It’s been a while

university: more than just academically educating
signs on doors are often of great value
It was my first day of classes and – without any real regard – I walked into the class written on my weekly schedule. The professor had been incredibly late, while I had been incredibly early. After about ten minutes, the prof decided it was time to show up. Apparently she was unaware of how far her office was from the classroom.Tardiness is unacceptable.
Regardless, after about two-three minutes into the lecture and a whole bunch of words I didn’t know, I turned to the girl on my right and sheepishly asked, ‘is this Research Methods in Psychology?’
The girl looked at me, puzzled, and replied: ‘No. No, this is taxonomy’.
First of all, I don’t know what ‘taxonomy’ is, but if ‘tax’ and/or ‘taxes’ are involved, one can assume business and/or money is also involved and therefore a one Ms. Caitlyn Mearns needs to get out. So, quietly, I walked out with absolutely no idea as to where I was suppose to be.
Turns out, another building completely.
So, consequently, I boogied my ass right over to the right building and meandered about to find the right class, which by this point was already well on its way. Which, I’ll have you know is no walk in the park  (no pun, intended) considering womem of my age group seem to deem it completely reasonable to wear heals that are way too high for them, causing them to not only walk awkwardly, but slowly. Yeah, I have no time girls. You’re going to Mathematics, not Milan.
But, I digress.
I reached my destination, hoping to find that it was a large class, that allowed me to sneak in unnoticed. Nope. It was actually quite small, housing – at most – 20 students.
So, in the future, I intend to make sure I look around because apparently – unbeknownst to me – there was a sign outside of the original classroom, informing students of a classroom change. Observant? Me? Apparently not.
students are frugal s.o.b’s 
Being a fan of the ability to fold and contort my body in most unusual ways, it is not unlike me to do so in the chair of any given classroom. That is, I tend to sit and balled-up as virtually possible during lectures. Considering the areas where we need to sit tend to run… small, I often find myself placing my textbooks underneath my seat.
Now, being that I am – like – extremely focused, sometimes my mind slips and I leave mentioned book there. Not 75 minutes passed before I scurried back to that classroom to get my book and it had already been scooped up. Now, in the event that this was not a school-made course book valued at 20 dollars, I probably would have had a stroke. But, I just bought a new one. Regardless, I have not again put any book – coursebook or otherwise – under my chair.
being awkward is not something the decreases with age
The moment I turned 21, I thought maybe – just maybe – that would lend itself to my being a little less awkward. Turn the big ol’ two-one is an exciting thing, right? Well, I think it is possible that my levels of awkwardness have only proven to show a correlation with my increasing age: it’s going up with it.
After getting out of class and meandering through my bag – starving – looking for my apple, I looked up to see this guy from my high school. He had changed a fair bit, and I hadn’t seen him for two years so I had to adjust my eyes on him a bit. Anyhow, point is, there I am apple in mouth, apple juice dripping down my chin giving this guy the shocked, “I know you” look that is still somewhat laced with the, “Wait – do I know you?” look.
This would have been weird, yes, but had he of remembered me it would have been justified. Most unfortunately, he did not. So, I merely looked like a apple-hungry weirdo giving him the weird set of eyes known to man.
you’re mind is stronger than your body – lactic acid can kiss me arse
Since there is now a change in my schedule, there is also a change in my routine. Instead of my normal morning routines, I’ve broken it into two smaller routines (20ish minutes each). One in the morning and one in the afternoon. My morning one is mostly cardio with some body weight training and I usually do some toning exercises in the afternoon.  I’ve started to lift a bit heavier and I love it. I’ve also incorporated more yoga – much more yoga. I’ve re-re fallen in love. I happily say I’ve mastered (MASTER) crow pose.
I used to be afraid of working out twice a day. Furthermore, I used to be afraid of only sweating for 20 minutes (typically each work out runs to 30 minutes long, but I do a lot of stretches). But, nope. Turns out, my body loves it and I do too.
school is my home away from home and i’ve missed it
This will sound lame, but on the way to my school I pass where I was working. Or, rather, was working full time. There have been two to three occasions where in I almost turned to my father – who drives me to the bus stop so I don’t have to transfer… cha-ching! – where he was going because he was passing work. It would only be for a split moment until I realized that I wasn’t going to work.
Additionally, last night at work I was talking to a woman about ‘getting out’. I used to literally fear my permanence in retail. Maybe it was just my own insecurities getting the best of me, but I used to look at my name tag and think, ‘get used to it Princess’.
Furthermore, school has pushed me to get better my health. And by that, I mean my diet. And my fitness regime. Each day I go to school I am reminded that I have an entire life ahead of me. A career, a beautifully amazing boyfriend to whom I plan to share a life with (a home, children and probably a few furry friends, included)… I need to get over this. First of all, I want to be strong and beautiful, not brittle.
I’ve decided to commit to 30 minutes of exercise, daily. I love to work out each day, but I need to remember… you don’t need to hurt yourself or over do it. I’m also going to focus more on strength training and yoga, rather than cardio. Essentially, it’ll look like this
Monday and Wednesday: 15 minutes of cardio + 15-25 minutes of lower body work .
Tuesday and Thursday: 15 minutes of cardio + 15-25 minutes of upper body work.
Saturday and Sunday: 30 minutes of cardio (5 warm up, 20 HIIT, 5 cool down)
Friday: 45 minute of Spin N’ Stretch (this is my own thing, that incorporates my spin bike and my yoga mat)
These times are pretty set in stone. Until I can prove to myself that I can eat more, I am to stick to these time constraints. This said, stretching is not part of the time limits. If I want to do a 20 minute yoga routine on top of this, I can. Why? Because yoga – in my mind – is more important than anything else. Yoga has toning benefits, cardiovascular benefits, without killing you.
As goes for my food, I’m – effective immediately – increasing my caloric intake. Generally speaking, people – active or not – should be taking in 1900-2100 calories, depending upon their sex and stuff. Well, I’m still at 1750 (on a good day). Last night, I finally made it to 1850 and today will be not different.
I will still have my six meals. Why? Because I still think eating smaller meals is better. But, I will NEED to ensure that these small meals are not… so small. So, essentially, until I can do this without numbers
I will have three meals of 400 calories
and three snacks of  200 calories
🙂 Wish my luck!
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Planning for Success

