Weekly Recap: Food + Fitness

My week was essentially this: wake up, drive, do lawyer-y things, drive home, run, eat dinner, fall asleep on couch while watching Suits, wake up to shower, go to bed. Repeat four times. Today I finally had an office day and was able to catch up emails, motions, and other documents that probably should have been done earlier in the week. Oh well. I also finally settled a case that I have been trying to settle for...5 weeks? Okay. 

Anyway, here is my weekly recap of some food and fitness.

Last Saturday was a bit of a binge for my husband and I. We woke up and had some delicious lemon and cheese pastries--I had lemon, he had cheese--from our favorite local bakery.  These things are massive and delicious to the last morsel. That glaze on top? Mmmm. We skipped lunch because one of us (not me) ate two pastries for breakfast. But for dinner we were in the mood for raclette so we broke out the raclette grill, boiled some potatoes, picked up some meats, and began melting cheese.
Is there anything better than melted cheese? Also, yes, sometimes we use our finest chinaware AKA paper plates. Don't judge me. Who enjoys doing dishes?!

Sunday was spent working on the miniature dollhouse with my mom. Afterward my dad surprised us with a delicious steak dinner. He really went above and beyond. I enjoyed every bite and it was fun to have dinner with my family. We ended the night with some ice cream from my favorite ice cream shop (which I stop at almost every time I visit my parents). 

Monday was the beginning of this loooong work week. I decided I need some extra oomph to get going and I made a slice of whole grain toast topped with smoked salmon and avocado. I'm such a millennial, right? I kid you not, I had this breakfast three times this week.  
Lunches throughout the week were the ReadyPac Bistro salads I blogged about last time. I am obsessed with these salads but you can check out that post for more info.

I'm super proud of my workouts this week because I was pretty consistent. I went for a run three times during the week and did some other workouts on the other days. I know that might not sound like very much but for me it's a big deal and is very consistent. I've been using MapMyRun to keep track of my runs/walks because I think it will be nice to be able to look back at prior runs and see if I improved with time/distance. Right now I try to stick with 2-3 miles and a mix of running and walking. Unfortunately, it's supposed to be super hot out this coming week so I'm not sure I'll be able to get my runs in but I'll try my best. 

Yep, that says my average pace is 14:04...I'm super slow. But I'm faster than I would be if I stayed sitting on my couch! I want to work up to running the full three miles and then try to bump it up to five miles. Not sure what I'll do after that but for now those are my goals. I learned that running outside is SO MUCH harder than running on the treadmill. 

For my other workouts I incorporated some jump rope (yes I bought a jump rope off Amazon for $6) and Tone It Up. I recently got their app on my phone and I have been having fun following the daily workouts. I did the I'm With the Band workout (which incorporated training bands and was a totally glute killer) and I really like the check mark screen that comes up after you complete the workout. It's immediate gratification for completing your workout! And yes, I put it on my instagram stories. On Thursday I tried to complete a jump rope workout I found on youtube. I was SWEATING hard core and it was so gross.  But it was satisfying at the end so...all was good!  

Now back to food. I also made a super easy shortcut flatbread margherita pizza. It was so cheesy and tasty and it allowed me to use some of my basil from my herb garden.
I also made mushroom and green bean risotto this week because I was craving something creamy. It was super tasty and shockingly low calorie for the creamy deliciousness it was.
On to the weekend! How was your week?

Long Week + My New Favorite Go To Lunch

Oh man I am so glad this week is almost over. Late clients, long deps, far drives (with monstrous traffic delays), and enough paperwork to bury me alive. But c'est la vie and we almost made it through to the weekend! On top of all the "real work" stuff this week, Husband was away traveling for work so it was just me, myself, and I at home all by my lonesome. I may have slept with the master bedroom door shut and locked, don't judge me.

While I was by myself this week I was able to really focus on working out and using my MyFitnessPal app to keep track of my food. Not so much to track my calorie intake but more so to become more conscious of how much I eat. Those handfuls of goldfish after work add up, you know?! I also use to try and force myself to be better at meal prepping because I love when I can look at my app and know exactly what to pack for the day. It gets a little difficult on the days I'm out of the office but I have discovered my new savior in that department, which brings me to part TWO of this post!

