Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Typical Daily Eats WIAW #3

       I take pictures of my food, but I usually don't take pictures of every meal, therefore I have just random pictures of dinners, maybe a lunch here or there and somehow rarely snap a picture of my breakfast but that is because usually it is the same thing, a bowl of oatmeal with some protein on the side and fruit on top. I finally have a picture of each of my meals for a typical day, especially now that I'm back at work I pack a salad for lunch daily and have been loving that it makes me eat more veggies daily.
    So let's begin with my breakfast, which is usually a bowl of oatmeal with about a tablespoon of chia seeds mixed in and topped with strawberries or blueberries. On the side I usually have bacon or sausage for some protein and fat to keep me full in the morning. This morning I also had one of Davida's strawberry cornbread muffins that I made. Very delicious by the way.

Many hours later, it's time for lunch, which I now enjoy outside in the city in a near by park or at an outdoor table. It's great to get some fresh air in the middle of the day and enjoy a delicious salad. My salads usually include some meat (honey ham or shredded chicken), spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato and some blueberries or strawberries for a little sweetener and sometimes avocado. 

For a snack, I have been enjoying a mix of honey bunny grahams and cashews. 

and also these delicious pretzels

For dinner I have been eating hamburgers a few times a week. I find they are so easy to make patties, freeze and grab out of the freezer when I want something quick. Tonight I added brussel sprouts on the side. 

     If I am craving something sweet later, I sometimes eat a spoonful of cookie butter. So good!!

   And that wraps up my daily eats these days. I am trying to eat less processed foods and more veggies. I know I still eat some processed foods but I have cut back a lot and my stomach is definitely happier! Thanks Jen for hosting.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weekend Recap and Treat yourself Tuesday #4

     It was exactly 4 weeks ago that I had my second interview with the company I am now in my second week working for! I also realized that in exactly 4 months today, my yoga teacher training begins! I am so excited for that! So far work is going well, but I always get antsy at the end of the day when I am ready to get moving and head to the gym.
      Anyway I wanted to recap my weekend in Buffalo, which didn't start off so well, but it was great seeing friends that I haven't seen in a couple years. So here is my weekend in pictures as well as some wonderful treats.
   Friday morning I left at 5am to start the drive, however, at 6am this happened...
I really have the worst luck with tires. This is the tire that my boyfriend kindly removed the nail and screw from almost exactly a month ago and patched it. It is also my 3rd flat in 4.5 years....So anyway after unsuccessfully getting a hold of my boyfriend, at least I got a hold of my dad and called our roadside assistance, but then roadside assistance couldn't help because I was on the Penn turnpike so the Penn turnpike roadside assistance had to help. Eventually...2 hours later I was back on the road and made a stop in Allentown, PA for a new tire.
At least I had a friend to keep me company while waiting for my new tire to be put on.

Finally made it to Buffalo at dinnertime (instead of lunch time like I planned), but still got to meet my friend's baby, who is now 9 months old, and catch up with my old roommate. 

Saturday morning was my friend's wedding and brunch reception with some really good food and cake. 
I loved the salad bar obviously!

 We had fun at the photo booth. My boyfriend and more old friends from college reunited after years.

Me and the bride

Saturday night we drove to Rochester to meet up with one of Brian's friends and my old roommate again. The Jazz festival was going on so we walked around there. 

And I enjoyed a strawberry smoothie and rice krispie treat at a local cafe.

Sunday, we had breakfast at the hotel and then headed on the road. It was a great to see everyone again and catch up on our busy lives. 

It was a bit of a long drive because my stomach was not too happy with the way I ate on the trip. I guess my stomach is really adjusting to eating more nuts, salads and less processed foods. It was finally feeling better yesterday at least now that I am back to my regular eats. 

And since it's Tuesday, I am linking up with Becky because I did enjoy this delicious treat today. I love the food trucks at Love Park, or more specifically, the cupcake truck that comes occasionally.

