Breakfasts and Goodbyes.

Morning!photo 1(15)

Since I know you’ll be missing me dearly over the next 10-12 days, I wanted to pop in one more time before I leave.

In case you haven’t been following my life/ blog as closely as you like to and don’t know–I will be in Cuba for 10 days from Thursday!!photo 2(3)

I leave for Miami tomorrow afternoon and then Cuba on Thursday morning.  My mom was able to secure a visa at the last minute, so she will be joining me and I couldn’t be more excited.img_1479 Of course, I will really miss Russ, Teddy, my dad, brother, and the people that put up with me at school.  But I’ll go out on a limb and assume that more than half of those beings are welcoming this break from me with open arms, so…I’m taking this vacation for them.  And to get as far away from this weather:photo 2(14)

Rest assured (seriously– don’t worry!), that I will be back to tell you all about my trip with too many words and an abundance of pictures.  Sure to keep you on your toes!

Anywho, here is your weekly fix of pictures of my breakfasts and Teddy.  You are so welcome.

photo 1(14)

2 fried eggs with sriracha // orange quarters // sourdough toast with butter // steel cut oats with peanut butter

photo 3(13)

Homestyle breakfast sandwich– sourdough toast // scrambled eggs // American cheese // turkey bacon

photo 5(5)

                                                                   Microwaved egg // crumbled feta // sourdough toast with butter // orange quarters // blueberries and raspberries // black brewed coffee

Stay warm and snuggly these next few days, kids.  I’ll be missing you.

photo 4(11)

But not that much.

Noshing and Snope.

I’ve been doing a ton of eating…seriously a ton.photo 3(1) This was post first bowl of chicken-tortilla soup and pre- huge plate of various pastas, salads, and enough dessert to induce diabetes.  I’ve also been doing some mediocre photo snapping.  They’ve been collecting dust in my stuffed iPhone memory, so here I am, unloading them for you all to enjoy.  And by you all, I really mean my dad and Russ, my two loyal and lovely fans.  Gracias, gracias.

photo 4(9)photo 1(12)

If you follow me on Instagram (add me–> tlcohen91), you already saw this picture, but, ma and I had brunch in the city.  We went to our new favorite, Parc, where the atmosphere is lively, the service is really great, and the bread is big and plentiful.  We had no problem polishing off our meals and followed by the entire bread basket.  Winter is for a little hip padding…right…?  Right.

photo 3(12)

Before Parc, a little black coffee and homework.  I worked on some bio and the atmosphere wasn’t dead quiet, but busy enough that I only glared at the girl who had her headphones playing loud enough for me to hear.  SMH.

photo 1(13)Post-gym breakfast on Sunday morning.  After a tough Nike Training Club workout, we quickly put together eggs, strawberries, and pumpkin-raisin toast with copious amounts of butter.  Toast x 3.  And like I said…padding on the hips.  I’ve been in serious butter mode.  Butter on everything.  EVERYTHING.

photo 4(10)After said eating extravaganza, there was nothing I wanted more than oatmeal and blueberries and PB/AB.  Go ahead oats, go collect that cholesterol.  Thank you.

photo 1(11)

That oatmeal was eaten on a day that should have been a snow day!  4 inches of snow.  What do you mean I still have to go to physics?!  Like I said, #snope.

photo 2(11)

But my little knight in shining armor (or a snow suit…whatever), got up and shoveled the drive way and car.  Teddy looked out longingly at all that white powder that he could run away in and never be found again.

photo 5(4)

But my little knight only shoveled one car…so pops drove me to the train so he could take that car to work.  “Dad, can you drive me after you get dressed?” “I’m ready”.  Pajamas, slippers, and all.  Here he is talking to our neighbor with a nervous “Didn’t expect to see you out here hahahaha!!!”

photo 2(13)

And last, but certainly not least.  A shout-out to Russ for the beautiful roses on Valentine’s Day.  No problem that my mom thought they were for her.  And double no problem that they were only a day late.  Flowers are flowers, verdad?  :)

 

 

Lego World.

