Lately 4.0

Another Lately coming your way!!

I have really fallen off of the DSLR bandwagon and the quality of these pictures makes me cringe.  Sorry about that!  I promise I’ll get back to nicer photos after Thursday (Maybe!)

Let’s begin with a photo called, “Let’s Go Get A Drink”

IMG_0617“Let’s go get a drink” always turns into more than A drink.  Time and time again, we will never learn.  This was last Wednesday night with Nicole and Andrew.

And then there was Friday!

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We had no intentions of just getting one!  Nicole took her official MCAT that morning, so there was need for lots of celebrating, and celebrating is what we did ;) IMG_9956 IMG_9957It was a fun night that ended fairly early!

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But that doesn’t mean we all woke up feeling chipper.  Nothing that a diner breakfast couldn’t fix, where I learned the difference between wheat bread and wheat toast.  There is a difference, apparently…

Besides breakfast, Saturday was the warmest day we’ve had this season, so we went to the quad and hung out with some Cuban music and the sun.IMG_9960

On Sunday, Russ and I went to a birthday brunch at his mom’s house!IMG_9976IMG_9982

And Teddy had a relaxing day at homeIMG_9975

Well, I think that catches us up with all of the Lately news in my life!  Happy Spring!Spring

 

A Perfect Weekend.

**Started this post last week, so this is a recap of two weekends ago.  Better late than never…

This past weekend was one of those weekends where I didn’t have a moment to sit back and relax because I was out and about- having fun and making me all the more excited for summer to get here!  It’s so close and this weekend’s warm weather is going to make getting through these next two weeks of exams so much harder to endure, but then…FREEDOM.

Friday

I got a bunch of Russ’ friends together to celebrate his birthday at Dave & Buster’s!  It was no 21st birthday celebration, but it was fun nonetheless, and actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be.  His birthday isn’t until next weekend, but this is what he wanted to do!  It wasn’t a lot of us, but the guys went off and did their thing while Nicole and I played games that got us a lot of tickets and also DDR.  I used to have DDR at home and after Friday night, I am strongly considering bringing it back out at home.  So much fun and such a good workout…my legs were sweating :)  In the end, everyone had a lot of fun, especially Russ, and that’s all that matters!IMG_9911

We accumulated a lot of tickets, but there are no good prizes!  Everyone used their tickets to get candy, but I used mine to get a Superman mug.  It lasts longer…

Saturday

After a super late night on Friday, I had to get up early because a very special little someone had GRADUATION!  Teddy graduated from his Level 1 training course and it was as adorable as it sounds- graduation music, certificates, and Milk Bones for the graduates.IMG_9918

I wouldn’t say he is excelling in his new tricks-because he is still as bad as ever-, but I know he can do them and we learned the commands and corrections.  I’m definitely happy to have my Saturday mornings back, though.

After graduation fun and some time at the dog park, I was rather productive!  I spent the day doing homework and hanging out in my sweats.  I spent the rest of the night watching Netflx in bed, going back to my grandma roots.

Sunday

My oh my, Sunday was such a great day!IMG_9943 I spent the morning at job training (Yes!! I got a new job.  Details to come!) and then caught the train from the city to Manayunk to spend the day with my best friends from college.  It’s been awhile since you’ve seen them on here and it was so good to be back together.  It felt very “college” to be playing corn hole and drinking beers in the sunshine.  I miss college and I miss THEM!

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We walked through Manayunk’s StrEAT festival and had our normal shenanigans.IMG_9934

This was post-complimentary tequila shot and it was DISGUSTING! After spending the entire afternoon catching up, I took the train to more shenanigans!  A really fun day continued into the night and I woke up Monday morning paying for it :)

Looking forward to an entire summer just like that perfect sunny weekend!

So Many Fun Things!

That’s just an alternate post title for “Lately” since I use lately all the time.  I feel like I’m out and about so much that blogging “in real time” ie right after things happen, is impossible.  Before I realize, all of these pictures and things have just built up and I’m left with a lately post.  So here is your So Many Fun Things post to switch it up a bit!! :)

Mom’s Birthday was last Wednesday.  She turned 40!!! The whole gang went out to Chinese food and it was mostly fun ;)  I feel very lucky to be able to spend my mom’s birthday with her.  She is the most caring, understanding (sometimes), intelligent woman that I know.  A true role model!IMG_9830IMG_9849

We took some extra selfies since the lighting was purrrrfect.IMG_9841 IMG_9823

I would be worried if we ever got a normal picture together.

