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 =)
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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 Beautiful Bump

monday morning musings
As you know, I have crazy maternal instincts. The very idea of one day being someone’s mother is absolutely thrilling to me. I spend ample time dreaming about waking up in the early morning, putting together a lunch for my – at the point – six year old daughter or son (as well as an equally youthful lunch for Omar complete with dunkaroos and chicken) before walking them to the bus and beginning my day of work (ideally, working from home as a therapist/wellness consultant).
Several hours will pass, as I help my normal rotation of clients and write my freelance pieces for the magazines which I have contracts with before my little one comes home. I’ll meet them at the door, them looking endearingly messy, from the activities they partook in during both recess and lunch and me looking somewhat exhausted at the mere thought of getting that stain out of their shirt. They’ll run to me, looking for an embrace – which, I will of course oblige to – before we head to the kitchen the prepare our afternoon snack (ants on a log, anyone?)
The next few hours are kind of a blur. Will I still have clients, or will I only schedule myself during the hours of school-time? Which, leads me to the question, will a babysitter be required? Will my future partner be home, or will they still be at work? You know, typical things which will one day all fall into place, I am sure. Regardless of the specifics, this is my one true dream.
Oh, and there will be a dog.
Probably a husky.
Maybe a lab.
Okay, definitely a lab. Deal with it, Baba.
The other day, I decided I wanted to recreate my ‘vision board’. I made one about a year ago and when I looked at it, I’ve seen just how far I’ve come already. Clearly needing an update, I ventured out and bought two magazines to get things rolling. One of these magazines was Self Magazines newest issue. Before cutting the heck out of it, I decided to flip through the pages and see if there was anything of interest (does anyone else find it extremely annoying navigating through magazines? Why don’t all the pages have numbers?), when I spotted an article:

“Does this Baby Make Me Look Fat”

I froze.
The article discussed several statistics relating to issues with disordered eating and pregnancy. For some reason, the idea of carrying a child – to me – seemed like a surefire way to let go of my personal insecurities. I would not longer be eating for me, but for the child inside of me. So, I assumed I would just snap out of it completely. When I saw this article, I immediately wondered, ‘what if I don’t?’.
The article states that “nearly half of women polled used disordered eating to control their weight while preggers” (Jennifer Wolff Perrine. “Does This Baby Make me Look Fat?” Shape Magazine August2012: 114-117, 126. Print.). If you ask me, that is a whopping statistic. I am not judging women on this, by no means. In fact, I can – sadly – attest to understanding this fear. How horrible is that? How horrible is it to worry that my baby will make me lose confidence in my body?
I am not going to sit here and say that this fear was something that I was able to rid myself of, but it is something I’ve decided that I mentally need to work on. More than anything I want to be a mother; more than anything I want to have a family. Am I going to let my past and my fears get in the way? Of course not. As a woman, my body will change and those changes will be beautiful. I will go from a young woman, to a woman who gave life to beautiful children – there is absolutely nothing in that to be ashamed of. These are some of things I am going to begin to tell myself, day in and day out, so when the opportunity does arise, I will not be caught being one of the 21% who restrict their calories while pregnant, or the 49% who refuse to eat certain foods.
I refuse.
It scares me to think that so many women out there think this way. Granted, I have hurt myself in similar ways, as well, but it doesn’t really occur to you – however self-involved this may sound – that you are truly (and unfortunately) not at all alone in the matter. Every woman, not matter who they are, is in some way plagued by how they look. It is almost as if it is a requirement for being female – that, along with the ability to handle intense pain once a month for roughly one week’s time.
Not too long ago I had a lady I work with say to me, ‘I want to be like you’. I didn’t know what she meant, so I responded with an awkward laughter and inquired why. Evidently, my size was appealing to her. I assured her immediately that she was absolutely beautiful and should be in no way comparing herself to… me, of all people. She began to express how after having children she was never able to fully get her body back. That’s when I had to stop her. I told her that there was nothing more beautiful than the body of a mother; nothing more miraculous than the body which gave life. She blushed, unsure what to say, but definitely affected by my words. I expressed to her that as women we are suppose to go through changes – our bodies included. I had been so taken aback by this woman’s comments because I never thought that she would feel this way, at all. Yet, she did.
I hope that everyone girl, young or old, reading this knows that the changes you body will go through before, during and after pregnancy are nothing to be ashamed of, but rather something you should pride yourself on. Remember my statements yesterday regarding love for one’s self? This is a prime example of when that self love is at it’s most important, because trust me… that will be the most beautiful bump you’ll ever see.
Please stay sweet,
Caitlyn.

