Travel Tuesdays – Brooklyn’s Botanical Gardens

There was this one time where we read that the cherry blossoms would be blooming and blossoming all over Brooklyn’s Botanical Gardens.  Seeing as my friend Laura and I were looking for a way to explore the outdoors and possibly escape the city for some time, we took a trip off the island to check it out.

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Well, let’s just say the magazines and newspapers didn’t really take into account our fabulous weather this winter.  The cherry blossoms were far and few but we did stumble upon some beautiful plants.  IMG_4588Where the blossoms should have been …

IMG_4583I spy a few buds!

IMG_4594A little spring surprise from the cold grounds of New York

We even found ourselves amidst a hipster wedding with men dressed in bow ties and the women adorning various colored dresses.  It was quite a site and even managed to show up on the Humans of New York Facebook page.

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What I did enjoy was roaming around the gardens, watching the people lay out in the sun and dream of the days to come.  I may not be in sunny California, but I’ve managed to find some ways to replicate my time outside in the foliage.  Ok, I still haven’t spotted any palm trees, but maybe that just means I need to plant one. 

IMG_4595Like I said, I managed to find at least one tree in full bloom.  It made me realize how gorgeous of a season spring actually is and the fact that having seasons enables us to see this beauty and appreciate it (especially after such a long winter!)

IMG_4600 Thanks to technology and innovation over hundreds of years, these greenhouses did provide us with a look and feel of some of our hometown plants.  It was almost as if I had clicked my heels and I was transported to the Huntington Gardens or Arcadia’s Arboretum.

IMG_4603Whatever it may have been, getting to explore a new area of the city, especially one that was outdoors, was the highlight of my weekend. I highly recommend taking a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.  There are plenty of areas to sit, read a book, or take a walk.  One forgets how cramped and crowded and overwhelming a city can be until you explore the outer areas and find yourself breathing in (relatively) fresh air.

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden
1000 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” - John Muir

Marveling in the Easter Weekend

The best way to beat the Sunday night blues and even Monday blues is to look back at some good memories, right?  That and then plan ahead for the next fun adventure.

IMG_4033 Spent the weekend with this guy.  Would have looked adorable (and probably annoyed) dressed as a bunny or lamb, don’t you think?

IMG_4036First time eating key lime pie and boy I’m hooked. A nice recovery meal from my hot yoga ;)

IMG_4039 Spring flowers.  Enough Said.

IMG_4015 Got to love me some water ice.  I first tested out the east coast trend when they opened a Rita’s in my home town.  While I wasn’t exactly a fan of the custard at first, I soon found its appeal and couldn’t wait to test out this branch in Jersey.  Black cherry + vanilla custard = mmmmm goodness.

IMG_4649Strangely enough, the lights of the city are kind of welcoming.  The Empire State building acts as a lighthouse, welcoming me, and whoever else calls this concrete island, home.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”  – Steve Jobs

Breaking the Rules

Have you ever fallen into the comparison trap?  Body image, fashion sense, book smarts, corporate (or non-corporate) success?  In some form or another, we’ve all started to compare ourselves to others in hopes of going with the flow or falling in with the trend.  Ok, generally the goal is to be true to yourself, especially if that means thriving in your different lifestyle or sharing your different personality.  But I’m sure there’s a small piece of you dying to be in the know.  Guilty as charged on too many accounts.

Recently I’ve found myself frustrated with blogging, mostly because of the pressure (put on by myself) to conform to that of other’s blogs.  Like I said, the pressure is all me – thinking that if I post multiple times about certain subjects, link up with different blogs, create recipes from scratch, and have impeccable photography, I’ll be successful.  This creates stress, anxiety, and just frustration that doesn’t need to be present in my life.

After reading an article about breaking the blogging rules here, I realized I’m perfectly happy with my blog.  I don’t have as large of a social media presence.  I don’t have a self-hosted blog (yet…that needs to happen so I can upload oodles of pictures).  I don’t know what workout to do and I don’t have the most inspirational or healthy recipes.  But when it’s all said and done, this little gem of a journal is my form of expression.

More Fitness Half Marathon

How often do you get to say you ran a half marathon with a couple of your best friends?  As you may have read yesterday, or picked up from other posts and social media, my two best friends were in town and somehow agreed to run a half marathon with me.  My friend Lindsay (on the left) had run two half marathons in the last year, but my friend Laura was just signing up for her first half ever!

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We sure shared our fare share of nerves throughout the weekend, even leading up to the start of the race.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I still get race jitters – no matter how many times I’ve run an event.

This guy’s sign pretty much sums up most of our feelings.  Ok, just kidding.  I knew what I was in for and definitely could have trained better for it but let’s just say the countless Polar Vortexs didn’t help with that.

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Anyways, let’s take a step back and go over pre-race routines.  We considered going out to dinner Saturday night but realized ordering in would be so much more “New York” and just more relaxing and comfortable.  For a few girls who had been out and about all day and had a race to rest up for, it was a no-brainer and so enjoyable.

We found a hot spot of Italian food just a short distance away and ordered up some favorites – spaghetti for Lindsay, Rigatoni for Laura, and cheese ravioli for me.  I felt like I’d been transplanted back to the days of high school cross country where we would have a pre-race pasta dinner filled with pasta, lasagna, bread, fruit salad, salad, and dessert.  Goodness knows how I didn’t gain more weight back then.

