October Favorites of Late

T – G – I – F! Boy oh boy it’s been a long week and I’m beyond excited for the weekend.  Not too much traveling to do but I do have a friend coming to town and an oh-so-special surprise event on Sunday.  My friend Lindsay scored us some tickets to the Michael Buble Christmas special at THE Radio City Music Hall.  Nothing like a little Christmas cheer in October to get you going ;)

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#worktospend

Having been to Costa Rica (an also obsessed with the color turquoise), I was all over the pura vida and ocean minded vibe bottle.  Not to mention, this fancy schmancy MIZU stainless steel container is 100% BPA free and 100% recyclable. #Winning

I guess companies do benefit from posting pictures on Instagram.  They get my money.  People, this is why I have to delete shopping emails from my mailbox immediately or hide my credit card as I browse through the array of online goodies.  Sorry if that makes me sound like one of those people from TLC’s Hoarders show.

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Dancing the night away at the B.B.King Blues Club in Times Square.  A group of November Project people had invited me to celebrate the end of their marathon training (and successful Chicago-race) and well, what else would I be doing on a Wednesday night? YOLO.

IMG_6740November Project workouts

Wall sits + making friends?  Ah those exercises throw me back to freshman year volleyball.  Nothing like shaking legs and random selfies to start your Friday

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Post (or pre) workout snacks

These chia bars are quite on the rage and if you don’t mind having to pick out some of the little buggers out of your teeth (make sure to check a mirror before chatting it up with your coworkers), then I highly recommend!

I actually started hearing about chia a few years ago when I read Born to Run.  These seeds are filled to the brim with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber (help reduce inflammation!), antioxidants, and help regulate blood sugar.  A mouthful in more ways than one if you ask me!

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#worktospend

Yes, this happened and yes, this hashtag is used a lot.  I was looking for a bag that zips and is large enough to fit my lunch, workout clothes, and normal purse goodies.  Oh,and not completely as bulky as the backpack I normally lug around.  I mean, the backpack totally works but I was looking for something cuter for the days I go out after work and don’t want to feel like a complete pack mule in the bar or restaurant.  Yeah, I found a bag just for that purpose.  Thank goodness for overtime.

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Last weekend my friends Naomi, Lindsay, and I went to Central Park to participate in the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk.  While my company had a team walking, we decided to break free from the crowd and keep things at a brisk pace.  With chillier fall weather, we had to keep California selves from freezing (melodramatic, I know…Lindsay and Naomi are in for a treat with their first east coast winter) ;)

We ended up at Homegoods on the upper west side and I later ended the afternoon with a session of hot yoga.   Just the perfect way to spend a Sunday!

“What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers.”
– Matina Horner

Travels to Boston Part 2

Honestly, there’s no better way to share memories than through pictures, right?  Growing up, we would have scrapbooks of everything we did – from soccer seasons to family trips to those awkward first day of school pictures.  Here we are again with some Boston fun and a continuation of my trip to the NE a few weeks ago.

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BOSTON COMMONS

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With the leaves changing, the ducks quacking, and people walking all around.

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Free tea?  Yes please! Especially when Pure Leaf donates $1 to support their goal of delivering 100,000 pound of fresh fruit and veggies to communities in need.

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The second day of our Boston trip started out with some rain, but that didn’t stop us from exploring it top to bottom.  First stop was the Boston Commons (why not make it once a day?) and then a quick brunch with our friend AJ before he went to study for his medical exams. Yes, the guy is still studying, what a champ.

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We may not be ready for the rain and snow, but you can’t really change Mother Nature.  Just making the most of it by the park.

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Of course I found the ducks.

IMG_6201One of the best burritos – filled with rice, beans, pork, and plantains!  A combination I never would have put together but totally worked in our favor.

IMG_6205We ended the night with a quick walk-by of Fenway Park.  What a beast of a stadium!  I can only imagine the hype and chaos that occurs after every game and definitely after the last world series.  Hopefully I’ll get out to a game next season but for now, it’s rooting time for the Royals. (Sorry, even four years in SF Bay can’t make me a Giants fan…Dodgers for life)

IMG_4043We didn’t get a tour of the stadium this time, but here’s a little throwback love.

