A Great Birthday

11 Feb

Since you last heard from me, I turned 23!

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Last Thursday was my birthday and I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

I got a surprise delivery from Dan…

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a great wine glass from a law school friend…
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and I had a delicious dinner with my friends.

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The only wrench in the birthday weekend plans came on Friday…

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but I picked up right where I left off on Saturday!

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I felt extremely special and loved.  I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life!

Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken, Peppers & Mushrooms

4 Feb

My boyfriend and I made a pasta dish a few months ago that we quickly deemed one of the best dishes we’d ever made together.

Last night, I brought it back with a few variations from our original creation.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken, Peppers & Mushrooms(Serves 2)

  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 8oz baked chicken breasts (about 1.5 breasts)
  • 1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • handful baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more as desired
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar + more as desired
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to taste

1.  Bake 1 package of chicken breasts for 30 minutes at 400* (I let them marinade first in Wegmans Lemon & Garlic Marinade)

2.  About 15 minutes before the chicken is done, put the pasta into a pot of boiling water.  Put the pepper strips and the baby bella mushrooms into a pan with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (I didn’t measure this, but a tbsp each is probably sufficient).  Cover the veggies with a lid.

3. When the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and cut into cubes.  I used about 1.5 breasts for this dish, and saved the rest to put on salads during the week.

4. Stir the veggies every few minutes.  They are done when the peppers have softened.

5.  When the pasta is finished, drain the water and put the pasta back into the pot.  Add in the cubed chicken and sautéed peppers and mushrooms.

6.  Stir it all up and add more oil if it’s dry.  Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to taste.

Some variations:

  • Use turkey sausage instead of chicken
  • Add onions to your sautéed veggies
  • Sprinkle in shredded cheese at the end (I’ve used an Italian blend of Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano – it’s so good!)

Enjoy! :)

My first StitchFix

3 Feb

Hi, friends!

I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend!  I’m currently posted up in front of the TV watching the Super Bowl (commercials).  My full class schedule starts tomorrow (yikes), so I’m trying to relax while I can.

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I first heard about StitchFix over at Gina’s blog.  As a busy student with minimal time to go shopping, I was immediately intrigued.

IMG_2615You get started on the website by creating an extensive style profile.  You fill out your height, weight, and clothing sizes, along with how you like clothes to fit you, style preferences, etc.  You are also shown images of various outfits (kind of like these on Pinterest) and asked whether you like them.  It’s really in depth and cool to fill out.

You schedule your “Fix” for whenever you’d like to it arrive.  It can contain a mix of shirts, pants, accessories, dresses, outerwear  – anything you ask for.  You pay a $20 styling fee, which is applied toward items you decide to keep.  Once it arrives, you have three days to decide what you’d like to purchase.  The Fix comes with a pre-paid mailing bag to put returns in, so you can easily throw it in your mailbox to send back.

Here’s what my first one looked like:

IMG_2614Polka dot skinny jeans, grey poncho sweater, sheer black studded top, red and white striped long sleeve shirt, and a red infinity scarf

The verdict?:

I didn’t keep any of it.

The jeans and the grey sweater weren’t really my style.

I was this close to keeping the black shirt, but ultimately decided against it.  It was just a little too see-through for me.

The red striped shirt and infinity scarf are very similar to other clothes that I own, so I decided it wasn’t worth the money to keep them.

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BUT, I still signed up to receive another Fix.  I really like that their online checkout included options to give extensive feedback on each item – I’m confident that they will understand why I decided to send everything back.  I also updated my style profile a bit to better reflect my preferences.  From what I’ve read, the Fixes get better each time as the stylist gets to “know” you.

For $20, it’s worth another shot!  I don’t think it’s something I’ll sign up for every month, but it’s definitely going to be a great option when I want some new clothes but don’t have time to go to the mall.

If you want to give it a try, here is a link with the invitation!

  • Have you tried StitchFix before?
  • Do you like online shopping?

Kettle & Pedal

29 Jan

Two weeks ago, I tried spinning for the first time.

The setup was totally awesome – all of the bikes were in a dark room, with colored lights on the walls.  It was like spinning in a nightclub (seriously).  The instructor had a bumpin’ playlist, and there was a huge flatscreen TV that was playing music videos.

tumblr_md9ph47DHt1qej93ko1_250Watching Beyonce will make anyone work out a little harder.  My spinning got ten times faster when I saw her on that screen.