in forty eight hours, everything be changin’
I won’t lie and say that I haven’t been tacitly worried about school. I am not nervous about the classes, or the educational aspect at all. It’s just that I’ve become so used to living my life a certain way, this change… well, it’s kind of nerve-wracking. So, being that I am an avid planner, I decided to start a planning!
Every Sunday/Saturday will be my food prep for the week. What will I be prepping?
1) Hummus (I am going to start making my own hummus)
2) Soup and or chili
3)  Vegetables (roasted, chopped, etc)
3) Weekly workouts and meal plans.
This should pretty much take 1-2 hours of my time, leaving ample time for other things in my life. Like, you know… studying. Because now I need to do that!
Every morning, as per usual, I will get up around quarter to six, make my breakfast, eat it  and allow it to set. Usually by seven I am ready to work out! Thankfully, I’ve become accustomed to shorter work outs 🙂 I will officially adhere to a maximum of 30-35 minutes on Monday-Friday. Thankfully, I love a good timed workout because I feel like I am racing the clock. 21\Saturday and Sunday I can go for 45 minutes if wanted.  Meaning by 7:45 I should be done my workout and getting ready. Usually it takes me about  20 minutes to get ready because I am horridly bad at hair and make up and feel no need to impress my fellow students and usually just throw my hair back into a pony tail, calling it a day. That said, I will need to start laying out my outfit(s) the night before and packing my bags. 🙂
A few workout plans are as followed:

5 minute cardio warm up + 5 minute cool down (always).

Leaving 20-25 minutes for toning and general cardio.
3 minutes toning + 2 minutes cardio x 4-5

30/30 intervals (30 toning/30 cardio)

1 minutes of toning + 1 minute sprint

Keep these simple! Just keep going!
In regard to food, I am going to start looking up quick, on-the-go meals on the go. Fruit and veggies will still plan a key roll. Nuts, in full form, rather than buttered form (for transport) and clean bars (like Lara, Luna and Nature’s Path). I will not be away from home for so long that I will not be able to make it on this.
I know this seems silly and short. But I am so excited and worried and excited!
Stay sweet. 🙂
Caitlyn

Sweat it Out Saturday
Switch It Total Body Work out

 Okay, if you’re anything like me, you love interval training. Whether it be high intensity or not, you just do!

Sometimes, however, the same old intervals and become a little… redundant, causing you to want to try something completely new! Well, that was me this morning… and yesterday morning. Yesterday, instead of actually doing my planned interval work out, I put on my Beach Babe DVD and HIIT the beach and toned my abs. It was an amazing work out, I’ll admit, but I mean – I love the feeling I get when I master a self-created work out. I can’t explain it.

Anyhow, so yesterday, I felt inspired and decided to take the concept of the 15/15/15/15 HIIT + 30 second rest from their HIIT the beach workout and create and entire total body work out based on that template. And let me tell you, it did not fail me! It was fun, I was sweaty and life was blissful.
other fitness fun
Guess who I met!
So I am standing at work and this gal comes in with two younger girls and buys some stuff. I keep looking at her because, she looks super familiar to me. After a while I ask her if anyone has said she looked like so-n-so and she smiled and looked around sheepishly, coming back with.
“That’s me… I’m…
TOSCA RENO”. 
Now, being that I am a huge fitness enthusiast and a love of all things clean, I was beside myself. I was near tears, speechless. I’ve never been starstruck before, but I am not surprised by how I managed to react. I started telling her about my dreams to open a wellness center for women, and hugged her and had her sign a giant piece of tissue paper, typically used for wrapping breakables.
It was the most amazing thing to have ever happen to met… next to meeting Omar and getting Zooey and spending time with my family and blahblah. I met Tosca Freakin’ Reno!
As sad as this may sound, I take this as a great sign, telling me that my path on the world of health, fitness, wellness and so on is the right path for me.

Just to say it one more time.

I met Tosca Reno. 🙂
Stay sweet,
Caitlyn

Huskies and Happiness, HIITs and Hips

motivational monday
taking a moment for yourself
A year ago, when I first began my obsession with fitness and exercise, nothing stopped me. Nothing. If I was to be in motion for forty minutes, I was to be in motion for forty minutes and that was that.
I wouldn’t stop to smell the roses, because in my messed up mind that would mean I was in some way hindering my caloric burn.

What the heck, right?

Anyways, this weekend my boyfriend surprised me with a weekend in celebration of our one-year anniversary. As a result of this, I couldn’t very well do my at-home body weight workouts (thinking my downstairs neighbors don’t want to hear my rump jumping around like a maniac, but who knows). So, I got out my new Nikes and committed to two different outdoor interval-styled work outs. One focused on mostly using the outdoors to tone (like a bench, and rocks) and the other was just a ladder interval run (holy heck it was hard… I’ll type it up down below).
Regardless, on my outdoor toning workout, I finished up with a 6 minute jog around the cottage. During this short sprint, I saw this older couple walking with their two dogs (huskies). They were a bit in the distance, so I booked it for them and stopped.
That’s right. I stopped.
At first, I didn’t think twice. I asked the kind owners if I could get a photo of their dogs to show my boyfriend, who absolutely loves Huskies. They obliged and I got this bad boy!
It was not until after I chatted to the older couple and continued running that it occurred to me.
Lately, I’ve been stopped. Smelling the roses… looking at huskies. Even when I am downstairs, sometimes I’ll stop just to laugh at how silly I may look.
This will just be a short entry – more to come later.

But I just want to remind everyone to exercise for the right reasons. I now exercise to feel strong and empowered. It reminds me of how far I’ve come. Back when I didn’t eat, I wouldn’t have been able to do interval runs, at all. Or strength training. I would get too weak and too shaky for all that. But now, I’m stronger. I’m more alive.

