Tag Archives: shopping

Live from Logan Airport – Bringing you Alpacca’s and Key Lime Pie

3 Jan

Morning everyone!

Thanks to the free WiFi here at Logan Airport I am writing to all of you before I hop on my plane back to DC. It is 13 freezing degrees outside, but I’m so toasty in here I have my uggs off my feet and on the floor.

We left off on New Years Day right before I ate dinner with Adrienne, her parents and brother. Lasagna was on the menu and it did not disappoint. I was also ecstatic that they have salad with every meal and a vegetable. WOO! That night’s was broccoliMy favorite 🙂ImageImageI went back for seconds on the salad and the broccoli 🙂 Love my veggies. 

After dinner, I had the chance to try another new food! Key Lime Pie. It’s actually Kevin’s favorite pie, but we’ve never bought it together, in fact I don’t think he’s had it in a long time, so I was excited to try it – even though I’m not a big lemon or lime person.ImageImageI actually enjoyed it! Not one of my favorites and I don’t know that I would go out of my way to buy it, but I did enjoy its taste and flavor more than I originally thought. Branching out twice in one day on the first day of the year? I’m doin pretty well 😉

After dinner Adrienne and I watched The Hunger Games, which is a series we both love. After that, we crashed out. In the morning I helped myself to some Cascadian Farms Hearty Morning Fiber Cereal which is one of my favorites!! I was so happy to see that cereal in their pantry. I topped it with half a banana, then enjoyed the other half with PB.ImageImageQuick, easy, and filling. Up next on our agenda was walking around State St downtown so I could see all the local shops and stores in Newburyport, where Adrienne spent most of her time in high school. 

Around 230ish we returned back to Adrienne’s for some lunch. I was ravenous at this point so I went for a little bit of everything.ImageImageImageImageI had half an egg bagel with 2 slices turkey and 1 slice provolone cheese. Secondly, I cut up an apple and had about half the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB you see here. I then also enjoyed a yogurt that was mango and peach! It was filling and exactly what I needed.

 

Pikka, their dog, really wanted to have some though.ImagePost feast, Adrienne’s mom took their alpacca out of the fence area and I got to meet it! I’ve never been up close and personal with one before so it was quite the experience.ImageImageImageImageAfter my little meet and greet, Adrienne and I snuggled up to watch Casino Royale. I had never seen any of the James Bond movies, I know but I haven’t seen sooo many movies, so I was excited to see what all the hype is about and had a snack on the side.ImageImageA little while after the movie, it was time for dinner! Tonight was Shepard’s Pie. Yet another food I had not tried yet! They made theirs with ground beef, potato, peas, carrots and corn. It was really filling and I definitely want to make some for myself in the future!ImageI enjoyed some salad on the side, then had a very small sliver of leftover Chocolate Pecan Pie with some homemade whipped cream.ImageAfter dinner, I checked into my flight, finished packing and was off to sleep! I’m about to board my plane so I gotta jet. Talk to you all from DC!

Until next time,

Natasha

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Snowed In

30 Dec

Good morning readers!

Today marks my last full day at home. I’ve already got the suitcase packed so I’m spending the day seeing a couple friends, some time with my parents and some time organizing clothes into piles I can donate or keep.

Yesterday morning I woke up to a lot of text messages so I wasn’t really able to sleep in. It ended up being a good thing since we had an impending snowstorm coming our way, I wanted to get out and try and hunt for a great sweater bargain before it got too messy. First, I made breakfast.IMG_1825 IMG_1826I made a 2 ingredient pancake topped with Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB and washed it down with a glass of milk with blueberries on the side 🙂

Although I wasn’t successful in finding any sweaters that I loved, I ran into a friend from high school, got a pair of 5 dollar gym shorts and scored the BIGGEST bargain I think I have experienced to date.IMG_1842I bought this sweater dress for $5.16 from Ann Taylor Loft. It was the only one in the entire store and I eyed this girl trying it on so I asked her where she found it. She ended up not wanting it (WHY?!?! I will never know) so she told me she left it in the dressing room. I’m so excited to wear it for NYE! 🙂

