Tag Archives: lists

MIMM: Worn Out But Worth It

I am exhausted, despite the fact that I went to sleep at 9:15PM and got to sleep til almost 8 this morning. But the reason I’m worn out is because of a weekend which included some going out of my box, and it was well worth it. Let’s get the Marvelous In My Monday party started so that I can remember that fact.

Will you too be joining Katie’s marvelous link-up?

Marvelous is…trying a new restaurant for a baby shower on Friday. I went to spin in the morning so I was able to join my co-workers after work for drinks and dinner, which is not something I’m usually able to do with my preference for evening gym sessions. I was of course in charge of picking the place and I ended up choosing nearby Cracker Barrel Pub in Tariffville, because they just re-did the menu and new manager and head chef Hazen is someone I’ve worked with before. Clearly he knows me because he sent out crispy baby cabbages for the table – what a nice surprise! (If anyone is interested in trying Cracker Barrel’s new menu, there is a Groupon out right now!)

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25 Things From 19 Year Old Me

I was perusing Facebook yesterday and stumbled upon one of those “Notes”  (a feature that kinda seemed to die out…maybe FB was trying to become more blog-esque?) that you could publish publicly. I wrote it in response to a 25-things survey that was going around. The best part is I wrote this on 2/19/09…AKA I was nineteen years old.

I suppose some things do not change.

I suppose some things do not change.

There’s no way I cannot a) share it with you all and b) comment (in italics) on each item in the list. It’s pretty interesting to see where I am now versus almost FIVE years later! Also, please note the lack of capitalization and constant use of abbrevs. I’m leaving all that in the list; gotta publish it exactly as I wrote it in February 2009!

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Two-Year (Too Late) Blogiversary!

OOPS. I missed my two-year blogiversary (blog anniversary)! On 9/21/11, I did my first post on Cait Plus Ate. I tried to explain why the timing was right for me to start a blog, but what I didn’t explain was that I hoped to use it as a tool in recovery. I wasn’t yet ready to be open about that part of my life yet, but I knew from reading blogs that though they can be triggering, they can also be huge assets in a fight to learn healthy moderation and self-love. I wanted an outlet where I could focus on my passion for food in a positive way, and learn to embrace it, not fear it.

Amazing Greek sampler platter at Steve's on Newbury Street!

Amazing Greek sampler platter at Steve’s on Newbury Street!

In my one-year blogiversary post (also belated) I counted down my top ten favorite posts I’d done in the first year of starting my blog. While I’m not going to go in order, I am going to steal the general idea from year-ago me and highlight some of my favorite posts that I’ve published over the past year.

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Friday Five: Fitness Essentials

Tonight is the last chance for CT residents to enter my giveaway for two free lawn tickets to the Talcott Mountain Music Festival! Entries close tonight at 11:59PM EST.

I really enjoyed recently sharing my (few) beauty essentials, and thought today I’d sneak in some alliteration and give this Friday post a fitness focus – with a little fashion thrown in. I enjoy reading about what other bloggers use/wear during workouts and I hope the feeling is mutual because you’re about to find out my five essential pieces of workout gear. Some items on the list are more general than specific, because how am I supposed to choose, for example, one pair of sneakers?!

1. Sprigs Big Banjees Wrist Wallet

I was sent a free Big Banjees to review but this is an instance of me loving the product so much that if anything were to happen to my Big Banjees, I’d replace it in a second. It’s the only holder big enough for my iPhone (I stream music from iHeartRadio when I work out) when it’s in its case, and the only holder that actually stays in place on my arm.

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A Lazy Lady’s Beauty Essentials

When it comes to a beauty routine, I am seriously lazy and impatient. Just ask Kaitlin – I’m often telling her tales of attempting to have the patience to stand in one spot for what seems like forever and blow dry my hair, only to give up after about five minutes. I’ve got places to go, people to see. Ain’t nobody got time for that!


I look at much of what my younger sister and friends do with their makeup, hair, face care, what have you, and I can’t imagine spending that much time on any of it. I grew up looking for anything I could cut out of my morning routine to give me a few extra precious minutes of sleep, and this has made me a beauty routine minimalist.

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It’s OK!…Healthy Living Blogger Version

Kaitlin and Sarah both recently did posts about the healthy living blogger stereotypes that DON’T fit them, and I totally love the idea. I wanted to do my own post with a version of their idea in Glamour‘s “It’s OK!” format. I love that feature and what it’s all about – very #sorrynotsorry. Which by the way, now pops up on my iPhone as soon as I type the word “sorry”. Guess I’m #sorrynotsorry a lot, huh?

