Cast Off + Sunshine Award

Today is a good day in my world, because today I get my cast off!


Today is also a good day because I’m finally sharing that I was nominated (several times…aww you guys) for the Sunshine Award! I decided to do the questions that one of my best blends Becky over at Olives n’ Wine picked out for me. Thank you for nominating me, Becky, and more importantly thank you for being a great friend!


The Rules:

  1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.


1. What is your first memory in life?

The first thing I can remember is living in Washington. We moved there when my mom was pregnant with my brother and stayed until we moved to Sacramento and I started Kindergarten at age 5. I don’t remember much of anything before Andrew was born, since I wasn’t even 2 when he showed up :-P. Some vivid memories that stick out are Christmas morning in our living room when I got my first bike, playing toy guitars in the basement, and barfing on the floor in my parent’s room. Haha. Sorry, parents!

i totally remember this favorite activity ;)

i totally remember this favorite activity 😉

2. What has been the best vacation you have ever been on and what vacation are you looking forward to in the future?

I don’t know if it counts since I technically lived there, but studying abroad in France was the best decision I ever made and probably made me feel more “me” than anything else I’ve ever done. My favorite cities I visited that year were Barcelona, Prague, and Marseille. I don’t have any vacations planned, but I’m hoping to visit Becky sometime this year in Chicago, her new home!!

me at Chateau d’If in Marseille

3. What is your preferred type/brand of coffee?

No coffee for me! Even though I actually do love the taste, my stomach can’t handle the acidity of coffee, so I usually drink green tea. If I’m out at a coffee shop, I’ll sometimes get flavored iced coffee or a chai latte. I also really like Starbucks tea+lemonade drinks, and their Refreshers!

4. Flowers or chocolate?

Chocolate, hands down. Can I eat flowers? NO! That being said, I do like to buy myself flowers because they really help brighten up my apartment 🙂


5. What is your normal bedtime and wake up time?

Generally, I try to be in bed before 11:30 and I set my alarm for 7:30. On the weekend, I will sleep for 9-10 hours if I have nothing scheduled to wake up for 😀 I love sleep!!!

6. When going out, do you wear your hair up in a pony tail or down?

Don’t have much of a choice, since my hair is pretty short- down! Even when I had long hair, though, it was always down…I think I was brainwashed by my mom, who has total blonde hair envy, and has always ordered me to “Wear your hair down! I don’t know why you’d hide it, it’s so pretty!”

7. Favorite form of exercise?

Gawd I never thought I’d say this, but running! You can do it anywhere, and it makes you feel awesome afterward. I also find it really encouraging to regularly engage in an activity that forces me to say “You can do this. You’re strong. You got this!” over and over in my head.


8. Favorite place to shop?

I love H&M, but there are none close by.. So probably Macy’s? I also get a lot of work clothes from Express.

9. Do you have a favorite cuisine to eat when dining out? What is it?

Anything that is considered foodie-approved, I would probably like haha. I also love all kinds of ethnic food. So the short answer is: no. I don’t have a favorite!

10. Broccoli. Yay or nay?

Generally yay. Though soggy frozen broccoli is not the business 😦

My 10 questions:

  1. What 3 items are must-haves in your grocery cart every week?
  2. If you could live in any city, no questions asked, which one would you choose?
  3. Do you spend more money on food or clothes?
  4. Have you ever broken any bones?
  5. Fad diets: yay or nay?
  6. Knowing what you know now, what is one piece of advice you’d give to 18-year old you?
  7. What is your dream career? (Props if you currently have it :-P)
  8. If you could choose one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  9. What is your favorite part of your body?
  10. What is the “signature dish” that you cook best?

My nominees: (I’m pretty sure a bunch of you were already nominated- oops! Just know I think you’re fabulous!)