If you’re of the variety of people who force themselves to work out, please take a minute. Evaluate your fitness goals and your personal needs and remember to work out so that you love your body. Not the other way around. Your body is your friend, treat it that way. Love it. Don’t hurt it. You’ll only be hurting yourself, right? 🙂
Now, without further ado, here are two awesome work out routines from my weekend!
Strength training Workout 


Cardio Workout
Warm up: 5 minutes moderate effort
20 minutes of intervals (roughly)
This will be interval work! Get out that timer folks. I set mine to beep every 15 seconds, and counted in my head how many beeps equaled the required time. 
15 seconds ON (maximum effort) / 15 seconds rest (moderate effort/light effort)
30 seconds ON (ME) / 30 seconds rest
45 seconds ON (ME) / 45 seconds rest
60 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
75 seconds ON (ME) / 75 seconds rest
90 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
105 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
2 minutes ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
105 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
90 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
75 seconds ON (ME) / 75 seconds rest
60 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
45 seconds ON (ME) / 45 seconds rest
30 seconds ON (ME) / 30 seconds rest
15 seconds ON (ME) / 15 seconds rest
Cool down: 5 minutes moderate effort
Anyways, stay sweet
Caitlyn =)

Cuckoo for Coconuts

oh, my word, much to discuss!
A lot of stuff to update on today!
First and foremost, I’m starting to develop a general interest in food, again!
You’re probably thinking, what?
Well!
For the past three-four months, I’ve been lovin’ salads. Loving them! Now, before you say something like, ‘have you turned against the greens?’ hear me out!
I still love salads, I have just been getting bored of my salads. Typically speaking, my salads involve grilling of vegetables and meats (which I still plan to do) throwing them on top of some greens (which I still plan to do) and blobbing a dollop of hummus on top and calling it a day! Which – I still plan to do. I mean, come on. It’s hummus!
Regardless, I feel my life needs a little more!
So, I kind of went Cuckoo…
for coconuts. 🙂
In my attempt get my ‘salad recipe making on’ I came up with a really yummy Coconut Balsamic Vinaigrette and two tasty recipes!
The Cuckoo for Coconut Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 2-3
1 tablespoon full-fat Coconut Milk from a can
1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or any oil of your choosing)
1 teaspoon honey (naturally)
1 tablespoon vanilla almond milk/water
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and let set for two or more hours, so all the flavors really start to dance!
From there, you can – if you want to – enjoy my
Cuckoo for Coconut and Peach Salad 
Serves me! Or you.
Ingredients
3oz-4oz of grilled protein source (I used chicken, but feel free to use turkey, salmon, shrimp, etc)
Two handful of Salad Greens
50 grams of mushroom, diced
50 grams of cucumber, diced
50 grams of summer squash, diced
50 grams of peach, diced
1/4-1/2 avocado, diced
1.5-2 tablespoons of my yummy in my tummy Coconut Vinegar .
Preheat your grill and lightly spray it with oil spray.
My meat was grilled by my father, so grill your protein according to what you’re eating with your salad. 🙂
Chop all your vegetables into fours, keeping your mushrooms with your cucumbers and your squash with your peach.
When grill is preheated, place all squash and peach on the grill, leaving it to cook for about five minutes. Keep a watch, so it doesn’t burn on you!
Place salad greens in a bowl and drizzle with a teaspoon of the Coconut Vinegar, then pile on your mushrooms and cucumber (alternatively, you could grill the mushrooms, but I wanted to eat mine… fresh!).
Once you’ve completed that, place all your grilled good on top! Peach… GOOD. Squash… GOOD. MEAT… GOOOOD.
Drizzle with the remainder of the viniagrette and enjoy!
Sorry, Chick(pea)… but you just didn’t make the cut tonight. 😛
Then, today, I had another stroke of genius.
Whilst gobbling down my current cracker obsession (Rosemary and Herb Lentil Crackers), I thought to myself how much I love rosemary. And thus…
Coconut Balsamic Rosemary Roasted Brussel Sprouts
(with just a hint of… vanilla)
Serves 1 to 2 (depending on your belly grumblings)
So, uh, one for me 🙂
3/4 cup (around 80grams) of baby brussel sprouts
1/2 tablespoon of Coconut Viniagrette
1/2 tablespoon of strong vanilla tea (I used two bags to half a cup)
Up to 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
Dash of Salt and Pepper
Generous dash (or two) of Rosemary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut brussels into halves or quarters.
Lay tinfoil on a cookie sheet, in preparation.
In a bowl, whisk together vanilla, vinaigrette and tea.
Place brussel sprouts onto the tin foil, spray lightly with olive oil spray, drizzle with the balsamic coconut mix and season with rosemary.
When oven is preheated, put brussels into the oven for 20 minutes, checking 10 minutes in.
Enjoy with anything you’d like!
I had mine with a turkey salad that showcased avocado, hummus and cucumber!
Talk about tasty. 🙂
yep, this is the life for me
Just a quick note.Over the past few days, I’ve had several people – customers, old friends and so forth, come up to me and tell me that they think I look absolutely amazing. I have made a valiant effort to be kind and welcoming to this, rather than defensive. Some of the individuals have even told me that they’re trying to lose weight, or something a long that line.

Talking to them has reminded me why it is that I want to pursue a life in fitness, mental health and overall wellness. Each moment I spend pushing someone toward their goals, I feel a sense of power and happiness. Nothing would cause me more happiness that to watch as they achieve their dreams, becoming their ideal self.
I do have some work in regard to discussing diet. It can sometimes be hard for me to discuss food (even still) because I truly feel ashamed of who I’ve been. I’m also extremely worried all the time that people will hurt themselves life I have. I plan to work on this as best as I can to better myself for the future.
Talking to these people makes me remember how amazing I think it’ll be to open up my center, to help people!
If you ever feel like you’re losing sight of what you truly want, find a way to remind yourself ‘why’, okay? Then it’ll all become clear again. 🙂
Keep a close eye.
Tomorrow, I have a Cuckoo for Coconuts Core and Hip Workout to Share!
It’s bananas!
Or coconuts! 🙂
Stay sweet,

Caitlyn

Coyote Beautiful

thurdsay’s thinkies
Good morning lads and lasses! Welcome to Thursday, 🙂
1) Naps are vital in life! I used to be a anti-napper. I thought, ‘why waste the day, napping it away?’ but then I came to realized… sleep is good. I typically wake up early (I am talking 5:30) and, I honestly NEED to get out of bed. I just do. I like to get up, eat, work out and get ready, so 5:30 it is. Getting up that early can sometimes be difficult though, so naps it is!
2) Rhymes will never get old.
3) Neither will puns.
4) This right here:
Yeah, it’s kind of awesome.
5) Flowers never ever ever get old…

….especially purple ones.

