About brittanymeetsworld

Engineer, Nerd, Yogi, Vegetarian, Amateur Chef, Life Lover

Thanksgiving Week/End With the Birds

And I don’t mean turkeys.

This past Thanksgiving/Weekend was mostly about moving. My entire apartment in North Carolina was full of furniture. Full. Someone could’ve moved in and not bought a thing. I should have gotten some tenants and made some extra cash. $$$

So, in order to get my couch into my new place I needed to first to get rid of Michael’s. Which meant driving a Uhaul both ways to and from NC. The thrill. Thankfully, with some years of ambulance driving experience, Michael took the wheel.

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See the crate? Yep, this one was along for the ride.

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That little green lady is Mercedes. Michael’s first love. And my new roommate.

Oh, but once we arrived there were more of her kind.

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Sam is a 36 year old cockatoo who loves everyone and is the loudest creature on the planet. He hops around the dinner table and steals food off of people’s plates. Rude. But hilarious.

Wallie is a lovebird. He also loves everyone and likes to nest in my hair.

We spent the first night of Hanukkah at Michael’s mom’s house with some family that was in from Hong Kong. It was great to finally meet them and we ended up staying up way past my bedtime talking about family stories and life in Hong Kong.

Thanksgiving day was dedicated to packing. Michael was helpful.

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It was chaos and I think I managed to pack my entire apartment in about four hours. Which was good because we had Thanksgiving dinner to get to! Picture more birds, some food and typical Thanksgiving antics. (Me drinking more glasses of wine than everyone else because it’s a holiday and in my family that’s what holidays are for.)

Friday was a whirlwind day with another Thanksgiving dinner at Michael’s dad’s house and dinner with his Mom and family again at a Raleigh staple, The Pit. Oh wait, barbecue, vegan, you say? The Pit has some amazing barbecued tofu. Which is actually seitan (wheat gluten). I wish I had taken a photo of it because it looks like meat. It tastes like meat. Its made of wheat. With some grilled veggies on the side. Om nom nom.

It was a great ending to a great visit. Because early Saturday morning my belongings had to make themselves into the UHaul.

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This is what we call teamwork! Moving is FUN! Woo…

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Emptiness. Honestly I thought this would be a sad moment. But after stressing over getting it all packed and moved out in three days while trying to simultaneously spend as much family time as possible during the holidays I was so ready to be out of there and done with it all.

And now, back in Atlanta! Most of my stuff is in storage on site but my couch made its way here. And enough pillows to make a human sized nest… and don’t think I haven’t thought about doing it. Like, after I write this post.

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Currently this place is chaos. But I have vision. I always do.

I need to refinish that coffee table because obviously it’s the same color as the couch. Thoughts???

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When I Think I Can Do it All….

Yesterday was a long day. Of course, instead of being actually productive and checking things off of my To Do list (Pick up garage key, submit expense report, sign up for health insurance) I found myself with boundless energy. Like really, A LOT of energy. I actually tried to convince Michael to assert his manliness by standing as still as possible against the wall so I could try to climb him. I am not kidding. I am probably insane. This climbing energy was invoked by the trip I made to Stone Summit yesterday. Stone Summit is apparently the largest climbing gym in the nation (holy, what?) and its pretty easy to see why.

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The walls in this place are gargantuan. I’m sort of afraid of heights. Don’t ask me how the fear of heights and climbing fit together—actually the climbing started the fear when I decided to be a dummy and climb too high without a harness and fall on my ankle—it makes no sense. But alas, I still feel this primal need to climb things (apparently including my boyfriend). I spent about 45 minutes climbing (super weak but I’m just getting back into it and I didn’t want to completely wear myself out for the workout I had planned for the evening).

I’m going to interrupt this riveting recap of my workouts to show you this:

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Dear God the bugs in Georgia are disgusting. This picture cannot accurately depict how MASSIVE this thing was. Of course, I had to take a photo to send to Michael before actually killing the thing (priorities, people). Anyway, I smashed it with my shoe and left a big streak of bug guts on the wall that will be removed at some later time. I’m disgusting.

Anyway, back to this whole workout thing. I decided to take a Fitness Yoga class at my new gym since I haven’t done traditional yoga in a longggg time (since college) and I’ve been feeling really tight lately (probably from too much strength training/not enough stretching). I got to the gym a little before my class to get a bit of a run in (it has been so cold and rainy today that I just wanted to make sure I got to do some major sweating). Traffic had other plans for me. Oh, Atlanta. So I ran a quick (for me) mile (9:15) before heading to the yoga studio.

