Where Have You Been!?!?!

…hello?

…….is this thing on?

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering where the heck I have been.

I cannot tell you exactly how much I wish I had a good answer to that question… but I do not. 

By now, you are probably well aware of how much I love my quotes, right? One of my favorites (I say that about all of the ones that I share with you guys, but that makes sense, right? I should only share the best ones! Who cares for blah motivational quotes? Not I.) Anyway, back to what I was getting at– one of my very favorites is this gem: “Sometimes, when things feel like they are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.” I think that is exactly what has happened to me in recent weeks.

I fell off of the bandwagon. Big time. Suddenly, every moment of every day was occupied. I couldn’t bring myself to let go of the things that were most important to me– time at home, spending time with friends… (heck, even sleeping!), but in making time for all of those things, the most important thing– my healthy habits and routines were tossed to the wayside.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I suddenly gained inordinate amounts of weight, or lost control, but I just didn’t have the same focus that I had maintained so diligently for so many months.

So what was the problem??

It’s a complicated question with about a zillion answers, but by and large, I think the transition into my new job is at the root of it. I am so grateful to have a wonderful job with fun people, but just like any major life change, it came with a hefty learning curve. I didn’t have time to myself anymore, nor did I have tons of extra energy. (Isn’t it ironic that while eating healthfully and getting your rear-in-gear with exercise actually BOOST your energy, they’re the first things to go when you’re feeling zapped?)

I could feel it happening throughout the weeks. As my schedule was changing, so was my diet. And my gym routine. And my priorities. And (not to be dramatic), but so was my life.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

In putting my work and that transition first, I lost track of the things that were helping me to become a stronger,  healthier, happier person. A better person, really.

To be perfectly honest, that’s a scary revelation to come to. A scary one, but a defining one.

Please, let it be known that this isn’t just about the gym. It’s about so much more than that…

Let’s take the blog for example!

I love to write. In my younger days, I would write constantly– everything from poems to short stories to plays… but as I got older and my days got a little bit busier, I stopped making the time for it. And then, this really cool and nifty thing called the internet popped into my mind and one day, I said to myself, “Hey, self. You should start a blog!” And so I did. (Granted, if you read my post about how this whole thing began, there was much more to it than that), but it was a way for me to force myself to write again. This blog was a way for me to hold myself accountable for my choices (diet choices AND life choices) and to communicate with a whole new world of people.

Writing for this blog reminded me how much I love to write. It reminded me of what a big difference sharing things with friends can make in holding yourself to high standards and how much fun it can be to have a creative outlet.

But then, I ran out of time. Come to find out, getting home from work late means eating late which means going to bed late which means sleeping in late which means… heywaitaminute… where’s the “which means taking the time to write a blog post?” Oh right. It’s NOWHERE.

So I didn’t.

And then, suddenly, junk food crept into the picture. Business trip food crept into the picture. Excuses for skipping the gym were my second language.. “it was too busy!” <–OK, to be fair, that one was actually 100% legit for some of that time!, it was too late, I didn’t have a buddy to go with, I was too tired, I was too achey, I had too many things to do, I had to get up early, my alarm didn’t go off, the dog ate my homework, I had to rescue a cat that was stuck in a tree. Blah. Blah. Blah.

So I wouldn’t go.

Well guess what guys. Brittany’s back.

It’s time to jump back in the saddle. It won’t be easy. In fact, my schedule is even messier now than it was throughout the last month and a half, but my will is back.

It doesn’t take too terribly long to see the negative results of leading a more sedentary, less healthful life. It’s sad and slow and tiring. I don’t want to do that anymore.

When my “health kick” began last June, I promised myself that I wouldn’t regress, but life happens, right?

But I have recommitted. I have finally promised myself to stop letting inconvenience stop me from doing the things that I know are so incredibly important.

Tonight, I went to the gym. I “ran” on the treadmill and pedaled my heart out on the elliptical. It wasn’t a great workout, it wasn’t particularly lengthy, but it was so nice to be there. (Also, I think the crowds have FINALLY TAPERED OFF. Good gracious.) Sara Bareilles cooed motivational words to me and I powered through.