   That wraps up my weekend and treats. Of course it was also a great treat to spend a couple nights with my boyfriend I rarely see and catch up with my friends.
   Hope everyone has a great week!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

First Day of Work

         I survived my first day at my new job!! Ok I really can't say "survived." It honestly wasn't that difficult or anything. It was great that I had met quite a few people when I interviewed and kind of had a mini tour of the office beforehand. I was all set to start there.
         I arrived shortly before 9am and got introduced to the rest of the employees that were in by that time. Can't say I remember anybody's name really, but luckily they have signs on their doors or cubicle with their name which will certainly help me haha.
         For most of my day I watched and took notes while working with one woman that I will be helping. My computer of course was not ready when planned so I just pulled over a chair and observed. Starting with some simple tasks until I nail them and then adding more tasks to my to do list as I learn. I am super excited for this opportunity! Everyone is so nice and I know I will be learning a lot! I was a little nervous since I hadn't worked in over 3 months, but I feel the info will come back to me quickly as I learn and process this new information.
       I got my badge in the morning to really make me official! I can even go to the bathroom by myself!! You need your card to exit the bathroom area, not get into the bathroom yeah, you better not forget it.

    And here is a look at my cubicle. To me, it's missing exercise ball perhaps? Still need to ask about that, because I mean I just don't sit in chairs anymore...

        For lunch we went across the street and enjoyed this outdoor restaurant. I am loving this warm weather! I ordered a Chicken BLT sandwich. It also came with couscous. The lighting was not ideal for pictures but here is my sandwich.

       The rest of the afternoon I continued observing and then doing a few entries myself. I finally got my computer around 4:30 in the afternoon. So handy when I left at 5, but at least I know my email works and the computer is at my desk for the morning.
        I took the train home with all the commuters. Something I will have to get used to, but it's pretty nice not to have to drive. Then I quickly changed and headed to the gym for a quick weights workout. I was so happy all evening because when I returned from the gym, I checked my email and learned that I got accepted to a yoga teacher training program!
      I would say it was a pretty great Monday! Hopefully the rest of the week goes well too and then Friday I'm off to Buffalo for a wedding!! Can't wait to catch up with some old friends!! So much to look forward to!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Friday!!

   Finally Friday!! I feel like this week went by so slowly. I blame the gloomy rainy weather that we have had all week. But I can't complain too much because I would much rather have it be raining than snowing, so I am happy that it's warm outside.
     Today is my last Friday before I start working on Monday! I am excited and nervous at the same time. I haven't been working for over 3 months and it feels like ages ago. I was happy for the break in the beginning and then I made the big move to Philadelphia and have managed to keep myself busy for a while, but now I feel like I get more and more bored sitting at home, though mostly when it's raining and I can't walk to the park like the past few days. I did get a short walk in between rain showers the other day to the park and walked the trail around. The field and park is gorgeous with some trees blooming.

    However due to the rain, it was really humid and bugs kept flying in my face so I couldn't wait to get back inside.
      When it rains outside, that means I spend more time grocery shopping and in the kitchen cooking and baking. This is what happened yesterday.

          I made shredded chicken in the crock pot during the day, prepared turkey bacon and onion burgers for the freezer and made The Healthy Maven's strawberry corn muffin recipe, which I definitely recommend. They were so good. I may have eaten three last night after dinner...
          Today some more cooking will happen, or really spiralizing. I have a zucchini and cucumber to spiralize for salads. Also speaking of spiralizing, check out this awesome tote bag from Inspiralized. It was perfect for carrying my groceries yesterday.

