Back in Blogging Business

Annnnnnd I’m back after a short blogging hiatus.  Lots and lots has been happening in the past months – nothing news-breaking, but still enough to make me take a little break from my good ‘ol date sessions with my Mac computer.   Really, I have started to realize that it is tough to manage it all – social life, work life, exercise, blogging, etc.  Talk about becoming an adult, right?  Well, enough of that jibber-jabber, let’s move onto what’s more exciting – holiday festivities in the city!

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Too early for Christmas festivities? Tough because this city is almost in full swing.  Decorations have been adorned on the stores of Fifth Avenue, Starbucks had its holiday drink happy hour, and lights are popping up on every corner.  Not to mention all the advertisements on TV and there are so many Christmas movies on Netflix.  I would say we started watching the Hallmark Holiday Channel or better yet, ABC Family’s Christmas marathon, but we are sans cable, so that’s for another year.

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However, on Sunday we found ourselves in possession (legally aka we purchased) of holiday bowls from Crate & Barrel.  I mean, doesn’t it make you smile to think of eating breakfast oats or maybe a dinner salad or soup in this cute bowl?

Sidenote – right before we walked in, we saw Mario Batali! First famous person sighting in New York and I’ve lived here for an entire year!  We were actually more obsessed with his adorable dog (I’m thinking labra-doodle?) but then someone noticed the fact that this man was wearing orange Crocks, a very signature Mario look and we put two and two together.

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A little successful shopping at LOFT, Trader Joe’s, and a pair of earrings from St. Mark’s, it was time to rest back at the apartment.  For anyone starting out at their first apartment (or even college dorm room), you will understand how difficult it is to make the room your own and make it feel just like home.  We have finally been able to do that with our thrifty IKEA shopping (props to my roommate Gaia!), the gifting of one comfortable couch, candles, and basic TV channels.  Just having the ability to wake up and watch a little bit of the TODAY Show or football on the weekend, it’s perfect.

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So, that all being said, there is nothing better than spending your Sunday with Christmas with the Kranks.  Tim Allen is just too darn funny and with a chill in the air, the temperature in the 30’s, watching a movie sounded like just the right idea.

How do you like to spend your Sundays?  Are you getting ready for the holidays yet?

Celebrating Good Times in NYC

Well folks, a year has come and gone and today happens to be my 1 year anniversary of living in the big ‘ol apple aka one of the craziest cities in the country (if not world), and yes, I’m still loving life.  There honestly are times where I have to stop and simply take a look around to fully understand how I got here.

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There were ups and downs and I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is, but I don’t think I have been this confident or happy in years.  I’m still in the midst of those crazy mid-twenties, where you don’t really know where home is, where you might meet your friends or if you even have friends in your new town.  Well, arriving one year ago today, I didn’t really know a single soul in the city.  Ok, not true.  I knew people but that was mainly through my internship.  No family, no friends, and no stability.  I was put to the test and I like to think that this sink or swim mentality helped me thrive.

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I saw it as an opportunity to break free from my insecurities and show people the person I wanted to be.  I stopped stressing as much.  I wasn’t as high strung.  Instead, I took my love for exploring and working hard and went to town (but really).

I enjoyed my first official fall filled with changing leaves and all the pumpkin one could hope for. (Also to realize how obsessed the blogger world is with pumpkin…yours truly included.  I refuse to start this year until October 1st but more on that later).

IMG_3914When my sorority big sister, Mary, came to visit 🙂

I started the fall with an internship and soon found myself in my first full-time job.  Not only was it my first job out of college, but it was at a very well respected company with an even better cohort and management team.

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Poor quality picture and a bit old but I truly have lucked out here

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I survived my first winter (fingers crossed as the worst) with one helluva lot of snow.

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I ran a half marathon (and almost PR’d) through crazy 20mph winds and wind chill of 9F.

IMG_1414_FotorI served as a tour guide for a few of my friends and family.  Meghan here – putting on a brave face in January (note that it was probably the warmest day of January, and possibly winter, on this day)

IMG_2185Making some of the best friends through blogging

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I realized how magical spring can be with the return of the warm days, seaside races (AND a PR!), and blossoming flowers.

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I found new places to run, but always returning to my favorites – Central Park, the Highline, and the East River Trail.

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I made friends (mostly due to my friend Laura’s amazing networking skills) in the city.

IMG_2937These are just a few but there are so many more.  We go out, we explore, we eat, we run, we chill at home, but most of all, we have fun.

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Then there was summer where I bounced up and down the coast, experienced a few freak rain storms, some humidity, and some oddly cool weather.

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Took advantage of every free concert possible – between the Today Show’s Concert Series at Rockefeller Plaza and ABC’s Music in Central Park.

IMG_4870I dove into yet another club, November Project, and love it.  Let’s hope the 5:30am wakeup calls don’t do me in (that or the soon to be chilly weather).

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But all in all, I made it. I made it when some people questioned how this California gal could. And I’m not done. No, not just yet.  The lease is signed for at least one more year and as I usually tell people, I’m not unhappy, so why change what’s not broken?  With so many new friends, hobbies, and activities, the options for the future are endless.

