Life of Late ~ 2.12.16

You know that time I said that the weather hadn’t been too bothersome?  Well I swear that I must have jinxed myself because we have had quite a few flurries, bouts of snow, and chilly chilly days.  Today is dipping into the 20’s and tomorrow is supposed to be even colder!  But, thankfully I’ll be jet-setting my way to Charlotte, North Carolina where it’s only in the 30’s and 40’s. :)  I really should send some of this cold air to the west coast where the less than desirable temps will be bearing down on the runners during Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon.  I say not really desirable because running in 80+ weather just sucks.  Now if it were in the 60’s and low 70’s, that’s a different story.  Anyways, happy Friday to all and the beginning of a long weekend. Here we go with some Friday fun.

In the theme of Valentine’s Day, I am sharing one of the gorgeous shots that my roommate helped style this last weekend:


^^ But really, how amazing of a photo is this?
~ Poached Pear Recipe from Food Network ~ Table setting by Pier1, Plates by Anthropologie ~ Photography by Evan Foster, Styling by Hope Christina White (Death By Stilettos) and Kristi Hunter ~


^^ When in doubt, spin it out.  A little reminder from last Sunday’s SoulCycle that when you find your tribe, you’ll thrive.


^^ Thankfully I have friends who accept me for who I am.  Full crazy and all.  Thanks BHsia for capturing my best angle.

Pure Wow ~ “The World’s 16 Best Desserts EVER” ~ Lucky enough to have tried New Orlean’s Beignets, Portugal’s Pastel de Nata, and England’s Sticky Toffee Pudding buuut LET’S TRAVEL THE WORLD NOW OK?  Who’s with me?


C’est Christine ~ “If I don’t belong here, then where?” ~ Thoughts from one California girl to another. I think we both agree that there is this internal desire to be in California but also to be in New York and every other place of the world.

Buzzfeed ~ “How to Snapchat Like Teens” ~ Wow.  Recall when teens were obsessed with Facebook (uploading album after album of photos), and then it was Instagram, and now it’s Snapchat.

The Huffington Post (Video) ~ “Violet The Rejected Goat Takes On The World” ~ You go baby goat.

little things - found lost items

^^ We have a few people in our family who tend to mis-place items.  The classic line is “have you seen my…” ;)


Oh and Lent.  I’m a bit torn on the subject of religion – I find myself more on the edge of spiritual than full blown religious and was struggling to find purpose in idea of giving up something for Lent.  Usually I go with something superficial (and easy) and it becomes the Lenten diet.  Not the point.  But when I saw a friend post this, I thought “wow, that is a little closer to the purpose of Lent and I can commit to that.”

By the way of the home today of Lent, Pope Francis proposes 15 simple acts of charity that he has mentioned as specific manifestations of love:
1. Smile, a Christian is always cheerful!
2. Thank you (though not “should” do it).
3. to remind others how much you love them.
4. Welcome with joy to those people who you see every day.
5. to hear the story of the other, without prejudice, with love.
6. Stop to help. Be attentive to the one who needs you.
7. Cheer her up to someone.
8. Celebrate the qualities or success of another.
9. Select what you don’t use and give it away to anyone who needs it.
10. When help is needed to make another rest.
11. Correct with love, not shut up for fear.
12. Have good details with those who are close to you.
13. Clean up what I use at home.
14. to help others to overcome obstacles.
15. Phone call to your parents.