         Well I hope the sun comes back out soon so I can soak up some more vitamin D before living in an office for 40 hours a week again. I am excited though to be learning some new things and working again though. I will also have time to read blogs while taking the train to work. It will be nice to not have to worry about driving!
      This weekend should be pretty laid back. No plans other than to work out and enjoy some outside time. However I am most looking forward to next weekend because I'm going to Buffalo to see one of my friends get married and get to visit with some other friends from school while I'm there. I am so excited because I haven't seen some of these friends in a couple years.
      Hope everyone has an awesome weekend!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Relaxing, Sleep in Weekend MIMM #9

   This was my last weekend leading into a work free week, so I enjoyed sleeping past 8am this morning. In 7 days I will be at my new job and office!! It is definitely coming up quickly and I am both nervous and excited for this new opportunity. It will also be nice to get into more of a schedule with work and my workouts. I have enjoyed getting to do what I want when I want for the past few months, but it is time to return to the work world even if that means no vacations for a while.
    This weekend was very laid back and relaxing. I did some grocery shopping on Friday for a few things and then went to TGIF yoga at a yoga studio nearby.
      On Saturday I slept in, made breakfast, did some laundry and got ready to go to Wanderlust Festival in the city. Wanderlust was a big free yoga event from 12-6pm. They had at least 4 yoga classes throughout the day with different teachers. You had to sign up for one of the classes to allow for space for other people throughout the day. I signed up for the 1:30 class and took two trains down to the city. After getting off my second train, I met three girls headed to the yoga festival as well. It was great to get a chance to meet a few people, seeing as I am still new to Philadelphia and don't really know anyone.

       We enjoyed our 1 hour yoga session in the hot sun. I did learn that my Gaiam mat gets really hot in the sun and was kind of burning my feet as we practiced. It is also hard to hold certain poses when you are covered in sunscreen and your hands keep sliding down your leg. However it was still fun. I love to do yoga outside as I feel so much more connected to nature.

       After the yoga class, I got my bridge pose in!

Then we walked around and enjoyed some free samples of stuff from the sponsors, such as Kashi, Aveeno, Wonderful Nuts, Honest Tea and more.

  After hanging out for a bit, I took the train back to Center city and stopped by Love Park because the last time I was there, I didn't get a chance to do a bridge since I was wearing a suit.

    I then headed back to the apartment and stuffed my face with food since I only had had a light lunch and it was nearly dinner time by the time I got back.

    Sunday, I didn't really have any plans. I headed to the gym and got a weights and core workout in. Then I had some lunch and headed to my favorite reading spot on sunny days, the Duck Pond! I spent a couple hours there doing some reading and thinking for a while. It was a beautiful peaceful and relaxing day there. There were a few people walking on the trails by the field was pretty much all mine!! I love it!!

     I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening watching some of Parenthood season 5 and finding some recipes on Pinterest for lunch ideas to bring to work next week! I can't wait to do some meal planning this week and hopefully try out some new recipes!
      Well I'm off to make some chocolate chip cookies seeing as I haven't made any in a while so just felt like making some when I woke up this morning. Hope everyone has a great Monday! As always Thank you Katie for hosting!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Great News and TYT #3

In the last week, there have been a lot of treats for myself so it was only fitting that I join Becky this week for Treat Yourself Tuesday.

First, going back about 8 days, it was memorial day, so I went to the mall and finally picked out some sheets for our new Queen sized mattress. Before, I was just using a fuzzy blanket. To be honest I was never really a sheet person. Of course I had the fitted sheet, but sleeping under the top sheet I was never really a fan of. I like blankets more. But these sheets which were over 50% off thanks to Macys morning special and they are so silky soft and so comfy. Now I wonder how I slept without them.

Also at Macys I picked up a 10 piece Pyrex set. As much as I love Tupperware, I also have been waiting for the day that I had my own place so I could have some Pyrex glass dishes around with lids to store things in and easily heat things up in the microwave. I just feel like they get clean better and look prettier with all the different color lids LOL.

