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I'm Helen. I'm a 23 y/o fitness enthusiast, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Philly native, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, cousin....

 

The Perfect Weekend?

The Perfect Weekend?

This weekend was just about the most perfect and relaxing summer weekend I could imagine. On Friday night I stayed over at my grandpa’s house with Celeste to spend some time with him and also to spend the night so he wouldn’t be alone. While we were there watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune I decided to try my hand at some homemade no-bake protein bars from Amy’s Healthy Baking blog *recipe and instructions to follow in another post soon :)

Saturday - 

On Saturday morning I headed out bright and early to pick up my best friend Rachel as her train got into Philly from New York, and from there we drove straight down the shore for the remainder of the weekend. Actually funny story interjection here - I stopped at the Starbucks near my house before trekking down to 30th Street Station since it was 7:30am and I need caffeine to survive, and when I pulled up I saw my Dad’s truck outside and knew he would be in there having his bagel and coffee (he literally lives there FYI). We laughed about how we always bump into each other there unplanned and then we turned around and my sister Celeste walked in the door also. TALK ABOUT A FAMILY THAT LIKES STARBUCKS. 

Anyways, Rachel’s extended family were kind enought to let us stay at their absolutely ridiculously beautiful house that sits right on the beach in NJ. We were expecting a crappy day Saturday but still wanted to get away for the heck of it, but by the time we got down the shore and got back from brunch it turned out to be a gorgeous and sunny day and we were able to lay by the pool on and off for the rest of the afternoon.

I would have to say that the highlight of my entire day was lunch, which is saying something when you are lounging by your own private pool and listening to the sound of waves crashing on the shore next to you. 

We were lucky enough to be staying with a bonafide chef, who happened to have a fridge stocked with leftovers from a dinner party the night before. I made myself a salad on the fly - with ripped up romaine, diced roasted beets (homemade), crumbled feta, a dash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and fresh ground pepper. The star of the salad-show was hands down the steak, which was perfectly cooked to a medium rare temperature and covered in her signature steak sauce (which I believe can be found in her cookbook that I have shared below!). 

Seriously, this salad was so good that I had it again the next day and also may have dreamed about it a little bit while I was sleeping. 

At night, Rachel and I did what we always do when we go away together and turned a regular night-in into a home spa. We took turns taking bubble baths in the jet tub and then slathered our faces in The Organic Pharmacy’s fresh scented Honey and Jasmine face mask. Our skin was gloOowingg afterwards. 

Sunday - 

Sunday morning I woke up around 8:30 and decided to scope out local coffee shops on my phone to try to find a place with almond milk. I know, I’m ridiculous. Sunday’s call for bangin’ coffee, what can I say. I ended up hitting the jackpot because I stumbled upon Ventnor No. 7311, a cafe//bakery less than 4 miles away that not only had wonderful coffee options, but also made homemade pastries and .... PALEO GRANOLA. I woke up Rachel and was like “let’s go - I need to go buy this granola.” 

I love that the ingredients were all unsweetened and that it included some pumpkin spice to liven up the flavor. Seriously, this stuff is SO good. I typically purposefully avoide cereal because A.) it almost always has a high carb and sugar content and some sneaky ingredients in there and because B.) I physically cannot eat just one bowl and then it turns into a cereal shitshow. 

Not only was my granola-cereal delicious and all natural, it was completely satisfying thanks to the fat and protein-rich ingredients. Even though it was so yummy I still didn’t feel that compulsive need to eat seconds that I do when I have Cheerios or even Kashi cereals. 

It also served as the perfect fuel for Rachel and my paddle boarding out on the ocean, which involved a lot of flipping over, wave crashing, semi-drowning, and laughing so hard we almost peed our bathing suits. Carrying the massive board back to the house was probably the hardest part of the whole ordeal. But we also got to lay down on the board and float in silence for a while - like I said, perfect beach weekend.

The rest of the day involved more wave frolicking, pool dipping, steak salads, iced lattes, and a little bit of blogging on my part (while Rachel the chronic napper napped away). This was my blog spot for the afternoon: 

An outdoor shower before heading home was the perfect end to a short but much needed beach trip. I’m sure the rest of the night will involve an hour or so of driving and then some grocery shopping and prep for the week ahead. 

What was the highlight of your weekends?! I would love for you to share below :)

Asian (ish) Chicken Salad

Asian (ish) Chicken Salad

Friday Favorites: Spotlight on Ánimo Juice

Friday Favorites: Spotlight on Ánimo Juice