The class was pretty standard as far as yoga classes go. It was much like a Vinyasa Flow class and I enjoyed the change of pace. I was surprised at how much Savasana did for me. Usually I get pretty bored with it and just want to leave but I felt completely relaxed and could have layed there all night. Maybe it was all the activity I did throughout the day… No more underestimating the powers of Savasana!

Personal training session this morning with my new tri-inspiration coach. (Maybe, hopefully.) I just need to make some friends in this town! (Besides all of Michael’s medical school friends. As you can imagine they study. A lot.)

One Day more! Yay Thanksgiving!

Ballet Body Fusion

Good Morning! The countdown is on and we’re only TWO days away from my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving). And I got ahead of myself yesterday and decided to make vegan spinach balls based on this recipe. I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with these little beauties.

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Needless to say I promptly devoured about 10 of them right off the pan before forcing myself to save the rest. (Which Michael demolished when he arrived home.) Spinach balls were always my favorite Thanksgiving appetizer when I was still eating cheese and when I tried out this vegan version of the recipe last year I knew it was a keeper. Everyone loves them as much as the original and aren’t put off by their “vegan-ness”.

After eating my body weight in spinach balls I knew it was time for me to find a gym in Atlanta so I could get back to working out. (It had been over a week and granted I was sick most of last week, but I was not happy about it!) I drive past a Lifetime Fitness nearby all the time and because of its proximity I decided to give it a try.

I am so glad I did! This place is amazing! I took a tour of the facility which includes a rock wall, basketball courts, cardio, weight training, a yoga retreat, group fitness, saunas, and three—yes, three—swimming pools. My tour guide and I decided I’m going to start training for a triathlon. Yes, about two years ago someone bet me I wouldn’t be able to do a triathlon and I made a deal that I would do one before I was 25. I don’t want to be a liar, so here goes.

But last night I started out with a Ballet Body Fusion class. From their website:

Ballet Body Fusion is a total body conditioning program that blends classical ballet exercises and Pilates with a guaranteed special focus on core fitness. Enjoy a fun, invigorating workout that develops muscular endurance, dynamic balance, flexibility and of course core strength. No dance experience necessary – non-dancers are welcome!

The class sounded a lot like the barre classes I took briefly in NC before moving to Georgia so I was surprised when there were actually a lot of dynamic dance moves involved as opposed to slow and controlled movements like I had done previously. I am not coordinated. I dance like a mother. Who can’t dance. (My best friend tells me so.) It was a little iffy at first but I got the hang of most of it. I promise I didn’t look graceful like a ballerina but I really enjoyed the chance to finally fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a ballerina! (That I quit when I was three. That’s the only thing my mother ever let me quit though so I have an immense respect for commitment!)

Which bodes well for my triathlon training… hopefully! Hope the holiday prep is going well, I’ll be moving my belongings from NC to GA this weekend and I can use all the luck I can get! That’ll be a fun recap….

Another New Start

Yes, It seems I only touch this thing when I’m in a life transition. And now I’m officially living in Atlanta, Georgia. Yes, my company transferred me down here last week and I’ve taken the leap to moving in with my boyfriend.

Half of my life is still in North Carolina… mostly my furniture.

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My dining table was my first successful Craigslist posting! And I’m terrible at negotiating–when the lady asked if I’d take $120 for it I told her I’d take $100… duh Brittany, get your act together.

I pack my breakables in plastic bags… because recycling is good for the earth. And is free… if you’re not afraid of dumpster diving at the grocery story. (ok, there’s a plastic bag only receptacle out front and they told me I could do it but I still felt weird about it.)

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Since Arriving last week, it has been a transition. To say the least. Michael got his white coat—yay Future Doctor Michael! (Boo lonely Brittany.)

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I worked all last week at my new job site but was sick all week and didn’t manage to get ANY workouts in. I’m forgiving myself because my life is in such transition right now and I haven’t found a gym down here yet. (Trying out a new one tonight and taking their version of a barre class. Hoping it goes well!)

This weekend Michael and I decided we needed to do some exploring around town and ended up somewhere between Emory University and Midtown. Obviously there were hipster coffee shops involved.

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And some antiquing. I sent my mom this photo so she could ask my dad if he knew what this was. She replied, “He’s sleeping but it looks like a headless doll to me.” Thank’s mom.

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We stumbled upon this wonderful little shop where I bought some super awesome etsy-esque things that I will share when I get them all sorted out where they’re going.
And in true Brittany adventure fashion we ended up completely straying from the plan and painting some pottery. I made this shallow bowl with a Katniss Everdeen inspired arrow design. (Speaking of, Catching Fire was amazing and made me so emotional.) I’m superrr excited about getting the finished product after it’s fired.

