Manic Monday Galore!

Yesterday was “hit the ground running before you walk into the door” kind of day. Nothing says it’s Monday like an 11 hour work day. Good. times. (For the record, Tuesday is the same, which is why this post is so late.)

manicmonday

Started off the day with protein pancakes (recipe courtesy of the Tone It Up Ladies and Perfect Fit Protein – egg whites, protein powder, cinnamon and ground flax seed.) Normally those banana’s are smashed and put in the pancakes, but I forgot. 🙂 They are gluten free, delicious, and super easy to make.

Breakfast

For lunch, I enjoyed a salad with lots of veggies and creamy garlic dressing (recipe for dressing from Beachbody Ultimate Reset). Dinner I had planned on make my roasted vegetables, but since I was running late to trivia I had to eat at the bar (wasn’t my first choice, and even though it looked good and was on gluten free bread something did not sit right in my stomach).

Dinner

Why was I at a bar on a Monday night – for Nerds and Geek trivia night. I met up with three ladies that I met at the MeetUp event on Saturday.

NerdTriviaHeader

I must say it wasn’t the kind of trivia I was expecting. I was thinking it was going to be more facts and less name that tune. Still lots of fun with new friends.

I’m happy to report that thanks to the 8th and final round, which was random facts, and the ability to double our points in this round, we came in….

5th place  (our of 10 teams)

The last round had sports and political related questions. Good thing I love sports and lived in D.C. for 10 years!

Gotta jet…until we meet again tomorrow.

New adventures and new friends

I want to wish a VERY extra happy and special birthday to my good friend Emily! I hope you have THE best day. Can’t wait to celebrate real soon!!!

Happy Birthday Emily

Another great weekend in this great city! This weekend was all about new adventures, new friends, and getting back on track! Friday night I ended up staying in because I knew the rest of the weekend was going to be jammed packed. So, glad I did.

Saturday I started my day off with a yummy breakfast (Shakeology and gluten free toast with turkey bacon and scrambled eggs) and sending off birthday wishes. For those of you who don’t know me I LOVE sending cards to my friends just because, but even more so on their birthday’s. I never can send just one card because I end up finding so many great ones. (Side note: Never leave me alone in an aisle with cards or Hallmark store; I’ll never leave!) I also love stickers, yet they’re so hard to find these days! My best friend’s dad Papa Hughes (shout out) calls me “the sticker lady.” (Side note: When he got injured last year the sticker lady sent him stickers for his helmet. 🙂 )

Saturday Breakfast

During the day on Saturday I joined some new friends at Wimberley Valley Winery for a wine tasting. We had a great time trying different wines and getting to know each other. Their sweet wines that they produces are delicious! I tried the plum and the blush; they would be good during the summer as sangria.

I’m still amazed how many people are looking to make new friends and branch out; it’s awesome! After the winery we went to Salt Lick BBQ, a staple here in Austin. While I wasn’t super impressed by the bbq, the cole slaw was yummy and the atmosphere was really cool. (Sorry all you Salt Lick BBQ lovers.) I’m glad I went, and would go again to try their spicy bbq sauce. My co-worker said it’s better than their regular bbq sauce. I had so much fun hanging with these ladies.

Wimberley Valley Winery 1Wimberley Valley Winery 2

After a great day exploring more of Austin and making new friends, I went to a birthday party for a new friend that I met through MeetUp. I had a great time celebrating and meeting even more people. Talk about a small world, the girl whose place we were hanging at moved to Austin 8 months ago from Silver Spring, MD, AND she went to college with someone I know from Pittsburgh. Seriously such a small world.

Sunday Funday! The morning was spent planning meals for the week, going to the grocery store, and running other errands. I’m starting Insanity Asylum 1 this week and it is important that I get enough calories and nutrients to fuel my body. Planning what I eat for the week helps stay me on track.

Meal prep 1

The afternoon brought some fun in the sun with a walk around Town Lake. It seriously was a beautiful day. I think next week I’m going to prepare better so I can be outside ALL day! Please note that at 5:30 p.m. yesterday is was 88 degrees. I’ve been told by several people this is normal, and to prepare myself for when it’s 9 p.m. and 100 degrees during the summer. A-W-E-S-O-M-E-!