Trip to Beantown

A couple weeks back, Lindsay and I had the chance to travel and visit Boston or Beantown as it’s called by some.  I was quite unaware of the popular nickname, which actually dates back to Boston’s trade involvement with molasses and ultimately creation of Boston Baked Beans.  But, you can find more about that on Wikipedia, so for now, a look at fall travels up the coast :)

  I had only visited once before, about 8 years back, and Lindsay had never made it to the historical town.  Since I was able to take Friday off, we boarded the Megabus on Thursday night and made the 4ish hour drive north.

BOSTON TRAVELS

IMG_6639Even though we didn’t arrive at our friend’s place until about midnight, I decided to wake up early for a Friday November Project workout.  I guess you could say I’m addicted to the NP community seeing as I arrange my travel in order to attend a local November Project workout.

Boston is actually home to the original November Project group, started by two crew athletes at Northeastern.  Yes, it’s an odd name and obviously extends beyond the month of November. Anyways, NP Boston has three epic workouts – Destination Deck on Mondays (location changes every week), Harvard stadium stairs on Wednesdays, and killer hills on Friday.

IMG_6654After about 3 hills I came to the realization that I am so not in hill-running shape.  Back in high school (and even college), hills were just a breeze.  My home town is built up of them but oh boy, New York is a different story.

IMG_6667Ran some hills, ate some breakfast out, met some great people.  Good times.

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Since our friend lives slightly outside of the main city, we took a short “T” ride into Cambridge and set off to explore the historic Harvard campus.  I loved riding the public transport and seeing all the sites of the city but I didn’t realize how different Boston is from New York City.  I guess over 13 months in the hustle and bustle will help change my perspective of pace, so I definitely thought Boston was slower.

Harvard CampusWe decided against any formal tour and instead wandered the grounds, gazing at the amazing architecture, and changing colors of the trees.  We even saw the massive crowds around the library, central grounds, and statue with the gold foot.  What I do remember from my first trip to Boston (where we did take a tour) is that the foot is definitely not gold from people rubbing it, but more like some frat boy fun.  I’ll leave you with that image…

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IMG_6166But enough education for one morning.  We left the crowds of tourists far behind and took a “T” ride to Newbury Street for shopping!

IMG_6178What’s a trip to Boston without shopping?

~ the upscale boutiques of Newbury Street ~ Copley Place ~ Charles Street ~ and The Shops at Prudential Center in the Back Bay ~

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I’m pretty sure we managed to walk in and out of every store along Newbury Street and get this – we didn’t purchase one thing!  How’s that for self control?  For some reason we just weren’t feeling any of it.  Good call for my bank account :)

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So no major purchases were made, but we definitely had to check out one of the most popular chocolate stores in town.  L.A. Burdicks was the way to go after reading The Well Traveled Wife’s list of Boston Things to Do & See.

Turns out I had already been to L.A. Burdicks, just the New York location.  It wasn’t nearly as delicious as City Bakery but warmed us up on a chilly fall afternoon.   More to come on this marvelous fall adventure.

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We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” – Hilaire Belloc

Welcome Back Fall

Goodness me.  Where have I been?  Absorbed in life, travel, and work.  I didn’t realize how much time (and energy) I’ve been spending at work.  Sure I’m sitting at a desk, staring at a computer for 8-10 hours a day, but still, the emotional and mental drain is still there.  Just the other day I either forgot to set my alarm or accidentally turned it off (both are likely) and subsequently woke up at 8, made it out the door by 8:09 and at work by 8:45 (thank you MTA delays).

I told myself I wouldn’t be one of those bloggers to just pop in to say hi.  But I miss it.  I miss the connections, the rambles (though you may not miss them :) ), and the stories I can share.