6) Preforming Barre/Pilates and Yoga is a lot better when done without any footwear.
7) My current favorite way to raise my heart rate is go jog for 1 minute, sprint until I can’t (usually 30-45 seconds) preform 5-10 burpees (normal or yoga) and then repeat!
8) You should always mind what you say at work, as you never know who’s ears are right around the corner.
9) Yet, at the same time, if you mean what you say then you should never stifle yourself.
10)  Puzzles kick rump! 
11) And, while cheaters never prosper, using a literary aid has never hurt anyone…
 
12) Decreasing my cardio, while increasing my toning and stretching has been a really good move!
13) I want a long bob…
coyote beautiful
Speaking of napping, today Baba and I were able to share the entire day together completely and utterly alone. Not that I don’t absolutely love spending time with him as well as the rest of the family, but being that we don’t get a copious amount of strictly alone time, it is always nice when we do.
I think the main reason I love it so much is because it gives me a small taste of what it could be like when we live together. What our lives might look like. In a lot of ways, we’ve both kind of decided that this is it for us. We’ve found the person we’d like to grow old with. I mean, sometimes I’m still kind of in shock that it ended up being him – the guy who I thought was a real mean pants, in this undeniable cute and sexy (I said it) way, but it is and I am glad.
Anyhow, one of our activities today was an unplanned nap with Zooey. After a solid hour of rest, I opened my eyes up and saw him next to me. We had been holding hands when we fell asleep, so my hand was kind of… well, it was stuck and I couldn’t move. Usually when I am ready to get up, I’m ready to get up. I’m kind of a ‘go go go’ girl. I don’t like to lounge for too long. Even if I am watching a movie/TV show, I’ll get up after break, or 30 minutes, and just wander then come back (drives Mamabear absolutely bonkers). I don’t know why, but I get restless.
Anyhow, in that moment, I didn’t want to move. I was totally ready to stop napping, but I didn’t want to leave yet.
Why?
1. I was kind of worried to wave him up. He tends to be a light sleeper and he’s been quite tired lately being that he is working a lot, so when he’s asleep… I want him to stay resting, and
2. I kind of  found a calm in seeing him all rested. I’m a total weirdo, right? I love to watch people sleep. 🙂 They always look so content and at peace. It makes me happy.
So I stayed there, looking at him for a solid… uh, well, time is but a number right?

This kind of reminded me of the whole concept of coyote ugly, but only instead of want to eat my own arm to get away, I’d rather stay there for as long as virtually possible because it’s really wonderful there.
I have not spoken much about my intimacy issues on here, but I have them quite badly. In fact, I have an issue showing intimacy at all sometimes. I can’t really explain it, at all. I get scared really easily. Of what, I am unclear, but I do. It has often caused slight issues because it does tend to send the wrong messages to the people I love.
Verbally, I’m fine. I have no issues letting people know I love them. It’s when physicality comes into play. One of the things I have a hard time with is staring at people/looking people in the eye/being stared at. I don’t know what causes it, but I have always had a difficult time. I feel very exposed in those moments. Unsafe. The ironic thing is it happens to me mostly with the people I feel most safe around.
That’s right. I’m weird.
I am trying to get better though. I am making more of an effort to look Baba in the eyes, at all times. 🙂 Which is becoming easy as he has some adorable peepers on him!
 
stay sweet
caitlyn

Thank You for my AZzzzzzz

simple sunday: surveys and afternoon sleeps
I know for a fact that I’ve completed this survey on my previous blog (or, perhaps, on my current one… I can’t recall). When I saw it circulating again (via http://www.pbfingers.com) I knew I had to do it again. I’ve done so much changing in the past… few months, to be honest, that I thought it would be fun to do this again and see if my answers differ, at all.
simply a to z

A – Apples (and all fruits – banana, berries and peaches). I absolutely love fruit. They’re so naturally sweet and tasty! Not to mention extremely good for you! I aim (and succeed) to have three to four servings of fruit, daily. Usually this consists of an apple, berries galore, bananas and perhaps a pear/peach/apricot. Typically speaking I prefer my fruit in the natural and fresh form, instead of dried and/or juiced, but whatever cranks your chain, right? My all time favorite go-to fruit at the moment is Pink Lady Apples. They’re such a treat! I eat an apple daily, I’m sure. I love them.

B – Barre/Pilates styled workouts are definitely going to take the cake for B. As you know, when I started to incorporate more Yoga/Pilates and Barre into my fitness regime, I noticed so many changes in my mind and body. I feel beautiful, graceful, elegant… the list could go on. Let’s be honest, I feel girly. I love to feel girly. 

C –  The clean eating lifestyle. I absolutely love the feeling of eating clean. Knowing that the food I put into my body is extremely healthful and good for me has helped me – in so many ways – overcome my struggles with disordered eating. Instead of focusing on what I shouldn’t/couldn’t eat, it caused me to focus on what I should and need to eat. If you’ve never tried out the lifestyle of eating clean, I strongly advise you to give it a go. 🙂

D – I love being able – or being surrounded by people who – dress up. I know it sounds kind of ridiculous but ever since I took part in a high school program a few years back where one of the events require me to dress up, I have loved the whole concept. I am not huge into dressing up like a total skank, though. Halloween to me is about being cute or funny, not looking like I just walked out of a porno, thank you muchly!

