Living Alone: Things I’m Lovin’, Things I’m Missin’ and Weird Things I’m Doin’

Well, I’ve officially lived alone for 12 days. It may not seem like that long, but in that short amount of time I’ve realized that it’s very different living alone than with roommates! There are a lot of things I love about living alone, but there are a few things I do miss about living with people!

I didn’t hate living with roommates at all and didn’t move out for that reason, but I think there comes a point where it’s just time to move on and get your own place. I think this is especially important to do before you get married (at least, in my opinion) so you can learn what it’s like to be completely on your own before you really settle down. Marriage is not anywhere in the horizon for me… yet… (it’d be great if it happened within the next 2-4 years, though. Not that I can plan that, but it would be nice! 😉 ) but I already feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself because of living alone for just a short amount of time (here’s where the ‘”weird things I’m doin’ ” comes in!).

Things I’m Lovin’

1. When I come home from work and teaching and/or the gym, I know the apartment will look exactly how I left it. I’m really trying to de-clutter and keep things organized since I don’t have much space and, so far, so good!

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2. I don’t have to wait for the bathroom in the morning, or ever! This drastically cuts down my “get ready” time in the morning.

3. Everything is mine!! Granted, I’ll miss this when it comes to getting ready to go out and I don’t have multiple closets to work with, but on a day-to-day basis, I like knowing that everything is mine and only mine. I can keep things where it’s convenient for me and not have to worry about hogging space. It’s lovely.

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4. I can watch whatever I want on TV. I’m not a big TV person (Athena and I were laughing about that over the weekend… how we both aren’t big TV people at all and can’t wait to use Sunday football afternoons to blog instead of watch football), but sometimes there is something I want to watch that I might not have gotten to watch before.

5. When I clean, the apartment stays clean! It’s so easy to keep up with little chores on a daily basis when I live alone. It doesn’t hurt that my apartment is now 1/3 of the size of my old apartment!

6. Loads of room in the fridge! Living with 2 other girls who both love to cook and have plenty of fruits and veggies and leftovers in the fridge makes for a jam-packed fridge up until Saturday every week. My fridge and freezer look so empty, but I love it!

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7. Shorter commute into the city for work and play. With the airport T stop being just a half mile from my apartment and 2 stops to get to the aquarium, getting in and out of the city is a breeze!

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8. The park near my apartment. It is so nice to have a well-maintained, beautiful park just a short distance from my apartment (I actually walk through it to get to and from the T every day). I’ve really enjoyed my runs and boot camps that I’ve used it for!

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Things I’m Missin’

1. My sister and friend, Amy, who is also like a sister! We really had a lot of fun living together so it’s weird not seeing or talking to them every day.

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2. Multiple closets, shoe options and jewelry options. Once I pay off all of the new things I’ve had to buy for the move, I will need to go shopping to extend my current wardrobe.

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3. Having style advice. I am really not very good at looking stylish and staying current with what’s “in” and “out”, so it was nice having two roommates who were impeccable at it!

4. Charlie! I know, I know. I used to hate him, but over the past year and ever since he got out of his naughty kitten stage, I’ve really started to like him, so it’s weird not having him around to greet me when I get home. Luckily, my upstairs neighbor has a big Garfield cat, Chartruese, who roams around outside and loves to be pet!

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5. Living in Somerville where it’s a little easier to get to and from places. I am really loving East Boston thus far, and once I get my EZ Pass updated to say I am an East Boston resident (the tunnel charge will only be 40 cents!!!), it will be even better. With that said, I was so used to living in Somerville and knew my way around so well that it felt like home. I’m not there yet with Eastie, but I know I’ll get there. I already loveeee my new commute to and from the city!

Weird Things I’m Doin’

1. Leaving cabinet doors and draws open. If I know I’m going to be going back shortly- let’s say I’m making lunches or cooking/baking and constantly opening draws and cabinets to get things- I’d rather just leave everything open.

