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Trade Em Up Tuesday: Slowing Down

Another longer-than-a-week gap between posts – ugh! I honestly had time this past Sunday night to blog, but opted to sit in bed and color (something I haven’t done in awhile) while listening to NPR instead. I’m getting ahead of myself though. Let’s get rolling with a Trade Em Up Tuesday that’ll tell you what’s been up with me in the last week-ish.

Oreos and beer were involved.

Oreos and beer were involved.

I would trade…FOMO. I’ve had a serious case of it lately and it’s resulted in me wearing myself out. I need to take a step back and slow down. Is there an event coming up? I feel like I have to go to make sure I don’t miss anything. Someone’s having  a party? Well I can’t possibly miss it, it’ll be so much fun! The thing is, a lot of the time it’s not even worth it, so I need to take a step back and put on the brakes. I was sick this past weekend and spent all day Saturday contemplating whether or not I should still go to my co-worker’s party. In reality it should have been a no-brainer – NO. Stay home and REST.

NO. That's not resting.

NO. That’s not resting.

That’s what I did and I’m so glad, but I wish I hadn’t wasted all that mental effort on the great debate. I should’ve woken up on Saturday morning, felt the way I felt, and used that to tell me that no, my body did not want to go to a party. It wanted to freaking sleep! I mean, it’s a good thing that I’m not using any little thing I can as an excuse to miss social engagements, because that’s what I used to do all the time out of fear of attending events that involved me eating or drinking more than what I was comfortable with. But I don’t want to take it to the other extreme that leaves me worn the heck out.

Nothing cures being worn out more than outside time on a towel.

I would not trade…some recipe success. Firstly I made PB Fingers BBQ Turkey Meatloaf, and it turned out great. I had some Monday and some Thursday. Next time I make it I’ll probably use more egg beaters, mustard, and BBQ sauce to make it more moist. But I added BBQ sauce after I made it and that helped a lot.

Meatloaf: never pretty, always delicious.

Secondly I decided to use up more of my egg beaters on Sunday night before they expired, so I whipped up some baked zucchini chips. So easy! I sliced the zucchini, coated it in egg beaters, then coated it in bread crumbs and roasted. I was pleasantly surprised by how not-limp they turned out and am glad to have them on hand for the coming week.

I would not trade…a fun Thursday night out with old and new friends. Jeannie introduced me to her friend Allie (who I’d met once before but don’t count since I was not in a state to meet people) and Allie introduced us both to her co-worker Courtney. The result? A fun girls night out at ALL the bars, including City Landing, which I already adore and still do thanks to another delish dinner. I felt pretty damn awful the next morning thanks to not getting enough sleep, and one (or two) too many drinks. But I had a great time and despite the temptation to feel like crap about myself all the next day, I tried to use the fun photos I found on my phone to remind myself of the memories I’d made.

Yes new friends.

I would trade…a summer head cold this past weekend. I didn’t get enough sleep Thursday night and woke up Friday feeling meh. I continued to feel more meh throughout the day, but also had un-cancel-able plans Friday night, so I got barely any sleep yet again. Safe to say that by Saturday afternoon, I felt like my head was in a stuffy cloud and that I could sleep for hours if I only had the time. A scheduled car service appointment and visit from the fam delayed that sleep, but I finally got about 12 hours of sleep on Saturday night and 10 hours Sunday night (thanks to NyQuil). Safe to say yesterday morning when I woke up I was feeling a lot better. Still iffy, but still a lot better. Colds just feel so WEIRD in the summertime!

So does eating soup, but it sure hit the spot. Amy’s Southwestern Roasted Veggie with added sweet potato cubes.

I would not trade…time with my family on Saturday night. My grandma came to CT from FL to visit, and my mom decided she’d bring her to Boston so she could see my workplace and my apartment. And so I could show her fabulous Boston restaurants!

Grannan, Mom, and I stumbled upon a free wine tasting at Brookline Liquor Mart, where my office is located!

