Happy Centennial to the National Parks Service!

Hip hip hooray because it’s the National Parks Service BIRTHDAY!  Whether you realize it or not, national parks come in all shapes and sizes and today is the day that this grand organization turns a whooping 100 years old.  Growing up I was fortunate enough to spend time in the great outdoors from Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite and even Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach, all of which I greatly miss while living back east.

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Whirlwind Weekend in California

With a hop, skip, and a jump, I’m en route back to the good old New York City.  I spent a quick weekend at home, arriving late Friday.  It had been 4.5 months since I was last home but with only 72 hours to spare (if that) I couldn’t really make many plans.  That was fine by me and I instead focused on spending my time with the family and Mr. Bodie.  I did happen to squeeze in a quick coffee date with one of my best girlfriends from home since she too was in town!  She was prepping to go see Beyonce at the Rose Bowl and so we caught up over some Starbucks (obviously it’s my goal to stay hyper-caffeinated).

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^^ don’t we make a good duo?

Anyways, on Saturday afternoon, my sister Meghan graduated top of her class, from Claremont McKenna College.  We had the whole family drive in from their respective locations to celebrate and sat through a few endless speeches (as most graduations do have) 😉 I did enjoy listening to their commencement speaker – David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker.  He had some interesting things to say – somewhat political at times, but I felt that his speech could have been more concise.  Meghan and I later attended the Scripps College commencement where we listened to Madeleine Albright, who I thought did a much better job of getting her words of wisdom across.  Some of the key takeaways were:

  • Truth can be a blunt instrument, which can be helpful as well as dangerous
  • If we aren’t learning, we aren’t living >> there is a great divide between people who are willing to listen versus people who think they know it all
  • Instead of choosing to listen to people you agree with, or spend time with people who are similar to you, try to listen to those you don’t agree with or help expand your horizons >> it’s imperative to continue to learn
  • Make this new life an adventure

Good points right?

Later that evening it was family celebration time at Arroyo Chop House.  Oh.my.goodness.  Quite possibly the best family dinner out that we have had in some time.  Meghan and I were both greeted with little orchid arrangements (so I was totally in a wonderful mood and yes I took both home to hang dry in my room) for her graduation and my birthday.   We then proceeded to snack on their freshly made sourdough (noms) and put our orders in for dinner.  

My dad is a man with a classic order – caesar salad, steak (or split steak + fish) combo – medium, pommes frites and green beans, with a chocolate souffle for dessert.  The man has good taste but Meghan and I decided to go rogue and also order a truffle mac and cheese (which I proceeded to finish) and brussels sprouts w/ bacon. Our options for dessert were between the chocolate souffle and grand mariner.  We went with the former, but then my aunt told me she usually has the table order both.  Ah, now that is a clutch idea for the future!  Anyone care to take me on a date there? 😉

On Sunday morning, Meghan and I set out for my last long run before this weekend’s Brooklyn Half Marathon.  She was kind enough to keep my pace and we had a good time chatting our way down to the Rose Bowl.  The uphill terrain was not nearly as nice (actually struggle city), but landed us with a solid 9.2 miles for the morning.  As corny or weird as it sounds, my favorite feeling is post-run or post-workout where (sure things are a bit achey or sore) you feel invincible, strong, and accomplished. 

Looking forward to Brooklyn, this is one race where I really don’t have a time-goal in mind.  My training hasn’t been consistent and I’m just doing my best to stay healthy prior to NYC Marathon training.  Not going to lie, with less than 6 months to go (about 2 months until training begins), the nerves are starting to kick in.  Buuuuut we’ll keep that for another time.

The rest of the afternoon was spent fixing up the house, sewing up corn-hole bags (call me Martha Stewart), and prepping for the party.  We had most of the family out along with a number of Meghan’s cross country peeps.  All of her friends range in age and even across a couple of the other Claremont schools, so it’s always an eclectic bunch 🙂

IMG_7218^^ Catering by Los Gringos Locos for the win (guac by yours truly)

My favorite parts of the weekend had to be walking with my mom and dog, running with my sister around the Rose Bowl (but not enjoying the uphill on Killer Hill), and getting ready for the graduation party.  I would have liked to play golf with my Dad but time didn’t allow and so I’ll put that off for when I’m hopefully home during the holidays.  To say that leaving home was easy would be a lie.  No matter how many times I make the trip, the last day is always the toughest.  I don’t like goodbyes (it’s always always always see you later) and the day ends up being so damn long.  Trust me, I’m living it up in New York and love it but whenever I’m home, I start to question what I’m doing.  Should I be adventuring more, should I be in Southern California, should I be in a completely different type of job.  Adulting is tough.

