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Merry Christmas!

25 Dec

Wishing everyone a blessed day today, whether you’re celebrating Christmas or just enjoying a day off.

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I celebrated Christmas with my mom and half my family when I first arrived in Seattle on Saturday and then Stef’s family did all their Christmas shenanigans last night on Christmas Eve. Today will be spent with my dad and his family who don’t celebrate Christmas, but the day will be filled with joy and love nonetheless.

Much love to you and your families!

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First Day on the Job

12 Jul

Good evening, everybody!

Today was my first day on the job, though not officially. I went in for an orientation/training day before I start at the end of the month. I woke up and had a quick yogurt/berry breakfast that was as delicious as always.

Here it is looking nice and pretty…

And here it is when I’ve stirred it all up:

…not so pretty.

Anyway, then I was off to work, where I spent the day going around the office and meeting everybody and was a fly on the wall while the person I’ll be replacing went about their day to day business. I am really looking forward to it, though I have to say, it is really nice being on summer vacation!

We stopped by PAUL, a cute French bakery and café for a quick lunch. I ordered the Le Maraîcher, a sandwich with grilled eggplant, roasted pepper, artichoke hearts, and lemon spread on a basil loaf – YUM. It was pretty pricey, but super tasty.

I had never tried basil in bread but, as always, basil made it delicious.

After my day at the office, I went back home to take care of some finance-y things, like ordering a checkbook and applying for a credit card. I had been in limbo with that stuff because I am subletting, but now that I know where I will be living permanently, it was time to get that show on the road!

Now I’m settling in for the evening with a big platter of these babies. Oh, how I love summer time and all the delicious fruits that are available! This Sunday is the 15th birthday of the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market and so I will be sure to pay it a visit with Stefano, who will be down visiting this weekend! I can’t wait until we are back in the same city again.

I hope everybody has a lovely evening!

Pumps and BodyPump

11 Jul

Hey again!

Today has been a busy, busy day. I had to go shopping for work clothes because I have one day of training tomorrow, though I don’t officially start until the 23rd. There’s a Marshalls fairly close to my house, so I popped on over there to see if I could find a suitable outfit. Being a laid back, west coast-er, I really don’t know how people dress for work in D.C. so I planned on overdressing and then scoping out what other people in the office were wearing. I found a great pencil skirt in black, but it was too big to the point that I couldn’t justify buying it, even with a belt. I managed to escape with a pretty dress, a black cardigan-type jacket (the dress is sleeveless), and some nude pumps (because everybody needs nude pumps) to add to my already humongous shoe collection. VOILA!

Shopping always manages to make me tired and hungry, so I was ready for lunch by the time I got back to my house. I put together a MASSIVE salad (like, a whole romaine heart) and had some sun dried tomato and basil hummus on the side to dip the veggies into. Summer weather makes me crave salads all the time, I think it’s because of all the water in the veggies. Anyway, I threw in some lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber (my favorite) and topped it with a dash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I just ran out of avocado, which was a bummer because I think that raises ordinary salads to a whole new level of awesome.

I didn’t want to eat anything too heavy because I was headed to the gym for my movement assessment and nutrition consultation. The nutrition consultation didn’t yield too many surprises as I am a fairly healthy eater (except where pasta or ice cream is concerned) and so we mainly talked about portion sizes and mixing in vegetables with my pasta servings, so I still feel like I’m eating a lot without gorging on pasta. She also gave me a couple of easy recipes for my sweet tooth. One that intrigued me was a recipe for banana bites, which are basically sliced bananas dipped in almond butter and then dark chocolate and sprinkled with coconut shavings, then stuck in the freezer. I will be sure to let you all know if I decide to try that out.

The movement assessment was a lot more helpful for me. The trainer had me do a couple of squats, lunges, etc. and identified what I knew was going to be a problem point: my hip flexors. He said that because they were so tight, they were providing adequate stability for my knees and, as a result, my knees weren’t 100% stable when I was doing the exercises. He recommended some dynamic stretches for me to do that open up the hips and also prescribed a few minutes using a massage ball for that little hip pocket between the pelvic bone and the top of the quad. HOLY COW, that does not feel pleasant! It definitely highlighted the tension in the area and felt really uncomfortable, but made a noticeable difference in the post-massage squats and lunges.

Then it was time for BodyPump…oh, dear Lord. I knew I was out of shape when I got to D.C. and I was going to have to lower my expectations when it came to my fitness level, but I was not prepared for the butt-kicking that awaited me. For those of you not familiar with it, BodyPump is a Les Mills weight-based, group fitness class that divides muscle groups into eight and organizes them by song. You may read more about it here. After an hour, my arms and legs felt like total jelly. I really like it because I don’t get very excited about weights, so this a fun, group-oriented way to get my strength training in.

On the way home, the KababJi truck was parked right outside my bus stop, so of course I had to drop in. Food trucks are really popular in D.C. and I have begun to appreciate them more as I try different types of cuisine in a very serendipitous manner. KababJi is an extremely popular Lebanese restaurant in the city and the food truck is kind of a mini version of the restaurant. There were many delicious choices, but I chose the lamb kebab, which is minced lamb with yummy pickled vegetables and tahini.

So yummy. Anyway, I am headed to bed now and tomorrow I am going to have an orientation at my new place of work! I hope everybody has a great night!

Hello Virtual World!

6 Jul

Rome 069

Welcome to the first post of Magia e Pasta – a blog that documents my passion for food and fitness and my serious case of wanderlust. My blog title is inspired by my favorite quote from famed Italian film director, Federico Fellini. He said, in Italian, “la vita è una combinazione di magia e pasta”, which translates to “life is a combination of magic and pasta” which is a saying I whole-heartedly agree with. As this baby blog grows and expands, you will find recipes and pictures of quick n’ healthy meals that I love,  posts about my fitness goals and routines, dreams of magical faraway places, and my musings on the magical day-to-day tidbits that make up life. Please feel free to jump on the wagon that is my daily life and follow my culinary adventures (and mishaps), fitness successes (and failures), and globe-trotting daydreams. Enjoy the ride!

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