  1. Emily at Have Your Cake And…
  2. Sara at Fitcupcaker
  3. Alisha at Alisha’s Appetite
  4. Courtney at Courtney Em
  5. Deb at It’s All About Me Fitness
  6. Kate at Quarter Century Southern Living
  7. Julianne at Life Off Leash
  8. Kelli at Made in Sonoma
  9. Carly at Snack Therapy
  10. Arlene at Adventures in Cooking, Weight Loss & Life

Wish me luck at the Orthopedics department today! I don’t exactly have the best track record there… 😛


Blend Retreat — The Hike!

So, our time in Park City for BLEND Retreat this weekend wasn’t only about food. Mostly food. But not only food 😉

(Funny story, I told my mom I wanted to show her pictures from Utah last night and I started showing her my previous blog post…halfway through, not realizing that the post had a theme, she goes, “Did you do anything but EAT?!” HAHA!)

There were also two Boot Camps scheduled for Saturday and Sunday mornings, hosted by GPP Fitness.

I heard it was great {and exhausting! They did the Deck of Cards workout in 7,000 ft altitude, whew}…but I didn’t go.

photo cred: Heather (Kiss My Broccoli)

You see, I got back to the hotel room around midnight after grabbing a drink {and playing some Buck Hunter, obvi} on Main Street in “downtown” Park City. I was all set to wake up at 6:45 and drowsily walk down to the ballroom where Boot Camp was taking place. However, my body decided to freak out and wake up once an hour, every hour, during my fitful 6-7 hours of sleep. I decided to let my body recover for a little bit so that I could definitely enjoy the rest of the weekend, and went for a short run instead.


Or…attempted to anyway. It was so rainy! I ran up and down a few hills and sets of stairs and got super winded, super quickly. Must have been the 7,000 foot elevation!

I’m so glad I let my body recover, because I was feeling quite a bit better after we had our Laughing Cow/Muesli Fusion Breakfast and it became time to go on our hike!


Check out all those girls gathered in the lobby ready to hike!

For those who didn’t want to participate in the hike, a Zumba class was held in the ballroom. I really wanted to try it, but I decided my belly was too full of bagels and muesli to jump and dance around!

The hike was sponsored by PROBAR, who provided us with their CORE energy bars and BOLT energy chews to get us through the hike. We all loved the energy chews, which had a good ingredient list and tasted like fruit snacks!


As for the hike, it started out a little shaky…




The mud on the road leading us to the trail was REALLY bad. You see, it drizzled on and off most of the weekend that we were in Park City, which created some pretty wet conditions. Quite a few people turned back after seeing how treacherous it was just to trek through the mud (I swear my feet weighed an extra 5 pounds!)…but I definitely already felt guilty for skipping the morning workout, so I trudged along.

And I’m so glad I did!

duringhikeThe trail itself wasn’t nearly as muddy.


And the views were spectacular!!!

There was even some snow on the ground still:



It was crazy to me that, even though there was still snow on the ground, everything looked so lush and spring-like.




Hi Ashley and Becky!

Eventually we made it to the top, and of course gathered to take pictures.

Me, Carly @ Snack Therapy, & Becky @ Olives n’ Wine {photo cred: Becky}

photo cred: Ian from Muesli Fusion {their first Instagram pic!}

I loved how everyone’s workout gear was always so bright throughout the weekend. I am all.about wearing obnoxiously bright clothing to work out!


Back down we went!



By the time we got back to the Canyons Resort area, the clouds had lightened up a little bit and I realized my face was actually a bit sunburned. WTF? Although, am I really surprised?

The trail itself was supposed to be about 3 miles, but here’s how long it ended up being total, including our muddy little jaunt to the trail:


20130521-120643.jpgCheck out that elevation!

I’m very glad I decided to stick with the hike, because history repeated itself on Sunday morning…I missed Boot Camp again.

I know, I know. I went to a healthy living blogger retreat and didn’t go to EITHER of the workouts.

