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PTX Concert

6 Dec

Hello everybody! I had a wonderful evening out with my roommate last night at Howard Theatre. I had tickets to one of my favorite artists, an a capella group called Pentatonix. You may have heard of them from the Sing Off, where they were the winners of Season 3. They got super famous after a couple of their videos on YouTube went viral and they have become really popular. I just love a capella and they are particularly good. My roommate went to college with Kevin, the beatboxer, and so we were both pretty excited about getting to see them live!

IMG_1587[1]The Howard Theatre is an absolutely beautiful venue in Washington. The layout is a bit unusual, in that the main area for viewing is set up with tables where dinner or dessert can be served. I have never been to a show where you can sit and eat dinner while the group is performing! My roommate and I had already eaten dinner, but we decided to order dessert. She ordered their glazed mini donuts and I ordered apple pie with a cinnamon spice glaze.

IMG_1592[1]Super tasty! The donuts came with all sorts of things to use for dipping: caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and a variety of different sprinkles.  The only drawback was that both of them were served pretty lukewarm. I prefer all my baked goods to be nice and hot, so that was a little disappointing. The cinnamon glaze on the pie was really good, though.

The show was so wonderful! They sound just as good live as they do on their videos and just had a great energy about them. It looked like they really seem to enjoy performing for people and that they love being around each other. They’re just finishing up their 2012 tour, but be on the lookout for the next time they come to your city! Also, their ‘Carol of the Bells’ cover is my new favorite holiday song of the season.

Incredible, right?

I managed to rush home from work and grab a quick dinner (veggie burger!) before leaving again. As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to do a lunchtime workout because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do my usual Body Pump class due to the concert. I signed up for spin and hustled my butt over to the gym for the 45 minute class.

So, what do I think about lunchtime workouts? Fabulous for efficiency, terrible for hygiene. It was a pretty exhilarating mid-day energy boost and it helped me power through the rest of the work day without getting the usual afternoon slump. I swear, I felt like I had just injected myself with some kind of energy drink – I was wired. The only downside is that I don’t have enough time to shower and groom myself after the class, so I had to change back into my work clothes after a quick wipe down and felt pretty gross with my sweaty hair. Verdict? Not my first choice, but definitely a possible alternative if I have evening plans.

I ate lunch at my desk after I returned from spin and wasn’t as ravenous as I usually am by lunchtime, probably due to the exercise.

IMG_1569[1]In the lunchbox was a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, some mini sweet potatoes, and a packet of trail mix. I also raided the office snack basket that was out in the kitchen and came up with an nutrition bar I’ve never tried.

IMG_1570[1]I don’t know anything about the Zone diet and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve eaten a nutrition bar, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

IMG_1585[1]That’s my ‘what the heck is this?’ face. Please excuse the post-workout hair – seriously, it was not cute. The bar turned out to be okay, though I would prefer 210 calories worth of real food over a nutrition bar any day. I was pretty impressed with the touted 14 grams of protein, though.

I’m going to be a little drowsy today at work because of the late night last night, but it was so worth it and tomorrow is Friday! I am going to do another lunch workout today because I have a happy hour with friends after work and I’m trying a new class! It’s called ‘Cardio and Tone’ and it is described as “A perfect combination of cardio and toning exercises to shape your body. This workout includes cardio fitness and with intervals of sculpting exercises using dumbbells, body bars, tubing for upper and lower body. Abs included.” Sweet.

Before I sign off, I want to show you the breakfast I have been super into the past few days: 2 fried eggs on a whole wheat sandwich thin, with a spread of a Laughing Cow cheese. Yum! I always forget how easy it is to cook eggs in the morning. I’m usually deterred from using the oven in the morning because I associate it with time-consuming meals. This took about ten minutes from start to finish. Get that stove top going!

IMG_1597[1]Okay beautiful people, time for me to head out, but I wish you a wonderful Thursday! Much love ❤

Food for Thought: What is your favorite holiday song this winter?