About 35 minutes of the class consisted of spinning.  The instructor led us through a series of hills and jumps at various resistance levels.  She was awesome – I love a motivating instructor who isn’t too in your face.

After the spinning portion of the class was complete, we went into another room to complete a group circuit workout.  There were four stations, so we split up with about 3-4 people to a station.  The instructor changed the exercises each time we went through the circuit (burpees, pushup variations, frog jumps, weighted exercises, plyo lunges, the list goes on…), but one exercise stayed the same:

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ROWING.  The dude above makes this look super sweet and effortless.  I worked muscles I didn’t even know I had and my heart was pounding out of my chest by the end.  The circuit did not advance until all of the rowers completed 200m (i.e. those doing burpees did as many as they could until the rowers were done, then advanced to the next exercise).  The class ended with Kettlebell arm exercises back on the bike (bicep curls, triceps extensions, front shoulder raises, etc.).

bodycraft-kettlebell-10lb-yellowIt. was. awesome.

At first, however, I wasn’t sure if I liked the class that much.  During the spinning portion, my legs tired out very quickly and my butt was uncomfortable on the seat.  When she explained the circuit to us, I was initially intimidated.

But once I let all of that go – I was hooked!  It was such a fun class, and I had forgotten how awesome and motivating it is to work out in a group.  I hadn’t taken a fitness class in a looong time, so this was a great way to switch it up.  I’ve taken two classes since and I’m already signed up to go again tomorrow.

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  • What was the last new fitness class you tried?
  • How do you overcome discomfort or intimidation in new situations?

101 in 1001

25 Jan

So I’m kind of behind on the whole “make a New Years resolution” bandwagon.  Like, 22 years behind.

I like the idea of starting a new year fresh and resolving to do different things, but I’ve never been one to decide that January 1st is the day I’m going to commit to working harder at all things in my life.

I guess when I see the need for change, I try to do my best to make that change right away (instead of waiting for a new year).  I’ve also never been one to write down goals (even though I have a lot!).

One of our first tasks during fitmixer boot camp was to write down our goals.  At first, this challenge freaked me out.  But once I wrote them down, it felt really good.  To keep that good feeling going, I decided to create a 101 in 1001 list (inspired by my friend, Olivia).

Basically, you write down 101 things you want to achieve in 1001 days (~2.75 years).  Here’s my list!:

  1. Write a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days (January 2013)
  2. Keep track of 101 things
  3. Join an academic group at UB (law journal, moot court, etc.)
  4. Work a full-time legal job during the summers of 2013 and 2014
  5. Graduate from UB
  6. Do my best to graduate in the top 25% of my class
  7. Take the NYS Bar Exam
  8. Go to California
  9. Plan a post-grad trip abroad (Italy?!)
  10. Get a post-grad job
  11. Run a 5k
  12. Run a 10k
  13. Run a half marathon
  14. Visit UR for Mel weekend
  15. Plan another reunion with my friends from college
  16. Clean out my closet and donate clothes
  17. Send someone a card just because
  18. Go indoor rock climbing
  19. Try Crossfit
  20. Go on a brewery tour
  21. Learn how to make sauce
  22. Bake a birthday cake for someone all by myself
  23. Do fitmixer boot camp again
  24. Go to Washington, D.C. and see the monuments
  25. Make my own peanut butter
  26. Learn how to make healthy muffins
  27. Make sangria
  28. Go on another wine tour
  29. Visit two new states
  30. Make a craft from Pinterest
  31. Invest in a good sports bra
  32. Go to a Delta Gamma alumni event
  33. Continue to blog
  34. Go apple picking
  35. Kayak on the canal
  36. Go to an MS walk
  37. See a GI doctor to finally determine why I have so many stomach issues
  38. Send my mom flowers
  39. Buy a business suit
  40. Go to a wedding
  41. Make homemade hummus
  42. Try a new-to-me fitness class
  43. Buy a colored blazer
  44. Go to a running store to determine which sneakers I should wear
  45. Make breakfast pizza
  46. Go back to Good Luck
  47. Try a new-to-me restaurant in Rochester
  48. Visit my past employers at LuGia’s
  49. Spend a day with my little cousins
  50. Frame “then and now” side-by-side photos with my grandparents
  51. Make my own sweet potato fries
  52. Go to a Carrie Underwood concert
  53. Get a facial
  54. Get a gel manicure
  55. Do something special to celebrate my 25th birthday
  56. Go to a baseball game at Yankees Stadium
  57. Go to a professional hockey game
  58. Make healthy guacamole
  59. Paint something (a picture, wine glass, craft, etc.)
  60. Try pumpkin seeds
  61. Go to the Rochester public market again
  62. Frame my diploma
  63. Go to the George Eastman House
  64. Go to the Rochester Museum & Science Center
  65. Go to the Memorial Art Gallery
  66. Visit a museum in Buffalo
  67. Go to a Buffalo Bills game
  68. Drink hard cider
  69. Try green juice
  70. Buy some cookbooks
  71. Visit my family in PA
  72. Go to Canada
  73. Take a cooking class
  74. Make an ice cream cake
  75. Make homemade salad dressing
  76. Host a dinner party or holiday/themed party
  77. Bake cookies for a friend
  78. Send 10 handwritten notes
  79. Take a self-defense class
  80. Make 10 recipes off Pinterest
  81. Find out my blood type
  82. Go to Delta Gamma Founder’s Day brunch
  83. Get a monogrammed necklace
  84. Take my aunts out to lunch
  85. Go golfing with my grandpa
  86. Perfect the art of making a healthy smoothie
  87. Try Bethenny Frankel’s yoga DVD
  88. Find a bra that actually fits right
  89. Buy a jacket that isn’t black
  90. Do something special to celebrate my and Dan’s anniversary
  91. Visit Erin, Emmi, and Renee in NYC
  92. Make dinner for my parents
  93. Put a 13.1 sticker on my car after completing my first half marathon
  94. See all of The Godfather movies
  95. Read Pride and Prejudice
  96. Write thank you notes after my birthday each year
  97. Learn how to manage money
  98. Buy something off Etsy
  99. Pay for someone who is behind me in line (coffee, lunch, etc.)
  100. Go on a hike
  101. Complete my 101 goals!
  • Do you make New Years resolutions?
  • Do you write down your goals?

Baby, it’s cold outside

22 Jan

This sweet lyric about cold weather isn’t exactly what came to mind when I woke up to this:

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My reaction was more like this: nooo @#$%^!  Seeing 5* with a “bitter wind chill warning” calling for temps that feel like -15 made me want to pull the covers over my head for the rest of the day.

After a short internal battle, I got my butt out of bed for the fitmixer Boot Camp Day 9 workout.  Here are some reasons why I am loving this boot camp so far:

1. The workouts are always different.  I feel sore in new muscles everyday.

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2.  I’ve already dropped three pounds.

3.  The way I eat is changing – I feel full from less calories and I’m less tempted by foods that aren’t as good for me.

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4.  The online community is great.  Everyone is so encouraging and motivating.

5.  I look forward to working out because it’s a new routine.  I even put a half marathon on my calendar and started taking a spin class!

I cannot speak highly enough of the program so far.  It’s also awesome that every workout can be done at home.  I am really glad I decided to do it!

Off to do some schoolwork… hope everyone is having a great day!

fitmixer Boot Camp Day 1

14 Jan

Hello all!

I am back from a fantastic weekend in NYC where I visited my friends from college.

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We had a great time exploring the city and catching up.  The highlight of the weekend was going to Jimmy Fallon’s monologue rehearsal!  He’s hilarious and looks even younger and cuter in person.

Although I didn’t want to leave my friends, I was excited to get back for day 1 of fitmixer Boot Camp!

Law school eats up a lot of my time, so about a month ago I started looking for new ways to do effective at-home workouts.  I had seen fitmixer boot camp mentioned on a few blogs, and after doing more research I decided it was the perfect fit for me.

The fitmixer team sends you workouts five days a week.  They customize a meal plan tailored to your fitness goals and send you ideas for each meal of the day and three snacks.

I did the first workout this afternoon and it. was. awesome.  I’m so excited to experience a new challenge and to mix things up without having to think about it.  The workout and meal plan for the next day come straight to your inbox – this means minimal planning on my part, I just have to follow what’s given to me!

  • Is anyone else participating in this fitmixer Boot Camp?
  • How do you switch up your workout routine when you feel like you need a change?
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