I Spent Cinco De Mayo At The Bar(re)

I dunno what it is but…winter. I don’t want to do anything but hibernate in my house in sweatpants and fuzzy socks and just watch all the TV, eat all the bad food and read all the books. Then nice weather rolls in and I’m suddenly thinking “gahhh why are my pants tight?! Why haven’t I been going to the gym? Why have i instead just languished about? Why am I so lazy? SO MUCH TIME HATH BEEN WASTED. Gotta get MOVING.” I’d probably be starring in fitness videos by now if I lived in California.

It was Sunday, I was procrastinating picking out a work outfit and figuring out my work meals, when fellow Bmore healthy living blogger friend Mary posted that she was teaching her first SB Barre class the next day at a new location of my gym that had just opened…aaaaand it was 10-15 minutes away from work. I decided this was perfect because I’d been wanting to try a barre workout…and the best part…it was the first time the class was being offered at the new gym so it wasn’t like I would be a buffalo in a sea of prima ballerinas. It would probably be everyone else’s first time taking the class, too. Hooray.

But first! Before I went to class, I went to the beautiful shopping center across the street which included a Target. I had  a gift card to use, so I threw all this stuff in my cart, then at check-out, the cashier informs me the gift card is for way less than I had thought. Crap. Yes, crap. That’s what I wound up paying for on my credit card. Gahh. Oh well. Great story, yes?

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As described on the website, the Soul Body Barre class is an hour long class that incorporates “principals of Pilates, wisdom of yoga, grace of dance and the body sculpting benefits of traditional interval strength training.” And it was haaaaard. I had my usual “oh crap why did I subject myself to this public display of humiliation? Come on, come all, see the 20 something that can’t figure out how to move her body!” thought train that I have for the first 5-60 minutes of any fitness class I go to. It was pretty hectic for a first class. In the middle of it, a gym manager came in and said there were way too many people. At our gym, you have to register for a class a few hours beforehand (or it fills up), and then check-in 10 minutes before class. If you don’t check-in, the wait listed people will get in. Some registered people forgot to check-in, so a bunch of wait listed people filtered in. The manager sorted it out with who had not checked in and told them they couldn’t be at the barre, but it still was an unfortunate interruption for a few looong minutes. Growing pains for a new class and new location!

Mary pointed out something i’m always lazy about – triceps kickbacks. She reminded us “no swinging”, which is pretty much what I always do and then think “What was I thinking earlier on [in the class]? Exercise is easy, I got this, me so strong.” The barre part was crazy hard. She would tell us what to do, and then demonstrate, and I would think “oh look that’s not that bad”. And then I did…and..burn. Such simple, deceiving movements.  Haha.  I definitely want to keep going to her class. I’m so sore, in a good way! I’ve missed feeling this way.

 

1. barre- yay or nay?

2. how did you spend cinco de mayo?

3. think about how to bottle up the spring energy and hang on to it for winter consumption. your homework. go. 

 

Five Facts..Monday

meant to publish this friday but then i got side-tracked by the overwhelming desire to bake. and since that happens every Olympics i had to take advantage. amanda’s protein bars= delish. and will surely be gone by tomorrow if they miraculously last the night. they were also much better than this blog post but for some reason i felt like delayed posting..so away we go.

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1. Bmore got dumped on and I got my snow daaaaaay! Praise be. Now winter exit stage left and make room for spring puh-leez. I know complaining about the weather is so tired at this point but I was telling someone on Wednesday that it feels like eons since it was warm. Dramatic? Always. But really, I feel like it’s been freezing for so long now. Let’s get on with me complaining about sleeping when I’m hot. I took a sick day on Friday because I was kind of nauseated and didn’t feel like digging my car out so I figured I’d let the sun, if it ever showed up, and time help me out. Our alley rarely gets plowed and is always a mess whenever it snows, so Wednesday I thought I was being SOOO smart and parked my car on the street. Well, wouldn’t you know, our alley got plowed and is perfect. My car was where, of course, the sun was not hitting and  all the snow turned to ice and I just cannot deal. Never winning.  It took an hour and a half. Of course, a lot of that is probably my piss-poor technique, but alas, we move on.