I have discovered my new favorite Go To Lunch. Are you familiar with ReadyPac Bistro salads? 
They are pre-packaged salads that are perfect to grab and go. They even come with their own fork so you literally do not have to remember  ANYTHING. I have brought mine to the office, thrown it in my purse to eat during lunch at a long deposition (just don't think about the whole should-be-refrigerated thing), and I have also endeavored to eat one while driving back from court. I was mostly successful with the exception of one bite that landed right on my black dress, lol.  At least I know the salads don't stain!
They have a salad for every taste ranging from the traditional chicken caesar to a yummy turkey and bacon cobb to a unique "kickin' BBQ" salad. The best part? If you are watching what you eat, the salads are all under 300 calories. There is even a caesar lite salad which is only 180. Insane. And they are so delicious and filling without leaving you with that "I'm stuffed and just want a nap" feeling.  

I even had a delicious arugula, mozzarella, and tomato salad as a lazy side to my flatbread margherita pizza last night. I'm telling you, these salads are perfect.
The brand has a lot more selection too if you're not a salad person. I haven't tried anything else yet but they also make Ready Snax  like caramel+apples, hummus+carrots, fruit+cheddar+flatbread, and Wrap kits like southwest-style ranch, bacon and garlic caesar, and thai-style peanut. Yum! 

Have I made you sufficiently hungry?

A second blog? Combining Posts

I just spent the last hour looking for a specific photo. I remembered that I posted it on my blog but I could not find it. Lo and behold, I just found out that I had a second blog focusing on law school and running between January 1, 2012 (ha, I was part of the new year new blog bandwagon) and August 2013 (clearly not a very often-used blog there).

Because I can barely keep up with one blog I definitely do NOT need a second blog. So rather than deleting all the posts on the other blog I will be adding them to this one. I don't know if you're going to get a ton a new posts even though these posts are SUPER old or not. If so, you can ignore them. I just don't want to lose anything.

Brother's 21st Birthday Trip to Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas; McCarran Airport
We flew into Las Vegas on Thursday to kick off my brother's 21st birthday trip. Four days of no work, lounging poolside, good food, enjoying some shows, and drinks, drinks, drinks.
But before we get into all the details, did you know they have gambling in the airport? Literally in the terminals.
We stayed at The Mirage, which is almost at the center of the strip next to Caesars Palace. It has a Polynesian theme and of course had the normal pool, casino, buffet, bars, restaurant, shops, and conventions center. The Mirage also is the home of 1OAK (which I learned stands for One Of A Kind) and the Cirque du Soleil Love show.
The Mirage, Cirque du Soleil, Beatles Love
Because it was my brother's 21st birthday we decided to go big or go home and booked a penthouse suite. It had multiple rooms so we could hang out in the commons areas if we wen't sleeping or wandering the strip. Plus it had a great view at night of the lights of the strip!
The Mirage, Penthouse, Penthouse Suite
 The first night we just wandered the strip after eating some dinner.
Caesars Palace (and a few other casinos) had the coolest shops. Not because of the brands but because of the architecture. They were built to look like you were outside and the ceilings were even painted in a sky pattern. If you were drunk I'm pretty sure you would think you were actually outside. No wonder no one cares what time it is Vegas...it's always daytime if you want it!
Las Vegas Shops
We didn't do much shopping but I have never seen so many Tiffany & Co., Chanel, etc in my life. I wish I would have bought myself a keepsake!

The weather in Vegas was really comfortable, so much better than the humidity back east. The days were a dry heat and the nights were super comfortable. Plus there were numerous margarita bars along the strip to help. We stopped at Margarita Bar which provided oodles of choice. Seriously, there so many flavors:
We each got a few flavors and then continued along the strip. Yummy!
Rum Bar
During the day we continued to explore the strip. It takes SO LONG to walk from one casino to another because they are so big and there is so much to do and look at while you're there.  Here are a few daytime highlights:
The Paris hotel and casino had a 1/2 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower and Arc du Triomphe.

