Thursday, May 29, 2014

PR

Having to say goodbye to sunny perfect Puerto Rico was a hard goodbye. All of the cars license plates there have "Isla del encanto" on them - the island of enchantment. That it is. 



From the rain forest to the beaches to the food to the people, it was an excellent trip. We knew by our second day there we would be back. Yet in order to not ramble, I shall keep the summary list format for you all. 

Things I leaned in Puerto Rico:

1. Gas is in liters (they use the metric system). For the first two days Andrew and I could not for the life of us figure our why gas was only .95 cents a gallon. We were mindblown, and considering moving there solely because of the cheap gas... and then let down when we realized our oversight while filling back up the rental car. 

 2. The ocean is perfectly warm. It was lovely. However, the waterfalls are breathtakingly cold.                                                                            Waterfall < ocean.


andrew jumped in a swam under the waterfall. i wasn't quite as brave.
3. Plantains are a staple food item. They have a whole bunch of different ways the prepare them; I tried the sweet plantain with beef and cheese...



I want to try every way. 

 4. Puerto Rican men all shape their eyebrows. All of them. It was fascinating to me.

 5. My Spanish isn't quite as lost as I thought it was. I gained a crazy appreciation for the number of bilingual people on the island, and it encouraged me to keep practicing! 


Hola.

6. The word for selfie in Spanish is selfie. I heard it first hand, on this beach...



7. Speaking of selfies and beaches... beach drinks taste better out of coconuts. It's science. 




8. Sometimes workouts need to be rainforest and cave hikes in fresh ocean air instead of minutes clocked in a gym. 



And other times, workouts just need to not at all, so that moments like these aren't missed.


It makes me happy that the list of places which I visit and steal parts of my heart is continuing to grow. 

Until next time PR, mi amor - 

Kait

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday is the new Monday

Hey pals! Welcome back to the work week. And welcome myself back to the continental US.
Isn't it fabulous when Tuesdays are Mondays? It makes the week much less intimidating in my opinion...


sneak peak
I can't wait to ramble on about Puerto Rico and encourage you to all you visit yourselves ASAP, but that post will get lengthy and I've gotta link up for the last Tuesday in May!

Ya. June is next week. What.



The final challenge with Rebecca and Chelsea  is to share your favorite workout from another blog. NOW, one of my go-to blogs for workouts is Brooke over at Babbling Brookelyn - she has some fab workouts in her fitness section. Same with Jessi over at Not The Average Bear. If you need some sweaty freaking circuits, they are your girls.


However, my all-time favorite workout to pull out of my back pocket on a rainy day is this guy:




 It's a great one to pull up on your computer screen, pump up some jams, and get to work.

Or I'll go for a shorter run/bike ride first, and follow up with the above circuit. Possibilities are endless.

I'm outtie. Hope you enjoyed the May linkup, hopefully it gave you some new ideas for getting sweaty?

Cheers to a four day work week -

K8



Friday, May 23, 2014

Joe the Bear

I debated for awhile if I wanted to put this past weekend in writing or not. The chicken story is funny, but our engagement itself was more along the lines of precious and intimate and has nothing to really do with health or fitness. 

So if engagements bore you or you're bitter that your own man won't pull a ring out of his butt or whatever the case may be, stop reading, I won't be offended, I promise. I'll be back to babbling about almond butter and burpees come next week. 

I think it's fair to start with the fact that Andrew and I met when we were 18; first day of freshman year actually. The following (almost) 8 years since then (we didn't date that whole time) has been a beautiful crazy journey that I wouldn't trade for the world. From Illinois to Colorado to now Maryland, it has been mind blowing to see how we've changed and grown as both individuals and as a couple. He is my partner in crime, adventure buddy, best friend. Everything I could ask when looking for a husband, and I'm so pumped to marry him. 

Anyways, enough of the mushy stuff. 

It was supposed to be a camping trip. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit suspicious - but I was more suspicious of THIS upcoming weekend (we are leaving for Puerto Rico today). We left to camp straight from work on Thursday. It was pouring rain. 