2. My company doesn’t make the decision to have a standard operating day, delay or closing anywhere between 6:45-7:15. I could scream from the rooftops (or whine on the Internet) how much I hate this. I get to my office around 6:45 (I know!) so this winter has been a huge pain, where I sit around and wait to find out if I have to go in. I usually do have to go in, and then I sit in all this 7:15 am traffic AND bad weather traffic where everyone drives sooooo slow. Last year when I was a newbie and the first major snowfall came, I realized that morning while I had e-mail on my phone and knew to call the snow line, I didn’t know what time they made the call at. I figured that since so many people came in early, it had to be early and they would have made it by now, so I made the trek in. The chairman of the board saw me in the kitchen as I was putting my lunch away and said “Oh no. I just called and told them to alert everyone that we’d be closed.” I was so angry and stormed out. He told HR and HR sent me an e-mail about reading my employee manual. It was fun.

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3.  My co-worker published her first YA novel last year. I read it with trepidation because, uh, what if it sucks? What if I won’t be able to look at her the same. I dunno why I was worried because she is an awesome writer, but the book was really good and sweet. Have I talked about this before? Possibly. Sorry. BUT don’t click x yet..she has a new book coming out March 31 and I’m super duper pumped. Above is the new cover that I love so much. Speaking of books, I can’t help myself, I read a good one this weekend. I was in the mood for a easy, breezy, (beautiful, cover girl) read and this book was just the ticket. It was the kind of book where I delayed finishing it because it was such a fun ride. Tomato, toh-mato, but read if you want and let me know what you thought.

4. I got a bunch of Amazon gift cards for Christmas and so I purchased a few kettlebells because I always thought they looked cool and effective. I did a kettle bells Tone It Up workout  yesterday and I freaking loved it. It was one of those workouts where in the middle of it I thought ‘Wow I really like this!’ That never happens. Usually I’m huffing and puffing, counting the minutes until it ends, while feeling embarrassed at how weak and out of breath I am. I am so sore today and I forgot how good it is to wake up feeling a good kind of sore. I keep meaning to actually follow a weekly TIU schedule but keep forgetting (or making excuses) but hope springs eternal so let’s see what I can do this week. It was humbling when somebody found out I get home from work around 4 and exclaimed “wow so you have all kinds of time”, which I do, but I also possess a potent arsenal of excuses and incredible laziness.

5. One of my roommates is engaged and moving out so I am getting a new roommate soon. Saturday morning my lovely (not sarcasm! i’m so lucky and really love her) landlord and I met with potential tenants. My other two roommates were at work so I took my duty very, very seriously. I was all jazzed to meet the potentials and told my roommates “I will take care of getting alllllll the dirt!” Then when the candidates were live and in front of me I realized I didn’t have much to ask. ‘True or false and only answer false: I like to kill people in my spare time? Have you ever at any point in time lived a city and forgotten to close the and/or lock the front door leaving the premises vulnerable to robbery?’ Do you agree that J.K. Rowling is a flaw free human? How often do you bake and what is your philosophy on roommates who eat all of what you bake? Are you in possession of a cute, single older brother who loves girls in sweatpants and is interested in wooing your roommate whose name starts with a C and ends in an AITLYN?’ Hmmph. They, in turn, also had interesting questions beyond the standard. One mom asked how the water water pressure was and found it hilario when I replied with a verbose “good.” What else is there to say about water pressure? The same mom, upon finding out that I moved here from another state, asked how I met people. I said “Oh, the Internet.” It’s true but she was quite confused so I can only imagine what she must have thought. Also,I kept my room door shut during the tours but forgot to turn my TV off and at one point while we were marching on past to the 3rd floor, the potential roommate asked “Is that the spongebob theme song?” UH NO. You’ll be living with all professional adults. That is another very serious show about serious, professional topics whose theme song is “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea…” obvi. Saturday cartoons 4eva.

*bonus 6th: I recently discovered – via social media of course – a new app that is supposed to help you fall asleep. It’s basically a sounds app. You can play all kinds of different sounds while you fall asleep. Some of them are so funny – like “frogs”, which is, you guessed it, frogs ribbit-ing. I always go for the water sounds – “rain on roof”, “thunderstorm”, “rainstorm’, “heavy rain” – and while it doesn’t help me fall asleep faster it’s very soothing.