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“You have to go whole heartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having” – Frank Lloyd Wright

June’s Random Thursday Thoughts

Crickets…crickets…anyone?  Yep, it’s been a bit quiet over here.  You would think that returning from a blog retreat I would be inspired to pound out the posts.  Well, besides feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the goodies we brought home, I’ve sort of felt out of place in the blogosphere.  I’m not sure where my writing plants me since I don’t provide any race recaps or training reports and am in no shape or form able to dish out nutrition (although I try).  So, maybe it’s time to link up with Running with Spoon’s Thinking Out Loud 🙂

~ The lag in creativity may actually due to the fact it took over 12 hours to travel home on Sunday and I’m just recovering from it all.  Sure I could have taken my computer on the plane but I wanted a weekend away from social media.  So there.

~ Deciding not to attend Monday’s 7am spin class was probably a great decision.  This would have meant running on 5.5 hours of sleep (cranky Kaitlin), walking a mile in the rain, and fighting the humidity.  Yeah no.

~ Despite the thought above, I am attempting to motivate myself to workout in the mornings.  Slowly but surely the 6:20am alarm is becoming possible.  I’ve only hit the snooze button two of the four days so far.  That’s a 50% success rate so, solid.

~ When does a heel spur go away?  That would of course mean that I stop/reduce all sorts of activity…

~ Why does my phone lose it’s battery so quickly these days?  I swear I don’t use it that much during the day and all of a sudden it’s at 20%

~ I still have those wonderful realizations that I live in THE New York City.  It usually happens when I’m walking through the streets (ok on the daily) and look up and listen to the conversations and characters around me.  No where else folks is there so much to explore and take in.

~  Has it really been a whole year since college graduation?  Wow.

~ It’s been ages since I wasted spent all my time on Pinterest.  I think it’s time to find some crafty ideas or recipes to experiment with.

~ What type of posts identify with my blog?  Since I don’t post much about nutrition or workouts, I don’t really fall into the “healthy living category”.

~ Should I be studying for the GRE even though I don’t know if/when I will take it?

~ I need to diversify my weekday routine.  I feel like all I ever do is wake up, go to work, eat at work, work some more, work out (sometimes in the morning), go home, watch TV/blog, and go to bed.  Yes I like working out and I spice it up with my weekly softball league but maybe I need to find some more exploration buddies.  If you’re in the city, shoot me a note!

Any random thoughts on this fine Thursday?

June’s Birthdays and Blogger Club!

Welcome back to the week and welcome to June!!  Five months have flown by and here we are on June 2nd.  We happen to be celebrating a few things in my neck of the woods, so here we go.

First on the agenda is to wish my little sis a very happy birthday!  We’ve had some good times together (whether we like it or not 😉 jk we get along) and here’s to many more!

IMG_0851From our days rooting on the USC Trojans (even in the boonies of South Bend)

CIMG3320To gallivanting off to Mexico (even though we didn’t really speak Spanish…oh well) Quieres mango?

What’s pretty funny about these pictures is that Meghan is wearing a natural smile.  Now if I were to post half of the pictures that she is caught in these days, there’s bound to be some funny faces, tongue out, just plain ‘ol goofy Meghan.  My dad doesn’t always like this but she’s a hoot and somehow gets away with it.

Onto the next topic of the day – SECRET BLOGGER CLUB!  Except the fact that it’s not uber secret and really any blogger can join.  My friend/blend over at The Blonder Side of Life came up with this fun link up last month and I was pleased as punch to help host this month’s edition.  Forgive me if the link up isn’t 100% working…I really do need to put more time aside to understanding the ins and outs of my blog.  I might even brush up on some coding skills with the help of my friend Laura, who is a beast at coding.

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The purpose: to discover new blogs, make new friends, and support the smaller bloggers of blogland 🙂

InspirationFeeling shunned from the “bigger” bloggers

The rules: There are no rules!! (j/k mostly)

-Make sure to follow your Hosts on social media Blonder Side and California Endless Summer

-Display the badge in your post or link back (mandatory)

-Link-up, click around, and be friendly 😀

Lastly is the fact that my baby blog turned a whopping 2 years old yesterday!  Some ice cream was consumed to celebrate the occasion and here’s to many more memories.
So with that folks, I leave you to your Monday.

CIMG3335Oldie but goodie.  You cannot escape me Megnan, even my Twitter feed of text messages 😉

Brunch in Brooklyn

IMG_4802There’s something magical about finishing a workout with a healthy side of brunch.  I’m not sure if it throws me back to the days of cross country long runs, which were followed by a classic 2x2x2 at Hill Street Cafe, but it sure does make me a happy camper.

Brunch is a term that I was not very familiar with growing up.  It’s that awkward time in the day where you are either starving because you didn’t eat, starving because you just finished working out, or not really hungry because you already had breakfast.  Not to mention the fact that we weren’t really the “brunching” type – feeling overwhelmingly full midday just didn’t sound appealing.

