Running the Cape ~ Ragnar Cape Cod

So, Ragnar Relay Cape Cod.  Where do I even begin?  The fact that I ate more bread in a four-hour period than I had in two weeks (I’m talking heavenly delicious blueberry granola bread from When Pigs Fly)?  Or that I got a total of 3 hours’ max of restless sleep?  Or that I had three of the hardest runs in my life (or last four years) and pretty much was crying on leg #3, my second 9.6 trek? Or that I had an absolute blast and couldn’t stop laughing the entire trip?

Yeah, I don’t know where to begin either so let’s just start at the beginning.  As I mentioned last Friday, I had completed a few of these Ragnar Relays in the past.  As a matter of fact, I completed the Wasatch Back Relay, which was the inaugural Ragnar (it started back in 2003).  When you tell someone that you are voluntarily paying to run between 15-22 miles and sit in a car for 24+ hours, they will probably think you are insane. I tried again and again to explain what would happen and why it was fun but it turns out you can’t comprehend what will go down on one of these trips – no matter how many posts and articles you read – until you have completed one.

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(Source)

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Life of Late ~ 5.12.17

As you read this I will be en route to start my 5th (or 6th since I can’t really remember) Ragnar Relay.  Back in high school and college I ran the annual Wasatch Back Relay with some friends in Utah.  Since that particular race happens in June, it was always a “fun” way to wrap up the school year.  I put that in quotes because most people would 1) call that insane and 2) it really is somewhat of a 24 hour suffer-fest.  My coworkers actually have started to just assume every PTO day I take or “vacation” is running related.  So far this year they aren’t wrong. 

Anyways, being a runner, I forgot what the pain was like and decided to do it again.  This time around has been a bit more intense since I’m actually helping the captains get ready for the race and let’s just say the universe was very against us running.  Between finding an additional 7 runners, runners dropping due to injury (total of 4 runners dropped), issues with driving insurance, and more injury, it’s been a fun time.  I don’t start until later this afternoon and then I will embark on a total of 22 miles (9 + 3 + 9).  Now if I don’t get kicked off the finish line (there’s a slight chance we may not make it based on timing…) it’ll be a grand success.  I’ll have to check back in next week to let you know the result.

As for now, sit back and enjoy this week’s edition of Life of Late.

Yes, a majority of my life is about running.  My dad hinted that I might need to cut back on working out so that I can enjoy some other parts of life.  I know there will be a time where exercise may not be #1 in my life but for now, it provides me with social opportunities, peace of mind, and energy to take on the day.   I don’t take it to extremes and it really doesn’t interfere too much with “normal life” since my workouts are always in the morning.

I probably should have taken more of a break following Paris but instead got caught up in the weekly schedule of workouts and continuing training for Ragnar.  My hips have been bugging me so I might have to take a step back in the next month or so.  The nagging pain probably has to do with the fact that I’ve been rooted on my butt from 8:30-6:30 most days at work but that’s a pretty petty excuse.  I really need to get back into stretching, strength, and foam rolling.  Alas, I’m only human.

It’s true I haven’t been to NP as much but still have my Tuesday track and Thursday stairs workout.  I do still love NP but have been feeling a bit out of it lately and need to reevaluate.  However, speaking of November Project, I re-connected with an old sorority sister through Instagram and start chatting about November Project. Turns out that she moved to Portland and has been one of the main members of the fitness pledge and THEY BECAME A TRIBE!!  How neat is that??  I will certainly have to visit.

Looking back at college I think I would have been even more satisfied or happier if I had a solid workout group like November Project.  Then again, hindsight is 20/20 and I was still figuring my way around and trying to figure out myself.  Heck, I’m still doing that.

Last week was my birthday and I think 26 is off to a very solid start.  I started the day with a run – actually crashed Ali’s event – in the park.  Our friends Jackie and Laura Ann were simply amazing and picked up balloons, necklaces that said Happy Birthday and birthday hats.  All of the above made running 6 humid miles around the park a bit difficult but it was so worth all the smiles and birthday greetings we received from people.  I mean, how can you glare at someone trying to maneuver a massive golden balloon as they run?