I’ve been out to Boston, all over Manhattan, and practically frozen to my work desk.  During my little hiatus, I started to realized the importance of balance.  There were days where I wanted to blog, but disconnecting from technology felt so much better.  While I’m regrouping my bearings on this blog space, here’s some favorites from my current home base.

IMG_6360Good morning from Washington Square.  Another November Project adventure at lovely 6:28 in the morning.  Why 6:28?  I really don’t know. But it works.

IMG_4274_Fotor_CollageLaura convinced me to sample two of her top spots in the Union Square area.  First stop a bodega with cheap yet delicious smoothies.  Next stop?  Bread, sweet bread. Bread’s Bakery is a great spot for a baguette, tartine, or maybe variety of cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth.  

Alice’s Tea Cup
102 W 73rd St, New York, NY 10023

IMG_6330This was one of the top places on my lists of eateries to go to. Their scones are apparently phenomenal – the pumpkin scones out of this world.  While Lindsay and I made the trip in early fall, it wasn’t quite time enough for pumpkin, so I’ll have to visit once more.

IMG_6329Lindsay went with a selection of scones and I ordered the house granola with fruit and plain yogurt.  Both Lindsay and I ordered our own pot of tea, although we could have easily split one.  Come to think of it, we could have ordered the scone selection + one pot of tea and would have been just dandy.

Also, don’t get mixed up between their two stores as the Upper West Side is the entirely decked-out location and the one to go to.  People arrive in packs so it’s best to arrive early with everyone in your party.

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More recaps to come and some other random tidbits :) Ah it’s good to be back.

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.”
– Freya Stark

Wednesday Wisdom

I think it’s about time to look back on my life. Sure, 23 years (and five months) isn’t much, but there are definitely some things about life that I have pondered (over and over and over).  Sometimes there are moments or even people who we think have been influential in our lives or decisions.  Maybe they were in the background or maybe they were only in your life for a short time.  No matter what the case may be, we’ve all experienced highs and lows, enough to help us learn and look to the future.

Thankfully I’m not the only one who over-analyzes these things and happened to round up a few inspirational links and posts on the subject of life

13 Things I Wish I’d Known My 1st Year Out of College

~ Network, network, network.  Your first job may not be your favorite but you certainly won’t get anywhere unless you put some effort into the search.  That being said, make sure when you interview, you get a feel for your bosses and your coworkers.  Having a happy and healthy environment is just as (maybe even more) important as the work you will be doing.

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~ Comparison Trap …  LET IT GO ~ You are different.  You will always be different.  That’s why we love you.  The fact that media and society has created and image or lifestyle that deems what is “normal” and what is not is absolutely ridiculous.  Granted, it’s taken me a solid 23 years to come to terms with this and I still get panic attacks that I’m not living life properly.

Looking For Love” by Zen Habits

Love for the city, love for someone else, or even love for yourself.  I like this post because dating is one of those things that isn’t guaranteed.  It’s another part of life where you are forced to put yourself out there and be ready for uncertainty and rejection.  At the same time, it’s an invigorating process that helps you reestablish your beliefs, become more mindful of your surroundings and the world, and helps you define your identity.  It provides an opportunity to find people who are interested in helping you become a stronger individual, emotionally, intellectually, or maybe even physically.

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Just like establishing a friend group or finding your best friends, it can be a hit and miss process, and takes a bit of time.

8 Things I’d Tell Myself at 20” by the Sometimes, Always, Never Blog

Some thoughts to consider from yours truly:

~ Be True, Be You ~ I guarantee that people are more interested in your true personality than the one you use when you try to be cool or blend in.  Plus, it’s more fun, more attractive, and so much less effort.

A Letter To Myself at 22” by the Sometimes, Always, Never Blog

~ Live life to the fullest & move past regret ~  First and foremost, regret is not attractive.  The “should have, would have, could have” syndrome?  Let it go.  The only way you can move beyond this is by living life to the fullest, understanding what makes you happy, and becoming a yes person.  Better yet, become the initiator!  Don’t wait around for invites to parties, dinner, or the beach.  Be the one to send the text message.

