So Long January!

A little bit of thought amidst the photo dump for this week.  Who is ready to celebrate not only the last Friday of January but Chinese New Year, Super Bowl, AND Groundhog Day?!?!?  I’m sure y’all didn’t see that last one coming.  My 8th grade teacher was pretty much obsessed with Groundhog day.  There definitely was one year in which I woke up and called Pennsylvania to see what Punxsutawney Phil’s report was before going to school.  Nerd alert right here.

I found yet another link-up, this time on Lauren Elizabeth‘s High Five for Friday.  Let’s check out what’s happening 🙂

Living out my 20’s – When else are you able to do what you want, pick up and travel, change jobs, or try something completely out of the ordinary?  Well, you can actually do a lot of that at any age, but your 20’s are special.  I stumbled upon this blog,Sometimes Always Never, and absolutely adore it!  Whitney tells it like it is and I see some of myself in her posts and adventures. I especially loved her section about 20-somethings and even being single. Really, I know I tell you every week (day?) you need to read this, but really, PLEASE take some time to browse.

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Celebrating with the best coworkers and bosses I’ve had (except for my Santa Clara boss Michelle) 🙂  I’ve had my fair share of coworkers between school jobs and internships and honestly, having a group like this to work with makes a world of difference.

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Doesn’t living out your 20’s mean frozen yogurt for dinner?  I was out with my coworkers on Wednesday and decided to pick up some of the best frozen yogurt in New York City (self-serve that is).  I was tricked by Apple maps and the supposed 16 Handles on Park is non-existent.  So I decided to walk 30+ blocks to the 30th and 3rd location and then continue 20 blocks home. All in the name of frozen yogurt.

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SNOW – Ok, winter isn’t exactly my favorite season (no matter the location – even when I was in California) but it’s pretty fun to see snow and be able to dress up in boots and scarves.  People thought I would freeze but I told them as long as I have the proper gear, I should be ok.  I still stand by that and now I finally get to put my Uggs to use.  Those babies gifted back in the days of junior high when it was a trend to wear them rolled down (note – I did NOT participate) with a jean skirt.  Because of course no one in Southern California ever needs boots like that.

Funny posts – Such as these two about about dating runners and why it’s such a brilliant idea.  The first was found on Elephant Journal and the follow up on Blonder Side of Life.  Between sexy assets (yes, I’m talking about those quads and toosh, built up from squats and running hills) to a love for food, we’ve got it all.

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Just look at this drool worthy photo. No really, take another look.  You don’t like sweets?  Phooey.  Well get this – it doesn’t have nearly as much sugar as you think it might have.  Recipe on one of my favorite blog’s Imma Eat That and hopefully a Kaitlin rendition/attempt next week.

“We cannot do everything at once but we can do something at once.”
– Calvin Coolidge

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Lucky Duck it’s a Liebster Award

My first thoughts when writing this post were “I wonder who created the Liebster Award?” and “what the heck does Liebster mean?”.  After I did some blog surfing, I came up with no really solid answers except that “Liebster” is greatest in German.  Ok, I didn’t try that hard but it’s been a really fun way to celebrate the joys of blogging and get to know other bloggers.

Just as I finished writing up Tuesdays’s post about what makes me happy and the #100HappyDays challenge, I read my friend Carrie’s post, which happened to touch upon happiness.  You know that saying “Great minds think alike”?  Well, I swear it’s true.

Carrie is one of my top blogger (and now friend) role models.  She is outgoing, hard working, and always up for an adventure.  I bookmark so many of her posts – from happiness to the dark side of perfection, it’s safe to say she knows how to express herself (and what a lot of us are feeling).  Seriously, the places she has been, steps she has taken and let me say that she is only 22!  She was kind enough to nominate this blog for the Liebster Award, which many of you may be familiar with.

Carrie thought of some pretty solid questions and honestly it’s going to be tough to answer them to the fullest.  I say this because I swear I could carry on a day-long conversation or ramble for hours about each one.