When I got out of the store, I realized how quickly our town was turning into a winter wonderland and how fast the snow was coming down.IMG_1827 IMG_1828

Once I got home I was starving. My breakfast did a good job of holding me over awhile though. Nonetheless, the first thing I did when I got home was reheat my chili and add some guacamole to it for a little kick.IMG_1835 Then I was home for the day due to all the snow and had to cancel some of the plans I had made and my family friend ended up getting the flu so I won’t be able to see them this break 😦 Although I was bummed, it was great to have some time to myself and my parents. I ended up napping for awhile too. Then I decided I should show you guys some of my Christmas presents!IMG_1844 IMG_1845

I also got this jacket from lululemon (it’s in the wash currently) and these running tights, but we had to exchange the size.

I am so fortunate to have gotten so much quality running apparel from my family. I also got a bunch of small things, like a great new nail polish color I’ve been rocking in my pictures, but figured you guys would be more interested in the big stuff.

After my nap, I lounged around for quite awhile watching Scrubs, Glee and eventually making a big salad for dinner. So big I actually had to move it from a bowl into a mixing bowl haha. IMG_1849 IMG_1850 IMG_1851In the bowl was spinach, zucchini, tomato, avocado, shrimp, cranberries, orange bell pepper, mushrooms, and beets in a balsamic vinaigrette. As if I didn’t have enough veggies in there, I also enjoyed a side of steamed asparagus. The dinner was absolutely what I was craving and filled me up. I enjoyed a couple bites of this local vanilla ice cream afterwards.IMG_1852I then went outside to try and capture how beautiful the snow looked, but I’ll have to get some better shots of it today instead.IMG_1853 IMG_1855 IMG_1856 IMG_1858I hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday!

Until next time,

Natasha

Quality Time

29 Dec

Good evening readers! As my time at home comes to a close, it’s been bittersweet to make plans knowing I won’t know when the next time I will get to see everyone will be. Today, and now tonight, I have been snowed in due to a big snow storm. I luckily got up and out early this morning and was able to drive home when the storm started. It looked gorgeous. IMG_1832I’ve actually been having a really good string of breakfasts and lunches these last couple of days. I’ve been very happy with myself in terms of both staying on track and enjoying myself with each meal. There’s something about being home that makes so many things feel much less stressful. I’m never feeling guilty or conscious so I find myself sitting down to eat a meal and then not worrying about food at all until I’m definitely hungry again. I’m not worrying about when I’ll get my next workout in, I just take them as they come. I also haven’t been running around with a full schedule trying to see every single last person and not having any time to relax. I’ve have a great harmony of alone time and seeing friends this break. It’s been exactly what I needed.

Without further ado, it’s picture time! Thursday morning I woke up ready for some oatmeal 🙂 so I made some Whipped Banana Oatmeal and topped it with blueberries and raspberries at the end so they would pop a little and melt into the oatmeal. I added a big spoonful of Cinnamon Raisin PB to turn this meal into perfection.IMG_1783 IMG_1791IMG_1790Next I ran some errands with my mom and tried on some fun heels while she was looking at after Christmas sales on Christmas items. IMG_1792IMG_1848I came home, caught up with a close family friend on the phone and got confirmation that her husband who teaches in Newtown is okay. Then it was time to meet up with Lacey to go see Les Miserables. I packed a healthy snack pack to enjoy if I got hungry during the movie.IMG_1794Boy am I glad I packed it! The movie was 3 hours. So I dug into the yogurt during and the carrots on the drive home. I highly recommend this movie. I do not do musicals. Rent bores me, Chicago I didn’t even last 20 minutes. Something about Les Mis moved me though and kept me engaged for the entire time. Definitely a must see movie.

After that I came home, skyped with Kevin for a hot second then whipped myself up some sauteed vegetables and spaghetti squash. I even got to teach my parents all about this wonderous vegetable.IMG_1797 IMG_1800 IMG_1802In the bowl was spinach, mushrooms, cauliflower, feta cheese, my dad’s homemade tomato sauce, yellow squash and spaghetti squash. It was filling and really delicious. Definitely hit the spot with my craving for vegetables.