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We then ventured to a little vegan restaurant for dinner where I took selfies because Micheal got self conscious about me constantly photographing him. And because my photo hasn’t been posted on here in forever I’m sharing.

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Stone Mountain is a Hike!

I’m back! I really need to figure out a better way to write these posts. WordPress on the ipad is horrible and I don’t like fighting with it! 

Anyway, back to where we left off. Sunday morning I was feeling sore. Let me tell you, crossfit killed my quads. But of course, we had plans to hike Stone Mountain and I wasn’t backing out. Stone Mountain is only a one mile hike but gains about 1800ft in elevation over that distance. My quads weren’t happy. But it was pretty lovely at the top of the world!

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Can we all take a minute to admire that bicep??? Where did that thing come from?? 

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The hike back down the mountain was pretty quick and easy. I half considered walking up it again but a storm seemed to be rolling in and I did not want to be caught at the top of a mountain in a lightning storm. Call me crazy. Or rather, Kale me Crazy. 

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Yes, Georgia has seemed to welcome me with its love of Kale. And yes, in normal Brittany-Michael fashion we did some post-hiking Whole Foods shopping. The Whole Foods we went to was NO JOKE. I have been to a lot of Whole Foods in my day but this one was truly breathtaking. Yes, I describe Whole Foods as breathtaking. I am insane. And obsessed. 

Things that happened this weekend…

So, this weekend was Labor Day! Which meant 3-day weekend in my lover’s new town, HOTlanta! 

During this long and lovely weekend I did something new… Crossfit! Let me just say, I was nervous. Very, very nervous. I was going to die. Or throw up. Or pass out. Or something. The workout included flipping tires… Yes, I flipped tires. Who am I? A badass. That’s who. 

But I survived. And I thrived. (I even did better than Michael. Seriously, pilates had me very prepped for the ab work.) I would do it again. I probably will. But in the meantime I’m keeping my abs strong and tough with lots of pilates. And lots of planks. 

After our morning workout we ventured downtown for the Elon vs. Georgia Tech game. Ps.  If you have not yet seen Georgia Tech’s convocation speech, you are behind the times. Watch it now and wish you were an engineer. 

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The game was a little sad…. If you’re an Elon fan. (Michael’s friend is an Elon alum so we were formally rooting for Elon. But my respect lies with the engineers at tech. Secretly. 

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We’re gross. 

We left at halftime and met up with Michael’s friend’s family at The Varsity. I snuck a couple of fries but held out for some vegan food to be consumed later. 

Usually, my sense of direction is impeccable. But somehow my attempt to find “Healthful Essence” (as recommended on Happy Cow) we got lost. In a hippie neighborhood. I mean, peace signs. Everywhere. It was glorious. 

But alas, the iPhone and Google Maps came to the rescue and we found it eventually. It was a bit…. Off the beaten path. But the food was decent and reasonably priced. I got BBQ tofu and curried vegetables–the veggies were way tasty. But I realized I’ve been eating way too much tofu lately. I have a problem. 

After dinner I wanted to go for a walk (reason #94 I need a puppy) and we decided to take Mercedes. Yes, she’s green and she talks. 

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She doesn’t really love walks. But she’s cute, right? 

I’ll update about the rest of our weekend later! More exciting adventures to come. 

Ps. The soreness that overtook my legs for three days following crossfit really did not help our Sunday afternoon activities! 

Cheap week challenge

My credit card bill sucks. Like, really, sucks the money right out of my account. Having worked a year and having lived to the fullest through most of that year, my bank account hasn’t managed to amass much of a sum despite the consistent salary I’m pulling in. So I’m setting a challenge for myself. Inspired by my imaginary best friends John and Sherry over at Young House Love.

I’m only going to spend money on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. (Ok, I already cheated because I needed to buy gas today) This could be totally counterproductive because those days are so easy to spend money on. But hopefully this will cut down on my online shopping obsession. And the excessive amounts of meals I eat at Whole Foods.

Currently it has left my refrigerator pretty sparse.

Half of this is probably expired....

Half of this is probably expired….

My stuff is on the left side. Yep. This challenge is not only a test on my wallet but also my stomach. How long can I live off of condiments, dry goods, and frozen veggies that currently own my freezer. Seriously I swear the things are mating in there. I have no idea where they all came from. Oh, and obviously this will be tested the healthy way. Meaning my cheapo-free-o because I already own it meals will maintain the healthfulness of everything else I eat. Bring it on.