The best fasting.   You dare to fast in this lent?
• Fasts of hurtful words and transmits kind words
• Fasts of malcontents and fill of gratitude
• Fasts of anger and fill of meekness and patience
• Fasts of pessimism and have your fill of hope and optimism
• Fasts of concerns and have your fill of trust in God
• Fasts to complain. Have your fill of the simple things of life
• Fasts of pressures and have your fill of prayer
• Fasts of sorrow and bitterness and fill your heart with joy
• Fasts of selfishness and fill of compassion for others
• Fasts from lack of forgiveness and fill yourself with the attitudes of reconciliation
• Fasts of words and have your fill of silence and listen to the other

If we all try this fasting, everyday life will be full of:
Peace, trust, joy and life

IMG_5229 ^^ Because life is too short to not enjoy a doughnut once in awhile.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

NYC Restaurant Week ~ Park Avenue Winter

We’re going back to back restaurant reviews here.  See, if I don’t post about it now, there’s no guarantee it would ever make it onto the blog.  Last week happened to be the last week of New York City’s restaurant week and Lindsay and I are on a kick to sample as much of the city that we can.  After perusing as many menus as possible, we selected the Park Avenue Winter.  Funny enough, it was a restaurant that I had walked past countless of times on my way to the gym during my first year in the city.  It’s obviously ranked one of the best restaurants (but don’t most places say this?) and is well-known for using local New York and seasonal ingredients.


Park Avenue Winter
360 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010
~ Restaurant Week Dinner ~ Dessert ~ Dinner ~ Brunch

 The restaurant itself will change its menu and decor throughout the year, everything based upon the season.   Again, the pictures don’t even begin to do the meal or ambience justice, but that’s what you get for eating dinner in a dimly lit room.

^^ The seasonal options extend from the drinks to the food.  When given the opportunity to order a cocktail, I definitely like to try something new.  However, with a hefty NYC price point, I opted for a nice glass of white wine instead.  Because I’m an adult.  But not ready to break the bank.


^^ Thematic, charming, or creative that they have such items to go with the seasonal menu?  I actually just thought it was funny because it made me think we were at some old school viking restaurant with a big old glog of mead.  Ok, I don’t think glog is actually a term the vikings used but it sounds like something they should have.  Obviously I didn’t order the mead, I just laughed to myself about it.


^^ Buttery bread served with extra butter and sea salt oh my.  When bread is served warm and still doughy, it’s always a good sign.


IMG_5201^^ Price fix menus for the win.  Lindsay and I were smart and ordered different appetizers and desserts so that we could explore more of the menu, but ended up with the chicken as our main entree.


^^ A new take on the recent gourmet toast phenomenon.  Sure, avocado toast (with or without an egg) is on the rage, but this kabocha squash toast will give the beloved avocado a run for its money.  Topped with sheep’s milk ricotta, burnt honey, and pancetta, it would almost be good as a main course. 

IMG_5206 ^^ Free range chicken atop apple sausage, kale, and pearl onions.  Oh KALE YES!  Anything with kale on the menu and I’m as good as sold.  The chicken was cooked well and had I not experienced the chicken at Lilia, I would have claimed it to be the most tender chicken in New York.  


Again, both Lindsay and I were on the verge of busting our buttons from eating so much, but dessert was in order.  She opted for the Winter White Sundae (Popcorn Ice Cream, Coconut & White Mocha Sauce) and I went with the Sticky Toffee Pudding (Caramelized Bananas, and Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream), though having had the most wonderful sticky toffee pudding in Scotland three years ago, I felt as though this night’s rendition fell short of my expectations.  Still a fun evening out and proof that I do more than run, eat, work and repeat ;)

“The only think I like better than talking about food is eating.” – John Walters

Delectable Eats at Missy Robbins’ Lilia ~ Williamsburg

The past couple weeks have been filled with epic foodie adventures and yes, my credit card bill can vouch for this.  YOLO.  No regrets.  Carpe Diem.  Eat on and eat on I will.  So last Saturday I helped organize a trip of November Project folks to Lilia –  Missy Robbins’ most recent restaurant endeavor.  To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure of Missy Robbins fame and Wikipedia helped me realize what a treat or honor that meal would be.  Did you know that she is best known for having a Michelin star at each of her restaurants and was also featured as a contestant in series four of Top Chef Masters?

