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?

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?

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?

Resume Play

Whoops, sorry about leaving you hanging the past couple of days! We’re back in California after a too-short whirlwind of a trip back home. I really missed home and it felt so good to be back. I already can’t wait till we head back in August.. only 53 days! But who’s counting, right?

I ended up having a ton of freelance work to do while I was home but I didn’t let that get in my way of family time. I ended up staying up until 1:30 a.m. one night and 3:15 a.m. the night before my flight to get my stuff done. It was worth the lack of sleep though to get the extra time with my family and friends. I’m also kind of in love with my little niecey..

Jilly Bean Matt

He’s such a good dad 🙂

Jilly Bean Snuggles

Soaking it in

Jilly Bean Snuggles

This made my whole trip ❤

Jilly Bean Snuggles

My girl

Jilly Bean Smiles


Grandpa’s silly!

Jilly Bean

Love those big blue eyes.

How could I not be in love, right? She wasn’t feeling so hot but I snagged all of the snuggles I could get out of her.

And to top off the trip home..

Maryland Steamed Blue Crabs

Wedding Cake Bananas Foster

A little blue crab [obviously the best around] and polishing off the wedding cake with the fam. My sister-in-law flew back to California with us and yesterday we dragged her to a winery yesterday to kick off her first full day here.

Stonestreet Winery

Stonestreet Winery Nathan Marcie

I think it helps that we’re all equally pooped! There will be more running around during the rest of her trip, but we’re taking it easy on her [and ourselves!] to start.

It’s been a really great past few days and I’m looking forward to spending the next few with my SIL and get a little bit back into a routine. Happy Thursday, friends!

Food for Thought

Tell me what you’ve been up to over the past few days!

One Year Already!

I can’t believe it’s been a year already.

While we’ve been together for 10+ years already, and it kind of already felt like we were married, it seems like it was just yesterday that we were cheesing our faces off on our wedding day.

Laughing Wedding

I have no idea what was so funny, but we were pretty much smiling that hard for the entire day!

It’s been a pretty crazy year full of lots of fun, laughter, support, [stress], food, wine, beer, and of course, lots of love.

Acetaia Pedroni di Modena Italy Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Lunch 2

Funky Buddha Brewing Co

Oriole Park at Camden Yards Baltimore

San Francisco California CA

Pacifica Beach

Bear Republic Cheers

Sliver Berkeley California

Jilly Bean

Addendum Fried Chicken Pork Barbecue Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that I could not have made a better decision. Nathan is my best friend, even after having to live in a hotel with him for almost 2 months! If you want to put your marriage to the test, try moving cross-country 😉 I couldn’t have asked for someone more supportive, understanding, and loving in my life.

So as we run around wine country touring vineyards, tasting wine, chomping away at some cheese, and soaking in the sunshine, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have such an amazing person to stand by me, enjoy each bite of food and sip of beer with me, and put up with all of my crazy [just as I put up with his!]

Cheers to 1 year and forever more!

Lake Como Cheers Italy Nathan

Lake Como Cheers Italy

Happy 1st anniversary, Nath! I love you.

Five Things Friday

Happy Valentine’s Day! Have any fun plans for tonight? We have done good stuff coming up in the next week.

  1. My parents will be here in less than a week! I realize I mentioned this yesterday, but can you tell I’m excited?!
  2. I stocked up on our Valentines Day dinner/dessert ingredients yesterday. On the menu:
    Appetizer: Truffle gouda with crackers and balsamic jam [from Italy!] .. Entree: Seared lamb with a cherry port sauce, Moroccan rice with pistachio and dried apricot, and roasted rainbow carrots .. Dessert: Cheesecake squares. But I can’t tell you the flavor because that’s a surprise for Nathan. There may or may not be pictures to share later 😉
  3. I miss the snow a little bit but I have to admit it was awfully nice to be able to take a walk this afternoon when it was 65 degrees.
    Snow DeckSnow Yard Stick
    My parents just got a little dusting.
  4. Nathan surprised me last night by picking me up after work to go out to a point near our place and watch the sunset.
    San Francisco Golden Gate BridgeSunset San Francisco
    It was a really crisp, clear night and such a nice way to end the day. Doesn’t hurt that he’s cute too!
  5. This weekend is Belgian Beer Fest at Max’s. It is, by far, our favorite bar in Baltimore and Belgian Beer Fest is the best. Definitely missing that this weekend. We’re going to try to make up for it this weekend and while my parents are here.. I’ll report back.

Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Tiff at Love, Sweat, & Beers! You’ve won my Peanut Butter & Co. 31 Days of Dark Chocolate Dreams giveaway!

Food for Thought

What are your Valentines Day plans?
Are you being hit by the crazy weather?

What I Ate Wednesday #63: Going ALL Out!

This past weekend was one for the books. We crossed off a couple more places from the bucket list and then some! It was our second-to-last weekend in the city so we had to take advantage as much as possible and it was so much fun.

Of Love and Regret

Love this place. As I mentioned in my bucket list post, we had been here before but wanted to head back once more and I’m so glad we did. The food is always fabulous and the drinks didn’t disappoint either.

Old Mans Hatten Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

The Old Man’s “Hatten” – bourbon, cochi di torino vermouth, aperol, luxardo cherry garnish, rocks

Saison Darkly Stillwater Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Saison Darkly – Brewed with dark malts and burnt sugars then lightly spiced with rose hips, hibiscus, & schisandra berries

Vegetarian Bahn Mi Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Vegetarian Bahn Mi Burrito – seared Asian Pâté (black beans, barley, scallions, & ginger), South Asian slaw, Sriracha sweet chili aioli, fresh basil & cilantro, wrapped in a grilled whole wheat tortilla + a baked sweet potato

Nathan surprised me and sprung for dessert. He usually doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and this one was delicious.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Pumpkin Cheesecake with chocolate sauce and goat cheese caramel

Bluegrass Tavern

Another place that we’ve been to a couple times that didn’t make it on the bucket list post, but I knew we had to go back for Nathan. They make a smoked fried chicken to die for! It’s the perfect combination of smoke and crunch, plus they topped it with crispy brussels!

I was worried my Apple Cobbler cocktail would be too sweet but the bourbon balanced it nicely. I’d highly recommend anything that comes with a bourbon-soaked apple 😉

Apple Cobbler Bourbon Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Apple Cobbler Bourbon Cocktail

Charcuterie Sausage Rabbit Terrine Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Charcuterie & Cheese Plate – Homemade Garlicwurst, Rabbit Black Truffle Terrine, Sharp Cows Milk Cheese, Pickled Okra, & Chutney

Kale Salmon Lemon Shallot Salad Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Kale salad with goat cheese, shallots, fennel, grilled salmon, & lemon vinaigrette

Smoked Fried Chicken Mashed Potatoes Brussels Sprouts Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Smoked Fried Chicken with crispy brussels sprouts over garlic mashed potatoes

Lexington Market

FINALLY! Lexington Market is a Baltimore staple. Everyone I know that doesn’t even live in Baltimore has been to Lexington Market so I had to go and it was so worth it! On top of the crab cake, I also had a couple raw oysters [best I’ve ever had!] and a fresh Berger cookie. The chocolate literally melted in my mouth. You should really order some.. they’re worth every penny [and calorie].

Faidley Seafood Lexington Market Baltimore Maryland MD

Faidley Seafood – Lexington Market

This place is no frills. Just the way it should be.

Faidleys Lexington Market Crab Cake

The famous crab cake from Faidley Seafood with pickled beets and cucumber salad.

The Food Market

This wasn’t an official bucket list place either since I was lucky enough to have a catered work brunch, but when my family wanted to get together for brunch, I figured it would be a good choice. Plus, I need to get all the blue crab I can before we go.

Crab Benedict The Food Market Hampden Baltimore Maryland MD

Crab Benedict – Homemade whole wheat english muffin, crab cakes, poached eggs, & potatoes

I guess you could say I really ate my way through the weekend. Every bite was fabulous and so much fun.. though the best part was all of the time I got to spend with my family. It was the perfect way to break up all of the packing!

Food for Thought

What food is your hometown known for?

Five Things Friday

IT’S HERE!! IT’S FRIDAY! Can you tell I’m excited to sleep in and enjoy my rest day tomorrow? 😉

  1. Despite all of my excitement, the clouds were looking rather ominous this morning. I packed up my rain boots, threw on my rain coat, and ran out of the house to head to work. Without an umbrella. And then it started raining while I was on the bus. Luckily I only have about 5 1/2 blocks of walking to my office once I get off the bus and the rain wasn’t coming down too hard yet.