1) one thing that can always make you happy no matter what? – laughing.  This can be from a stupid television show (America’s Funniest Home Videos) or even a good television show (SNL has its moments), giggling with my girlfriends, cracking up over good times or spur of the moment decisions, or even laughing at myself.  I laugh on roller coasters and cannot keep a straight face in some serious situations.  (The latter might be a problem…oops)

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2) favorite season and why? –  I get pretty stoked for every season – the decorating, the change in food obsessions, and of course the switch-up of wardrobes.  But, the following reasons make me say spring:  1 – I’m a spring baby so duh.  2 – It used to mean spring break and the anticipation of summer.  3 – There’s just this feeling in the air when it’s spring; it’s hard to explain but the crisp morning air, perfect for sweater and shorts with flowers blooming all around.  Most of my favorite memories come from when I was younger and now that I no longer have a spring break or summer break, we shall see if my mood remains as cheerful 😉  I’m hoping I can finagle someone into going to D.C. to see the Cherry Blossom festival with me!

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3) if you could eat any meal from any restaurant regardless of price or proximity in the world to you what would it be? – stumped. only because I don’t have a favorite meal/dish/restaurant.  First world problems, I know.  I’m a happy camper with oodles of vegetables (hold the mushrooms and olives), breads like sourdough, cibatta, and popovers, and of course I can’t forget my sweets (mostly ice cream, froyo, and cheesecake).  Confession – I had to consult my sister on this question and we agree that it depends on the mood you are in.  Best burger – Back Abbey, Claremont, California. Solid steak/fish at the Chophouse, Pasadena.  Classic Italian pizza at Tarantinos, Pasadena.  Excellent mud pie at Chucks Waterfront Grill, Santa Barbara, California. 

That being said, there are also classic meals that I miss from home – homemade pizza, taco bar, enchiladas, Bristol Farms kabobs, etc.

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4) 3 of the biggest influences in your life? – #1 Straight up I’m going for the cliche answer – family.  I truly admire how creative my mom is, how strategic my dad is, and how logical my sister is.  We have our moments just like any other family but the amount that my parents have traveled, the things they have achieved in their lives is inspiring.  As for Megnan, she keeps me sane and is one heck of a student and athlete.

Other than that, I admire the people who remain positive and optimistic, no matter what gets them down, as well as the anticipation of the future.  Quite cliche but that’s the truth.

5) something you always have to do every night before you can go to bed? – Check my phone?  Paaathetic and I’m trying to work myself out of this.  Lately I’ve been brewing myself a cup of chamomile tea or Trader Joe’s peppermint green tea (non-caffinated).  I’ve tried to pick up my mom’s habit of saying a little prayer before hopping into bed but I usually say it when I get under the covers.  Still counts, right?

6) next place on your list to travel to? – Gosh I have oodles of lists but I actually need to pick a place and GO.  Might end up being San Francisco actually.  I’m planning to spend some quality time with this book, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” (gift from my roommate) and start planning something.

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7) favorite thing about were you live right now? – How much there is to do and SEE.  I love having a relatively passive commute.  It takes about 20-30 minutes door to door and I get to read the newspaper, listen to music, and people watch, rather than sit in my car feeling miserable about life and traffic. Also, I sound like a broken record but I adore the hustle and bustle.  There’s always something happening and you really never feel alone.

8) what you’re thankful for right this minute? – Does my Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee count? I’m actually extremely thankful for having such a supportive family – immediate and extended – thoughtful best friends (now on both coasts!), a job with great coworkers/bosses/environment, and the opportunities to live in such a city and do what I want, when I want. These are all things I mention in my prayers every night.

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9) where do you picture your life 5 years from now? – Happy and healthy and doing something I love.  Not too hard to ask for, right?  Honestly I could not have told you this time last year that I’d be in this place.  I wanted to be in New York but that’s all I knew. Dare I say #yolo?

10) something you want to be remembered for? – My enthusiasm. For people, friends, family, traveling, life, giving back/to others, baking, eating, working out, meeting new people, learning, crafting, exploring, etc.  I could go on for days.  No really…daaaaaays.