We also stopped by the Borgata for the fountains. The first performance we saw was set to Elvis Presley's Viva Las Vegas. So fitting!
Bellagio, Bellagio Fountains
We also spent the morning/afternoon lounging poolside. We spent most of the time at the pool at The Mirage but we also stopped briefly at Garden of the Gods Oasis at Caesars Palace.
 I literally felt like Caesar.

We also saw a few shows while we were there. First we saw The Beatles Love which I highly recommend. Even if you aren't a Beatles fan (we all are fans) you will still enjoy the performance.
We also saw Penn & Teller at the Rio. We *almost* made it on stage to help them make an elephant* disappear.     *the elephant was really a cow. Lol.

We also spent a LOT of time eating the delicious food all along the strip. We stopped at the Bacchanal Buffet and gorged ourselves on pretty much every kind of food imaginable, including sushi.

If you're looking for restaurant options on the strip we can recommend:
1. Bacchanal Buffet
2. Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill
3. Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen

There were options for every price point. There were delicious restaurants that ranged from cheap to super expensive. I wish we would have stopped at Nobu but it wasn't in the cards for this visit. Maybe next time.
On Saturday we rented a car and drove out to the Hoover Dam. Unfortunately their elevator was broken and they weren't giving tours but whatever we still could walk around the dam and see the sights.
 You could drive over that bridge....scary! It spans the whole dam (obviously):
Luckily, the tour guides did give a little presentation with information about the dam so we still walked away with some good information.
And lastly, we stopped at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada. It was obligatory and they had a tiny parking lot so it was really easy to get to when we were returning from the Hoover Dam.
And here are two bonus photos:
We went to Hershey's Chocolate World and M&Ms World. At M&Ms World there was a mock Nascar M&M car. Car #18 is my favorite Nascar car so that was an added bonus.

And lastly, it wouldn't be Vegas without alcohol....so there is a photo of my now 21 year old brother enjoying our fishbowl drink at Guy Fieri's. So much alcohol.

Overall, Vegas was tons of fun and I can't wait to go back. There was so much to do and we definitely didn't get to all of it.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? What did you like most? Anything you would recommend?

Bucket List #126: Tough Mudder - My Experience with the Tough Mudder Half

I'm so excited for this post because I'm checking something off my bucket list! I completed a Tough Mudder along with my brother, brother-in-law, and my brother-in-law's cousin (does that make him my cousin-in-law?).
Tough Mudder is a team race that focuses on completing a series of obstacles rather than speed/time. This is a map of the course for the full, half, and 5k participants. We did the Half so we ran 5 miles and completed 13 obstacles. By the end I was struggling!
The weather on the day of the race was intermittent pouring but we didn't mind. You're getting dirty anyway you know? Plus the rain added a level of legitimacy to the mud that made the race that much better.  Loved it! It also made us feel super bad ass.

I do not take pretty running photos. So I'm going to put this photo up and then let's not talk about it, mmmkay? I'm right next to the red elbow. That's my cousin-in-law pointing at the camera and my brother-in-law in the blue. I'm making a suuuuper attractive face yes?? Moving on.
My brother takes great running photos though. Look at how happy he looks to be alive (he's in the gray):
I definitely should have trained just a tiny bit more.

Let me walk you though the obstacles we completed:

1. Bale Bonds - a series of hay bales that you had to jump over. Yes, they were almost as tall as I was. No, I didn't need help to make it over them.
My brother had the easiest time jumping over these. And look at that mud on his shins! Glorious!

2. Quagmire - I honestly don't remember what this one was about. Suffice it to say it was probably muddy. According to the TM website it was 1000 gallon 10 foot crate of mud (yummy) with an 8 foot climb out at the end.

3. Berlin Walls - This obstacle was no joke. A daunting 10 foot wall that you had to jump up and hoist yourself over, only to have to find a way down. I think I'm slightly scared of heights because this one made my heart pound a little more than the running did.
Image result for tough mudder berlin wall
(This photo is not of me or my particular race. It just shows the obstacle--taken from here)

4. Kiss of Mud - Army crawling for 40 feet under barbed wire in the mud and passing through dug out mud swamps? Yes. This one was kind of fun. Because it was SO muddy it was easiest just to kick off with your legs and slide on through.