This song came on my I-pod in my drive home and I forgot how much I love it.

I really am going now. B-y-e.

MIMM: A Whirlwind, Crazy Trip Home

Whoa it’s been a long time since I managed to join in the MIMM party with Katie.

Urghhhh Monday why do you have to come back so often? Go away. I’m putting the blame for this squarely on the winter we’re all having, but damn time seems to be going so slow. Usually I’m like “WHAT?! How is it whatever month already?’ but winter is dragging. I am so sick of cleaning my car off and all the salt on my car. I am so sick of all the snow and ice, and not getting a snow day. What good is all of this if I don’t get a day off? All my teacher friends are whining on social media about how they are actively hoping against snow days, but I’m all “um. I will take them. thanks.” 🙂

I went home to PA this weekend to see my parents (and our labradoodle Maggie!!!!!). I also had to go to the dentist- haha. I really should get around to researching and starting to see doctors in Maryland but I like all of my doctors in PA. My dentist said “I remember you’re an avid reader, do you have a Nook or a Kindle?” He was thinking of getting his daughter one,  so of course I gushed about my Kindle and how it actually IS the greatest thing since sliced bread, and he replied with “Yeah, that’s the way the world is going. All those publishers will be put of business real soon.” Awkward comment considering…I work for a publisher.

We also went to the locksmith to get another spare key for my car. The locksmith had ordered another key a few weeks ago and we went so they could program the new key to my car. The associate asked if I could move my car and pull around to the back where the computer could reach (or something). The neighborhood was filled with one way streets so the associate gave me directions. In typical Caitlyn fashion, I got lost. It took a loooong 15 minutes for me to make my way to the freaking back of the store. When I pulled up, the employees clapped. Every mundane easy task is needlessly more difficult when you’re Caitlyn. Oh, and they couldn’t make a spare because it says right on the key “dealer only programming”. Productive outing.

My mom and I went to get our nails done. I have a new favorite color- peace, love and OPI. I think it’s just so cool-looking.

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That night, I went out with my parents and neighbors to a local bar. I  was really fortunate and had such a great childhood- our neighborhood was filled with kids my age and overall really nice people. It’s been so fun to get to hang out with “the parents” now that I’m older. So many are empty nesters now, and they’re always planning parties. One of the neighbors was bar tending and later on in the night we noticed a cousin behind a bar as well, so my dad asked why I brought my purse, when clearly I wouldn’t be carded with all the family around, and when my parents were going to pay. He put my purse in the car and we forgot all about it. Big error.

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Sunday morning, he left early for Vegas (!! just a work trip, although he gamely put up with all my super lame, cliche jokes about getting married by Elvis, finding a tiger in the bathroom and getting bad tattoos). I was asleep when he left – and he drove his car with my purse in it to the airport. I was in my car about to pull away to drive back to MD, and I leapt out of my car and ran into the house shrieking at my mom (and nearly steamrolling Maggie) “DID DAD BRING MY PURSE BACK IN?” Nope. My credit cards, license, insurance cards, cash, all that fun stuff.

So my mom and I trekked the 25 minutes to the airport with his spare key to retrieve my purse. We missed the garage twice and had to keep circling the airport. Then we couldn’t figure out his vague directions – “my car is by a pole, which is half garage A and garage B.” What the what? I am the girl who got lost going around the block yesterday, Dad. We finally found his car, and lo and behold, wouldn’t you guess….the remote didn’t work. Are you asleep yet? Sorry this is dull. It was really interesting in person I swear, I just am a horrible storyteller. Trust. My dad has a car where you  just have a remote and no key, and you just press a button to get it started. He hates it. The batteries in the spare remote were dead and the purse was so close, yet so unattainable. It was comical. So my mom gave me her debit card until my dad gets back home Wednesday night. OY.