My friend, Shelby, from work at the Sunshine Bear and I!

E – Exercise has become an important and required part of my life. I love to create work outs (see below for this weeks ‘Love Your Body Toning Every Inch’ work out).  I used to think I didn’t have it in my to design a good work out, but now I love making them up. Every morning, over my oats, I plan my work out. I live for it. Some people don’t understand and some people take the whole concept for granted (which, never should be the case). I feel grateful that I am able to sprint, sculpt, spin and stretch! It makes me who I am; it makes me feel beautiful.

F – Friends the TV show. It’s actually almost ridiculous how much I love this show. I – at the drop of a hat – can reference the show without even a thought! My mother and I have kind of turned this into a small game. OK, OK. A really large game. It’s embarrassing, really.

 

Truth!

G – Games are like my all-time favorite pass time. Mostly word, card or board games. I am in LOVE with crazy eights, cross words and… pretty much any board game under the sun. I love challenging my mind and thinking, so trivia games are a big plus. Lately I’ve been kicking serious rump at them, too! I just love them. My Friday nights are usually spent curled up with a tea and some kind of word game. I think that I found my perfect match considering last Friday night, Omar didn’t hesitate to join me on the coach with a book of Suduko. 🙂

I – Intellectual conversation with strangers (and friends, too). I absolutely love exchanging knowledge on virtually any topic with a multitude of people. If I don’t know something, I want to learn about it! I don’t feel the need to be an expert on every topic, but I love expanding my vocabulary  and knowledge everyday of my life!

J – Jewelry of all kinds. Typically I find myself drawn to elegant and simple pieces, with a timeless flare. Currently my favorite is the necklace Baba got me while he was away. 🙂 It goes with virtually everything I own!

K – My dear friend Kathryn who has always supported me and has always been there for me. I love her so much, I can’t even begin to explain it. We can go months and months without seeing each other and the moment that we see each other again it is as if no time has passed at all. I absolutely love her and am so grateful to have her. No matter what happens, she will always be my dearest friend. My very own kindred spirit :).

L – Laughter (mostly from small humans… yes, babies). I absolutely love the sound of a laugh. More than you can even understand. It’s the most beautiful sound there is. When people laugh, it makes me smile. When babies laugh it makes me feel like nothing bad in the world could happen.

M – Me time. I knwo it sounds odd, but I’ve always been a pretty quite and to myself person. I require so quiet quality time with me, or I will go completely nuts. I’ve discovered that this is best done in the early morning between 6 and 8 AM. This is when I work out and eat breakfast and plan out my day. I love it. After that time, I want nothing more but then to be surrounded by those to whom I love, I’ll admit. Too much me time can also make me a little crazy. But in that hour, I love just quietly sitting with myself.

Okay, Zooey didn’t get the memo and joins me. In fact, now she comes and gets me if I am not up at a certain time. She tends to be a quiet attendant in my morning routines, so I decided to let her stay.

N – Spending time with  nature would definitely be the number one on here. I love trees and trails and birds and butterflies. All of it. In the summertime and fall, most preferably. I love sitting among the trees and reflecting on life. I just love nature. It’s simple beauty makes me truly calm and relaxed.


O – My amazing boyfriend, Omar, who has come into my life in the most beautiful and profound way. Before him I was an honest wreck. I didn’t know who I was or what it meant to be loved by someone other than your family – in that very special way. H’es made me come to terms with the fact that I am strong and beautiful and smart. When I am with him I feel safe and able to do anything. He makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.

P – My loving and incredible parents.

It is no secret that my mother is my best friend. Our relationship is unlike any mother-daughter relationship I’ve seen. We talk about everything, enjoy doing everything together and I am not the least bit embarrassed about it. Why? Because my mother is truly one-of-a-kind. She’s the most generously beautiful woman I’ve ever met and I feel very fortunate to have someone like her in my life.

My father is also no joke. He’s odd and strange, albeit, but he would bend over backward to keep the people he cares for happy. I’ll never forget about the kind and thoughtful things he’s done for me over the years and will never forget the many wise words he has bestowed upon me.

I really don’t know how I got this lucky, but I am certainly glad I did. 🙂

Q – Quotes and quoting. Whether is be awesome Friends references, or quoting the famous words of Dr. Suess, the whole concept of a good quote makes me happy. To know that words have had such a great impact that they’ve – in many ways – been eternalness, makes me happy. I would absolutely love to one day be quoted.

My favorite quote of ever:

 
R – Roses and all other flowers cause me to feel at complete and utter ease. If I could live in a flower garden, I probably would. I’d sleep of the petals of a rose and dance along the stem of a sunflower. Life would be perfect!

S – Anything related to the sea or the ocean. As I’ve said in the past, I absolutely love large bodies of water! I love them even more if there is waves involved! Anything in this category makes me truly happy shells, dolphins, swimmingsailing (though I am not a sailor, I’ve gone out of boats many a’time), sand! Okay, until this moment I didn’t realize how many ‘s’ words related. The sea makes me extremely happy! 🙂

T – Telling people you love them

It might be the best feeling in the world to see the smile on the face of a person who knows they’re truly loved.
Mama, I love you. Omar, I love you. Daddy, I love you. Zooey, I love you. Kathryn, I love you.
I LOVE YOU 🙂

U –  Unusually child-like behavior….

Like eating off a child’s plate…

FYI: There is an owl smiling at you under there, I promise.

V – Vegetables! All of them. I haven’t met a veggie I didn’t like.

W – One of my largest passions has to be writing. Every moment that I can sit down and write, I will. I love the feeling of constructing a well-thought out sentence and sharing it with the people I love. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback regarding MY writing. I love it! Typically speaking, I’ve never felt like I was all that good at it, but wit all this kindness, I feel I am really starting to develop a true belief in myself.

