Get Healthy- Stay Healthy

So we’re moving into 2013 you say? New year, baby. I don’t know why but 2013 just sounds weird to me. Maybe its the odd number? Maybe its the 13? I don’t know. Welp- whether I like it or not, it’s a-coming!

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How do ya like my new calendar? Sorry for the light glare. Santa gave this to me in my stocking when I was home 😉 All the pictures are of various herbs and spices! I like that January’s is bright and colorful. I also really like having a calendar in my kitchen now!

That’s not the only thing different about my kitchen as of last night. As Will and I slowly take down all our Christmas decor, I’m filling the empty space with new things. Like the beautiful, hand stitched dish towel he got me for Christmas:

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For a girl always missing her home state, this dish towel is perfect. I don’t know if I have the heart to actually use it to dry dishes- it’s too pretty!

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Also, hopefully you have noticed the nice quality of these photos- thank GOD for the new digital camera Will got me- I am so so so obsessed with it. Look at those bright and accurate colors!

The only other new kitchen additions last night were of the food variety. Will and I did some late night grocery shopping at a NEW store (well for us anyway). He recently discovered that there was a Harris Teeter close by and let’s just say… we’re ALWAYS shopping there from now on!

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Logan Airport

I am at Logan waiting for my flight back to DC and let me tell you- while I am a giant bag of emotions, this is the first time flying back to DC that I haven’t been sobbing at the airport. Despite all the sad emotions I’m experiencing, I’m feeling really positive about the future and 2013. Honestly and truly. Before I left, my Mom told me that I need to just focus on the future and not let myself be upset about leaving and all that jazz. I agree with her advice.

My flight is delayed (of course) and I’ve spent my time at the airport responding to emails, signing up for fitness classes this week back in DC, jotting down a grocery list, meal planning a little bit, and doing some thinking on my 2013 resolutions. Have a mentioned I’m a very proactive and productive person? Hello, I’m Allison and I’m a planner.

So I could go on and on about my visit home but I’ll just leave it at- it was a really really really great week or so. I love being home. I love being with my family. I love Massachusetts.

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I’m beyond bummed my time with everyone is over for now but it is time to take myself back to my other home- freshly painted toes and all.

ImageYesterday I got a pedicure with my Mom and Grandmother. I love doing stuff with both of them. All three of us are the oldest of our respective generations (in terms of siblings) and its cool when just us three can hang out. My nail polish color is called My Name is Suzi and I’m a Chocoholic. Replace the name Suzi with “Allison” and you got yourself a pretty accurate bottle of nail polish.

After nail painting we stopped at Marylous (the best coffee in town) and not only did I get my favorite iced coffee- a creamy chocolate coconut aka an almond joy- BUT my grandmother treated me to a bag of egg nog coffee grounds to take back to DC with me!

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This will definitely be wicked clutch when I get back.

Anyway- if I’m not going to cry at the airport this time around, I’m going to have to stop reminiscing/ talking about my visit and look to the future. This trip created many memories that I will cherish and I know MA and my family will always be there for me. For now, I gotta think of all the things I am flying back to that make me happy and that I have missed.

There are a lot of little things like my jar of sunflower seed butter, cooking on my stove, my gym, and sweetgreen– but the most important and greatest of all… Will! Holy crap do I miss him. I feel like we haven’t seen each other in ages. HONEY, I’m coming home!

Andddd I am beyond excited to spend my FIRST New Years EVER with Will. It’s his first New Year’s on the east coast and his first with me 🙂 We’ll probably just do something very low key because that’s how we roll. I’m also pumped he gets to work in DC this week- not NYC- and we get to spend a holiday together. It’s going to be great.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of love waiting for me back in DC.

Taking a mental break from the world wide web and blogging and everything has done me a lot of good. Quality time with my family, friends, and pets has leveled me out in a way nothing else really could. Laughter and love cure what ails you.

I am, however, excited to get back to blogging (rested and relaxed), routine, and sharing more of my life with the world.

Next time you hear from me, I’ll be back in the mid-atlantic!

Time for me to go through security xoxo

New Additions to the Old Addition

Hey hey hey! Alive and well in Massachusetts still… but not for long wah 😦 I sort of came to the realization that I couldn’t enjoy every second I have here if I was also constantly in blog mode and taking pictures of my eats and every move. SO again, I apologize for being so MIA but a part of family time for me is stepping off the grid completely time.

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Here’s a picture of me, my three sisters, and my Mom on Christmas day!

You haven’t missed much in my world. I’ve been spending all my time just chilling with the family, various trips to various malls, catching up with friends (over bar trivia and over coffee), and snuggling on my couch.

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Tonight the whole family gathered to watch Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.

Yesterday I was able to see Les Miserables with my Mom and two youngest sisters. I’m not usually a musical person but I enjoyed it. Hugh Jackman is the man and damn is Anne Hathaway talented. Wasn’t really diggin’ Russell Crowe. Sorry dude.