Later in the day after brunching at Blake Lane and grabbing a coffee from Joe, my friend Melissa and I held a joint birthday bash at a bar downtown.  I’m not the biggest bar person but when you are in NYC, that seems to be the big thing.  Well, for anyone looking for an awesome space, look no further than D.B.A., which allows dogs, food to be brought in (because of said dogs), and has an awesome covered outdoor space.  We stayed all afternoon long and had a blast!  I think what made me the happiest was that over the course of the day, I was able to see pretty much every person in New York City that I love.  That right there is the key to a good time!  Oh and possibly a few too many bottles of the Wolffer Cider.

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^^ Sunday brought some gloomy weather and somewhat of a hangover from the lovely Wolffer Cider.  Not the best hangover but certainly not the worst.  I had been gifted tickets to the NYCFC match up at Yankee Stadium and so despite the nasty forecast, I traveled up to the Bronx to watch some good ‘ol futbol.  I haven’t followed MLS of late but grew up watching the Galaxy so it was fun to reminisce and also to walk around the baseball stadium.

Fun Reads (because it makes me happy to share)

The Real Life RD ~ “Why You Should Take A Lunch Break” ~ When possible, I do try to go for a walk or even a quick gym class and it’s totally evident with my refreshed mind and body.  But the past two weeks have been tough to even get out of work on time.  Let’s just say working 8:30-6 or later with no break does nothing for my achey hips and back.

PureWow ~ “8 Hikes within 2 Hours of NYC” ~ Maybe now that I’m not training for any half or full marathons this fall I’ll have some more weekend time to hike and enjoy the beach!

NY Post ~ “Llama Weddings Are Real and as Bizarre as They Sound” ~ Goodness knows I’ve got time before I get married BUT OH MY GOSH HOW COOL! THEY HAVE LLAMAS!!! (also not sure where my obsession with llamas came from either…) November Project ~ “How My Body Healed When I Took Off My Watch” ~ Comparison is the thief of joy and I certainly need to remind myself of this DAILY.

Quartz Media ~ “Employee Burnout is Becoming a Huge Problem in the American Workforce” ~ If anything, there are times where I feel guilty for taking time off, but that shouldn’t be the case!

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  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and wishing all the mother’s out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.  You are all rockstars.

Year 3 In New York City

Another post that’s better late than never.  The past year was spent traveling, running, and exploring all of New York – sounds a lot like year #1 and #2, right?  To be honest, there wasn’t too much change.  I continued to work for an awesome company, expanded my friendships within November Project, and squeezed as much out of my free time as possible.  As I mentioned on the 31st, I learned a little bit more about myself, appreciated my body thanks to the I Run This Body movement, and learned when to let go.  This last bit was tough in the sense of FOMO and friendships, but I realized (through many discussions and Elite Daily articles) that we can’t do it all and there comes a time in our lives that makes us realize what and who is important.

But here’s a look at what made my third year in New York City so wonderful and memorable.

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Life of Late ~ 6.3.16

Friday. Four day week.  June 3rd.  Better yet…NATIONAL DONUT DAY!  Now even though I have a sweet tooth, I’m not always the biggest donut fan.  If it were a showdown between Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbin’s ice cream, obviously a scoop of ice cream would win.  Though I am a sucker for food holidays and November Project was located near a donut joint (Underwest) so I indulged.  The verdict?  Very pleasantly surprised and actually satisfied with my choice.