Now onto the exciting news, which I think I already mentioned, but I will be starting a job in 13 days!! I had my first interview with them about two weeks ago and then was called back for a second interview. Before heading down to the city for my second interview I saw that Love Park Philadelphia was near by the office building and decided to take a walk there after my interview was over. I happened to be there at lunch time and there were a couple food trucks and a cupcake truck. I wasn’t a fan of the food options from the actual food trucks, but I love trying new cupcake places, so Cupcake Carnivale was my new cupcake place to try. I got a simple vanilla cupcake and also a red velvet cake ball which is basically a cake pop without the stick. I enjoyed them by the fountain at Love park and then took the train home.

Wednesday was a great day! I had a phone interview which meant I didn’t have to leave the apartment, but it also meant that I was pacing the apartment waiting for the call. The phone interview was simple and literally less than 10 minutes after that phone interview I got an offer from the company I had had a second interview at. I accepted right away knowing how much I wanted it. So I was so excited and unfortunately had no one to celebrate with, but I walked to Starbucks and got myself an iced tea and a piece of delicious pumpkin bread.

Thursday was a lovely fill out all the paperwork day. I got the acceptance letter, but I had no way to scan it and unfortunately the library has no scanner or fax. I ended up paying over $2 a page to fax the 3 pages to my dad to email to me to then send back to the company. Knowing there were many more pages of paperwork to come, my boyfriend convinced me to go out to buy a scanner, so I guess you could say that was a treat to have a scanner.

I went to MicroCenter and TJ Maxx was next store so then I browsed there and left with Chia seeds and lemongrass essential oil. I have been hearing about essential oils a lot lately from other blogs and have been interested in trying them.

Friday, my treat was spending over an hour laying outside in the sun. 

I got a little sunburned, but oh well. I enjoyed my sun time after the last few rainy, cloudy and cold days we had. In the evening, I headed home for the weekend for my sister’s graduation which I recapped yesterday.
Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!! I am enjoying as much outside time as I can before I start my new job in less than 2 weeks. EEEKKK!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Weekend at Home MIMM #8

Happy June!! I am loving that it is warming up outside and sunny after the long cold winter. However I am NOT loving how the maintenance in my apartment can’t figure out how to turn my heat off…but that’s another story.
                I’m on my way back to Philadelphia as I am writing this. I spent my weekend in Chicago for my sister’s high school graduation. It was a packed 48 hours, but a lot of fun!
                Saturday morning I was able to enjoy my last Zumba class at Lifetime Fitness as it was the last day of my membership there. While I have found a couple Zumba classes at the gym I joined in the Philadelphia area, the instructors are definitely not the same, but I respect that each instructor has their own style and that is great!
I was too busy enjoying the class to take pictures but did take this quick picture.

A new to me song that my instructor brought in flags from all over the world for us to dance with as the sound was about waving your flag. Something I really enjoyed about her class is the props and interacting with everyone. For a while she had a belly dance song and would bring a few belly dance skirts for people to wear. I actually own a belly dance skirt and would bring my own. It was lots of fun!
                After getting my workout in, my friend picked me up for lunch. We went to a place called The Protein Bar. Even though it was a bit of a drive from my house, I knew my friend would love it. We both got Quinoa bowls. I got the spinach, chicken and pesto one. It was delicious!

                Following lunch, we drove to the Jarvis beach in Chicago where I got to meet up with a couple other friends. One of my friends who now lives in Oregon happened to be visiting and it was great to catch up with her as well as another one of my high school friends. It was such a beautiful day for the beach to get some sun. However, the water was pretty cold. I went in waist deep and then quickly went back to my towel to enjoy the sun and warm up again. Lake Michigan tends to warm up mid July or so.

                Saturday evening, I enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner at home. We also had some delicious side dishes including roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and zucchini salad and rice. With the beautiful weather, we enjoyed our meal sitting on the patio.

                Later that evening, I met up with my friends whom I saw at the beach earlier, at a bar in Evanston. I don’t drink any sort of alcoholic drinks. I really just don’t like them, so I just drank water and chatted for a couple hours.

                I think I finally got to bed at midnight and normally I go to bed around 10pm, so it was late for me, but it was so nice to socialize as I don’t know anyone in my new town and I was filling them in on my new life.
                Sunday morning I woke up at 7am and made some breakfast and caught up on Big Bang Theory. I don’t have cable or a TV in my new apartment so I have been feeling a bit deprived from TV. Before moving, my favorite Sunday morning activity was cutting the coupons that come in the Sunday paper. Now that I’m not living at home, my parents are stopping the newspaper subscription soon! However, they saved the last few coupons inserts and I was able to look through them and cut coupons for some things they might need or I might need. Watching TV, eating breakfast and cutting coupons was a great relaxing Sunday morning for me!
                Before I knew it, I had to get ready to go for my sister’s graduation. She had to be there a bit earlier than us, so my dad quickly dropped her off, then came home to change and we headed out. We got there and squeezed in with all the people in the bleachers and waited for the graduation to start. 

                It was weird going in and remembering everything from my graduation day 6 years ago. I could remember exactly where I sat and how hot it was wearing those gowns and everything. At that point it hit me that my sister was really heading off to college in the Fall and there are no more high school graduations to attend. One of the greatest feelings at the graduation though was to be able to stand up in the bleachers along with all the other alumni towards the beginning of the ceremony and be a proud WildKit!

                The graduation didn’t last too long; an hour and a half and only half an hour that was spent calling out the over 700 names in the class. Once the graduates started to walk out, people couldn’t wait to get back outside. Even though it was over 80 degrees today, it was so hot in the gym, so it was nice once we got a little bit of a breeze and waited outside to find my sister.
                Once we all found each other, we had a little photo session. Technology and cameras have advanced so much over the last 6 years and so at the time of my graduation, my dad did not have his Digital SLR camera yet so I have fewer pictures, but I must say I love the photo sessions with him just snapping picture after picture, as a few are bound to turn out good. Two years ago, my sister and I had fun with a photo shoot after my college graduation, so I felt we needed to do some of the same poses and get some nice sister poses. 

               We also had one of her best friends tag along with us for lunch so she joined in some pictures as well.

                My dad made the decision to go to the Happ Inn for lunch after no one could really agree on a place and he had a gift card to use anyway. The place was delicious! We were all pretty hungry so we ordered chips and guacamole and some pulled pork sliders for an appetizer. For my entrĂ©e, I actually also ordered the pulled pork dish. After filling up on chips and delicious guacamole, I removed the bun from my pulled pork and just ate the meat and saved most of my fries for later. I loved the paintings/pictures on the walls in the restaurant, especially the bathroom sign ("Men to the left, women always right"), which my sister’s friend was going to Instagram but I beat her to it LOL.

                After lunch I was stuffed. We then took some more photos outside by the flowers that the restaurant had. 
the rare family photo

              Then I had a couple hours at home which I spent uploading photos, packing my suitcase and then packing up more things in my room. My parents are really eager to take over my room or rearrange the house, so I had to leave some post it notes around on stuff to keep and stuff to give away, etc. I don’t know the next time I will be coming home as I am starting my new job in 2 weeks and obviously won’t have time off for a while with a new job. My dad and sister may drive out to visit me in August for a couple days and drive some of my stuff to me or maybe soon I will start getting a package a day at my doorstep. Eventually I will have all my stuff, but I have everything that is necessary for now.
                It was certainly a marvelous weekend, so I’m linking up with Katie for MIMM. Thanks Katie for hosting.
The weekend seemed like it went by in a flash but I had a great time. Now back to Philadelphia to enjoy my last 2 weeks of freedom. On the agenda for today is a trip to the grocery store as I tried to clean out most of my fridge before leaving for the weekend.
                Wooo that was a long post for the jam packed weekend! Thank you if you made it all the way to the end. Hope everyone has a fabulous Monday!