Over.

getting comfortable
Sometimes when you walk into a room and hear people talking in hushed tones, you’ll find yourself doing the exact opposite of what the people talking were hoping for. Perhaps, if you’re like me, you’ll stand out of sight and listen to what is being said, ashamed that you’re being so secretive toward everything. You don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable, so instead of announcing your presence, you let them go on thinking that their efforts haven’t failed.
Have you been here?
I have.
Now, in some cases the words being spoke of you are with only the intention to hurt you. These are cruel and unnecessary and in these moments I see that it is completely within your right to stand up for yourself. But, what do you do when the words being spoken of you are from a place of pure concern and love?
I cannot answer this for you, most unfortunately.
Yesterday, I overheard my mother talking to my Aunt. At first, all I heard was ‘is she sick?’ which initially caused me to worry. Who were they discussing? Is everything O.K? Then, I heard my mother reply, which answered all of my questions.
Me and… I thought she was.
When you go through your days, recovering from something like this and seeing the same people day in and day out, you actually begin to – in a sense – forget about it. Or, at least, you make it an effort to try. After so many weeks of things going well, you begin to actually push it as far into the back of your mind as possible. Then, when you overhear something like this, you are immediately pulled back.
It was almost as if my mind was saying to me, ‘not so fast, Caitlyn. You’re not past it, yet’. I was ready to break down. I was ready to cry my eyes out (alright, I won’t lie, I did cry in my room), but after five minutes I took control of my mind, and I said, ‘cut that out right now’. I grabbed a – light – sweater and headed out, without much of an reason. Left my phone (sorry, Baba; I know you told me to stop doing that), my purse and just thought. I thought of where I was and where I have come; I thought about all the things I’ve accomplished and all the pain I’ve endured. Then it hit me… my mind was right. I am not ‘past’ it; I might never be ‘past’ it.  That doesn’t mean I am not okay, though.
Every situation in our life stays with us. Even the bad ones, unfortunately. We learn from them, develop and eventually change. I do feel like I’ve come an exceptionally far way in regard to my health, but I most certainly have a far way to go.  I shouldn’t feel ashamed, or anything of my past. I should understand that people love me very much.
There was  picture of me, that I used to look at from time to time and become saddened. All I could see was bone and pain. Now, I look at it and think, ‘look where I am now’ or ‘look how much I’ve accomplished’.
Today is a short post, yes. But I just came onto say that you should never feel embarrassed about who you are, who you were or what you hope to be. That which has caused me – and those around me – pain has also been that which has made me the health-seeking girl I long to be. Always remember in life, you are to love yourself. You need to love yourself. So promise me that you’ll do just that from here on out? Promise me, and I’ll promise you I’ll try my very hardest to do the same.
Stay sweet.
Caitlyn
simple sunday

Friday Five: If I knew then…

my friday five
I hope you’ve all had a lovely morning! And – furthermore – I hope that you are enjoying your afternoon! Here, it is beautiful. The sun is shining, the skies are blue, there is warmth and it is just absolutely fantastic. Baba is off taking a (much needed) nap before we head off to work.
Today’s Friday Five will include, not one, but two sections. First, the regular old five along with another five things I’d like to share with everyone. Over the past week I’ve learned a great deal about myself. And furthermore, a great deal about the people around me. I feel like it would be very much a shame to not use this as fuel for my post.
As you know, lately I’ve been struggling with writer’s block. To be honest, I’ve been feeling rather… uninspired. I have been getting the feeling that this is never going to flourish. That my work her is entirely in vain and no one is reaping any of the benefits – other than me. Then, this morning, I received an email from a new reader thanking me for my insights. It warmed my heart. I immediately turned to a – half asleep – Baba and told him. Thank you, reader; you’ll never know how you’re words have made me feel.
Without further ado, I present to you…
the regular friday five