But, when I came to New York, I realized we had been going about the process all wrong.  Here, brunching is an art.  It’s a habit, a hobby, an activity, a date, and outing. When you ask someone what they are doing on the weekend, inevitably they will tell you where they will be brunching.  How fabulous, no?

I still stand by the fact that I don’t like to be uncomfortably full midday, but that’s another story between me and my stomach.

IMG_4804I have learned my way around the city and have found that it’s always nice to dine out with a friend.  This time I was dining out with a new blogger friend, Nicole.  She is also planning to attend the Blent Retreat in just over one month and we thought it would be nice to meet up before hand.  She selected a number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants as she doesn’t fancy dairy and is most vegetarian.

IMG_4809 We met up in Brooklyn at a quaint little diner called Champs and boy was it a delight.  My friends already make fun of me and my love for diners, so I can’t wait to share this little gem with them.  Sure it’s vegan but don’t let that scare you away.  I was salivating over other items the minute I walked in the door. 

IMG_4805I had just finished a track workout with a couple of my friends and thought that a nice tall green juice would be worthwhile.  With the “Green Face” I would get all those vitamins in one fell swoop.

Speaking of green juices, they opened up a store in my hometown and my mom was utterly shocked at the prices.  Let’s just say I’m used to paying $8 a pop thanks to NYC prices.  That and the fact that there are some bottled varieties that range up to $12!

IMG_4812We chatted for quite some time as we eyed the menus, deciding between breakfast and lunch items.  From Drunken Cowgirl to Tofu Benedict to their Red Velvet Pancakes, it was a sure tough bet.  But, I’m a breakfast gal true and true and the stack of pancakes was calling my name.

IMG_4810Bananarama Pancakes ~  Some of the best I have ever had in my life.

IMG_4813I’m sure Mr. Pilsbury was eyeing my heaping plate of pancakes.  Or maybe he was keeping a lookout over the case of cakes, cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls, all of which are vegan. Imagine that.

IMG_4817Champ’s Family Diner
176 Ainslie St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
*Cash only

What’s Your Reason to Blog?

Validation, recognition, relationships?

What is it that we seek from blogging? I guess you could say for me, it’s all of the above. When I tell people that have a blog, I usually have to answer a fair number of other questions.

What do you mean it’s a healthy blog?
What do you write about?
Do people actually read your blog?
Why did you start it?
So you actually have met people from your blog?

For starters, I love to talk and I love to write. I thrive on the fact that I can write something for the world to read (if they ever so choose). I find it amusing that during my junior year, I encountered a professor who told me my writing was terrible, and no matter how many times I revised my essays, I would never make any progress. This was even when I took my essays to the writing hub AND had my mom – a former English major and English teacher – read and revise. But I digress.

My exposure to blogging started in 2011 when I traveled abroad to Barcelona. I had heard of people writing about their trips and it seemed like a decent way to keep in touch with friends and family. I worried the entire week before I departed that it would be a complete failure – that the theme I had selected on WordPress was just not right. I fretted about writing everyday, documenting my adventures and experiences, and in time I worried about readers.

But the end result was pure joy. I loved connecting with people, even if for the time it was just my family and friends. I had the opportunity to share my sights with them and let them hear about my perspective. Sometimes I go back to re-read my posts – think about how I was feeling as I wrote it and what I learned from the whole experience.

Fast forward a seven months and I’m in the process of looking for a summer paid internship. They are far and few and so things weren’t really looking too good. I decided if nothing else, I’ll start a blog and begin to document my explorations throughout Los Angeles.

Honestly I had never followed a blog, didn’t know the healthy living blogger community existed.  I had only recently stumbled upon Cupcakes and Cashmere. I loved the clean and crisp feeling of the page and even wrote to Emily with questions, asking for advice of where to begin. She ever so kindly responded and I was ecstatic and so decided to begin.

Turns out I did get an internship for the summer, even though exploring the outdoors and avoiding the fluorescent lights sometimes seemed more appealing. But it was solid experience, gave me insight into what I did and didn’t want to do, and paid decently well.

I kept up my blog on the side and for those of you who have stuck around, you have seen how it’s changed over the past couple years. I share recipes – rarely ones I create but rather ones I try (emphasis on try) to make “healthy”. I go on adventures – sometimes with friends and other times as a lone ranger. I bring up semi-thought provoking subjects and I bring up complete and utter nonsense. It serves as a message board to the world and a platform where I can find my voice.  It enables me fore me and to to celebrate myself and others around me.

I’m independent, I’m outgoing and friendly (don’t let my “sitting serious/witch” face deter you), I like to think I’m funny (although people often see the sarcasm as harsh), and I love exploring the world around me.

We bloggers come in all sorts of fashions – mommy bloggers, personal trainers and marathoners galore (maybe one day…for now I work out for my confidence, stress relief, and that scoop of ice cream), and foodies (yeah about that scoop of ice cream…) This is my blog, my companion, and my voice.

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So join the club – the blogger club that is. 

P.S. If you are new or been around awhile, consider linking up with my friend Kels at the Blonder Side of Life today!