Tag Archives: eating out

Learning to Appreciate Little Things

9 Jan

Hey everyone!  

Saturday was off to an extremely early start. 730 AM the alarm went off and I was up and awake helping Kevin try to ship a motor scooter. Well, 2.5 hours later not only were we unsuccessful, but Kevin had to get to practice on time and I unfortunately missed my Bosu Body class 😦 By the time I ran to the gym I was exhaustedstarving and in a horribly crabby mood.

However, I did wear the new top my brother got me for Christmas and I loved the way it looked, especially the color!ImageI almost went home, but I decided to do a couple max lifts. I did dumbbell chest press, military press and then back squats. 8, 6, 4, 2 increasing weight each time. Despite how crabby I was, I actually powered through it easily and felt strong throughout.

On my run to the grocery store I realized I had a 50% off coupon for Robek’s! I was SO happy I remembered this! For 3 bucks I got myself an Emperor Acai. It has non-fat greek yogurt, acai berries, blueberries, strawberries and bananaHits the spot everytime.ImageI enjoyed each and every single sip as I made my way through the grocery store. I felt my mood completely changing as the fuel entered my body. I also felt really good being back in my grocery store investing in my health by choosing all my healthy eats for the week.

My mood continued to elevate as I had 3 different interactions at the bus stop and on the bus. I forgot how much I love talking with people I’ve never met before. It’s such a simple pleasure that never fails to bring a small smile to my face 🙂

Once I was home, I unpacked my groceries, loaded the fridge, and headed back over to Kevin’s to try for round 2 on helping out with the scooter. After failing miserably for another 2 hours we called it quits. However, we both agreed that even though it didn’t work out we really enjoyed spending the time together and the experience. Man, talk about appreciating all the little things huh?

After that: salad time.ImageCranberries, spinach, avocado, chickpeas, orange bell pepper, cucumber tomato in a balsamic vinaigrette

Followed by a nap and some Scrubs, it was time to make dinner. I wasn’t too hungry so I went for something small, but Kevin had a much bigger idea in mind.ImageMeet Tom. This is Kevin’s roommate, and a fellow teammate who can eat a ton of food in one sitting. Kevin came up with the idea to challenge Tom. They’ve had this enormous can of Ravioli sitting in the kitchen since May and it was time to get rid of it. Tom’s challenge was to finish the entire can in 30 minutes due to an apparent YouTube video. 

(I don’t endorse eating like this on a regular basis by any means, I’m just sharing this content with you as it was part of my weekend and represents just one of the many perspectives on food people can have.)

I prepped my dinner (edamame, mushrooms with Muenster cheese, chicken nuggets, and half an egg, bacon and strawberry jam sandwich on wheat) while Kevin prepped Tom’s.ImageImageImageImageImageImageHere’s the video for your further enjoyment 😉 Sunday was off to a later start, thank god!, and it was the day for me and Kevin to do a couple special things to honor our year and a half anniversary. We began the day by making Icelandic Pancakes together (not the healthiest, but a family tradition of his that we enjoy doing together)ImageImageImageTo make my breakfast a little healthier, I first snacked on some prunes and then sliced up a pear. I’m sorry I didn’t snap pictures of those 😦 But I did only end up eating about 3 of these pancakes. 

Icelandic Pancakes:

-1 cup flour

-1 cup milke (then a little more)

-1 egg

After breakfast, I went back over to my apartment to shower, get dressed and grab the car. After a short mall excursion together we arrived at Guardado’s. A small and cozy Spanish restaurant in downtown Bethesda that my brother recommended.

We both hadn’t eaten since breakfast so we decided to order 2 small tapas and the paella to share.ImageImage
Absolutely amazing. We ordered the red bell pepper stuffed with goat cheese, spinach and basil then this tortilla con chorizo  which Kevin really wanted to have because he loves this very hard to find in DC sausage (chorizo). We both devoured each of our portions and fully enjoyed every last bite.

The paella we ordered had shrimp, chorizo, chicken, peas, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and rice. We both enjoyed it, but wouldn’t say we loved it. Paella just isn’t our thing. It was a good experience to try it, but we definitely enjoyed the tapas more. ImageImageOn our way out, I also managed to get him to take a picture with me! (a rarity).ImageAfter dinner, we began a new video game together and, to satisfy our sweet tooth’s, baked a red velvet cake together. 🙂ImageImage

Until next time,

Natasha

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Friday: Double Rounds of Interviews

6 Jan

Good morning readers!