I’m twisting the rules (if there even are legit rules) and jotting down six bloggers simply because six is my favorite number.  I also want to spread the love around and celebrate as many fabulous bloggers as possible!  Apologies if you’ve already received it, share your story and keep the chain going 🙂

Piece of Cait

Chasing Chels 

In It 4 The Long Run

Not So Perfect Life

Treats and Sneaks

Just Call Me Janks

Also, because imitation is the greatest form of flattery, I’m using Carrie’s questions so enjoy!

1) one thing that can always make you happy no matter what?

2) favorite season and why?

3) if you could eat any meal from any restaurant regardless of price or proximity in the world to you what would it be?

4) 3 of the biggest influences in your life?

5) something you always have to do every night before you can go to bed?

6) next place on your list to travel to?

7) favorite thing about were you live right now?

8) what you’re thankful for right this minute?

9) where do you picture your life 5 years from now?

10) something you want to be remembered for?

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What Makes You Happy?

For me, it comes down to the small things.  I’ve published posts about giving back, eating a cookie, perfecting a craft, laughing with my friends, exploring with my family, or going for a run in the open air.  Thanks to my friend Kat’s post last week about 100 Happy Days, I found a way to share these little things and remind myself what it means to be happy.

Too often we find ourselves caught up in the daily grind, wishing it was the weekend, wishing we lived or worked somewhere else, or just going through the motions.  I try to snap myself out of this and realize what a wonderful world we live in.  Sure there is crime and the Olympic issues are a bit scary, but let’s not let every day be a Debbie Downer day, ok?

In order to do this, I’m going to participate in the 100 Happy Days challenge and for 100 days I’ll be posting a picture of something that makes me happy.  You can follow along on Instagram and if you are game, you should test it out too!  Waiting for another incentive?  At the end of the 100 days you will receive a little book with all your photographic memories.  Now how’s that for awesome?

For more information and to join the fun travel over here.

b6119efa931a8b10baeef4dd94391935 (1)Tell me, what makes you happy?

 

Rounding Up A Weekend of Snow

As I type this up, I’m watching the Grammy’s and I have to say, marvelous can be summed up in two words – Hunter Hayes.  I swear this guy knows how to express all sorts of emotions in his songs and it must be something about his voice or country music but it makes me, and probably the rest of young women my age, melt.

Anyways, now that we’ve covered that topic, let’s cover the bases of the marvelous weekend and last weekend of January 2014!  Many thanks to Healthy Diva Eats as usual 🙂

Marvelous is going with the flow.  I really do think I’m getting the hang of this whole “don’t plan out your weekend to the minute” deal.  I had a few things on my mind – I needed a new pair of jeans, I wanted to work out, and I wanted to explore something, which is pretty average for a Kaitlin weekend.

Friday night my roommates and I found ourselves with takeout (sushi and green tea ice cream for myself) and Monsters University.  There wasn’t much else on Hulu or Netflix (so pick up your game please!) and it was the only decent RedBox movie.  All in all not half bad but I was still riding the high of Frozen.  That’s right, I went to see Frozen a couple weekends ago and AM IN LOVE!  Don’t mind this 22-year old watching a movie and laughing by herself – there were no regrets there.  Oh and did anyone else have a “you go girl” moment at the end?  Two thumbs up for Disney and Chris Buck.

On Saturday I brought my roommate to my Total Body Conditioning Class but may have oversold it.  Oops.  While it was still a workout, there wasn’t as much cardio (or I wasn’t sweating as much that day) and the music was not exactly my cup of tea.  I then satisfied my hunger with a massive salad from Sweetgreen.  Oh my gosh nommmmms.  If it wasn’t so pricey ($20 for below – juice + salad), I’d probably find myself there on the regular.  Eh, give and take and treating myself with delicious foods was worth it.