Soon, the 70-degree days will lend themselves to my outside runs and I couldn’t be happier about that because, boy, could I use some springtimey loveliness.

Guess what? In August, I’m running that half marathon that I signed up for waaaay back when. And I’m going to be stronger than ever before. In every way possible.

Thank you for reading. Let’s do this thing.

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Enter to Win: 2013 Rochester Color Vibe Registration

Today’s post is sponsored by The Color Vibe!

While this giveaway is for a registration to the Rochester Color Vibe, Color Vibe races happen ALL across the nation– in fact, their itinerary is growing rapidly (they’re hoping to be in two cities a weekend as they grow in popularity!)

I am SO excited to share this giveaway with you as it holds a place very near and dear in my heart.

Here’s the deal: The kind people at The Color Vibe have generously provided me with two free registrations to the 2013 Rochester Color Vibe (April 20th!). In order to enter-to-win, all you need to do is comment on this post at any point between tonight, March 15th and NEXT WEDNESDAY (March 20th) to be entered into a random drawing! Just tell me why you want to run in a 5k and why The Color Vibe sounds like fun to you.

Special: Get an EXTRA entry into the drawing by sending a tweet to #thecolorvibe and #5ksCoffeeBeans to the effect of “Hoping to win a registration to the Rochester 5k!” Then, comment on this post to let me know you did it and you’ll get an extra entry.

colorvibe Roch

What’s new at the 2013 Run?

After speaking with a Color Vibe team member, he filled me in on some exciting changes that were coming with the Rochester run this year! (I assure you, the run was a BLAST last year, but apparently, things are just getting bigger and better!!)

Think Dance Party. Everything from the music at the event to the number of runners will be huge this year! This year, the sound and music will be handled by a major production company– complete with a DJ and emcee for the entirety of the event.

The number of runners has blasted from about 1,500 to nearly seven thousand.

There will be more color. More sound. More people and way more fun.

Get your white t-shirts, get your white shorts, grab your friends and get ready to enter.

Remember, you have until WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20th to enter. I will announce the winners that night (there are two passes available and there will be TWO different winners!).

And now, for those who care, just a little bit about how I came to discover the Color Vibe in 2012.

At the end of my senior year, I fell into a bad, bad cycle.  I stopped going to the gym because I just didn’t have enough time anymore. The stress and perpetual presence of fast-food at the dining halls and unlimited access to Starbucks (in all of its pastry/high-calorie latté glory) took a toll on me. I hated the way that I was treating my body and I didn’t like the way I looked.

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As soon as I was re-settled back at home, I knew that it was time to make some serious changes. I had always been a healthy eater and I loved going to the gym, but a combination of over-scheduling, high-stress and unique circumstances just made gym time unrealistic and eating healthfully more trouble than I cared to grapple with.

Running in a “race” had always been on my radar as a “someday” goal. I thought about 10ks, half marathons, but decided to start simple with a 5k- the 3.1 distance. I knew that I had to find a fun one to motivate me. That’s when I stumbled across The Color Vibe. Immediately I registered. I talked two friends into doing it with me and the rest is history.

I used the “Couch to 5k” training program (I was NOT a runner at this point and needed simple “workouts” outlined for me). It was insanely helpful (there is a mobile app too!)

When it came time to Color Vibe, I was rearing and ready to go. I felt better than I had in many, many months and I was looking forward to the event.

As soon as we arrived at the site, the energy was electric. The parking lot was abuzz, people were donning their FULLY white outfits and some silly costumes. (I was that weird girl doing warmups in the parking lot to keep up the energy level…)

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The course was simple. The run was quick. When the race was over, the color party was so much fun.

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Friends were dousing friends in color powder, the music was blasting, and people were rolling around on the pavement to soak up every last ounce of color.

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The Color Vibe is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. The positivity and high energy of the event left me on that famous “runner’s high” for days. I cannot wait to do it all again, and I hope you’ll join me!

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You can read my full recap of the event here.

GOOD LUCK!

Get Ready to 5k! (And Peanut Butter by the Spoon)

I am going to start off with the main event here. For those who are interested, a brief recap of my day will follow at the end!

And now, let’s hash out the details of the big giveaway!

city

I have TWO entries for the Rochester Color Vibe 5k to giveaway, read on to find out how to win yours! 

The contest will run from FRIDAY, MARCH 15th to WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20th! Two winners will be selected after 5:00 pm EASTERN TIME on Wednesday, March 20th by random selection!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Between 3/15 and 3/20, comment on TOMORROW’S POST and tell me why YOU want to run a 5k, and most importantly, why the Color Vibe sounds fun to you!

2. Tweet a message to the effect of “Entering to win a race registration” or “So excited to Color Vibe!” to @5ksCoffeeBeans and @colorvibe on Twitter, then comment on tomorrow’s post so that your name is re-entered into the drawing!

NOTE: That means that you can have up to two entries for this giveaway. Sorry, only one pass per person though! 

I am so unbelievably excited to share this giveaway with all of you. For anyone who has been following this blog since its early days, you likely know that the namesake is the ColorVibe 5k that I participated in last summer.

Tomorrow, I will share MY Color Vibe story with you and how I came about discovering it, but in the meanwhile, read my recap of the 2012 event here! Officials with the race tell me that this year’s event is going to be different in a big way: MAJOR music improvements (think: DJ, Production company, emcee) and more color. Lots and lots of color. I assure you, last year’s event was a BLAST and a half, so I can only imagine what this year will be like!

More details on the 2013 event tomorrow!!!

Are you ready? I sure am.

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And now for the (unrelated) recap of life in Brittanyland.

Apparently, today was this kind of day… 

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That will absolutely never happen again. I cannot even tell you how much of that jar I consumed with a SPOON. (I actually had the jar for mixing up a cup of my new favorite cookie dough yogurt combo, that didn’t happen however.)

Unreasonable.

Tomorrow’s a new day, right?

After work, I was able to catch up with two friends over a lovely bowl of fro-yo. (Which I failed to snap a picture of, but let me assure you, it was as tasty as could be.) As much as I absolutely love seeing friends, I cannot BELIEVE how quickly my evenings fly by, especially on the nights when I go for an (even very brief!) outing. Getting home after 6:00 each night to begin with makes the rest of my time just breeze right past me. Dinner. Blog. Bed. Dinner. Blog. Bed! I love my new job and feel so lucky to have it, but the schedule is taking some getting used to!

In other news, the pedometer challenge is off to a bit of a rocky start. I haven’t been running in recent days and just haven’t been clocking those steps! Fortunately for me, we are only 4 days in, so there’s plenty of time to catch up! (It also doesn’t help that I temporarily misplaced the pedometer either…)

Happy Friday, my friends! I have yet another adventure this weekend, but I will do my best to check in at least a couple of times. (HOPEFULLY YOU WILL ALL BE BUSY COMMENTING AWAY!)

 

All My Baaags are Packed, I’m Ready to Go.

Hello there! Happy Friday!

The title of this post is a lie. It is 100% false. But my bags should be packed…

Tomorrow, I am headed out of town for the weekend! Bright and early in the morning, I will be making a voyage to a town just outside of NYC for work. Even though it’ll be a pretty short trip, I am quite excited to skip town for a couple of days and to see a new place. Traveling for work really isn’t something that I thought I’d ever do or enjoy, but these trips are proving to be really great experiences. I cannot believe how quickly I am meeting new people and learning all sorts of new things. And plus, in a few months time, I’ll be a more efficient traveler than Mr. Ryan Bingham of Up in the Air.

up-in-the-air1

Well hello there, Mr. Clooney.

Source.  

Have you ever seen Up in the Air? It’s one of my very favorite movies. It’s definitely not the most cheerful movie that I’ve ever seen, but it is thoughtful and smart and… well, see image above. Gotta love the Clooney.

On the stupid human front, somehow, I managed to hurt my foot today and it is still bothering me! I don’t know exactly what I did, but when I was jumping out of a van and onto the pavement, somehow, I slammed my foot down JUST right to send a shooting pain right along the arch. I really hope it’s nothing serious. Or even anything that will make standing on my feet for HOURS at a time this weekend too terribly miserable. 😦 Stupid pavement! (Errr…stupid me?) 

On a very different note, for some reason, I was one sleepy lady today! Very sleepy and verrrrry hungry. Speaking of hungry, how about you follow me on my Quest for Alertness and Satiety that lasted all the live-long day.

Ehem. Let us begin:

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Around noon, I resorted to an extra cup of coffee to light a spark, which it only did halfway. (Oh hey, have I ever mentioned how much I HATE Keurig machines? They coffee just does NOT cut it for me! I don’t know what the deal is, but I have tried everything: different K-cups, different amounts of water. Today I even added some of my favorite flavored creamer and I still just couldn’t get behind it! For some reason, it always tastes like hours-old coffee to me. I guess I will be sticking to the old fashioned coffee pots for myself!).

And then came the snacking.

First, it was an orange. 

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An Orange Orange on an Orange Plate!

Somehow, that seemed to make me hungrier. So next, I dug into the snacks that I had stocked earlier in the week:

Bo-o-ring

How exciting! Not. (A word to the wise: don’t stock sweet things in your stash of snacks for when you’re “desperate.” They’ll be gone in 14 seconds flat. Kind of like those yogurt covered raisins… I don’t want to talk about it.)

Eventually, I caved and went for the Kashi bar:

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Quite tasty, but STILL not filling!

I also devoured a cup of Oikos Greek yogurt. It was a flavor I had never seen before: Vanilla and Toasted Coconut! It was kind of bizarre, but pretty tasty.

So I think the moral of this story is that next week, I really need to make the time investment and prepare some lunches ahead of time for myself as I was doing a couple of weeks ago. What a remarkable difference a fully and happy belly can make in a workday! Oy vey.

And now it is time to stop just TALKING about packing and to actually get my rear in gear and DO it! 

Tomorrow, I’ll be off to the tropical land of 45 degrees! I will take it! (Is it sad that 45 degrees actually really does sound warm to me?)

I hope you have a great night and I will talk to you tomorrow! Happy weekend!

The Life and Times of a Nut

Today was quite a day indeed. A day full of re-organizing and re-evaluating and planning and strategizing. Projects, projects, projects galore!

First of all, riddle me this, SINCE WHEN DOES GAS COST $4.10 a gallon!?!?!? I am quite seriously considering looking into a horse-drawn carriage for transportation.

As I poured $12,000 worth of gas into the tank, I darted in to Dunkin’ Donuts and picked up a cup of coffee, since I am apparently incapable of waking up in time to brew a fresh pot at home these last couple of days before darting out of the door!

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Wake-y, wake-y!

We all know that I LOVE my Starbucks. If I were a rich girl, I could drink café mistos and chai tea lattes each and every day of my life. However, I must give credit where credit is due, Dunkin’ Donuts makes a mean cup of plain brewed coffee. I’d choose that over Starbucks brewed any day of the week. Their “specialty” drinks don’t really hold a candle to my S-bucks.

After a morning full of e-mails, phone calls and budget meetings, it was time for lunch.

I can't even handle the originality. Look out, Iron Chef.

I can’t even handle the originality. Look out, Iron Chef.

Seriously, this madness must end. I love yogurt and I love bananas, but I simple cannot spend the next gazillion years of my life eating a cup of yogurt and a banana for lunch. It just won’t do. I think it’s time for some kitchen experimenting. The kind that won’t result in this:

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Again, don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love these protein bars. They taste like candy and pack a 20-gram protein punch. What’s there not to love? I’ll tell you what. Redundancy.

So far, I have gotten a couple of suggestions for healthful (<– I originally typed “healthyfull” and couldn’t figure out what was wrong…oy.), filling lunches on-the-go, but I need more! Someone, please save me!

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2:00 brought an afternoon pick-me-up in the form of a Keurig cup ‘o joe.

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And when that wore off, I turned into a crazy person! (this lovely photo comes to you curtesy of reverse-camera mode on my cellphone after making sure that my hair was “decent.” (It wasn’t…)

SO yet another day has come and gone sans-gym (which could do wonders with explaining the mad woman pictured above.) While it’s not a good excuse, that darn keytag really is to blame! (Or more like the fact that I LOST the darn keytag.) I haven’t made it home at a reasonable hour when the front desk is staffed, so I have been unable to reeplace it, which means that I can’t go to the gym “after hours” because I can’t swipe in! Vicious cycle! BUT someone finally has a Saturday-Sunday combo off, so hopefully I can tackle that this weekend and get right back into the swing of things next week.

Hope you had a fantastic night and I’ll talk to y’all tomorrow!

Force Yourself to Snap Back

Greetings all!

This story is pretty well documented throughout the blog, but just in case you missed it, I will recap. Back in the spring of 2012, I gained quite a bit of weight. It wasn’t anything awful, and I don’t think it was terribly noticeable, but it was to me. I didn’t feel like myself, I was always tried, I didn’t like the way I looked in the clothes that I used to wear and I was constantly making up goals for myself of when I’d start up the healthy living again. “Tomorrow is a new day.” became my catchphrase.

Granted, part of this gain was “planned.” (Or as “planned” as weight-gain can be.) No, I didn’t intend to gain weight, but I did decide that in the last few months of my time at college, I would allow myself some leeway. I wanted to enjoy my time with my friends, to participate in the end-of-an-era nonsense (that often involved a lot of delicious, but entirely unhealthy food) and to avoid spending my time toiling away at the gym or carefully counting calories. After all, chances were that I would never again have my beloved Starbucks at my fingertips again (nor would it EVER be covered under a meal plan again.)

And then, I graduated. It was time for me to take control again. Even though I was quickly beginning to convince myself that my current habits were “OK,” I knew that I needed to get back to my old ways. I knew that I wouldn’t be happy living that way and as the pounds packed on, it really started to affect me. For those of you who have seen this story before, the rest is history. (History that involves, myfitnesspal.com, 5k registration & 5k running, diving head first into new workouts, gym shopping, menu revamping and a long-term commitment to “doing better.”)

Every once in a while, I start to see myself slipping again. A few too many outings with friends, being away from home (as I was last weekend), disorganization, a lack of free time and excuses all get in the way of maintaining my otherwise very healthy lifestyle. But recently, I’ve been able to pull myself out of it. I don’t let things slip for very long and it is that ability, that I have worked so hard to develop, that allows me to have those trips and still feel good about myself and my ability to jump back on the healthy boat.

Back in August, I wrote a post about how “this” time was different. But that post centered around largely tangible devices. Things that helped to initially launch the fitness kick that came to be the ultimate game-changer. But that was in August. Since then, I have come to realize the real reason why I am able to have slip ups without falling all the way down.

As you have probably guessed, recently, I haven’t been on my A game. I have been eating 500% more sweets and treats than I typically do, significantly more fast food (just for the sheer convenience of it), and have had next to no time to make my way to the gym. This hasn’t been going on for but a week, but even as

  • Recognize that temporarily reverting to old, less healthy ways does not mean that you have failed. Nor does it mean that you need to continue on that path. It’s just a digression. 
  • You don’t need to be perfect 100% of the time. This one probably sounds like a no-brainer, right? For me, this is huge. I like things to be planned. I like planned workouts, organized meal plans and clear-cut goals, but when life comes down to it, that’s just not always realistic. Some days, you make mistakes, but the next day can be different. Also, just because you ate your weight in chocolate for lunch, doesn’t mean that you’ve already “blown it for the day,” you can start to make better choices at any point.
  • Bad food tastes good, but so can good food. There was a point in time where I had actually trained myself to buy a piece of fresh fruit as a snack at work whenever I wanted a cookie. Granted, the cookies smelled better and looked better. But I knew that the fruit would ultimately make me happier. It gave me sustaining energy, provided just the right amount of sweetness and gave me something to eat, which more often than not, was exactly what I was looking for– a snack for the sake of snacking. Finding suitable, healthier substitutions can make a world of difference.
  • Outsmart the self-fulfilling prophecy. When you determine that you don’t have time for the gym, suddenly, you really don’t have time for the gym. If you convince yourself that you’re just too busy, you will find every reason in the world why you are “just too busy for exercise.” Instead, plan. Make a time, make a plan and snap into action.

