Tag Archives: prunes

Job Offer!

17 Jan

Good morning readers!!!

Let me start by telling you that today is a wonderful day! Do any of you know why?

WELL, if you’re a friend of mine on facebook then you already know that I have been offered the full time position I applied for with Lululemon Athletica!!

aljhdgalkdh;gla I am over the moon excited!! I’m currently in the on-boarding process and awaiting a few official emails, but the offer has been made and I have more than gladly accepted. After working 2 part-time jobs for over 4 months and trying to make it work, I am switching to one full-time position so I have more of a work-life balance, I look forward going to work each day, and I am doing something that I am passionate about that gives meaning to where I am in my life right now. I am so so so excited to begin this journey for myself. I feel I am finally moving forward with my life post college and it feels so awesome to not only workout at my own gym but now I’ll also be working off campus. Ah! I’m just so happy 😀

SO before all of that good news happened last night at babysitting, I had a pretty normal start to my Wednesday. Woke up and went off to work. There I had a Whipped Banana Oatmeal with blueberries and Nut Butter for breakfast 🙂ImageAround lunchtime I heated up some Channa Masala but didn’t really care for it, frozen from Trader Joe’s, so I ate some brussel sprouts I also brought with me but for being starving that morning I was not hungry at all for lunch. Even if it was 1 o’clock.ImageWhile at babysitting I left a voicemail and email with my lululemon contact then went to Starbucks for some tea while Max was at practice. That’s when my call came in!!! 🙂 I was so excited I managed to lose my debit card. 

My drive home was spent having very little gas while talking to Citibank on the phone for 30 minutes after looking at Starbucks and calling Max’s dad. At least I get free expedited shipping for being a CitiGold member so my new card will arrive tomorrow.

I picked up Erika on my way home and then we took the bus out to Surfside to go celebrate my job offer over half-price pitchers of margarita’s and some delicious tex mex.ImageImageImageImageI ordered my favorite there, and my go to, the St. Croix quesadilla with shrimp, grilled zucchini, cheddar and jack cheese, corn and black bean salsa with guacamole, lime sour cream, and pico de gallo. Erika’s quesadilla was the Belize, also good, with grilled steak, cheddar and jack cheese, poblano peppers and grilled red onions.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t pick our flavor of margarita’s so we had lime. They were pretty salty but we did a pretty good job finishing most of it just between the two of us. We were both starving so we each licked our plates clean and just enjoyed talking for almost 3 hours. It was the perfect way to celebrate 🙂

This morning I slept in and started my day off with some prunes.ImageI’m going to head off to the gym in a little bit before babysitting later today. I’ll keep you all posted on my job offer details as they come in!

Pet update: One last thing readers, poor Liam underwent neutering on Tuesday and although he was really really hyper when he first came back home, he now is totally zonked out. I wanted to share a couple adorable pictures with you guys. (This morning he even curled up on my pillow and rested his face upon mine, adorable)ImageImageImageImagePoor guy. In that first photo was when it definitely seems he was “tripping” off of the pain medication. He’ll just be doing a lot of rest and relaxation for this upcoming week.

Until next time,

Natasha

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

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

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