Sunday Funday

After a long fun weekend I spent a couple of hours prepping food for the week. I have found that it is so much easier to do this so that I can open the fridge, grab what I need and go. It cuts down on cooking and cleaning for the week too. What could be better?

Meal prep 2

Looking forward to this week. More adventures with new friends!

Question: Do you plan your meals out for the week, and do you prep food ahead of time?

TGIF!

Boy am I glad it is Friday! Happy dance!

Happy Dance

It has been another busy week in the office. Picture a juggling act at the circus; that’s been my life the last few weeks.

juggling act

This morning was off to a “great” start. I dropped an egg while attempting to make breakfast. I’m a genius! I thought I could catch it between the counter and my shirt, but wasn’t thinking about how it would break. I’m special 🙂

Fallen egg Fallen egg 2

I then was walking to my car and saw this –

Bird in the hallway

Yep, that’s right, that’s a bird just chilling in the hallway. It was alive and appeared to be unharmed so I let him or her be. I think I was more afraid of it than it was of me. It sat there staring at me as I quickly walked by. Haha!

Yesterday was another great day. I had a delicious salad with salmon and veggies for lunch (it was SO good) –

Lunch

and for an afternoon snack I had Greek yogurt with maple syrup and almonds –

Snack

It was the perfect mixture of sweet and salty. My taste buds were satisfied.

After work I headed to another MeetUp event. This one was part of the Texas Young Professional group. It was cool meeting other people in the area and learning about what they do for a living and what they like to do for fun. I’m always amazed by the number of people I meet who aren’t originally from the area. It’s cool to hear their story about their journey to Texas, and what it is they like most about this city.

Seriously, if you’ve never tried a MeetUp group you really should. It’s intimidating to go to these events at first, but the more you go the more people you meet and the less awkward it becomes. I still find myself not really sure what to say after you ask the basic questions – what’s your name, what do you do, where are you from, what do you like to do, etc.

Looking forward to this weekend. I’m attending to two MeetUp events, getting in a couple workouts and hopefully relaxing a bit.

Question: What are your plans for the weekend?

Meet the Neighbors

Yesterday morning I decided to get some coffee. I don’t drink regular coffee because the caffeine gives me jitters, but I really love the taste of coffee so decaf it is! I planned on going to a local coffee shop that I saw on my way to work versus Starbucks; you know to support the local business. As I was about to put the lid on the coffee I happened to glance down and see this:

Coffee

Am I crazy, or does it look like a dog or maybe a mushroom. Haha, either way it made me chuckle. I’m sorry to report though the coffee wasn’t good. It tasted very bitter. I tried, and will try other local coffee shops; I just won’t be going to this place again.

Things continue to be busy at work as we prepare for the launch of our topped pizzas in June. I spent some time yesterday coming up with some ideas for the back of the box. Hopefully the rest of the team likes what my co-worker and I came up with. (I’ll share pictures when I can 🙂 )

This week is resident appreciation week for my apartment complex. We got a cute little welcome bag on Monday, last night they had taco night, and this Saturday they’re providing us brunch. I of course went to the event because I wanted to meet my neighbors. I think it’s good to know people in the building. After all you never know when you might need an egg or a cup of milk. I’m happy to report that I made friends.

I didn’t end up eating tacos because even though the meats and toppings were gluten free, there was a good chance of cross contamination due to the utensils coming in contact with the flour tortillas. I wasn’t always this sensitive to gluten. A few months ago I was eating at a restaurant and immediately felt sick when I was done eating. I also got, what my friend Melissa and I refer to as, a gluten baby. This is when your stomach puffs out and you appear to look pregnant. It’s not fun, and I decided that from now on it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, I went home after meeting some neighbors and made myself dinner. On the menu – baked tilapia with roasted asparagus, broccolini and brussels sprouts.

Dinner

My favorite part of yesterday was the surprise phone I got from two friends. They were calling to check in and see how everything was going. So sweet! Meant a lot.