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

26 Nov

Hello!!!! How I have missed all of you! Like many, I took Thanksgiving and the subsequent weekend off of blogging and blog reading so I could spend time with my loved ones. As you know, Stef and I didn’t go home for the holiday, but managed to create a wonderful Thanksgiving of our own with a friend who was also staying in town.

To recap, I’ve created a fun little collage of some of the weekend highlights.

Do you see that gorgeous turkey in the middle? It was made by yours truly! I am so, so happy it turned out well! It was an 11.5-pounder and all remains of it had disappeared by Saturday at lunch. We went hard on the leftovers, as evidence by my pictures. It is safe to stay that I am Thanksgiving food-ed out for awhile – until next year, at least! We had a wonderful meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes,  and cranberry sauce. We kept it very traditional, but didn’t want to make too much food, since there were only going to be three of us. We managed to fit in an apple and a pumpkin pie, though.

After eating ourselves silly on Thursday, Stef, my roommate, and I spent most of Friday up in the forests of Rock Creek Park, where we fit in a good 4-hour hike. It was a brisk day, but the sun was out and I thoroughly enjoyed getting my body moving after being sedentary for most of the week. I had a great time hiking through the woods and leaping from rock to rock across creeks – it brought out my inner Pocahontas!

It was so nice to spend a long, long weekend with Stefano, after only getting two days out of every week together. It never ceases to amaze me that we still have so much fun together after this many years. We spent a lot of time watching Scrubs, taking walks around the neighborhood, and we each bought a pair of new running shoes! Neither of us are huge shoppers and we definitely didn’t get in on the Black Friday madness, but we did manage to take advantage of some sales that were going on through the weekend.

It has been six (YES, six) years since I have had new running shoes and I would say that I was looooonnng overdue. I’m not a huge runner, so I didn’t ever put that many miles on the shoes, but they have been around a long, long time. After accidentally stepping into Rock Creek during my rock leaping (okay, so my Pocahontas could use a little work), I decided that it was finally time to retire them. It is the end of an era.

Speaking of running shoes, I am so looking forward to getting back into my regular gym routine this week. Last week, I hit Body Pump on Monday and yoga on Tuesday. Aside from our long hike on Friday, I stayed away from exercise because a) I was worried about some knee pain I was experiencing and b) I was busy prepping for Thanksgiving. I haven’t spent this much time away from the gym since I moved to the city at the beginning of July. It certainly felt strange, though I constantly amaze myself at how easily I can fall into a routine of sitting around the house, doing nothing. 

Today it is back to the Pump and I am excited! I’m hoping my knee pain doesn’t flare up again. If it does, I think a doctor’s appointment is definitely going to be on the books.

Wishing you all a VERY happy start to the week!

Food For Thought: What is longest amount of time you have gone without exercise recently? On an unrelated note, did you participate in Black Friday? Any good finds?

 

 

The Price You Pay

25 Oct

Good morning from cold, grey Washington, everybody.

I woke up with a bit of an upset tummy today, so the only thing that sounded even remotely appealing was a PB & J and some hot tea.

I immediately knew why I felt so icky. It’s because I had too much of this last night:

Apple pie a la (chocolate) mode. This, coupled with some CVS-induced poor decision making (read: Halloween candy) and my stomach was not a happy camper.

My Body Pump workout was really subpar. I had to take multiple breaks during the bicep and delts songs and was feeling too low energy to stay for Zumba afterwards. I guess that’s the price you pay when you put junk into your body.

I tried to mitigate it by having a light dinner of spaghetti squash faux pasta, with some pasta sauce and a sprinkle of grated parmesan for dinner. This dish is seriously so good for people who are looking for a pasta substitute – just stick that baby in the microwave for 11 minutes and then cut in half, de-seed, and scrape into “noodles”. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done and I woke up feeling not so hot.

