Christmas, New Year’s, and Tons of Cats

Wow, I really haven’t had the motivation to blog lately, but here we are! I’m going to dive in with a succinct recap of the holidays, featuring lots and lots (and lots) of cats. Spoiler: We had 6 cats at my house on NYE.

The night before Christmas Eve, I made my pumpkin gingerbread, and enjoyed that with wine while watching Home Alone 2 (we watched the original last year).

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I started Christmas Eve with a festive spin class, of entirely Christmas songs.


On Christmas Eve night, my whole family went to Benihana’s per our tradition. I just got beer, a salad, and their amazing fried rice, and then stole bites of my family’s food.

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Before we knew it, it was Jackson’s first Christmas!

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Kitten’s first stocking!

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^This was after I caught him looking extremely guilty with a little tree in his mouth.

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For breakfast, we had gingerbread (for me)/croissants (my parents), plus scrambled eggs and turkey bacon.

After breakfast, my mom and I headed to the bay to take Chloe for a little Christmas walk.


Around lunchtime, my sister, her husband, and their two kitties came over (5 cats total in the house!)


We ate an easy lunch of soup, and then opened presents.

My sister made us all homemade gelato! Mine was salted caramel.

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^This was my present to my sis! Lava and Ash, her kitties!

My sister and I were tasked with cooking Christmas dinner, which is a first for us. We poured champagne with pomegranate juice, and mulled wine to sip on while we cooked.

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My sister made homemade pasta, pumpkin soup, and brussels sprouts. I made cranberry sauce (with maple syrup) and cranberry citrus relish, and then ended up sort of roasted a turkey. I wanted to buy some slices from Whole Foods like we did a few years ago, but when I went on Christmas Eve, they didn’t have that. So I ended up buying a whole (pre-cooked) Diestel turkey. Apparently I looked clueless enough at the store, and the store worker was super helpful and told me how to heat it up: 350 for 1.5 hours, with the first .5 hour covered. It came out super well (and we had a ton of leftovers which were enjoyed all week).

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My sister’s husband is Jewish, and the two of them have perfected the latke. These are lemon truffle latkes with homemade apple sauce that my aunt sent us!


Highlights from between the two holidays:


Leftover turkey-cranberry opened faced sandwiches with laughing cow.

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AMAZING turkey and rice soup. My mom made turkey broth from the carcass, and the flavor was incredible. Served with Brazilian cheese balls.

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Beer flight during the Alamo bowl. This was a fun flight because we picked out the individual beers from Trader Joe’s, so it was all good things! Sadly the game didn’t go as planned…


For our football food, we did BBQ turkey sweet potato nachos. Roasted sweet potato slices topped with BBQ sauce, 2% Mexican cheese, leftover turkey, and green onions.

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I made my weirdo salad with leftover roasted turkey instead of deli turkey and it was insanely good.


Friday night, my parents and I finally made it out to the local brewery. They have a beer called “Beer Kitty,” so naturally I had to get that.


They also had food trucks out. I had a kale salad with chicken, and french fries.


On the way home, we stopped for frozen yogurt. I had chocolate mint and  eggnog. Both were super good!



Saturday, I actually worked all day at the vet. It was good to be back, and we had lots of kitties that day—my favorite! I went out for dinner and beer with coworkers after as well. When I got home, it was madness. My family was gone, and my sister’s 2 kitties were staying with us as well. I got home to 5 kitties! Thankfully they all got along, and there were kitties EVERYWHERE!

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^All 5 in one shot!

My NYE consisted of a spin class, lots and lots of cat time, Jackson’s first kitten playdate at my friend’s house, then my friend bring her kitten to my house to make it 6 cats, and finally game night at a different friend’s house while our kitties played. The rest of the post will be exclusively cat pictures! I got a new phone, so the cat pictures are higher quality and I have more memory to store them! Happy New Year!

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NYE Recap

Hey guys! Here I am, blogging from home for the last time this break!


I never did a NYE recap! Well, better late than never!

This year, 2 of my closest high school friends came over to spend the night.


Somehow we managed to accumulate 200+ pictures again.

I ended up keeping the food for the day and night fairly light. Lunch was black bean soup again.


And post Crossfit dinner before they came over was some eggs and fruit.

Our main delectables for the night included a veggie tray with hummus and with ranch dip-this was devoured. I love that I have friends I can eat veggies with! We used to have veggie parties back in high school.

I also picked up so healthy-ish looking kettle corn which was good! The main request for the night was ice cream sundaes. I got slow churned brownie fudge and cookies and cream. Slow churned is slightly healthier, right? I was actually shocked by how much lower in calories it was!

We then topped that with a fresh warm brownie, caramel sauce, chocolate fudge sauce, and whipped cream.


I honestly wondered what we would do all night, but as it turns out, if you put 3 old friends in a house together, it’s not hard to find something!


We had fun talking, breaking out old yearbooks, and playing with the kitties.


And of course, right at midnight, we turned on the TV to watch the ball drop.


And I got my New Year’s kiss.


Then, it was snack time again. This time-whole wheat quesadillas!


(Me on spatula duty.)

And here’s a #transformationtuesday for ya!

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It was a great night, and I couldn’t ask for better people to spend it with!

Despite staying up until 4am talking, I dragged myself to noon Crossfit to start 2015 off strong! It was a bodyweight partner workout so nothing too crazy, but it felt great to get moving before settling in on the couch to watch football all day. PAC-12 represent! I honestly never thought I’d root for Oregon, but of course I’ll root for PAC-12 teams-so under appreciated as a conference.

To watch the Rose Bowl, we made baked Brie for the first time. (Remember back when I went to the Rose Bowl?)


I cut off the top and side rinds, topped it with cranberry-apple butter, and then threw it in the oven at 350 until it was completely melted and bubbly.


