The Next Chapter

Just less than 2 years ago, I shared with you my excitement and nerves as I announced Nathan and my big move across the country to California. As we approach our 2 year anniversary in the Bay Area, I’m excited to announce that we are going to be moving back to Baltimore! In a month, no less!

Oakland Bay Bridge

Oakland Bay Bridge on our first day in California.

Our time in California has truly been great. It was scary moving out here on one income, not knowing anyone, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. There were a lot of smiles, laughs, butterflies, and tears along the way, but I can confidently say we did it. I’ve never been one for change; I’m a creature of habit and change scares the crap out of me. But I quit my 9 to 5, moved with my husband across the country, made some friends, and started a brand new career.

Nathan Mt Tam

We conquered Mt. Tam!

My experience here as a personal trainer has made me a stronger and more easy-going person. Sure, I knew how to work out on my own, but starting as a personal trainer in a place where I had no network was tough! And you can bet I don’t have a set schedule; not day-to-day, not week-to-week. I’ve built up to more than 20 sessions per week and I’ll definitely miss my clients and co-workers. It’s going to be tough to replace my work family.

Teresa Brittany Truve Oakland

Love this lady!

Marcus

Marcus and I have spent many bright and early mornings training together.

Over the past week, as I’ve broken the news to all of my clients, I’ve gotten some amazing responses that has made me feel like this is the right job and industry for me. I started out flying by the seat of my pants and I never thought people would tell me they’d miss having me as a trainer! It makes me confident that I’ll find my place as a trainer in Baltimore.

It’s certainly going to be a whirlwind of a month packing up and hitting the road. Did I mention we’re driving this time?! It’s going to be a hell of a trip; we’re headed down to L.A. and San Diego for a few days to start, then over to the Grand Canyon, and taking a southern route back to B-More. We’re absolutely stopping in Memphis for some BBQ, too! If you have any suggestions on any must-see [or must eat.. or drink] places, I’m all ears!

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California

Soaking it in.

I’m excited to move back to Baltimore and to be with family and friends again, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

Nathan Erin Don Brittany Mt Tam

The never-ending hike.

Jessie Brittany Wine Country Napa

I definitely foresee some wine country vacations in our future.

As I look back on my 1 year in California post, it still remains true. Nathan is my best friend, California’s pretty darn cool, and home is where the heart is.

Mom Dad Brittany Berkeley

They’re not excited at all that we’re moving home!

Nathan Brittany Sliver Berkeley

Cheers!

Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine

To the next chapter.

And with that, it’s time to scratch things off of our California Bucket List! You can be there will be plenty of pictures on Instagram so don’t forget to follow!

Food for Thought

What would be on your bucket list?
Any suggestions for cross-country driving?

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PB&J Pie Parfait {Recipe ReDux}

Oh, hiiiii there! Long, loooong time, no talk. I knew I’d make it back here one of these days. It’s been an interesting and exciting past month around these parts. I’ve happily started to find a groove with my schedule, had a great trip home, spent some time with my favorite little girl [.. and the rest of my family], and spent some QT with the hubs.

Jilly Bean Brittany Piano

Playing piano with my girl.

Jilly Bean Brittany

Learning colors.

Mom Dad Nathan Brittany Baltimore Orioles

Happy to go to an Orioles game with 3 of my favorite people!

Tilden Regional Park Nimitz Trail

During Nathan and my 8 mile hike on Nimitz Trail.

One of my favorite things to do with Nathan is take a walk to the farmers’ market every Saturday. The fruit we’ve been getting lately has been out of this world and I knew I had to put some of it to good use for this month’s Recipe ReDux.

Tucked in a crust, nothing says love from the oven like pie. Whether it’s a twist on the all-American apple pie or a traditional recipe from your home country, give a healthy makeover to your favorite savory or sweet pie recipe.

This dessert came together in just a matter of minutes and is the perfect single-serving size. And the best part? Aside from the peanut butter, of course, is the secret ingredient, chia seeds. They serve as a thickener for the filling and are also a great source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids, protein, nutrients that help support bone health, such as calcium and magnesium. Happy dessert-ing!

Single Serving PB&J Pie Parfait

Serves 1
PB&J Pie Parfait | Barr & Table

Ingredients

  • 5 mini or 1 1/2 regular Reese’s Oreos
  • 3/4 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seed
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 strawberries; sliced

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine the cashew milk, chia seed, and peanut butter. Set aside in a small bowl for 1-2 hours and allow to thicken.
  2. After the peanut butter mix has thickened, place the Oreos and coconut oil in a food processor and blend until they come together.
  3. Press 1/3 of the mix into a small glass and top with 1/2 of the peanut butter mixture and 1/2 of the strawberry slices.
  4. Sprinkle another 1/3 of the Oreo mix on top with the other 1/2 of the peanut butter mixture and the other sliced strawberry.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining Oreo mix on top and dig in!

Nutritional Information
270 Calories / 18g Fat / 21g Carbs / 7g Fiber / 7g Sugar / 9g Protein

Food for Thought

What is your favorite pie?

And We’re Back

Have you entered my Peanut Butter & Co. giveaway?

Well, it was a pretty fantastic 2 weeks at home, but today we make our way back to San Francisco. I just have to share a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.

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Dad Nathan Brittany Mom

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Clearly my world revolved around my girl!

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite part of a trip home?

What I’ve Learned From 1 Year in California

Happy [waddle] day after Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and were able to spend time with your friends and family. I ate entirely too much [who doesn’t?] and I fully intend on doing the same thing tonight!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Trust me. There was WAY more food!

The Friday after Thanksgiving last year, Nathan and I packed up and shipped out to California. Thanksgiving was certainly an emotional day and I can’t believe 1 year has already passed. It’s pretty ironic that we’re back in Baltimore this week but it definitely feels good to be home. Over the past year we’ve had our ups and our downs. Nathan and I have had so many new experiences together that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve learned so much in that time.

  1. Nathan is my best friend.
    We couldn’t have done this without each other. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and strongest support systems. Moving away from all of your family and friends into an unknown world is scary and trying. Like I said, we’ve had our ups and downs, but ultimately, this experience has made us stronger and grow closer.
    Nathan Brittany Dolores Park
  2. Making friends is tough!
    For real, I don’t know how kids do it. There has been a lot of trial and error and I’ve had a few people stick. I’m not really sure why they put up with me, but they do!
  3. I’ve done a lot of growing up.
    I haven’t had much of a choice. Before Athleta and personal training, I spent a lot of time at home by myself. If there’s one thing that really makes you think about what you’re doing with your life, it’s spending hours of time alone. Sure, I may still question what I really want to do when I grow up, but hey, I’m only 27. I still have some time to figure that out.
  4. California is a pretty cool place to live.
    Nathan and I have gone on so many mini road trips and fun adventures that we couldn’t have done in Maryland. From wineries to beaches right around the corner to incredible hikes to eating our way through the city, we’re certainly not taking our surroundings for granted.
    Mt Tamalpais
  5. Home is where the heart is.
    After everything is said and done, I love just being home. Every time we come home, it feels like we never left. The time that I’ve been able to spend with my family and friends is unbeatable. I cherish every minute with my grandparents and it’s so fun watching Jilly grow. Staying with my parents has been fun too; any extra time I can get with them, I’ll take!
    Jilly Bean

It’s been a hell of a year and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for us. I have a good feeling about 2015; it should definitely be another learning year but I think now that we have our feet set a bit more, things will fall into place.

Food for Thought

Does your family have a second night of Thanksgiving?
Have you moved far from your family before? What did you learn from the experience?

We’re Home!

It was a pretty uneventful weekend after a looong week last week. Saturday we caught up on some much-needed r&r and got ready to hit the road.. or sky. Whichever you prefer. It was a laundry, packing, eat-everything-in-the-fridge kinda day.

Yesterday was more relaxing than a typical flying day too. Our flight wasn’t until 4:45 p.m. so we actually got to sleep in, hit the gym, and have a quiet morning. It was nice to be able to take our time and not get up and rush out the door. That said, we landed in Baltimore at 1 a.m. EST. Nathan and I didn’t mind so much because it was 10 p.m. for us. My parents, on the other hand, are the best. They dragged themselves out the door to pick us up dark and early! Let’s be honest though.. it wasn’t so much dragging as it was bouncing from excitement 😉

I couldn’t be more excited for this trip home. I can’t wait to see some of my favorites..

Jilly Bean Poppy

The sweetest picture ever.

I’m looking forward to stuffing my face with my entire family on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Dinner Deep Fried Turkey Slicing

There will be LOTS of deep fried turkey carving!

