Tag Archives: coffee

My Other Office

So, just as I did back in April, I’ve picked up a little freelance writing work.

I have trouble focusing at home. The TV is there, Mark is there, and my pantry is there.. and all of a sudden I need to know what’s happening on Regis & Kelly and in Mark’s life, and I’m far hungrier than usual.

In other words, if I want to get anything done, I need to go somewhere else.

Enter: Panera. Just like it did in April.

Naturally, instead of working on my freelance work, I’m blogging.

Nothing has changed since high school. Nothing. Anyway, as it turns out, I’m good at finding distractions no matter where I go. But at least when I go to Panera, I know I have to get to work at some point.

I’ve been subsisting largely on coffee ever since I found out they gave free refills.

Seriously, guys. Free refills on coffee. Free refills on coffee! As much coffee as you can drink!!!!

I should probably cut back. I’m feeling a little buzzy.

I also got breakfast at Panera yesterday because I’d just gotten bloodwork done for my surgery after fasting and I was starving. I used to get bagels at Panera all the time back in college when I spent days there doing homework. One of my favorite combinations was the asiago cheese bagel with sun-dried tomato cream cheese.

I was very disappointed to learn that said cream cheese is seriously gone forever. I decided to try the same bagel with veggie cream cheese.

It worked, but it wasn’t the same.

Le sigh.

Anyway, this morning I had no such excuse of fasting and bloodwork and couldn’t rationalize buying breakfast out when I had perfectly good stuff at home, so I made myself breakfast before heading out.

A yogurt bowl, to be specific.

Into the mix went:

  • TJ’s Nonfat Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt
  • Kashi Go Lean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax
  • blueberries
  • TJ’s pumpkin butter

Yumsauce.

And now I’m at Panera, sipping my coffee and procrastinating writing a blog post. I should probably get to work.

Oh, but I first “had to” take these beautiful self-portraits to send to my mom. Because, obviously, she misses me. Who wouldn’t?

God, I’m a freak.

And yes, I did do that at Panera. And yes, people were around. And yes, people did look at me like I was crazy and probably considered moving away to a further table.

Whatever. I’m focusing. Duh.

Okay. No more distractions. Time to get to work!

Where do you go to get work done?

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Orange You Glad…

Yesterday was the day of orange. I knew it would be from the beginning. I like to think of it as a day with a sunny outlook. Anyway, because I saw the theme coming from a mile away, I decided to document it.

I started my day out with orange juice and pumpkin yogurt.

The orange juice is pretty self-explanatory, but as for the pumpkin yogurt…

Into the mix went:

  • Vanilla 0% Chobani
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • Nut Granola
  • a sprinkle of Kashi Go Lean! Crunch
  • dash of nutmeg
  • a few shakes of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin butter

It’s funny — both times I’ve had pumpkin yogurt, I thought it had a weird texture for the first couple of bites and then got totally addicted to it.

I’m weird.

But seriously, it’s like pumpkin mousse. You have to try it. Just give it a few bites.

I also had some Pumpkin Spice coffee, which I purposefully served in my orange mug.

You can call it cheating. I call it “working with what I’ve got.”

Lunch was a blogger favorite.

That’s half of a (huge!) sweet potato (which I’d baked the night before at 400 degrees for about an hour), topped with about a serving and a half of baked beans.

This combination is fantastic. I love it.

See?

It’s even (c’mon, be imaginative) sooooort of in the shape of a heart! Plus, it could not be easier to prepare.

The only problem was that it was quite hot out yesterday and I wasn’t all about the hot lunch. Oh well. There are worse problems to have.

I went out for tea (well, we went out for coffee, but I got tea) with my friend Amy after work. I stuck with the theme. I also cheated worked with my circumstances again for the sake of the orange theme.

That’s vanilla rooibos tea, which was lovely.

Funny thing about dinner — I’d planned on eating another orange dinner, but then I came home to this:

… and a note from Mark telling me to help myself.

I have the best roommate, ever. Hands down.