Today on the agenda, another Meet Up event. Looking forward to meeting some other young professionals in the Austin area.

Question: Have you every gotten gluten-ed by a restaurant?

Wacky Facts Wednesday

Apologizes for posting this so late in the day. Hope you enjoy.

Happy wacky facts Wednesday! I couldn’t be more excited that today is Wednesday. I always feel, “If I can make it to Wednesday, I’m in good shape because the weekend is just on the other side.” Anyone else?

I’m going to be completely honest, yesterday was filled with all work and no play so I don’t have any new adventures to share with you. I do however have some wacky facts to share with you:

  • I didn’t receive one piece of mail yesterday. Not one.
  • I was starving all day yesterday. I’m going to say it was because of my great workout on Monday. Definitely will be going for another run soon.
  • In the last month and a half I’ve gained 6 pounds. I know to some that might not seem like a lot, but for me it is; I’m not happy about it. I can make excuses (the move, the inability to cook, traveling, not being able to workout), but that’s all they are, excuses. I am serious about recommitting to my healthy lifestyle. No more dinning out (just special occasions). This week I’ve been cooking. Check out dinner from last night (talapia with roasted asparagus, broccolini, black beans, and tomatoes with a balsamic glaze):

Dinner

  • I’m starting Insanity Asylum 1 on May 1 and Asylum 2 on June 1. Between now and then I am going to workout to other Beachbody programs and go for runs. That’s one of the great things about Beachbody programs; you can either go in the order laid out or you can put in any of the DVDs and get a great workout.
  • I haven’t left the office before 6 p.m. since I started. So many wonderful things are happening. Get ready our frozen topped pizzas are coming to a store near you in June.
  • I have officially unpacked all my boxes. Now that’s not to say everything is put away, it’s just unpacked. 😉
  • Have you ever noticed that when someone makes a left hand turn they always cut it close to the left lane to where they are turning? I thought I was exception, but learned last night I was not. Haha.
  • Tonight my apartment complex is having taco night – it’s resident appreciation week. I have a feeling self-control is going to going to be in full swing because they’re having chips and salsa.
  • I had frozen yogurt 9 times last week…you do the math 😉
  • I love The Voice. I think team Adam’s battle between Sarah and Duncan stole the show.

Wrapping things up in the office so I can enjoy some tacos! 🙂 Have a good night y’all.

Question: What toppings do you like on your tacos?

Lady Bird Lake

Monday was all about getting back on track. Now that my apartment is together and my back was feeling better it was time to utilize my kitchen and explore Lake Bird Lake. Really, I know people don’t like Monday’s but mine was pretty great.

Meatless Monday’s are back!

Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology with BP2

Morning snack: Honey crisp apple with 100 calorie almond snack pack

Lunch: A salad with snow pea sprouts, avocado, red & green bell peppers, baby cucumbers, carrots and grape tomatoes with a vinaigrette.

Afternoon snack: Kind bar – dark chocolate, nuts, and sea salt

Dinner: Roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and black beans.

Healthy lunch

Healthy dinner

Yummy, right?

I decided that for my workout I would enjoy a run around Lake Bird Lake. I have friends who keep raving about it, so I figured there was no time like the present to check it out. Plus, the weather was so great yesterday that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I rushed home to change and was detoured by a few packages.

A few packages

Haha, oops! After dragging the packages inside. I got changed and headed to the trails. I had the best time. It was absolutely an amazingly beautiful day! There were so many people on the trail and on the water.

LBL 2 LBL 3   LBL 6 LBL 7

I saw this along my run: “We run in support of Boston”

LBL 4

Finished the run with this view. LOVE!

LBL 1

I can’t wait to go for another run on the trail. There are so many different options for where to run, how many miles you want to run, and things to see on your run.

Getting back on track is super important to me. I spent last year and first month of this year getting myself back into shape. I grew up playing sports and had always been in good shape. However, like most people, I lost track of that healthy lifestyle and gained a “little” weight over the last 10 years. Through workouts and clean eating I got myself back on track, and I’m not about to reverse all the hard work I have done. I feel too good to go back to where I was over a year ago. I’ll share my story in another post.