I’m so, so happy to be able to be there when my cousin gets married on Saturday!

Nathan Me Nicole Kirk Awkward Family Photo

My favorite picture of the 4 of us..

And, of course, I can’t wait to celebrate my little bean’s first birthday.

Jilly Bean

Look how teeny she was!

Jilly Bean Walking

Can’t believe it’s already been a year..

Ironically enough, we’re going to be celebrating our 1 year in California while we’re back in Baltimore.. but I’m ok with that. It’s going to be a good 2 weeks, my friends. And it’s a great way to start my week, for sure. No meal planning this week.. it’s a play-by-ear till Thursday. Fine. By. Me.

Food for Thought

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, are you able to be with your family?

Scenes from the Weekend {10/13}

Hi friends, happy Monday! What a weekend it was.. ours was pretty fantastic, aside from a couple Orioles losses. We kicked it off with Friday night pizza, beer, and baseball.

Sliver Berkeley Pizza Beer Baltimore Orioles ALCS

At Sliver, every happy hour drink comes with a sliver of pizza and Friday’s had fresh corn, chile pasilla, mozzarella, feta, lime, and garlic olive oil. It was so good!

Saturday was filled with a little work, lots more baseball, and a dinner date with gelato.

Lush Gelato Mascarpone Balsamic Dark Chocolate

He was so excited that he grabbed the cone and ran! What’s not to be excited about mascarpone balsamic gelato with dark chocolate chunks in a fresh cinnamon waffle cone?

Yesterday was pretty awesome; we’d been talking about going for a serious hike for a while but hadn’t made it yet. We woke up early and drove out to Mt. Tamalpais for a 6-miler with spectacular views of the whole bay area.

Mt Tamalpais Nathan

The start of the hike.

It seemed like no matter which path we chose, it ended up being the more difficult; steep inclines that seemed to never end, lots of steps, and huge rocks. It was absolutely the most difficult hike we’ve ever done. That said, we had amazing views the entire way up and it was so, very worth it.

Mt Tamalpais

Over 2500 ft up!

Mt Tamalpais

So worth the sore legs!

Mt Tamalpais Nathan

Living on the edge 😉

Mt Tamalpais Lookout

This is normal..

Mt Tamalpais Nathan Brittany

WE MADE IT!

Mountain Home Inn Mt Tamalpais Sierra Nevada

Well deserved brews with a view!

We were totally pooped after our early morning and sweat-breaking hike, but the soreness and drained feeling is one of the best knowing that it’s from such a great experience. We’ll definitely be heading back to Mt. Tam in the future.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Rosemary lamb sausages, roasted kabocha, and asparagus
MondayBasil lime chicken with mushrooms and green beans
Tuesday – Leftovers
WednesdayTandoori-style chicken burgers with potato wedges and side salad
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Out!

Food for Thought

What’s the best place you’ve been on a hike?
What’s on your menu this week?

We’re Going to the ALCS!

If this weekend wasn’t already pretty fantastic, the Orioles swept the Tigers and are going to the ALCS! I may or may not have been jumping up and down. And Nathan may or may not have picked me up as I was yelling “ALCS! ALCS! ALCS!” in celebration. It’s a good thing he’s just as weird as I am..

The weather was absolutely incredible over the weekend. Actually, it really has been for at least the past week, but Saturday was especially beautiful. Saturday was also Yom Kippur but I was not about to let fasting get in the way of enjoy the weather. That said, I really tried to pack in the calories Friday night! I loaded up on beer, brick oven baked chicken wings, salmon salad, a little pizza, and of course, pumpkin pie gelato.

Baltimore Orioles AL East Division Champions Smoked Ale

Cheers to the Orioles!

Jupiter Berkeley Baked Garlic Chicken Wings Homemade Ranch

The homemade ranch really kicks it up a notch.

Jupiter Berkeley Salmon Salad Xanthia Pizza Beer

I stole all of the warm ricotta off of Nathan’s pizza 😉

Pumpkin Pie Gelato Almare Berkeley

I had to go with the seasonal flavor.

We also stopped for a bit to listen to the awesome live music on the street. They had a pianist, drummer, trumpeter, and clarinetist. So bizarre and so wonderful.

Berkeley California Live Music

Fabulous live music on the streets of Berkeley!

Saturday we spent much of the day at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. I made a huge effort to explore the area when we first got there and we took a walk over to the Sutro Baths. It was worth all of my strength that went into it for such gorgeous views.

Ocean Beach Sutro Baths San Francisco 2

Stunning views.

Ocean Beach Sutro Baths San Francisco

Couldn’t ask for more beautiful weather.

Ocean Beach Sutro Baths San Francisco Nathan Brittany

We made it!

I was also rewarded by taking a nap on the beach afterward. I pretty much laid down and didn’t move for hours and it was glorious! After a few hours, we made our way back home where I took another nap. I swear, I have no idea how people ever fast. I need me some food! And after 23 hours, Nathan convinced me to break the fast.. with a shot of bourbon. Usually in my family we break with a shot of scotch, but bourbon was all we had. What a terrible problem to have, right? Then we went for dinner!

Harvest Chef Salad Sam Adams Oktoberfest Pappys Berkeley

I needed to get my hand in for size reference.

Harvest Chef Salad Sam Adams Oktoberfest Pappys Berkeley CA

Worth a second view!

You bet that salad bowl was completely empty along with more cornbread for Nathan’s salad. Whoops 😉 I was a happy camper after all of that food though.

Yesterday was pretty quiet with the exception of the excitement of the Orioles game! It was a sports day around here and I had a work meeting [and got to check out the new equipment!] Nathan cooked dinner while I was gone, so I figured I could work my magic with the rest of the week’s menu..

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Cajun chicken with Israeli salad
Monday – Chicken and easy broccoli stir fry
TuesdayIndian-style chicken satay with curried cashew sauce
Wednesday – Leftovers
Thursday20 minute Thai basil chicken with lemongrass rice bowl
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

There’s also a chance I’ll make these roasted sweet potato black bean burgers to have in the freezer. Don’t they look delicious?!

Food for Thought

If you were fasting or even had to fast, what would be your break fast meal?
What’s on your menu this week?

Taking a Walk Break

It seems to me, we don’t always realize how run down we get until we give ourselves time to breathe. Trust me when I say I was more than well aware of my need for my rest day on Saturday. My workouts on Thursday and Friday left a bit to be desired and I just felt myself trying to plug along to finish out the week. Friday night, I met Nathan and some of his coworkers for happy hour and then we had possibly the best Chinese meal we’d ever had!

Braised Chinese Pork Shoulder

Five Spice Hot and Spicy Pork Shoulder

Chinese Chicken Clay Pot

Chicken Clay Pot

Nathan got some serious side eye when he ordered the pork shoulder after saying “I know, you want healthy.” So healthy.. right. It was darn tasty though! We had an easy and quiet Saturday morning before deciding to head into the city. We chose a new spot to check outNoe Valleyand we loved it! We had a great lunch at Savor, went for a nice walk around a few blocks, and stopped for a little sweet treat on our way to Dolores Park.

Savor Granada Salmon Salad

Fabulous salad with anjou pear, roasted red pepper, caramelized walnuts, and a huge hunka salmon.

Almond Milk Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt Cheesequake

Almond milk peanut butter, chocolate, and the cheesiest cheesecake froyo I’ve ever had!

Mission Dolores Park San Francisco

Busy, beautiful day at Dolores Park

Nathan Brittany Dolores Park

Enjoying the beautiful day!

After a pretty relaxing day and quiet night, I thought I’d be roaring to go yesterday. Turns out my body was still craving lots of rest. I slept until 9! Usually I’m lucky to make it to 7 so I’d say that was a huge success and took it as a sign when I was still not feeling up for hitting the gym. We had another quiet morning and then went for a nice 4 mile walk by the water with a lunch break halfway. I definitely had Lindsay’s post about taking walk breaks on my mind.. it’s nice to have that reminder sometimes.

Dungeness Crab Seabreeze Berkeley

My favorite dungeness crab I’ve had yet!

Berkeley Marina

Another sunny day!

After a quick trip to the grocery store and a little food prep, we’re set for the week! It was another great weekend and it just reminds me how lucky I am to be married to my best friend.

And a super exciting side note, we’re going home for Thanksgiving! Actually, we’re going home for a whole 2 weeks so we can celebrate Thanksgiving, my cousin’s wedding, and Jilly’s first birthday. I’m beyond excited for it and had to keep it a secret for a few days until my cousin got her wedding RSVP from us. But the word’s out now!

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Leftovers
MondayThai basil turkey and lemongrass cauli rice bowls
TuesdaySmokey chipotle turkey burgers with Mexican corn fritters and side salad
Wednesday – Leftovers
ThursdaySesame carrot noodles with chicken and broccoli
Friday – Yom Kippur dinner –> matzah ball soup, brisket, potatoes, and roasted brussels
Saturday – BREAK FAST! I don’t care what I eat 😉

Food for Thought

Do you ever had one rest day turn into two?

Link Love #52

Morning, friends! I think I conveniently forgot to mention that my first training session on Friday went great! I was able to get a good baseline and do some basic workouts but I warned her that I’d be kicking her butt soon enough.. she’s in for it this week 😉

Yesterday was another whirlwind of a day; I got a great workout in, went to work, and had just enough time to shove a monster salad in my face before heading to a meeting with the owner of Truve and a few other trainers. Lots of goal-setting was done and plans of attack were made. I’m really looking forward to getting my training career up and running. If you’re in the bay area and looking for a trainer, hit. me. up! But if you’re looking for some butt-kicking workouts and some more awesome posts, hit up the links below.

Health

5 Unhealthy Health Foods with The Hummusapien She Rocks Fitness

5 Unhealthy Health Foods with The Hummusapien – She Rocks Fitness

5 UNHEALTHY Health Foods with The Hummusapien – She Rocks Fitness
8 Painfully Obvious Signs of Dietary Destruction – Butter Nutrition
5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight – The Real Life RD
Food Intolerances in Athletes – Understanding the Performance Impact – Run to the Finish
Why Ice Cream Isn’t Evil and Why You Should Eat Real Bacon – Badass Fitness

Fitness

Delts of Doom Workout 5 Best Exercises for Sculpted Shoulders Trainer Paige

Delts of Doom Workout 5 Best Exercises for Sculpted Shoulders – Trainer Paige

Delts of Doom Workout: 5 Best Exercises for Sculpted Shoulders! – Trainer Paige
Med Ball Core Workout – Pumps & Iron
The Best Kettlebell Back Exercises for Women – Lifting Revolution
3 Ways to Modify Pull Ups – Strong Brees
Compound Crusher Workout – Fitnessista

Food

Baltimore's Berger Cookies Copycat Recipe Tidy Mom

Baltimore’s Berger Cookies copycat recipe at TidyMom.netBaltimore’s Berger Cookies Copycat Recipe – Tidy Mom

Baltimore’s Famous Berger Cookies Copycat Recipe – Tidy Mom
Gluten Free (Paleo & Vegan) Pumpkin and Fig Bread Pudding. Plus Why We Might Need Carbs During Fall Season – Cotter Crunch
Fall Race Schedule + #TrainingBites {Almond Butter Cream} – Love & Zest
Stove Top Roasted Garlic – Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Healthy Blueberry Cobbler – Fit Foodie Finds

Food for Thought

What are some of your favorite posts from the past week?

Five Things Friday {8/29}

I figure this post is better late than never and this week has been awesome so I thought I’d share a few highlights.

  1. Mom and I got to spend time with Jilly Bean. She’s the best.
    Jilly Bean

    Look at those big blue eyes!

    Jilly Bean Mom

    She looooves her Bubbie!

  2. We got to head to our favorite bar, Max’s, where I had one of my favorite beers, Southern Tier Pumking Ale. And we spent time with my “cousy from another Bube” as she put it 😉
    Nathan Me Nicole Kirk Awkward Family Photo

    Awkward family photo..

    Nicole Me

    That’s better!

    Maxs Southern Tier Pumking Ale

    Smells like biscuits!

  3. I went to a special lunch with my parents.. CRABS!!

    Baltimore Maryland Old Bay Blue Crabs

    When in Maryland..

  4. Spent some time at the happiest place on earth.

    Nathan Dad Me Baltimore Orioles

    Another awkward family photo.. that’s what happens when I say “PICTURE TIME!”

  5. And extra Jilly Bean time!!
    Jilly Bean Cheerios

    She was digging those Cheerios.

    Jilly Bean Matt

    With her papa 🙂

    Jilly Bean Me

    We were super excited about the place mat!

  6. Plus an extra.. Mom’s home cooking. Love it.

    Salmon Acorn Squash Salad

    I could eat like this everyday!

I can’t believe it’s already Friday and this weekend is going to be NUTSO with wedding shenanigans but I’m so looking forward to it. Have a great weekend!!

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite part of going home?