It’s been a relaxing, yet busy last few days since I’ve been back. Thursday night was spent with Kevin ordering in some chinese food since I was absolutely starving and had no food in my kitchen.ImageImageFriday morning I was up bright and early for two interviews I had scheduled! Does anyone remember how I was waiting to hear back from lululemon awhile ago? Well, I had an interview at the Tyson’s corner store in the morning! I straightened my hair and painted my nails as I went over a couple things.ImageImageImageI was nervous, but actually hit it off very well with everyone in the store. My interviewer even texted me that night a picture of her holding a jar of Cinnamon Swirl PB telling me it was life changing! 🙂 Allison…you’ll appreciate that 🙂

Afterwards, my friend Sarah, who so graciously drove me, and I went to Whole Foods for some grub.ImageImageImageEverything I chose was amazing. They had grilled vegetables out that blew my mind (and are my favorite 🙂 ) I chose eggplant, roasted red bell pepper, and tomatoes. In addition, I tried this unbelieveable apple & butternut squash fritter and also had some collard greens. I didn’t even realize I didn’t have my debit card so although I was supposed to treat Sarah for driving me, she ended up having to treat ME! Ugh. She’s such a generous person, but I will figure out a way to truly thank her soon.

After that it was off to my second interview of the day with Athleta. I decided to walk the entire way home back from Georgetown since it was such a nice day and I enjoyed an apple on the way then some yogurt when I got home.ImageI also pretty much finished up my Chinese Food leftovers. 🙂

Both interviews went very well and I have 2 follow-up interviews scheduled for this week! I’m very excited to see what this new year will hold for me. 

I was actually pretty full around dinner time, but wanted to have something small to keep my metabolism moving so I enjoyed some edamame and sun-dried tomato ravioli.ImageAfter that, I was off to bed early since I was totally wiped out. I’ve been a little stressed with starting to figure out what I am going to do next year and it’s been keeping me up at night. I know I want to move, but figuring out the financial logistics and the actual logistics has been wearing on me a little bit. I need to take a step back and focus on not getting overwhelmed by the big picture. This is something I want for myself and should enjoy planning for it. I have got to figure out how to break it down into smaller pieces that are easier to manage.

Has anyone ever done a big move before? How did you tackle it?

Until next time,

Natasha

ONE BIG POST:Whirlwind Recap & Christmas Eve ’12

26 Dec

Hey readers, Merry Christmas to all of you! My gift to you this season is a quick recap of the days leading up to Christmas Eve for me! I’ve been spending a lot of time with family, some friends, and resting and relaxing with myself so I took a little hiatus from the blogosphere. Saturday morning I attempted to sleep in before I got started with my day, but I didn’t want to miss my chance to go grocery shopping with my mom and pick up a couple things I would need to stay on track with healthy eating while I’m home. I rolled out of bed, ate a small breakfastIMG_1631and went out to Whole Foods and Costco with my Mom for some samples galore!IMG_1632Then ate a lunchIMG_1637before  I met up with my cousin Lauren and went shopping with her for some last minute christmas gifts for my mom and dad. I finally got the coat I’ve been eyeing on a good deal too!IMG_1770After all that shopping I was one tired girl. I had dinner with my family then went out to Ashley’s Ice Cream in New Haven with my dad and brother (I had Strawberry since they make it fresh daily it was delicious! And had chunks of fresh strawberries in it 🙂 )IMG_1645 IMG_1649IMG_1646 IMG_1647 IMG_1648