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After a nice long chat with my mom, I put things in perspective.  My journey is unfolding just as it needs to.  Things work out in strange ways and with enough perseverance and drive, we make our life as we please.  For now, keep calm and carry on. 

“Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on” – Alan H Cohen

Life of Late ~ 1.8. 16

Welcome back to the grind!  Who is already sick of winter? Well, I guess it’s tough luck and we have to suck it up and be #weatherproof.  My chilly arrival into JFK on Tuesday morning was not exactly ideal.  Hm, -6F?  Please send me on a plane to Hawaii where I can braid hair, be a dolphin trainer, and somehow start and organization business.  #lifegoals.

But really, speaking of life goals, what are some of your dream jobs?  I’ve been brainstorming and there are so many elements of roles that I would love to do but can’t exactly pinpoint which role or company would be “the dream”.  So until then, we keep calm and carry on.

IMG_4319 ^^ Thought I would recap a little bit since I left you with just a recap of 2015.  NYE was uneventful to say the least – watching college football at home (aka a blowout) and then battling for the remote to watch CNN’s ball drop at 9pm (working on a east coast new year’s time).  Then it was into bed so Meghan and I could wake up and make it to NP_LAX >> the BEST way to start of a new year.

Of course Meghan was crushing it as she ran along with one of the former co-leaders Orrin and another speedy girl (I say speedy because she runs a 3:03 marathon…yep) and I don’t think the girl was all too pleased that Meghan could keep up.

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^^ Brunching on New Year’s Day.  A bunch of NP folks were headed to breakfast but Madre and Bodie were waiting back at home to watch the Rose Parade and we couldn’t bail last minute.  So, it was gourmet waffles made by the Megnan and photo by yours truly.  Yes, this might have been filtered but it looks good and tasted even better, so there.

IMG_4335^^ How about that Pasadena Spanish architecture??

I met up with a friend for a yoga class at the Valley Hunt Club and after 90 minutes of semi-torture (I really haven’t been stretching and it showed during class), we continued our outing at Corner Bakery, sitting and catching up for almost two hours!  It’s the absolute best feeling when you may not see friends for awhile but when you meet up, it’s like nothing ever changed.

Young and Rungry ~ “TOL – Body shaming, diets, and you do you” ~ Truth.  Even adore the part of the title >> “You do you”

Well + Good ~ “10 Foods for Happiness” ~ Because who doesn’t want to be happy? (slowly learning to like beets…)

Medium ~ “Stop Rushing Life” ~ Read again and again and again.

AdAge ~ “Super Bowl Top 50 Ad Countdown” ~ With February 7th right around the corner, AdAge took a look at some of the top creatives that have aired.  Boy, there are some brilliant minds out there!

Greatist ~ “Expectation Hangover” ~ Because I sometimes feel like every day has to be the best day ever and I always have to love everything that I do and that I have my dream job.  Spoiler, that’s setting yourself up for disappointment.  Instead, take things in stride and enjoy little accomplishments as well as the big ones.

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^^ One last meal before the Whole30 begins…emphasis on as much cheese as possible.  This was a lovely sister trip to Lemonade at the Americana in Glendale before we saw the movie Sisters.  I’d say it was funny but not exactly worth $15.  They definitely used all the funny scenes in the previews.  What we should have done was go and see Star Wars again.

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^^ Oh hey! It’s me!  A bunch of us went to intervals in the park prior to the holidays and we managed to make the NYRR homepage.  Anyone care for an autograph? 😉  But really in terms of running, I have a few races this year and while I’d love to set personal records, I am instead throwing out a goal to stay healthy, not get injured, and successfully finish the New York Marathon this November.  Running with my friends at November Project and intervals in Central Park or the track should help with speed, but hopefully this Whole30 trial will provide some assistance and insight into recovery as well.

Well, that’s all for now.  Look like it’s going to be a low key weekend with running (run cheer the NYRR 10K), yoga, food exploration, and Sunday’s warm rain (in the 60’s woohoo!).  Food prep is also a big priority since eating out in the cafeteria (despite being discounted) isn’t exactly budget friendly.

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(photo creds to Brian H. from NP)

What’s on tap for your weekend?  Do you usually relax or try to fill up your schedule?

A Very Cali-Christmas

When you expect the weather to be warmer than the northeast…but it’s not…you still have a good time because come on, it’s CALIFORNIA!  This last week has been filled with running outside along the palm trees, some working from home (because traffic sucks and isn’t worth wasting valuable work time), and lots and lots of family time.  I’ve missed my buddies at NP_NYC but have since made a few out here in Los Angeles, which makes things a little more enjoyable.

