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Friday Free-For-All

NU Gals Strike Again!  At the Driskill Hotel

NU Gals Strike Again! At the Driskill Hotel

It’s hard to believe at this time last week, I was just starting my five-day escape to Texas. The trip was everything I hoped it would be: good times with good friends from different parts of my life. The fact that I got to enjoy some much-needed 70-degree sunshine for a few days was an extra bonus!

Here are a few of my favorite things from my trip to Texas (in no particular order):

Austin:

  • DSC06826The three-cheese Texas toast grilled cheese at 24 Diner.
  • Blueberry pancakes at Kerby Lane Cafe.
  • Celebrating National Margarita Day at the Hula Hut and Chuy’s.
  • A simply fabulous dinner at the Driskill Grill.
  • IMG_0046Tabata training in the Westin’s fitness center to counter some of the calories ingested in the highlights above.
  • Countless laughs with my Northwestern gal pals Tracy, Molly, Evva, Lisa, Jessica and Irene! (Laughing doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as my typical workouts, but it certainly felt good!)
Lunch with Jeanne Marie at Red Hot & Blue

Lunch with Jeanne Marie at Red Hot & Blue

Dallas:

  • The “Five Meat Treat” at Red Hot & Blue BBQ.
  • “Bleeding Heart” margaritas and Baja fish tacos at Ochos.
  • Sipping pre-Oscar Prosecco with my lifelong friend Jeanne Marie while her husband (and bona fide “Grill Master”) Paul fired up a delicious steak dinner.
  • Getting to know their four-month-old baby Charlotte!
  • Watching the end of the Oscars while sipping red wine and sitting in their hot tub.
  • Rolling out of bed and burning some calories from the above-mentioned highlights in their home gym.

Dallas BBQBy now, you’ve probably noticed a common theme in my vacation-related posts: Laura loves to eat and drink! This is why I always pack the workout wear and get in a couple of calorie-busting sessions wherever I go.

Baja Fish TacosHowever, along with the moisture-wicking gear, I also work hard at letting my vacation mindset take over when I arrive at my destination. That means realizing the opportunities for these special get-togethers don’t come around as often as we’d like and since we enjoy catching up over fun food and cocktails, it’s definitely not the time to obsess over counting calories!

ProseccoAfter a little bit of decadence, I actually look forward to getting back on track with my normal healthy eating habits and kicking it up a notch at the gym. On that note, I encourage everyone to enjoy whatever memorable moments present themselves in the weekend ahead. Life’s simply too short not to embrace all that you love in this world. If that includes chocolate and red wine,  dig in, sip and enjoy and remember, even indulgences have a place in our ongoing journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Letting Go

NU gal-pal reunion, NOLA, 2009: I see more margaritas in our future this weekend!

NU gal-pal reunion, NOLA, 2009: I see more margaritas in our future this weekend!

I end this week on a short note of personal reflection, but it’s one I hope many of you loyal readers can relate to.

Thanks to President’s Day, this started as a four-day work week. Then it hit me that I’d be spending even less hours at the office because of the Northwestern gal-pal getaway planned several months ago. The mini-reunion turned into the perfect excuse to take a couple of extra days off to visit another lifelong friend and her husband who welcomed their first baby a few months ago. As you read this post, I’m either watching TV in my JetBlue seat or already having fun in Austin, Texas. No doubt there will be plenty of laughs and a few cocktails involved in the extended weekend ahead!

Somewhere in the midst of my excitement, an unwelcome visitor crept in to my mind: worry. I started worrying about getting everything “in order” before I left. Specifically, I found myself worrying about writing for my blog and scheduling a few posts while I was away. On top of that, I started worrying about making extra time to burn some extra calories before what’s sure to be another high-caloric good time. That spiraled into worry over whether I’ve had a few too many of those good times lately without enough time in between to reset my “healthy living” button. Then I took out my mental sledgehammer and smashed all that worry to pieces.

These are all “issues” not worthy of a second thought. This blog is supposed to be one of my outlets. If I don’t post on Monday, Wednesday AND Friday next week, the world will keep spinning. Working out is an even bigger outlet in my life, so why in the world would I waste time and energy worrying about that?  Finally, if having one too many margaritas with friends I haven’t seen in years is a problem, well, then I’ve got much bigger issues to deal with when it comes to embracing some fun in this all-too-stressed-out world!

I guess sometimes we all need to step back and realize it’s okay to let go once in awhile. Reality will be waiting for me when I get home, along with the gym and my favorite group exercise classes. For now, the workout wear is packed and I’m ready for my Texas adventures. While I’m not sure what day my next post will appear, I am certain about one thing: I’m not going to worry about it while I’m away.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend so we can all face the new work week with even more energy to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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