Did you watch Toned Up? You know I’m a Bravo junkie/super skeptic, and it’s one of my favorite shows to air on Bravo ever. I laughed, I said “awwww!!!”, and I pouted because I wanted to be their friend and hang out with them. I freaking loved it. It probably won’t get a second season…but it should. I am 110% certain Andy Cohen reads this blog so hey Andy. Season 2. Do it. So if you haven’t watched the show, watch it and tweet about it- and maybe if Bravo sees enough tweets a season 2 will happen? 🙂 I also had such a great time every week at our viewing party here in B’more. I met so many awesome ladies!

If you read to the end, sorry and I love you. Thanks to Katie for hosting!

Toned Up Premiere Party

Happy, happy Friday!

As you probably know, I’m a Bravo devotee so I was hugely excited about the new Tone It Up show “Toned Up.”

I officially joined Tone It Up a few weeks ago. I’ve done a few of their workouts before and really liked them, but the nutrition plan was pricey. I’ve been mulling over joining (via purchasing the nutrition plan) for a while because I  realize that nutrition is one of my big problems – mainly because I’m so uneducated about every aspect of it, and because I’m such a rookie in the kitchen with zero experience/culinary flair. TIU had a Cyber Monday deal involving the plan that was too good. I entered, deleted, re-entered my credit card info, deleted for most day of Monday, still hesitant to take the plunge, and then forgot about it. When they extended the deal to Tuesday, I was all ‘It’s a sign!’ Plus, I knew TIU has a huge crew here  in Baltimore and it would be a great way to meet more people here who could help keep me motivated and help me achieve my fitness goals.  Sooo it’s official! I’ve made a few recipes so far and they’ve been excellent. Except I ignored the “serving size” on one recipe(I’m an idiot) and have been eating mint chocolate chia pudding for three days now. It even served as my drunken post-NYE snack. It’s a better choice then pizza so I’m kicking off 2014 right, ha.

For last night’s Toned Up premiere on Bravo, we had an awesome premiere party at Rowhouse Grille (who also hosted our blogger meet-up in July). While walking to Rowhouse, I realized how I hadn’t been there since our last blogger meet-up (too long) and when I walked there in July, I was first to arrive with my straightened hair in a sweaty, tangled mess, and I was first to arrive last night with my straightened hair in a soaking, snowy mess. Has it really been 6 months since last time I was there? Crazy. I over-estimated how long my walk would take, so I was about 35 minutes too early, and just sat at the bar awkwardly nursing my Orange Crushes waiting for other patrons to clear out of our space. I wish I could say this wasn’t typical.

I had a great time seeing some familiar faces and meeting many new girls. In typical Baltimore healthy living crew style, a bunch went to yoga before walking over so it was really casual. I am not a yogi – I can’t even touch my toes so my one yoga class in college was a disaster and the teacher proclaimed I was the stiffest person she’s ever seen- buuut maybe I will make it over sometime.

All the girls were so so nice, and everyone was excited to be there. Rowhouse was like “hey this is great let’s make this a weekly thing.” I hope so because it was such a fun and relaxing evening. I am hugely excited to make new work-out friends. The show was adorable and my texts from friends (okay there was like 3) went something like this: “Can we seriously just be them?” Please God.

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always with the sorority girl pose.

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had to strike a work-out pose. 

Huge thanks to Kate for getting this together (also these pictures are hers) and to  Rowhouse Grille for being so supportive, fun and awesome.

Anddddd I want it on the record that I cannot stand snow that starts AFTER work, falls nicely for hours, and then stops a few hours before work the next day. What is the point? There is none. This snow does not get me any snow days, so I hereby render it useless.

When The Earth, The Sun, The Stars All Align.

Conferences: I was in DC for the second round of conferences for work and I didn’t really hate it. Well, I hate the conferences part and having to keep up my cheery “goddamn it I’m a professional!!1!1” facade for 10.5 consecutive hours, teetering around on my heels longing to sit down. A woman slipped a book proposal and a sample chapter under my breakfast plate which I did not notice until someone else pointed it out to me. That made me feel very important and I crowed about it to all my friends…. I might have framed it as she was stalking me because she was so excited to see me, knew the important role I held in my company and she wanted me specifically to be the gatekeeper of her long-awaited dream but really she just wanted someone from our publisher to possess it and didn’t care who it was. Clearly. I can’t even influence ordering a new department printer when ours is broken.