I took them out for a drink at a spot I’d already showed my mom (and she’d loved it) – Regal Beagle. Then we went for dinner to Lineage, a restaurant down the street that I’d been to once and hadn’t been impressed by. But it’s from the same folks who brought me my beloved Eastern Standard, and my grandma said she was craving seafood, so I decided to give it another go. GOOD THING!

A black and white duo!

Not only did the three of us totally quench our seafood craving by sharing three seafood entrees – salmon, bluefish, and cod – but the restaurant is also doing half off EVERY bottle of wine in July! That meant my grandma got her own bottle of Chardonnay, because that was cheaper than two glasses, and my mom and I shared a delectable Oregon Pinot Noir. (No, my grandma did not finish that whole bottle!)

I called this moment "Team Seafood!"

I called this moment “Team Seafood!”

Mom, Grannan, and I parted ways after dinner so we could all return to our respective beds and pass out. I missed them before they left the next morning since I slept til 11:15AM (!!!) but am so happy I got to see Grannan and show her my life in Boston.

Brooks Pinot Noir - highly recommend.

Brooks Pinot Noir – highly recommend.

I would trade…less mileage this past week. I didn’t plan to do a long run this weekend (this is why I started my half marathon training early, folks) but I did plan to run at least 5 or 6 miles. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Both Saturday and Sunday I felt crappy, so Saturday I went to spin to sweat it out and Sunday I pushed through 3.6 miles. That’s really all I had the energy for and though I know I should be resting even more than that while sick, I just have this fear that as soon as I start going back down in mileage I’m going to lose the endurance I’ve built up. And I don’t think I’m going to get in a long run this coming weekend since a certain special lady will be in town for her bachelorette party. So when’s it going to happen? Will it have to happen before work, which is my worst nightmare, seeing as I struggle to do more than 3 miles prior to 7AM? Lordy I can’t even imagine doing 5 miles before work, let alone 9 (my next long run)! And this week is so busy too. Deep breaths, Caitlin. I know that this half isn’t until the end of September so I still have plenty of time to get my mileage back up there. But between this past Friday’s rest day and less exercise in the last few days than I’d planned, I’m pretty concerned about it.

I would not trade…getting a new laptop. I accidentally ordered it two inches too big (oops) but am too lazy to exchange it because I’m just so happy to have a new laptop. My last one was getting pretty slow, had a battery with zero life, and had been in my possession since 2009. I stuck with a Lenovo ThinkPad, but this is just a newer version. And it still fits in my backpack despite the bigger size, so oh well. The only annoying thing is redoing all my favorites, log-ins, losing my email filing system, etc. Disorganization, ugh. First world problems, I know.

The dot above the “i” lights up when the laptop is on, which I think is downright charming. Source

As good old Porky Pig would say, that’s all folks. I hope it’s not another week-and-a-day til you hear from me again!

What would you trade from this past week? What would you not trade?

Do you worry about losing endurance/gains when you take time off from workouts?

Ever suffered from FOMO?

Five Things Friday: Marvelous!

My Taste of Nature bar giveaway ends tonight, and it has FIVE winners, so make sure you enter!

I missed the Marvelous In My Monday party this week but better late than never right? This week has been loads better than the last and I’m excited to link up with Clare today to share five marvelous things on Five Things Friday!

1. My workouts this week have been way better!

Thank goodness I was able to get back to my evening group fitness classes. Monday I took Danielle’s amazing spin class, and I took another pretty good spin class on Tuesday evening. Wednesday night I invited Jeannie to join me for Total Body Conditioning and I’m so glad I did because I may have copped out and done a not-as-tough StepMill workout instead if I hadn’t already committed to the class by inviting her! She was super curious since I am always talking about how tough the class is and yeah…it was tough. But we both felt great after and want to commit to going every week. I’m glad to have someone to motivate me to attend! Here’s one of the moves we did:

2. I’m proud of how well I handled Wednesday’s dinner out.

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MIMM: Weekend in Pictures

It’s Marathon Monday! This is my first Marathon Monday as a Boston resident and I hope to get out of work a little early today so I can meet up with friends and take in the event. To do that I had to put in Sunday work time, and since I write these posts on Sundays, this will be a quick one! And don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll do a marathon-centric blog post, but seeing as I haven’t experienced it yet I’m holding off!