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There are a few parts to this success.  First – purchase donut from the source.  None of this donuts from Whole Foods or even donuts to go.   Second – partner up with someone so that you can sample multiple flavors.   This is a #runtoeat and #eattorun sort of deal so we can’t go donut crazy and eat 1 of each flavor (cue sugar crash at work and hello witchy Kaitlin), but splitting them is definitely a viable solution.  Thank you Rebecca for being my donut buddy 🙂

Underwest Donuts
638 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
(Fun fact: this is located on the west side IN a car wash…yes it’s sanitary)

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^^ Located right next to this big ‘ol boat named the Intrepid (location of today’s NP_NYC workout)

As I predicted, we have gotten into full swing of upfront season at work.  For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a time in ad sales where the publisher (where ads run) negotiates with agencies (who work for clients like State Farm and Geico and such) on prices and how much they are going to spend and where their ads are going to run.  This means we wait after work for them to come back with their best deals and then we revise our options and submit proposals.  It’s a lot of back and forth and some long nights but boy am I learning a ton.  I also happen to be on a solid team where my Account Executive and Associate Account Executive are super helpful and are genuinely interested in helping me learn.  Plus the company feeds us.

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So my life goes back to the balance of working and working out – a combination that I am quite ok with.  Yes, there are 100% days that I would like to sleep in but then I see the sky look like this and am always happy I made it out.  The one recent instance where I wish I hadn’t worked out was yoga  yesterday.  Stretching = good.  Bad teacher = bad practice.  My friend Jackie and I arrived for our favorite class and soon learned that 1) water was shut off at this particular location (no showers no toilets) and 2) our favorite teacher was NOT teaching there anymore.  We stuck it out but when the OM at the beginning of class sounded like a capella group out of tune, my immediate reaction was “ah hell no”.  I stayed the entire class but it did nothing for me.

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^^ Tested out a couple of classes via ClassPass and totally LOVED Throwback Fitness.  One of the gals I met at 24 Hour Fitness back in the day has been working out here at least 1x if not 2x every day and is obsessed.  I had been meaning to try it but didn’t want to interfere with training for Brooklyn.  Ha – as if I was really trying hard to train.  Best described below:

“We are gamifying fitness by harnessing the feelings of accomplishment, confidence, and camaraderie that come from being part of a team, and the excitement felt when working together to achieve a common goal. Our‘murderously fun’ workouts channel the nostalgia of adolescence by modeling our unique, competitive, partner- and team-based workouts after such childhood favorites as Dodgeball and Capture the Flag, or even dorm room-inspired games like Flip Cup.” (source)

So how fun does that sound?  Test it out, see how much fun you have and then BOOK A BIRTHDAY PARTY! That’s right.  How totally cool is that?  You can have your birthday at a fun workout class.  Because birthday parties are no longer for those under the age of 8.

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^^ Another class that I took was a hip-hop class at Y7 – another successful discovery.  I had taken it the Sunday after Brooklyn and entered the class with practically no flexibility and all the aches and pains.  I wasn’t so good at the “flow on your own” parts but did leave limber and ever so sweaty.

I’m really going to have to kick up my yoga game soon.  Maybe I’ll make it a part of my two-a-day program when marathon training starts.  A little cardio/strength in the morning and some yoga stretching at night.  Solid schedule don’t you think?  Still have to test out the beloved Bethany at Lyon’s Den that Ali keeps talking about.

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Reading >> The Lake House by Kate Morton

Watching >> The Barkely Marathon phenomenon/obsession via Netflix & Great Big Story ~ “The Man Behind The Most Grueling Footrace on Earth

Salivating over >> Bondi Harvest ~ New Aussie restaurant in Santa Monica (+ amazing recipes here)

Cleaning >> My room and closet all.the.time.  I don’t have to move apartments for another couple of months but want to have as little excess as possible.  Seeing that I am either at work or on the go, I don’t need too much, right?

Drinking >> Iced coffee.  Starbucks is even coming out with new options like sweet cream cold brew and nitro cold brew!

Hoping >> To find Hamilton tickets.  I know they are hard to come by so don’t burst my bubble.  I’m hoping that I can find a loophole somewhere or that people don’t try as hard when the original cast moves on…

Baking / Experimenting >> With BERRIES. ALL THE BERRIES!  And this nut butter zucchini brownie recipe.