Over the course of my vacation there has also been plenty of this (dunkin donuts AND joy!)

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A little bit of this (but we’re getting LOTS more tomorrow!):

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And PLENTY of these:

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That photo was snapped up at the food pantry in my town when I was helping out my grandmother. She runs the local pantry and the rest of my family chips in whenever they can.

But in all seriousness, my meals have pretty much stayed the same in terms of nutritional value as they are when I’m in D.C. The only difference is I’m not doing all the cooking! Oh… and I can’t forget… dessert. Dessert is my true love and since i’ve been home (and of course because of the holiday season) my days have included cookies and other sweet treats. I’ve just been making sure my three main meals of the day our healthy and not worrying too much about the December/Christmas indulgences.

My Mom has been making lots of vegetables and our fridge has been jam packed with fresh produce. Oh how I’ve missed home cooked meals. Breakfast, my number one and most important meal, has been greek yogurt bowls and oatmeal for the most part. Always including a banana. Obviously.

Plus, I was even able to make it to the gym twice this week! I consider that a success.

Tomorrow is my last full day at home and I’m going to make the most of it for sure. One thing I’m not looking forward to is leaving on Sunday. Switching gears, one thing I am looking forward to, however, is continuing onward with my healthy lifestyle.

My new years resolution is to keep on keeping on-  to stay healthy in 2013.

I consider myself SO lucky to have received some amazingly thoughtful gifts this year for Christmas that will help make this promise to myself stay true. Christmas was definitely the bomb dot com for so many reasons.

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So you know how the camera on my new phone is awful? Case and point the picture above. Well, Will got me a digital camera! And it has a setting for taking pictures of food! AH! I love it so much already but haven’t had too much time to play with it yet. Get ready for this little guy to make my blog look much more clean and profesh.

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My sister Jess got me a potato masher! Hello, mashed sweet potatoes. AND she got me a juicer. I have no idea where to even begin with this but I love new kitchen equipment and can’t wait to play.

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Will, knowing my love of Sriracha, got me the perfect cookbook and my parents included a vegetarian magazine in my stocking. And while although I am not a vegetarian, I am a veg head and look forward to the future meals this mag will inspire (I apologize for the sideways photo).

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One of the best things I got this year for sure- and something I NEVER would have imagined me asking for this time last year- was outdoor cold weather running apparel! HOORAY! This is the first “brand name” athletic wear I’ve ever really owned! I feel so legit.

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I tried it all on on Christmas morning and did a test jog around my block. I am so in love with it. I wish I could wear this ensemble all day every day. And it came with some nice socks as well (that are made for outdoor/cold weather exercise).

Other highlights included NEW CLOTHES which I always could use- especially bright colored pants, unique sweaters, fitted work apparel, and stylish tops. My wardrobe has been pretty blah lately because I’ve been trying to stick to basics primarily as I rebuild my collection of clothing items after losing a lot of weight. It’s nice to own pretty things. Materialistic? Yeah a little. Honest? Hell yes. Man, it’s nice wearing clothes that not only fit me right but that look damn good.

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While all the food and exercise stuff I got will obviously help me stay healthy, I think the clothes are the biggest motivator because they really show me how hard I’ve worked over the past year. Sliding my new items on makes me feel so good and so accomplished. I want to keep giving my body what it deserves and feeling this great inside and out.

Again, I am so thankful for these gifts and all the other thoughtful gifts I received. My friends and family know me so well and I couldn’t have asked for a better assortment of goodies. I also couldn’t have asked for better friends and family 😉

It’s going to suck hardcore leaving everyone but it will be nice to return to DC with all my new goods. Get ready 2013 because I’m going to rock you.

Now I need sleep. I’m going to get up nice and early so I can get in a full day with everyone. I already know I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow but it’ll be easy to wake up when I know my morning is starting with a pedicure date with my Mom and Grandmother (trip to Marylous for an Almond Joy iced coffee included). Ah yes, the good life.

I hope Christmas was good to all of you who were celebrating and I hope all of you are enjoying the last days of December xoxo

Holiday Favorites Survey

Hello! Yes- I’m still alive. But I’m surprised I haven’t frozen to death. Massachusetts in the winter is colder than I remember it. DC is only like ten degrees warmer but when you get cold easily, every degree counts. I’ve been spoiled by “the south.”

Anyway- currently I am sleepless (womp) so I figured it was a good time to catch you up a little on my happenings and share some of my favorite things about Christmas.

I got home Friday (after being delayed at the airport argh!) and have really just been soaking in the family time since then (oh and cuddling with my dog time). It is so so so good to be home. There is just always something about it. It’s the best.

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It definitely already looks like Santa stopped by our house. My family waited till I came home Friday night to decorate the tree. We like to overload our tree with lots of unique ornaments. Most are handmade or have some story behind them.

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We all have a handful of ornaments with our names on them- here is one of my special ornaments. Allison- 1990.

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And the stockings were hung in the big bay window with care… This is where we hang our stockings every year (there’s one for each of us, plus our dog Betsy). On the window sill is our Christmas village (complete with a marine one helicopter flying over it…)

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We get PRETTY creative with out Christmas village and always incorporate ridiculous things.  Example: there was a murder in the village. It was so crazy that the secret service apparently had to be involved.

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WATCH OUT FOR THE DINOSAUR ON THE LOOSE!

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AND THE CRAZY FOX! We randomly move all the hilarious pieces that don’t belong in the village from time to time to create different funny scenarios.

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Home for the Holidays

TODAY I GO HOME. 

I’m about to shut my computer down and get ready to head off to the airport (wish we luck there…) but I wanted to give you a heads up in advance for the limited posting you’ll see on my blog over the next week or so.

There are so many important things in my life, but the most important of them all is family. If I have time to blog here and there while I’m home- wahoo! If not, I’m sorry but it’s just the way it has to be. No guarantees or promises.

I leave you with a little version of me celebrating Christmas

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I hope you all have fabulous weekends and that you’re embracing the wonderful-ness of the holiday season xoxo

Beyond Ready

Thursdays always rule. Primarily because they are my Fridays. But this one was extra great. Here’s why:

  1. I woke up to a sweet breakfast scramble with sweet potato (meals with sweet potato and banana are my favorites) and a giant scoop of chunky almond butter.2012-12-20 06.27.58
  2. I also woke up knowing it was Thursday and was so happy to finally reach the end of my work week before Christmas.
  3. And then Dunkin Donuts ice coffee happened.
  4. I experienced my first ever lunch time workout where I discovered how much I hate jump squats (and how awkward it is to put back on work clothes without showering… yikes). But it was a kickass workout nonetheless.
  5. The mega-salad lunch at my desk (look at all those layers!) post workout was the bomb dot com.2012-12-20 13.34.34
  6. Work was busy thus it went by fast (thank God) and everyone was in good spirits.
  7. When work ended, I felt like I could REALLY start celebrating Christmas- I’m officially on vacation!
  8. And it was great knowing I had already gotten in my workout and could just go home (and stay there!) when work ended.
  9. But first, I stopped to purchase a “nut nog” made by a new start-up called Gouter that specializes in hand-crafted raw, vegan, and organic treats and tonic! It tasted just like egg nog- I literally could not believe there was no dairy in the beverage!2012-12-20 17.25.36The ingredients listed were: alkaline water, organic cashews, dates, coconut water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and sea salt (and love). IT WAS SO GOOD. I actually can’t get over it. Happy Christmas vacation to me indeed.2012-12-20 17.53.44
  10. When I got home, I felt like I had all the time in the world to tackle my final “before leaving for Massachusetts to do list” thus I felt no stress whatsoever.
  11. I felt welcome to just chill, drink my “nut nog” and watch the Festivus episode of Seinfeld.
  12. But I eventually got to packing (which some people hate- but I love) which was accompanied by a cool special on NBC about Christmas at the White House.2012-12-20 19.16.06
  13. I was able to clean out my fridge and my counters- I shall be leaving my kitchen pretty empty (it looks so sad right now) but oh so very clean.
  14. And last but not least, I always feel so much better when my nails are painted.
  15. Oh- and all day I have been reveling in the fact that I go home to see my family tomorrow! YAY! That’s the best thing on this list!

So am I ready to go home? Beyond ready. Besides having everything packed and my mind already in Massachusetts, I’m also beyond ready in other ways.

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Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and 2013

After a string of days that involved at least one meal purchased out (so rare for me!), it was so nice yesterday to make all three of my meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eating out is fun but I take great pride in cooking for myself and I’ve found it makes me feel the healthiest. And its way cheaper… I buy and make my own food for health and my bank account!

Monday night I oddly had a second to spare so I whipped together some overnight oats for yesterday morning. In the mix: 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 tbl. chia seeds, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tbl. of walnuts, 1 tbl. of coconut, and a sprinkle of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I topped it in the morning with some defrosted strawberries and sunbutter. And a splash of almond milk to wake it up a little bit.

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My sister got me the set of these little monogrammed plates a couple years a go.

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I’d like to point out that there was no banana in my breakfast. MADNESS.

The verdict: while a delicious (and pretty) breakfast – I was hungry by 9am (I ate breakfast at 6:30am) and usually my breakfasts tide me over till at least 10 or 11 when I eat a mid-morning snack. I’m thinking it lacked protein or maybe I needed to be more liberal with the sunbutter. Orrrrr maybe my body just isn’t happy unless bananas are involved in my morning routine 😉

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