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Later in the day I went with my friend Laura to volunteer up in the Bronx.  We both are a part of New York Cares and were able to find a project where we could play sports with a bunch of kids.  I have to say, it felt great to goof around, joke, and let loose, all while making a difference.

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Laura and I continued down to pick up a snack (I’ve been super hungry lately – maybe because I’m lacking in the protein department of my meals) and then explored Central Park in the snow.  Two California girls in the snow makes for one grand adventure.  However, the cold started to get to us after a couple hours out there and we were ready for a hot chocolate.  I’ll do a recap of our favorite hot chocolate locations at some point but I swear, whatever we had was pretty much dark chocolate chips melted in a cup.  DIVINE if I do say so myself.

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As we headed back to our apartments, I received a last minute invitation to dinner and how could I not accept when it was a couple of my Santa Clara friends and I had nothing else to do that night?

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Michelle (a fellow New Yorker now 🙂 ), myself, Andrew (Michelle’s boyfriend), and Dimitri

Sunday was filled with gym time (ugh dreadmill, you are not my friend yet but keep tryiing), brunch with my roommate, plenty of shopping (#success with Nordstrom Rack!) and even some meal prep.  This came after I dropped what I thought was a lot of money at the grocery store.  I figured by picking up the necessary veggies, chicken, and other goods, I might save some cash during the week.  Who knows, it’s good in theory, right?  It probably didn’t help that I picked up some baking ingredients here and there but I love to bake for people, so I’m not really complaining.

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Marvelous is catching up on the phone with a couple of my best friends.  Texting is good, email is great, but chatting on the phone is the best when they are over 2,000 miles away.

There were multiple times this weekend I thought to myself, “wow, I cannot even believe I live in such a place. The snow, the city lights, the ability to go from one part of the city to the other in practically no time at all?  Just brilliant.”

33ca11f05c4def6774b667e3338daf98Award show preference? Emmy’s, Grammy’s, or Oscars?

Friday Favorites

It may have been a four day week but I’m still oh so excited it’s Friday.  There’s just something about it.  Well, you know the deal, end of the week means a round up of favorites. Enjoy 🙂

IMG_2223This, my friends, was the lovely surprise I came home to last week.  Thanks to the Chobani giveaway held by Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth (such good recipes and she is a Theta like me!).  I received an entire variety pack of Chobani yogurt.  I’ve been throwing myself into breakfast creations, from smoothies to the ever so popular overnight oats, and even the classic yogurt and granola routine.  So far I’ve stuck to what I know but am looking forward to the lemon, lime, and even pear.  Apricot was a flavor that I was skeptical about (simply because I don’t like apricots that much) and ended up loving. Do you stick to certain flavors of yogurt?

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Whether it’s a compliment, completing an order at work, volunteering, or giving a gift – it makes me feel good.  Two thumbs up here.  (Don’t you wish you could put emojis in blog posts? I DO!)

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Hmmm I haven’t been shopping in awhile.  Although I do need a pair of jeans.  My favorite pair were a bit too worn in and happened to split beyond repair.  #fail  We shall see what wins out.  Then there’s the question of work clothes.  I was browsing through my Pinterest board for inspiration and found an unhealthy amount of JCrew vests, Hunter boots, and summer wear.  Too bad it will be 20F for the next couple months.

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Who doesn’t enjoy a sweet treat every now and then everyday?  This was actually from last week but I had to snap a picture and Instagram my first Wendy’s Frosty right?  If it’s not on social media, it never happened.  I do think some 16 Handles is necessary this weekend.  That or this fun 5 oz shop I discovered with Wisconsin custard.  Who cares if it’s snowing and 20F – ice cream and froyo is delicious at any time.

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DID ANYONE WATCH MINDY? I’m behind on PLL but I adore the Mindy Project.  Maybe it’s because I love seeing them in New York and now I live in New York.  Not to mention I’ve seen myself replay some of the scenes in my own life – definitely not on purpose though.

