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Archive for May, 2012

Yesterday was a fun day. It was a Wednesday, so I was at work, but at lunchtime we threw a bridal shower for a good friend at work.

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We had cute decorations.

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Very good food (from the Hummus and Pita Co., I’ve been there many times to pick up my own lunch, this was the first time we ordered catering. It was a really nice spread, but they were 30 minutes late so (luckily I had told them to be there 30 minutes before the party started) I can’t imagine ordering from them again.

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And we had a pinata. The bride has always joked that she wants a pinata for her birthday at work so I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

The party went off very well (we delayed it 15 minutes due to the food being late), she was surprised, everyone loved the food (which by that point I didn’t care about, so much drama with what to order), the cake (from Whole Foods) was delicious, and she loved the gift.

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After work I headed out to CitiField with my friend Maria to see the Mets play the Phillies. She’s a Phillies fan and I’m a Mets fan (not that I really care, but I grew up as a Mets fan) so we had a nice rivalry going.

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This was the first time I’ve been to CitiField and I thought it was nice. Certainly nicer than Shea Stadium. Maria bought these $25 tickets that came with a burger/veggie burger, fries, and a medium soda. I thought that was a great deal.

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This was the first time I’ve been to a stadium where they list the calorie counts for food. Let’s just say after seeing my burger and fries was 995 calories I ate the burger (which was gross) and about 5 of my fries (which were also not that good).

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Here we are. Not knowing where to look at the camera.

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The game was tied early, then the Mets took the lead, then it was tied again, then at the end the Mets completely fell apart and the Phillies scored 7 runs in one inning. The Mets tried to rally during the bottom of the 9th (they scored 3 runs) but it was not enough! Still a fun night though. And it was so cheap I need to take advantage more often. I even had a relatively quick trip home, door to door I was home in about an hour and fifteen minutes which isn’t bad considering I had to get out of the stadium, take 2 trains through 3 boroughs, and walk home (about 3/4 of a mile)!

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My second What I Ate Wednesday. Like last week I’m doing what I ate Tuesday.

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8:50am: Cornbread English muffin with peanut butter and Trader Joe’s reduced sugar strawberry preserves. Normally I stick to overnight oats, but I came back from my parents’ house Tuesday morning and went straight to work so I swiped an English muffin on my way out!

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10:30am: Trader Joe’s fruit and nut trek mix granola bar. I seriously love these things.

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1:15pm: Grilled cajun chicken, corn, bell peppers, grape tomatoes, romaine, with Italian vinaigrette salad from Hale and Hearty. It was awful. I don’t know how I got it down. Thinking of it now makes my stomach turn. It just didn’t taste fresh. The sourdough bread was delicious (I hadn’t planned on eating it, but I needed something besides the salad). The pineapple coconut water was, always, delicious.

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2:30pm: A piece of 70% cocoa almond brittle chocolate. It was good, better than the orange one I bought last, but still not something I can imagine buying again. But I will eat the 7 other pieces!

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3:30pm and 4:30pm: 11 peanut butter-filled pretzels. I normally have these at 3ish, but I had another serving of them in place of my normal piece of fruit…

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…because the banana I stole from my parents looked like this. Oops.

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7pm: 1/4 Gatorade and 3/4 water drink for my run in the heat. I only ran 3 miles, but damn it was hot and humid (upper 80s and near 100% humidity) and I drank it all.

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8:30pm: I remembered why I always lose weight in the summer. The heat spoils my appetite. I didn’t want to eat anything when I got home from my run but I settled on a cheddar Amy’s burrito.

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9pm: Watermelon. This was secretly all I wanted for dinner. It was very good.

That’s my weird day of eats. Very unfulfilling, but nothing awful in there so we’ll call it a win!

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I recently realized there are certain pieces of advice that I’ve received over the years that I often find myself thinking about and referencing.

1. I was on my college’s student government executive board for two years (treasurer, woohoo $$$) and during that time we had the most amazing advisor, this woman name Beth who was so inspiring to my college life, but also to my personal life and to this day, five years after I’ve graduated, to my professional life.

One day, I’m pretty sure my senior year, I had agreed to help one of the other executive board members run some errands for a training we were doing that weekend. I went with her to several stores early one morning and later that day I had a meeting with Beth. I started complaining how I had to do everything, this, that, help Sarah run errands, etc., etc.. Well, Beth asked if it was my decision to help Sarah. And I said yes, but that even though I didn’t *have* to I still *had* to. And she said no, I didn’t, if I didn’t do it Sarah could have gone by herself or asked someone else.

The moral was that if I decide to do something then I have to own it, I can’t go back and complain about it or wish I hadn’t done it. It’s a really important, valuable lesson that I often think about and draw inspiration from today. It has definitely helped me accept my decisions and move forward rather than dwell on them.