Right after I finished up dinner my friend Haley arrived and we caught up while stalking One Direction and watching Simple Plan music videos. As Haley noted, “Some things never really will change.” We discovered we both want to move to California this year so we tossed around ideas of moving together. We are thinking about two different areas though and I don’t want to take away from her dream so we will see, but it was really exciting to look at apartments together and discuss logistics. Once Lauren came we continued to catch up until Haley got hungry and it was time to head to the diner.IMG_1803 IMG_1804 IMG_1807Diner trips are always a tradition of ours so it felt good to be right in our old groove. Although my camera died Lauren made sure that we had 3 rounds of photoshoots. I didn’t order anything, but snagged some of Lauren’s french fries. After that we came home, put the pajamas on, and apparently I passed out in the middle of our conversation around 2am. When we woke up yesterday morning my parents were cooking us a 5 star breakfast.photo-3 photo-4 ImageAfter breakfast, I took some time to blog and digest then went for a 4 mile run. Although I felt a little tired, it felt really great after to accomplish it and be active. After that I went home, showered, and started to cook my first ever chili while waiting for Alex to arrive. I followed this recipe from the blog PB Fingers. I didn’t add any meat though and used fresh tomato. My parents didn’t have all the spices so it didn’t have a lot of kick, but Alex and I both enjoyed it.IMG_1811 IMG_1813 IMG_1814 IMG_1818 IMG_1819Alex was clearly very happy to appear on the blog. I topped mine with some grated cheese and some Greek yogurt for a little extra protein. We also had some sides to munch on while we waited.IMG_1812 IMG_1817 IMG_1816 IMG_1815After catching up we decided it was obviously time for some ice cream so off we went to Coldstone. I had trouble deciding, but went with the Chocolate Devotion which has chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownies and fudge. It would’ve been amazing but they put WAY too many chocolate chips in it so I could really only eat about 1/3 of it before giving up. I also asked for the smallest portion, but he ended up making me double that. Whoops!IMG_1820 IMG_1821 IMG_1822We both ordered the same size… haha. Coldstone has never really been my favorite, but Alex was craving it and it worked out well since I didn’t want to have a ton of dessert. It was great to see her and we will both be planning trips out to see each other in the coming months.

As for me, I’m now going to snuggle up to some more Scrubs in my bed and fall asleep reading some more of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Until next time,

Natasha

Canon PowerShot S100 & One Killer X Circuit

1 Dec

Good morning!

It’s weird to be awake on a Saturday at 830 AM without an alarm, but I was up 4 days this week at 8AM or earlier so I think my body’s just used to that. It’ll be good though because I’ll get a lot more use out of my day.

First, let’s rewind to yesterday. For this post, I decided I wanted to try out using my Canon PowerShot S100 instead of relying on my iPhone. Kevin bought it for me as my combined birthday and graduation gift last year. I have the Canon Rebel XTi and I had a really basic point and shoot Canon as well, can you see a trend here?, but didn’t buy a great one since I left the last one I had in a cab :(. The goal was for me to always be able to take great pictures without having to lug around my Digital SLR. I did some research before picking out which Canon and decided on the S100. It’s amazing. Not only does the picture quality blow me away, it’s the closest I’ve ever seen a point and shot come to my SLR, but it has a ton of SLR qualities like aperture control. It’s the highest quality point and shoot on the market and I highly recommend it. Thanks Kevin! 🙂

I woke up at 7 to head to the research lab to run a participant at 8. However, they no showed. It’s always frustrating when we make a special case for someone (i.e. allow them to schedule a time slot a whole hour early than the normal slot) and they don’t show up. While I waited, I had some Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea and a Gala Apple.