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Think, Think, Thinking About Life

There are days where I struggle to think of what to write and then there are days where my mind is going too fast for my fingers to type cohesive sentences.  Maybe not to a point where it becomes jibberish, but who knows, it may very well be incomprehensible.  (My apologies to my high school writing teachers and my mother) Usually when this happens at home I can just start talking and tell my my mom and sister everything.  They have learned to just roll their eyes.  Come on people, didn’t you ever read As I Lay Dying?  All about the stream of consciousness.  Ok, now that I’ve discussed something educational on the blog (an AP course novel counts, right?) let’s get on with my Thursday thoughts.

I’m absolutely loving the Internet and it’s vast accumulation of lists.  Between “25 Things I Wish I Knew Before 25” to “20 Things Nobody Tells You Moving Out of Southern California” – it’s all true.

Has anyone had their first life-crisis?  Maybe not the sort of life-crisis that makes you do something drastic (buy a couple purses, get an ear-piercing…oops already did that) but it’s debating your life purpose, your college, your major, or your job?  Well, I think it has something to do with this little thing we call technology.  Thank you social media for enabling us to blow this whole “grass is greener” thing out of proportion.  Thank you to Facebook for increasing the FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome.  Thank you to Pinterest for making us inspired to work out and be the ultimate crafty person but set our expectations to the impossible level.  SnackTherapy had the ultimate post about this last week.

Let’s just say that growing up is TOUGH.  To find your life’s purpose or even establish your own identity is difficult work.  Not to mention peer-pressure, the fact that you want to fit in and don’t know how to find people who enjoy the same activities you do.  Let’s just add an element of reality to it – living in a new city, earning money to only spend it on rent and maybe some good food once in awhile. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs but who doesn’t?

I actually am grateful for the Internet because I’ve been able to blog, meet some pretty darn genuine people and call them my friends.  I’ve been able to read articles such as those listed above to realize we are all in this mess together and we are each in charge of our own happiness.  I’ve realized that there is no “normal” whether it’s in college, out of college, etc.  I’ve also started to implement some of the first article into my life and feel it’s too good not to share.

  • Twenty seconds of courage is all you need – You don’t need to do something stupid but be bold.  Break free of your comfort zone.
  • Ask for help – I’m all about independence, so this has been difficult.  I fear that if I ask for help, people will think I’m incompetent.  So not true.
  • Take care of my body – I genuinely like to work out (I feel confident and strong and that’s attractive) and I love kale, quinoa, salmon, and sometimes kombucha (dead serious here).  However, I also love frozen yogurt and if I had my choice I’d have it every day.  The catch?  Well 16 Handles isn’t exactly budget friendly.
    • Learn to eat better, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, cut out/down on some of your more unhealthy choices and de-stress yourself as much as possible. In the long run, you won’t regret it and you’ll probably feel a lot better too! (thanks to this thought here)
  • Learn self defense – oops, need to work on this…maybe start with pepper spray?
  • Forgiveness and acceptance are freeing and necessary to maintain peace of mind.
  • Stop being addicted to technology –  I know, I post a lot about this, but it saddens me how many people are walking the streets with their noses buried in their phones, couples at dinner, both straining their necks to read some update or article or play some trivial game.  What happened to the art of conversation? 

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Now onto my first love – California.  It’s funny when you decide to move across the country to an entirely different culture.  Yes, the Mexican food here sucks and I am quite the traffic snob.  Besides, why does no one else put “the” in front of the highway names?  It’s normal, duh.  Also let me clarify that not everyone lives near the beach.  While I’d like to say that, it’s simply not true.  People who don’t know the geography of the west coast tend to make assumptions, which is fine since I can’t explain the different cities in New York or even explain the difference between North Jersey and South Jersey.  

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Really, how do people come up with these and put them to “paper”?  I know someone has a good article or blog post when I find myself smiling or nodding vigorously with each new sentence.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in New York – all the sights and sounds, the hustle and bustle, the non-stop energy – but California will always be my home.  True, I grew up in the suburbs and that’s all I’ve ever known, but living in a city has expanded my horizons far beyond what I could have predicted.

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