2. Maybe a year or so ago the head of my department at work and I were discussing my performance. We were talking about how I have a tendency to get nervous during our conference presentations, start talking quickly, and then trip over my words. He said his theory was that I just want it to be over with so I want to get through it ASAP. And that I needed to just slow down, realize it was happening, and do the job he knew I could do.

Now this isn’t a particularly perceptive man. I like him, but (forgive me for saying this) he’s kind of a typical guy in that he’s not the most observant person. I doubt he realized that I took what he said to heart, but I realized that I definitely do this in presentations, but I also do it in life in general.

I often think I just need to do this or make it through this or get to this point. But there is no finish line in life (besides death and I am in no hurry to get there). I need to sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment and focus on what’s happening now.

3. This isn’t advice so much as a quote that really resonates with me:

“And that’s when I realized, making fun of Caroline Krafft wouldn’t stop her from beating me in this contest. Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.”

Anyone know where it’s from? Anyone? Mean Girls, obviously! I’ve seen Mean Girls many, many times, I think it’s a great movie and I think this is great advice. There are definitely times when I find myself annoyed at someone, that I know or even just on the subway, and I think “Oh my god their outfit is way too tight” or “What is wrong with their hair?” I try to catch myself in those moments and realize what I’m doing. There’s no reason to judge someone like that and in the case of a stranger, there’s no point in being annoyed or angry and carrying that around. In the case of someone I actually know, that judgement is often my way of skirting the bigger issue.

I think it’s often easier to focus on superficial things or trivial things rather than the bigger problem at hand and for me (and I’m guessing other people) I often revert to pettiness. When I find myself doing this I try to make myself realize what I’m actually bothered by and address that. Most of the time I find it’s something I should just let go.

4. This one’s funny: My good friend/coworker Erica invited me (or maybe I invited myself…) to have dinner at her parents’ apartment one night a few years ago. As we were sitting down to eat her mother asked me if I was usually on-time for work. I said yes, I was usually early. She then told me that you should always be a little bit late, that way, on days you’re very late, no one will notice since you’re never there on-time to begin with. Whenever Erica mention’s her mom now I refer to her as the woman who gave me the best advice I’ve ever received. But I continue to arrive at work 15 minutes or so early.

Anyone want to share any of their favorite advice?

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Monday Happies

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1. My Parents’ Dogs. I am not an animal person. I am not someone who passes dogs on the street and wants to pet them. Mostly I think they’re going to kill me (probably a result of getting attacked). But there’s something about having animals around the house that’s just really calming. Even though they can beg and get underfoot, they’re so cute and adorable and I love being able to spend time with them.

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2. Getting out of NYC. NYC is great and all, but I hadn’t left NYC, before this past Wednesday, since Easter. And I started to go pretty damn stir crazy. Being at my parents’ these past few days has been fantastic.

3. Books. I am really loving reading lately. I’m very proud of the 33 books I’ve read so far this year. It’s meant a lot of quiet time, which has been great, and a lot less internet/television stimulation which has also been great. Book recommendations are always welcome. I LOVE hearing what other people are reading.

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I hoped to have pictures of the beach to show you, but when I woke up it was overcast and chilly, so I decided I’d stay home. I don’t know, I want to go to the beach, but I often find myself relieved when I can’t go. I think it’s just a bit depressing to go alone. Plus the other people there can be so obnoxious and I often feel like I’m just spending time there to say I was there.

Anyway, I digress. Since I didn’t go to the beach I hung out in my parents’ backyard again. What started as a chilly day turned into a sunny and HOT day.

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The iPhone went inside at that point. Also, what does “solo emergenze” mean? (Apparently it means “emergencies only,” damn, I wish I would have swiped it now, I wonder what would have happened?) Does my iPhone turn multi-lingual when it’s hot out?

The point of this post is to talk about being outside. I was never a kid who liked playing outside. I remember spending a lot of time as a young kid playing outdoors with neighborhood kids, but by the time I hit middle school I was done with being outside. It was hot, you got sweaty, you got dirty, and I always got sunburned.

I pretty much kept up that set of beliefs for a while. The beach was always different (although I get bored there after a few hours), but throughout college I always preferred being inside. And even living in NYC for the last four and a half years I’ve always preferred to hang out inside rather than sit in the park all day or something.

I think it boils down to wanting to be doing SOMETHING. I’m a do-er, I’m not someone who does well just sitting around. Everyday when I wake up I have a plan in mind. For example, my plan for today was wake up, eat English muffin with peanut butter, wash face, put on sunscreen, get dressed, go to the beach, read at the beach for 2-3 hours, come home, eat lunch, sit outside all afternoon, workout around 4pm, have a beer, eat dinner, sit outside reading more, come inside and blog and read blogs, eat fruit, watch Mad Men, eat dessert, wash face and brush teeth, go to bed.