So hey healthy living bloggers – it’s OK…

…to think oatmeal is extremely boring and lame. I know, I can add stuff to it to make it more exciting, but I just don’t feel like it.

…to hate running. Music is just not enough to keep me entertained, nor is scenery.

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Top 12 of 2012

Remember local readers that Sunday I posted my giveaway for a $50 gift card to Mohegan Sun for their upcoming Restaurant Week (1/6-1/11). Entries close Wednesday night!

HAPPY 2013! Last night I went to J. Gilbert’s for dinner, came home, had a snack with my latest read, and passed out before 11pm. I woke up this morning at 7:30am bright eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to take on the new year. I knocked out a 42 minute home workout with the Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD, and here I am now, blogging at La Petite France which happens to be the same place I visited on New Years Day of 2012. Funny how that happens, huh?

Gettin’ my NYE on in Long Janes.

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WIAW: Restaurant Photo Dump

The Barre: A Real Food Giveaway ends tonight at 11:59PM EST – don’t forget to enter!

I am blown away by your support on my post yesterday. I have to admit that when I woke up that morning, I felt so beyond low. I have never felt that level of hopelessness before. I had no idea how I was going to get through the day with my mind being SO damn mean to me. But making my #AmazingMe list helped, and the comments I got on the post truly made me teary-eyed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog, commenting, and sharing with me your own feelings about negative thoughts and holding ourselves to ridiculously high standards. I already am seeing some lists pop up – and I am going to read every single one!

Becki is going to blog her list – can’t wait!

And talk about timing – Lindsay published an amazing post today in which she fights her brain’s negative body image thoughts with specific positive thoughts about each part of her. It’s clear that every part of Lindsay combines to make one AMAZING blogger who dreams up the best recipes and runs a huge, and growing, Foodie Pen Pals program!

So today I have both old and new restaurant food photos to share, so thought another WIAW Photo Dump was appropriate! I can’t really bear the thought that some of my restaurant photos, even the ones from months ago, will go unseen by my readers. Thanks to Jenn of Peas & Crayons for making sure this delicious party happens every week.

Like I’ve said before, I haven’t really been doing posts of what I ate each day, but I DO take a lot of photos at restaurants. Sometimes they pile up on me and there are too many to share after each time I go out to eat! So without further ado, here are photos I’ve accumulated from February to now that haven’t been seen on the blog yet. These are things I (and my friends) ate and drank, and I’m sharing them on a Wednesday, so it’s totally WIAW-worthy 🙂

Best miso soup I’ve ever had, from Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, CT. Made with seaweed foraged from the Long Island Sound!

Samples of Miya’s sake! Best ever. One was super salty (meant to taste like the ocean) and one was sweet.

Me and a full-size sake at Miya’s, back in March.

Array of Miya’s sushi – all automatically made with brown rice. One roll had brie, and one was wrapped in grapeleaves!

Some of the best fries I’ve ever had, with ketchup, mayo, pesto aioli, and mustard, at Rudy’s in New Haven, CT.

Pear vodka martini on Franklin Ave in Hartford.

Amazingly yummy bread sticks and EVOO/tomato-based dip at Carbone’s on Franklin Ave in Hartford.

Ahi tuna with balsamic vinegar at Carbone’s – so amazing!

Grilled veal scallopini from Carbone’s light menu, served over sliced tomatoes, lemon, baby arugula, and cilantro pesto. My first time having veal and it was a winner.

Jeff’s dinner at J. Gilbert’s this past Thursday – veggie platter of mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, corn on the cob, zucchini, and black beans/corn in a red pepper. CRAZY AMAZING I’M GETTING THIS NEXT TIME.

A red blend at J. Gilbert’s this past Thursday, and some of their amazing sourdough bread.

J. Gilbert’s special on Thursday – had to get it – grilled swordfish with red wine demi glace and chive butter on the side. Sides were grilled asparagus and a baked potato with mango salsa. I can’t get over it still!

BIG glass of Merlot at Matthew’s in Unionville, CT on Saturday. Eating a caper and salmon cake sent out complimentary by Matthew himself.

I think you can also tell that the last photos are more recent because I’ve gotten a little better with my camera! Wow, my inner arm in the above photo is also quite ghostly. Looks like I need to do some arm flipping next time I tan.

And now that I’ve dumped all my restaurant photos, maybe this will make room for more daily eats photos in addition to the restaurant photos as well! Is that something you guys would be interested in?

I also want to leave you today with one of my favorite quotes of all time that I remembered this morning:

“Sweet are the thoughts that savor content; The quiet mind is richer than a crown.” – Robert Greene

Which of the photos looks the most appetizing to you?