Share your marvelous on Katie‘s link-up. Thanks for hosting, recent-birthday-girl!

It was a marvelous weekend despite a Sunday spent feeling pretty guilty about my eats/drinks from the night prior, and also not loving my body at all. But gotta push on and hopefully the meaningful day here in Boston will help me refocus on what is most important in life.

Tried out a new-to-us spot by the office with some coworkers on Friday, while we killed time before an event. Asian restaurants are not places to go for good cocktails but they are places to go for pretty drinks!

In honor of our 90+ Cellars Paint Nite, I had the job of dressing the most interesting man with our new Rose t-shirt. Which by the way I get to model on our website!

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Five Things Friday: Calm Before The Storm

Happy Friday! Some of you may have the day off, but I am working a full day as well as events both tonight and tomorrow night. Luckily these events – Paint Nite and Wine Riot – are events I’d totally attend on my own time for fun. So I’m pretty cool with it, and am excited to write up blog recaps too. One of the many responsibilities of my new job that I sure don’t mind. I’ve got a few things I can talk about today so I thought I’d discuss five of them for the sake of alliteration, and in honor of Five Things Friday.

Check out Clare’s link-up!

1. I finally ran into a meh Boston restaurant experience.

They can’t all be amazing right? I’ve had a great track record so far but on Tuesday I went to the soft opening of a new North End speakeasy called Parla, and was left unsatisfied. The drinks, to be fair, were awesome. My first one (pictured below) contained both Domain de Canton and Campari and it blew me away! I also had a prosecco cocktail with more Domain de Canton plus mint and lemon – it pretty much screamed Kaitlin. I’d return to Parla in a second for cocktails!

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Chicken Veggie Barley Bake

A few weeks ago, Brittany sent me this recipe from Layers of Happiness (she and I love sending each other recipes – especially those involving baby cabbages). I knew immediately I wanted to use some leftover uncooked barley I had to make my own version! So this past Sunday during my weekly meal prep, I did just that. Monday night dinner was the moment of truth. How would it turn out? The verdict was…GREAT! So I’m here to share my take…

Chicken Veggie Barley Bake

(Adapted from Layers of Happiness Pesto Chicken & Vegetable Quinoa Bake)

Makes 4 servings

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WIAW: Cheddar Chicken-Veggie-Potato Chowder

A very special happy birthday to my darling blend Kaitlin of For Love of Carrots! I will be visiting her this weekend so we can celebrate in person and I just can’t wait!

I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds it helpful to focus on goals that don’t have to do with food/fitness! Though I have to admit I was a bit of a fail with some of my goals the day I set them – blah.

  • Appreciate More: I certainly kept my head up despite snow changing my gym plans and being a general nuisance. After all I got to go home to hang with my dad, who’d just returned from our FL condo (bad timing Dad!), and my boss was nice enough to let me leave work a bit early to try to beat snowy rush hour (I didn’t, but it was a nice thought!). I had plenty to appreciate, and I certainly did so.
  • Cook At Home More: More on that later in this post!
  • Separate From My Phone More: I was definitely on my phone less yesterday than usual, most likely due to writing my blog post, but I still didn’t want to leave it downstairs at all during dinner. I was watching SNL on the DVR with my dad and kept finding so many tweet worthy things to comment on – not things Drake said, but #shitmydadsays!
  • Go Outside More: Another fail. I knew that a polar vortex and a storm was coming so I just did not go outside during the work day, not even to take one breath of fresh air. However I was feeling a lot more upbeat yesterday and didn’t really find a need to go outside to “center myself”. I had lots of paperwork to do and that is always nice for me, to just plug away at my desk with my music going.