favorite moment

Although this has been a week full of many memorable moments, I think the one the touched me the most was receiving the snickerdoodles from the lady from work. I’ve been having a huge issues lately seeing the good in me. I’m sure we’ve all been there in our life. Lately, I’ve been very hostile – for no good reason – and lashing out at those I love the most. Upon discovering this, I’ve felt nothing but hurt and pain for those around me, and distaste for my own regard. Naturally, being the self-depricating weird-o I am, I took this information and decided one thing and one thing alone,
Life would be better without me.
Ok. Let’s cut the mellow-drama. Regardless of how sappy it sounds, the validity of it is – unfortunately – very much present. After a few talks with Mama and Baba, I’ve learned to snap out of it (even if only a little) and am working on making myself whom I wish I truly was.

The moment Elizabeth presented to me these cookies, I realized that I can’t be all bad. There is good in me, without doubt. In so many ways I’ve made this little women so happy. Every single time she sees me, her face lights up (which causes me to feel extremely happy). To know that I’ve had such a positive affect on this one person allows me to fully accept that there are definite good bits in me. I just need to let them shine more then the bad bits.

favorite food
This one is really quite exciting, to be honest!

We all know I love almond butter – and all other nut butters alike. But, most recently I found myself low on the almond butter. I was frantic. Whatever could be done? Then, I saw it…
Stashed behind the ever-wonderful almond-y goodness lay a tub of butter I had completely forgotten.

Sunflower Seed Butter.

At first the taste was kind of… different. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I liked it at all. But then, I started to crave it. Now, I almost prefer it. I compared the stats of almond butter and sunflower seed butter and both proved to be extremely nutritious. While almond butter seemed to have a little more healthy fats, sunflower seed butter hold a few more grams of protein. So, now, I can rotate my butters!

Not to mention, the price of sunflower seed butter (at my superstore) is about half of the almond butter.

Can you say ‘sunflower seed score’?
favorite exercise

This week my work outs were very much inspired by ballet barre and pilates. I’ve become a convert. Currently I am loving to work my thighs and my abs. I’ve been noticing little tiny spots of abs, so I’m quite pleased with my progress.
This week I’ve tried a new exercise

The Mermaid
Lying on the side of your tush, with your head resting in you palm extend you legs out and cross you ankles. Breath in and pull your legs up, forming a V-shape and slowly lower down. That is one rep. Do this 20-30 times. Repeat on other side.

Ensure that you’re rested on your bum and no on the side of your legs. That will make the exercise more straining in your side.

The above is the starting position, by the end your feet will be in the air, still crossed, working your obliques.
I discovered this exercise from the TIU girls (pictured above). It’s awesome. Extremely hard, but a must-try!
favorite quote
Take these words with you. This week, I’ve really come to discover that I need to remember that I do deserve what I have, regardless of how I feel sometimes. I need to stop worrying and getting scared of silly things, and really let myself enjoy all that life has given me.
A beautiful mom, a caring and wonderful father, the perfect boyfriend, amazing friends, a bright future and a really adorable dog.
🙂
favorite find
I’ve heard about it a great deal. BB cream. It is an amazing invention. Extremely light weight, not think, moisturizing… bliss. I don’t like heavy make up, so when I found this it was a total score.
today’s five theme: if i knew then, what i know now:
1. I’d always listen to my mother/boyfriend when they tell me to quit it. I have a tendency to get defensive and hurt those around me. It’s never good. I really need to work on this one the most, I think. I need to learn to accept my faults more, be less defensive and still accept that I too have great strengths. People are not out to attack me.