It was a trip I had given him full reign to plan; something type A Kait doesn't do too often. So as we continued to get deeper and deeper into Virginia, and the clouds continued to pour buckets onto his car, I was getting increasingly nervous. 

"Andrew I really don't think we are prepared to pitch a tent in pouring rain. Do we even have a tarp?"

"Andrew if I'm wet and cold all night I'm gonna be so miserable. Do we even have like a flashlight for the tent?!"

The enraging part was, he found my anxiety funny. Told me not to worry, we would be fine, he "had an extra sweatshirt I could use."
...

About an hour away from our destination, I went into full fledged pout mode, slouched down into my seat and went silent. 

"Hey reach behind the seat and pull out that envelope back there, I've been meaning to ask you to fill out that form."
What I actually pulled out was this:


It was an absolutely adorable weekend. From the Iris Inn where our  cottage was located (if you are ever in the Shenandoah Valley, stay here, it's perfect) to a misty proposition to be his wife down by a waterfall at the end of a hike, it was all picturesque. And just so us. 

the bed

the breakfast

the waterfall where IT happened

I believe Andrew would be upset if I failed to mention the friend we made on the hike down to the waterfall...  


We decided his name was Joe. We actually ran back into Joe on the hike back up as well. He was less friendly the second time around, and I really wasn't looking for a 30 minute long engagement, so we ditched the trail and hiked the rest of the way back on the road. 

Dinner on Saturday night was in Charlottesville, which has now officially made the list our favorite cities. In the midst of my post-engagement butterflies plus some champagne, I erratically ordered catfish as my first meal as a fiancé. 


the catfish

Andrew will never let me live that down. Regardless it was delicious. 

Saturday was some more hiking, followed by a Dierks Bentley concert to cap off a weekend chalked full of my favorite things. He was awesome live, and even spun off into some Avicci and One Republic songs.

That's it guys. I'm engaged! We haven't done much as far as planning goes. I'm sure I'll give y'all the occasional updates on here, but I can promise you this won't turn into a wedding planning blog. Like fashion, I'm just not too trendy, and casual will be the name of the game for our happily ever after day. 

I'm off to San Juan to lay on a beach. This beach to be exact. 


Cheers to sparkly rings and sparkly oceans -

Kait

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The nightmare chicken

For the record, I confess that I wrote most of this post on Friday, February 28th, 2014. I knew this was a story I would eventually want to tell to the world, and now seems like the perfect time to me.

Any girls out there ever heard of the engagement chicken recipe? Yeah me nether, until my friend Danielle sent me the link and demanded that I try it. It's an actual thing; even has it's own Wikipedia page.



"Ok, it's worth a shot," I thought. At that point, I was starting to get a little bit antsy as hell, and the questions from pretty much everyone of "When's he gonna to do it?" was starting to drive me bonkers. 

Here's how the nightmare engagement chicken went down. 

I popped that sucker in the oven around 5:30 pm - it called for about an hour and 15 mins, and I figured Andrew would come over right around 7, perfect timing.

Wrong.

Occurrence #1: Andrew calls at 6 pm, "Hey I'm just going to come over straight from the gym."

"What. No. You were supposed to go home first and shower and stuff, dinner is at 7."

"It's ok I'll just hang out, I'll stay out of your hair."

I knew he wouldn't. I knew he would arrive starving, coming from his workout. I knew the chicken wouldn't be ready, and I would be stressed.

Whatever, I would make it work. 

Occurrence #2: I frantically begin setting the table, putting the salad out so that he would have something to eat upon arrival. In my flurry of anxiety I grab a wine glass out of the dishwasher and accidentally shattered it against the counter, instantly slicing

my left ring finger. 

Blood quickly gets on the floor, counter, in the sink. Looking back (it literally continued to ooze all day at work) I should have gotten stitches. 


So my left ring finger is gushing blood as I continue to prepare for the dinner that is supposed to eventually get me engaged. 

The irony. 

Occurrence #3: As expected, Andrew arrives, hungry and therefore a little crabby, completely unaware of how seriously I'm taking this dinner

"Why are you cooking an entire Thanksgiving turkey?"