    Baltimore Maryland MD

    I’m going to miss this view..

  2. I also broke out a new top today.. Target with the win!

    Target

    Oh hey work bathroom! It’s a good thing I’m not awkward at all.

  3. Speaking of new finds, Marshalls came up big again the other day. I may have gone in looking for a bandana for my Halloween costume and a new coat, but I came away with these bad boys.
    Old South Pickled Hot Brussels Sprouts

    Is this considered strange but good?

    They’re seriously delicious and I could probably eat the whole container in one sitting.

  4. Another new find is Ceylon Cinnamon.
    Flavor of the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon Powder

    Mmm this won’t take me long to get through!

    Typically you find Cassia Cinnamon at the grocery store which isn’t even really cinnamon! This Ceylon Cinnamon is from Sri Lanka and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron. As for the difference, you definitely get a slightly spicier scent, especially when you add it to something hot [like coffee or oats!]. That same spicier scent is also something that you taste; it’s almost like a cinnamony-er cinnamon which I love! I would definitely recommend trying it out if you’re a cinnamon-lover like I am. You can buy it here from Amazon.

  5. I can’t believe it’s November 1 already. That means it’s moving month already! And that means this weekend starts the packing. Anyone have boxes? Send em my way! Oh, and bring yourself to help pack too 😉

Food for Thought

Would you try pickled, hot brussels sprouts?

Have you ever tried Ceylon Cinnamon before? Did you notice a difference?

Do you have any fun plans for this weekend?

My Own Metabolism Experiment

Happy Halloween!

On Friday, I mentioned Alysia’s post about her metabolism experiment. After having considered doing the same thing for a while, I decided to give it a shot. Like Alysia, on rest days I find myself wondering if I’m eating too much so I thought this would be a great way to figure it out. I like knowing numbers and of course, I knew that no matter what, I would compare my number to her’s, but hey, that’s just the name of the game sometimes! Knowing that going into it helped me stay out of the comparison trap.

So how did it go..?

Calorie Burn Metabolism Test Polar FT40 HRM

Hmm..

Well, to be completely honest, I was a little disappointed. My day started out strong. I noticed for the first few hours in the morning, I was averaging about 100 calories per hour. I didn’t think that would hold up throughout the day, even though I had some errands to run, but I was definitely surprised by how much it slowed down as the day progressed.

My day looked a little something like this:
7:45 am – Wake up and strap on the heart rate monitor
8:30 am – Time for breakfast!

Sweet Pumpkin Breakfast Scramble Carrots N Cake

Carrots ‘N’ Cake sweet breakfast scramble with pumpkin, topped with nut butters and granola

9:30 am – Haircut
11:00 am – Nail appointment [and a little Target shopping..]
1:00 pm – Lunch and baking time!

Kale Tomato Black Beans Beets Pepper Avocado Cashews Broccoli

Awesome huge salad!

Snickerdoodle White Chocolate Biscotti

Snickerdoodle biscotti with white chocolate drizzle [recipe soon!]

3:00 pm – House stuff.. laundry, dishes, etc.
6:30 pm – Heading out to a fabulous dinner and drinks!

Verde Pizza Margherita Canton Baltimore Maryland MD

Verde Pizza

10:30 pm – Hit the hay! Yes, we’re old farts.
7:45 am – Wake up and take off heart rate monitor.

That is usually about the amount of activity I have an on rest day. So while Alysia found that an average 2000 calorie/day diet is about right for her, I’m wondering what I could do to help speed up my metabolism on rest days. I feel like 1700 calories is a decent amount, but I’m always looking to improve!

I also wonder if it had anything to do with having a harder week with my workouts. I felt like the quality of my workouts last week were not up to par and it makes me think that if I had a stronger week of workouts, that maybe the results would be different. I may try the experiment again in a few months to see if anything has changed, but in the mean time, I’ll continue to work on listening to my body and feeding it right!

Food for Thought

Have you ever considered trying this kind of metabolism experiment?

If you’ve done this before, was the calorie burn higher or lower than you expected?

Any tips on speeding up my metabolism on rest days?

Are you dressing up for Halloween?