My friends (YES friends and YES plural!!!) came over for dinner and I did my due dilligence in documenting the fact that a) I have friends b) I have friends that are willing to come over and c) it was fun!DSC_0051-001My dad took this picture and if you stand juuuust far enough away, it isn’t blurry.

I kept the mojitos flowing the whole night, but mostly into my own mouth and my mom made a delicious spread of food (rice and beans, ropa vieja, yuca, salad, grilled chicken, flan, etc.) and I think everyone liked everything and almost everyone did an incredible job of eating the flan or taking large enough bites that can slide down without being chewed.  I was impressed.  Flan isn;t for everyone!  I hope we didn’t scare them too much and maybe they will come back?DSC_0063-001DSC_0061-001

I got one picture that would have been nice, but leave it up to Nicole to ruin a nice shot ;) DSC_0043-001A selfie with the photo-ruiner herself: DSC_0047-001

Annnd some outtakes:DSC_0040-001 DSC_0067-001DSC_0056-001 DSC_0054-001 DSC_0048-001 DSC_0046-001 DSC_0040-002

And with Dad:DSC_0050-001

For your viewing pleasure…this was really funny:IMG_9863IMG_9862

And last, but 100% NOT LEAST, is this gem!  IMG_9872Could have gotten that baby for a low, low price!

Have a great week!!IMG_9860

 

 

 

Fitness Friday 4/9/2015

Happy Friday! 

Any fun plans for this weekend?  I have a fun weekend coming up!  Tonight we are celebrating Russ’ birthday with a bunch of his friends.  He deserves a big night, so it will be a good time!  I’ll catch you up on Monday.  I don’t have any plans for Saturday, but Sunday I am going to Manayunk to see Bobby and Christine and walk through their StrEAT festival!  I’m so excited to see them since it’s been entirely too long.

Whatever you end up doing, have a great weekend!

This Week’s Workouts:

Saturday: 3 mile bike ride, 10 minutes on the elliptical, chest work out (chest press, fly, fly machine, chest press machine), abs.

Sunday: 10 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes bike.  Metabolic Boost NTC.  This NTC was fast-paced and HARD!  A lot of the exercises were 30 seconds, with minimal breaks throughout the workout and I was sweating and exhausted by the end.

Monday:  Rest (Went dancing for 2.5 hours at night)

Tuesday: 20 minute warm-up run around the city.  45 minute boot-camp class at school.  This class was awesome and included a circuit of mountain climbers, monster walks, tire pushes, kettle bell squats, kettle bell rows, bosu-ball push-ups, and more.  I’m still sore!

Wednesday: 10 minute elliptical, 10 minute bike ride, 5 minute incline walking, 5 minutes of rowing, 30 minute Metabolic Boost NTC with Nicole.  Always more fun with friends!

Thursday: Rest.

Friday: 10, minutes on the bike, 30 minutes of random arm exercises that left my arms shaking, and then a 3 mile run with Andrew around the city.  The weather said 72 degrees and stormy so I was expecting warmish weather, but it was more like 40 something and cold and wet.  Abs after the run.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Cuba: Day Six.

Day Six:  Miramar , Hotel Nacional Y Caminando

Our sixth day in Cuba was a little different than any other time we have been to Cuba.  My mom wanted to check out a new place, so we headed to Miramar, which is known for grand houses, embassies and hotels.  We had to walk a bit to catch a different bus, and then had about an hour bus ride.

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We saw a market on the way, with fresh sugar cane juice:DSC_0820

And while we waited for the bus, a man was selling goods on the street.  DSC_0825

Don’t take those local drug stores for granted!

Once we got there, we walked into the closest hotel to use the bathroom and ask for directions.DSC_0852

The hotel was quite nice, especially the pool!  I could spend a day there with an abundance of cervezas, no problem!DSC_0827

And then we walked around and marveled at the buildings, most of which are currently being used as embassies.DSC_0833 DSC_0830 DSC_0832And on the walk back, we passed the aquarium.  How cool is that?!  You can see the tortoises from the bridge.

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Our walk back to the bus stop had a beautiful view, but the trash was abundant.  They need a strong clean-up initiative.DSC_0841 DSC_0844

Back in Vedado, we stopped for pizza and una cerveza.  Yolanda warned us that when eating pizza, be careful with the cheese.  There isn’t much cheese or dairy product in Cuba, so you never know what imaginative alternative you are munching on.DSC_0858I mean….it tasted like cheese?