And, I mean, it was fate that there were orange tomatoes on it.

And yes, I did choose my piece accordingly.

The things I do for love blogging.

By the way, in case any of you were wondering, I pushed my surgery to next week. So, no, I’m not going under the knife today. The surgery is now scheduled for next Wednesday, the 19th. Cross your fingers for me that it actually goes according to plan this time?

I actually think I’m more prepared for it now and I’m glad it was pushed. In fact, I am absolutely convinced that the reason I got sick was because I was so nervous and worked up about the surgery. I wasn’t ready yet. I (think I) am now.

What do you think? Can you make yourself sick from worry? Have you ever done that?

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Pumpkin Mocha Breakfast Bars

Sometimes, when I’m stressed out, I bake.

When I’m extra-stressed out, I “can’t get all of the dough out of the bowl and have to use a smaller spoon to clean it out and eat that dough.”

Don’t worry about it. It’s basically science.

Anyway, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m supposed to get surgery next week.  So, when I got home and was kind of feeling like crying because the reality of getting surgery had started setting in, I decided I needed to distract myself by creating a new recipe.

Now, I’ll be honest. When I created the recipe, I originally intended for the bars to be more of a dessert.

They weren’t. They’re not very sweet.

Let’s call it a happy accident.

Personally, I think they’re best served warm, either as a part of a yogurt bowl (this morning, I topped two small warmed bars with vanilla yogurt and blueberries — and it was amazeballs) or spread with cream cheese.

Pumpkin Mocha Breakfast Bars


makes one 9×13 pan’s worth — cut them however you want

Ingredients:

  • 6 heaping tbs ground pumpkin spice coffee (I used the kind from TJ’s — if you can’t find any, it’s okay to just use regular coffee)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2  tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temp.
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make coffee with ground coffee and water — yes, it is extra strong! Let the coffee cool.

Mix all dry ingredients other than sugars (AP flour, WW flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cocoa powder) together. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, blend sugars, butter, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla. Add coffee and mix again.

Add dry ingredients. Mix everything together until you have a smooth batter.

Grease a 9×13-inch pan and pour batter into it.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool and cut bars. I cut mine pretty small because they’re so dense.


For the record, if you did want to have them as dessert, I bet they’d be really good topped with vanilla ice cream. Or, if you were trying to maintain the healthy theme of these bars, you could totally do vanilla frozen yogurt.

But don’t blame me if you’re up late from the caffeine. 🙂

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The Many Spellings of My Name

So, it’s definitely been a long-running joke for me (and on the blog) that there are roughly a billion (I said roughly, gosh) spellings of my name. People at coffee shops tend to try out every single one.

As I was going through some of my old pictures, I realized I had quite a compilation of these spellings. I thought I’d share a few.

The only repeats are Caitlyn, Kaitlyn and Katelyn. All of the others were one-hit wonders.

And yes, sometimes they get my name right (though… 99% of the time that’s only when they ask me to spell it), but… those aren’t any fun to share!

Don’t forget to enter the $100 giveaway!

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My Weekend, in Pictures

I did so much this weekend, I can’t believe I’m still going. I think I can do most of this post without words (my mom will be shocked). Let’s give it a try, shall we?

Friday

Dodger’s Game

(No, I did not eat all of that. Not even close. I did, however, learn that my friends clearly have hollow legs. There is no other explanation.)

So much beer. So much $11 beer!

❤ that picture so much.

And yes, we’re on the field! For fireworks!

Ended with some yoga on the field.

Naturally.

Saturday

Yoga in the Park with Mark

Transitions nicely, doesn’t it?

(and Claire and Tyler)

Homemade Almond Milk Latte (AMAZING)

Courtesy of Mark. Mark is a genius.

And yes, that is in my Collaboration glass.

Caffeine = so necessary. Why?

The Making of FOUR DOZEN Butterballs

Two dozen of which were mailed in egg cartons (genius idea of my mom’s — so they wouldn’t crumble in travel!) to Kelly, the winner of the auction in The Great Fundraising Act.