X –  Total Cheat: x-mas Eve is probably my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love the feeling of family and togetherness. Typically speaking, the idea of squishing so many people into my Grandparents house causes to me feel a sense of claustrophobia, but Christmas Eve night is something completely different. If we weren’t crawling all over each other, it just would NOT be worth it, it wouldn’t. Chrisrmas Eve night is also the one night a beg for snow to come. More often than not, I find myself wanting to get a hold of one of them snow removal cans from Frosty Returns and get rid of it all, as well as the cold. But, the two weeks leading up to and Christmas Eve itself is a whole other thing. I love snow at Christmas time.

It’s so x-citing 😛

Y – Yoga! You all know how I love me a good bend and stretch! Lately I have been loving Tara Stiles yoga via Livestrong woman, The routines are short enough that you COULD do a few of them, or add it to the end of your own work out for a new stretch. I absolutely love the feeling you get after completely a yoga routine. Light and relaxed. I fell out of love with yoga for a bit, but we have reconnected in a more healthy and practical way! Thank Heavens!

Z – Zooey, my dog, is absolutely the number one Z in my books, I love everything about her :). Including (but no limited to) her strangeness, her goofy moments, her snuggles… everything. 🙂 She’s a true keeper.

Also…

Nap time.
Yesterday Omar, Zooey and I took a solid two hour nap together and it was total bliss.

Oh, yes, and the work out 🙂

stay sweet 🙂

Caitlyn

Dates, S’mores and Changes!

changes to the blog 
This weekend Mama, Baba and I headed to the country! Now, if you know me at all, you would know that I absolutely love everything to do with the country. The still air, the calm, the simplicity and the kind-hearts which you are inevitably bound to encounter. Every time I leave the city – or, more accurately, the suburbs – I find myself subject to an array of emotions.
This week it was all about growth, or better yet, acceptance, of myself. This trip (the destination is called ‘Five Islands’, which is where my Grandfather is from) is an annual trip made by the entire family. Every year around this time, we all collect together at my cousin, Ellen’s, home and enjoy good food and laughs. Last year was a difficult one for me. Let’s be honest, last year was difficult for me all around, however putting myself in a family setting proved to be even more difficult.
For starters, it would have been a year since everyone had last seen me (when I was merely a vegetarian). In those 365 days, my eating disorder truly came it a head, so upon my arrival I had not only lost weight, but lost a lot of the life in my eyes. My entire family knew something was up, but they were unsure what it was. I ate alone in a lot of circumstances. It was just overall a hard experience.
This year, I found myself dealing with similar issues, again (most unfortunately), but also discovered areas where I’ve grown… or accepted who I have become.
The Tale of the Date and the S’more
Every year we have a campfire (which, has never been my favorite part because 1) it is really late and I like to get into bed at a reasonable hour and 2) it pretty much consists of drinking and eating s’mores. For me, I am more of a camp fire song kind of girl! I don’t mind the presence of roasting and I love watching fire (it calms me), but I’ve never been really good in the company of people under the influence. I mean, power to them!
Anyhow, I digress! Last year during the campfire, I denied myself a S’more. I made a promise to myself that night that in a year’s time I would eat a S’more and not worry about it. On the drive there I remembered this promise. I remembered saying, ‘I’m going to eat a S’more and not cry about it’.
You’re probably wondering if I ate the S’more, aren’t you?
I didn’t.
Now, before you get discouraged in thinking that this is just my having not progressed any, I’ll inform you that it is quite the contrary. While I reflected on my promise it occurred to me that I no longer desired the ever-so-temping S’more. At all. In fact, the idea of it kind of bored me. Cool, Graham Crackers… marsh mellows (which have always kind of alluded me… what is a Marsh mellow?)… okay and chocolate… alright, I will give the campfire treat this. Chocolate is pretty amazing. Regardless, of how wonderful chocolate is, I’d much rather in another form. Then I was all discouraged because I felt like if I didn’t eat a S’more I would in some way let myself down.
Then I spotted a date square! After supper, there it was… looking at me. All date-like and square-y, it sat. I meandered about the dessert table. Not contemplating whether or not to eat it! In fact, I had full intentions of splitting one with Baba the whole time. No, no. This was what was going through my head:
‘Alright, date squares are good and unhealthy’; they’re a treat, if you will. Much similar to a S’more. By eating this date square – which I so badly want to try- I will be technically eating something I would have previously denied myself, right? With the mindset, one can suggest that by eating this date square, I will be symbolically eating a S’more and therefore will not have let myself down, couldn’t one?’
One did. One most certainly did.
And one little date square was then enjoyed by Baba and I.
What is the point of all this? I guess what I am saying is that I have progressed, yes! But not only that I’ve changed! I am not the same girl I was before. Now, instead of being unhealthy and frail, I’m passionate about being healthy and strong!
I also ran! I did a 30-35 minute jog at five in the morning before everyone got up. Last year, I was tensed and – essentially – forced my cousin and myself to do a yoga session. It was just not natural. This year, I set my interval timer to a 7 minute warm up, followed by 20 rounds of 20seconds by 20seconds. I sprinted the first 20 and jogged/walked the following. After that, I did changed the interval to 40/20, which was kind of my ‘cool down’/’run back home’. I would walk 40 seconds (briskly), sprint for 20, jog for 40, sprint for 20, walk for 40 and so on. It continued for about ten minute. It was perfect. I had never done that before. I was so very proud of my accomplishment!
In the way back, my ‘run’ kind of turned into a FootLoose-esque dance with fist pumps. Don’t even deny that you wish you saw that.
changes to the blog 
The blog is going to be updated!
Why?
Because way too often I sit here thinking: ‘I don’t know what to write’.

So I plan to take the guesswork out of it, completely!