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2. Using the same plates/bowls/silverware day after day. I have a dishwasher, but it’s so much easier and faster to just wash my dishes after I eat and put them in the drying rack. Come the next meal time, I don’t have to even open a cabinet or draw to get a plate, bowl, fork, knife, etc. because everything I might need is already in the drying rack ready for me to easily grab! I literally think I could live with just 1 set of silverware, 1 plate, 1 bowl and 1 cup. It’s ridiculous.

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3. Being obsessive about keeping things organized. As soon as I finish using something that’s usually stored in a closet or draw, I immediately put it away. I guess there could be worse things, right?!

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4. Obsessively locking my doors. I’ve never been crazy about that, but living alone I feel much safer when I know I’m securely locked in. It’s taken a lot of adjusting in order to not freak out every time I hear something outside!

I’m sure these lists will only grow as time passes in my new place. Overall, though, I have to say I am really loving the whole “living alone” thing. I feel like a real grown up!

Questions for you: Do you live alone? If so, what’s your favorite thing about living alone? Whether you live alone or not, what’s something “weird” that you do?

I’ve got work today and then going out for Athena’s birthday! Realllly looking forward to a casual night out with some new friends. It’s been a long, not so great week. Tomorrow, after teaching kickboxing at the YMCA, Danielle, Chuck and I will be heading north for the long weekend!! Maine makes everything better 🙂 I hope all of you have a great long weekend, too!!

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Avocado Banana Bread

Say, what?! Avocado banana bread? You’re probably thinking that cannot be true, or, if it is, it must not be very good, right? Well, it is true, my friends, and it is a delicious combination.

I came across this recipe years ago over at Live, Laugh, Eat and it has been my “go-to” banana bread recipe ever since. The avocado is a healthy way to help keep the bread moist (ew, I hate that word) and the beauty with this recipe is you can’t really taste the avocado. The banana flavor absolutely trumps the avocado, so don’t worry, you’ll still feel like you’re eating banana bread.

The cooler early morning temps over the weekend, paired with overly ripe bananas & a very ripe avocado, made for a perfect excuse to dust off my baking pans and spend my Sunday morning baking. I tried to follow the recipe, but you’ll see below that I did make some changes.

Avocado Banana Bread

recipe from Live, Laugh, Eat, but slightly adapted by myself

Ingredients:

I halved the recipe… just an FYI

  • 2 med-large bananas
  • 1 med-large avocado
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil -I didn’t have coconut oil so I used milk (I must have googled that substitution somewhere)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice – Again, I skipped this and am assuming it’s because I added milk? The recipe is old!
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups of whole grain flour (I used 1/2 c whole wheat, 1 c oat, 3/4 c spelt)– I used regular ol’ white flour
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seed (I ran out so I didn’t include this)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350* F

1. Mash the banana and avocado. Add in the rest of the ingredients up until the flour, and including the vanilla.

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2. Slowly fold in the flour & cinnamon.

3. Add in the chocolate chips.

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4. Grease a loaf pan and bake at 350* for about 35-40 minutes.

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5. Cut a nice slice, add some butter, and enjoy while it’s still warm!

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This was the perfect Sunday morning treat! I haven’t baked since I cut back on sweets and since it was summer and too hot to bake, I didn’t really miss it… that is, up until I started baking on Sunday morning and realized how much I enjoy it!

Questions for you: What word grosses you out the most? Do you like to bake? Do you make a lot of substitutions when you bake?

Wednesday Workout: Supersets, Tabata Cardio & Core

Happy hump day!!

GEICO Hump Day Camel Commercial – Happier than a Camel on Wednesday from Steffen Bieser on Vimeo.

That GEICO video makes me laugh SO hard.

This workout won’t make you laugh, though 😉 I taught this last week in SHRED as I was in the mood to change things up. I’ve been doing a lot of stations workouts, timed workouts, 15 reps workouts, mini circuit workouts and as much as I love those, I was in the mood for something different. The workout is slightly inspired by BodyPump with regards to the rep pacing (2 count down and up, 3 count down 1 count up, etc.). It’s so easy to fly through reps or max out your reps in a timed interval, but when you change it up and move slowly and deliberately through the exercises, you’ll notice a big difference! I felt some serious burn during class!

