Life of Late ~ 10.30.15

Helloooooooooo.  Who is ready for the spooktacular day of Halloween (tomorrow)?  My day has started off a-okay with a little November Project pump up workout at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, a little trip to Whole Foods (because why not) and now a media math test for television media.  I would prefer to do without the last part buuuuuut what can you do?  Of course I’m “studying” by writing this post.  Let’s just say it’s going as well as my SAT prep did in high school.  Back then I didn’t have the blog but I did have the JCrew website to browse.  Hey, I made it through college and earned a job on my own, so it’s all good.

I had planned on getting up this morning around 5:15 and dropping my stuff at the gym, running to the workout and running back afterwards.  Turns out I either didn’t set my alarms, turned them off before going to bed, or just turned them off in my sleep.  Anyways, I woke up at 5:45, which was not enough time to catch the subway and subsequently hailed a cab.  So much for free fitness 😉

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We started the morning off with a helluva lot of burpees, lunges, stairs, and oh more burpees.  I have to hand it to our leaders – that was one killer workout.

Plans this weekend call for a Halloween house-warming, some sort of workout and pumpkin baking tomorrow and the NEW YORK MARATHON ON SUNDAY!  Who is pumped?

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Last night I went to a happy hour celebration with work and I swear it reminded me that not everyone is a runner.  I had a few conversations with people where they just couldn’t understand my infatuation with November Project or working out or getting up early.  It’s like I was a specimen or something. (Note as I am writing this at 9:20…oops…the office is empty.  I’m that weird kid who works out in the morning instead of getting in late with a hangover. you do you)

^^ I don’t do bugs and I don’t do spiders, but this is too darn hilarious.  I very well may try this with a future dog of mine.  I’ll be such a good owner 😉

Side note.  I want to get more involved with photography and video making.  I watch all these amazing little recap videos that people make of their travels (Well Traveled Wife + husband, The Healthy Maven, and a few of my friends at NP).  This may be my new winter project but let’s see if I actually follow through…

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^^ Throwback to those good times we had in Utah.  My deepest apologies to Emma as I have my rear end in her face.  Don’t mind me, just trying to get the race anklet on straight.

Huffington Post ~ “1,200 Calories” ~ Isn’t this article the truth.  Weight is more than a number and it’s not always all about those calories.  Excuse the French but I liked this excerpt, “And hungry people are — let’s be honest — complete assholes. I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry it means I’m unfocused, cranky, distracted, grumpy, irritable, and generally miserable. Snickers did get something right: You are not your best self when you are hungry.”

Sweet & Salty ~ “Redefining Love” ~ A post written by one of my best friends and such a wonderful one at that ~ “And now these three remain: faith, hope, love. But the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13:13

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^^ Enjoying the last 0.2 of the last 10 miles of the NYM course (if you are a blog follower, you might recognize the gal in the tank to the left)

5 Love Languages ~ So how do you express your love for others?  Words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch?  I guess you could say I’m a mix of the two – acts of service and gifts, but mostly love to give gifts.  Whether it’s being there to listen, sending care packages, or just picking up something random in a store (or even groceries 😉 ).  I love finding the right gift for someone and watching their face as they open it. 

Business Insider ~ “What I Would Tell My 20-Year Old Self” ~ Fail. Patience. Travel.  Stop watching TV.  All so true, especially the TV part. I spend some nights on the couch, flipping through my phone and willing myself to do something different.  Yet I remain on that couch, eyes glued to either the phone or television.

Pure Wow ~ “5 Places to Hike Based on Your L.A. Personality” ~ Getting this list ready for when I’m home during the holidays.

Time ~ “How to Find the Healthiest Candy” ~ Now, I’m a HUGE sweet fan but not the biggest candy fan.  Shocker.  I do love a trip to Dylan’s Candy bar but that’s just because it’s like another world in there.  Thanks to Cupcakes & Cashmere for a few of these links. 

DON’T FORGET TO TURN YOUR CLOCKS BACK SUNDAY!  If you are out and about for the Halloween festivities, you may feel a little deja vu when it’s 2 am and then 2 am.  Enjoy.