Question: What do you think about the carpet?

photo 3

For the love of grocery stores

My favorite part of the weekend was my trip to the grocery. No, really. I. love. the grocery store! I couldn’t wait to go so that I could start cooking and clean eating. I’ve gotten off track these last couple of weeks because of the move, but I was determined to change things.

HEB

I couldn’t contain my excitement to get inside the store. I was also the creeper taking pictures hoping that no one would notice. Look at all the fresh produce.

Fresh produce

Got a lot of good stuff. Can’t wait to get cooking.

fresh food

On Friday, I went to a work function. Aquasana, a Texas based company, recently moved closer to downtown Austin, and they had an open house to show off their new office space. I went to the event and brought our blondies and brownies. They were a hit!

I got this cool new water bottle, and got to try their sparkling water.

Aquasana Event

Saturday I got up and had breakfast of champions – 2 kind bars. They were tasty!

Saturday breakfast

I spent all of Saturday running errands. And as much as I hate shopping, the weather helped to brighten the day. Who can complain about sunshine?

Beautiful weather

I stopped by Whole Foods for a good healthy lunch to keep me going. I had a side of kettle chips; they’re healthy too, right? 😉

Healthy Eating

I was determined to find items that would help me to better organize the kitchen, bathroom and closet. I had an idea of what I was looking for, but wasn’t really sure how much I would need or if the pieces would work for the spaces I had identified. So, I grabbed what I could find and kept in mind that I could return whatever I didn’t need or didn’t work.

I started at the Container Store. I really like the Container Store, but in general they are expensive. However, there is something about their products that just make sense. I mean they’re called the Container Store for a reason! Since they are having their Spring sale, I figured it was worth taking a look. I ended up grabbing several pieces to help me organize my bathroom. Here is the bathroom when I first started organizing.

Bathroom craziness

And a few of the drawers after I was done

make up

Nail polish anyone? 😉

nail polish

I meant to take a picture of the 2 drawer shelves that I got for under my sink. Since the containers that I had didn’t fit under the sink, and the only other storage in my bathroom is open shelving, I needed a different organizing solution. I got two of these for under my sink

Silver 2-drawer mesh organizer

They work really well and hold a lot of product. I highly recommend these to anyone who has a bunch of stuff under their sink, but can’t easily access it. Being able to slide the shelves was a big selling point for me.

After a long day of shopping and organizing I got a good night sleep in preparation for more shopping the next day. I had things that needed to be returned and a few other things to pick up.

Sunday was another beautiful day

Sunday Weather

I made my way to Ikea because the shelving unit I got from Target didn’t work (poor quality). It’s okay, because I love any excuse to go to Ikea.

Ikea

I had one of their tv consoles for 7 years, but finally threw it out because it became too much when moving. It’s definitely a piece that I could see myself buying again, just not right now. I did however, end up with a piece from that same line. I was looking for shelving that I could put in my closet to hold t-shirts, long sleeve t’s, sweatpants and jeans, and sweatshirts. I wanted something that was easily accessible and didn’t take up too much room. I immediately put this together when I got home and put my clothes away. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

closet shelves

All-in-all I had a great weekend filled with shopping, organizing, cleaning and cooking. Hands down my favorite part was going to the grocery store. It’s the only kind of shopping that I like. There are so many good, healthy (and gluten free) choices that get my wheels spinning on new dishes to make or recipes to try.

I normally go to the store with a list of what I need to get, but it’s always fun to go and pick out what’s super fresh and then determine later what you will make. Good rule of thumb, shop the perimeter of the store. This is where the better for you, less proceeded foods are located. Again, that’s not to say you can’t wander into the aisle. There are some good things you can eat, and some treats. Hey, everything in moderation.

One last thing, I’m happy to report I’m down to just two boxes.

photo 3

Like my “couch” and “coffee table”? 🙂 Haha. One week down and only 7-9 more until my couch arrives!

Question: What was your favorite part of your weekend?