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This is a little spot to call my own. I'm here to blog about what is on my mind and my plate! This is a place to share my journey to becoming a healthier and stronger me!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sightseeing and Settling In

Hi Everyone,
Sorry I have not posted in several days, but there is always an adjustment period when moving to a new city, and well, I had to get acclimated. So here I am, a few days later, and oh so happy to be living in this beautiful city!
I know exactly where to start too. With my Green Monster! It is back, and it is better than ever. Having taken a break while traveling, I craved the crushed kale mixed with the sweet fruit.
Look at that beauty, that fresh green color! That first sip was glorious!
Post food-gasm, I went exploring with my roomie.
We saw lots of beautiful buildings, found both of our internships via the metro, and even spotted a group of hott jogging men! Priorities, obviously! We grabbed some 'bucks on the way home, and I finally tried something new So cinnamony and yummy.
In order to prepare for our first night on the town, we ate a filling dinner from Chipoltle (sp?) along side a grocery store purchase (we write names of food items, don't hate).
The night out was too fun. We met some really great people, got to know our student group, and had some definite adventures. As for the next day, well I was in need of fresh fruits and veggies stat. I think that I ate only fresh food all day long. Too many meals out and wasted carbohydrates were consumed while traveling and the night before... no further explanation needed.
Today, I woke up super early, got in a workout at THE GYM IN MY APARTMENT (AMAZING!!!!) and did some more of the tourist stuff. Pretty uneventful except for the cool kids doing a workout class on a plateau in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. They are some brave souls as far as I am concerned, I don't know that I could just lay down in the middle of a major city to do some abs and weights. But hey, good motivation right?
So now I am on the flipside of my first night of class. Pretty standard in all, syllabus reviews exc., but I believe it is going to be one hell of a semester! It is hard to be in school mode here, without a legit campus and all, but I am sure I will figure out a routine pretty soon. Until then...well just wait and see!

~Jenn

Friday, January 15, 2010

My New Home!

Hello my dearest bloggie friends,
For the first time in over two weeks I am writing to you from a place that I can call home. It is a sprawling apartment in the northeast corridor of D.C. It is two bedrooms, two baths with a huge kitchen and a balcony. I am sharing it with 3 other girls from my school, only one of which I have met before.
My mom and I got an early start today with a target run (and I made it out for under $100 thank you very much) and some beautiful rush hour traffic. I wanted my mom to experience it, because I think it is really something coming from Arkansas where that just does not happen!
I grabbed a peanut butter cookie Larabar for brekkie while at Target and then honestly forgot to eat until like 3pm (I hate when people say that, because I am always hungry, but today the nerves and excitement just got the better of me!) I had 2 clementines and a small handful of almonds to tide me over until dinner with my cousin.
My room is all set up now, and I could not be happier. My roommate is lovely, our room is a decent size, I am no longer living out of a suitcase, and I finally have a bed all my own to sleep in tonight! I forgot how good it feels to just be settled somewhere. Maybe I just road-tripped for just a little too long. But what a fun adventure! Little Rock to Orlando (holla! finished a 5k!) Orlando to Pittsburgh to celebrate my sissy's b-day and clearly I got her oven mitts because I love all things food related...and from Pittsburgh to D.C. where I intend to stay for the next several months (minus some very excited travel that I will share it actually happens)! This is clearly an old pic, as I am swvetty and in a denim skirt, not hott. My sweet sweet mom is still on the road and is headed for the big apple next! (I am just a LITTLE jealous, I could stay a gypsy roadie if it meant seeing some broadway shows).
Anyways, lets just talk about that dinner I mentioned earlier for a moment shall we? Ok fab. Actually, I want to let the pics do the talking, but they are Iphone quality and do not justify the deliciousness that I was privvy to this evening. My cousin and I went to a Spanish Tapas restaurant called Jaleo. (backwards picture taking is ALL THE RAGE. SERIOUSLY, DO IT NOW!) Have y'all ever tried a tapas restaurant? I really enjoy them because you can taste a variety of menu items without getting too full. (and you can share, I guess?) We ordered just under half the menu (kidding...maybe?) and I can honestly say it all tasted amazing. Not a bad tapa in sight :)! I also tried both white wine and red wine sangria for the first time, and I am a convert for sure!
holy yum! I am posting a picture of each item we ordered, but I am entirely to lazy to describe each item, so if you want to know what was in one, please just leave a comment below. :) (such a lazy college kid right now, embrace it with me).


As you can see, there was no shortage of fresh veggies on the table. I swear I am addicted to green!

...and since I have not gone full vegetarian, I enjoyed a few shrimp and a scallop that I swooned over for a solid five minutes.

Follow that baby feast with a cake baked with cinnamon and ice cream for dessert, and I am a happy lady.