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NYC MARATHON WEEK!

Folks. It’s here.  This is my third fall in the city and I’ve finally caught the marathon running bug.  No, I’m not running the marathon (this year) but am going to every.single.event – or at least the November Project ones (which pretty much equates to all the marathon events)

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I helped kick off the festivities on Saturday with a 10 mile jaunt up and along the last part of the course.  I actually had never ran into the Bronx and thought it was a great way to explore the city, especially when I got to run with these gals.  Let’s just say I’m definitely not in the shape to run any further (hence why I’m NOT running the marathon any time soon) but am so inspired for anyone who is.  We ended over at Columbus Circle with some chocolate milk, free bananas + Kind bars, and then stumbled off to grab some Juice Press juices.

The rest of the weekend wasn’t too eventful. I stopped by Tompkin’s Square for the annual Halloween Dog Parade (yes that’s a thing and yes it was overwhelming with the amount of people that showed up), grabbed coffee/lunch with a friend in the east village, and cleaned the apartment.  So fun, I know.  Sunday turned out to be a GORGEOUS day after the rain cleared.  I had a little gym session with weights (probably looked more like an idiot than I had hoped), stopped by a new church with the roommates, grabbed Joe coffee with a blogger friend, and yoga in Central Park.  Once home, I attempted a mega Halloween cookie, and “whipped” up some pumpkin-apple-gruyere-sausage risotto with Lindsay. Quotes necessary because this was no short process.  We always forget how long risotto takes (close to an hour+) but is always worth it.  Ok, it may have turned out to be a busier weekend than originally planned, but that’s “Kaitlin” for you.

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^^ Last year’s water station in Queens #mile14.  This year, check us out at #mile7 BROOKLYN!

This NP_NYC Blog Post?  So excited. So so excited.  Side note – eac November Project tribe writes a blog after every workout, which is totally fun to read.  Also serves as an itinerary for a week like this week.  I mean, just reading through it gets you stoked right?

Feeling a little hyped up at the moment (maybe it’s the free coffee from the expo, the $0.25 coffee from Dunkin – thank you to the Giants for winning – or the fact that I’ve been up since 5:20 to run hills), so let’s hope this energy pushes me through the work week.

I decided to make the special NP pop up workout, which was at 67/west side of Central Park since it was close to work.  We ran hills for a half hour and stopped by the marathon finisher’s tent (don’t think it’s called the expo since that’s at the Javitts Center) to get some free swag – a few cups of Dunkin coffee, free photos, and yes, a photo and chat with THE Deena Kastor.  I may have started the conversation with “hi, we met back at a race in Mammoth Lakes, how is your dog and daughter?” (notice the order of words in that question).

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^^ We are totally pals.  

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This was from the Mammoth Lakes 10k a few years ago.  Meghan probably won her age group and I believe I “won” my age group, meaning I came in with a decent time, but they called my name and gave me the winner’s mug instead of the girl who actually won.  Funny story – that girl who should have received the mug was in the same grade as me and happened to be on the Santa Clara cross country team.

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 But really, I think she was a little willing to take a picture with us.  Or she is just a wonderful human being.

IMG_3097^^ We also are pretty much 2x her size.  We just have the muscles built for those hills 😉

Another funny story.  This morning as I was draining my phone battery going between Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and the camera, Deena Kastor came on to speak and one of the NP guys – Brian – asked (jokingly), “who’s that?”  To which I responded “gosh Brian, don’t you know? It’s THE Deena Kastor.”  He proceed to laugh.  Oh man, guess the jokes on me.  (This was also one of those stories where it was probably better if you were there or I could tell you in person.  All about the tone.)

IMG_3100^^ The reason I want to run a marathon? So I can spend my entire paycheck + more on buy myself and these goodies.  I mean who runs for food when you can run for Tiffany’s?