Sunday morning I was up early to go to the Bronx in New York with my family for all the Italian food shopping. I packed a Sweet Breakfast Scramble with Cinnamon Raisin PB to start my day. We wait online for about 3 hours, in 30 degree weather (I wore 6 layers) for our cheese and pasta – we’re a little crazy. After still having to wait for my dad to eat lunch, I snagged some tea and a raisin bran muffin to hold me over.IMG_1654IMG_1661 IMG_1660 IMG_1657IMG_1655 IMG_1656After spotting Kevin Jonas out and about a couple times, it was time for our other tradition, Dominick’s! It’s a locally owned restaurant that has been there since my dad went to college at Fordham and we still see the same waiters every time. You sit next to people you don’t know which is always fun and very much the neighborhood feel. I ordered Eggplant Parm but only ate a small part of the colossal portion.IMG_1662 IMG_1663 IMG_1664 IMG_1666 IMG_1668 IMG_1670I laid in bed for awhile when we got home because I was so exhausted, ate some cereal for dinner, then headed over to my friend Jackson’s where Eric him and Dan were working on music.IMG_1672IMG_1675Monday morning was Christmas Eve! I was able to sleep in, luckily, and woke up to a good start to my day with a solid breakfast. Then a couple hours later, my mom brother and I went for a run and afterwards I made a smoothie then I hit the gym for some strength training and circuit training to try and work on my butt 🙂 (so. many. squats.)IMG_1682IMG_1685 IMG_1686IMG_1687 IMG_1691Ater the gym, it was chocolate milk time!IMG_1692After a quick glass I went upstairs and got ready, realxed until it was snack time around 6 o’clock.IMG_1695 IMG_1696 IMG_1700 IMG_1697IMG_1701 IMG_1702 IMG_1703 IMG_1706 IMG_1708I enjoyed some of the crab dip, some veggies, a little bit of cheese, and then realized we weren’t going to eat dinner until after 10pm. (so typical for our family, but always leaves me with a headache and not feeling well). So I went into the fridge and whipped up a snack (cottage cheese, raisins, banana) to tide me over while we decorated the tree.IMG_1711 IMG_1710Upon realizing it was snowing, it was time to eat dinner. Zucchini, Veal Parmesan, Fresh Egg Noodle Pasta and Homemade Tomato Sauce.IMG_1715 IMG_1716 IMG_1717After dinner my family whipped out this huge Chocolate Souffle cake my mom always makes, but it was close to midnight and I was full in addition to being exhausted so I opted for my chocolate covered strawberry instead. While my mom got the cake ready, there was some dog snuggling action goin on. He, Oliver, was my Christmas Present 6 Christmas Eve’s ago! 🙂IMG_1722IMG_1724 IMG_1727 IMG_1730 IMG_1731 IMG_1732Then my brother and I exchanged gifts with each other. I got him a couple movies on Blu-Ray and a Timex Ironman Sports Watch while he got me the Lululemon Power Y Tank in my favorite color, blue!IMG_1719 IMG_1721

It was a great evening for sure! Hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying the time with your family and friends! My Christmas Day post will be up shortly 🙂

Until next time,

Natasha

Peanut Butter Co. & An Annual Holiday Party!

22 Dec

Happy Saturday readers!

Yesterday was my big travel day from Washington DC to NYC to back home in CT. I started off my morning before the sun even came out at 530AM so I could brush my teeth, get ready, and be outside by 6AM waiting for a bus to the metro.IMG_1594 IMG_1596It was cute, since I had to carry my bear a man on the metro bus struck up a conversation with me about it. We ended up talking and he was so sweet. After the holidays he’s traveling to Japan for 8 days. He worked there back in his 20s and always wanted to go back, so he is now! It was a little inspirational to see someone following through on a dream like that and a great start to my “holiday break.”

I took the metro to my bus and met up with my brother. We departed at 7AM so I naturally slept the first hour and snacked on an apple about halfway through the trip.IMG_1597Once we got there, our parents were running late, no big surprise, so Nick and I went to a Starbucks and just chatted for about an hour catching up. While he chose a coffee, I chose a Mighty Mango Naked Smoothie. Always a good go to for me when I’m thirsty and hungry 🙂IMG_1598 IMG_1599However, I only drank half because I knew my family and I were going somewhere extra special for lunch today…IMG_1600Does this look familiar to any of you readers?

To give you a hint, after we ordered our sandwiches I also made sure to get a couple special purchases:IMG_1601Yes! That’s right! I went to the place where Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB comes from!!! 🙂 I was so excited for this little venture and it did not disappoint. There were so many interesting choices to choose from, and the dessert menu was TO DIE for, but I eventually chose The Elvis: maple syrup peanut butter, banana slices, and bacon on whole wheat bread with a big glass of skim milk to “wash it down” as they say on the menu :).IMG_1602 IMG_1603 IMG_1604Although I wasn’t sure at first if I would get the bacon, I decided to try it. I rarely have it and figured if I was ordering a sandwich called the Elvis, it wouldn’t be right sans bacon. It was delicious. I enjoyed every last bite.

The restaurant had a really classic feel to it. It was small, yet cozy with all these paintings and pictures up from the last couple generations of what peanut butter used to be advertised like. It gave you this really home-y feel and felt very classic.IMG_1605 IMG_1606 IMG_1607What was really cute is on the Potato Chip packaging the owner of the company explains when he was a kid his PB&J was served to him with carrot sticks and chips. He wasn’t allowed to eat the chips without having the carrots. He encouraged us to make sure we ate our carrots or his mom might come after us. I thought it was a great message to send out about balanced eating but in a very approachable and personal way. Peanut Butter Co. you are awesome.

Once home back in CT, I walked into my room and was so happy to see it again 🙂IMG_1609 I laid in bed until it was time to get ready for my friend’s annual holiday party. They’ve had it every year for the last 5 or 6 years and it became especially great once we all went off to college. I can always count on seeing this group of people once a year and it never fails to be a good time. I had some Shrimp and Cashewchinese food leftovers my parents had in the fridge with a simple salad on the side. I knew I would be snacking at the holiday party, so I wanted to get some good nutrients in me beforehand.IMG_1610 IMG_1611 IMG_1612I ate at our dining room table that my mom spends hours decorating each year. Our whole house becomes “Chrismafized” and there’s lots of small details throughout – like my nutcracker name holder. Once I headed out, I swung over to target to grab a gift for the present swap game. Tradition.IMG_1613While shopping, I had a couple gifts in my hand, but ultimately decided to pick a gift for a specific audience. When people get ambiguous gifts they’re either funny or traded back and forth a lot because people want something else, so I wanted to pick a gift that someone would definitely enjoy. I decided to get some Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms and bought myself a book to read over break. Perks of Being a Wallflower 🙂IMG_1614 IMG_1615I got to the party pretty much right on time, somewhat fashionably late by 15 minutes, and was drawn to Jack’s buffalo chicken dip he made. Holy wow. It was so delicious! And Haley’s boyfriend made bacon wrapped salmon which was also, amazing. It was dangerous to sit inbetween the two, but I enjoyed each bite and spaced them out. It’s always hard for me to avoid such temptation at parties, especially when everyone around me isn’t really concerned about it and enjoys what they’re having. At times during the party I found myself beating myself up for what I was eating and at those points I walked around the party and would go talk to someone different to keep me entertained and out of my own head.IMG_1616We played the present swap game, caught up on how everyone’s life is going, shared personal stories, and I was laughing hysterically for a good portion of the night. I didn’t take a picture, but in the gift swap I won The Dark Knight Rises on DVD! WOOO! Such a good gift year for me 🙂IMG_1617 IMG_1619 IMG_1622 IMG_1624 IMG_1626 IMG_1629Then it was time for dessert! I tried one of each, but my ultiamte favorite was the Red Velvet munchkins Haley and Lauren made. They were incredibleIMG_1620 IMG_1621I eventually decided I couldn’t be a prisoner to my own mind games, and just decided I would enjoy the evening, and hop back on the balance wheel tomorrow. Especially since I’m planning on moving to the other coast next year, I’m not quite sure how next years holiday will go. I’m not going crazy, but I want to be able to enjoy things and not penalize myself for it, not carry the guilt. Self control is still something I am working towards, but it will only be that much harder to achieve if I am constantly analyzing and beating myself up for certain things. I’ve gotta balance it all out.

The evening ended around 1am and it was great to stay that late, despite how tired I was. I am really looking forward to the party next year, and hopefully I can make it back for our 5 Year High School Reunion. Woah.

Until next time,

Natasha

Research, Research Research & New Running Shoes!

17 Dec

Happy Monday everyone! It’s back to the grind one last time before the Holidays!! We’re so close, hang in there!

My Sunday was off to a very slow start. Which was a good thing! So many times I run all around and try and fit a bagillion things into my schedule. It’s important to remember to slow down and enjoy yourself, especially when such a horrible event takes place. Growing up in Connecticut, the shooting that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary hits very close to home. Fortunately, my relatives and friends do not live in the area, but I do know a close family friend who teaches in Newtown. I put a call into them, but I do believe they are alright. My heart goes out to those who are suffering during this time.

With that in mind, it’s been good to focus on the things I can appreciate in my life currently that I am extremely lucky to have. Kevin also pointed that out last night, to take a moment to appreciate the wonderful set-up I’m lucky to be a part of right now and not always daydream about the future or how everything could be better (which is funny because I used to do that for him! It’s good we can do this for each other though)

So Sunday I woke up late, around 11 and started to figure out what my plan was for the day. An old friend who was in town mentioned Eastern Market, my roommate Autumn wanted to watch Inglorious Bastards, but while waiting to hear back on the first plan Autumn and I decided to pick another day. All in all no plans ended up being made – but I held true to my goal of doing some Christmas shopping!