After pizza, we headed to El Hotel Nacional to soak up the sun and have another cerveza with the most incredible view.  This hotel is absolutely incredible and, in my opinion, the most beautiful one I’ve seen in Cuba.DSC_0862

We couldn’t leave without getting a couple pictures and I, of course, attempted the selfie with the DSLR.  Not that easy!DSC_0869 DSC_0866

Oh, and as you can see- I got SUPER burned sitting out there for an hour.  We aren’t sure how that happened!  It peeled about a week later, ick.

Later that night, we packed for a beach trip!  Coming up :)

Cuba 2015: Day Five

Day Five- Visiting the Cemetery and More

If you are just catching up, here are days three and four.

Ah, feeling much better after finally getting some SLEEP!  We were up early to catch a couple long buses to the cemetery, but we were lucky enough to either get seats (Mom and Yolanda) or get a standing spot near the window (me).  I was able to take a lot of pictures on the way, so I was happy :) DSC_0525 DSC_0527 DSC_0538 DSC_0540 DSC_0541 DSC_0552 DSC_0556 DSC_0562 DSC_0570 DSC_0574 DSC_0577 DSC_0582 DSC_0585 DSC_0590 DSC_0601

First we went to the Sephardic cemetery.DSC_0605 DSC_0611 DSC_0614 Seeing Pepe’s burial site certainly solidified his passing for me, but I also felt him there.  We sat there for quite awhile and I just listened to mom and Yolanda tell stories and chat.  We visited burial sites of various family members and my mom told me a short story about each of them and her memories of them.

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We eventually made our way to the Ashkenazi cemetery where there are additional family members.DSC_0639 DSC_0641

My mom was trying to locate a relative, so she had the man that works there consult their “record system”.DSC_0658 DSC_0659

In the end, we couldn’t find who we were looking for, but we found others.  This cemetery was in much worse shape- some grave sites had entire slabs of marble stolen.DSC_0651

After the cemetery, we walked up the long hill to catch the bus into town.DSC_0665 DSC_0667

Since I’m #foreverhungry, Yolanda got me a peso pizza-less than $.50 for one!DSC_0673 DSC_0674

Unfortunately, the bus drove by while we ate which my mom used to say “I told you so……!!!”.  But another came just 20 minutes later…  DSC_0675 DSC_0677

The bus did eventually come, which took us back to El Capitolio.  We got off there and headed to Los Nardos for lunch.  A Cuba tradition!  It’s a dark, little restaurant, located on the third floor of a building facing the Capitol.DSC_0679 DSC_0683 DSC_0695

These guys wanted their picture taken so why not make them blog famous :)

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Lunch was good but I was still pretty full from that pizza.  Sorry mom, you were right.DSC_0691

And after lunch, mom and I went on more walking adventures through the streets of La Habana Vieja.  We stopped to sit in parks;DSC_0718Take pictures of people and things:DSC_0719-001 DSC_0723 DSC_0731

This man was very eager for me to take a photo since he “LOVESSSS Los Estados Unidos and Obama!!”DSC_0736

Appreciate the history, architecture, and beauty:DSC_0752 DSC_0757 DSC_0768 DSC_0778-001 DSC_0779-001DSC_0740 DSC_0749

And take pictures of the sunset before heading home;DSC_0781 DSC_0782 DSC_0783 DSC_0784 DSC_0789 DSC_0793 DSC_0797

It was a long day, but another good one.  We ended the day with rice, beans, beef, and plantains before ending up on the balcony and falling hard into sleep.  The following day was our last in Havana- visiting Miramar!

Sunday Food Prep 4/5/2015

Happy Sunday and Happy Easter if you celebrate in your neck of the woods!

My family doesn’t celebrate Easter (but we do celebrate Passover and I am still full from last night’s Seder (click the link to learn about seders!).  Or maybe I’m full because I’ve been picking at e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g I’ve made for this week’s Sunday food prep.  I showed you what I made last week and while it wasn’t much, it helped make packing healthy lunches so much easier.  This week, I prepped a whole lot more, so lunches should be a breeze!

The Greens

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Sliced cucumber // washed and chopped romaine // washed and chopped kale

The Prepared Foods

DSC_0009BBQ- grilled tofu // grilled mushrooms (with olive oil/ S&P) // cooked spaghetti squash

DSC_0011Farro salad // soon-to-be-roasted yellow squash

Unpictured salad greens – arugula // spinach

The squash can be topped with tomato sauce and cheese, or basically any other sauce because it’s just a vehicle for other tasty things

The farro salad is a variation on Kath Eats Real Food Forbidden Rice Salad.  Except hers uses rice / peppers / walnuts and mine uses farro / no peppers / toasted almonds.  Overall, it’s an awesome salad!

