Current Life Questions from A to Z

A survey that has been floating around the blogosphere must be fun, right?  Well, you’re in for a treat because it’s on the blog today.  Thanks to Sarah and Hayley for the inspiration.

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A — Age: 24 (although sometimes I feel oodles older.  Also, turns out I’m one of the young’uns at NP – I didn’t realize it until we shared our ages and looks like not everyone is in their mid-20’s as I had previously thought)

B – Biggest Fear: Not being able to move as well as feeling like a failure. I don’t like disappointing people, especially myself.  Whether it’s a project, a commitment, or just life in general, I hate feeling as though I’m about to quit on someone or something.

C – Current Time: 2:55 (last edit since I’ve been writing this over a few days weeks)

D – Drink You Had Last: Currently chugging ice water with lemon

E – Easiest Person To Talk To: Mom.  She offers advice that usually is right (ok most of the time) and also listens to me when all I need to do is vent.

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F – Favorite Song: Angel in Blue Jeans (Train)

G – Grossest Memory: I was stopped off with friends at a Carl’s Jr. en-route to Mammoth Mountain and a bird pooped on my head.  Not cool. (There are others but I’d rather not re-live them. Thanks)

H – Hometown: Pasadena, California area!

I – In Love With: The friends I’ve made in the last few years and the support we give one another whether we realize it or not.  That and the opportunities open to our generation.

J – Jealous Of: People who know exactly what they want to do with their lives – jobs, travel, etc.  I have a hefty number of ideas but that’s all I got. 

K – Kindest Person You Know: This one is tough because I’m not sure I could name the absolute kindest person but know oodles of people with open hearts and others who I spot with random acts of kindness.  Let’s share that love around and remember we all are here to coexist. 

L – Longest Relationship: With Ben & Jerry’s?  We go way back.  Just kidding. 

M – Middle Name: Jean.  I’m named after my great-grandmother and from the stories that I have heard, I take after her in many ways.  I think if she were alive today or if we had grown up together, we might have been good pals. 

N – Number of Siblings: 1 sister.  We are best buds.  That’s of course once we get past the fact that I was quite rude to her for 18 years and now she is stuck with my endless random ramblings.  I appreciate you Megnan 🙂

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O – One Wish: World peace.  Or for everyone to find something they love and be content with life.  None of this should have, would have, could have, regret and jealousy business.  You do you and carpe diem people. 

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: Most likely mom.  We talk all the time.  My dad is sometimes hurt by this but he has to know (as I tell him all the time) I usually am talking about nonsensical things with my mom.  Like what I had for lunch.  Or that I actually wore my hair down ALL DAY.  Yeah that rarely happens, but still. 

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: Is that your natural hair color?  Yep, sometimes a little help from SunIn, but all natural 🙂

R – Reason To Smile:  Weekend is near.  It’s fall.  All Or this video about llamas.

S – Song You Last Sang: Lean On (Major Lazer & DJ Snake) Not sure how I got the chorus stuck in my head but it’s great.

T – Time You Woke Up: 4:58 (when this was written) and probably 6 (when this is posted)

U – Underwear Color: Black.  

V – Vacation Destination: Hawaii.  Obsessed.  Although currently I have been in the mood to travel somewhere new all the time.  Current list for the east coast includes: Nashville, Raleigh, Charleston, Maine, Florida, and Georgia.

W – Worst Habit: Ooph, that’s tough.  I do have a terrible habit of cutting people off when they are talking.  I like to finish their sentences.  Oops.

X – X-Rays You’ve Had: Leg – back when I had some runners’ knee issues.

Y – Your Favorite Food: Oooo man.  Sweet potato.  Or ice cream.  Or kale.  Definitely kale.  Cheeseburgers too.  I don’t think I could ever go vegan.  I’m pretty much an open book.

Z — Zodiac Sign: Taurus.  It’s scary how accurate it can be.