Misplaced a lot of eggs. 🙂

But it sure made for pretty, creative and functional packaging!

The other two dozen were for that night…

Picnic/ Hollywood Bowl

Yes, again.

(Plus sooooo much more food, which went unpictured. And that’s not even mentioning the copious amounts of wine. COPIOUS. Sunday morning hurt.)

BTW, that’s Esi from Dishing Up Delights — total coincidence that we met that night!

Sunday

The Hangover

No, not the movie. This part of the weekend went unpictured. That’s because it consisted of water, eggs, peanut butter pretzels and Veronica Mars.

Oh, and this.

A piece of the set fell on Mark’s head on Saturday night and he had to go to the hospital! He now has staples in his head. Poor thing. Naturally, I spent much of yesterday fussing over him.

Eventually, we got our acts together. Why? Because it was time to see the Two Boos!

Sunset Dinner

I’m actually going to write a whole post just about this. But for now, I’ll leave you with a couple of teaser photos.

Good weekend. 🙂

What’d you do?

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One on One Training with Jackie & A Morning Walk

So, lately, I’ve been feeling like mixing up my strength routine. That, paired with the fact that those two bootcamp ventures last week resulted in re-inflaming my knee (ugh), led me to purchase a new strength training DVD. Lots of research, including blogger reviews and Amazon comments, helped me narrow my choice down to One on One Training with Jackie.

To be clear, nobody asked me to write this post, nobody sent me anything, and nobody who could profit from this post knows I’m writing it. I just thought I’d review a workout that I know is accessible to all of you.

While I imagine the DVD would get really boring and repetitive after just a few times through it, I do think it’s pretty effective. One thing I particularly like about this DVD (and one of the main reasons I bought it) is that you can customize your workout. There are three 20-minute sessions:

  1. Upper Body
  2. Lower Body
  3. Core/ Abs

You can do one, two, or three of them, and you choose which ones you want at the beginning, so they just flow into each other.

This really appeals to me because I sometimes want to work out just certain parts of my body. Right now, for instance, since my knee is bugging me again, I wanted to avoid lower body work. So, this morning, I just chose Upper Body and Core/ Abs.

I think the ability to mix and match would also be great for time-crunched people. If you only had 20 minutes to work out each day, you could do one at a time! Or you could do one in the morning and one at night. Or, if you had the time and wanted to really work one part of your body, you could do one of the 20 minute sessions twice (since there’s no repetition within the workouts) and make it more of a focused circuit. You get the point.

As for the actual workouts… like I said, they’re effective. Each exercise is a minute long and the workouts flow quickly and seamlessly. There’s no downtime, which is good for someone like me who doesn’t like to waste workout time. The workouts break down into a few sets of strength exercises followed by one set of cardio, four times over (with a different set of exercises each time — like I said, no repetition).

While my arms are pretty strong and I made it through the Upper Body section without breaking much of a sweat (I don’t often break a sweat when I’m doing primarily strength training), the Core/ Abs section kicked my butt and I certainly broke one then.

A big note, if you’re thinking about getting this DVD: the style is more about a lot of quick reps, as opposed to a small number of slow reps. So, I think my current 10-lb set of weights might be too much for this DVD.

I’ll probably have to invest in sets of 6- and 8-lb weights if I want to do the DVD justice next time.

All in all, I’d give the DVD a 7/10. It’s a good DVD and it gives you a good workout, but I think I’d tire of it quickly if I used it often. It’s a perfect strength training DVD to do once in a while — like, if your class gets cancelled or you don’t feel like making the trek to the gym one day.

Anyway, after I did both Upper Body and Core/ Abs, I also wanted to get my blood moving with a little more cardio. I can’t do anything high impact right now, so I roped Mark into going on an early morning walk to Starbucks with me.

We’re really cute in the morning, right? …

The walk ended up being about 40 minutes, so I was active (I hesitate to call a walk a “workout”) for 1 hr 20 minutes this morning. Not too shabby!

And all of this before 7:45am. Nice.

I haven’t done my rehab updates in a week!

Rehab Days 39 & 40 (Sat & Sun)

Rest Days — On Saturday, I ran out of time. On Sunday, I just needed it.

Rehab Day 41 (Monday)

50 minutes elliptical (random, level 5)

Rehab Day 42 (Tuesday)

Rest Day — I didn’t get back from the concert until almost 1am!

Rehab Day 43 (Wednesday)

Swimming: 35 laps in 35 minutes

Rehab Day 44 (Thursday)

Yoga, 1 hr — Mark focused on opening my hips (good lord, that sounds dirty) because he thought it would help both my knees and my sciatica. He was right, especially about the sciatica. We’re going to keep working on that.

Rehab Day 45 (Friday)

One on One Training with Jackie DVD – 20 min Upper Body, 20 min Core/ Abs

40 min walk (including the stop at Starbucks) — almost 2 miles

One thing this morning showed me is how good walks feel for my knee — it really loosens everything up. I’m going to try to get more walking in!

What are your favorite workout DVDs?

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My Stupid Body

Begin pout:

Ugh. Juuuuuuuuust UGH.

Can somebody tell me why my body wants to fight me every step of the way? I have the healthiest habits out of almost everyone I know, yet I also have more injuries and fight my weight more than all of them (you know, the people I know), combined. Tell me how that’s fair.

End pout. Mostly. Sort of. Not really. End of official pout, anyway.

You may have noticed that I have not posted about my first P90X workout, which was (re)scheduled for this past Sunday. That’s because I didn’t do it. P90X is postponed indefinitely. That does NOT mean I’m not doing it. In fact, it only means I’m more determined than ever to do it (when I can) and and excel at it when that time comes. But what it also means, for the time being, is that I’m not able to do it for a little while.

This was confirmed by my early morning doctor’s appointment this morning.

To sprinkle this post with a little bit of happiness, I’ll share with you the once-in-a-blue-moon-because-I-only-get-it-before-early-appointments-breakfast from Starbucks this morning.

Anyway. After that was the doctor’s office.

My knee has been acting up even more than usual in the past few weeks (thus the postponing of P90x twice) and then, because that just wasn’t enough, my back started hurting, too. On Friday, when I had those shooting pains up and down my leg and started to notice the back pain, I decided to go ahead book another appointment with my Orthopedic Surgeon, even though I knew he’d probably just tell me I needed to get surgery again.

For the record, I don’t disagree about the surgery. I really think I should get it. But, as I expressed to him this morning, I just don’t see the point in getting surgery when I still have extra weight on my frame. All that’s going to do is aggravate my knee post-surgery, too. I’d like to be in the best shape possible when I get the surgery so that I can give my knee the best possible chance of not stealing my spirit healing fully (or as much as possible, anyway).

Anyway, my doctor agreed with me and gave me a referral to a nutritionist at a nearby hospital, suggesting that maybe we need someone else’s help. I couldn’t agree more.

Except that Nutritionist appointments aren’t covered by my insurance. Awesome.

He also told me I have Sciatica in my back, which, you know, is a fantastic problem to add to the mix. On the bright side, we caught it early and will hopefully be able to work it out in physical therapy. At least I love my Physical Therapist, right?

Thankfully, this all came up at the right time because I literally have only two more days to cancel the hold on my gym membership. This is a good thing, since my doctor told me I should see how my body responds to swimming (ugh) and biking (double ugh).

I’m not allowed to do any high impact exercise at all.

I’m writing this here for accountability’s sake. We all know how stubborn I can be.

(Cute, right? I know. Boys, form a line!)

Let’s sprinkle this post with a little more happiness.

And maybe a laugh…?

As I told my mom about the Sciatica, she told me that I would have to get “one of those chairs with the big balls,” and that’s as far as we got, because she dissolved too hysterically into laughter.

(source)

At least we know where I get it from, right?

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