"It's a chicken Andrew."

"Why did you shove lemons up it's butt?"

"That's how I'm supposed to season it. Go sit over on the couch."

Occurrence #4: Low and behold, the timer goes off and realize I don't have a meat thermometer.  

"I mean, it looks done. I followed directions to a t, we should be good."

Occurrence #5: I put the impressive looking bird (and potatoes) on the table and cut into. Similar to my finger, blood oozes out. 

The chicken quickly went from impressive to disgusting. Perfecccttt

"Babe I don't think it's done."

"No sh*t!" I want to scream.

I defeatedly put the chicken back into the oven, and proceeded to pout.


Andrew, being the extreme optimist that he is bless his heart, "Hey it's ok we can just eat the potatoes and drink some wine while we wait."

They were red potatoes, carefully seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. I was kind of proud of them. 

Occurrence #6: Andrew, still oblivious, "I know what these potatoes are missing! Hot sauce!"

{Proceeds to douse my carefully seasoned potatoes in hot sauce.}

At this point, I'm on the verge of tears. It's silly I know, and I can laugh about it now, but for about 15 - 20 mins I was teetering on the edge. 

"I failed." I kept repeating, slouching in my chair.

Andrew, having no idea why I cared so much about this random Thursday night dinner, and probably more pumped about the red wine than anything else at that point, continued to be a gem.

"No babe, it's totally fine. It's the thought that counts!"

In the end, even after the chicken had baked for close to two hours, it still wasn't done. We ended up picking out the breast meat that we could tell was cooked, and filling the rest of our stomachs with wine.

After a glass I didn't care anymore. I stared at my left ring finger's blood soaked band-aid and smiled, applauding God's humor. 

Patience is a virtue, trust in His timing, good things come to those who wait. Whatever your motto may be, I personally recommend putting your faith in that over a chicken recipe. As of this past weekend, I've now got a pretty little scar above a pretty little ring as a daily reminder. 


Cheers, we're engaged!


- Kait 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Confession Part IV ?

I think this is Part IV of my Confession Posts? I’ve lost count.  I realized I love Wednesdays because I can literally unload everything I've been wanting to tell you guys and just throw a bunch of random crap out there.



First confession is a weird one; I can’t stand the noise of people lathering their hands with soap. It makes me want to shave off my own eyebrows. I don’t know what it is, it just hits something deep.

Moving on.

I realize I’m way behind the curve on this one, but I confess I’m really digging that Iggy Azalea ‘Fancy’ song. My 15 year old volleyball team was singing it this weekend at their tourney and I was like Whaaaaaaaaat is that song and then they taught me their ways.

I’m getting old?

It’s getting warm out here. It almost hit 90 yesterday and I was the opposite of sad. Pumped if you will. I confess I may have been way too eager to crank up that max AC in my car.


I confess, my friends and I are weird and enjoy putting this dancing emoticon lady into the most awkward settings that we can think of and then sending it to each other via group text...

 

Another confession – I like hot yoga less and less when the temps start going up. I have a 6 pm class planned tonight, and it will honestly be a miracle if I drag my sorry ass there...


I love my Blackhawks. LOVE them. But with half these playoff games starting right around when I'm getting into bed.... celebrations usually happen right around 5:30 AM upon reading my ESPN alerts, by myself in my room, while my eyes are still adjusting to the light.  HAWKS.

Last but most certainly not least, I confess I am a little nervous to go camping this weekend. It will be the first time Andrew and I go together, on our own, putting our new gear to use. I actually purchased a portable phone battery charger thingy recently (Groupon) which may in fact be the most important thing I pack all weekend….


Does Virginia have bears? How do I make paleo s’mores?

I will leave you with this because this cat is the champion:


Cheers to Wednesday which is my Thursday. The camping trip starts tomorrow after work, wish us luck!

-Kait


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pruney

What up hooligans? I hope your weeks are off to a fantastic start. I don't know about you, but my Monday started off with a little extra pep in my step thanks to some sunshine filled deck time on Sunday afternoon



I can almost taste you summer. 