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^^ Round #2 of single serving strawberry shortcake (homemade shortcake by the way…just call me Betty or Martha).  Second time was definitely the charm.

PureWow ~ “The Best Burgers in NYC” ~ This is no time to be vegetarian or vegan.  Let the games begin.

The Muse ~ “Sheryl Sandberg Opens Up and Reminds Everyone About the Power of Resilience

Meter Tracksmith ~ “No Rest for the Weary” ~ aka Badass.

PureWow ~ “11 Iconic Summer Moments” ~ GOING TO JERSEY FOR A POOL! Hope you are reading this my Jersey friends because it’s happening.

Shine.com ~ Daily Texts for self-fulfillment.  No really – if you sign up, you will get daily texts and gifs to make your day so much better.

Being Your True Self: Does Authenticity Matter in the Workplace?” ~ An interesting thought.  There are too many articles that look at millennials in a bad way, but there may be something to this.

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Weekend wise, we’ve got some rain in the forecast (yay summer storms), I’ve got a bike ride and festive outdoor fete, some running to Central Park to cheer the runners at the Retro 4M and the viewing of Me Before You.  Let the games begin!

What are you up to this weekend? Are you a donut fan?

MDW ’16 in Review ~ New York Staycation

Ah Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s a relatively jam-packed with activities and of course holds a couple of meanings  The main purpose of the day, one that used to be known as Decoration Day, is to pay tribute to all the men and women who have died in military service for the United States.  To all of you, thank you.

This day and ultimately weekend also serves as the start to summer, the beginning of beach days, and historically in the fashion world – the “ok” to wear white.  Now that last point has sort of gone out the window and you can see women wearing it all points of the year, especially in Southern California where the seasons fluctuate between summer and mild summer with maybe some 50’s thrown in there.

Memorial Day Weekend is one holiday weekend that I never really have had solid plans for.  Growing up we would have a fun run on Monday or possibly go up to Mammoth Mountain.  I have been to the Jersey Shore for a few days and even a trip to go white-water rafting.

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I can look at this last weekend in one of two ways.  One – I didn’t get my act together to plan a trip or full weekend excursion or two – I worked on creating some open ended plans that would allow me to relax a bit and not go into some busy weeks at work completely exhausted.  Let’s go with the latter.

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^^ Remember when I mentioned that I loved Westville’s salad so much?  Yeah well when I was given the ok to leave work on Friday, I decided to go back down to 18th street, have a solo salad and then make my way back to Central Park to meet up with Lindsay and a few of her friends for a bit.  It was amazing to see how many people were out in Sheep’s Meadow.  While the heat did get a bit bothersome at times, if you stayed in the shade it was absolutely lovely.

From the park, Lindsay and I made our way to CitiField where we were able to watch our Los Angeles boys in blue take on the Mets!  It may not have been the best start for the Dodgers as they were down 5-1 by the 8th inning.  Lindsay and I thought they were out for the count and had started to make our way back to the city on the 7 train when I got a text from my mom saying the following “Dad hopes that you are still watching the game since it’s tied 5-5.”  Well if that’s not a guilt trip…Just kidding.

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There were a ton of people on the train and we were all kicking ourselves in the pants.  I just claimed that we were typical LA fans – arrive late and leave early.  The real excitement was Saturday when Chase Utley hit a grand slam for the Dodger win!

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Saturday I decided to give myself the day off from working out and instead Lindsay and I got up early to hit the beach.  We left the apartment around 8:30, picked up some snacks and caffeinated beverages at Starbucks and were on the sand by 11:30.  Now that it’s beach season, the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) has various beach deals including one to Long Beach – $23 round trip fare and access to the beach (normally $15).  I guess they charge at most beaches in order to maintain the classiness or cleanliness.  Either way, it does make for a better experience, especially if you make it a full day.