Let’s just say on Saturday night, we got plenty of ab exercise by how much we laughed! But that’s a story for another post 🙂

Stay tuned for more about all the SWAG we got (you think all these sponsored meals sound awesome? Wait until you see our SWAG BAGs!) and some stories and tips from the Canyons Resort area and Main Street in Park City! I’ve also been busy incorporating all the swag into some recipes (Muesli Fusion/Silk/Bobs Red Mill overnight oats, anyone?), so I should have a recipe for some protein muffins to share by the end of the week! I mean they definitely gave us enough.


My giant container of protein bars, and bag full of protein powders!

Where is your favorite spot to hike?

Do you ever talk yourself out of workouts? How do you know when to convince yourself to stick it out, and when to give your body a rest?

Fitness Friday

Sorry for the sporadic posting this week. I was cooking up a storm this 3-day weekend, but one of the dinners was a recipe I’m testing from The Beeroness’s new cookbook, so I can’t share it until the book comes out! (but I will hint that I got to test one of the recipes pictured at that link :-P)

Otherwise, I’ve been up to my ears in work. It’s been nice to feel so productive all day long, but I’ll tell ya my head is spinning. In the past week or two, I’ve sent out requests to schedule 55 meetings with lawmakers at the Capitol – 40 for my two bosses, another 15 for one of my bosses and a client who’s got his own schedule to work with…lordy has it ever been fun coordinating all these schedules.

I’m at the point where I’ve scheduled and rescheduled so many meetings (25 out of the 55 are on the calendar) that I don’t even want to do anything social for the next, oh I dunno, month, for fear that I’d have to coordinate a schedule. Haha.

Also, is it weird that every time I schedule a meeting for February 14th, I feel guilty? I hope I’m not cockblocking my bosses from having V-day lunch or early dinner with their spouses! No fancy dinner planned for T-Man and I, however — Thursday night is dodgeball night, so our plans are set! Fitting too, seeing as it’s where we met 🙂

Us playing in our first season in July 2011 🙂 P.S. Sorry Lisa…but the other version of this picture was taken about .5 seconds earlier, and was just as bad….lol.

So, there’s my excuse for not posting the normal 3 entries this week. However, on to the topic at hand:

I have been attempting to get back into the swing of things fitness wise. I was having stomach issues in November and December. THEN, I had a deathly cold on Christmas Day (which was miserable, no Christmas hugs for Katie!) that took me a week or two to kick. I managed to go for a run on New Years Eve, but days after, I had surgery to get a cancerous mole removed and took it easy for a while.

Long story short, I went for a jog this week and it was my first in 3 weeks. And the one before that…was the first in 2 weeks.

Though I haven’t been running much, I have been going to the gym and doing elliptical + abs, the ultimate girl workout haha. I have been trying to keep my Fitness Goal “Resolutions” in mind when planning my workouts.

Fitness Goals
  • Run a 5K race
  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)
  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts
  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

Specifically, I’ve been focusing a lot on planks and leg lifts (holding this position for as long as I can). Some days I can hold them for 30 seconds, some days, I can hold them for a minute no sweat. I try to add in other ab workouts as well, and the only weight training I’ve done is on the lat pulldown machine – it works out the same muscle I use throwing a dodgeball, so I figure if I strengthen it outside of dodgeball I’ll avoid being sore for 2 days after every Thursday!

Add in the fact that I walk or bike to work (it’s about 7 blocks, or .7 miles each way) at least 3 out of 5 days per week, and you’ve got my “fitness plan”!

I generally try to exercise 3 days per week, though the 3 day weekend set me back a little bit this week. However, I have averaged 50g of protein per day this week, which is a big improvement for me. Here are my last 3 workouts:

  • Friday January 18 — Elliptical 15 minutes, two 1-minute planks, two 30-second side planks

photo 2

Fact: I watch Food Network every time I’m on the elliptical. /endfact

  • Tuesday January 22 — Run 2.2 miles (time was 21:30), and two 30-second planks after I finished being dead/sprawled out on the grass in the park

photo 1

  • Thursday January 24 — Elliptical 20 minutes, 60 crunches & 50 side crunches per side, one 1-minute plank, one 30-second leg lift, and 2 reps of 15 lat pulldowns (set to 30 lbs because my muscle is all gone!)

photo 3

Awkwardly trying to take a picture without the other person in the gym noticing me…

Also, because it’s Friday, I will leave you all with my favorite hilariously fun song to work out to:

photo 5

Thank you Gunther. You touch my tra la la.