5. Hero Carry - The only obstacle I legitimately failed at. You had to carry someone on your back and then switch half way through so they carried you on their back. I started out on brother's back, made it to the halfway mark, and then couldn't lift him, so I ended up going on my brother-in-law's cousin's back until the end. He's a personal trainer so he handled it well.

6. Mud Mile 2.0 - One of the hardest obstacles by far. Huge mounds of mud separated by varying depths of water. We all needed a lot of help on this one. I went first and then would grab my brother's hands and help pull him up. Then he would help the other two (I would try but I was pretty much useless). There were...7 of these I think. By the end my legs and arms were so tired. But we weren't done!
7. Skidmarked - This was one of the scarier obstacles. It was similar to Berlin Walls except that it was pitched at an angle so when you walked up to it it was angled toward you. Despite the fact that it was looming over me I was able to get up and over (with a LOT of assistance from the boys) and made it safely back down to the other side.

8. King of the Mountain  - A heap of haybales forming a pyramid. You climbed up each level, over the top, and then back down again. Wasn't too difficult except for the twig that I rammed my butt cheek into. I've got a nice bruise from that.
Image result for tough mudder king of the mountain
(Not from my race but shows what the obstacle generally was like. Taken from here.)

9. Pitfall - A pit of mud with a bottom that contained some holes and some steps. I had to walk very carefully and I still ended up submerged multiple times. You'd be walking fine and then bam, fell in a hole.

10. The Block Ness Monster - By far my favorite obstacle. A series of turning blocks in a pool of mud where you had to keep it spinning to hoist yourself, your teammate, or some random stranger over the top. Once they made it over the top they had to hold on and use their weight on the way down so you could get hoisted up. I was too short to reach the bottom so I had to tread water the whole time.
Image result for tough mudder block ness monster
(Not from my race. Taken from here.)

11. Devil's Beard - A long cargo net that you had to walk under. I took the easy way out and just followed a taller guy. So, even though my shortness was a pain at Block Ness monster it definitely came in handy here.

12. Everest 2.0 - The hardest and scariest obstacle. I nearly gave up.
Image result for everest 2.0
(Not from my race. Taken from here.)

I was able to run up the incline, reach the rope, and climb up, but then my arms just would not go anymore. I couldn't reach anyone at the time even though they were trying so hard to get to me. A guy from the bottom climbed up behind me on the rope (no lie) and tried to hoist me up further so I could reach them but eventually we ended up failing. I went to walk around the obstacle but two people started yelling at me that they could get me up the wall and not to give up. Against my better judgment I decided to listen and try again. Well, sure enough, I ran up the wall, climbed the rope, made it to a similar stopping point, and then they really stretched to grab my hand (they held someone by their legs and lowered her to reach me). Once they had my hand they grabbed one of my legs and up they pulled. I am eternally grateful for them helping me over that wall. There is no way I would have enjoyed it as much as I did if I failed at the most iconic Tough Mudder obstacle ever. I wish I knew who they were.

13. Happy Ending - One of the easier obstacles. Grab a rope and then walk up a way less steep incline, cross over the top, and then slide down a slide into the last pool.
Image result for tough mudder happy ending
(Not my race. Taken from here.)
After Happy Ending we climbed out of the pool and ran to the finish line. My arms were jelly and I was sure I broke my elbow on Everest but everything was fine and we made it through!

And I got some pretty sweet bruises as souvenirs. Lol.
Bruises from Tough Mudder
Overall we had a fantastic time and would definitely do it again. Maybe if I train I'll give the Tough Mudder Full a go! Here is a parting photo of me rocking my "Tough Mudder Half Finisher" T-shirt from when I was cleaned up. Such pride!

Hello My People! Life Over the Last Few Months

Phew! It's been a few days weeks months, hasn't it?! Life really took off there for a minute and I had to wait for things to settle down a little before dropping in for a new post. But then I tried to sit down and write this post and there was just SO MUCH I wanted to share that I would start typing and then realize how long it was going to take and I would stop. What?! I know. But here I am, let's get this post finished! What have I been up to?