So in the long run, temporarily making poor decisions does not have to be the end of an otherwise healthy lifestyle change. You can force yourself to snap back. Making one good decision leads to many more. Eventually, you will have the knowledge and willingness to get back on the horse and power through your slumps until you are living the healthiest life that you can live.

And now, about that gym time thing………..

Hope you had a great day! I’ll see y’all tomorrow.

Whole Living Magazine

Didja miss me?! I have been MIA for too many days! I was actually away for a short time this weekend and never really had the chance to bust out the computer, but I have returned and here I am. Here to offer you all of the 5ks & Coffee Beans babble that you desire!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Unfortunately, in the chaos of the last few days, very little exercise made it into my schedule, which means, get ready for random.

First of all, my fellow coffee lovers, you must check out this mug:

photo (18)Brilliant. (Also, how ridiculously accurate. Although, I’d probably put thinking a little higher on the chart!)

And now let’s talk about Thursday. Thursday was one of those days where everything went wacky from very, very early on.

First of all, I was driving for a very short time on the thruway. Generally speaking, I try to avoid the thruway because I don’t particularly love it. Especially when people are in hyper-aggressive-driver-mode. Anyway, as fate would have it, I ended up passing up my exit and realizing it AS it was happening. Of course, I couldn’t turn around, so I just got off at the next exit. After talking to the extremely personable man at the tollbooth, he had told me to “turn right then right again,” to get back on, but of course, that didn’t work. Instead, I ended up in farm country where there were a lot of horse-and-buggies and a lot of country roads.

When I reached my destination, naturally, I promptly ripped my tights and was left with no solution other than a glue stick to stop the madness. As a side note, that actually worked quite well. Make note, should you ever find yourself with a run in your tights and without clear nail polish, head for the glue sticks! (Incidentally, I was extremely frustrated about that whole situation. They were my very favorite tights and evidently, there are NO more anywhere. GONE. Even in the dot com land!)

Needless to say, I was quite peeved.

Eventually, lunchtime rolled around and I spent some time paging through one of my favorite magazines: Whole Living.

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Whole Living is actually an off-shoot of Martha Stewart Living (which I also LOVE!), but instead of fine dining and decorum, its focus is on healthy recipes, fitness and general wellness. I love the combination of life-enrichment articles AND recipes/ fitness ones.

I quickly stumbled across this page:

think clean

Three very interesting tidbits, or “food for thought” items, that I thought were worth sharing. Especially during this post-New Year’s time when we are all working to keep the sanity and healthfulness that we promised ourselves that we would maintain back at the beginning of the month. That and the fact that I love reading positive thinking articles that actually hit home.

So the idea is “Think Clean,” and here’s what I learned:

  • For the MIND: Studies suggest that when trained to make instant decisions,  the brain comes to value speed over accuracy. So what’s the point? Slow down and take a breath before making rash decisions.
  • For the BODY: Exercise can actually reduce cellular debris in our bodies that may attribute to the development of different diseases.
  • For the SOUL: Occasional failure is inevitable, but self-affirmation can make all of the difference in how we handle it. Self-affirmation makes us more receptive to our mistakes. In the midst of frustration, we must not forget to remember all of the positive things that we have accomplished en route to reaching our goals.

I hope some of that was at least remotely relevant to your life, it definitely rang some bells for me!

I will see you tomorrow. Have a merry Monday!