What kind of music/TV shows do you like to work out to?

How do you keep your muscles toned?

Lazy Friday A-Z Survey

Thanks for all the comments on my last two entries! We had a great, albeit short, trip to New York. I got to see lots of family (and T-Man got to meet them ;-)), a few friends, and show T-Man some of my favorite sights in the city. In the two days we had in the city, we went to the Museum of Natural History and the Tenement Museum, saw a taping of the Daily Show, and went to the World Trade Center Memorial, Katz’s Deli, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center. I will likely post a more comprehensive entry about a couple of the things we saw (any requests?) with photos from my new camera…

But until then, because I am feeling lazy (and because I left no groceries in my home before we left….meaning there are still none there, AKA no fun meals to share), I have a survey that I spotted on both Kaitlyn and Emily’s blogs. This totally reminds me of back when I had a Xanga, or LiveJournal, and posted surveys all the time…mwuahaha. OK I’ll stop now.

A is for age: Newly 24 🙂

B is for breakfast today: Apples & Cinnamon Quaker oatmeal…pretty much my standard when I a) don’t have groceries or b) don’t have time/forget to pack breakfast. Costco-sized box of oatmeal in the breakroom to the rescue!

C is for currently craving: I would have rather had a toasted whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter, but alas. I prefer sleeping in to eating fancy breakfasts. Not that an english muffin is fancy…but it’s definitely fancier than instant oatmeal!

D is for dinner tonight: Depends on whether I can convince my loving boyfriend to take me to the grocery store tonight 🙂 If so, we’ll I’ll make something. If not, maybe we’ll go out to dinner! It has been so long since we’ve gone to a nice dinner since he had his campaign. (!!! Click the link! AP called the race for our guy last night! HOORAY!)

E is for favorite type of exercise: most of my exercise these days comes from jogging or walking to/from work.. However, I love me a good 8 Minute Abs workout and I try to lift weights when I get to the gym (lat pull downs are my fave!)

~side note~ remember how I asked you all if you thought I could run a 5K on Thanksgiving? I’m happy to report that, when I set out to increase from 2.5 to 2.75 miles on Friday, I caught a burst of energy and ended up logging a 3 mile run! I ran once on vacation, and we’ll see how I feel after a jog this weekend about being able to run the 5K on Thursday 🙂 Thank you THANK YOU for all your support!

F is for fast food choice: I stay away from fast food…However, if I must go, I am happy to choose Chipotle. But I’m proud to say during almost 6 months of living one block away from Chipotle, I’ve only indulged once!

G is for gross food: I’ve never liked raisins, and I am still iffy on a lot of cooked fruit (sorry, pie lovers!)

H is for hometown: Born in San Francisco, but we lived there less than a year and a half before living in Federal Way, WA for a couple of years and eventually settling in Sacramento when I started Kindergarten! I have also called Santa Barbara, CA and Lyon, France my ~temporary~ homes 🙂

I is for something important: Listening to your body and getting regular checkups if you are on your own diet and exercise regimen. Self-diagnosing = no bueno. Learning that the hard way this year.

J is for current favorite jam: I can’t even remember the last song I bought/downloaded… Except my current alarm song- “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates… You know, the song in every single commercial and movie trailer ever?? It’s the perfect waking up song!

K is for kids: Funny story, I had an ultrasound yesterday to get to the bottom of my stomach issues (see “something important” answer)- the whole time I was like “please don’t hear a heartbeat, please don’t hear a heartbeat”…..Clearly I’m not in that mindset at the moment, but someday I hope to be!

L is for favorite legume: Black beans! Love them. T-Man not liking hating beans is the worst thing ever.. I want to cook them in everything!