Side notes worth mentioning:
1. I totally networked my little butt off tonight and snagged a contact with a very nice gentleman who sat at the table beside us. Not bad for my first night out!
2. I got so excited about my skillz (read: my dumb luck) that I was walking back to the car in my new heels, because I want to wear them in, and I totally ate pavement. I mean like the iPhone flung across the floor, and I was on all fours. TOTAL WIPEOUT. Whatttt a dumb. According to my cousin I was graceful, but lets be real. I looked retaaaaarrrded! Good thing I have a sense of humor, or no shame, and can laugh it off and hopefully provide some entertainment for y'all. I just thank the big man upstairs that the man who gave me his card did not see me!
OY.
Well I am off to bed, I have a big day of exploring ahead of me tomorrow. I want to pick up some specialty grocery items at TRADER JOE'S :) having already purchased the basics, and find out how the eff to use the metro...
Peace out girlscouts!
~Jenn

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Live from Washington D.C.!!!!!

Hello everybody!
I am blogging to you LIVE from my new home for the next six months! My mom and I arrived early this afternoon and went straight to my new apartment building!! The area is adorable and the apartment is newly renovated and ready for me to move into (tomorrow). They could not let me move into today because I arrived early and they had not cleaned the rooms yet, but whatevs, I am here, and that is what matters. Here I am chillin' in the new family room!

...and the view from my...get ready for it...BALCONY!!! Crazy!
...and the most important room in the whole apartment....The Kitchen, and it is huge, and it has a dishwasher, and a new stove...and I could keep going on and on and on...I am just too happy!
Following the tour, my mom and I met up with my cousin, who is a verry important person in this town ;) and we drank some wine and caught up on our lives. It was lovely.
If you haven't heard (which I had not) it is restaurant week in Washington D.C. A food bloggers dream, no? We went to a cute place in Alexandria, VA where my cousin retires after a long day of work called Extra Virgin. Cute name and good food. I'm down. I did not order the special, because I am cheap and $35 for three courses is ridic as far as I am concerned, but I did order a delish eggplant parmigiana dish. C'est très belle, n'est pas? It was full of fresh zucchini, mozzarella cheese, and eggplant of course! After sharing tastes with family, I ate the whole thing! (minus a bunch of the pasta, it was mediocre, and not worth my calories).
Following din din, we walked down the street to a little boutique cupcake shop called which is apparently owned by a guy who used to have a Food Network show. Cool Beans. I ordered my very first VEGAN cupcake, and I LIKED IT! Whoop Whoop!
This city is full of healthy eats, and I fully intend to eat as clean as possible while I am here. I can't wait to explore new places and share them with y'all!
It is my last night on the road with my dear sweet mutha, so we must go spend some quality time together.
Until tomorrow, which I am sure will be full of moving in pics...
goodnight, ~Jenn

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Au Revior Pittsburgh

Hi Everyone!
Well there is no lack of good food in this town. I learned that VERY quickly. I tried to have some self control, and I felt good about roughly 1/2 my eats while here, but the other half were just decadent and out of control. But let's back up a little bit.
I woke up rather early to my sister screaming at my mom for messing up her new cable. I embraced it, made some tea and ate some fruit while they yelled. 2 clementines and a banana with cinnamon and a smoosh of peanut butter.
Three hours later, and two hours of the Jersey Shore complete, I ventured back to the Bagel Factory for a honey oat bagel with hummus and lots of veggies. It was NOM. And filling. I also drank an unpictured tea that kept me nice and warm and toasty.
I came back to the apartment, did a yogadownload.com session (small tangent: I know I am way late to this bangwagon, but OMGEE I really like this website! I can do a different class every day for just over $1! AMAZING!) Then I munched on an unpictured peanut butter cookie Larabar (I am addicted) and 2 more clementines.
My mom and I ran BACK to Target for more things for the apmt (we are still trying to help my sister get set up). Lord knows I cannot go to Target and NOT come out with something for myself! That place is dangerous for a poor college kid like me :). I ended up finding mini Clif Bars in some of my favorite flavors (blueberry is my ALL TIME fav though) so I promptly ripped into the box upon arriving at the car and ate this little guy.
My chocolate addicted mother bought some of these early in the day, so I may have eaten 6 or 7. :( not my finest moment. I am a sucker for sprinkles.
We went to the Southside of Pittsburgh tonight to celebrate my sister's b-day and ended up at the Cheesecake Factory. Uh Oh! Dinner was whatever, as I was not very hungry because I munched ALL day, but I did get some white bean hummus that I consumed rapidly and then just ate a side salad.
But, it was a celebration, so we all split this monster chocolate cake slice for dessert. (sucks they spelled her name wrong, RACHAEL!!!!)
Sorry for the crappy picture, but iPhone's have no flash and it was dark in there.
Anyways, back to the cake: OMG. Heavenly. Rich. Decadent. All the above. Food Coma is in full force right now.
My mom and I are off to D.C. right after breakfast tomorrow morning, so I am off to bed early! I AM MOVING TO DC!!!!! YES!!!! it is finally happening!
I will miss my sis though, we actually got along the ENTIRE time I was here. We have not NOT fought for this amount of time in lord knows how long. Just look how loving we all look: I think we may all actually like each other after this visit! :)
Goodnight Everyone
~Jenn