The restaurant in question – Lilia – has had rave reviews from all corners of the web.  From the NY Magazine to just last week Grub Street shared its top power rankings, throwing Lilia among Nishi, Le Turtle and more.  I apologize for the lackluster lighting as it may not do the dishes justice.  If you really must see perfect photography, check out their Facebook page.


567 Union Ave, New York
{Subway stops ~ G, L at Metropolitan Ave – Lorimer St}
Daily 5:30p.m.-11p.m.

IMG_5184I honestly would not have learned about this restaurant or even ventured outside of Manhattan had it not been for one of our November Project friends, Erin, who alerted us to the restaurant’s opening.  It may be Missy Robbins’ new project, but her brother also played/plays a huge part in the restaurant’s success.  So into Williamsburg we ventured!


^^ To drink or not to drink?  In retrospect, the bill might have been a bit smaller had we not indulged buuut wine made things a little more fun.


^^ I wasn’t at all sure of what this was, but when we cut into it and smelled the fried cheesy goodness, I knew we were in for a treat.  Every morsel seemed to crumble and melt in your mouth and when I went to research the meal a bit more, I found that this nifty cheese called cacio e pepe even had an article written about it.  Yeah, the combination of sharp cheese, black pepper, olive oil, little bit of pasta + cooking water is just that cool.


^^ I’m not sure whether it was due to our party’s size or the reservation but we were provided with a set menu and options for three courses plus dessert.

IMG_5190^^ Antipasti (option 2) ~ Little Gem Salad with bibb-like lettuce, parmesan, oregano, and dried chili

IMG_5191^^ Antipasti (option 3) ~ Roasted trumpet mushroom, arugula, balsamic, and Sicilian almonds


^^ Primi (option 1) ~ Ricotta Gnocchi, broccoli pesto, basil, and pistachios

IMG_5194^^ Secondi (option 1) ~ Grilled chicken leg and thigh, broccoli rabe, olives, garlic, and mint ~ probably the most tender and mouth-watering piece of chicken I have ever had in my entire life.  It seemed to fall off the bone and was so.darn.juicy.


^^ Secondi (option 1) ~ All about that Black Bass, salsa verde, and perfectly seasoned and roasted yukon potatoes.

When I go out to eat, I don’t always order an appetizer or even a side salad.  I do love my sweets but dessert doesn’t always make the list either.  So, I found the price fix menu quite beneficial, enabling us to sample a variety of items on the menu rather than being tied to just one full entree.  When the question of dessert came around, many of us were reaching our satiation point, but come on, when you have dessert as a GIVEN option, you must take advantage of it.  (ok, I would be a terrible mindful eating coach…)


^^ Dolce (option 1) ~ Olive oil cake, grappa, whipped cream, persimmon ~ YOU MUST ORDER THIS.  Even if you don’t plan on eating or drinking much at all, I highly recommend making a reservation simply for this dish.  Olive oil is one of those ingredients that has hidden powers.  Who would have thought it could make a dessert so wonderfully moist?  Also, persimmons?  I claimed that I wouldn’t eat a persimmon and Lilia has since changed my view on the fruit.  Well done Missy Robbins, well done.


^^ Dolce (option 2) ~ Soft-served chocolate gelato, candied citrus, and hazlenuts.  Not a bad way to celebrate national frozen yogurt day (and day after national nutella day) but my heart was already with the olive oil cake.  All in all, an excellent ending to a quite perfect meal.


“Food is a direct pathway to the soul. It reaches us in a very primal place.”
― Good Witch

Life of Late ~ 2.5.16

FriYAY!  Welcome to this corner of the world where I work and workout.  I have one more week and then it’s a wonderful three day weekend (thank you United States presidents) and I’ll be off to Charlotte!  But now, let’s start the day with some random links and a hodge-podge of pictures.