Pick one (or a few) and share your answers!  Do share some random fun 🙂

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Life of Late ~ 9.25.15

Seriously, how are we already at the end of September? Good gracious time is just FLYING by.  Things at work have been picking up – between clients wanting to advertise during the 4th quarter and some of my colleagues being out of the office, I’ve started to cover more and more.  Fine by me since I’m more productive when I have more on my plate.  Anyone else feel that way?  Seems to be a Type A thing.

Probably the best part of today is that I am NOT in New York City and do NOT have to deal with all the chaos that has ensued from the UN Grand Council meeting, President Obama being in town, and oh the Pope being in the United States for the first time.  Ever.  I’m out in gorgeous Utah for the weekend and am PUMPED for being outdoors all.darn.weekend.  Yes, lots of all-caps going on, because it’s just that exciting.

We are out west for one of the North Face Endurance Challenge Races in Park City, Utah and are participating among hundreds of other folks, to run up a mountain in epic (at least compared to NYC) altitude.   Good times.  Oh, and it’s our November Project Summit, which means tons of people are flying in from all 23 tribes! Partay!!!

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These are just some of the folks I’ll be hanging around with this weekend.  Aren’t we attractive?  Let’s decide to take our “picture day portraits” on the most humid day ever.  But really, I don’t think this summer was too terrible in terms of humidity but the last few weeks of August were out of control.  Our New York tribe was going for concrete business jungle or something like that.  Basically a play on the fact that most of our city is stereotyped to be fashionistas or Wall Street finance bros.  Either way, my pals Emma and Alex nailed it (top row – lawyer and fashion designer) and Sam and I just are awesome. 😉

IMG_2362 ^^ Anyone know what this means?  I’ve raced 9 races for New York Road Runners this year and volunteered one (well two actually) and am able to receive automatic entrance to next year’s TCS NYC Marathon.  As in my first marathon ever.  Wow.  I’ll be taking a bit of a break after my next half in Staten Island (yes, it will be a glorious destination race, just like Sweden or Huntington Beach or Berlin) and rest mentally and physically.

I actually have a bit of an issue mentally and physically resting, so that should be interesting.  When I told my friend that I couldn’t actually sleep and felt that I had to work out instead (usually leading to me overextending myself and getting sick…) she joked that she had never heard anyone say that it was tougher to stay in bed than work out.  It’s sort of tough to explain to some people and I know we are all different.  But, here’s my verbal commitment here to at least try.

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^^ Another New York bucket list item CHECK!  This time it was out to Brooklyn for some shuffleboard fun at The Royal Palms Shuffleboard and Ample Hills Creamery.  I’ll throw together a little recap in case you want to add it to your bucket list 😉

IMG_2483^^ We do a mean straight face.  For some reason that’s a trend in November Project.  I guess you could start using the same hashtag that Equinox uses for its campaigns >> #novemberprojectmademedoit.  Bit long but you get the idea.

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^^ Did you know it’s fall?  Have you seen every single girl around you fall prey to the Starbucks PSL or Pumpkin Spice Latte?  Apparently they got so much flack after people exposed the original PSL to not contain any pumpkin whatsoever – just chemicals (good for the mind, body, and soul, right?) – so they changed the recipe.  I think it’s absolutely delicious and did cave on Wednesday aka the first official day of fall.

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I am already planning all the festive fall things I would like to make – apple butter, pumpkin butter, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin vegetable lasagna, pumpkin granola, apple cider martinis/sangria, pumpkin gnocchi or ravioli or pumpkin mac and cheese, stew, soup + grilled cheese, on and on and on.  Then there are the fall outfits like boots and scarfs and jeans.  I will need to switch over my entire closet and of course buy a new pair of jeans because running = muscles = 3 ripped pairs of jeans.  Basically I will be broke from all the ingredients I have purchased and probably sick of pumpkin by October 31st. #basicbitch (sorry mom) and no shame about it.

How do you like to celebrate fall?  Do you fall prey to the pumpkin trend too?

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“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”
– Bertrand Russell

Sweet Southern Eats ~ Charleston Edition

A trip to the south – or anywhere for that matter – is not complete without a list of eats.  We were only in Charleston for a short time, just under three days, and I think we did a fine job of making our way around town.