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^^ With a few hours of sleep after my flight home, I made it out to Baldwin Hills for one of the traveling Friday workouts.  Though it sounds crazy to drive 40 minutes (sans traffic) for a workout, I somehow feel more accomplished having made one or two more friends.

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^^ It’s also pretty funny that they call me “New York” and some of my friends back east like to call me “Cali”.  Oh, and no, we aren’t choking one another, it’s the Star Wars grip…ok it still looks strange.

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^^ Thanks NP_LAX for a sweet Christmas Eve Eve workout (candy cane consumption optional but highly encouraged) 😉

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^^ Working out at a coffee shop in Santa Monica meant dealing with 60 minutes of traffic and ultimately treating myself to a good acai bowl and iced coffee.  So hipster, I know 😉

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As mentioned, family time has been plentiful with a trip down to Laguna to see Dad’s side of the family (hooligans below) and a trip up north to see Mom’s side.

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^^ Giving TFred (aka Dad aka the photographer) a hard time and making funny faces. This may have been best of the bunch.  Christmas Eve was filled with songs (most of which were sung off pitch), chit-chat and and so much good food.

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^^ Found these gems around the house.  Aren’t we adorable?  What happened? 😉

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^^ Doesn’t that just scream old-school beach? The VW van, palm trees (and other trees) a plenty and sand and surf just around the corner.

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IMG_4228 ^^ Couldn’t help myself.  If there wasn’t a picture, it didn’t happen, right?  Of course my timing with the full moon wasn’t exactly planned right and I managed to make it around town and to the water just in time for high tide.

For once in my life I haven’t made any concrete plans for the week ahead.  But, between workouts and family lunches, golf and a couple movies, I’m sure I won’t be too bored.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

Sharing a Bit of Christmas Cheer

What a bright time, it’s the right time to rock the night away and write a little survey.  Inspired by Hayley’s blog post last week and filled with all the holiday cheer that comes at this time of year.

Christmas Survey

Eggnog or hot chocolate? – Hot chocolate all the way.  I tested out eggnog on Saturday (along with some smog not) and it just wasn’t my jam.

Multi-color tree lights or white? – White is quite nice because it carries a calming aesthetic but since we’ve grown up with the multi-colored lights, I have to go with tradition.  Obviously.

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Do you hang mistletoe? – No, no, no.

When do you decorate for Christmas? – We try to get our tree the second or so weekend in December, just so that it lasts the entire season and doesn’t dry out.  As for decorations, they usually go up after Thanksgiving – depending on when we have time – or rather when my mom has time since my sister and I haven’t been living at home for the past few years.

 What is your favorite holiday dish? – Hmmm. Popovers? They are rare but delish.  Or peppermint bark.  I’m a new fan of the Holiday Flat White but that’s a commercialized dish.

Favorite holiday memory? – I love walking around Manhattan and seeing all the street lights, store windows, and decorated trees.  A new one is the NYC NP_Carols where we dress up and gallivant around the city singing carols (and even making the NYC Snapchat story)

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What’s on your Christmas wish list? – I would really like an updated phone, especially since it’s my lifeline, my camera, my planner, etc.  Although, I’m not too picky.  Just time to relax and workout with the fam and no drama.

Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? – Since we spend the afternoon and evening with my dad’s side of the family, we generally exchange a gift or two or open PJ’s from the Christmas Elves.

How do you decorate your tree? – This is my very first personal tree! I have a tradition of collecting ornaments on every trip that I go on or every year that I live in a new place.  For the past three years I have picked out a turquoise glazed ornament from the Union Square Christmas Market – each one depicting one of my favorite places around town.  So far I have Flatiron District, the East River Path, and the Williamsburg Bridge/One Tower.

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Snow: love it or hate it? – Just for a little bit 🙂 I’m more of the sunny and 70 on Christmas morning kind of gal.  What can I say? I grew up in Southern California.

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^^ More of the Christmas Eve view but you get the idea.  Hard life living in Southern California 😉  Remind me why I’m living in New York?

Real or fake tree? – Real!  We pick our tree out from the local YMCA lot every year.  This is probably more work than it needs to be since my mom spends most days worrying if it has enough water but we love doing it and it helps out the YMCA.  This year my mom surprised my sister and I with our own little fake tree from Crate & Barrel so that we could decorate it with our own ornaments and take it with us when we move.

Favorite Christmas movie? – Christmas with the Kranks or White Christmas. I have never been one to re-watch TV shows or movies but boy those two can play on repeat and I would never grow tired of them.  Also, Tim Allen is simply the man.  So darn funny.  I could also see my dad pulling a move like that, so it makes it even more hilarious.