^^ Let’s all ooooo and aaaaaahhh over a non-filtered view of the Central Park reservoir.  I took it along my commute from speed intervals to work through the park.  Boy, I could never grow tired of this view – always putting a smile on my face, especially with all the ducks floating around.


^^ This week has been filled with desserts upon desserts upon desserts.  Ok, it really stems from the fact that I’ve been out on two client outings and one restaurant week dinner with Lindsay and each one included dessert.  How could I pass up on something so special?  To be honest, the cookie above was somewhat a disappointment – too crispy and grainy and crumbled too easily.  It should have been a biscoff or cookie butter cookie for sure.


^^ Dessert at Scarpetta was a MUCH better decision.  Most of the table went to town on the booze, but I decided to hold out for the last course and between the cheesecakes and valrhona chocolate cake, I was in seventh heaven.



^^ Because I run (workout) to eat.  And have fun.  And fulfill my social life.  Would you believe that the picture above and picture below were less than a week a part?  IT WAS 50F IN FEBRUARY!!!  I actually told myself that this winter would ultimately decide my fate and it’s not looking half bad.  Thank you global warming.

IMG_5101^^ How’s this for a meme?  See I can make fun of myself (though I actually made the meme…)  See, we are lucky to have pictures from NP workouts and I was secretly glad this was caught this on camera.  Shall I make it a dating profile?  Oh and in terms of running, I don’t want to jinx myself but the last few runs have actually felt really good. I’m not sure what the reason may be – maybe integrating bread back into the diet. ;)

Vimeo ~ “Telluride Avalanche Dogs” ~ You will finish this movie in tears and want a dog immediately.  I would love a golden doodle.

Refinery 29 ~ “How I Tripled My Savings in 3 Months

Goop ~ “The Lean Closet” ~ Please please please let me help! I love organizing and sorting!

Food and Wine ~ “12 Secrets of New York Central Park” ~ Oh one of my favorite places in the city.


^^ Tooooootally digging my new Lululemon running crew.  We have been meeting on Saturday mornings at 9am out in Brooklyn and so it has been perfect running around 4-5 miles over the Manhattan Bridge and then 4 more around Brooklyn with these folks.  I’ve even made a few more friends and learned of a few more good book titles to read!


^^ Though I don’t always have a need for syrup, I love strolling through our farmer’s markets to see the goods and how cute the packaging is.  Got to love that small town feel in the big city.


^^ NP Love.  Last week’s bridge day was tough but these gals made it worth it.  There are definitely those days where I’ve considered just sleeping in (yes my body actually might be asking for that) buuuuut I never regret going to NP.


That about wraps up another week of working out (oh and work) and epic views.  As for this weekend, I plan to see the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, go on a long run, test out a new breakfast spot (between the Egg Shop and Two Hands), dine out at Lilia in Williamsburg (SO EXCITED), and finish it off with some sort of viewing of the Super Bowl.

What are you up to this weekend?  Are you rooting for the Panthers or Broncos?



A Mini Trip to Greece

Oh the days that I dream of jumping on a plane and exploring the world.  However since I don’t really have the funds or roadmap to do so, I’ll stick to the exotic flavors found here in New York City.  Last week just so happened to be my college friend Michelle’s birthday and her restaurant of choice was Taverna Kyclades in the East Village.  Taverna Kyclades is a little Greek haven right off the L train (14th street and 1st avenue) with an original location out in Astoria.

The name Kyclades stems from the group of islands in Greece, islands known for its beautiful beaches, gorgeous sunrises, and apparently delectable food and since Astoria is known for its Greek population, it would be an obvious choice for the first location.  But back to the location in the East Village.  I must have walked past that bright blue awning more than 50 times, each time reminding myself to check out the  menu.  Well, finally Friday was my chance!