So if I could plan a day where I’d be doing stuff and just happened to be outside that’s fine. But endless stretches of just sitting around terrify me.

(This post is all over the place.)

Lately though, my feelings about being outside have changed. I don’t know if living in the city with no outdoor space has started to wear thin, but now I want to be outside all the time. I’ve started taking walks at lunch, I go running/walking when I get home, and on weekends I want to just hang out and read in the park.

So that’s pretty much the point of this post.

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I’ll end with the giant slug on my parents’ umbrella holder. (Looking back it seems so mean how we used to dump salt on them when I was a kid. I know they can be bad for gardens, but why not just pick them up (with a shovel or something) and move them elsewhere? I can’t imagine watching something suffer like that now.)

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And the view of their backyard at sunset.

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Workouts

Monday: The plan was to go running, but it was pouring so I did a whole heck of a lot of lunges inspired by Fitnessista’s 10 Ways to Lunge. I also did 3 minutes of a forearms and toes plank (10 seconds of holding the plank, 5 seconds relaxing).

Tuesday: I went for a 3 mile run (alternating 5 mins. running and 1 min. walking) and did another 3 minute plank. The best part about the run was that my Garmin magically started working. It stopped charging about a year ago so it just died. Granted I haven’t really tried to use it in a year, but the other day I randomly decided to see if it would charge…and it did!

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I had been using RunKeeper and and I never felt like it was accurate (which I don’t necessarily blame on RunKeeper, the GPS on my phone isn’t the best). Compared to my Garmin RunKeeper was about .16 off (it was done faster than it should have been).

Wednesday: Plank day! I used another Fitnessista page as a guide. I did 10 seconds of holding a plank and 5 seconds off for the following planks: regular plank, hip twist plank, lifting right leg plank, lifting left leg plank, supermans. I did it once, then I did it again. I also did 50 leg lifts and 50 scissor lifts.

Thursday: All I wanted to do was go for a run. It was supposed to be sunny all day, but it ended up being overcast and rainy all day. It looked like it was clearing up when I left work, but when I got to Brooklyn it was lightly raining. I don’t mind running in light rain (I kind of like it) so I said I’d still go. Then it started down pouring, and kept down pouring until around 8pm. Bye, bye run.

Friday: Tons of walking, but no time for a real workout.

Saturday: I ran 3 miles at my parents’ house (again, 5 mins. running alternated with 1 min. walking). It’s so nice to run somewhere less hilly. But it was humid and I finished a sweaty mess.

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What else I’ve been up to

I went to NJ for work on Wednesday.

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The work part of my trip went really well and then I did some shopping.

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New capris (yay or nay with the coral jacket?)

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New wedges. Super comfy.

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New espadrilles. I actually need to exchange them. I only tried on the right one in the store and when I got home and put the left one on the left one was smaller. I tried to exchange them Friday afternoon but the Michael Kors store by my office (which has super snooty employees, FWIW) didn’t have an 8.5. I’ll try some of their other stores next week.

I actually have these in gold from last year.

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I LOVE them and wore them everywhere last summer. However, after a month the sole fell off, luckily it wasn’t anything crazy glue couldn’t solve.

Then, this year, the whole bottom started falling off.

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Again, crazy glue is a miracle worker 🙂 Now I’m probably crazy for buying the same shoes that fell apart on me, but whatever, I love them, I don’t care.

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I took the train out to my parents’ house yesterday afternoon. That picture shows the crush of people on the platform with the reflection of the train. The confusion pretty much sums up my trip.

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I went to the bank to cash in all my change. When my parents came in for my wrist surgery I had them take the change back with them since it’s so heavy. My bank here has a change machine, but the one in the city doesn’t. The change is actually from the piggy bank I talked about in this old post. I had $61.03!

After the bank I went to Target and the beer distributor.

Then I came home and cooked.

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Green Chili Chicken Turkey Burgers from How Sweet Eats.

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Triple Double Chocolate Puppy Chow from Food, Fitness and Family (couldn’t find chocolate Chex)

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Sweet Corn and Roasted Jalapeno Hummus from How Sweet Eats

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I snacked on all my food sitting on my parents patio all afternoon. I also had an Ithaca Flower Power beer (I think it might be my favorite beer). I finished two books. I highly recommend them both.

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And after dinner my mom made strawberry shortcake for dessert! And then my dad and I took the dogs for a walk.

Whew! That was a big brain dump. Busy week!

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Charles Bradley – “Heartaches and Pain”

Ingrid Michaelson – “Far Away”

Regina Spektor – “Hotel Song”

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