We may have been overeager on the sun and less than smart on the sunscreen.  I had thought it would be easy to spray myself periodically with the spray bottle but apparently that was not enough.  When I got home it looked like I wore some fancy schmancy suit that had cut-outs on the sides.  Let’s be clear that I did not wear that.  So from 7pm onward I sat and applied aloe, ate Bareburger and watched Disney Channel movies from the 100th episode celebration.  Adulting at its finest.

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^^ Sunday started with my last ClassPass class at KORE.  We worked for about 45 minutes with kettle bells, TRX ropes, and our own body weight.  The music was good, the bathrooms were fancy, and the lighting was a bit too much disco-esque.  I didn’t feel it too much right after the class but boy did I feel the burn the next morning.

Once finished, I hopped back on a Citi bike, prepped breakfast for the week and got ready for day #2 of the beach.  This time we were keeping it cheap and taking the A train out to Rockaways.  Turns out we went to the surfing spot, which doesn’t exactly allow for swimming.  Good to know.

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Once we got past the loud family and two parties playing loud music (really people, is that necessary?  How about listening to the ocean waves), everything was just fine.  I had brought my second book – The Lake House by Kate Morton – and alternated between reading and napping and glaring at our neighbors.  We actually didn’t even make it into the water because an odd fog started to roll in and we took our cue to depart.

To be 100% honest – the beaches are nothing like those in California.  I grew up going to Laguna Beach and there seriously is nothing better – the waves, the color of the ocean – the cleanliness (on most…).  That or Hawaii but we can’t all have Hawaii all the time.  It is sort of hard to trek all the way out with all your goods, but that’s part of growing up and exploring new areas.  Maybe I’ll stumble across a few other beaches this summer and make a list of pros/cons.

I’d like to say we went home and got dressed to go party but that would be a lie.  I sat right down and applied aloe and watched some excellent Disney films.  1) Johnny Tsunami, 2) ZENON and then 3) Teen Beach Movie, which seemed like a mash-up of modern day Johnny Tsunami (mostly for the poor kids who will never watch it) and Grease.  I was actually highly satisfied with all three and then got 8+ hours of sleep.  Now that’s an awesome weekend.

Monday Monday Monday.  After waking up to a cool apartment at 8:15am, it was off to the gym for a spin class and barre class.  I was supposed to go biking to a brewery but with 100% chance of showers, that plan was busted.  Once I set off for the gym a funny thing happened.  IT DIDN’T RAIN ALL DAY.  Get that meteorologists.  Anyways, it was probably for the better because I was able to stock up on some cleaning supplies, work through the apartment and get prepped for the week.

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I did meet up with my two friends that I was supposed to bike with and we tested out a new brunch spot instead.  I had selected this place (Jane) based on the reviews of the burger and bloody mary.  I did not get the burger and was actually not a fan of the bloody mary but did love the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for what it’s worth.

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And that folks was a New York staycation.  A bit hap-hazard of a write-up as there was no real itinerary but we made do with our resources and it was one to remember.  Oh and for one little teaser of where I wish I could be – Curacao – with this view.  This is what a couple of my friends have seen for the past week.  Sunsets (NO FILTER) like this on the daily with plenty of sun and perfect surf to go around.

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“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things” – Robert Brault

May Highlights ~ 5.27.16

Just as I was about to write my weekly (almost weekly) life of late post, I realized that this was the LAST FRIDAY OF MAY.  But really, how in the world have we already reached a full 5 months of 2016?  Spring has arrived and really before we know it, summer will be here – hot and humid in all of its glory.  You know, with a few days of heat already, I’m wishing I lived closer to a beach (or pool).  Thank goodness I sleep right under the air conditioner and oh spend 90% of my day inside underneath fluorescent lights (sarcasm people. all sarcasm). Hey, I can thank my lucky stars that my office has wonderful air conditioning.  I’m sure there are some that can’t say the same.