First things first, I was starving when I woke up. I snacked on a couple prunes to hold me over until I could make some breakfast.

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Love prunes. After blogging and catching up on a couple things I was super hungry so I went back to the kitchen for some cereal and blackberries. Yum!

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In the bowl was some skim milkPumpkin Flax Granola, and Total Multi-Grain Flakes and, of course, my blackberries.

It was super filling which was great! Around 2 Kevin started making “breakfast”, I wanted a little bit of peanut butter so I snacked on half a piece of toast and he whipped me up my first Sunny Side Up Egg.

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After that we got moving and headed out the door around 3. We decided to bike to all our shopping destinations of the day. I was so happy with this decision ultimately because I wasn’t sure I wanted to do a in-house circuit workout or take the day off. However, biking was a great form of exercise and got us where we needed to be really quickly!

First stop, the running store! Kevin did a lot of research on which present to get me, but knowing me, decided to share his thoughts and opinions with me rather than give me something different, even though it might better, than what I asked for on Christmas. From there we started doing a lot of research together, but wanted to see the watches in person. I was deciding between the Garmin Forerunner 10 and the Forerunner 210.

We originally set our budget for between $50 and $75 dollars because we bought a lot of big ticket items for each other throughout the last year. We also decided we wanted to do less “big” presents and focus on smaller, more meaningful gifts. I was joking with Kevin because the Forerunner 10 runs at $129 and the Forerunner 210 at $199 (due to the capability to be a Heart Rate Monitor as well). I told him no matter what, he was going over budget! (The original watch on my list, Timex GPS Marathon runs at $99). He insisted that this is what he wanted to get me and had the money to do so.

Once we got to the store, we liked the fit of both, I have THE world’s smallest wrist so they are going to look kinda bulky either way, but ultimately decided on the ForeRunner 210 since I know I want to have a HRM down the line, it’s better to have the all-in-one watch versus one that can do only one function. Both have Garmin Connect though (a program that uploads all your running data to your computer and provides a TON of feedback) which was what won me over on the Garmin versus the Timex. We ordered it off Amazon (to avoid taxes and shipping and the store didn’t have the white) so it’ll be here Wednesday!!

I proceeded to ask the woman who was helping us about running shoes (another item I put on my Christmas List and Kevin was deciding between the watch and the shoes). I had done some research on this as well and felt confident I wanted to switch from running with Mizuno’s to Brooks. Well, I picked the right woman. Not only was she sporting one of the Brooks shoes I was looking at, but she was extremely knowledgeable about all of their features, design specs, and differences. I tried on the PureConnect and the PureFlow (part of the Pure Project…check it out!!)

Although the purple color was enticing on the PureFlow’s, I ultimately chose the PureConnect. They are an approach to a minimalist shoe so they bring you down to 4mm (as opposed to 0mm in a minimalist shoe). I felt SO connected to the ground while testing them out and decided that’s the experience I want going forward as a runner – or at least to test out 🙂 They were on sale for $69 bucks. TOTAL DEAL. So I purchased them for myself 🙂 Merry Christmas to me and my feet! I also got a pair of shorts on sale.

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I’m also super glad I tried them on. I’m normally a 6.5-7, 7.5 in running shoes, but I never would have guessed I was an 8! If I had the money, I definitely would have also bought the PureFlows and used them as my competition shoe. Who knows what the future will hold though 🙂

Next we were off to the Verizon Store to look at phones for Kevin, then to the apple store for some Mac questions, then back to the Verizon Store. Kevin ultimately decided he wanted to do even more research on all of the Android phones currently on the market, once he decided against the HTC Windows 8 phone. At this point, I was starving. We had a Groupon for The Burger Joint so off we went!

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I ordered “The Burger” with “The works” except with the Mojo sauce on the side. It came equipped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and pickles. I chose grilled asparagus with Parmasean cheese sprinkled on top and a Strawberry Milkshake. They put chunks of fresh strawberries in it, which makes it even more delicious! Kevin ordered the same thing, except for a Chocolate Shake and Sweet Potato fries. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but for me it’s worth the indulgence once in awhile.

After that, we biked back towards home and stopped at Safeway on the way for some cat food, and random supplies. We picked up eggnogg, since I’ve never tried it before, so I’m excited to give it a go. I’m gonna look up some recipes and see what it would be good to pair with!