Supersets, tabata cardio & core workout

If you have any questions, as always, feel free to contact me. The moves are fairly straight forward (nothing too fancy or unheard of), but I’m always willing to explain things if it’s confusing!

Let me know if you try this!

Questions for you: Are you a fan of supersets? Would you prefer timed intervals, a set number of reps, or changing up the pace of the reps?

Settling in: First weekend in my new place

I finally feel like I’m starting to get settled in to my new place. It was such a great feeling going into the weekend knowing that I had loads of time to get my “to-do” list in order.

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After work on Friday, I headed back to Somerville since I needed to go back to the Christmas Tree Shop and Home Depot (I should get a frequent shopper card for all these stores. Either that or buy stock in them since I think I’m keeping them in business with my recent purchases). I decided to get my coffee table and end table (that I’ll be using as a TV stand) at the Christmas Tree Shop, not because I was looking for outstanding quality, but more because I don’t want to spend a lot of money on furniture until I buy a home and won’t be moving for a while. At this point, my furniture gets very dinged up every time I move, so it’s not worth buying nice stuff right now.

I also planned on spending the night at my old apartment to hang out with my sister and keep Charlie company until she got home from her week of travel. I had a bunch of things to do at the apartment and near the apartment, so it made sense to stay there! I couldn’t wait to open some wine- it had been a long week!

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Although I contemplated chips and wine as my dinner, I decided to get some real food in my system and made a quesadilla with chicken and peppers and onions. So good and perfect for a quick and easy meal!

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I woke up on Saturday and had extra time before BodyPump, so I finally cleaned my old room. It was really weird seeing it so empty, but Charlie was having a field day with all the extra space!

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Since my sister was going to Country Fest and left at 8am, my plan was to hang around the apartment and keep Charlie company (I know, totally a crazy cat lady move, but I feel bad that he’s been alone so much lately!), however, when I got a text from my friend, Athena, asking if I wanted to join her at Winthrop Beach, I quickly changed my plans, packed up and headed to my apartment to drop everything off and meet her. Winthrop Beach is less than 15 minutes from my apartment and it’s a really nice, quiet beach! We spent a few hours chatting and catching up about all things fitness, work, blogging, etc. It felt great to relax and not feel bad about it!

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When I got home, though, I got into serious productivity mode. I opened a beer and put furniture together and organized my apartment for two solid hours. I couldn’t believe it!

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My place feels SO much better now that I have furniture set up, curtains hung, and closets organized.

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Looks good, right?! To reward myself, I met my friends out at Pier 6 in Charlestown. It used to be Tavern On The Water, but recently opened as Pier 6. I took PT into the city and decided to bring a little road soda, errr, road wine. The ol’ Dasani water bottle trick isn’t hiding anything from anyone, but my mom is convinced it works.

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Although I went to hang out with my friends, I ended up spending the whole night talking to Jean’s niece, Michelle, and her cousin Hilary. I couldn’t believe it when I ran into them, but Michelle is basically the Mayor of Charlestown so I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised to see her on the opening weekend of Pier 6 😉

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These ladies are a blast… I better get that pool invite, Michelle- don’t think I’ve forgotten about that!

Even though I could have chatted with them the entire, time, I did break away to hang out with the birthday girl!

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And, did you know all the fall beers are out?? I’m not really ready for summer to end, but having a sip of this Shipyard reminded me of how much I love fall!

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YUM!! Such a fun night 🙂

I woke up Sunday feeling like I had had a liiiitle too much wine the night before, but felt much better after an English muffin and lots of water! I had very sad looking bananas, so I decided to make some banana bread… with a twist! I’ll post it later this week. So yummy. While the bread was cooking, I tried to get caught up on blogging. I have a number of draft posts for lots of different topics so it was nice to have time to develop those posts a little more.

Around 11, I decided to get out and go for a nice walk. I’m loving the neighborhood near my place! It’s so nice to have a good place to walk/run.

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Danielle came over shortly after I got back and we headed back to Winthrop Beach since the weather was so nice! Couple of hours at the beach was a very nice treat!