Starting with breakfast/brunch, we decided to hit up Butcher & Bee, a top recommendation and one which is located off one of the main roads and in the back of a parking lot.  Sure, sounds normal to those folks in L.A. or in the suburbs, but strange for someone who has been absorbed in the New York lifestyle for some time.

IMG_7837 IMG_7825 Options, options, options.  Most of them were along the lunch and dinner realm, but we made it work with some huevos rancheros and epic french toast.

IMG_7831  ^^ Like I said on Monday, when you find yourself in the south, ask for everything on top of a biscuit.  Duh.

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 A food blogger in her natural habitat.  😉  She is queen of the San Francisco eats and has lots of fun explorations if find yourself in sunny (cloudy?) San Fran.

IMG_7833 Of course Gaia’s french toast was the real winner on presentation.  A gooey selection of Challah bread dipped in something sweet, toasted to perfection, and topped with berries and granola. Mmmmm, sugar coma come save me.

Butcher & Bee
654 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 619-0202

IMG_7835Now if you are looking for something a little more casual or maybe caffeinated, I recommend stopping into The Daily (by Butcher & Bee).  We ended up here post breakfast for just that – coffee and juice, and I would certainly have gone back there the next two days if it wasn’t in the opposite direction of our adventures. Oh and the whole “must try new things” idea.

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IMG_7822Lovely pre-packaged items ready to devour.  Like I said, if I lived here full time and had the ability to spend $$$, I would be here all day every day.

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Yes kind sir I am taking a picture of my beverages (split with Laura).  No judgement.  We’ve got Green Lemonade on the left (kale, spinach, cucumber, green apple, lemon, ginger – BEST JUICE EVER) and Iced Almond Milk Latte on the right (BEST ALMOND MILK LATTE EVER).  Just throwing that out there.

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On the first day, we ended up eating breakfast at such a late hour, that there really was no need to stop again for lunch and instead, we spent the day walking and then snacking on various coffee drinks and glorious King Street Cookies.  They even had a milk bar for you to fill up and pair alongside your one, two, or more sweet treats.  I went for more of the chocolate selection while Lindsay had strawberry and lemon and Laura stuck to a snicker-doodle and molasses.

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King Street Cookies
370 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401

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We may not have eaten lunch on day one, but we sure found ourselves in line for BBQ on day two.  The original plan had been to wander through a plantation and then end up at Sullivan’s Island or Isle of the Palms for some much needed beach time.  Well, Mother Nature had different ideas and with a never-ending rainstorm in our midst, we settled in for a nice drink and southern spread.

IMG_2214IMG_7927 Lindsay found the most adorable old-fashioned bar where they make affordable classic cocktails and play black and white movies on the wall.  I decided to go outside my comfort zone and order something with gin and pineapple.  The thinking was “maybe the pineapple will help my legs recover from all that walking, right?”  Good thinking.

Next up dinner, but that went un-pictured by yours truly.  I swear it was delicious, I just decided to live in the moment.

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Husk is yet another wonderful dining option – one that requires a reservation well in advance.  We didn’t think that one through either and couldn’t really show up and ask for a table for 5.  But maybe you can check it out for us!

Husk
76 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401

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Next step.  Find a suitable dessert option to end the night.

We all know the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, but I think there needs to be a book, If You Give Kaitlin a Scoop of Ice Cream (she will love you forever).  But then again, maybe we shouldn’t.  In the end I will say hands down, ice cream is the best creation and certainly the best dessert.  I also think now that Jeni’s has their stuff together, they are churning out some fine flavors.

IMG_2257 Because ending the day, weekend, trip, and summer with another scoop of ice cream is the right decision. (same place, different night)  Really, the diet starts tomorrow.

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Hominy Grill ~ Charleston Brunch #2

This little thing we like to call brunch is way more popular across the country than I actually realized.  Maybe it’s due to the fact that I never truly “brunched” growing up.  We were always so busy going from soccer tournaments to softball games to USC tailgates and football games and the list could go on and on.  Basically, going to brunch has been a whole new experience for me.  So obviously we made it happen not once, but twice.