Last night I spent a solid 90 mins plus in the kitchen getting after some serious food prep. I would say my favorite item that came out of it was hands down my paleofied version of banana prune muffins. 

You heard me right, prunes. 

I'm a fan of prunes, and raisins, and dates. Pretty much all food. Now if you're a prune hater, that's fine, but let me encourage you to actually try them if you haven't within the past few years. I feel like they get a bad rep for absolutely not reason at all. 


Banana Prune Muffins
-1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 ripe bananas
-1.5 cups of almond flour/meal
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 cup chopped pitted prunes

Let's be honest, I'm no chef. I literally just mashed/mixed all that stuff together in no particular order, poured into muffin liners, baked at 350 for 15-20 mins, and gobbled them up. Delicious, moist, healthy.

In case you forgot, I'm linking up every Tuesday in May with Rebecca and Chelsea to present to you a favorite sweaty exercise. This Tuesday is favorite arm/upper body workout. 



I gotta be real; I'm not an upper body girl. I've been working on it, and I'm starting to take some pride in the little bit of tone I've gained. I don't have an entire arms circuit that I follow; I tend to mix push-ups, tricep dips etc., into the interval-type workouts that you've seen me do. 

bicep is that you!?
My single favorite arm/shoulder/back/core workout? Plank rows. 
"Kait that's cheating you only like it because it incorporates ab work too." 
Sue me. 

man does she look pumped to be doing plank rows.
I typically hit plank rows with 10 lb dumbbells, 15 if I'm feeling sassy. Start out with a weight you feel comfortable with - even 5 lbs works. 8-10 reps each arm, rest, repeat. I normally go through it two to three times. 

Get it girl/dude.
Cheers to some sweaty rows, followed by some prune muffins- 

Kait

Friday, May 9, 2014

Floor burns

I read a quote once. It was something along the lines of 
"we need to stop the glorification of busy."

I hear that. I like that. I'm all about the down time and relaxing and slow weeks and vacations. All for that. 

But I realized something in the midst of this week. I think the majority of the time, especially during the week, I'm happier when I'm busier. 

I feel productive; like a boss if you will. Juggling work with workouts with volleyball practices with friend/boyfriend time with family time with blogging time with studying time with ... Sleep

(Probably could of done a little better on the sleep side of things this week. Noted.)

In conclusion, it's Friday. And I would rather give you my life updates via pictures versus paragraphs. Capeesh? 

1. This is what I woke up to on Tuesday.  I loved it and saved it. I'm telling you, sign up for TUT if you like that morning encouragement. 



2. Did I mention I'm substitute coaching for club volleyball the next month or so? It should be cool, free swag, free advice to 15 year old teenage girls who love the sport, for a little extra $$..



3. And some free floor burns. Coaches are encouraged to jump in during scrimmages and you better believe I laid out and got my first pancake up in years. I'm not talking about plantain pancakes ether. 

SMALL yet oh so stingy

4. Tried bulletproof coffee this week. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. I'm not a huge butter girl to begin with so it was definitely interesting. I'm not opposed to having it occasionally, but don't see it becoming a staple. 

pre-blender. weird right!?
I guess once you go black you never go back.
 I'm talking about coffee people come on. 
Clean it up.

A favorite breakfast this week was pumpkin mixed with almond butter, coconut milk, raisins, silvered almonds, chia seeds and banana on top. Normally accompanied with a hard boiled egg on the side to get a little extra protein. 



That's all I've got. I about to crank out some abs and jet off to work. 4 pm and I'll be staring the weekend straight in the eyes. 

Any bulletproof coffee lovers out there? How about black coffee lovers? I love trying new kinds/brands! :)

Cheers to the freaking weekend - 

Kait


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Passion


pas·sion
ˈpaSHən/
noun
  1. .
    strong and barely controllable emotion.

 I've been sitting on this post for awhile now, waiting for the right time and a few more words. I think it's ready. It's one of those ranty type of posts that popped into my head in the middle of a good song, or run or something like that. These don't happen often kids, hold on tight.