And, that about sums up my weekend! Be on the lookout for a recipe or two this week! 🙂

Questions for you: Have you been to Tavern on the Water or Pier 6? What’s your favorite fall beer? What was the best part of your weekend?

Weekly Workouts: Getting used to my new location

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was a good mix of fun, being productive and even a little relaxing- shocker, right?! This past week felt like “honeymoon stage” for me as it was my first week in my new apartment. I had to get used to my new commute to and from work, in addition to my commute home from the gym on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Overall, it’s all working out very well:)

I feel like my workouts have been really good lately. They’ve been consistent, strong and they’ve varied in formats, which I think is key to seeing changes (positive ones) in your body.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I went to BodyPump at the Wellington BSC after work. I’m still on the strength training kick and have been loving BodyPump lately. I don’t know if I was physically tired from my move or I just worked extra hard in class, but I left BP feeling absolutely beat! So much so, that I skipped the cardio portion of my workout; I felt like it wasn’t necessary since I worked so hard in class. Has anyone else ever felt this way?

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  • Tuesday- I thought about taking a rest day, but I wanted to explore my new neighborhood and had loads of energy (I was all pumped up about the fact it only took me 30 minutes door to door to get home!) so I laced up my sneaks and headed out for a 3.5 mile run. It wasn’t a run for speed, it was a run to check out the park, trails, streets, people, etc. I found a YMCA, a Shaw’s and some restaurants- a successful run!

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  • Wednesday- I subbed Kate’s Sports Conditioning class again so Wednesday was my first double of the week. I had NO energy on Wednesday. Literally, I couldn’t even do the classes with my members because I was so physically tired. I think between my workouts the week before, in addition to moving all weekend and not resting on Monday or Tuesday, I was just beat.
  • Thursday- Luckily, I woke up feeling better on Thursday and was ready to tackle my second double of the week. I taught a superset format in my SHRED class and people seemed to love it. I played around with tempo which was a fun change-up. Kickboxing was also fun because there were a ton of people in class!
  • Friday- I FINALLY took a rest day and boy was it needed:) It felt great to go shopping after work instead of going to the gym.
  • Saturday- I slept at my old apartment on Friday night, partly to hang out with my sister, partly to clean up my old bedroom, but mostly because I was going to BodyPump on Saturday morning and thought it would be easier being 3 minutes from the gym instead of 15 😉 I did 20 minutes on the elliptical as well as 2 ab tabatas using the TRX bands prior to BodyPump. Nicole, the instructor, knows me through teaching and kept challenging me to up my weights- it was hard, but felt great! You’ll never get stronger if you keep lifting the same weight day after day.
  • Sunday- It was so beautiful out and I had a bit of a wine headache to get rid of, so I decided to go for a nice walk on the trails through the park near my apartment. I called my mom and she kept me company for nearly 2 of the miles I walked! I covered just under 2.75 miles and felt great after! It’s amazing what some fresh air can do for a headache 😉

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This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I hope I’ve gotten up and gone for a run by the time this post goes up! I want to go to Ikea after work to get new couch and chair covers, so my plan was to get up this morning and go for a 3-4 mile run.
  • Tuesday- I’m not sure what I’m going to do for a workout on Tuesday. I might check out the East Boston YMCA either for their classes or just for their equipment. I want to get on the sub list there since I’m so close!
  • Wednesday- Only teaching my UXF Burn class. I’ll probably go for a run or do something else prior to teaching.
  • Thursday- SHRED followed by Kickboxing. Any suggestions for what type of workout I should teach in SHRED?
  • Friday- I’ll probably take Friday as a rest day. I’ve been enjoying that 🙂
  • Saturday- Teaching kickboxing at the YMCA. I originally tried to get a sub, but I now have plans on Thursday and Friday night so I figured I might as well just stick around and teach my class on Saturday; I could certainly use the money, too!
  • Sunday- I’ll be in Maine, so I would love it if my sister wanted to go for a walk/run with me like we did the last time we were home!

Questions for you: What’s something new you’ve been loving in the workout world lately? Do you lift the same weight or do you try to challenge yourself and up your weight? Are you doing anything for Labor Day weekend?