ImageAround 910 I headed out and decided to try and make it to the 930 TRX class at my gym. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, TRX is a rope-like object that hangs and has two grips on it. Depending on how you adjust the ropes length you can use the grips as foot holds or for your hands. It’s great for doing more challenging planks, push-ups, glute exercises or lunges when your feet are in, but our class tends to do more exercises when our hands are on the grips like ITY’s, bicep curls, etc etc. I was sore for 3 days after the last class and really loved it.

Unfortunately, I walked in right at 930 and all the ropes were already taken! Guess it’s super popular on Friday mornings. I realized I was really hungry, since I hadn’t eaten a full breakfast, and I knew I was planning on going to the Killer X Workout that night at 630 so I decided to bag it and head home.

As soon as I walked in my apartment I started making breakfast. I was starving so I knew the best breakfast to fill me up, Sweet Breakfast Scramble.

ImageI whisked together 1 egg, 2 egg whites, 1 banana (I mush it by squeezing it while it’s in the peel and as it pops out I squeeze it into the bowl), 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and cinnamon. Mix it all together and put it on in a skillet on medium heat.

Just like when cooking eggs by themselves, you want to cook this mixture until the eggs are no longer runny.

ImageNow it’s just looks like orange scrambled eggs! This is a good point to take it off the stovetop.

ImageThe final step to cooking this amazing meal is to add a scoop, or two :), of your favorite peanut butter. I’m sure you guys can already guess which one I put in.

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ImageCinnamon Raisin Swirl. Duh!

This was the first time I was able to eat the whole breakfast in one sitting. Normally I only put in 1 egg and 1 egg white and I’m able to eat it all, but whenever I put 3 eggs it’s just too much for me. However, I think between my hard workout Thursday night and my lack of a real breakfast before 10AM I was one hungry woman.

Whenever I eat breakfast, Liam always likes to check out what’s goin’ on and sees if he can try and sneak a bite.

ImageHowever, he decided on his favorite past time instead. Knocking over cups of water.

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“Oh…sorry Mom.”

Luckily I had already drank all the water this time. After breakfast, I realized I was really tired so I snuggled into bed with some Harry Potter, read a chapter, and took a nap.

ImageImageI woke up around 1230 and decided I was going to run some errands. First I needed a little bit of a snack, so I munched on half a fig bar while I checked some emails.

ImageAnd packed some grapes for the road in my re-usable bags.ImageBefore I left I was browsing on Lululemon.com and saw they put the Spin It to Win It top on sale! I just tried it on last weekend and really liked it. A pit stop in at Lululemon would be necessary. Then, I grabbed everyone’s rent and utility checks from the bulletin board and headed out. I stopped the bank first and then drove into Bethesda. When I parked in the parking lot I saw a wonderful surprise waiting for me.

ImageSomeone had left over an hour in the meter!! I felt really lucky and fortunate because once i parked I realized I left my quarters in my other jacket. It’s a small random gesture, that probably wasn’t intentional, but it was still a really nice surprise.

I returned a shirt at City Sports, and bought the top I wanted from Lululemon, after trying it on in a couple different colors to be sure of course :). While I was walking around, I checked twitter for updates on Kevin’s matches in the wrestling tournament.

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Killin’ em.

Next I swung into Barnes & Noble for a little browsing, but the next book I read after Harry Potter I really want to be a good one. I’m going to wait and ask around to see what’s a good read.

I left Bethesda and headed for home. While I was out shopping, my brother emailed out his Christmas List to my parents and I. This was my signal to make my list, so that’s exactly what I did.

ImageWhile I caught up on Glee, Liam caught up on some sleep.

ImageImageAround 4 o’clock my stomach was growling. I planned to eat lunch this late today though since I knew I was getting pizza with my Mom at 8 after my workout class. With pizza on the brain, I wanted to have a healthy lunch with lots of vegetables.

ImageIn the bowl was spinach, avocado, chick peas, rasins, cucumber, tomato, yellow bell pepper, feta cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. Delicious!