IMG_3099Maybe too much enthusiasm for a Monday.  Scratch that, never too much enthusiasm for a Monday.  Get pumped and get your New York on.  For all of you running the marathon – I’ll see you at #mile7

“The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.”
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

Life of Late ~ 10.23.17

I know I know, there have been a few too many “life of late” posts going on.  I truly wish I could muster up a few other prophetic posts, buuuuut I’m coming up short.  This week has actually flown by and hey, it’s everyone’s favorite day of the work week.

Some of the random things that I have learned in the last week?

  • Gluten-free bread is delicious but also starts to crumble after one week.  This doesn’t make for a great sandwich or grilled cheese.
  • Going to watch baseball games (even in the bar) with friends is fun, except when you decide to get up early to workout in the morning.
  • Running on 5 hours of sleep?  Not exactly recipe for the most success during the work day and sure doesn’t help with your eating decisions.  Common sense Kaitlin. Duh.
  • I’m pretty good at eating healthy, but boy I have such a craving for something sweet at the end of the day.

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Sure, people complain about the MTA but I have to hand it to NYC, I’ve never had better methods of transportation.  Think about it, there may be tons of people and sure, some delays, but we actually get places relatively quickly.  If you aren’t going to follow me on this train of thought, just enjoy the different tile patterns and pictures in each subway station.

IMG_2779^^ Don’t these just look divine?  A little trip to Chobani SOHO is always a good idea, especially when you get to take the little glass bowl home after you finish!  My friend Whitney and I met up for a little massage in Chinatown and then caught up over Chobani (sweet for me, savory for her).

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IMG_2813^^ BIG thanks to this gal for meeting me on Staten Island just to run the last few miles of the half with me.  I may have still had to have my earbuds in and jams flowing but having her there certainly helped.  I realized that running back to back to back races probably wasn’t the best idea for my body (some people are bionic) and I certainly need a little break.

IMG_2818^^ But first, we brunch.  Quite possibly my favorite combo >> running + eating.  Yes.  I may have gone to Chobani both Saturday and Sunday, but when Staten Island has NO FOOD OPTIONS AFTER THE RACE, you get a little hangry and go for whatever you want.

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^^ Facebook now does this thing where it posts things that you have posted on that day (or around that day) in the past.  In honor of the San Francisco Nike Women’s Marathon last week, it was fun to not only see the most recent race, but the first SF NWM race back in 2010!

IMG_2906Here we are, just three sophomores in the city 🙂  Look at how young we look!  You can see the difference between the top and bottom (both Sam – middle girl – and I are in the same spots year over year)

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^^ Last Friday’s workout was RIGHT down the street from me.  Even though I was so.darn.tired and probably could have benefited from the sleep, I just had to go.  It’s something about FOMO and guilt-tripping myself.  Anyways, afterwards, we decided to climb up oodles of stairs just for fun.  Hey, don’t you wish you had that view?

IMG_2885 ^^ Just some crazy kids getting a workout in.

Strava ~ “No White Space

Well + Good ~ “8 Tricks for Being More Confident” ~ TRUTH – be passionate – be hardcore – be bold – be resilient.

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^^ Making this vegan pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin on point.

November Project (NYC Post by an amazing person) ~ “Hunger” ~ I have found that NP is just something out of the ordinary.  You think that when you graduate school, it will be tough to make friends – meaningful friends – who enjoy the same things or don’t pass judgement for something you think, say, or do.  Well, not to get too sappy but a lot of us have discovered that through working out and through November Project.  Pretty much everyone that I have met has taught me something.  Most of us share stories – the good and the bad – training tips, social events, etc.  We are there to help each other and not judge.  It’s amazing how we have all come together across the country and have this sense of belonging in a seemingly confusing adult world.