Russ and I had a really fun mid-week date on Thursday!photo 3(9)

Russ had 2 tickets to see “The Art of The Brick”, which is an exhibit with over 100 sculptures made entirely by LEGO bricks, by artist Nathan Sawaya.photo 4(8)

We started our date at Panera since we had a giftcard to use.  I’ve only been there once before, but people seem to love the place.  We both agreed the food is good, but not great.  I did, however, gobble that Broccoli Cheddar down like nobody’s business ;).photo 1(9)The Soba Noodle Bowl was a good attempt at something healthy and Asian-inspired, but it was lacking….flavor?  I’m not sure what it was missing, but it was missing something.  After dinner, Russ gave me an (opened) box of chocolate because romance is his thing.  We proceeded to try every single chocolate in the box and spit the pieces that weren’t worth the calories.  So…all of them.  Panera is begging us to come back soon!

We had 5:30 reservations and it took us a little under an hour to get through the entire exhibit.  It’s really incredible how each piece is made entirely with LEGOs, many taking weeks to complete with thousands of pieces each.photo 5(2)

My favorite pieces were the ones that replicated paintings or were super colorful.photo 3(10)photo 1(10)

Many of the sculptures had motivational sayings or messages accompanying them, which I really thought was a little over the top and annoying, but that’s just my shining personality. ;) photo 2(10)

“Tamara just doing what she does best, ripping out his heart” -Russ

We both agreed that we enjoyed it, but wouldn’t recommend that someone pay full price.  We would like to see Body World, though!  That looks super cool.  He also has a new year-long membership that provides unlimited access to the SkyBike…. so unlimited fun.

A successful little date, I’d say.photo 2(9)

Initial Thoughts On My Fitbit

As I wrote two weeks ago, I got a new Fitbit through TD Bank’s promotion.  In short, I’m loving it and it definitely motivates me to move more throughout the day.  I may or may not have been doing laps while babysitting the other day just to hit 10,000…

And on the BEST days, I reach over 20,000 steps.  It’s the small things, people…photo 3

Anywho, I thought I would share my initial thoughts on the Fitbit.

Pros:

1.  Tracks my steps and encourages me to move- I guess this is an obvious one, but knowing that 10,000 steps is a goal really pushes me to take the stairs, walk the longer way, or get up from the computer every once in awhile and move a bit.  It’s just so satisfying to see those little 5 dots lit up!

2. Tracks my sleep-  I’m not really sure how accurate this is, but it’s interesting to see the stats on my sleep each morning.  I like the see how often I’m awake/ restless and can tell that the hour before I get up is the worst hour of the night.photo 2(2)**It usually doesn’t say 0x awake.  Often, it’s over 5 times**

3.  The dots on the front screen-  Since there is no actual screen on the Fitbit flex, the dots give me a ballpark range as to how many steps I’ve taken that day.  I get a little too excited when I get another dot!

4.  The Fitbit app- The Fitbit app is easy to use and understand and it shows me my steps/ calories burned/ active minutes/ sleep, and more- all on the home screen!  I can see a more detailed view just by clicking on certain items.photo 1 I don’t really use the website all that much because in order for it to sync, you need to be close to your “dongle”, which means you can only sync from one computer, unless you carry the dongle with you.

5. The battery- The battery lasts 5-7 days, which is pretty good if you ask me!  i only have to take it off once a week and let it charge for about 3 hours, which I usually do while I’m doing homework or just hanging out.  I charged it last week while I went to the gym, but still managed to log 16,000 steps that day!  It was a long day :)

Cons:

1.  No screen.  I know I put this as a pro, but not having a screen on it makes it impossible to see my exact stats at any given point in the day.  Sometimes two dots will be solid and a third will be flashing and I’m like….is it 4,100 steps or 5,900?!  I guess I need to take more steps to find out ;)

2. It only counts “active time” as time taking steps-  Foooooor example, I went to the gym last week and did the Kettlebells class, which just might have been the hardest class I’ve ever taken.  We did squats, lunges, and jumps for 40 minutes, and when I checked my Fitbit, it said I had 4 active minutes!  EXCUSE ME!!!  I’m not sure if it’s designed that way, but plyometrics don’t seem to register.  I’m taking steps!  Just vertically, instead of horizontally ;)  Also, if you look at the screen shot above, it says 7,933 steps, but 0 active minutes.  I went to a 40 minute spin class AND ran/walked for 10 minutes on the treadmill, yet I haven’t done anything active?  Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

3. It could fall off-  Maybe it’s just my own inabilities, but the snap seems to get caught on my clothes often and there have been a few times I’ve almost lost it.  Nooooo.  Don’t leave me, Fitbit.

4.  Condensation in the band-  The actual Fitbit is a little piece of plastic, while the band you see people wearing is just holding the Fitbit.  While the Fitbit is “water resistant”, it is not water proof.  After a long, sweaty workout, my band often has condensation in it for a few hours, which I assume is not good for the Fitbit.  I try to remember to take it off and dry it out, but I think it needs a couple little vents, if that makes sense.

Overall

I really, really love having the Fitbit and would recommend getting one for anyone that works well by visual motivation and stat tracking.  Knowing what I know now, I don’t think I would pay full retail for the Fitbit, since it can be lost quite easily and for other reasons listed above.  I am, however, happy to have gotten it through the promotion and I think you should all try to get one, too!

For more reviews on Fitness products, see here:

Nike Training Club

GymPact

A Really Fun Weekend (+ Last Weekend!)

Hi Friends!!

How was your weekend?  I hope it was eggcellente and you’re ready to make this week a good one….or you’re already ready for next weekend.  Either one is fine and completely understandable!

**If you’ve been pining for pictures of me, this is the post for you.  Hold onto your hats.**

This weekend was really, really great!  I may have an orgo test this Tuesday, but orgo schmorgo….who cares ;)

The weekend basically started Thursday afternoon when we called it quits on studying and went to Jefferson night at a local bar.  I ate an impressive amount of pizza and had some beer too :)  On Friday morning, I felt surprisingly good considering the late bedtime (for me, grandma).  We had class, which I paid 50% attention in (that’s HUGE for me on Friday morning…).  And then Nicole and I went to a spinning class and sweat out the previous night’s toxins and then we had a guest ENT plastic surgeon talk to us about his life/careen and in a matter of an hour, had us all wanting his life (impressive run-on sentence, no?).  Bueno bueno.

Friday afternoon, I took the train home during DAYLIGHT!  I almost forgot what the world looked like during the day!  After snuggling with Teddy for a few minutes:photo(41) I camped out at the local co-op with coffee, my computer, and orgo and got some work done.  If you’re from Elkins Park, the co-op is a good place to get work done!  There is enough hustle and bustle that it’s not dead quiet, but it’s quiet enough.  And they have coffee + wifi!  Russy was there doing his work too!  But he gets paid…and I just suffer.  He spent his break with me…lucky lucky girl. ;)

photo 1(14)

“Stop taking pictures of me”

Dinner on Friday was homemade Korean BBQ and sauteed bok choy.  Sheesh, I was so happy to see green vegetables…it’s just been too long.

We watched Shark Tank and other Friday night TV before calling it a night at an hour that would warrants this face…IMG_5699

That picture turned into a bunch of memes that are too inappropriate for the internet…but had me cracking up.   Also, that’s a five finger forehead if I’ve ever seen one!  I should consider bangs…

Saturday

Up bright and early for the gym and brunch!  I love starting the day with a workout and brunch…one of my favorite things.photo 3(9)

#DadStyle

I took it easy at the gym because I still felt wrecked from Thursday’s kettlebell class.  You are trying to kill me, Steve!!! I did 10 minutes on the bike + a 30 minute (3 mile) run outside!  Yes, yes, yes you read that right!  Outside!  It was 45 degrees, so I ran outside…in shorts.  Some concerned citizen stopped me mid-run to ask if I was okay.  You mean, like, okay in the head???  Because probably not.  My legs were completely numb.  C’est la vie.  Then 8 minute abs with dad + Russ.  We all loved it.  Haha.

Entonces, brunch at Johnny Tates.  Or is Jimmy Tates?  I don’t know but it was inexpensive and perfect.  Bagel with egg, turkey bacon, and cheddar for me.photo 3(10)

4 (shared) poached eggs + toast + hashbrowns for popphoto 1(15)

And an omelette + hashbrowns for Russ.photo 2(15)

I think it’s safe to say that mine was best.

After brunch, we dropped Russ off at work, stopped at the library so I could pick up more depressing reads (think plane crashes and being held captive in Tehran).  Once we were home, I showered and got in bed “for a quick hour nap”.

I hit snooze 18 times and slept until almost 5:00. iisrug842091352454yu97&&#*(&$^#&!!!!

oOOOppps!  I studied for all of 45 minutes, ate dinner with ma and pa and then got ready for a night out.photo 4(7)

I went to Nicole’s around 8:30 and we went to Ollin’s around 10:30.  The rest of the night FLEW by.  We eventually ended up at Cuba Libre, but not after an hour-long trek around the city.  By the end of the night, my Fitbit had reached 16,000 steps, and that’s not including gym time!  What a workout, but really so much fun.photo 5(4)

Sunday

Getting up to study never goes as planned.  Despite my good intentions, I wasn’t doing work until almost 4:30 pm.  That brings us to right now.  I’m planning on doing a bit more for a couple of hours, then dinner (homemade chicken-cheese steaks with sauteed peppers and onions)photo(42) Then a trip to Trader Joe’s with my favorite dad and my favorite credit card ;) (JK!)

Edited to add: we got to spin the Wheel of Joe!!! Highlight of my weekend, for sure.

Scenes from last weekend:

Last weekend was another really great weekend.  I had trouble uploading pictures this week, but it seems to be working now so I wanted to share.IMG_0285

Russ and I were abandoned at home, so we made pizza and big salads together.  The pizza was just okay, but the salads were phenomenal.  I would share the salad pictures, but Russ was in charge of taking the photo.  Let’s just say he has been fired from his food photography job.

photo 1(16)

Dim Sum in Chinatown with Russ’ and his family.  This was a lot of fun and something I’ve never done before!  Unfortunately, most things came with shrimp, pork, or shrimp AND pork.  But the things I did get to eat were really good!  And the whole shrimp/ pork thing was funny.

photo 2(16) photo 3(11)

The SuperBowl a.k.a PUPPY Bowl!  We went to the SuperBowl at our friend’s, Kevin and Brandyn’s house.  Forget the actual game…I spent the entire night holding that adorable 8 week old puppy!  And of course, eating and watching the commercials/ halftime show.  I thought the show was really, really good!  But haterz gon hate.

Have a great week, kids.

Or don’t.

 

Friday Favorites 1/30/2015

1.  Old Navy Clearance and Activewear Sale

Old-Navy-Activewear

I was in desperate need for some new workout clothes.  Running in freezing weather in knee-length capris, working out in old, stained tanks, and 3 sports bras.  I sort of rectified the situation by taking advantage of Old Navy’s active wear sale and was able to pick up a pair of running leggings ($18), 2 tanks (total $6), two t shirts (total $8).  So far, I LOVE the leggings- they’re snug, but flattering and warm (and look like mom pants according to Russ/ Nicole).  The tanks are loose and flowy, and the t-shirts are nice and baggy, just how I like them.

2.  TD Bank Fitbit Flex Promotion

fitbit2

I missed the train last night so while I sat their cursing my bad luck, I saw on the screen at the train station that TD Bank is offering a promotion for new account holders.  If you open a checking/savings account, sign up for online banking and get a debit card, you get a brand spankin’ new Fitbit FLEX!  I am so, so, so (too) excited about this!  I’ve wanted a Fitbit ever since I heard about them, so this is totally making my week.  Now I can track my steps, and sleep cycles AND get woken up at the optimal time.  BONUS is that TD bank offers free coin counting.  I’m too happy about this….and I’ll let you know how much I love it!

3. Going to Cuba next month!

cubaaGoing back for the third time, hopefully to catch one last back stage glance at Cuba before things really open up with the United States.  Of course, also excited to see my family, explore the culture and the sights, and have fun!  Who wants rum?  Cigars?  :)

4. A House in the Sky

AHITS

I literally haven’t been able to put this book down.  I intentionally leave it home every day so I don’t sit in class/ lunch/ the bathroom/ the library just reading.  Because I would.  The book is a memoir about the author’s time spent traveling the world until she finds herself in Somalia as a reporter and ends up getting kidnapped.  She is held for almost 400 days, always wondering if it’s going to be her last.

5. 24 Must-See Diagrams That Will Make Eating Healthy Super Easy.

buzzfeed

I originally saw this on Buzzfeed, but then it popped up again and I had to share it with all of you!  Buzzfeed never fails, but this article is awesome for anyone that wants reminders on how to cook healthy foods or for anyone looking for some healthy inspiration.  There are infographics for everything from types of greens, types to grains, salad dressing, cooking times, and more. I like some of them enough that I thought printing and framing them would look awesome in a kitchen.  Check out the link!

Weekender.

Hey, hey, hey!

I hope you all had a crazy weekend and I you’ve spent the last few hours laughing about everything that happened, because that’s how it’s been for me!

Friday

After a spin class Friday afternoon, I was in no mood for doing homework, so Nicole and I went for a little retail therapy at Old Navy.  I found a cute (semi-large) workout top for $1.30.  Go checkout their clearance sale!! Once I got home, I went to the library and picked up A House in the Sky and I am completely addicted so far.AHITSDon’t you worry, I will keep you posted.  After that, I actually managed to get a little homework done (hold onto your hats) and then I got into bed and read until dinner was ready.  I know, I know.  You’re astonished by my wild child ways.  Homemade Korean BBQ thanks to mama dearest.photo 1(8)Rice, BBQ beef, bok choy/ other greens, kimchi

Hmm, what was next?  Ah yes, Russ and I made a double batch of The Best Cookies EVER (seriously- they stay fluffy and soft and chewy, even days later).  We both want to give our friends cookies :)  My friends always look out for me, so I wanted to do something nice for them to tell them I’m sorry for my excessive blonde moments and need for a babysitter haha.  Unfortunately, once we baked them, we realized doubling the recipe was a bad idea and they didn’t come out as well as they usually do.  “Did you forget the sugar?”

Lastly, we started watching The Election.  I really liked what I saw, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 11 pm because grandma.

Saturday

I’m glad I fell asleep early because I wanted to get up early and make brunch for the family.  Raqi, always with her plans, asked me to shovel the driveway/walk since it had snowed a slushy, icy, wet mess the night before.  I don’t mind shoveling and phew, it’s a good workout.  Unfortunately, I hurt my back.  Lift with the legs, Tamara!!!

Then, then, then we had brunch!DSC_0016 DSC_0013Simple and low-key—eggs, toast, turkey bacon, coffee.  It was simple, but it always tastes better when you call it brunch and sit around as a family.  Plus, my dad cooked, Russ hovered, and Teddy begged for attention.DSC_0005DSC_0017

Then homework, homework, homework.  We have a bio exam next week, so I did some outlining, tried to read the orgo chapter, and promptly quit that sh*t and got in bed for an hour and a half of reading.  Seriously, this book is so good!!

I shoveled cherry crisp and ice cream into my mouth before showering an getting dressed.photo 4(7)  Lady like descriptions is my middle name.