Do you enjoy my way of doing WIAW, aka photo dumps? Maybe I’ll do a traditional WIAW one of these days!

Have you made your #AmazingMe list yet? Don’t forget to share it with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, the comments…sky’s the limit!

I’m Amazing Because…

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a case of Barres: The Real Food Bar! You have until tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 11:59PM EST.

I had a different post planned for today, but this is my blog and it’s an outlet for me, and I’ve got a lot on my mind. A LOT.

So this is what I was doing last night:

Pre-dinner snacks: beer bread, sausage, cheese, peanuts, garlic knot.

Double fisting Chardonnay.

Jeff, Kelly, and I went to the latest Chops N Catch tasting dinner. I drank a LOT of wine. I ate delicious food, some the kind I usually eat…

Grilled romaine heart with Rose’s Berry Farm raspberries, almonds, sesame vinaigrette, and Beltane Farms goat cheese.

Steamers, cod, corn on the cob, potatoes!

…and some the kind that I don’t eat every day.

Ground short rib slider topped with lobster, gruyere, lobster bisque on a brioche bun.

Warm maple bread pudding and Royal vanilla ice cream.

You hear that, brain? I don’t eat it every day. I also don’t drink a glass of wine with each plate at every dinner. However, my mind hasn’t been doing a good job of letting me believe that. From the moment I got home last night til now, I have been feeling downright AWFUL about myself. I feel guilty for having desire to attend, going to, and enjoying last night’s tasting. It’s like if I had gone and had a bad time, I’d feel BETTER right now. How shitty is that? Because I enjoyed myself last night, I feel worse today. I have this ridiculous standard I’m holding myself to. Okay, I could make every bite I put into my mouth clean. I know that’s possible. But is it reasonable? Is that any way to live my life? Is that how I want to eat? No, it’s not. Yet because I’m aware that it’s possible, I feel guilty that I don’t do it.

I was feeling ridiculously low this morning and so I called my girl Jenny and we had a good chat. I let it all out and she and I both marveled at the mean things we find our minds saying to ourselves. “You’re not good enough. You should have done this. You were wrong to even want to go out to eat in the first place.” As I said to her – I would NEVER be this mean to anyone. No one deserves to have to follow a standard of perfection. So why do I have to?!

Jenny shared with me that she was going to strive today to be kind to herself. I love the sound of that. My mind is so often very mean to me. I want to get a handle on it and make it nice. I want it to give me some props! So I decided to make a list of why I’m amazing. And I literally titled it that way. #sorrynotsorry

You know what I realized as I was making it? I couldn’t stop writing! Positive thoughts kept popping into my head – a welcome relief. I have a LOT of reasons to believe I’m amazing. Some have to do with food and working out. Most of them don’t. And all of them are the truth.

That top page has a back!

So without further ado, here’s my list. Read it if you want, but what I REALLY hope you do is make your own list. Share it with me and others! And keep it in a place where you’ll have it often (I’m going to put mine in my purse) so that you can not only refer to it whenever you’re feeling down on yourself, but ADD to it as well! Because let’s face it, you’re not going to realize every reason why you’re amazing in one sitting. There are too many reasons for that to be possible 🙂

Caitlin Is Amazing Because:

  1. I have the best family in the world.
  2. I have a full-time job and had two on lockdown before I even graduated – in a crappy economy.
  3. I have wonderful, close friends and also many new friends I’ve met since 2011.
  4. I’m over my ex-boyfriend and have truly learned so much from that relationship.
  5. I adore healthy foods and eat them regularly because I enjoy it.
  6. I love certain workouts, move each day, and enjoy it.
  7. I have a blog that is only growing in readers, is seen as a marketing tool by brands and Fitfluential, and inspires others.
  8. I’m incredibly organized and enjoy being that way. It comes naturally to me!
  9. I’m look at by friends, readers, and my family as a role model in many areas.
  10. I dress well and have a good sense of style.
  11. I’m hygienic (I floss!)
  12. I get a good night’s sleep most nights.
  13. I have way more good habits than bad.
  14. I enjoy writing!
  15. I relieve stress in positive ways like coloring, exercise, NPR, doing laundry…
  16. I’ve never smoked or done drugs.
  17. I read!
  18. I go to school for part-time for free, though I could easily just have decided not to start my MBA yet.
  19. I listen to NPR and truly enjoy learning about the world through that tool.
  20. I keep my room, car, work area, and the bathroom clean.
  21. I ‘ve been more honest about my rocky relationship with food and exercise on the blog.
  22. I change out my contacts and their solution when it’s time to do so.
  23. I sought mental help for an ED on my own, without anyone forcing me to do so.
  24. I only drink one cup of coffee per day (and hence don’t struggle with caffeine headaches like I used to).
  25. I save 50% of each and every paycheck, without fail, and have been doing so for the last two years at every job. As a result, I have way more saved than most 23 year olds!
  26. I like living at home and do so while still trying to be as independent as possible. And I’m saving a bundle!
  27. I really, truly want to and care about getting closer to and bettering my relationship with my little brother. I could just as easily shrug off the distance between us.
  28. I have 0 credit card debt. Or any debt.
  29. I am thrifty when I can be (Coupon Caitlin).
  30. I’m adventurous with food and drinks.
  31. I stay in touch with friends even when they don’t live near me.
  32. I can run an 8 minute mile.
  33. I ran 8 miles without stopping once.
  34. I appreciate my grandparents
  35. I’m open-minded about movies, music, and books.
  36. I’m pretty.
  37. I have nice hair – a bit wavy and easy to style.
  38. I like how every part of my body looks (right now…worrying about the future is a work in progress).
  39. I don’t gamble more than $20 at the casino.
  40. I’m taking initiative and I wrote this list.
You’ll notice that anything about  my outward appearance truly didn’t pop into my head until #36. Yet I spend so much time worrying about how the choices I make will affect it. Do you see a disconnection there? Try making your own list – you’ll be amazed at these kinds of “revelations” that it will bring about.

How do you practice self love? What’s on your list of why you’re amazing? Comment and tell me or better yet – show me on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #AmazingMe!

Happiness Goals

Paige of Running Around Normal did a great, positive post today (Friday Link Love) that started with her admitting that she was going to write a more negative post about how she’d had a blah Thursday. But then,  she decided to share some inspirational links from the blog world, and keep things positive.

I feel like my morning has been going the way Paige’s Thursday went. If you follow me, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been a bit of a Debbie Downer so far today, tweeting about this stupid yucky stomach feeling I’ve had the last couple of days that will not go away and has been really screwing with my appetite. But it’s Friday, I have a lot of great plans lined up for the weekend, and I’m going to try to stay positive.

One of my favorite happy pics ever.

I’ve been getting tons of little ideas for things I can do to help me get to my goal of finding balance. I definitely am still working on it – cutting back on planning, on being so rigid on things, on following little “rules”, on being less hard on myself.

I decided to put those little ideas into a list of happiness goals. That sounds so cheesy, but I’m not going to apologize for it. I’m just excited to make this list!

Happiness Goals:

1. Take a bubble bath. Yes, a bubble bath. I have not taken one in eons. I just got a new bottle of bubble bath from my foodie pen pal and it made me realize this. I also have a huge pile of magazines that I want to read. I am going to fix up a luxurious bubble bath, pour myself a glass of red wine, and read magazines. It’s going to be fantastic.

2. Make a daily to-enjoy list. This idea comes from Heather of Where’s the Beach? – each day at the end of her post, she makes a “daily to-enjoy list” that lists all the things she enjoyed about the day. It sounds like a great idea to keep focus on the positive things in life and take focus away from the negative stuff that my brain always seems to grab onto. Really, I have so much to be thankful for, and I certainly know that. I find myself using #firstworldpains in tweets all the time – I know a lot of my “problems” are nothing compared to those that others in the world experience. A daily list like this would help to remind me of that. I’m thinking about tweeting it – Lindsay even suggested using a #toenjoylist hashtag. I’m a hashtag freak like my girl Katelyn, so I’m all over it. I hope that I remember to do this daily tweet at the end of each day!

Definition of enjoyment.

3. Practice meditation. After about a two month wait, I finally got “Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation” by Sharon Salzberg from my library. It comes with a CD that contains four guided meditations, and these are what I really would like to focus on. I’ve been reading the book itself for a little over a week now, but haven’t “had time” to get the meditations in. I want to make sure that I practice each type of meditation in the book, including all four guided CD meditations, at least once before I have to return it to the library. Maybe the potential overdue fees will be another incentive for me to make the time to get the meditations in! Each is only 20 minutes, and I am really interested in learning how to quiet my mind. I may not seem like the most loud person in the world, but my mind is sometimes on par with a heavy-metal concert in terms of volume.

OK, so those are only three goals. But I think it’s a start. Hold me accountable, OK guys?

Now I’m off to go find my lunch appetite. I seem to have misplaced it. It better hurry back because there’s sushi and sake on the menu tonight!

Do you have any “happiness goals”? Anyone care to join me on any of these?