Amtrak again, which is better than the bus we usually take – and I’m sure I’ll be exhausted.

Anyway, I’m technically supposed to be working right now, but the WiFi on this train is moving at a glacier pace and I’m having trouble getting much of anything done. I don’t even know if this blog post will publish. Ha! But I thought I would try to check in with you guys to let you know what I’m up to, and to say that I should have a nice weekend recap for you next week.

Until then, have a great weekend!

XOXO

Question of the day: Have you ever been to a black tie event for work?

At first I was really struggling with what to wear – on the one hand, it’s black tie. But on the other hand, people I know through work (though none of my coworkers) will be there, so I was thinking I shouldn’t wear anything too revealing. I’m still not 100% sold on the outfit I settled on, but since it’s at 6 p.m. tonight there’s not much I can do about it now! *gulp*

 Posted by on November 30, 2017
Oct 272017
 

Hi friends! How was your week?

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

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

Fitness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Posted by on October 27, 2017
Oct 252017
 

Hi friends! I’m just popping in quickly to say happy birthday to two of my favorite people on the planet…and share a few wedding photos along the way! 😉

First, happy birthday to my favorite West Coaster, Catrina!

Catrina, you are a beautiful person inside and out, and I’m so lucky to have you as one of my best friends. I sure do miss you now that I don’t get to see your face every day (how we took that for granted in college!) and I even miss our miserable, sweaty workout sessions in your room. All that being said, I love knowing that you’re so happy out there in San Diego. I love you!

And now it’s time to wish someone else a very happy birthday today….my husband!!

Fabio – my soulmate, my rock, my best friend, my everything – thank you for being you. Thank you for never getting frustrated with me, even when I’m being crazy and naggy. 🙂 Even if I’m being irrational or cranky for no reason, you keep a smile on your face and give me a big hug and kiss. I love that we laugh over the same silly things. I love that at the end of a long day, you’ll be there to support me 100%. I love you so much.

Happy birthday, honey!

Here’s to many more together!

The end. <3

All photos courtesy of Lauren Nievod Photography

 Posted by on October 25, 2017
Oct 202017
 

Hi friends! I’m still alive – just insanely busy at work. It’s been really hard for me to arrive home at like 8 p.m. and then make dinner and sit down to blog, but hopefully things should be calming down soon. November is right around the corner, which means our American Diabetes Month campaign will have to be finished by then – right? (I’m joking – of course it will be – hopefully.)

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in today to tell you about a traumatizing morning that I had earlier this week. It’s a pretty gross – but funny – story, so I thought you’d enjoy! Warning: If you don’t like bugs, this one’s not for you (Megan!)!

It all started on Wednesday morning after I took a class at FlyWheel and then headed into work to shower in the little shower room they have there. It’s nothing fancy – just a small enclosed room with a shower and small changing space with a bench for your stuff – but it works and there’s never a line, which made it more appealing than the crowded showers at FlyWheel.

The water takes a bit of time to warm up in that shower, so when I got in there I locked the door behind me, set out my stuff, turned my music on, and then went to turn the water on like usual (luckily I hadn’t undressed yet, which you’ll see is important in a minute).

When I pulled back the clear shower curtain, something brown slid down in front of me.

I immediately leaped back, but wasn’t sure quite what I had seen. Then I moved the shower curtain again and a huge, brown cockroach scuttled out from under it and started running around the small enclosed shower room.

At this point I jumped up onto the bench as the cockroach continued to run all around this small enclosed room. At one point it ran over to where my heels were laid out, and proceeded to hide under them. Ew, ew, ew!!

I remember thinking I might be stuck on this bench for a while – how would I ever get down and then proceed to shower in this room?!

Then I heard someone else come into the main part of the bathroom, which was unusual since it was only 8 a.m. and most people weren’t in the office yet. I opened the door to my shower room and jumped from the bench down into the main part of the bathroom, and asked if someone was there.

When I rounded the corner, I saw it was one of our VPs – great – but at this point I had already started my request so I had to finish it. I asked if there was any way she could help me kill this cockroach, mostly because I needed some moral support.

She agreed (what a saint!) and grabbed some napkins to help take care of it. Then she turned to me and was like, “You know some of them fly, right?” Oh man. I hadn’t thought of that.

Together we entered the shower room and proceeded to chase this big bug around, both of us screaming and squealing intermittently. At one point she stepped on it and it crunched, but when she lifted her shoe it continued running around. Ugh!

Eventually I was able to corner it and step on it, and it made a huge crunch and all this juice gushed out. Yep, it was dead. Teamwork!

At this point I was super grossed out, but relieved to have solved the problem. I used some napkins to pick up the bug, and then walked to the trash can. Unfortunately, the door to the shower room locked behind me!! I guess somehow it was still locked from earlier?!