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Apartment Oats

Hi Hi!
My move to D.C. is creeping closer, but in the meantime, I am just going with the flow and seeing as much of my sissy's new life in Pittsburgh as possible. She has the cutest apartment and lives in a great area with lots of shopping, bars, and of course AMAZING restaurants. I am trying to contain myself, but it is taking A LOT of willpower. So back to me flowing, I slept until 10:30 today and it was glorious! I got ready really quickly because I was starvation central, and my mom and I went to Pamela's Pancakes for breakfast. Have y'all heard about this place? Well I had not either. But, apparently President Obama likes them so much he flew the Chef to D.C to make some for him. So obviously we had go.
I can't justify starting my morning with a plate of straight carbs and sugar (unlike my mom :)), so I had the veggie omelet which came with hash browns and whole wheat toast. I skipped the carbs on my plate, so that I could eat some of my moms pancakes. They were something! I am not a huge pancake person but these were so thin, sweet, and not to overpowering unlike normal pancakes. I really liked them!
After, my mom and I walked around a cute little area near my sister's apartment to walk off some of breakfast. We found an American Apparel...uh oh. I did damage, I can't lie. I could not help myself! There clothes are just so comfy and fit so well! I left with a new hoodie and 2 shirts. Eek.
My mom and sister had a bunch of errands to run this afternoon, and I just wasn't feeling up to running around in the cold. So I came back to the apartment, parallel parked the car! Yes, I did that! and made some lunch/dessert oats, which I am now going to call apartment oats because I made them in my sister's apartment of course!
Recipe:
1 pack organic instant oatmeal with flaxseeds
a spoonful of chia seeds
1/2 medium banana
1/4 cup water (approx) Put in the microwave for 1 minute.
When it comes out, add a spoonful of Whole Foods organic crunchy Peanut Butter, 10 organic chocolate chips, and a splash of cinnamon.
Then put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds, and mix it all up when its done!

Then eat it all up!!! Warm and yummy! and so so easy to make! So do it, go make some. NOW. and then tell me how good they were.
Alright well I have a large amount of Jersey Shore to catch up on (its so trashy, I just can't not watch). I love free time :)
~Jenn
See y'all later!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

On the road again...

Hello bloggie community!
It has been a very busy couple of days. I left Orlando at the buttcrack of dawn yesterday after a teary goodbye with my best friend Cat. I only get to see her about twice a year, so parting is very hard on me. Here is a favorite picture of mine from Christmas day at her fathers house. Beer was NECESSARY. The ears were courtesy of Walgreens.
Ugh I don't want to think about it, so back to the food! So like I said I was on the road all day yesterday and about four hours today. I got creative with breakfast and stopped at a hotel and kindly borrowed some of their hot water and a styrofoam bowl. Into the bowl went a packet of Whole Foods organic flax oatmeal with the end of my peanut butter jar (i.e. sad day but I brought back up!), cinnamon, and chia seeds.
It was very cold out, as evidenced by the mountain of snow we awoke to this morning. Here is my mom, taking it all in! I subdued my urge to munch in the car by purchasing little unnecessary nick knacks (sp?) that I clearly didn't need and taking pictures of said things. But it worked! I just drank tea the rest of the way there.
That cute little guy is a shot glass to add to my collection. I am not sure why there are alcohol references all over my post today as I have not drank in a long time, but whatever, let's go with it.
We FINALLY arrived in Pittsburgh around 12:30, and we were hunnnnngry! My sister took us to a deli close to her apartment. I ordered a veggie burger (which I am pretty sure are the same patties I get in the freezer section at Kroger) and fries to share with the table.
I wolfed down the patties with the veggies on top, skipped the bun, and munched on about 1/3 of the fries. Pretty well done all in all, I think.
My sister just moved into a new apartment, so she was in need of a few things. We ran around Pittsburgh for several hours, and eventually ended up at a Giant Eagle grocery store. I personally think it is nothing compared to a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, but to each his own. I snacked on a PB&J Larabar while there, and it was yum!
I have been bitching about my veggie hankering for the past two days, so I bought a LARGE amount of fresh broccoli to roast in the oven for dinner. They were so good!!! Everyone loved the recipe (which is stupidly simple) and I am going to make more tomorrow. I paired mine with a hummus pita (can I get a hallelujah for a fresh tub of hummus!?) and finally a carrot and hummus.

Two unpictured clementines were consumed for dessert and I did a relaxing yoga session after. The yoga was glorious. Just what I needed after sitting in a car for over 14 hours. I feel much more relaxed and stretched out. My mom and I are going to work out first thing in the morning and I cannot wait to get in a good sweat session. It is beyond necessary.
We are staying in Pitt until sometime on Thursday and then we are going to DC to MOVE ME IN! UNREAL! I cannot believe it is actually happening!! Until then, I am just going with the flow, trying to eat as clean as possible (minus the french fries) and get in my exercise where I can until I get settled. I am such a gypsy traveler right now! OY!
Congrats to all the Disney Marathoner's that completed their race this morning! It was very inspiring to see y'all reach such a tough goal!
~Jenn
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