RACE DAY ~ SUNDAY 4/13/14

The alarm went off bright an early at 6am and after reminding myself why the alarm was set for such an early hour, we got dressed, and scarfed down a bit of oatmeal and banana. I honestly don’t always enjoy eating before running, just because my stomach likes to act up, but 13 miles is a bit of a doozy without any fuel.

The race was in Central Park and boy was it a picturesque day.  The temperature was around 55-58 (I swear by the amount we sweated it was warmer) and plenty of people were out to cheer.

For some reason the first few miles were surprisingly tiring and I have no explanation why.  Maybe we were just getting warmed up or it hadn’t sunk in that we were actually running a half marathon.   The course took us twice around Central Park (counterclockwise), which happens to mirror the route my friends and I take on a weekly basis.  This helped in my favor because I actually could envision the course, something I’m not usually able to do.

I was surprised to note that there were no fuel stations (other than Gatorade and water) along the route, but this was fine because I rarely eat or drink while I run anyways.  Although, after finishing the race, I really could have downed an entire bottle of Simply Lemonade.  I settled for some original Gatorade and a crisp apple and held out until breakfast.  The bagel was all for show as it didn’t really seem appealing and was clearly not a New York bagel.

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I loved watching all the different runners – different bodies, different paces, different outfits (dominated by Nike and Lululemon), but all out to run a race. We were even surprised by a high school friend who happened to be in the city and stand along mile 12 and cheer.  We were so happy to see a familiar face and ended up grabbing brunch with her afterwards.  I was quite hungry at this point and gladly inhaled a stack of diner pancakes with fruit, over easy eggs and coffee.

The only way it would have been a more perfect weekend is if I knew when I would be able to see these girls again.  Until the next trip :)

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“Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch — what makes you go beyond the norm.”
– Cicely Tyson

Practically Perfect Weekend

I’d be gabbing for days if I went through all the fun from this weekend.  Basically I had a ball with my two best friends and was so blessed to have them here in my city.  We joke all the time about living together – going to run or do stand up paddle, grab a dirty chai latte, and lay out on the beach.  Well, while our lifestyles won’t exactly cross paths like that for a few years, we can enjoy jet-setting across the country to visit one another for now.

They arrived bright an early around 6:30am on Friday and I allowed each of them a bit of time to rest up and then it was out and about. We stopped off for good ‘ol New York style bagels and of course the best of the best coffee.

IMG_3896I had them walking up and down the city and could not believe how warm (dare I say humid yet?) it was!  All week we had been discussing options of outfits and at one point we thought we were going to be graced with rain all of Friday.  Thank goodness they didn’t bring their rain boots because it was far from misty and miserable.  Instead, it turned out to be a fabulous warm and wonderful weekend.

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After loading up on some fuel we  set out to the race expo.  I was honestly a bit disappointed in the race t-shirt.  I understand as the largest all female race, they would go for a more form fitting and fashionable cut, but I think it fell a little short.  No really, the bottom hem was almost like a 90′s throwback tank revealing one’s midriff if you weren’t careful.  Oh well, there were plenty of other fun and free goodies.

IMG_4622Look who was ready for the race :)  Oh and of course I was planning to run like this girl.  With the same form and abs obviously.

IMG_3915Friday and Saturday were filled with a bit too much fun aka shopping and eating.  My wallet definitely felt the punch of the weekend but I came out successful with some clutch pieces and it was totally worth it since I’ve been working super overtime for the last few weeks.

IMG_3897_Fotor_CollageJCREW * Lily Pulitzer * Nike Town * Tiffany’s * SOHO * Alex & Ani * CWonder

Don’t you think we’ve covered a good portion of the NYC shopping? :)

IMG_3897_Fotor_CollageNot only did we cover a fair amount of territory walking and shopping, but we tasted our way through the city, splitting and splurging a few tasty dishes.  I had never visited Serendipity 3, which is known for its frozen hot chocolate concoction.  However, it’s always best to prep for something sweet with some actual sustenance, right?  Surprisingly their veggie burger with plantain chips was one of the best veggie burgers I’ve had in my entire life.

Let’s get another look at that dessert as it definitely made up for the poorly behaved birthday party sitting behind us.

IMG_3922Saturday was spent with more shopping and exploring, resting, and catching up.  Nerves were setting in but more on that tomorrow :)

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”
– Orison Swett Marden

Friday Favorites…THEY’VE ARRIVED!

We may have been graced with April showers last week, but they sure do bring gorgeous flowers.  Not to mention a little Theta love in New York City.

photo 2 (3) I’ve been in an exploring mood lately and while I can’t pinpoint every restaurant or meal I want to try, I’m very good about making impulse snacks and drinks. Got to love my green tea + boba

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Who doesn’t love emojis?  Actually don’t answer that because it would just burst my happiness bubble.

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Really though.  My mother has the emoji app on her iPhone and let’s just say her texts with the new found emoji icons make my day.

Oh and THESE GIRLS ARE IN TOWN! :)

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Here’s to the next three days of gallivanting about the city, consuming as much coffee and chocolate as possible, and oh yeah…running a half marathon.

“The be-all and end-all of life should not be to get rich, but to enrich the world.”
– Bertie Charles Forbes