There are also un-pictured hard-boiled eggs.

Toodles!

Lately 3.0

Good morning!

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It’s been awhile since I’ve just chatted your ear off.  Oh, you didn’t notice?  (Ever realize that having a blog is just a place to talk to yourself?)

I have a lot of pictures to unload, so for your viewing enjoyment and to catch you up on all fun things in my life…Here we go.

Let’s see…Teddy got a haircut!IMG_9692

His haircut was probably the most traumatic experience of his life, hence the cap nap in my arms.

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But he’s lovin’ the new ‘do.  So light!  So free!

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There’s been a good balance of food around here.  The good:

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And the naughty (but delicious)

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That’s a liter of beer from Brauhaus Schmitz.  This is the best pretzel I’ve ever had, c/o of Brauhaus (but not really courtesy of because we paid for it so..)

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Russ and I went out with Ancy and Chris and caught up on life and laughs.

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By 1:30 am, I was so tired I might as well have been drunk, but sleep and bagels from this cute little place fixed that.

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What else…ah, the weather!  All over the place.  (Oh gosh, I’ve gotten to the point of discussing the weather.  Interesting topics abound.)

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Old (ish) news, but Russ got his LICENSE!  Actually, this news will never get old because he’s had his permit for 6+ years so this will be new and exciting news for just as long.

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I’ve been on a real salad kick later.  Maybe it’s summer on my heels, but it’s also trying to make/ eat more inspired salads.  Russ and I had a little lunch date at Green Eggs Cafe on Friday and shared this monster with a side of scrambled eggs and rosemary potatoes.  Neither of us was starving and were both stuffed by the end.

IMG_9774Spinach // tomatoes // corn // cheese // breaded chicken // onion // ranch

And I ate this earlier (Saturday) for lunch:

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Spinach // cabbage // hard-boiled egg // blueberries // strawberries // avocado // smoked cheddar // cucumber // oil & vinegar

I also have BUMPIN’ plans for tonight (Saturday night) to roast chick peas and veggies for lunches this week.  Can’t hold me back.

I ran a 5 mile race to benefit Back on My Feet- an organization that helps homeless people get back on their feet- both figuratively and literally, through running races, support, and resources.  There was a great turnout and a good bunch of people from my program.  Everyone did really well, so that was exciting!

BOMFIgnore the bagginess…It was cold!

I ran it in 39.52, which is faster than I thought I would run, but slower than I knew I could have done it.  I felt like I could have ran faster, but it was COLD and I was uncomfortable.  Plus, the race started at 8 am, so I had to take a 6:30 train.  No me gusta, but it was okay in the end!  I had a bit of a walk to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the race started.

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I’ve never actually “run the Rocky steps”.  One day….

And to finish, here is a quote for ya’ll.

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P.s I’m working on finishing up the Cuba posts.  Not that anyone…cares, or has noticed.  But I want to get them recorded for my own benefit. :)

Sunday Food Preppin’

Happy Sunday!

This weekend has been oddly productive!  Not only did I spend a good 5 hours getting homework and to-dos done yesterday (after a 4 hour nap, of course), but I was awake at 7:30 this morning!  Since I was feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I used the extra time for some food prep.  I’m trying to get a head start on a healthy week of lunches, so I prepped a few things to add to salads and such, and organized the fridge so it’s easy to find healthy ingredients and put together meals.

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Chopped romaine // hard boiled eggs // sliced strawberries

  • Romaine- I washed and chopped the romaine and put spinach near the front of the fridge.  I didn’t want to wash the spinach because it tends to go bad faster than romaine.  The hardest part of making salads is the leafy part, right?
  • Eggs- We only had a half dozen eggs, so I boiled them to be added to salads or eaten on their own.  Don’t mind the chunks in the water..that’s avocado.  I used the same spoon that I scooped an avocado with to stir salt into the water. (I have the eggs in salt water because I peeled them ahead of time and want them to stay fresh)
  • Strawberries- I love fruit in salads and these strawberries are starting to go bad, so having them chopped and ready to go will encourage us to use them in the next day or so.
  • Other foods to prep- grilled chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, grains (barley, rice, quinoa)

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Roasted Spicy Chick Peas

I saw these for the first time on Iowa Girl Eats and knew I wanted to make them.  I didn’t follow her recipe, but used it as inspiration.  I’m planning to add these to salads for some crunch / protein / spice.

Directions:  Either rinse chick peas from a can or soak raw chick peas overnight until they’re soft.  Preheat the oven to 450* and while it heats up, toss the chick peas in olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  I didn’t measure anything so…just do it however you want.  When the oven is ready, roast for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and slightly crunchy/ chewy.  You don’t want them to be soft, but they shouldn’t break your teeth either.DSC_0024-001

Enjoy!

 

Cuba 2015: Day Three and Four

Day Three- Making Friends

The third day was a Saturday and it was the first day that I went out and about on my own!  Well, not on my own, but not with my mom, either.  My friend Eleanor (from HS), put me in contact with some Princeton students that are studying in Cuba.  I started the day with breakfast and more chatting with Leonelito about living in Cuba.  He also told me about some clubs to check out.DSC_05202 hard-boiled eggs // oatmeal with sugar // espresso

After breakfast, Yoselin called me to get together!  I was so excited to have people to talk to!  Not that family isn’t exciting, but it was hard to follow along with Spanish all the time and talking about family things gets old.  I was ready for some fun :)

I took a cab to Havana Vieja with my mom and she left me to do her own exploring while I met up with Yoselin.

Yoselin and I went to Cafe TV for lunch, chatted for almost two hours and I had a great time!  We both had chicken/rice and beans/ plantains/ ice cream and beer.  Healthy dining!  She was seriously so nice we bonded really quickly.  After lunch, we walked to the market and she bought a pair of sandals.  Then we headed to a Jazz club that has shows every afternoon.  The place was packed for 2:00 in the afternoon, so we only stayed for a few minutes.  After lunch, we made our way back to the house where the Princeton students are staying.  The house was not only incredibly beautiful, but HUGE.IMG_9485 IMG_9496 IMG_9500 It housed 35 students with multiple apartments with kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms.  There was also a main dining area, a kitchen, a cook and a full time guard.  Reminded me of The Real World…for multiple reasons!  I met a bunch of the students and everyone was so nice and welcoming.  I met Yoselin’s roommate, Denise who was also so, so kind.  I’m happy they live in the US so we will be able to see each other again.  Denise showered and then the 3 of us caught a cab to Havana Vieja to meet up with Yoselin’s boyfriend.  We walked around more, hung out and chatted.IMG_9489DSC_0503

I eventually caught a ride home to shower, eat and get dressed for a night out!  I also packed clothes for the beach the next day.  Fun stuff.

I took a taxi back to Yoselin and Denise’s place and we got ready to go!  I don’t have any pictures from the night, and I wish I did.  Buuuut, we went to a club called Fabrica de Arte.  The line was out the door and around the corner.  We waited for over an hour and they said it was more packed than they had ever seen.  This place was awesome- it was an art museum as well as a movie theater and then had multiple bars and dance floors.  There was also an outdoor courtyard that stayed open after the club closed around 2:30.  Usually it closes at 4:30, but that night it closed at 2:30 because…Cuba.  Since no one wanted to go home so “early”, we headed for the Malecon, which runs along the ocean.  You could see groups of young people chatting and laughing, and we did the same.  Some people wanted to stay to watch the sun rise, but that just wasn’t happening.  I was fading quickly, so we walked home and got back around 5 am!  I was sooo tired, but we were all up by 9 am for a day at the beach!

Day Four-Tarrada

Ah, getting to the beach!  Quite the adventure.IMG_9502  We had heard that you could get to another beach for 1 CUC each (about $1.00), but everyone we asked either charged way too much, or didn’t know what we were talking about.  We were being pointed in all different directions so we eventually found a family that was heading to another beach (Tarada) and told us to tag along!  Nine of us piled into a Jeep-taxi and we were on our way!

First thing first, we had lunch with a view.IMG_9517 IMG_9514 I was absolutely starving from having not eaten and the late night out.  Then…to the beach!IMG_9519 We didn’t want to rent chairs, so we laid in the sand and it was windy and blowing!  We eventually made our way to the pool which had a view of the beach and was so much more comfortable.IMG_9524 IMG_9525 I loved it.  I finished an entire book (Orphan Train- a great book!  Read it if you’re looking for a quick read) and just relaxed…and got really burned but oops. IMG_9529

The taxi came back to get us and we all piled in again, sticky from the sunblock & sand, but I was so happy to have had a day at the beach.IMG_9531

I took a collectivo home and excitedly told mom and Yolanda about my day while eating a huuuuge plate of food.

We were supposed to go to a dance club called 1800 that night (Sunday), but after a shower, I was so unbelievably exhausted from the sun + no sleep the night before.  I called them and told them I would catch up with them in the next couple of days!  They later told me that they went out and had so much fun!  I enjoyed my sleep, though :)

Tomorrow- visiting the cemetary and other adventures.