We bought a house! Finally! It's a good area, with good schools, great space, and some pretty solid potential. I can't wait to share more photos but for now I only have these.
The top left is obviously the front door (apologies for where I blurred out the realtor info and street number--I'm not sure yet how to handle privacy concerns while blogging about my home!) and the "SALE" sign. We didn't get a photo opp with the SOLD sign unfortunately. Bummer!

The top right photo is the big ole' bag of keys the sellers handed to us when we closed on our home. To be honest, we don't even know what half of them go to and we changed the locks as soon as we moved in so now we'll never know. We do still use the garage openers though.

The bottom left is me with our new door key. Although, I have never actually used it because I always go in through the garage and we added one of those keypad locks that don't need a key. So I just assume it works the locks. Also pictured is one of one our adorable new monogram doormats.

The last photo is a fantastically creepy photo of our garage. I think I was most excited that we both have a spot to park in the garage and I'm no longer fighting other apartment dwellers for a parking spot. Ugh, that struggle was too real. Believe me I will be sharing a lot more about the house but this is all for now.

We ended up settling on our house the day we got engaged, which I thought was pretty special. We celebrated our Engagement Day (Is that a thing? Can we make it a thing?) by returning to where Husband popped the question. It was an absolutely beautiful day and we had a great time reminiscing and walking through the gardens and the new grotto area by the fountains.
And this is the actual spot where we got engaged. At the time it was covered in the most beautiful tulips. The tulips hadn't bloomed yet this year so it looks somewhat barren but you can see the tulip bases growing.
They always have the most beautiful flowers at Longwood Gardens. I would live there if I could...
Also, I seem to be obsessed with yellow these days. No idea why.

We also celebrated our Dating Anniversary (Is that a thing? Can we make it thing?) which is around the same time as our Engagement Day (obviously many years apart though). We went to dinner at The Capital Grille, home of the most delicious creme brulee ever.
Swoon. I dream about the decadence of this dessert. Mmmmmmm. 

We also celebrated my 28th birthday. Husband surprised me with fantastic prezzies and a birthday feast!
He surprised me with gifts, including new sunglasses that I desperately needed and an amazing raclette grill! You may remember how much I love raclette from my visit in Paris during our honeymoon and celebrating my sister's 30th birthday in New York. The grill he gave me is perfect because it came with eight small raclette melting pans (4 on each side--can you say raclette party?!) and a cook top surface for grilling meats.
He also had quite the spread prepared, including asparagus, potatoes, mushrooms, prosciutto, Genoa salami, skirt steak (to be cooked on the grill), sliced baguette, cornichons, and of course the raclette cheese.
I ate way too much food. Don't let this small plate fool you. I had many plates before and after this:
How amazing does that melted cheese look? On that bread and over those potatoes?! Mmmmmm, my mouth is watering and now I really want raclette for dinner. And before you say "oh that's just like fondue" no, it's not. It's better. Much much much better.

I also completed my first Tough Mudder Half.
This will have to be a post by itself but it was absolutely insane. It was scary, difficult, and on a consistent basis had me wondering why the heck I wanted to do it in the first place. But it was also a really great time and I'm really proud that we made it through.

I also watched the Royal Wedding.
Image result for markle wedding
How could I not talk about the Royal Wedding? Remember how my roommate and I had a viewing party at 6 AM back when Kate Middleton and Prince William got married? I couldn't do a watch party this time (and I had to miss the watch party my sister had) because I had the Tough Mudder on the same day but of course I watched it when I got back! Meghan Markle, or no I'm sorry, the Duchess of Sussex looked beautiful and I was dyyyying over her reception dress. That white halter Stella McCartney looked amazing! I also think I'm cool now because I wore a Stella McCartney dress to one of my formals in high school. See the resemblance?
Meghan Markle stole my look. LOL. 
But let's just say her date was much better than my and all my friends' dates combined!

And finally, my younger brother turned 21!
My dad was sick so he couldn't partake in the "first shot" experience BUT my broski, my dad, my husband, and I all celebrated with a small trip to Vegas a few days later.
I think they both had a good time and I really enjoyed hanging out with them for four days! I can't believe he's 21. Time didn't feel like it was moving so fast when I was waiting to turn 21. I'll post more about Vegas in a separate post but for now I think that's everything. You're all caught up!
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