I'm seeing people in my life doing awesome things. I'm seeing singers/vocalists/instrumentalists, DJ's and dancers of all forms coming out of the woodwork on my social media feeds. And my mind is being blown. Albums on iTunes are being released and I'm like OMGee I know that kid. 

I'm reading about classmates I grew up with who are now teachers and changing kids lives, one year at a time. I'm scrolling through other blogs that are popping up on my newsfeeds, in awe of the beautiful intelligence, raw ideas and opinions that we are all given and able to put into written words. My eyes well up when I see the adoption stories of animals that didn't have a home and now do, or to an even greater degree, children who didn't have a home and now do. 

I see the photography. Of course, everyone shares pictures these days - and whether they are professional or not - I'm seeing some freaking breathtaking things - photos and paintings and drawings alike.  I'm seeing friends and aquaintences dropping it all and hitting the road, thirsty to explore this huge world we have been given and the culture that abides in it. And damnit I admire that courage.

                                                           

I'm following people who are in mad search of a law degree - or already have one. And are devoting their time and energy for the sake of justice, whatever that may mean to them. I'm seeing people I met through church, or went to camps with slowly turning into doctors, with a passion for healing and helping and trying to find answers. 

Through friends of friends I'm reading articles about cousins who went to this past Winter Olympics, or are in search of qualifying for the next Olympic Trials. Collegiate athletes I either knew or played with or worked with, continuing after their love for the game and going pro - both here in the US and overseas. Then there's the handful of us who have taken that athletic talent and applied it to our desire to teach it to others. Raise your hands out there coaches, we've got a lot of you. Others, creating new passions; running races, pounding out the miles, challenging themselves to beat their own time or PR of some sort, each and every time. 

The list goes on, and on. My own mom recently started gardening, and it's slowly taking over our whole backyard. Fueling your body off of something you grew in your own backyard? I love it.

                                                

We all have passion. Some kind of passion, for something beautiful. Whether it's our career or a hobby, something that will make us money or something that will lose us money. Something that will make us better, or something that will make others better... and in most cases it's both, while in the moment we may not realize it. 

It's passion, and that's all that matters. You have it, for something, you do. Try to sit there and tell me you care about absolutely nothing, I dare you. 

 I have mad respect for passion. I really don't care what it is, I just love to see people CARE. Give a damn. It's what lights you up, it's typically what you love talking about, and as a result of this crazy social media generation, we have the ability to share share these interests passions and goals with others, across the world. 

                                                 

I just find that so amazing. And I love reading about each and every passion. 

So don't stop, march on, and do you. It may sound cheesy, but we're single-handedly shaping this world with our diverse passions. I really believe that. 

Cheers to passion - 

Kait
(linking up for Thinking Outloud Thursdays)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Challenge - DA ABS

Tuesday. I hope you all had an excellent Cinco de Mayo, and didn’t load up on too many sugary drinks. My Cinco was personally uneventful, outside of a Trader Joes run, and about eight miles total after work.

I wore a scarf and my glasses to work yesterday and a few people told me I looked like a librarian. Is that a compliment? You guys tell me.

skeptical selfie. it's been awhile.

Anyways, it's linkup time, as I'm cohosting a May fitness challenge with Rebecca and Chelsea and today the challenge is to share your favorite ab workout. 



Now this is hard, because I love abs... and do all different kinds, 5-6 days a week. I’ve been doing 100 sit-ups every day for about … five years now? When it comes to favorite complete ab workouts as a whole, I feel like p90x full ab ripper x is always a killer. And, as mentioned last week, I’m following the Strong like Susan challenge throughout the month of May, which never fails to leave me sore.

Susan is Strong.
But, when it comes to my favorite singular ab move, it would have to be side bends with a dumbbell or kettlebell. See below.


Runner-up is planks, duh  J   #planksohard

Link up and tell us your favorite ab move – a sista can never have too many, especially with those bikinis screaming out names

Drink that water, and have a stellar Tuesday.

Cheers –
K8