Saturday night, there was a social with my program so I headed downtown.  We went to Tavern on Broad, hung out there for awhile, stopped at another bar, then went to Rosewood where we met up with Nicole…who provided the night’s entertainment ;) photo 2(1)

Snap chat photos!  Add me —>taco9491

Lastly, we went to Gay Pizza, which I’ve heard so much about.  Nicole ordered like…8 slices for 3 people (and these slices are huge), but they tasted good.  Mac n cheese pizza anyone?  French fry and hot dog?? (<— gross)

Sunday

Sunday morning, we recounted the night, cracking up about everything that happened and then I went home to make SOUP!photo 3(8)

I saw this recipe on Iowa Girl Eats and since quinoa, butternut squash and olives are 3 of my favorites, I knew I would love it.  I pretty much followed the whole recipe but I let it simmer for a lot longer because the BN squash wasn’t soft enough.

Thennnn…MCAT class, which I’m writing this post in…and clickity clacking away on my keyboard….Getting evil stares from people that are paying attention.  Switching over to gentle bird pecking—And Sunday night, I’m thinking that I should have a nice long night of Netflix and sleep.  Mmmmm can’t wait.

xox

When You Know You Shouldn’t Be a Heart Surgeon

Not that I was ever, ever, EVER considering that.  I like sitting down, and eating often, and sleeping regularly.

This semester, bio has taken a turn for the interesting and we are learning a lot of anatomy and physiology, starting with dissecting a pig heart in lab on Wednesday.pig heart1

We examined the outside, cut the pericardium off, identified various ventricles and then cut that baby open and

and

and

AND

kind of gross.  But cool at the same time.  It’s awesome to see the parts that we read and learn so much about and to be able to hold that in our hands and to see where the blood flows and how it gets through the body,  Have you ever cut into a right or left atrium and felt the wall, or stuck your fingers through the arteries?  Neat, but not for me forever and ever.  Plus, I was shaky and clumsy and Nicole lovingly announced that “Well now we know Tamara won’t be a heart surgeon…”.  And half the time, I was holding my breath so I wouldn’t breath in the formaldehyde, but that was causing me to drool an excessive amount.  At one point, I was a little too eager with the scissors and caused the pig heart juices (technical term) to splash into my lab coat and on my arm.  And the last fun moment of them all, while I was washing the dissecting tray, I turned the water on too quickly/hard and pig heart juice sprayed onto my face.

Do you feel like you were there, having all that fun with me?

If I do nothing else during my post-bac year, at least I know I won’t be a heart surgeon.  At least we look like smart doctors ;) heart dissection

Fitness Friday 1/15/2015

It’s been weeks…okay, months, since I have made any mention of exercise on this little blog of mine.  BHUT!  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been movin’ and groovin’ along all this time.  I guess I haven’t written about the gym/ exercise all that much because my workouts have felt uninspired and repetitive.  Think: a lot of biking, running, and NIke Training Club.  NTC is an incredible workout, but I am definitely getting bored of my routine.

So things are changing!  My school offers group fitness classes as part of our gym membership, but since I commute, I always thought it was too much work to shower during the day, carry my clothes, etc.  Well, I have been going to a couple classes a week and while it’s not the ideal situation, the workouts are totally worth it.

This week’s workouts:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: 10 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes of running intervals (8.0, 8.2, 8.4, 8.6, 6.5 for 10, 10 10, 10 and 20 seconds each).  Then a 30 minute Get Toned NTC workout.  The one I did gives no breaks!  It was insane and I was completely wiped.  10 minutes of abs (Cardio Killer abs)

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 10 minute jog, 10 minutes of Cardio Killer NTC, 40 minute spin class.  The music was good and the class passed by so quickly!  Win, win, win.

Thursday: 10 minute elliptical warm up and 45 minutes at a Kettle Bells class.  More like a cardio circuit workout that keeps you moving and sweating!

Friday: Anticipated: 50 minute run and maybe some weights!

Saturday: Rest (probably)