Taverna Kyclades
228 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10009
~ History ~ Menu


Here we are with the birthday girl getting the rundown of menu specials and making the tough decisions of what to order.  The way to go is by ordering a few large dishes for the table and eat family style rather than individual platters.  After all, you can sample so much more this way :)


^^ Traditional Greek Salad with one big HUNK of feta.  There was another gooey cheesy dish >> saganaki << dough filled with graviera cheese, but it was inhaled before I could obnoxiously take a picture.

Side note – I decided Friday would be the last night of whole30 so that I could enjoy the family style festivities.  I’ll draft up some of my thoughts on the experiment but do have to say, going out and being social was quite tough with all the food “rules” and I didn’t want to miss out.  Friday meant wine and cheese to the face and eating at such a lovely restaurant was well worth the splurge.



^^ Greek style shrimp covered in some sort of tomato sauce.  I’m not much of a shrimp person but soaking up the remaining pieces of sourdough bread with this sauce was an excellent life choice.

IMG_4978 ^^ Our main event – baby shark.  Yes folks, we made that happen.  But I swear, it tasted like a mix between white fish and tender chicken.   Michelle had actually been wavering between the baby shark and one of the market specials, but when our waiter dropped the $75 a serving price tag, we made the decision to stick with mr. shark.

IMG_4980^^ We had asked to have a candle in the shark but when that wasn’t possible, we settled for candles in the custard. ;) Happiest of birthdays Michelle! So glad we could help you celebrate and explore a little more of the city.

Running + Brunching in Harlem

Running + eating are hands down my favorite weekend activities, at least for right now.  I mean, there are tons of articles that promote working out with friends and to celebrate with a nice leisurely brunch, (while still in workout clothes nonetheless) it’s utterly perfect.  This Sunday I met up with a couple of friends to run from Union Square to the tip-top of Central Park.  We made our way through the practically empty 5th Avenue (best way to see the sights in my opinion – nice and early) and along the winding roads of the park.


Once at Harlem Hill we met up with six or so other November Project buddies and forged on to run 3-4 hill repeats.  The last few weeks we have been meeting at Cat Hill (near The Boathouse) and brunching at Le Pain Quotidien but to be honest, this hill was much more enjoyable.  I guess you could say enjoyable is a relative term since we had just run 6.5 miles up to the park and still voluntarily ran up a hill.  Multiple times.  While Harlem Hill is certainly steeper (at least it feels like it at times), we managed the same mileage for a fewer number of reps.  Aka less painful in my opinion.


^^ One of many squads #runforbrunch

From there, we headed up to a Starbucks around 117th street and waited for the rest of our brunch buddies to arrive.  New York restaurants have this annoying requirement that everyone in the party must be present in order to be seated.  Ah well, I guess for them it means efficient ordering but can also be quite annoying.  First world problems.

2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026
~ Brunch Menu ~

Most people in the party opted for an unlimited mimosa to pair with their meal but I went for the hot fruity green tea.  We also decided to order a few plates of the oh so garlicky sourdough bread, a decision I do not regret.  Think about creamy garlic bread on steroids and that about sums it up.

IMG_5024 ^^ One of the clutch orders — white Polenta, Truffle Oil, Mushroom Ragu, Parmigiano Reggiano, Poached Eggs

IMG_5025^^ As you can see Jackie was so excited to eat and be photographed.  Jackie also likes to make fun of me and my eating habits.  Like when I asked for the hazlenut butter at Le Pain and then proceeded to scoop it out and eat it with my spoon.  (Don’t worry mom, I didn’t eat it straight out of the jar.  I have some control.  Some).  Jackie then took it away and this is why I keep her around.  ;)


^^ My order of Braised Short Rib Hash, Poached Eggs, English Muffin, Hollandaise.  I attempted to substitute the English Muffin for spinach but apparently that was a no-no.  At least the running poached egg was on point and thank goodness whole 30 was over.

12628537_10101642596490366_2544804129979401331_o That’s a wrap for this week folks.  A few tasty restaurants in the works for this upcoming week and weekend!  As I like to say, #runtoeat ;)