Rose: Summer Reflections

Summer is going by in a flash, and I feel as though I’ve barely had time to reflect on how wonderful it’s been. This was my first full summer in Jersey, and it didn’t disappoint me. I’ve made the most of my weekends here and spent several fun-filled weekends in Western Pennsylvania. While I’m a little melancholy about it being August already, this is also a big month: my 30th birthday is fast approaching. Like Jenna, I’m not dreading turning the big 3-0. It just seems to make sense for who I am in this space.

All of that said, I want to write about this summer to give it a little credit. I continued to radiate this summer (my word for the year), despite being torn in several directions. I credit that to the good people in my life, and the memories we’ve created throughout this hot, balmy summer.

1. Softball. I joined a work softball team at the last minute. I was so happy to find this team. I’d been hunting around for months without much luck. Through a colleague, I heard about the “Princeton Social Professionals” softball team. They welcomed me with open arms, and I was able to play more than five games with them throughout the rest of the season.

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2. My garden. I feared this baby wouldn’t grow. I left it unattended at times, parched and needing water. But finally I was able to eat some green beans and lettuce. My banana papers are well on their way now, too. And the other veggies continue to grow. I need to have a little more faith in myself, it seems. Growing plants in pots on a balcony isn’t that hard at all.

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3. My challenge groups. These have really kept me on track throughout the summer. These are online accountability groups I run with Jenna or other friends to keep people on track with their health and fitness goals. I run them on Facebook where people can regularly communicate and connect. This forum allows them to be open and honest about their journey, and I’ve met so many incredible people through the process. Plus, it keeps me on track with my own fitness goals; I’ve been working on PiYO throughout this summer and hope to get certified soon.

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4. Yoga at work. What a great offering! Every Wednesday, they offer a yoga class with a very cool instructor in our building. This is such a good reprieve from the grind of work. I come back to my desk feeling calmer and more ready to tackle the day.

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5. Beach trips with friends. One day, we had a half day at work. A group of us got into a car and drove to the beach to the Patio Bar. It was the perfect kind of day. We had fancy drinks by the ocean and just talked and laughed. These are the kinds of afternoons I really cherish and don’t want to forget.

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6. Sitting outside with M. One of our favorite things to do throughout the summer is sit outside. The bugs attack — yes. But we stay out as long as we can, put on bug spray and just bear it. The nights are so cool and wonderful. And the twinkly lights make that all the more enjoyable.

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7. Walks around town. With nicer weather comes more trots around town. Some have been sweaty jaunts. Others have been a bit more peaceful and relaxing. Either way, I’ve gotten to spend a fair amount of time outdoors this summer, and that makes me really happy.

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8. Spending time with friends and family. I’ve been blessed to see my friends and family often this summer. Trips back home. Visits to NJ or Philly. Throughout it all, I’ve gotten to spend such wonderful quality time with the people I care about most.

How has your summer been treating you?

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Rose: A Week in Pittsburgh

M and I just got back from a weeklong stay in Pittsburgh. We had family events and weddings on back-to-back weekends, so we decided to save on the turnpike fees and crash with my brother. It wasn’t necessarily a vacation (I had to work from “home”) but it was still much wiser than all that driving back and forth.

The week began last Saturday when I went to a Pirates game with my dad. Going to sports games is one of favorite past times, and I was glad we were able to fit a game in. I can’t go a summer without seeing some Pittsburgh baseball at one of the country’s finest ball parks. Spoiler: they won. And we got to watch fireworks.

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My brother moved to a hip part of the city (North Side), and so the lodging was pretty sweet. It’s so close to downtown that my dad and I walked there after the game. While Princeton is walking friendly, I do miss me some city walking. (Good thing Philly is close enough to hit the pavement.) I spent as much time as possible on my brother’s front porch. This end of town is just so charming.

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My working mornings were spent in familiar ways: coffee and yoga. This time, I had a different audience for my PiYO sessions. Buddah (my brother’s girlfriend’s dog) was totally disinterested in my yoga mat, however.

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I will fully admit that it was hard to stay on track with my diet while away. Most days were spent eating little meals here or there with larger meals at night. On top of that, much beer was consumed in front of the fire, which soon became my favorite part of the evening.

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This is a short recap because I’m writing while on my lunch break at work, and that’s soon coming to an end. Expect a longer post about my friend’s wedding in the coming days. For now, I need to get back to reality and my ever-looming list of emails!

Jenna: Summer Fitness Goals

I’ve really been looking forward to spending more time on my bike this summer. Sometimes the heat makes it impossible, so when I saw the temps were staying in the 70s-80s this week, I was determined to head out Saturday morning. I completed a big 8 mile circle and made sure to see both rivers before settling in this hammock for a bit.

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I planned to run errands, and decided to just get those done while I was out on the bike. Since I headed out so early, I had time to eat lunch and then head out for an afternoon run. I really just love summer.

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I will say, I think my knees may not be able to handle running anymore.  I made it three miles, but both knees were NOT happy about it. I had some pretty serious tightness and pain that afternoon and the next day. I’m not sure what to do about this. I really enjoy running, but not at the expense of my joints. Oh, age. Not cool.

I need to reassess my fitness goals. With nothing specific to train for, it’s been hard to push myself. Granted, I’ve still been getting 4-5 intense workouts in a week, but this has me maintaining. If running is off the table, what’s going to be next? I’ll have to think on this.

 

Jenna: Greek Quinoa Pasta Salad

My schedule is a little crazy over the next few weeks. All good things, but I have felt the pressure to utilize my time wisely so I can get everything done and not feel rushed. Instead of lounging around, as soon as I got home from work Friday I started cleaning. I scrubbed the apartment head to toe, and then headed out to the grocery store.

Getting these few things done on Friday felt great and freed up some of my weekend. I decided to make a Greek pasta salad because I accidentally bought a bunch of quinoa pasta in my last grocery delivery thinking that it was just quinoa.

I cooked the pasta according to the directions. While it was cooling, I added 3/4 of a chopped cucumber, 1/2 a diced red pepper, 1/2 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes, and enough onion to give it some flavor without over powering it. I also added a 1/2 cup of feta cheese. There were LOTS of veggies compared to pasta, which is just how I like it. I also whipped up a dressing:
Take about 1/8 cup of lemon juice and whisk in 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard. Add a 1/2-1 tsp of chopped garlic. Then, slowly add 1/4 a cup of olive oil. Add the oil slowly and whisk it so everything marries together. Pour over the veggie and pasta mixture.

 

This salad is super refreshing. I ate about 1/2 cup as a side with dinner. Saturday,  I added a baked salmon fillet and some massaged kale. It may just feed me the first few days of this week.

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Jenna: Favorite Juices

I really started enjoying fresh juice around this time last year. There is an amazing place a few blocks away called Sip n Glo. It’s a treat, because fresh juice isn’t cheap, but I love getting the nutrients quickly.  Tastes great too.

This week at work has been really intense. I’ve been running around a lot without much time to sit down and eat. These are the weeks I am especially thankful for Shakeology and the juice place in the market next door. Here’s a picture of one of their menus:

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Especially with the summer being so hot, I can swap one of these for my afternoon coffee and still get the energy rush. I may not have time for a salad, but I know I’m getting my vitamins. Monday, I had Kale and Banana. Here are a few of my other favorites:

Coconut, Orange, Pineapple.

Ginger, Carrot, Kale, and Lemon.

Kale, Apple, Cucumber, Lemon. –this is usually my go to.

Pineapple, Banana, Kale.

Do you have favorite juice combos?  Please share!