2. I would stop cutting vegetables with steak knives. This week I cut a chunk (a legitimate chunk) out of my finger. It was gross. Also, I’d like to learn how to better handle cutting chunks of my finger out. I foresee this happening again (I’m spastic with the knife), so I should probably learn to maintain my composure a little more.
3. I’d never let a friendship end on a bad note again.
4. I’d update my iPhone a bit more frequently….
5. I would tell a very young me to look at herself in the mirror everyday and say five things that you love about who you were the day before, and five things that you could improve upon.
Five things I love: 
– I make Elizabeth happy;
– That I’ve forgiven and forgotten past hurt
– That my hair is starting to highlight itself
– That I have green eyes
– That I have gotten back into writing
Five things to Work On
– Thinking before I speak
– Correcting people all too often
– Lighting up on life and letting my hair down
– That I didn’t full-y stand up for myself
– That I let myself cry when I should have handled it more maturely
Alright, stay sweet,

You and your flowers have brightened my life 🙂

HodgePodge Wednesday

Good morning everyone! Today I have a lot of things to share with you.
warm and fuzzy
Yesterday was a really, very special day.
It was Tuesday, so Elizabeth – a lady I work with to whom I frequently go to movies with – was working. If you’ve been following me, at all, you’d know that Elizabeth and I have developed a real relationship both in and outside of work.
A few weeks ago, while discussing baked goods, I informed her that my all-time favorite baked good was a snickerdoodle.
I got to work yesterday to find Elizabeth sitting in the lounge doing a word search. Upon seeing me, she immediately informed me that there was a ‘surprise’ for me in the fridge. I opened the fridge and there sat three adorable snickerdoodles baked by a one Ms. Elizabeth. I nearly cried. She asked me to try them and at first I said I wasn’t hungry. But, then I said screw it and took a bite, just so she could see my reaction.
Best snickerdoodles ever.
The gesture almost caused me to shed a tear. How could one little women be that sweet?
I put the snickerdoodles into my purse and thanked her again. After that, we together tackled the rest of the word search together. Probably the best moment of my day.
You never realize how sweet such a small thing will be until something small and sweet lands in your lap.
If it is in the form of a yummy cookie, all the better. 🙂
words to live by wednesday
Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about who I’ve become. I am by no means perfect. In fact, I could not be further away from perfection. Unfortunately, I still have this need in me to achieve perfection. I hate to admit it, but I am consistently worried about how I am perceived. Whether it be by the people I work with, the people I love, anyone…
So, whenever this goal of mine because more and more difficult to achieve I become somehow discouraged and enraged. I feel poorly of myself and therefore because extremely defensive and… I hate to admit it… rude.
Most aspects of my personality are decent, but there is one that I do need to work on. I have this slight tendency to take out my inner anger on the people I love the very most. I feel stressed, scared and worried and because of these feelings and behave most inappropriately. I often say things without thinking about how it could sound to another person, then immediately feel horrid that it came out that way. I always apologize, but by then it is often too late. What is said is said, and I need to live with the consequences.
Last night my mother and I had a good and eye-opening discussion regarding it. She informed me that I need to stop or I could risk losing someone I love a lot. I couldn’t even imagine what I would do if I lost any of the people in my life. This is no longer about me, it’s about those to whom I love the very most.
I have mentioned in the past that I am no afraid to admit my faults. I have them; I have many. But this is the one that plagues me. I don’t take these people for granted, at all. I love them and worry everyday that they will leave my life in some way. So, my actions are impossible to explain.
I wanted to say I am sorry and I love you, publicly.
You three are the most important things in my life; without you, I’d be extremely lost. From this point forward I plan to make it an effort to not let my inner anxieties by any reason to treat you poorly. You’re worth more than that and it is time I start owning up to this. Thank you for being in my life and I will love you always.
work out update
Lately my work outs have been great. I haven’t shared any because they haven’t been very inventive. Though, I will inform you that lately I’ve been drawing most of my inspiration from ballet. I find ballet to be a great way to tone and sculpt a beautiful body.
Lately, I’ve been trying to learn to slow things down. I still love my intervals, both high intensity and not, but I’ve come to love the art of toning my body a great deal more. In fact, on the weekend I my phone malfunctioned (which is where my interval timer is). I had already had an interval based work out planned, so I needed to come up with a Plan B and quick. So, I hopped on my bike and basically did a 30 minute tempo run. Now, it was fun and effective, but it seemed long. I need to break up my work outs right now. It’s the only way that I can stay motivated.
It’s funny how every now and again work outs change, isn’t it?
Anyhow, I’ve become very influenced by ballet. My current obsession is <a href=”www.balletbeautiful.com”>Ballet Beautiful</a>. If you’ve seen the movie Black Swan, then you’d recall Natalie Portman being all very ballerina. Well, Ballet Beautiful is a ballet inspired fitness program designed by the very woman who trained her, Mary Helen Bowers. Not only a website, but also a book, this regime is pretty perfect for any person. I’ve already spent too much time reading up on it. I haven’t yet invested money, but would definitely say I’m getting close.
I think in a lot of ways, my workouts are defined or designed by how I want my life to go. Right now, I need to slow down. I need to let the beauty within me come out a little more. So, beautiful and elegant work outs it is!
I am also planning to use my work out time as a time of reflection. I need to center myself and remember what I am truly grateful for.
My mother and father, Omar, Zooey, my friends – both new and old, my health and my passions.