IMG_7942Just down the road from where we were staying is the ultimate brunch (and dinner) affair – Hominy Grill.  It’s the place to go for biscuits or shrimp and grits or even a cup of jo’ and some eggs.  But let’s be honest, eggs are no fun when you only get to eat here once in your life.

IMG_7941Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, SC 29403

IMG_7948IMG_7950Like many other popular brunch spots, you will arrive, only to find a wait.  Simply put your name in and consider ordering a beverage (or two) and relax.

IMG_7953 IMG_7955 Just a few appetizers for the table ~ 1) Fried Green Tomatoes (a MUST in Charleston apparently)  2) Plain ‘ol Biscuit 3) Slices Housemade Banana Or Pumpkin Ginger Bread two slices

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 Charleston Nasty Biscuit with fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese & sausage gravy

IMG_7959 Daily special of Buckwheat Pancakes w/ Peach Yogurt Butter

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Shrimp & Grits! with sautéed shrimp w/ scallions, mushrooms & bacon over cheese grits

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Double thumbs up my friends.  We were quite impressed by the food and the folks helping us out.  I mean, our server practically almost pulled up a chair to swap stories with us, explain the menu, and make sure we were doing alright.  All the food recommendations were spot on – make sure to order the fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits – and we left very well fed.

Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, SC 29403
~ Menus ~ Recipes ~ Information ~

Life of Late ~ 9.18.15

I do apologize for the bombardment of photos this week.  There is so much to share and so much to catch up on so let’s keep this nice and short.  Did you know that this week marks 16 weeks until 2016?  That sure puts things in perspective.

Also, this is the LAST official weekend of summer.  I’m hoping the weather holds out for us as I would LOVE to take one more trip to the beach tomorrow.  I can already feel a slight chill in the air, a slight breeze that truly smells like fall, and of course the Pumpkin Spice Latte is in full force.  I’m trying – oh so trying – to hold out until October 1st.  It just doesn’t seem right otherwise.  For now, I blog to eat.  Or is it run to eat?  Let’s link up and list out random fun.

IMG_2049 Throwback to my last summer Friday day of eats.  Got to love the “healthy” sweet frozen treat from Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit – frozen fruit with water and a dash of cane sugar.

IMG_2054 ^^ Next up or later in the afternoon, I stopped by Shake Shack for a burger and a concrete.  I had just finished yoga when my roommate texted me that she was meeting a coworker at Shake Shack.  I had only planned to stop by and say hi but of course the allure of a juicy burger and dining al fresco pulled me in.  Some say it’s a great burger and others compare it to McDonald’s.  I’d say for a “fast-food” joint, it’s not half-bad and I especially liked the chopped pepper and bacon on top.

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Shutters upon shutters from Charleston, SC.  Just a little blue and I don’t mind if I do.

IMG_7910Take me back to where the street views look like this. Window upon windows and flowers upon flowers.

Well + Good ~ “9 Signs to Show You Are Exhausted” ~ Yes. Yes. Yes.  I also have been cutting out coffee (over a week without!) but maybe a little more sleep would do the body and soul good.  

MyDomaine ~ “Jenna Lyons (JCrew) Shares Her Secret to Being Happier” ~ As I like to say (and remind myself) YOU DO YOU

Pure Wow ~ “13 Fresh Recipes for Blueberries” – Doesn’t that grilled cheese look divine?

Well + Good ~ “The Beauty Secret More New York Women Are Sipping On” – Hydration is a good thing!

Pure Wow ~ “13 Reasons You Are So Happy You’re No Longer in Your 20’s” – What if I’m still in my 20’s? #4, #5, #10. Truth

Well + Good ~ “This is What Happens When You Eat 40 Teaspoons of Sugar” – Sugar, sugar, sugar.  The new smoking. (along with sitting…the app that reminds you to stand up)