The VP said she’d send an email to our building management folks to let them know, and then she went back to her desk (I later bought her a Starbucks gift card to thank her for her help).

I stood there waiting for about 15 minutes – in my sweaty gym clothes, barefoot – until someone finally arrived to help. When our building guy got there he discovered his master key didn’t work for that lock (!!!) so he had to go get the main building engineer.

By this time lots of other people started arriving at the office, and they were looking at me strangely since I was barefoot and in sweaty gym clothes.

Eventually the engineer guy was able to let me back into the shower room using a big wire rig thing that he said “doesn’t usually work.” Ha!

Despite having arrived at work extra early to get started on my day, I didn’t wind up getting to my desk until around 9:15. Womp womp.

Anyway, it was a pretty traumatic experience, but it’s kind of funny now. 🙂

Happy Friday!

Question of the day: Share a bug story, or a story of something embarrassing happening to you.

 Posted by on October 20, 2017
Oct 112017
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, my friends!

Question of the day: Do you stress eat?

 Posted by on October 11, 2017
Sep 292017
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soon our appetizer of fried mozzarella arrived…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question of the day: Experience gifts or regular gifts?

 Posted by on September 29, 2017
Sep 012017
 

Phew – this week was a crazy one for me, but it was an amazing one at the same time. By now I’m sure all of you have heard about the devastating effect Hurricane Harvey had on the people of Texas, dumping more than 50 inches of rain on the Houston area.

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There have been tons and tons of articles with suggestions for ways to get involved – I personally donated to Austin Pets Alive organization to help displaced animals – but I’ve also spent every day this week at work helping people with diabetes who were affected by the storm.

As I think most of you know by now, when I’m not writing for this little blog here, I work for the American Diabetes Association doing PR and Strategic Communications. What you may not realize – I know I didn’t think of this when I first heard about the storm – is that for people with diabetes, access to their medications is literally a matter of life and death, and Hurricane Harvey took away that access for thousands of people.

Imagine this – for someone who has type 1 diabetes (this is the autoimmune disease that attacks your pancreas and makes it so your body can’t produce insulin, and is usually is diagnosed in children and young adults), you need to check your blood sugar and inject yourself with insulin many times a day. People with type 2 diabetes often need to do this too, and even if their disease hasn’t progressed to the point where they need insulin injections, they usually require a daily dose of oral medications to keep their blood sugar levels in check.

When people don’t have the medications they need to manage their diabetes, they are at risk for all kinds of complications including vision loss, limb amputation, heart disease, stroke, and death. The situation is especially serious for people with type 1 diabetes – if they can’t get insulin, they die. Simple as that.

Insulin also needs to be refrigerated. And with lots of power outages in the area, this creates even more problems for people with diabetes.

So, there are plenty of people in the Houston area who were told to evacuate their homes and grabbed whatever insulin or diabetes supplies they could. Days later, they may now be realizing they’re not able to return to their houses to get more medicine, and their doctors and pharmacies are likely not operating as usual. Not to mention the fact that evacuees then have to figure out how to keep their insulin cold given significant power outages and limited access to refrigerators.

And that’s where my organization stepped in. Earlier this week, the American Diabetes Association partnered with two other diabetes orgs, JDRF and Insulin for Life, to ship more than 3,750 pounds of donated diabetes supplies to the Houston area. On Tuesday, we helped ship five pallets to the area, each of which includes 20,000 syringes, 50,000 pen needles, and 20,000 alcohol pads. We also sent separate packages containing dozens of blood glucose meters, thousands of test strips, and more than 25,000 units of insulin. Then on Wednesday, we sent four more. (I’m typing this up Wednesday night, but I bet we will send more tomorrow!)

One of the pallets!

Though I wasn’t directly involved in the shipping of these deliveries, I was directly responsible for getting the word out through our website, press release, and social media. Monitoring social media, especially Twitter, was so rewarding this week as I got to see people offer up donations and ask for help. When people tweeted at us, it felt good to have a real response to share.

Though I had a lot of late nights at work this week and was feeling super burned out at times, it’s been so rewarding to work for an organization that makes a difference for so many people.

I don’t really have a point to this blog post, except to say that I’m so proud of the organization I work for and consider myself so lucky to be able to make a difference in the aftermath of such a devastating natural disaster. And I encourage all of you to think of some way you can help out the Hurricane Harvey victims if you haven’t already. You never know what kind of impact you can have! <3

No question of the day today, I just encourage you to do something good for the world today!

Want to help people with diabetes affected by Hurricane Harvey? Make a donation to Insulin for Life! You can also share these local resources:

 Posted by on September 1, 2017