Favorite holiday tradition? – Our traditions or schedule has been relatively unchanged over the years >> driving down to Laguna Beach on Christmas Eve to spend time with my dad’s side of the family, spend Christmas morning with a jog (usually Meghan and I roaming the streets), and then driving up to Santa Barbara to spend Christmas night with my mom’s side of the family.

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^^ Lately we have been playing games on Christmas Eve and with a family of athletes and competitive individuals, it’s a hoot!

Favorite Christmas carol? – Mele Kalikimaka.  Because in my heart I live in Hawai’i.

Christmas morning tradition? – As mentioned above, my sister and I usually wake up and head off for a jaunt about town.  Something about working out in the morning, especially when the town is completely quiet makes the day special. Before setting out, we prep homemade cinnamon rolls and let it sit and rise.  Once back, we shower and usually jump back into pajamas, sit around the tree and open presents and eat our way through the cinnamon rolls.

IMG_7704_1024 ^^ Not a selfie around town but workout partners in crime.  We used to runt together on Christmas morning but our speeds have changed greatly so it might end up being a solo jaunt. 

Do you write Christmas cards? – I guess you could say we send them as a family and I often take charge of the writing the family letter.  There were a few years that my sister and I would send silly cards out simply because my dad wouldn’t let us take those goofy pictures.  We might pick up the tradition again if we live together down the road, but for now, it’s a family affair.

What are some of your favorite traditions??

Life of Late ~ 12.11.15

Last week I claimed that “nothing really happened”.  Oh wow.  Actually in typical New York fashion, a LOT happened.  I took a Bieber dance class, ran PR day, overslept a few alarms, watched the Rockefeller Center tree lighting (on television because it was cold and drizzling), and ran my way to Brooklyn for a scrumptious almond croissant.  But let’s take a step back shall we?

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^^ Arrived back to the office looking quite festive indeed.  Enough to get me through the red eye slump.

A couple of my friends at November Project had been chatting about this Beyonce Broadway Bodies (they have on in LA!!) class that they took and so I kept bugging them about when they were going to go again.  Me + dancing = not great but hey, I have fun doing it and that’s all that matters.  With the launch of Mr. Bieber’s two new hits “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean”, it was evident we had to sign up for one.   My mom would say quite the opposite as she screamed “ew Bieber” and turned the radio off when she heard his name.

Our goal for the night was to learn the first part of this music video and after a 10 minute warmup, we dove right in.  We were all one hot mess by the end of the night, Lucy practically sweating through every piece of 90’s clothing she had on.  I think it was an ultimate success but then of course we had forgotten all the moves by the time we reached the NP workout on Wednesday morning.

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#sorrynotsorry #noregrets #belieber and all that jazz.

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Well, “Is it too late now to say sorry”?

Fit Foodie Finds ~ “Advice for My 20-Year-Old Self” ~ Lee’s blog was one of the first blogs that I started to read and I loved her types of posts!  Also, who couldn’t love the design of the blog?  I like the part where she says to stop saying “when or if” and just do it. Also, #youdoyou is spot on. We are all a little weird.

Buzzfeed ~ “This is What Los Angeles Looked Like in its Glory Days” ~ How fabulous is that??

In It 4 The Long Run ~ “Recovery is Real” ~ Love seeing this blog’s progression.  Georgie is awesome.  Check it out.

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^^ This is what we like to call running cat hill repeats in December.  Yes…DECEMBER

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^^ Oh, let me just tell you this was yesterday morning and yes, we are still in December.  I’m loving this weather for sure.  On another note, a bunch of us found out yesterday whether we were or were not accepted into the 2016 NYC Half Marathon and I’m excited to say that my friend and I both made it in!  I’d love to work a little harder on training, which means readjusting some things.  These NYRR training runs will be clutch for mental and physical support (annnnnd maybe a few fewer holiday cookies…)

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Buzzfeed ~ Expectations vs. Reality of Winter in Cold Climates ~ Truth.

Almost Getting It Together ~ “What I Learned From Working with a Nutritionalist

Yahoo Health ~ “I Quit Online Dating and So Should You

Pure Wow ~ “30 Totally Free Things to Do this Holiday Season” ~ Because who doesn’t love the word FREE?  Some are a no brainer and some are too darn funny.  You decide.

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^^ Can’t get enough of these 5th Avenue decorations.  But ’tis the season. Lots more festive activities to come this weekend.  I’m gearing for a nice relaxing night at home tonight, a NYRR race tomorrow morning with the crew, followed by brunch, a holiday dance party in New Jersey, NP_Carols jaunt in the city, fun dinner with Lindsay and her brother, and then JIMMY FALLON ON MONDAY! More on that later.  Anyways, so stoked.  As always, keep calm and carry on.

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“Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be.” – Raymond Charles Barker