But onto what I have been doing the last few weeks.  Oh there is always a bit of running and eating going on, but some other fun things in between.  It may be the same ‘ol same ‘ol stuff that I post about but it’s what brings me joy.  Jordan from Balanced Blonde made an excellent point about the purpose of a blog.  There are many people who start a blog with one theme in mind – food, fashion, travel, etc and some people are able to monetize their content.  To those people I say well done.  Although I’d like to consider my own blog as a lifestyle blog since it pretty much documents my style of life.

It all comes down to what I am passionate about and that’s what I write here and share with you.  So sit tight because this is turning out to be a long one 🙂

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^^ Birthday run to brunch bash.  I organized a fun run around parts of the Brooklyn Half course and it just so happened to be the day after my birthday.  We then made our way to an epic hole in the wall joint that serves some of the best biscuits around.  Now I’m not an expert so we can call them the best biscuits around Prospect Park.

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^^ But really, I’m game to go back for a snack and maybe even a bloody mary.  I’m not usually a boozy bruncher but apparently those too are some of the best around.

Butter & Scotch
818 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

IMG_6996^^ Still ever so grateful for the friendships I have made here in this city.  As Ali mentioned in her blog (I know I mention her a lot but she speaks words of wisdom and she shares my birthday so obviously I’m biased), finding November Project was a godsend.  I have learned to push myself, learned how to relax, and made genuine friends in this strange city.

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^^ As I always say, running with friends makes things 10x better.  This is me and my friend Annelise at November Project, just waking up the sun.  Now if you are curious to learn more about running, the ins and outs, why it sucks sometimes and how to make it better (LIKE MORE FUN!!!), check out my friend Ali’s new segments on the run section of the Fitness site.  Words upon words of clutch information right at your fingertips.

Oh and you get to know some of my cool friends from November Project 🙂 But really.  Check it out!

IMG_7220^^ When you need a snack and the dynamic duo come to your rescue.  Thank you Starbucks and Pinkberry.  It’s quite funny how my body reacts to sugar now that I don’t eat as much of it.  Sure, sure if you follow me on IG/Snapchat or this blog you may be rolling your eyes but what that really means is I used to eat a WHOLE bunch more.  Anyways, I’ve figured out a little trick where if I drink straight black coffee, I can stop slow some of the nasty side effects.  Ok mostly slowing the sugar crash.

IMG_7229^^ A new watch for my birthday with only the best and brightest blue wristband.  I also discovered that Mile Posts had created a Garmin interface with the runner movement phrase “I Run this Body”.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, it’s a movement (trending with a hashtag and clothes to match) that celebrates runners of all types – all speeds, all body shapes, and all levels.

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^^ One AMAZING kale salad from Westville.  My first time dining at the east village location and boy was it love at first bite.  The kale was shredded and dressed and mixed with walnuts, blue cheese, and cranberries.

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IMG_8501 (1) ^^ Last weekend Lindsay’s family (at least the girls) came out to visit and I was lucky enough to tag along on Sunday.  We started up at the Boathouse with a truly delicious brunch (frittata for the WIN), some time spent wandering Central Park, and then down along 5th Avenue with a stop inside Tiffany’s.

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^^ Absolutely ADORING my birthday bouquet from my friend Liz.  She ordered some of my favorites – Gerber daisies – from a new company called Bouqs.  What’s great is that they are 1) eco friendly and 2) cut to order.  I swear, those flowers lasted longer than I have ever had a bouquet last.

IMG_7219^^ After my very quick trip to LA for Meghan’s graduation, I saw this at LAX.   Now remind me why I’m living in a concrete jungle and not by the beach? 😉  Thank goodness I’ll get my ocean fix this weekend when Lindsay and I go to check out not one but two seaside escapes.  We both agree that we are spoiled by our proximity to favorite Laguna Beach back in California but since that’s not an option, we must venture out and try new things.  At least for now.

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^^ Some excellent street tacos by Tacombi found in Nolita, Flatiron, and Bleeker Street.  Guacamole is highly recommended a non-negotiable.

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The sun may set on another day but have no fear as there is you have the whole world out there to explore tomorrow.