Setting Sail with Carnival Glory

Well, it is hard to believe that just two short days ago I was sitting in the warm Caribbean sun *sigh*.  When I heard of the weather conditions on my travels home yesterday I first hoped for a snow day today then, knowing it would never happen, contemplated taking up permanent residence on the Carnival Glory.  I decided against the latter for two reasons:

  1. my wallet probably couldn’t afford anymore martini/wine/beer bills
  2. my waistline definitely can not handle anymore three-course meals 🙂

Yes friends, I am finally home and snapping out of my food coma and back into reality.

But before I go any further with the crazy talk of “I am glad I am back home and getting back into the swing of things”, I’d like to share some highlights of my vacation to get you through this crappy rain.

Jack and I flew into Miami last Saturday and stayed near the Miami Port because we wanted to make sure we made it to the boat on time Sunday.  We putzed (is that a word?) around the seaport, ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, and had dinner at an little Italian restaurant on the waterfront.  It was delightful!

The Carnival Glory set sail on late Sunday afternoon.  I was lucky enough to have my friend Chris, who not only loves cruises but has a travel site to book one, answer all my questions before hand.  I really like knowing what to expect 🙂

We couldn’t get into the rooms for a bit so we headed to the adult only section of the boat and hung up there, far away from the zillion kiddies who took over the pool and water slide.  

I also ordered their drink of the day and relaxed in the warm Florida sun for a bit.

After we got in the room and took a nap we waited until the boat set sail.  I took pictures of what I saw: water and sun.

Ok you get the picture, right? I got a pedicure and then Jack and I headed to the steakhouse for dinner.  It was delish.  I got a whole complimentary bottle of wine for myself (I didn’t drink it all if you’re curious)

and Jack got a taste of the chef’s newest appetizer….

(a hamburger the size of his thumb).

We finished off the night at the Piano Bar, which unexpectedly turned into our nightly hangout for the cruise.  I will talk about Ron the Piano man in another post.  I admire him because I have always wanted to be able to play the piano.  (I took lessons in 5th grade and quit and took two classes in college and quit.)

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Today it was pretty tough getting up-and-at-’em I’ll tell you.  I must have a decent tan becasue several of my fifth graders said to me “Miss C. you got darker”, haha.  THey are very observant!  Hopefully I can keep my golden-Carribean glow for the rest of the winter. (Hollywood Tans *ahem*).

Well I could keep rambling about my day but this post is probably long enough (though I DID have the most amazing CrossFit workout with Tristan tonight) and I still need to eat some food before bed.

What is your favorite vacation destination?  Would you like to be on a cruise where you bop around to different places for a week, or fly and stay put for the time? I am definitely a beach bum and getting me to do anything off of a beach chair is damn-near impossible (just ask Jack)!

Night

~L


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Reclaiming His Heart

In the midst of a rash of snowstorms throughout the Eastern United States, Jack went to the Dominican Republic.  He came back raving, but not about the sun or the beach or the 88 degree weather.  No siree, my boyfriend came back from his tropical vacation raving about their vanilla cake.

You read that right.

The best part of his vacation was dessert.  Vanilla cake nonetheless!

Oh, I forgot to mention this magical vanilla cake also had vanilla frosting on it.

Up until this vacation, he adored my risotto balls.  So you can imagine how I felt after hearing of his adoration for this vanilla cake.  I was determined to bake my way back to the top of his stomach heart.  I mean, there was no way my boyfriend was going to walk around telling people the best thing he had ever eaten was vanilla cake from the Dominican.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner (well, tomorrow) I thought it would be a prefect time to try out a new dessert: vanilla cake balls. (Recipe inspired by Bakerella)

Bake and cool a cake flavor of your choice.

Crumble in a bowl.

Add one can of frosting (I used Betty Crocker Vanilla)

Massage cake crumbles and frosting with hands.  Its kinda like making meatballs, but way stickier and messier.

Place and fridge for several hours, then work in batches to roll the mixture into bite size cake balls and dipping in melted chocolate using a fork with the two middle digits removed.  Let cool in fridge.

This is for sure the way to reclaim his heart!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
~L

Shot Bloks

What a wonderfully warm Saturday we had this morning!  It is getting chillier and chillier as we speak, but I really do think it warmer today than it has been!

I was up and out for Tristan’s 10:30 a.m. CrossFit Bootcamp class and haven’t stopped since!

It was my first bootcamp class..ever… so I was really excited to try it out!  I set my alarm for 8:30 so I’d be able to eat something before class.  I definitely would be useless if I didn’t eat before and I knew that.  I ate a Chocolate Chip Clif bar when my alarm went off. Yes, I ate it in bed, and then promptly fell back asleep until 9:45.

Evidence

The class was pretty full with 13 or 14 people signed up but we split into pairs to go through the stations today so it didn’t seem as crowded.  Crossfit Bootcamp is different from a regular class because it uses more body weight routines and it is (in my opinion) much more fast paced.

Today we did the following, with a partner, for 30 seconds each, then switched for 30 seconds.  We did this for two minutes before resting for a minute and switching stations.

  • rope swings/medicine ball push ups (modified)
  • mountain climbers/air squats
  • Kettlebell overhead walk/kettlebell rows
  • rowing machine/burpees
  • ab mat sit-ups/side shuffles (I may have made the name for this one up)
  • jumping jacks/ bicycle crunches
  • box jumps/ball slams

We were all staggered to start and were supposed to just move through the list from where we start.  Well, apparently I do not follow directions very well and went to the wrong station after the first switch, which messed everyone else up.  At the end my partner and I and another group were left to do the same station. Ooops sorry class!

Then, when I thought I was done, Tristan said we were going to do the entire rotation one more time for 30 seconds/30 seconds, resting 20 seconds between I think.

I really liked the bootcamp because:

  • it was fast paced so the time flew by
  • it was challenging but do-able (all the classes are)
  • I can do anything for 30 seconds, including burpees
  • it was tiring but left me with amazing energy
  • it made me realize I may be ready to try a real push-ups!  Yay for progress!

I was a sweaty mess after.  Word!  What a great workout and after my vacation next week (I am going on a cruise next Saturday for a week!) I will make this a part of my Saturday mornings!

After I was full of energy and since it was noticeably warmer than it has been lately, I decided to do my long run outdoors.  This was a saving grace because I wouldn’t have last for 7 miles on a treadmill.

Before heading out I tried 3 Shot Bloks, which are energy chews.

They had the texture of melting gummy bears which isn’t good or bad.  The strawberry flavor reminded me of a fruit roll-up.  I am undecided on how much I like them still.

On previous runs I have tried Power Bar Energy Chews (raspberry flavored) and I also have some GU to try on a future run.  I think the key with using these is finding the right source of fuel for you.  I had 2 Power Bar chews around mile 5 of the run.  They are my favorite so far.

I ran using my Garmin to measure distance and overall I felt great during the run.  My left knee started throbbing around mile 5.5 though I am not quite sure why.  I finished just about 7 miles in just about 1:24.

Any ideas why my knee starts to hurt 5 miles into a run?  Does stretching help it out?

Now, after getting my eyebrows waxed and perusing Barnes and Noble for some fun vacation reads, I am ready to nap before I go to Garden Club tonight (I’ll explain Garden Club later!).

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

~L

 

 

 

Check, check, check it Out

I have a couple new favorite running songs that I added to my most recent itunes library and they make some kick ass running songs.  Check them out:

Esmee Denters: Love Dealr ft Justin Timberlake

 

Taio Cruz: Higher ft. Travie McCoy

Cobra Starship: The City is at War

After school, the sun was out and the temps didn’t seem too bad yet.  I know that it is supposed to get pretty cold tonight and stay that way for the rest of the week, so I thought it would be best to take advantage and headed out for a run.

Of course I bundled up, wearing: a tank top, long sleeve shirt, white running jacket, gloves, a fleece band to cover my ears, and a hat to cover the fleece headband covering my ears 🙂  You can never be too prepared!

As you could guess I was sweating like crazy about 3 minutes into my run.

I didn’t have a planned route (which is highly unusual for me) and basically ran where ever the sidewalks were cleared.  This made running through the North End very difficult!

Around mile 3 I popped a handful of Sports Beans (fruit punch flavored).  I am trying to get the right timing and amount for my fuel while running longer distances.  The handful of beans seemed to be timed just right as I didn’t lose energy during my run.

(SOURCE)

I ran 6.35 miles in 1:13 with an average pace of 11.29/mile.

I did a bit of dilly dallying when I stopped and chatted with Jack’s mom and tackled the unshoveled sidewalks in the North End.

Overall not a bad run.

My legs are sooooo tired.  And weirdly, my armpits hurt.  I don’t think that has anything to do with the run though!

Have a wonderful Tuesday night!

~L

 

Finally Monday Night

Boy  am I happy Monday is over!  I didn’t have a bad day or anything, I just couldn’t get up to save my life this morning.  It was probably because I went to bed like 3 hours past my usual Sunday night bedtime.  Yes folks, this girl stayed up until 11 o’clock…P.M!, on a Sunday.  If that doesn’t show I am a bad-ass I don’t know what will!

Food

Breakfast was same as always: oatmeal and a banana.

Lunch for the week: turkey and cheese sammie

Snacks: another banana, strawberries, and a peach 🙂

Pre-workout I had a banana and a chocolate-almond fudge Clif bar.  It was moist and had a couple of whole almonds in the bar.  Very satisfying flavor!

Post-workout as I blog, I am having left over lazy lasagna (ziti, marinara, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese)

and a salad.

In the mix was: mixed greens and romaine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and pepproncini peppers.  Oh, and light Ceasar dressing.

CrossFit

Today’s WOD (workout of the day) was titled “300”, and in the end, we huddled together and cheered something about Spartans, so I am guessing it has something to do with the movie 300?

Anyway, it was tough but I tried my hardest and sweat the most I have in a while.

  • 25 pull-ups (jumping)
  • 50 deadlifts
  • 50 push-ups (modified)
  • 50 box jumps
  • 50 single arm clean and press with kettlebells
  • 50 floor wipers
  • 25 pull-ups (jumping)

I did it all in just about 25 minutes (the board said 29, but the girl who finished after me has a time earlier than mine so I am guessing my time was recorded with her name and vice versa).

I can already feel myself getting better at the pull-up.  They aren’t as excruciating as they used to be.  The last set were easier than the first, partly because of couple of the guys that had been finished were rooting me on!  It felt really good to have the instructor John and Tristan encouraging me too.  I got to talking to John after and he was explaining the “kipping pull-up” where (to me) it looks like you are rocking yourself back and forth to get your chin to the bar, then you use your arms to pull you up the rest of the way.  Not saying that it is easy, but it doesn’t seem too bad.  I don’t know…my famous last words perhaps?

Remember my goal for the new year?  “Go it alone (when necessary)..Something I know about myself is that no matter how much I’d like to try something I won’t try it alone.” Well, I am kicking that goal’s little bee-hind!  I have met some really friendly people, who are all in the same boat as me in terms of getting started!

Can I get a Woop Woop?!?

Tomorrow I am going to finally attempt a run outside.  The streets/sidewalks of Boston have to be clear enough for pedestrians so I am going to take advantage of that.  I think I have 7 miles on tap and it has been quite a while since I have run outdoors.

Ok, my arms are burning as I type this, and I have a DVR of Glee that I must watch before I go to bed!

What do you have planned for your week??

~L

 

Death by Kettlebells

How is it Sunday already? I can’t believe how fast the weekend went by, and because it went by so fast I am not sure if I am rooting for a snow-day-free week or not!

CrossFit

Yesterday I went to my first CrossFit kettlebell class.  It was called “Kettlebells, Abs, and More”, it should have been called “Death by Kettlebelss” though.  Tristan was the teacher and, man, did he do a good job of leading a class that totally kicked my butt.  He was very encouraging and offered modifications when he saw I was having a hard time (which I desperately needed for the burpees).

I don’t remember the entire routine we did but I will do my best:

Warm-Up: 30 jumping jacks, 20 squats, 10 push-ups (I do modified push-ups)

*Circuits were 3 rounds each*

Circuit 1: 10 kettlebell swings, 10 kettlebell chest presses, 15 ab mat sit ups

Circuit 2: 5 kettlebell squats, 10 Burpees, 15 ab mat sit-ups

30 seconds of each, 4 rounds: crunches, knees to elbows, roll-ups, leg raises

Circuit 3: 5 kettlebell squats, 10 jumping lunges, 15 air squats

Circuit 4: 10 kettlebell transfers, 10 skull crushers, and something else…..

30 seconds of ABS as seen above

Circuit 5: 10 kettlebell rows (alternating sides), 10 kettlebell bicep curls, 10 kettlebell shoulder presses

(SOURCE)

Like I said it was NOT an easy workout, BUT it was the best workout I have had in a while.  Well, the best workout I have had since my last CrossFit class 🙂

Lunch

I was a smart girl and put my post CrossFit energy to good use by getting my food shopping done yesterday, as opposed to today.  I have really come to dislike food shopping, but now I think I might just really dislike food shopping on Sundays. It wasn’t so bad getting it done yesterday.  I guess I have a new routine on Saturdays!

After showering I met up with my aunt for a last minute lunch.

Our first stop was the Warren Tavern.

I started with a Harpoon Celtic ale. It was a darker beer than what I usually like but it wasn’t too bad.  I had two while I ate lunch.

Lunch was a Monument chicken salad which had grilled chicken, boiled red potatoes, green beans, mixed greens and feta cheese.  I am really beginning to like tolerate feta cheese. (Considering I am not a “funky” cheese lover, I consider this a big step).

We also split buffalo fingers.

I devoured the celery and carrots that came with the buffalo fingers.  I love fresh veggies, especially when they are dripping in ranch dressing.

 

After lunch we headed to old Sully’s for a couple more adult beverages.  I had two or three bud lights while I was there.

My Night

Jack picked me up and we went to the movies to see a new movie (that is in limited release) called “Oxy-Morons”.  Here is the synopsis from the trailer I found on You-Tube:

“Based on the true life story of Charlestown’s Johnny Hickey. Two brothers, Danny and Jason find themselves at the top of the Oxycontin drug trade in the projects of Charlestown, MA.”

 

It is always fun to watch a movie set where you live!  And

Well, today I am making a spaghetti sauce and chicken parmesean, or pizza (or both) while watching the Phantom Gourmet marathon.

How was your Saturday??

~L