As soon as I was inside I popped my new shoes right on and began to walk around in them, as suggested by the woman at the store. I’m seriously so in love with them. I’m even wearing them at work right now! 🙂

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Some interesting facts about these bad boys is the shoe is completely biodegradable in 25-30 years (most running shoes take at least 1,000 years!), the shoelaces are made entirely from recycled materials and it’s a completely vegan shoe! Way to go Brooks! I think you’ve sold me 🙂

Until next time,

Natasha

Mean Girls, Sushi and a Mini Cannoli

16 Dec

Happy Sunday everyone!

I hope your weekend has been a good one so far. Mine has been really busy, but really enjoyable. Let’s start off with yesterday morning.

I woke up bright and early at 730AM and had to check the car before my mom left for home to make sure I didn’t leave anything in it, I blogged, then started to get a little hungry.

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Smoothie time! 🙂 I’ve just absolutely loved waking up and having juice in the morning. Adding berries and some yogurt into it makes it more filling and, since I love their taste, more enjoyable for my taste buds – which also leaves me more satisfied.

Since I wasn’t starving though, I made a smaller one today – again sans banana.

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Then my roommate Autumn woke up. We had plans to watch Mean Girls at 10AM.

Good morning Autumn!!!

Good morning Autumn!!!

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We were laughing about how we had to actually pencil in this time to make it work with both our schedules. She’s busy with finals and her capstone and I work a lot during the week so we both set alarms to make sure we would be up Saturday at 10 for our viewing pleasure.

While we watched, I got a little hungry so I toasted half a Pumpkin Spice Bagel Thin and put some Cinnamon Swirl PB on top.

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I wasn’t able to go to my internship for Potomac Pathways today which was a total bummer. They were doing laser tag!! But since my mom took the car it would’ve made everything much more complicated for me to get there, so I decided to nix it this time. Instead, I swung by Kevin’s to see Liam and help move a couch. The night before I spotted this flyer in the elevator for a free IKEA couch! This apartment was just giving it away and they were only one floor below Kevin. Today was moving day!

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It has a couple bleach stains on it, but no big deal! David and Kevin did all the heavy lifting, but I got hungry so I had some yogurt then some oats with milk, banana, cinnamon and honey.IMG_1426

Liam has been absolutely loving his new abode. He has been doing some full on exploring. So cute.

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For today’s workout, I was in the mood for a nice long run. My goal was 6 miles, so I set my Nike+ to let me know when I reached 10k and I went on my loop that I know is over 5.5 miles.

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Well, about halfway through my run it told me I completed 1k. ONE?! I knew it was wayyyyy off today, but this was ridiculous. It’s not the most accurate watch (Nike+ Sportband) and is normally off by .4 of a mile, which is still a good amount off, but it told me I ran 3k with a 21 minute average pace!!! What the heck?!

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Ridiculous. I’m so glad I put a new GPS watch on my Christmas List this year. I’m definitely ready to say goodbye to my Sportband.

Next I hopped in the shower, got dressed and biked over to meet up with Hana and Erika for our last dinner together 😦 Hana is going abroad to India next semester and I’m planning on moving come May so we likely won’t be able to see each other for a long time. Even though we just met this summer, we formed a great friendship and I really really enjoyed getting to know her. I’m going to miss her for sure 😦

I picked Murasaki for dinner, my favorite Sushi restaurant in DC! Both of them had never been which always makes it more fun 🙂IMG_1431 IMG_1432

I love this restaurant not only for the best sushi, but I love their dining sets. They’re so beautiful and simple.IMG_1434

We all had a tough time deciding what to order. I normally get the Hidden Dragon Roll which is eel and avocado with 2 shrimp tempura rolls. Amazing. ClassicBut this time I decided to venture out. I ordered a California Roll and their Tenleytown Roll which has lump crab meat, eel, asparagus, roasted red pepper and old bay spicy sauce! I used to hate spicy things, but now I enjoy mild-medium spicy foods from time to time.

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My Tenleytown Roll 🙂

IMG_1435 IMG_1437Hana got one roll to start, Murasaki Roll (tuna, yellowtail, salmon, avocado and red tobiko), while Erika and I both order California Rolls and Erika’s second choice was the Market Roll (shrimp, crab fishcake, eel, avocado and roe), she later also ordered a Philly Roll. Everyone enjoyed their rolls, although Erika was disappointed by the Philly, and was happy with our choices. We shared some really hilarious stories, Hana even knocked her head into a nearby waitress from leaning back and laughing so hard, and really had a great time. Hana was still hungry so she ordered meat and noodles and gave me all the vegetables 🙂

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And of course, we had our waitress snap our first, and only, picture of all 3 of us together. (Color coordination not planned for).