My new favorite move? Swan arms, which is – again – a move designed by Mary Helen Bowers.

I suggest you check out this beautiful and effective form of exercise.

 

 

That is all for now.

Stay sweet,
Caitlyn

 

 

The Value of a Friend

Good morning world!
tuesday thoughts
Over the past few months, a common theme has become very relevant within my life. What theme is that? Friendship.
I’ve often struggled when it comes to friends. As with most people, the concept of ‘true friendship’ was never properly defined to me and I was therefore unable to distinguish which of my friends were genuine and which were friends of convenience. After high school the defining lines become more apparent. You are not forced to spend time with a certain set of people, so therefore it is entirely up to you to keep in contact. I won’t lie in saying that I have often been the cause of the drift.
During my younger years, I adhered to what I thought was me. And furthermore, would become extremely defensive should someone suggest I was anything else. Trying so hard to maintain a certain image is a sure way of suggesting that perhaps that that personality isn’t true to you. In high school I wanted to be a loud-mouthed activist. A feminist, among other things. Now, while I have absolutely no issues with feminism (when not taken to the extreme) and believe in and equality between men and women, that is no my true personality. So, the connections I had made in high school – although wonderful – were not connections made because of who I truly was. So, after I discovered my true self, the personalities held by these individuals and I didn’t mesh. This doesn’t mean I do not still miss or care for these people, but that we have merely grown apart. I will always love these people, looking fondly upon our moments together. However for now our paths are going in different directions – a concept I’ve grown to accept.
Then there are the friendships that always seem to work. Even after a great deal of hurt.
Most recently I’ve began to speak to an old friend of mine once again. Our friendship had ended quiet unfortunately, and I had honestly never expected for us to reconnect. Words had been said and feelings had been hurt, and there mere notion of letting each other back was somewhat… scary – for lack of a better term. Occasionally we would send the other a kind hello, but nothing ever came from it.
Tacitly, we were both saddened by the parting.
Then, one day something happened. We decided to make amends. Being that we are both full-grown adults, both of us saw no reason to hold such a grudge toward the other. We said our apologies, took responsibility for what we had done wrong and moved on. Now, in a lot of ways, our friendship seems to be more cohesive than ever. We have been supportive to each other in a multitude of ways: including our goals, boys, self-esteem and much more and have caused each other to laugh frantically, even though our friendship has only just regrown.
Friendships like these are the ones to keep; friendships like these are the ones to remember.
It is also important to remember not to forget current friends when introducing new friends – or re-establishing old friends – into your life.  I have made this mistake many times in life, and I am sure you have as well. Never forget the silver and gold saying, okay guys?
To essentially sum up my ramble, I just want to say:
1) Always give second chances
As I’ve said in the past, there is always two sides to a story. Always. Just because you feel like you were in the right, doesn’t mean you were. Accept what you did wrong, and accept any apologies that are given. Any relationship is give and take,  so ensure that a decent amount of both is being done;
2) Always remain your true self and look for people who will support and love you for that
Friendships really are not worth it if it is not because of who it is you are. Right?
Today is just a short entry, as I work soon. Tomorrow be prepared for two new workouts and two reviews!

Stay sweet

Caitlyn