Each day of the week is going to subject to a certain theme. Simple Sundays and Friday Fives will remain, but the other day will pick up their very own topics.
Monday will be Motivational Monday. On Monday’s I will discuss anything that makes me motivated, how to get motivated, something that inspired me. If it’ll warm up some hearts, I’ll be written about on Monday.
Tuesday will be ‘My Take Tuesday’, where I will give a review on an opinion on something. It could be anything, a fitness trend, a diet, a movie, an article… anything! Each week I will pick a topic and form a decent opinion.
Wednesday will be all about Wishes and Wants! This will be about serious goals of mine that I would like to accomplish (or, things I have accomplished), fun ‘bucket list’ desires and materialist wishes. Like, today… I really want a Lavender Jade ring. 😦
Thursdays will by Thursday Things. Which, mostly will just be a day to write about anything I want! A hodgepodge of little bits I’ve collected over the week!
Fridays will stay the same!
Sweat and Stretch it Saturday will be fitness related posts. I will (try) to commit to making a workout for this day and posting it. 🙂 I will also share my weekly workouts and all that jazz!
Sunday will also stay the same.
These topics are not restrictive! If I decide on day that I want to add something else to the post, I will. Also, if I miss a day, I’ll just try to ensure to not miss that day the following week. I’m not sure how long this will continue, but for now I think it’ll help my creative juice to get flowing again!
I hope this seems like a good plan!
Staysweet,
Caitlyn.

The Other 47 don’t Really Matter…

To start, I have two small things to say:
1) Does anyone else find that certain texts on your computer make it easier for you to write more eloquently? I do. I always HAVE to write in Georgia or Times New Roman, but I do prefer Georgia. If it is for something professional, I will change the text following the editorial and writing processes, because I need to write in my Georgia to really get my point across. I know, I know. I’m nuts.
2) Is anyone else jazzed the Canada metaled in Synchronized Swim? I AM!
three shades of gray
I decided that today I would write a ditty on the different ‘grey’ areas in life. Everyone – regardless of your age, sex and so on – have moments wherein they discover that things are not simply black or white. In fact, more often than not this proves to be the case. Over the past few years, I’ve found this to be true in several facets of my life. In my relationship, in my education, in my fitness and healthy lifestyle pursuits. You name it, there is a grey area.
 
lightest gray: healthy fitness

There is a very fine and faint line between a ‘healthy’ exerciser/eater and an ‘unhealthy’ one. I’ve straddled the line and I’ve been on both sides, so I can tell you this much – being is a healthy eater is far more exception.
Unfortunately, coming with a truly clean and healthy lifestyle, judgement is bound to grow – especially if you’re like me and have an unhealthy history. Some people might look at my current lifestyle and think: she has a problem. Why? Because I am very structural and intuitive in my eating habits, passionate and committed to a workout routine, have a slight obsession with anything related to yoga/Pilate and Ballet Barre… et cetera. To me, this is life. To others it could look like an unhealthy addiction, driven by my past issues.
I understand this. Completely. I mean, yes, in the past I underwent a lot of issues, but working out isn’t so black and white (eh?). People who work out and eat right will all have their own reasons for doing so. Mine is no longer to lose weight, but merely stay toned and feel happy. I do some of my best thinking while working out. It calms me, makes me feel attractive and elegant. I can’t explain it; I just love it. So, I guess what I am trying to say is, if you see someone who seems to be extremely dedicated/addicted to exercise, take the time to really get to know their work out schedule (if you truly care that much), or even just take the time to get to know them! Yes, perhaps you’ll discover that their mentality toward a sweating session isn’t ideal, but maybe you’ll discover that they have a love for it, similar to your love of… reading, or playing video games or… for me, writing and helping people (and, let’s be honest, fitness).
Furthermore – on the topic of fitness, alone – each person has their own idea of what is and isn’t challenging or fun. As I have said many times, I’ve tried to be a cardio lover… I’m just not. You will never see my running a marathon (that said, I’d totally be on the side lines cheering you on… maybe doing some jump squats or a burpee ;D). It just isn’t for me. I do love getting a good sweat on, but I have found other more effective ways of doing so (for me). Again, I state: healthy fitness is not something that can put tucked into one category! Healthy fitness could simply be walking for 20-30 minutes every night after dinner. Does it make you happy? Do you feel good about doing it? Do you feel good about yourself while doing it? Then that’s all that really matters. Don’t feel the need to have the perfect legs, or the greatest buns or whatever! Just love life and you’ll shine!
light grey: healthy diet
This is another one similar to the category above. The definition of ‘healthy eating’ is not simple, at all. It might be more complicated than the definition of healthy fitness, to be completely frank. People watch others all the time and compare what foods they’re stuffing in their mouth to the food others are stuffing into their mouths. STOP. Right now, in this moments, quit it. Okay?
First of all, everyone’s body has a different genetic makeup, so why would we all eat the same way? We wouldn’t. Some people can’t handle certain foods, while others can; some people metabolize food more quickly, causing them to require a higher intake of X, while others need more Y. It’s all about your body at the end of the day.
Let’s talk about potatoes.
Let’s talk about popcorn.
Contrary to what you might think, both are extremely nutrient dense foods. AKA: healthy (of course, coating them in butter and other saturates will lessen this, but on the whole… they’re super good for you). I don’t eat either.
Let’s look at pre-packaged granola bars like Fiber One and Havest Crunch.
Both – in my opinion – hold creditable nutrition, yet I don’t eat them… ever.
Let’s look at chocolate.
Gets a pretty bad rep, right?
I eat it daily.
Yeah, yeah. And I probably eat kale like their is no tomorrow, right?
Uh, no. I never eat kale. Use to – not anymore.
So, what gives? I am a self-credited ‘health  nut’, am I not?
Well, I most certainly am!
To start, potatoes and most other starches (with an excepting to oatmeal, some cereals and quinoa) cause my a great deal of pain and… I don’t like them. While most people see a plate of pasta and think ‘heaven’, I think ‘okay, cool’. I used to love it, but I just don’t anymore. I’ve much rather a plate full of broccoli or brussel sprouts…. or both. Okay, both. It’s just my preference. There is nothing wrong with these foods, at all. So, when I say I don’t eat them… I don’t mean you shouldn’t either. I mean… I don’t eat them. For my own reasons. Popcorn, on the other hand, has more to do with my not being much of a snack-er. I never feel the need to ‘snack’, so snack foods and I don’t really happy. I have snacks, but I look at them more as one of my mini-meals.
As for the granola bars, I do ample research on a product before eating it. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with entire of the mentioned products, but they’re not really on my list of ‘highly approved foods’. Again, this in no way means that you shouldn’t eat them. I eat very ‘clean’. What does that mean? Everything I eat, I eat in what can be considered it’s truest form. I don’t not eat granola bars, but I have a list of companies I try to stick to when choosing to do so (Luna, Kind, Lara and Simply). This also goes for crackers (Lentil Crackers and Nut Thins). I look for products with minimal ingredients and try to find products that have few-to-no GMOs. I am also in favor of Kashi products, too. But don’t think because I’m  not (or anyone, really) eating a certain food you are eating, there is a reason you shouldn’t be eating. I don’t even eat ‘clean’ solely to be ‘healthy’, it’s just something I’ve been doing for so long that to not doing it would be… weird.
Chocolate and kale? Well, I am not huge on kale. First of all, I do like a good kale chip, so when I crave that, I’ll buy some. But often I find it to be too much work (yes, lazy). I like it, but I’d rather buy pre-washed and cut foods to make my life easier. Shoot me. Chocolate, I just really like it. A year ago, I’d never eat chocolate. Ever. But now I enjoy dark chocolate nightly (and have even purchased white and milk chocolate granola), so chocolate is on my list. I am much more interested in the sharp taste of dark dark chocolate than I am milk, but if you like milk… eat it!
All in all ‘healthy eating’, is eating in a mindful way that makes your body feel good. That’s all. Don’t feel the need to eat this, or do this in order to be deemed ‘healthy’. If you’re happy with your meals and love how you feel in your skin, my opinion is, you couldn’t be doing any better.
grey: love and intimacy