Buzzfeed ~ “We Know How Much of a 90’s Kid You Actually Are” – But really.  Take this quiz and you will thank me.  SO MUCH FROM THE 09’s that I forgot about.  So many good memories.

~~~ lunchables. seeing the zoo books commercials, caprisun at soccer games, having lisa frank folders, billnye the science guy videos making your day at school, beanie babies and believing you could save them until 2000 and get rich selling them ~~~
FullSizeRenderThat time I ran around Manhattan in order to fulfill my long run quota for the day and to end up at Clinton St. Baking Co.  A quick tip is that it’s a cash only joint, so make sure to come prepared.
Clinton St. Baking Co. & Restaurant
4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
(646) 602-6263
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I’m 99% sure you will arrive to a queue, between 30 minutes to over an hour, but well worth the wait.   This here is the famous blueberry pancakes with warm maple butter.  I saw the man next to us order the same thing and then ask for regular syrup.  No sir, just no.
IMG_2349 ^^ Yoga + hip-hop and rap?  Who knew yoga could be that much fun??
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Digging my time at this weekend’s 5th Avenue Mile and Wanderlust festival.  TOO MUCH FUN IN THE SUN!
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

When in Charleston, Visit a Plantation

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Now, when given the opportunity to explore something gorgeous and historical, I am totally game.  So, when we decided to visit the south for Labor Day Weekend, we realized there were oh so many options and opportunities.  We never did make it into one of the Charleston house tours, but set our sights on a plantation tour.

We tried our best to go with the flow on this trip and only plan out a few things we wanted to see.  I was trying to balance the types of trips where it’s go-go-go and then the trips or beach days where all you do is lounge.  I don’t really know how to “do nothing” but know my travel companions aren’t always about the “go-go-go.”  Healthy medium, right?  So, while we didn’t really plan out our restaurant reservations, we did find Boone Hall Plantation as one of the top plantations in Charleston, thus it became an absolute must see item on our trip!

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IMG_7964These picturesque oaks are years and years old.  In fact, they were planted back in 1743 by the son of Major John Boone.  When you see these trees lining the driveway, you know you are deep in the south and for some, right out of a Nicholas Sparks’ novel.

We had just finished off brunch at the Hominy Grill, delicious review to come soon, and scheduled an Uber to pick us right up from the restaurant.  The plantation is a quick 20 or so minute drive away and we were able to see some of the local sights on our trip over.

IMG_7968 IMG_7975We had fun exploring around the garden prior to our schedule tour.  There really is no need to purchase tickets ahead of time and as a matter of fact, your $20 entrance fee pays for the tour!  Do note that the plantation entrance is a solid 1/2 mile from the Visitor’s Center, house, and parking.  We didn’t realize that but did have the opportunity to walk under the gorgeous oak trees.  See what we did?  Found the silver linings 🙂

IMG_7984Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset IMG_7985The house that stands there today was built in 1936 and guides will take you through the first floor of rooms and share the evolution of owners since 1681.   One of the current owners lives out in California (hey hey west coast!) but enjoys spending time at home every once in awhile.  When she travels back, she stays right there in the plantation home, occupying the second floor, thus tours are a no-go.  We weren’t allowed to take any photos inside the plantation mansion, but I couldn’t help myself with this gorgeous patterned brick floor.

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 Post-plantation tour, we headed out to the gift store and listened to there was a talk or rather entertaining presentation of the “Gullah Culture” – or culture adapted by the African slaves.   Definitely insightful and worth the extra half hour!

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Boone Hall Plantation
1235 Long Point Road, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

March 9, 2015 – Labor Day Sept. 7, 2015 
Mon-Sat:  8:30am-6:30pm
Sun: 12pm-5pmSept. 8, 2015 – Jan. 1, 2016
Mon-Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: 12pm-5pm

So, I was supposed to write up a recap of my actual historical trip to Fort Sumter as well buuuuuut seeing as I dropped my computer last week and the screen went black and I didn’t upload the pictures to the web and now it’s in the Grand Central Apple Store, that won’t be happening.  But, for what it’s worth, it was neat to see the place where the Civil War started and I did enjoy the boat ride and Fort tour.  I certainly brought the average age down by a lot, seeing as I was touring among 100+ folks, all aged around 60+.  Oh, and I saw two college students on a date there.  Odd choice but when in the south I guess?

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“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu