The Last Week of Summer Break
It has been 105 days of Summer Vacation.
As much as I love my family, I am beyond ready to return to college life for SENIOR YEAR. My car is packed, my apartment is ready, and I’m cruising down the highway as we speak! The past 7 days have been the busiest and craziest days…here are some highlight:
The Green Goods:
Last week at work, our receptionist asked if anyone would like to “adopt” some of the office plants. I have a brand new unfurnished apartment…something green sounded nice! I got some funky flowered plants (don’t ask me what they are). Well….they needed pots. And planting soil. And metal stakes. My “free” plant babies cost $30. These damn things better not die. ;)
The Book List:
I stocked myself up with PLENTY of reading material for the school year too! One day after work, I had some time to kill while I waited for the temperatures to cool off enough for an evening run. The selection at the used bookstore in the mall this week? JACK POT. As I browsed the store, the stack of books in my arms grew taller and taller. The cashier actually came to me TWICE to hold my books at the counter.
“That looks very heavy.” You underestimate my muscles, mister.
But thank you ;)
My favorite find of the day = Someday, Someday, Maybe because of the author. Lauren Graham AKA Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls AKA my favorite show ever and ever. I’m three chapters in and already hoping she writes a sequel.
The Last Home Long-Run:
On Sunday morning, I tackled a 12-mile long run before the 7 o’ clock hour. The route was different than usual because 3 miles in I took a sharp left turn that led to some greener views. Sightings: 1 coyote, 2 scruffy mutts, and 5 hungry ducks.
A Jittery Habit:
I’ve picked up a habit of running to the deli next door for an afternoon Iced Americano with 3 pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce and a splash on non-fat. I have this “treat yourself” mentality going on right now. I’ve had 4 this week. Starbuck’s is capitalizing on my cold cravings and I’m okay with that.
Our office hosted a Bake Sale fundraiser for one of the employees. Instead of buying goodies, I will be participating by contributing something to sell. Pinterest is my go-to for crafty-crafts and I was immediately attracted to “Baseball Pops” AKA white chocolate-covered Oreos.
Popsicle sticks + Oreos + White Melting Chocolate + Red candy melts
All summer long, I have worked in the corporate office of a major national manufacturing company. This has been an eye-opening experience since so much of my projects are directly related to my business courses. I’ve really enjoyed working in an office-setting….mainly because I get to dress up in heels and blazers and pencil skirts. Playing dress up is never a bad thing.
Lot’s of “goodbye” meals.
First, the department at work planned a mid-week lunch. It was my choice of restaurant. Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar & Grill :) No shop-talk allowed! I got a salad with shrimp skewers, avocado, mango salsa and light balsamic vinegrette on the side. (It reminded me of the version I made two years ago…)
We also met up for a last summer dinner with my mom’s BFF and her daughter. We were too busy girl-chatting for pictures on that one ;) Yesterday some girlies from work all went out for lunch at my favorite: Panera. Garden Veggie Soup with a Thai Chicken Salad:
Friday morning I walked into the office for the LAST day of my summer internship. Outside of my office was a breakfast spread that was noticeably different from previous company potlucks: It was healthy! Our office enjoys celebrating birthdays and special occasions with potlucks, most of which include donuts and streudals. They themed this one “healthy” in honor of moi and covered the table in fruits, nuts, granolas, yogurt, hummus and crackers. So sweet!
Plus an awesome last dinner at a sushi bar, Ooka. This week was full of some hilarious, ridiculous moments. It included lots of packing and cleaning and errands. But it also became a little overwhelming at time, and by Friday night I wanted a drink! I wanted to sip, relax, laugh and have a great last night. It was a success :)
Sending me off to school fat & happy and ready to take advantage of our amazing recreation center!
My summer was a long one. Two trips to New York and two medical procedures. Two trips to Flagstaff. One spectacular concert. Working full-time. Running morning and evening. Baking and cooking. Trips to San Diego and Newport. The only thing I didn’t get to was a baseball game. But the Dbacks are just a two-hour drive away, so maybe I’ll catch an AZ game pretty soon. ;)
BRING ON THE NEW SEMESTER.
Yesterday. I crushed my finance exam. I ran a stellar six miles (in a t-shirt, in February). Oh and I turned 21.
Couldn’t have asked for a better birthday! Last night I got to celebrate with my best girlfriends :)
Of course I am all about the healthy lifestyle. So…how does alcohol fit into that? Well I believe a healthy lifestyle includes splurging in moderation. Alcohol is one of those splurges. I was not about to get white-girl-wasted on a Wednesday night with an exam the next morning at 8am, but I definitely ordered my first cocktail: Skinny Acai Lemonade. Tart & delicious!
**I was slightly disappointed when the waitress didn’t even ask for my ID. I was ready to get carded for the first time!**
My dad asked me if I felt “21.” NO WAY. If I were to walk into a bar I would still feel like I wasn’t allowed in. The thing I’m most excited about is country night at one of the restuarants downtown. Country music, line dancing and yard jars <3 And more excuses to get together with my best friends!
My birthday workout wasn’t as structured as last year’s birthday workout but it got the job done! Starting as soon as I woke up with a core routine that included three sets of:
- Plank (front & sides)
- Russian Twists
- Leg Lifts
- Hip Bridge
- Plus 20 minutes of the elliptical
Wednesdays I have a 50-minute kickboxing class with Kerri, but the instructor treats is more like a martial arts class….we “played” with PVC pipes and practiced a little self-defense. Highly entertaining and hardly a workout. I followed it up with 6 miles in the gorgeous weather. (My first birthday here without a snow storm!)
And THAT is how I justify my “birthday shot” (not exactly sure what it was, but there was whip cream & a cherry on top!) and the TWO desserts my roomie Becca made. Apple Crisp & Peanut Butter Cookies.
At least my meal balanced it out with some actual nutritional value. I got a spinach berry feta salad with salmon :) The only time I eat meat is when I go out because I detest cooking it myself.
Loved that we all had an excuse to dress up and wear heels. Thanks to my friends and parents I now have a grown-up set of wine glasses, charms, cork screw and wines (not sure if they’re good, but the bottles are cute & that’s all that matters!).
My favorite beverage is still coffee though ;)
Spaghetti Squash Pasta
I think the reason I’ve postponed another blog post for so long is because I couldn’t really top my first marathon recap. I wanted to relive the experience as long as possible! But now, the lactic acid is almost drained from my legs and I cut the tracking tag off of my training shoes for today’s easy run. Time to move on… ;)
Last night’s dinner was purposefully extra healthy because of my lack of exercise all week. Post-marathon, I gave myself 7 full exercise-free days to let my body recover. (Though that did mean turning down frozen yogurt on girl’s night out and bypassing the chocolate section at this week’s Sprouts spree in order to compensate for the lack of energy-expenditure.) Today though, I reintroduced my legs to jogging with a 5 miler on some trails and sidewalks. I am ready to get back to my fitness routine! Now that my marathon is over, what is my next goal? I’m giving myself a week or two to figure that one out….
In the meantime, I’ve cleaned up my fridge with about 15 pounds of fresh produce. I’ve got Acorn squash to Zucchini and everything in between. My dinners are usually a medley of vegetables, like this amazing spaghetti squash pasta. Trust me, you don’t even miss the carbs.
Nope those aren’t noodles!
After you slice the squash open, it’s the easiest thing in the world. Wash it and use a really good knife because cutting into the dense raw squash is slightly frightening…
Scoop out the seeds and guts like a pumpkin. I line a baking sheet with foil, lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray and some seasoning. Lay the squash halves on the tray, face down and bake at 375 for about 50 minutes. They will be super soft when they are done!
For the sauce, I sauteed my own blend of chopped zucchini (green & yellow because the more color the better!), tomato, orange bell pepper, garlic and spinach. Plus we added some pre-cooked shrimp for a little protein. After it all cooked down for about 8 minutes, I added it to some marinara sauce that had been simmering the whole time.
The fun part! Once the squash is removed from the oven, use 2 forks to pull apart the insides into its little “spaghetti” strands. Who ever thought that shaping vegetables to look like a more substantial dish would actually be so filling.
Hah I just couldn’t resist….. ;)
Talk about squash on squash on squash. Here’s the nutritional facts!
Spaghetti Squash has 10 grams of carbs per 1 cup, compared to regular pasta’s 50 grams per cup. It’s also naturally fat-free, low-sugar and largely composed of water. (Hydrating!)
Happy Sunday :)