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Well, I bought an expensive camera and took a 5 day trip to New York. So…’nuff said.

N is for something you need: Haha, extra money to pay for the above things? I dunno. I am starting to think I need a big change in my life. I’ve been thinking about grad school, or a new job. But the thought of leaving my job is scary, because I do really like parts of it. And it’s a JOB!!!

O is for occupation: I am a receptionist and administrative assistant to 2 lobbyists who lobby at the CA State Capitol. The law firm I work for rules.

P is for pet peeve: You know, I used to have a lot. But I can’t seem to think of any right now. Normal things like leaving the faucet running when you’re not using it, toilet seat being left up, yadda yadda.

Q is for a quote: Most of my favorite (humorous) quotes come from NBC sitcoms. This one is no exception – “Guess who’s got two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn’t cried once today?! This MOI!” Liz Lemon just gets me, y’all.

OK OK, you want a classic, meaningful one too? Another favorite – “There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

R is for random fact about you: I have all my family’s current and former license plates memorized, I’m addicted to filing and/or painting my nails, and I enjoy trivia. Jeopardy, crossword puzzles, pub trivia…I love it all.

S is for favorite healthy snack: any kind of nuts really. I forget that nuts in excess are actually not great for you (high fat content and whatnot) but I love em! Cashews, almonds, pecans, alsooo I recently toasted walnuts and omagawwww so good.

T is for favorite treat: Anything CHOCOLATE. This girl is a true chocoholic!

U is for something that makes you unique: I’m left handed. Holler. It is definitely one of my favorite traits!

V is for favorite vegetable: I really love vegetables, but I’d have to say bell peppers. They’re the one veggie I seem to always have on hand, year round.

W is for today’s workout: Probably not going to work out today (it’s raining and T-Man has my NY suitcase held hostage!), but I am wearing 3 inch heeled boots and will probably walk to and from lunch with my roommate, so…that counts, right?

X is for X-rays you’ve had: Where should I begin? My wrist in middle school (broken), my ankle in high school (badly sprained), my lungs in college (required by France to get a student Visa), and lets not forget the broken hand saga of the summer of 2012!

Y is for yesterday’s highlights: You know, it was kind of a bummer of a day…we drove back from the Bay Area (we flew in to SFO yesterday) and T-Man dropped me off at Kaiser, where I spent most of the morning. Then I returned to work for the first time since vacation, and in true Katie fashion, I felt sick most of the night. Womp womp.

Z is for hours of zzz’s you need: I always shoot for 8 hours (or more lol). I aim to lie (or is it lay? GAH) down by 11:30, and I wake up between 7:50-8am. I can usually function with 6-7 hours, but any fewer and I’m a wreck. I need my sleep!

Have a great weekend, and for those of you who haven’t yet, go LIKE my blog’s page on Facebook! A few photos have been making it onto my FB page that I don’t always post on the blog, so you don’t want to miss out on my fun foodie finds 🙂

Father’s Day Weekend in Photos

Hello all. Hope you had a fun weekend celebrating dads! And if you’re anywhere in Northern California, hopefully you stayed cool this weekend. Summer is definitely upon us here in Sacramento, as we topped 100 degrees this weekend and have lots more 90+ degree days in sight.

Since I’d rather not pass out in a heap on the ground and cause a frenzy outside of the State Capitol, where I usually do my lunchtime jogs, I’ve been focusing on ways to exercise indoors. Using the elliptical, doing 8 minute abs, and playing dodgeball twice per week seems to be doing the trick! Also, biking everywhere helps. Although I get really into it and pretend I’m a speed racer, so I end up sweaty and out of breath wherever I go…

The funniest bike story I’ve ever heard has to be from my best friend Joanna: when she started school at UCSD, she bought a bike and said that when she rode it at night, she would hum this song from Wizard of Oz in her head. Bahaha, those evil flying monkeys. Maybe we’re just weird, but I thought that was hilarious.

Aaaaand I’ve gotten off track. Here’s photos from the weekend.


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