A Learn to Luv Veggie Challenge success!


The *star* of my lunch was broccoli (never thought I’d say that)!  To make my standard steamed broc more interesting, I mixed it with some cream cheese, salt, and pepper (you could also use Laughing Cow).  The result was creamy, dreamy green deliciousness!


The rest of lunch wasn’t too shabby, either.  🙂


I had an everything bagel with mashed kidney beans, mustard, and greens:


And corn on the cob (one veggie I don’t think needs any jazzing up!):


It’s Official


I’m officially done with my full-time job and my desk is now Operation Beautiful central!


Let the book writing begin!  🙂


A few of you have asked how I plan to stay motivated now that I don’t have a "real job."  First of all, I’d like to point out that writing this book totally is a "real job" and it will probably require more weekly hours than my old job EVER did.


That being said, I know what you mean…. I don’t have to answer to anyone (except my publisher), meet daily deadlines (just large ones), and I can totally sleep in if I want to (although I’d have to make it up the work later!).  Basically, my days of answering to "the man" are over… for now.  :)  I’m going to enjoy this while it lasts!


Anyway….  I’ve worked from home for two years, so writing the book isn’t a huge lifestyle transition.  I think the key to success are:


  • Establish a "work zone," which cannot be your couch or bed.
  • Establish "working hours," which for me will pretty much be Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 5:00 PM and half days on Saturday or Sunday (with breaks for running!).
  • Never turn on the TV during the day… ever.
  • Write a list of "Must Do’s" and "Want to Do’s" each morning to identify your major goals for the day.


I suppose these tips could be applied to studying or blogging, too! 


My biggest weaknesses?  Twitter and reading other blogs.  Sometimes, I get sucked in and blow sooooo much time.  🙁


GymSoap Winners!


The winners of the GymSoap giveaway are….


  • Stacey: My dirtiest workout would have to be when I did my 10k trail race the day after it rained..by the time I got done with that race, the back of my legs and my precious clean-shiny-white running shoes were a MESS!! But the sweat was totally worth it because I won second place in my age group!
  • Ana: My dirtiest workout was DEFINITELY a few summers ago when i did some mission work in the Yucatan. The kids down there LOVE to play soccer, which was a blast…until we learned that there would be ZERO running water for 5 days. Baby wipes couldn’t handle me.
  • Sarah: My dirtiest workout would have to be when I was in Basic Training in the Military. We had to run through streams, climb, low crawl through mud and march all the way back to our bunks. This was an entire day event. Everyone was covered in mud and dirt except around their eyes!
  • Rachel: I am seriously crossing my fingers for this stuff, it looks awesome and just what a need after every single spin class — I’m always drenched in sweat!


Congrats!  E-mail me your address, you dirty girls! 🙂



  • Evan Thomas October 1, 2009, 12:31 pm

    I know if I worked at home on my comp I’d get easily distracted. Looks like you’re organized enough to avoid that pitfall.
    Love the corn on the cob, it makes it feel like Summer’s not far behind us

  • Jordan October 1, 2009, 12:31 pm

    Congrats. I’d never have the guts to quit my stable, full time job. I’d probably be juggling both and kill myself in the process.

    • caitlin October 1, 2009, 12:46 pm

      well, i couldnt quit until i have the financial means to do so. money comes first, unfortunately.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 1, 2009, 12:33 pm

    Being self-employed is so rewarding and while I am sure there will be stressful times, it will all be worth it!! reading blogs would be the biggest distraction for me, too. Maybe I will be able to eat broccoli if I make it with laughing cow!

  • Priyanka October 1, 2009, 12:35 pm

    Congratulations to the winners!

    I really like the idea of having a ‘Must do’ and ‘want to do’list because I get really lost in my own to-do list cuz it is that long!! Great tip thanks!!

  • christie, honoring health October 1, 2009, 12:39 pm

    Great idea on that must do/want to do list. I think I can implement that idea into my 9 to 5 as well as my writing and beading goals.

  • Shelly October 1, 2009, 12:42 pm

    Ooh, I have a good recipe (actually a link to a recipe) to share with you for your learn to love veggie challenge. I used to HATE Brussels Sprouts until I started cooking them this way- but if I have a bowl of these in front of me, I will eat the whole bowl! The trick is cutting them in half and cooking them until they brown, then topping them with a little cheese (I like the saltiness of parmesan). I think it lets them caramelize so that they taste less bitter- and everything is better with a little cheese on top. 🙂
    Good job on cleaning up your office. It looks beautiful! My study/work tip that worked really well for me when I was writing a novel (it’s unpublished, but I wrote in in a month as part of the NANOWRIMO (national novel writer’s month) challenge) is to set up little rewards for when you meet big weekly (or monthly, or word limit, or whatever) goals. Mine included a new book to read, pizza for dinner, a mini bottle of champagne for when I finished the whole novel, etc… When you are working so hard and buckling down, it’s good to acknowledge that, and pamper yourself a little bit.

    • caitlin October 1, 2009, 12:46 pm

      a rewards system is a great idea!!!

  • Stephanie October 1, 2009, 12:48 pm

    ah i like the idea of the cream cheese topping, very clever! sounds like are still going to be a busy lady, however you seem to be so self-motivated so i know you will stay on track! 🙂 quick question for you – since you are self employed now do you worry about health insurance being more costly, not having a 401k, etc..? just questions ive always thought about (i’m a nerdy cpa, sorry!) so wanted to get your take….?

    • caitlin October 1, 2009, 12:51 pm

      please don’t shoot me but… i dont have a 401K. 🙁 so that’s not an issue. (yes, i know it should be!!)

      and re: health insurance, i have insurance thru nov 1 from my work, and then i’ll be paying through the nose for an extremely minimal plan (i.e. if i break my arm, they will cast it).