Love is a gray area onto itself. First it is impossible to define, or explain and you don’t really know how it feels until you truly experience it. I know this first-hand. I used to think I knew what love was, but I didn’t. In friendships, in relationships… with my family. I thought I had it all figured out. But it isn’t that simple.
First of all, you can be intimate without being in love. An individual I know (well, a few) have been intimate with people they didn’t really ‘love’ several times. This used to confuse the heck out of me. First of all, intimacy is the act of closeness and love… so should you not be in love with the person you’re being intimate with? For me, yes. For others, maybe not.
This above all else has become the most notable ‘gray’ area I’ve come to meet.
There are one thousand reasons one might be intimate with another person. Maybe they are hurting and need some solace, or they enjoy their time with the person, but know that it is not something that will leave the confines of an intimate setting. Perhaps there was genuine love in the past and while that love was easy to let go, the physicality of their relationship was not so easy to.
This is something I’ve had to come to terms with in the past. I have had to learn to accept and support others for their choices in intimate encounters, regardless of whether or not it is something I would or would not do. Everyone has their reasons for needing things – just as I have my reasons for not eating certain foods and exercising daily. There should never been any judgement, because there is never a true reason to judge.
What about love?
In most things in my life, I’m crazy structural and planned out. Love isn’t structured and love isn’t planned. Love will hit you when you least expect it – probably for someone you didn’t expect to fall. Love is also not two 2d. When you fall in love, an array of emotions comes over you. You begin to think of that person before yourself and all the time. You want nothing more than to see them happy – sometimes to a fault. You can’t explain why and even though you never thought you’d be the kind of girl who gets excited over making some one a chicken sandwich, you do.
But as I stated before there are several kinds of love, and it cannot be easily defined. My love for my mother is different than the love for my father, as my love for Omar differs from both. Similarly the emotions harbored by another individual toward their close ones could manifest itself completely differently than mine might. Everyone is different, so even love cannot be compared.
Just on a side note: Please don’t be afraid of love. I used to be. I’m still often fearful of intimacy, but love I’ve come to terms with. If you open your heart and let someone truly in, you’ll never ever want to go back. So don’t fear love and don’t fear intimacy. The closeness you’ll experience with those to whom you are intimate with will be breath-taking, I promise you. I just feel I am unable to lecture too heavily to that, being that I still have my own growing to do in this field. Luckily I’ve found an amazing man who is willing to work with me through all my little nits and pics.
🙂
Holy poo, I am pasty.
Stay Sweet, 🙂
Caitlyn

Finally posting this…

a simple sunday (better late than never): berry picking with family
Yesterday was absolutely awesome! Omar, Mama and I drove into the country, where my Aunt and her son live, to meet up with them an take part in the – shockingly- relaxing act of berry picking. Neither Omar nor I had done it in several years! In fact, I’ve never been raspberry picking! I’ve only ever picked blueberries. So upon arriving to the U-Pick farm, I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
At first, my pickings were kind of dull. I was getting kind of depressed as everyone’s pints quickly filled, while mine was only half way full. Later, I discovered why – I was being far too picky about which ones I picked. After a while though, I was all gung ho! I picked like I my life depending on it!
It had actually been Omar’s idea to go picking. We wanted to go strawberry picking, ideally, but due to the fact that we’re working on nature’s time table and not our own, we had to ‘settle’ for raspberries (although, I am more fond of a good raspberry, than I am a strawberry). We picked for a solid hour to 90 minutes when we realized that we had pretty much filled all 18 pints we had brought down! I was so proud of Team Us.
Afterword, Mama, Omar and I went back to my Aunt’s house for some lunch and to play with her dogs. She lives in a on a cute  farm. She has goats, chickens, four dogs… a zoo, basically. So, it is obvious that I was in my glory.
I think that I used this as my Simple Sunday because while picking I had never felt so calm or happy in my entire life. I had (almost) everyone I could have wanted there, picking away for yummy berries. It was honestly ‘bliss’ worthy. It was also a nice chance to bond with my younger cousin, who is a bit older know (he’s fourteen; I feel old).
I am so glad we decided to go! I can’t wait until we go apple picking!
PHOTO DUMP
My raspberries
This is her dog, Daisy.
This is her flower tub! Have an old claw-foot tub hanging around?
This is Lily, another one of her pooches.
They wished me “Good Luck” in getting a picture of her. Challenge accepted.
The love of my life 🙂
Stay sweet.