30 Must-Do’s While You’re Young Enough to Read This” by Marc and Angel Hack Life (too many good points here…I concur with every single one)

~ Life is too short not to eat the things you love ~ Borrowed from one of my totes but ever so true.

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~ Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover ~ Classic advice and oh so true.  Even if someone appears to live a perfect life, you have no clue what goes on beyond the surface.  Maybe they just are that fit, happy, and wealthy.  You focus on you and that will bring the most amount of happiness.

~ Relax ~ Even living in one of the busiest cities in the world has taught me to be more patient.  Things will get finished and you will accomplish what you put your mind to.  But there’s no point in stressing over things you cannot control.

“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”
– e. e. cummings

Chobani, Running, Pumpkin and More

Well, a fall weekend in the city just couldn’t get much better than this.  I may have come down with a cold but that didn’t stop me from my plans.

IMG_6553After Friday’s November Project, I traveled down to SOHO with Lindsay to meet our friend Naomi for breakfast at the Chobani Store in SOHO.  While there were about 5 different flavor combinations I wanted to try, I held it together and stuck with the seasonal favorite – pumpkin + cranberry + gingersnaps.  Naomi selected the same while Lindsay went along the granola + apple + walnut spice bowl.  Never a bad decision, especially when you get to take home the glass bowl.

IMG_6558 From there we walked a few blocks south to the popup Central Perk, a replica of the Friend’s cafe with the actual couch from the show.  Now since I’ve been watching every since episode from season 1, the couch seemed a bit small to me.  Oh well.  We still received a free cup of coffee and a picture on the couch, so I was good to go.  Memories made, right?

On Saturday I decided to venture out into the pouring rain and attend a local run club.  While it may not have been the best decision with a cold, I did meet a couple neat people and learned how to improve my running stride.  Leaving the store with some of these Warrior Chia Bars wasn’t half bad either :)

IMG_6561Snacks compliment of Lululemon Run Club – Meatpacking District.

So I guess I never mentioned that I have a couple new roommates here in the city! Well it’s actually safe to say that my friend group has grown exponentially and lucky for me that includes my friend/roommate Lindsay :) We go way back.  Like elementary school status back.

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Here we are up and at ‘em early for our friend Laura’s race.  Laura was running her first half marathon and with a brisk start in the high 40’s and hundreds of leaves changing colors,  it sure felt like fall.

IMG_6575She may not have been smiling the entire race but for her first half and a 1:31ish time, I think she killed it!  Actually she was just happy because she saw us and she could hand off some of her warmer running gear.  Props to James for running right alongside (and without much training…I think)

I tend to have more of a competitive streak in me and knew that simply watching the race just would not do.  Instead, I ran to and from cheering all the runners on (mostly my November Project peeps even though they couldn’t hear me).  So much more fun and rewarding :)

IMG_6586I’ve already wrangled up all my cross-country friends to be our coaches for the next half marathon.  I would really like to PR in the next race and that of course means being healthy and actually in shape.  So, with a bit more focus on the recovery and cross-training element, gradual distance, and eventual speed work, we should be good to go.

IMG_6590Post race brunch at Le Pain Quotidien ~ Zucchini + Feta Fritatta (maybe the spreads x4 because we couldn’t get enough!)

IMG_6592While we weren’t the ones running a half marathon, 10+ miles does seem like a lot to cover and boy was I ready for sleep last night.  Too bad we finished eating around 7 and were ready for bed by 8:30.  That might have been a tad bit too early.

IMG_6593The rest of the afternoon was spent baking a batch of banana-pumpkin bread (possibly one of my favorites and tipping towards the healthy scale), cooking chicken soup, and binge-watching pro-football and the fourth season of Friends.  I have only ever watched sporadic episodes and while the show was filmed on a lot in California, but I feel so much more of a connection to it now that I’m in my 20’s and living in New York City.

For the week ahead, there’s some yoga + spinning, the last dodgeball game until next season, dinner with friends, November Project, and a trip to Boston!  Ok, I’ll throw some work in there :) Can’t let the digital ad space down now, can we?