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Erika felt strongly about getting some Cheesecake and we definitely were not going to disagree. We thought of walking down to Cheesecake Factory, but decided it was a little too far/cold and chose Whole Foods instead. Cheesecake also would’ve been pretty crowded and hard to sit and take our time, so Whole Foods ended up being a way better choice for us. We all took our time deciding what to get, but once we paid we got some free Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Samples!

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Mine was a little too salty for my liking, but it was still tasty. For dessert, I chose a mini cannoli, Hana got 3 fruit tarts, and Erika chose a raspberry chocolate cheesecake slice. She ended up getting her cheesecake slice for free (a $7 value) because the card machine wasn’t working and another worker came over to say Erika had been waiting too long so the cheesecake was on them. Happy Holidays from Whole Foods Erika!

We sat in the upstairs part of WF to sit and enjoy our delectables.IMG_1448 IMG_1449 IMG_1450 IMG_1451

While we ate we goofed off a ton and talked for almost 2 hours. It was so nice to just be together, not rush and enjoy our evening.IMG_1454 IMG_1458 IMG_1459

Luckily I’ll get to see Hana for a hot second on Monday, (I’ll never say goodbye), but I really am sad to see her go. She will have a blast in India though – and fully catch them up to speed on everything they need to know about pop culture.

Until next time,

Natasha

Making It and Catching Up

15 Dec

Hey everyone! Good morning, bright and early. I have a lot to do today, including taking a big nap later and doing a lot of rest, so I wanted to get right to it this morning!

First things first, let’s recap yesterday!

So yesterday was Friday, YES, and I had the day off from the lab. I, however, didn’t sleep in too late because I was not going to miss the 9AM TRX (and here) class again. No way. And I am proud to say guys…I MADE IT! Yes I did, yes I did 😉

So, I woke my butt up and headed out the door after snacking on 3 delicious Prunes from Trader Joe’s! Yes, these typically are for old people (they help you poop due to high fiber content) but to me they have always been SO delicious. Even as a kid. Hey, don’t knock it til you try it!

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Yesterday’s class was tough. It might’ve been because I was battling this extremely weird onset of intense nausea the whole time, but Chad always gives us a good challenge. What I like most about this class is we rely solely on our body weight, with the help of the TRX ropes, for every movement we do. It’s really tough, but allows me to feel connected to my body at the same time, which I really love. Feeling connected to the skin I’m in is one of the reasons I started my blog. Some people feel that connection through yoga, I more often feel it through a good sweat session with only myself on the invite list for equipment.

Post workout, my roommate Mariam met up with me at my gym when my workout ended so we could run to get her some moving boxes from Staples. She’s shipping back to Egypt 😦

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Post workout, I was really not feeling well. My roommates and I have been trying to diagnose my random string of symptoms I have been dealing with for the last week. Still not really sure what’s going on, but I’m just taking it day by day. I began with what I knew I needed: fuel.

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Mmmmmm smoothie. It’s really been hitting the spot lately. In the cup:

-1/3 bag of Trader Joe’s Very Berry Frozen Fruit (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)

-1/3 cup of Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt

-a good splash of Trader Joe’s OJ (with added Calcium)

No banana in that mix today. Just straight up burries.

And a sweet breakfast scramble. Again, I only used 1 egg and 1 egg white so it wouldn’t be overbearing. And a big spoonful, plus a second one, of Cinnamon Swirl PB. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it yet – buy it.

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Also, as per usual. Somedays I wish I could walk into my kitchen, tell my chef “the usual” and have it appear in front of me. However, my roommates saying “Are you making that pumpkin egg thing again?” seems to suffice. Two even branched out to try it! Ami didn’t care for it, but Mariam was a fan.

After breakfast, I settled onto my couch. Time to order that ticket home! Oh, what’s that? I had earned a free bus ride? Thanks Vamoose for letting me go home for Christmas Break free of charge! 🙂 (Every 5th bus ride you take is free).