Hotels: I really like hotels, guys. The staff has to be nice to you. They take care of unnecessary tasks like cleaning or lugging boxes around. I think room service is the best thing ever invented, especially for introverts like myself who just want to be alone and inhale food without stopping for breath and worrying about public decency and manners all while catching up on internet reading and TV watching whilst wearing sweatpants. It is so fun. I sleep like a rock in hotels. My latest hotel had a king sized bed and my insomnia stood.no.chance. It was amazing.

Healthy Eating On The Road: Is hard. I know. Do you need a second to recover from the bombshell I just dropped on you? Surrounded by continental breakfasts featuring a cinnamon bun table, a croissant table, muffin table, donut table….dear God, is this what heaven is like? If so I swear I’ll clean up my act. I went nuts the first day– give me all of the cheese danishes– but then I realized I needed to fit into a dress for a reception the next night and I literally had no other option packed beside squeezing myself into that dress so I had to reign it in. Donuts are no match for a girl who needs to fit into a dress. Then after I wore the dress, it was so tempting to order chicken fingers from room service every night- after all, nobody would know! But……. I would know. And I’d love it in the moment and hate myself later. I made it to the gym once and when I left, some guy took a break from his weight lifting grunting (such a stereotype. c’mon dude) “I’ll see you later sweetheart” and uh, no you won’t. If you do you will only see my backside as I sprint the other direction.

Fitness: Blah. I came home to our hot water being out. Hoorah, but it’s the best motivation ever to propel my sleepy self out of bed at 4 a.m so I can go to the gym and shower.

Class Clown: A girl I went to high school with was working at the hotel I was recently at. We had a nice um-hi-quickly-summing-up-the-last-5-years conversation. We had a few classes together over the  high school years and she said, “I never forgot Creative Writing class and your poem during poetry unit.” I had no idea what occurred during poetry unit, and she reminded me “You stood up in front of the class and read the chorus of Hilary Duff’s song Come Clean. [Teacher] was so impressed by your imagery about the rain….” I have no recollection (I think I blacked out most of high school) but I  can readily believe I did this. I told her I  hoped I didn’t get a grade for my plagiarism of a Disney tween queen’s songwriters and she assured me no it was just free-write. What is wrong with me?

Lean In: I bought it ages ago, read half, then under-my-bed borrowed the book for a few months, I recently reclaimed, and finished it. It was a great read with some powerful anecdotes and recommendations, but one thing I can’t stop mulling over is the Heidi/Howard study Sheryl Sandberg mentioned. A professor at Columbia Business School handed out the resume of a guy named Howard to one half of the class.  The other half of the class got the resume of a woman named Heidi. The students who received Howard’s resume thought Howard was likable, competent and they would absolutely want him to join their company. The students who received Heidi’s resume thought she was selfish, unlikeable and they would not hire her. The catch? The resumes were exactly the same. The professor just changed the name and pronouns. Howard was made up for the sake of the study. Isn’t that fascinating?

Happy One Year: …to me. And zee blog. Truth be told, I can’t believe I’ve stuck with it this long. I started my blog because I had moved to a new city two months prior and I was lonely and friendless. When I started the blog, I could have never imagined what it would become and what it would mean to me. I would have never imagined that I’d ever go to a blogger meet-up — let alone host one! It’s surprising how important blogging has become, although I acknowledge I’ve been the laziest, worst blogger ever for the past two months. It still astonishes me that people read here. The blogs I read are really inspiring to me because sometimes [a lot] I slack off on working out because “omgz i’m so exhaustedddddd sitting in a chair for 8.5 hours drains me like nuffin’ else i wanna die” and then, I kid you not, I think about the blogs I read and how much people cram into a day and how they still manage to cram in a good sweaty work-out and then eat healthy meals….and then I’m all..”oh…well I’m pathetic. I’m not special. I need to get my ass up.” I also have learned so so much through the blogs I read. I’m pretty dumb/ignorant about all things health and wellness and the healthy living blogs I read teach me a lot. For free! I’m so grateful for this community and how nice people are and how much you share. I really count a lot of you as friends and I spill a lot on here and yet you still come back (!!!!!) and I’m the most thankful person. I write about something totally rambly and people are like “I know! I’m that way too! I do that too!” and I love knowing I’m not alone (because sometimes, it really feels like you are!) or leave the most insightful comments and give the best advice and it’s just the coolest thing ever. come on over and i’ll make us all cocktails with…

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yep. i know. I KNOW!!!!!!! Remember how my parents have been kicking butt at weight loss?! Wellll…..I’ve been chattering their ear off for the last year about the power of the almighty Vitamix. Now that they’re working at maintaining their newfound healthy lifestyles, they decided to get a Vitamix to help them out. And I collected a splendid finders fee–>my own Vitamix. Yep. They bought me one too (for Christmas/birthday) and I am paying them back for a little bit of it. I still can’t believe it. I walk past my kitchen counter, it catches my eye, I stand there and blink rapidly in confusion until it dawns on me that i am a Vitamix owner and OMG all is right with the world forever and ever amen!! If you ever hear me complain about how hard it is to get veggies in waaaahhh wahh wahhh, punch me in the face.

this was a ginormous post. sorry. i’ve bottled a lot up, eh? probably should have broken this up into two but…here we are anyway.

The End.

Toning & Technology

This place was a crypt this week. Sorry! Work was loco last few days. And my trusty Dell from my college’s lovely laptop program died on Sunday. So Tuesday, a coworker gave me her mom’s Macbook Air that she didn’t need. For someone who complains a lot, life certainly smiles at me occasionally. Okay I’ll complain. The transition from Dell to Mac is annoying. Where is my page down button? Where is trusty right click? Then I finally figured out – accidentally – how to minimize and maximize screens. I keep accidentally restarting the computer and I don’t know what button I am pressing that makes it do that. Also my house’s wireless hates the Mac and vice versa and it likes to stop working.

Enough.

Regardless of technological difficulties, I have been chugging along on my treadmill every morning. In the cardio cinema at the gym this morning they were playing TV Land’s series “Retired at 35”. I’d never heard of it but loved it. It had predictable humor but I was still chuckling. I enjoyed it so much I even Wikipedia’d it and was saddened that it was cancelled in December.

All the cardio/OMGIMRUNNINGA5K treadmill training in the morning is good, but I wanted to do more toning. Where else to go, then, but Tone It Up’s Bikini Series that just started. While I doubt I will do a Bikini Series daily log here, I’ll check in on it every so often. Probably to complain and cry/laugh/feel embarassed at how freaking CLUELESS I am about anything exercise related.

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bright-eyed and bushy-tailed before beginning.

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Step two of today’s challenge workout. It was called the “Ultimate Arm & Back Toner.” These were the steps:

1. begin in a plank position holding dumbbells with your shoulders in line with your wrists.

I paused the video and stared. I had never done a plank before, but I knew in theory what it was.

2. Lower your body into a tricep push-up, tucking your elbows into your sides. (You may be on your knees!)

Again. I’m staring, thinking how in hell do I do a push-up with the dumbbells in my hands? It felt like I was about to fall over and that I was putting too much weight on my wrists/the dumbbell. The gorgeous TIU trainer (Katrina, I think. The other gorgeous trainer, Karena, was doing the coaching for this video) made everything look easy and her hair was perfect.

3) Push BACK UP into a plank position, perform a dumbbell row to a rear fly, maintaining a strong core.

Oh okay. This wasn’t at all hard either and I didn’t need to watch Katrina do just this one step at least 16 times before I did it. Wink.

So while my spirits were low and I was very annoyed with myself after 30 minutes of attempting to do that move, I was totally delighted to find that I enjoyed the other steps of today’s workout challenge. They were all hard, and I loved that while I was doing them, I was seriously feeling the burn. I am excited to get tomorrow’s workout and am realizing how glad I signed up to do this.

Next week on the blog will be more fun. Promise.  The “day in the life” post I’m planning on doing next week will be fun. I love to overshare, if you couldn’t tell. i might make it a link-up because I love day in the life posts. we’ll see.

Have a good weekend!