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WIAW: I Cooked!

Whenever I do a What I Ate Wednesday post (thanks Jenn!) that features at-home meals, it shows off my mom’s amazing healthy dishes. Truth (though I’ve never been secretive about this): pretty much every one of my recipes was created by her. Well today I’ve got something new cooking…two dishes THAT I MADE. They may not be recipes I created (I’ll be sharing one of those later!) but they are recipes I took from my Recipes I’d Actually Make Pinterest board. And now I’m able to take a cue from Sam and move those two recipes to a board titled I MADE THIS. Yes in all caps, because I”m that excited about it.

The reason I don’t have much experience with cooking is because I live at home to save money (I always feel the need to throw the reasoning in there…I’m not a 30 year old living it up in my parent’s basement – although my room IS in the basement). My mom is an awesome cook and she always makes super-healthy dinners for me. Believe me it’s come in handy especially given the fact that I do the gym after work, and when I get home I am just hungry and ready to chow down after my shower. But I won’t be living at home forever and I definitely have been fearing getting too content with my mom’s cooking and too dependent upon restaurants, take-out, and the Whole Foods salad bar. My parents have been spending more time than ever in our FL condo so I decided it was the perfect time to practice my cooking!

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Mom’s White Bean Chicken Chili

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a personal wine cellar from Staples – don’t miss out! And remember to check out my post about New Britain Museum of American Art events…they announced yesterday on their Facebook page the winner of their giveaway for a pair of tickets to tonight’s Scotch vs Bourbon event. Tickets are still available – hope to see you there!

This past Tuesday night I settled in no the couch with a perfect fall dinner (especially given the cold temperatures that evening)…a steaming bowl of white chicken chili with added turkey sausage and roasted zucchini. My Instagram of the meal got lots of positive feedback, and a few recipe requests. (This is also the same chili I enjoyed after my night out on Wednesday).

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From Left to Write Book Club: The Funeral Dress

No one has ever entrusted impoverished Emmalee with anything important, but she takes it upon herself to sew her mentor’s resting garment in The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. Join From Left to Write on October 15 as we discuss The Funeral Dress.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

My mom actually read this October From Left to Write book club novel before I did, and I went into it a bit wary because she wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it. She did though, because The Funeral Dress takes place in the South around the same time she grew up in the same region. I ended up enjoying it too! My parents’ Southern heritage, my fond memories of visits to relatives in the South and to the University of Tennessee, and my fondness for most people I meet from the area may have biased me slightly toward that enjoyment. But no matter where the novel took place, I am confident in saying that I think Susan Gregg Gilmore succeeded in telling a story that had me invested in its characters and glued to each chapter.

From Left to Write is all about inspiring members to publish not a review, but a blog post on any topic the novel inspired within us. I actually drafted an entire post about fond memories of visiting my relatives in the South, but I really didn’t like it. I felt forced while writing it and I hate hitting “Publish” if I’m not happy with what I wrote. SO I just deleted it all and am starting over right now. I’m actually going to take a totally different turn (think a turn that the GPS told you to make, and so you did, but then you end up crashed into a lake) and write about a completely silly topic – tater tots.

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Cocktails with Home Wet Bar!

This post is brought to you by HomeWetBar.com! I received a complimentary product to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I can’t say I was surprised when HomeWetBar.com contacted me to tell me about their site. I feel like my blog has given away the fact that I am a major cocktail enthusiast. I’ve been known to rank drinks and judge mixology competitions. So a product review for an online retailer of alcoholic beverage accessories seemed like a great fit! No, I am not a lush.

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HLS 2012 represent!

I am very into tasting cocktails and observing how they are made, but haven’t had much personal experience in the art of mixology. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try out my own drink recipe, with the help of the Pro Shaker 10-Piece Bar Set.

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