Around 530 I started to get ready for the Killer X Workout Class. I was so excited about my new top, so I chose it as my outfit for the class. Although the top is designed for a cycling class, I wanted to wear it anyway. Here’s what they say about it on their website:

“When we crank up the cadence in spin class, we want a tank that can handle our sweat and keep our girls under control. We designed this inherently wicking tank with a high neck and a grippy rear hem to keep us covered while we cycle.”

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I had not tried this class yet, but had a feeling it would be challenging. Besides being excited to wear it, I also wanted to test out my new top from Lululemon and see how it would hold up in a high impact class with a lot of movement (what I was anticipating). Since there’s no room for a bra underneath it, you rely on the support they build into the top to hold everyone together.

ImageSo I did some test jumps.

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ImageAnd messed up the timing … a lot.

ImageGot a littttle frustrated.

ImageBut eventually got it! And I don’t have the crazy eyes like I do in that first photo. Anyway, as you can see, even when jumping, and landing, the support they built into the top holds everything secure and in place. It’s also suuuper comfortable. Not to mention eye-catching. Wearing this definitely made me feel great and look great at the same time, so I knew I made the right decision :).

Next I was off to class. Wow, they definitely weren’t joking around when they titled this workout Killer. Last night, she had us do a circuit workout. Since there were 13 of us there, we had 13 stations. No station was a rest station. As I looked around, I was confident I was going to be challenged.

Here’s the workout: (I linked almost every exercise so you guys can do the workout, or any part of it, on your own!)

1. Decline Crunches on the ab bench

2. Alternating Plyo Push-ups (we had 2 steps, one on each side, instead of the singular featured in this clip. When the left hand was on the mat, right hand on the right side bench, when the right hand was on the mat, left hand was on the left bench)

3. Arm Raises (we had a variety of weight choses, I chose 5 lbs)

4. Plank

5. 30 Box Jumps – **This person was the timekeeper. Whenever they completed their 30 jumps they yelled “SWITCH!” and that’s when you knew to switch stations.

6. Box Leg Press (closest I could find to it. Instead of doing the same leg over and over, we alternated one after the other. Lead with left leg, right foot comes up, right foot down first, then left. Then lead with right leg, etc..)

7. Barbell Dead Lift (45 lbs women 60lbs men)

8. Jack knife

9. Squat to Overhead Press (8 or 10 lb dumb bells for women, 15 for men)

10. Battle Rope

11. Jump Rope

12. Burpees

13. Kettle Bell Swings 

We repeated this circuit 4 times!! We weren’t given any rest in-between circuit repeats so if you needed water or rest it was at your discretion. By the end, I was hungry for fuel and feeling like I got a really great workout in. Definitely will be doing this class more often.

I stretched and talked with a couple people I see regularly then walked over to Pete’s Pizza to meet up with my mom!

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We ordered the Down-the-Hill pizza. It had meatball, sausage, bell pepper, caramelized onion and olives. I also ordered a Spinach Olivada salad to start with.

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Spinach Olivada Salad

ImageI never order meat on my pizzas, but I realized I hadn’t had meat in about a week. I was pescetarian (no meat, but does eat fish, eggs and dairy) for almost 2 years and only switched back due to health concerns at the time. I’m still pretty used to not eating meat, but I do try and have it 2-3 times per week.

My mom and I decided we couldn’t leave without dessert. There were WAY too many delicious sounding options. Pumpkin canolis, mini pumpkin spice or red velvet cakes, peanut butter chocolate cup. But we ultimately decided on gelato. It was a tough choice between Pumpkin Gingersnap and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for me, but I chose the dough (since I had pumpkin with breakfast) and my mom got the Double Chocolate.

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My mom and I enjoyed our dessert then took the bus back home. Her apartment is in the same area as mine, 4 minute walk away, so we could get off at the same stop.

I was really pooped after such a long day so I took a shower and got cozy in some wrestling sweats Kevin gave me. I wear them around the house or to sleep when I know he’s competing, kind of like a small good luck charm.

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I finished the latest Glee episode and was off to bed!

Hope everyone’s having a good start to their Saturday so far!

Until next time,

Natasha