With the holidays coming up (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.), I know it’s going to be a challenge to stick to healthy choices when there will be a plethora of delicious, heavy treats just waiting to be consumed. I know this time of year is hard for everybody because of all these special occasions, as well as the cold weather that makes you only want to eat stick-to-your-ribs kind of food. A crisp green salad doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as a big bowl of hot spaghetti when it’s cold and dreary outside.

This weekend, I’m hoping to compile a list of healthy versions of comfort food. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes you need to have a the real thing and there are just some meals you shouldn’t ever try to fake. But a lot of times, it is easy to make just a few changes and fill that craving without all the unhealthy extras.

Food For Thought: What’s your favorite fall comfort food? Is there a holiday staple that you can’t get enough of?

My holiday staple is the stuffing at Thanksgiving. I swear, there’s some kind of crack in it because I can never get enough. I feel like my family has begun to make two batches of it: one for me and one for everybody else. Stef is a huge stuffing fan as well, so I have a feeling that it’s going to be the star of our Thanksgiving this year. Who needs turkey?

TCK

12 Oct

Major blogger fail of the morning: leaving behind my camera cord to upload pictures. Boooooooooooooo. So this is going to a picture-less post (at least of my life, I will add some stock photos) – sorry!

Didn’t get to blogging last night because I was watching the Vice Presidential Debates. I don’t have normal TV channels, but my roommates and I have this thing called a Roku which lets you stream things? I have no idea how it works or how to work it, but you can get Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, and all sorts of other things. I should probably figure out how to use it.

My favorite picture of the night.

I swear, sometimes I feel like technology moves so fast I don’t have time to adapt to it before they’re onto the next thing. My grandma on the other hand, is a total tech whiz. Never mind the fact that she is an octogenarian, she has email, Facebook, and her iPad figured out. Not only that, she can still sew me dresses from a pattern. I just adore her!

So today, two things are happening: I am getting my hair cut for the first time in 14 months (seriously, Sara?) and then I’m going to a potluck dinner for third culture kids (TCK). What is a TCK? It’s basically somebody who spent a significant portion of their developmental stage of life in a culture that wasn’t their parents’ native country. Many of these people are children from military families who live overseas or missionaries. What often happens is that a child will return to their “home” country and realize that they don’t feel comfortable there because of the amount of time they spent in another culture. However, they don’t feel 100% comfortable in the “foreign” country either because they are not natives. What ends up happening is this feeling that you don’t fully “belong” in either country.

I don’t feel that I am a total TCK by definition, as one of my parents is in fact from the “foreign” country I spent time in, but the feelings of belonging, or lack thereof, are similar so I’m going to count myself as a halfsie TCK. How about that? I don’t even fit into the club for people who don’t fit in!

I am looking forward to the potluck, because each person is going to bring a dish from their “foreign” country. So that means lots and lots of different kinds of food – right up my alley, ya’ll! I’m bringing basbousa, an Egyptian dessert made from semolina flour. It can be found all over the Mediterranean under various names. The Greeks call it revani, the Turks call it ravani, other parts of the Arab world call it hareesa or pastusha. Whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious.

Source

There a million and one recipes for it and they’re all different. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to taste this yet (the downside to baking) so I have no idea if the way I made it turned out well. After the taste test tonight, I will post the recipe if it turns out okay.

Happy Friday!

Food for Thought:  Are any of you TCKs? Are you, one, or both of your parents an immigrant or immigrants?

Throwback

19 Sep

Okay guys, I am SO wiped from my back-to-back Body Pump/Zumba workout, so I am about to collapse in bed (don’t worry, I showered). Instead of a real blog post tonight will be a presentation of the various manifestations of dinner from last night:

Lunch: leftover chicken, vegetables, and couscous with an apple, trail mix, and baby carrots.

Dessert: Apple spice cake with maple buttercream frosting 🙂

Also, a throwback. Do you remember these guys?

I was, and still am, such a huge fan of 90s/early 00s pop groups: N’Sync, BSB, O-Town, Dream Street, the list goes on. I know, I have the best taste in music.

Food For Thought: What are your guilty pleasure bands or artists?

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