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous now October 1, 2009, 12:51 pm

    I totally know what you mean about the ‘money comes first’ statement you made in the comments section. I would love to go part time from my job and do other things but unfortunately that is not an option right now. I think a lot of people would love to be in your shoes right now girl. Keep your goals in mind though… that’ll help you get out of bed in the morning! 🙂

    Fun mascara giveaway over at my blog today.. love it!

  • RhodeyGirl October 1, 2009, 1:02 pm

    I get sucked in too. To the point where at times I bring my laptop out to the living room and go back to my desk without it. If it is sitting there staring at me then I am tempted to play on it.

  • Lee October 1, 2009, 1:06 pm

    I thought upon first glance that your post was titled “Self Enjoyed” which I guess makes sense too!

  • Runeatrepeat October 1, 2009, 1:20 pm

    Twitter gets me all the time too!

  • Courtney October 1, 2009, 1:44 pm

    I am a stay at home person now that my company closed down and I am studying for my ACE Personal Training Certification. I agree a schedule is the best way to handle the day…otherwise I could fritter away tons of time on blogs, soap operas, etc. I also had to create a new eating schedule for myself, that was hard to adjust to. I finally have it down to a science, and I look forward to changing it up again once I am a full time trainer!
    Good luck on kicking off the Operation Beautiful book extravaganza!!

    Adventures in Tri-ing

  • Jenna October 1, 2009, 1:48 pm

    i absolutely love broccoli!
    i love the new operation beautiful working space 🙂

  • Matt October 1, 2009, 1:52 pm

    Twitter gets me all the time. Sometimes I am trucking along with my work and Twitter pops on the screen 😉

  • Laura October 1, 2009, 1:57 pm

    What an awesome idea to put broccili and laughing cow together! So simple and easy!

    Love your new office look! Good motivation to get me to straighten up mine!

  • Leah @ L4L October 1, 2009, 2:02 pm

    I would have a hard time being self-employed and not answering to anyone. Being unemployed for 6 months, I was the laziest bum ever and it was fabulous. Oops.

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale October 1, 2009, 2:03 pm

    Also try sprinkling your broccoli with a little parmesan… so tasty!

  • brandi October 1, 2009, 2:05 pm

    congrats! That is so exciting 🙂

  • mikey October 1, 2009, 2:08 pm

    that’s really cool! congratulations :)can’t wait for the book.

  • Naomi (onefitfoodie) October 1, 2009, 2:11 pm

    ohh i get sooo caught up reading all the blogs! it can take up HOURS!!

    congrats on your new job sounds awesome!

    oh and that brocolli sounds delish! I love laughing cows melted on veggies like that!!

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) October 1, 2009, 2:17 pm

    Caitlin, this is such an exciting venture! It does take a strong commitment to work from home, but you’ve already done that, so this will be old hat for you! Enjoy this wonderful, creative process that you are embarking on!

    Btw, broccoli and cream cheese?! You’re a geniius!

  • Frannie October 1, 2009, 2:31 pm

    Hey Caitlin,

    I love the new format. And congrats on your awesome book deal. I’m wondering if you could talk about how being self-employed will effect your insurance (health, dental, etc) and if you lost benefits when you left your full-time job. I think a lot of people would be interested in this because it’s such a hot topic in the news right now. Thanks!

  • Julie October 1, 2009, 3:23 pm

    I’d totally lose all focus if I worked from home. I can’t do what you do! I’d be turing on the TV and eating myself out of house and home on the reg.
    In the first pic of your sammie, the beans look like corned beef! Haha…to me at least!

  • Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now October 1, 2009, 4:06 pm

    What a great way to get your broccoli in! I’ll be trying that one, I’m sure.

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama October 1, 2009, 5:20 pm

    What an exhilarating feeling – to quit your job and be your own boss! You must be dancing inside! 🙂 Congratulations again – it really is amazing to see an individual’s dream become reality!

  • Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) October 1, 2009, 5:39 pm

    Yeah, I get stuck into The Vortex- reading other blogs for the most part. I go through Twitter and Facebook “binges” too 😀 Hee hee!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair October 1, 2009, 5:57 pm

    Your desk is SO nice and organized!! I wish mine looked like that for more than five minutes. It never takes long after I clean it for it to become a mess again!

    I think I would LOVE to be self-employed. I already do freelance part-time and I get to work from home sometimes with my job so I know I have the discipline to do it. I am the most productive early in the morning, when I’m in my pajama’s and have a steaming cup of coffee in front of me, so I think I could rock the self-employed thing, which is also totally my dream for one day!

    Anyways, congrats again!

  • Meghan@traveleatlove October 1, 2009, 7:05 pm

    SO exciting for you! You are a runner, so you will definitely find the drive and self-discipline to be awesome at being self employed!

  • ash @ on the rocks October 1, 2009, 7:13 pm

    congrats on all the success! it will be hard keeping focused at home, but at long as you stay organized and diligent, you will have no problems!

  • SBC October 1, 2009, 10:06 pm

    even though i like what i do, i totally envy that you were able to quit your real job. what a luxury! good luck with the book writing. i’m sure the final product will be great.

  • Lizzy October 1, 2009, 11:43 pm

    must do and want to do. i need to start doing that. my to do lists always seem to get so overloaded, so this i think will really help! i Love your new work space!

  • Ellen Collis October 2, 2009, 3:09 pm

    I’m self-employed too! So many people just don’t quite get it. I’m working A TON more and harder than I ever did with a “real” job. It’s funny when my sister or boyfriend asks me to do all these “small” errands for them during the day. As much as they SAY they know that I have a lot on my plate, I don’t think they truly believe that I do. Oh well!


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