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Seeing $0.00 as my total definitely put a smile on this girl’s face. Then I got a text from my friend Zach! He’s back in town after moving to Costa Rica 4 months to work/volunteer over there. I had completely spaced that we were meeting up today so I got my lazy butt off the couch, into the shower, dressed and then out the door where he picked me up! I chose Cava Mezze for lunch. Not only do they make DELICIOUS spreads you can purchase at any Whole Foods Market around here, but their house-made falafel gets me every time. The atmosphere of the restaurant is really cool too. It’s all exposed wood and feels very natural instead of those places with so much fake lighting and plastic constructed booths/tables that you feel like you live in a Barbie house.

Anywho, how it works is you choose a base (salad, rice or pita) then choose 3 dips, 1 meat, and then as many toppings as you want! Zach ordered a pita as his base and got their house-made meatballs. While I chose the spinach salad as my base, and a mini pita 🙂 with roasted red pepper hummus dip, crazy feta, and tzatsiki. I chose the house-made falafel and then put cucumber and onion salad, cucumber and tomato, lettuce, quinoa, cabbage salad, feta cheese and olives  into my ginormous bowl of yum.

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Welcome back Zach!

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Yum, yum YUM. Always hits the spot and leaves me super satisfied. It was actually so satisfying, that I didn’t even get hungry for dinner!

After some lounging around with Liam, Kevin called me over for some serious Donkey Kong work.

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Around 830 I realized my mom was taking the car to CT tomorrow morning! Yikes! It was time for Liam’s bro-cation to begin a litttttle bit early. While I’m home for the holidays, since Kevin will be here for wrestling, Liam will be crashing at his place. I packed up all his things and brought him over while also running to Whole Foods for some whole wheat rolls so we could make burgers.

But, by the time I did all the running around and biked back over it was about 10pm. Kevin and I were both not hungry but we decided to try and make a burger to share. Aaaaaand the meat smelled SO BAD. Literally. The worst stench I have ever smelled in my whole life. I felt terrible that I had been so careless as to waste a whole purchase of ground turkey, but what’s done is done. From there, we changed our game plan. I whipped up a grilled cheese & tomato sandwich while Kevin had a really good idea to make Breaded Salmon Burgers.(When I made the GC, I didn’t realize he was planning on adding the burger portion to the Breaded Salmon, oh well the rolls were whole wheat 🙂 )

Want to make them? Here’s what to do:

1. Pour some olive oil into the skillet over medium heat

2. Grab your slabs of salmon and throw em into the pan of oil

3. Once they have cooked about 4-5 minutes (2-3 on each side) take them off. LEAVE THE PAN ON

4. Have one bowl of flour, one bowl of egg mixed with milk, and one bowl of breadcrumbs ready.

5. Dip the salmon into the flour, covering it, then the egg, then in the breadcrumbs.

6. Carefully place the salmon back into the pan.

7. Cook over low medium eat for the next 10 minutes or so.

Voila! We also tossed in some portabella mushrooms into the mix. We both love mushrooms.

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Once they were done cooking, off the pan, and onto our plates Kevin poured a little Cayenne Pepper in his hands and slowly rubbed his palms together back and forth over each salmon filet. Then layered some mixed greens, tomato and a little bit of cream cheese on the buns with the Breaded Salmon on the bottom.IMG_1408IMG_1410

They were actually really good. For some last minute, seriously it was 1030pm, eating and planning we had an excellent meal! Both of us weren’t hungry and full a couple bites in, but we ate the whole burger and mushroom dish anyway. Kevin had an early practice the next day and I knew I hadn’t eaten since lunch with Zach so ate we did.

I then spent some time admiring our Christmas Tree. It makes me so incredibly happy. The ambiance and the simple comfort it provides makes me feel more connected to the holiday and excited to go home than normal. It was also such a small joy to be able to share this experience with Kevin. Here’s some better, as promised, pictures of our tree! IMG_1398 IMG_1399IMG_1402

This little Lego man here is a Lego Star Wars Lego Man from a kit we built together. He’s very symbolic for us. The summer Kevin and I met, we would stay up really late talking for hours while playing the card game, Set, or Lego Star Wars II on my Playstation 2. Once we began dating, we decided that would be the first thing we beat together. Although we switched platforms, and games, and eventually beat The Full Saga on the Wii, it took us over a year to complete it. During that year, so many things happened, but like any challenge we faced in the game we figured out a strategy and kept moving forward. Since it has a special meaning to us, we knew we had to have part of it on our tree.

I also realized how snazzy our feet look together when we’re out in our sneaks.IMG_1403

We have some serious style. 😉

Alright readers, it’s now after 9 and I have to get started with my day! Hope you all had a good Friday and are enjoying the weekend!

Until next time,

Natasha