Peanut Butter is My Boyfriend ~ “What’s Next on My Fitness Journey?” ~ Good questions.  There are a lot of things that I would like to do in my life, train for in life, and places I want to race.  What happens if now just isn’t the right time?  How do I continue on this fitness journey?  What is that fitness journey?  All good things in Lauren’s post 🙂 

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My Domaine ~ “Splurges to Make in Your 20’s” ~ Does daily cold brew count?  Just kidding.  Experiences are some of the top ways I spend my money.  I’ll get around to a car and a better mattress (moving on up from the twin).  #14 – some workout. CHECK 😉

Women’s Running ~ “How to Get Over Having to Miss a Race” ~ I always fear the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish) or DNS (Did Not Start). Something about disappointing people or really just disappointing myself.  If it’s an injury, one must listen to the body, even if that race has been on the mind for months.  Of course, this is a moment where you should do as I say and not as I do.  I tend to run through pain, sickness, and negative temps.  Not smart, Kaitlin.  Not smart. 

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^^ One last pic of the trip to Miss Lady Liberty last Sunday.

As for this weekend, I’m thinking of scheduling in some relaxation time.  Yes, the only way I’m going to be able to chill is if I schedule that.  😉  The weather should be glorious, a run in on the calendar, plans to see a Halloween Dog Parade (yes, that’s a thing – and annual thing), and maybe some more delectable autumnal recipes.

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

Hello Lady Liberty!

When I first decided to move to New York, I put together a list of places that I wanted to visit and explore or eat at.  We shall call this my New York Bucket List.  Some of the things I have accomplished and blogged about and others remain outstanding.  Of course, I’m starting to realize that not everything that I have written there (or in my head or iphone notes) is a “must do” or maybe isn’t something that I need or want to do.  Like the clubbing or hot spot bars in the city? Yeah, it’s likely I won’t be hitting all of those up.  Not my jam and you know what?  That’s a-okay.

Something I have wanted to do is see the Statue of Liberty and climb my way to the crown viewing point.  When my family visited about 10 years ago, we were able to visit the Statue + Ellis Island, but because this was post-9/11, the crown was closed to visitors.  I had thrown around the idea of visiting again with a few friends but of course no one wanted to commit to a certain day.  So, in the end I decided to take a solo jaunt and booked my ticket back in July.  Yes, back in July because only so many people are allowed up to the crown each day and spots sell out rapidly!  Not as quickly as Jimmy Fallon tickets, but that’s a story for another day.

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I highly recommend planning your trip months in advance as tickets sell out super quickly.  Of course, if you aren’t looking to climb all the stairs and would rather just visit the island and stop by Ellis Island, you could probably do this day-of.

Back in July I thought that a 9am trip would be a good idea.  Sunday morning I did not think so.  But, I got my butt out of bed and trekked down to Battery Park to see Miss Lady Liberty.  As you can see in the ticket above, it really is only $21 to see this monument and soak in all that history!  Audio tours are included on both the trip to the statue as well as Ellis Island.  I’m not kidding when I say you could make an ENTIRE day of this.

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The time on your reservation is not the time you should arrive, nor the time you actually depart.  I ended up picking my tickets up around 8:40 for a “9am” ticket.  We did board the boat around then, but didn’t depart until 9:30.  Like most things in life, you should just go with the flow on this one.

If you JUST want a view of Miss Liberty, I recommend taking the local trick or tourist hack and jump on the Staten Island Ferry.  For a total cost of $0 (yes…FREE) you can ride the 25ish minute ferry to Staten Island, gazing lovingly at the symbol of liberty and freedom (according to history) and then take the 25ish minute ferry back.  This is also located in Battery Park but does not come with an audio tour nor a trip to educate yourself on Ellis Island.

IMG_2943 Sure, let’s take a selfie, shall we?

IMG_8144 IMG_8152^^ Yes, those would be part of the 377 steps going from the lobby to the crown viewing platform.  The engineering is brilliant as the double spiral staircase allows for one ascending direction and one descending direction – allowing for ease and flow of traffic.  One thing to point out (maybe captain obvious) but if you are at all claustrophobic, I don’t know if you want to put this on your bucket list.  With 18 inch wide steps and clearance of just about 6 feet…just throwing that out there.

IMG_8155 My view from the crown – the only really good view to give perspective of how high up the viewing platform is.

IMG_8157 IMG_8162 ^^ Can’t really believe I was all the way up there!  Waaaaaaaay back in the day, the torch actually was open to visitors but as you can imagine it was closed because of structural damage in the early 1900’s.