It turned out really well! I liked that the cranberry cut the sweetness a bit. I enjoyed it with some crackers.

During both the Rose of Sugar Bowls, I also enjoyed the company of a certain orange kitty.


A certain sleepy orange kitty.

Dinner later in the day was thrown together from the depths of our freezer. Trader Joe’s sweet potato gnocchi with sage butter sauce (really good and tender), Trader Joe’s mushroom medley, and a basic side salad.

The random dishes ended up complementing each other well!


I hope you all had a fantastic New Year’s Eve!

What did you do for NYE?

Ringing in the New Year with a PR

Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope everyone has a fun and safe night to bring in the new year!

A lot of people are doing reflections on the new year posts, but to be honest, I just don’t see the need, since I basically did the same thing for my Blogiversary. I’m also not really doing New Year’s Resolutions this year. I have some general goals and ideas of things I want to do or change in the future, but it’s more of a concept and the fact that I have no idea where my future lies in terms of exercise.


(Not relevant but I had to share this picture.)

I could set running goals, but I really don’t know what my running future holds. I want to PR a 5k this winter. I’m signed up for a half in April and am planning on one in the summer. But here’s the thing. I’m REALLY loving 5k training and speedwork and running fast. It’s fun. And right now it’s a little hard to look past the constant pain in my feet. I have tendonitis in my achilles, which is straining my feel and part of my arch, which is really painful. And that doesn’t include my mystery pain and numbness that comes with longer distances. I have a doctor’s appointment in a couple of weeks to hopefully begin treatment, but once again, it’s hard to look past this issue which for some reason popped up in the last couple of months. My 10 mile run a couple of weeks ago was painful and pretty much demolished my feet. In addition, I’m starting to get serious about teaching spin, and I have no clue where I want my weight lifting to go. 

But let’s back it up a little, shall we?

Yesterday morning I went to an abs class, which was really hard and I’m currently suffering from the aftermath. Then, I took some of my high school friends over to my college campus for a hike.


We tried to eat lunch at a couple of places on campus, but everything was closed. We ended up going off campus and making an amazing discovery-a little place that was pretty much an Indian food version of Chipotle! You could choose a bowl or a burrito type of thing, and choose rice, meat, sauces, and veggies.


My masterpiece was a bowl with brown rice, chicken, tikka sauce, yogurt sauce, date sauce, and veggies. So delicious! 

Then, we finally tried a fancy gourmet ice cream place called the Tin Pot. I sampled sweet cream with balsamic swirl, but ended up deciding on the San Francisco chocolate Tcho ice cream. Such a good decision.


All the ingredients were local, and the texture was insanely smooth. And in the cone was a little surprise-they fill the bottom of the cone with chocolate to keep the ice cream from dripping, and the chocolate at the bottom of our cones was still warm and gooey. 

That evening, I was off to Crossfit for Crossfit totals, with dreams of PRing. Crossfit totals is basically taking one rep maxes of the back squat, press, and deadlift. 

I haven’t done a ton of max lifting in the last year and a half, and I’m definitely lacking mentally here. It’s silly, but I get nervous for the lifts. However, after failing to PR my backsquat, probably due to lack of focus and losing some of my form, the nervousness turned to fire. I PRed my press my 10 pounds, and my deadlift by 30 pounds! For anyone interested, my total was 495 lbs, which is all the maxes of the three lifts added together. I’m really happy about this-I also feel that I would get a lot stronger at my home Crossfit. I may try the weightlifting class at my school Crossfit though. I love power lifting and I don’t think I get to do it quite as much at my school Crossfit. Anyways, this was a great end to 2013. It was funny-I only did a few reps of each exercise in the hour, and felt simultaneously like I was totally normal yet I was about to fall over. Lifting heavy is a strange thing! Dinner afterwards was a good one-turkey burgers with brussels sprouts and parmesan, and sweet potato rounds. 


This morning, I went back to Crossfit to tackle “Murph.” Murph is a hero workout, meaning it was named after a fallen soldier. Hero workouts are usually long and brutal. This one?

1 mile run

100 pull ups

200 push ups

300 squats

1 mile run

This might be one of my favorite Crossfit workouts ever. And I’m glad I was able to do it at home! There’s a lot of strategy involved with pacing. I did the first mile in 8:36, which I was super happy about because it felt good, and means my speed work is probably paying off! I broke the middle part into 20 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 squats. The pull ups were with a fairly light band, and the push ups were form my knees since we have to touch our chests all the way to the ground! The squats made my legs very heavy by the end! I had to push hard to make the 45 minute cut off, and finished my last mile under 9:00, so that my overall time was 44:29. Another great workout conquered!

I spent the rest of the morning helping my mom take my kitties to the vet. Charlie is the biggest scaredy cat, and it was quite the task getting him into his crate. In the vet’s office, he hid in under the table the whole time. It’s so sad!


When we returned, lunch was leftover butternut squash soup with cheese and crackers. 


I guess I don’t want to set any fitness goals because I don’t know what my future holds. After my halfs, I may be done with distance running, at least for a while. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll run a marathon. I don’t want to torture myself through tons of long distances if my feet can’t take it! 

In terms of life goals, I guess I don’t see it as much as a new year, but more as a new quarter in school. In general, I just want to be more put together. I want my room organized, my homework always done ahead of time, productive hours in the library, healthy and balanced meals. I guess I also want to spend less time on my phone or the Internet-it makes me a little more unaware of the world, and my attention span is currently non-existent. I think I’d prefer to set aside a particular amount of time for reading blogs or social media, instead of having it leak into my life. 

As for tonight? My friend and I are going to San Francisco, which I am insanely excited about! 

Have an amazing night and be safe!