IMG_8169^^ Because this is New York and we like to commercialize everything.  My sister and dad (both of whom are essentially my accountants) would be proud – I spent no money on souvenirs or over-priced/low-quality food – just $2 for a locker to hold my purse while I climbed the stairs to the crown (security logistics, can’t beat around that bush)

IMG_8132Next up was Ellis Island.  The Statue Cruise NYC ticket actually includes a trip to the statue and Ellis Island + museum, so you might as well make a day trip out of it.  Since I had already taken this trip before, I didn’t end up reading through each and every museum sign.  It also happened to be the first day of freezing weather (like in the 30’s when I first arrived at Battery Park) and I was ready for my warm and cozy apartment. **Please don’t get me wrong, there is a LOT of history to absorb and understand on this island and should not be discounted.  I was lucky enough to have had the great opportunity to experience this before.

IMG_2960 IMG_8178 IMG_8184^^ Take a look at the main hall and how immigrants waited in lines for hours at a time. Then take a look below to see how it looks today.  Neat comparison, right?   Many immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, looking to start a new life right away but often had to wait through long lines, health check-ups and more.  This would last from weeks to even years!

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The entire experience on Ellis Island is truly amazing, showcasing the ins and outs of how immigrants were or often were not welcomed into New York.  If you have the time to visit and walk around the museum, I highly recommend doing so.  You can even spend some time (and possibly $) tracking your lineage to see if you had any ancestors who traveled through Ellis Island.

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Statue of Liberty + Ellis Island
~ Crown Tickets ~ Information ~ Nearby Attractions ~

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“All journeys begin by leaving one place to venture to another” – Ellis Island

A Trip to the Apple Farm

It’s safe to say that fall is officially here.  I may have said this a week or so ago, but with the crisp northeastern weather and a full afternoon of the most stereotypical fall activities (think apple picking, cider sipping, and donut munching), I’m content to check fall off my list.  But really, living here for now three autumnal seasons has made me believe that fall is my favorite season.  In just a few short months I may tell you that spring or summer is my favorite, but for now, let’s revel in the changing leaves and slightly cooler temps that call for boots and scarves.

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So, this past weekend, a few friends and I decided to escape the city for an afternoon.  We met up at Grand Central Station and hopped on the Metro North towards White Plains.  About an hour to an hour and a half into the ride, we arrived in North Salem for the Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard.  Apparently this was the thing to do as quite a number of people left the train and headed towards the taxi cabs.

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Since this really was a seasonal business, taxis had the system down and were lined up, ready for service.  While just a quick 10 or so minute ride away, each car charged $5/person charge, but I wasn’t in the mood to haggle.  Let’s just say when you don’t see the yellow cabs, you realize you really are no longer in the city life.

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^^ Successful blogger outfit of the day picture?  Check.  Just a look at my “basic” fall outfit with Levi’s jeans, JCrew tank (on super sale woohoo!), vest, jacket and recently purchased scarf from Anthropologie.

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So yes, I joke about being basic but I kid you not, we had the most “basic” girls in our cab from the train to the apple farm.  By basic, I mean they were dressed in the most fall fashion outfits – plaid, vest, scarves, full make-up, and even toting a little dog.  I cannot confirm if the dog was dressed up but it very well may have been.  From what I recall, dropping “like” every other word and saying things such as “wow, I didn’t realize it would be so crowded, maybe I should be an apple farmer” and “oh my gosh, I wonder if they are sold out of apples.  We should have called ahead!”.  The first comment cracked up the driver who responded to them with “you know farming is like 8-10 months of unpaid labor and then two months of hopefully breaking even, right?”. Good times.

IMG_8084 Once we arrived, we did a quick survey of the grounds.  Lines upon lines for cider and doughnuts, craft beer and music in the back, a store full of pre-picked apples and lots of other goodies.

IMG_8092We even snagged a free bite of pumpkin cheesecake and while I know we were supposed to be focusing on apples, I was quite close to picking up a slice of pumpkin cheesecake and calling it a day.  ‘Twas really that good.  (but then, when can you go wrong with cheesecake?  this is why I can’t go vegan)

IMG_8085 Yes, the first stop would be doughnuts and cider.

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IMG_8086I was slightly disappointed in the hot cider as it tasted more like warmed up apple juice.  Maybe I should have been looking for the spiked cider, which Lindsay had tested last week when she and her friend were at the festival.  Alas, no time for disappointment as it was time to go scour the orchard for those apples.

IMG_8109 IMG_8101Each of us had oodles of apples at home already (just from the store), so we really didn’t need our own bag.  Plus, when you are living paycheck to paycheck (or right above that), you really don’t need to be dropping $25 every which way you turn.

As it turns out, most of the apples were picked over, so we grabbed a few from the trees and filled the remainder of our bag with those in the bushels on the ground.  After snacking on our donuts and perusing the store, it was time to catch a cab back to the station and a train back into the city.

IMG_8120Oh, and funny story about the store.  So after coming out of the orchard, we split up the apples amongst the four of us and I packed my bag to the brim with my share.  Well, when I was purchasing my jar of pumpkin butter, the cashier was quite suspicious that I had stolen all the apples.  Really now.  You’ve got miss goody-two-shoes and you think I stole that many apples?  No ma’am.  All purchased in that lovely $25 bag (but I understand the problem that orchards usually encounter with that type of stealing problem…)

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“Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting?” – Vernon Duke

Sweet Brooklyn Treat ~ Ample Hills Creamery

Summer may have officially ended a month ago but there is always time for ice cream, right?  While we might be heading towards boots and scarves weather, my family is still sweltering in the Southern California heat, and I am always thinking about ice cream (not really. maybe. ok guilty).  Also, someone said it’s national dessert day, so obviously this post was meant to be.

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Ample Hills Creamery
~ About ~ Locations ~ Flavors ~ Parties ~ Cakes ~

Gowanus
305 Nevins St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Sun – Thurs: Noon to 11pm
Fri & Sat: 12-Midnight

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Ample Hills was first started by a couple back in 2011, in hopes of bringing people together by the power of ice cream.  That sounds like a wonderful plan, doesn’t it?  In typical Brooklyn fashion, the flavors were quirky, outrageous, and creative.  Sure, Ben & Jerry’s have done their own business creating wacky and unique combinations, but there’s something so fascinating and enticing about Salted Crack Caramel (a salted caramel ice cream with pieces of chocolate covered buttered crackers), Peppermint Pattie (cool peppermint ice cream with homemade peppermint patties), and Sweet As Honey (homemade honeycomb candy in a sweet cream base).

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Not only that, but all of the ice cream and a majority of the toppings and mix-ins are made from ingredients right there in Brooklyn!  Man, I need to leave Manhattan more often (something that is said very very rarely).

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This author knows what’s up – ice cream is always better eaten with company.  My grandpa used to take us out to this soda fountain/diner in Pasadena and I’m pretty sure I recall having a banana split there one time.  One day I’ll discover another excellent banana split location.

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The “It Came From Gowanus” creation (salted dark chocolate ice cream with hazelnut crack cookies topped with white chocolate pearls and orange-scented brownies) + “Salted Crack Caramel”

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Of course, there are pre-packaged pints if you are more inclined to pick up your sweet treat at home.  You do miss out on the rooftop (Gowanus location) but this could also be clutch for those picnics in the park or in your pajamas.

IMG_2487And if you just so happen to be allergic to lactose products?  No worries!  Ample Hills to the rescue!  Though, I’m not so sure I would bank on that every time.

After perusing the website a bit, I found the link for cakes and may very well order one for my 25th birthday extravaganza.  No, I don’t really know how to celebrate my upcoming quarter-life crisis but knowing me, I’ll probably sign up for a half marathon or something around that weekend.  Running + ice cream pretty much sounds like a dream come true.  Add in some beach or a mountain afternoon and I’m one happy camper.

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“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos”