NYC Restaurant Week ~ Park Avenue Winter

We’re going back to back restaurant reviews here.  See, if I don’t post about it now, there’s no guarantee it would ever make it onto the blog.  Last week happened to be the last week of New York City’s restaurant week and Lindsay and I are on a kick to sample as much of the city that we can.  After perusing as many menus as possible, we selected the Park Avenue Winter.  Funny enough, it was a restaurant that I had walked past countless of times on my way to the gym during my first year in the city.  It’s obviously ranked one of the best restaurants (but don’t most places say this?) and is well-known for using local New York and seasonal ingredients.

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Park Avenue Winter
360 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010
~ Restaurant Week Dinner ~ Dessert ~ Dinner ~ Brunch

 The restaurant itself will change its menu and decor throughout the year, everything based upon the season.   Again, the pictures don’t even begin to do the meal or ambience justice, but that’s what you get for eating dinner in a dimly lit room.
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^^ The seasonal options extend from the drinks to the food.  When given the opportunity to order a cocktail, I definitely like to try something new.  However, with a hefty NYC price point, I opted for a nice glass of white wine instead.  Because I’m an adult.  But not ready to break the bank.

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^^ Thematic, charming, or creative that they have such items to go with the seasonal menu?  I actually just thought it was funny because it made me think we were at some old school viking restaurant with a big old glog of mead.  Ok, I don’t think glog is actually a term the vikings used but it sounds like something they should have.  Obviously I didn’t order the mead, I just laughed to myself about it.

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^^ Buttery bread served with extra butter and sea salt oh my.  When bread is served warm and still doughy, it’s always a good sign.

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IMG_5201^^ Price fix menus for the win.  Lindsay and I were smart and ordered different appetizers and desserts so that we could explore more of the menu, but ended up with the chicken as our main entree.

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^^ A new take on the recent gourmet toast phenomenon.  Sure, avocado toast (with or without an egg) is on the rage, but this kabocha squash toast will give the beloved avocado a run for its money.  Topped with sheep’s milk ricotta, burnt honey, and pancetta, it would almost be good as a main course. 

IMG_5206 ^^ Free range chicken atop apple sausage, kale, and pearl onions.  Oh KALE YES!  Anything with kale on the menu and I’m as good as sold.  The chicken was cooked well and had I not experienced the chicken at Lilia, I would have claimed it to be the most tender chicken in New York.  

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Again, both Lindsay and I were on the verge of busting our buttons from eating so much, but dessert was in order.  She opted for the Winter White Sundae (Popcorn Ice Cream, Coconut & White Mocha Sauce) and I went with the Sticky Toffee Pudding (Caramelized Bananas, and Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream), though having had the most wonderful sticky toffee pudding in Scotland three years ago, I felt as though this night’s rendition fell short of my expectations.  Still a fun evening out and proof that I do more than run, eat, work and repeat 😉

“The only think I like better than talking about food is eating.” – John Walters

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Delectable Eats at Missy Robbins’ Lilia ~ Williamsburg

The past couple weeks have been filled with epic foodie adventures and yes, my credit card bill can vouch for this.  YOLO.  No regrets.  Carpe Diem.  Eat on and eat on I will.  So last Saturday I helped organize a trip of November Project folks to Lilia –  Missy Robbins’ most recent restaurant endeavor.  To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure of Missy Robbins fame and Wikipedia helped me realize what a treat or honor that meal would be.  Did you know that she is best known for having a Michelin star at each of her restaurants and was also featured as a contestant in series four of Top Chef Masters?

The restaurant in question – Lilia – has had rave reviews from all corners of the web.  From the NY Magazine to just last week Grub Street shared its top power rankings, throwing Lilia among Nishi, Le Turtle and more.  I apologize for the lackluster lighting as it may not do the dishes justice.  If you really must see perfect photography, check out their Facebook page.

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Lilia
567 Union Ave, New York
{Subway stops ~ G, L at Metropolitan Ave – Lorimer St}
Daily 5:30p.m.-11p.m.

IMG_5184I honestly would not have learned about this restaurant or even ventured outside of Manhattan had it not been for one of our November Project friends, Erin, who alerted us to the restaurant’s opening.  It may be Missy Robbins’ new project, but her brother also played/plays a huge part in the restaurant’s success.  So into Williamsburg we ventured!

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^^ To drink or not to drink?  In retrospect, the bill might have been a bit smaller had we not indulged buuut wine made things a little more fun.

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^^ I wasn’t at all sure of what this was, but when we cut into it and smelled the fried cheesy goodness, I knew we were in for a treat.  Every morsel seemed to crumble and melt in your mouth and when I went to research the meal a bit more, I found that this nifty cheese called cacio e pepe even had an article written about it.  Yeah, the combination of sharp cheese, black pepper, olive oil, little bit of pasta + cooking water is just that cool.

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^^ I’m not sure whether it was due to our party’s size or the reservation but we were provided with a set menu and options for three courses plus dessert.

IMG_5190^^ Antipasti (option 2) ~ Little Gem Salad with bibb-like lettuce, parmesan, oregano, and dried chili

IMG_5191^^ Antipasti (option 3) ~ Roasted trumpet mushroom, arugula, balsamic, and Sicilian almonds

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^^ Primi (option 1) ~ Ricotta Gnocchi, broccoli pesto, basil, and pistachios

IMG_5194^^ Secondi (option 1) ~ Grilled chicken leg and thigh, broccoli rabe, olives, garlic, and mint ~ probably the most tender and mouth-watering piece of chicken I have ever had in my entire life.  It seemed to fall off the bone and was so.darn.juicy.

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^^ Secondi (option 1) ~ All about that Black Bass, salsa verde, and perfectly seasoned and roasted yukon potatoes.

When I go out to eat, I don’t always order an appetizer or even a side salad.  I do love my sweets but dessert doesn’t always make the list either.  So, I found the price fix menu quite beneficial, enabling us to sample a variety of items on the menu rather than being tied to just one full entree.  When the question of dessert came around, many of us were reaching our satiation point, but come on, when you have dessert as a GIVEN option, you must take advantage of it.  (ok, I would be a terrible mindful eating coach…)

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^^ Dolce (option 1) ~ Olive oil cake, grappa, whipped cream, persimmon ~ YOU MUST ORDER THIS.  Even if you don’t plan on eating or drinking much at all, I highly recommend making a reservation simply for this dish.  Olive oil is one of those ingredients that has hidden powers.  Who would have thought it could make a dessert so wonderfully moist?  Also, persimmons?  I claimed that I wouldn’t eat a persimmon and Lilia has since changed my view on the fruit.  Well done Missy Robbins, well done.

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^^ Dolce (option 2) ~ Soft-served chocolate gelato, candied citrus, and hazlenuts.  Not a bad way to celebrate national frozen yogurt day (and day after national nutella day) but my heart was already with the olive oil cake.  All in all, an excellent ending to a quite perfect meal.

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“Food is a direct pathway to the soul. It reaches us in a very primal place.”
― Good Witch

Life of Late ~ 8.7.15

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Isn’t that the truth!  Welcome to Friday.  Today happens to be one of those randomly assigned summer Fridays, so I took the bus out of the city last night and into Baltimore to hang out with my friend Sarah for the first part of the weekend.  I brought along a shirt with me to hopefully get tagged by the November Project Baltimore tribe because the crab stamp is so.darn.cool.  #traverbal

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Also, I have to note that I seem to be losing part of my mind.  I do re-read my posts to make sure there are no grammar errors (ok sometimes the proof-reading comes after it’s published…oops) and often edit and update 2 or 3 times.  Well, there are a few mistakes in the last posts that have been bugging me.  1) Carrie from Sex In The City had a white tutu skirt and pink top, not pink tutu.  2) We ran 4x800 not 400s.  My legs were mad at me for writing only 400. 3) The tasty bread that I was supposed to try at Baked a few weeks back was PUMPKIN not banana.  Although, to be fair, I like to keep holidays kosher and eating pumpkin outside of fall just didn’t seem right.  I promise I’ll go back in two months to test it out.

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^^ Last week’s HOT AND HUMID NYRR Team Championships.  We totally dominated.  Actually I don’t know what place we came in but was stoked with the turnout.  Actually the race sucked (at least for me – going out too fast = no bueno)  Also, while other teams had their little matching get-ups, we rocked the course with our outrageous colors and personal style.  Apparently someone overheard a bystander say “wow, that November Project is really taking over”.  You BET.

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^^ The Sports Bras of NP.  Or as our friend Jeanie likes to call them, the “Tata-tamers” Gosh I love November Project.

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^^ Post-race and post-Juice Press run food at Little Collins on 56th and Lexington.  Go there.  Adorable little Australian cafe with some of the most scrumptious avocado smashed toast.  If I had been craving something sweet (shocker that I wasn’t), I would have gone for the muesli or “Sweet Uncle Fred” (toasted banana bread with ricotta, strawberries, honey, and toasted almonds)

Little Collins
667 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
Menu

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^^ Because flowers and farmers markets are some of my favorite things

~ Other Favorites ~

PureWow.com ~ “22 Things You Can Make in Your Waffle Iron” – Because waffles trump pancakes. Duh.

How to Start a Movement (November Project)

Thrillist ~ “What I Miss Most: Suburban Supermarkets” – Oh the days where I could use a cart and wander for at least 30 minutes without worrying if I would 1) hit anyone 2) have to wait an hour to check out 3) just wander, just simply wander

Zen Habits ~ “Worried About What You’re Not Doing

Well + Good (obsessed with this site) ~ “What happens when a chef adds kale to burgers, cocktails, and ice cream” (ummm, goodness) But really, a new restaurant in NYC called By Chloe.  I SO want to test this menu out.  The guacamole burger (w/ black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty, chipotle aioli, corn salsa, and guacamole) and the ice cream flavors sound divine.

By Chloe
185 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012

IMG_1517 ^^ On Sunday I met up with a friend from NP (who also has the same birthday!) and we navigated our way to Jacob Riis Beach out in Queens.  There may have been some issues with public transportation and the fact that subways were running on weekend schedules.  Buuuut, we made it and relaxing on the sand and enjoying the surf was oh-so-fabulous.  I may have gotten a tad bit burned, but I’m going to blame this thing called a full-time job where I sit under flourescent lights instead of the sun.

Definitely want to check out a few of the beaches along the Rockaways, maybe the Hamptons one day (dream on…) and this little bazaar at Jacob Riis. Just a hour+ outside the city and it’s a whole new world.

IMG_1537^^ Morning run view on the East River.  Note to self: always live near water so you can get views like this.

 

summit course

^^ The countdown is on for our Endurance Challenge Race in Utah.  This would be the course summary.  Wow.  This will be a shock to the system that’s for sure.

IMG_1497^^ Go Team Manhattan Mountain Goats (missing our pal Sam!) ~ This is what happens when someone asks you to pose like a goat.  Yeah, I don’t know what was happening either.

So what’s new with you?  Any fun plans for the weekend or this fine summer month?

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

Santa Barbara, CA Eats ~ Barbareño

IMG_7549Step right in to a little piece of Californian cuisine.

This neat little place, located off of State Street happened to have been created by a couple of Claremont students and is certainly one of my new favorites.  My sister actually was on the cross country team with Julian (head chef) and Kris (sous chef), which is how we stumbled across this gastronomical treat.

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In the words of the restaurant itself:

BAR·BA·RE·ÑO (N)

a. Language – One of the extinct Chumashan languages, a group of Native American languages, which was spoken in the area of Santa Barbara.
b. Restaurant – A restaurant based in Santa Barbara, inspired by the terroir of the region.

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^^ outside dining if you so desire (a bit chillier on these Santa Barbara nights, but just as delightful)

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^^ seasonal menus created with plenty of time, love, and care

As a matter of fact, the menu is packed full of native ingredients – from avocados to Santa Maria barbecue, from oak to piquito beans.

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^^ We started off with a garden salad ~ stone fruit (nectarines), umeboshi, mahlab croquette (goat cheese)

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^^ Nancy’s Quail

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^^ Hidden Valley Raviolo ~ ranch ricotta, peas, carrots, duck egg

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^^ Bob’s classic burger

What’s neat is that they keep the grill right outside and with each order, a sous chef will take the selected meat out to roast or grill, right in front of your own eyes. (or anyone really who had a view outside of the main dining hall)

Though we all had eaten quite well, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity on such a unique selection of sweets.  By now you know that I am such a sucker for dessert, possibly my “Achilles heel” but such is life.

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^^ Nance’s basil infused ice cream atop lemon curd and paired with a parmesan crisp

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^^ My “Muffet’s Tuffets” ~ chocolate ganache, milk jam, seasonal fruit

The real winner and crowd pleaser is with “Movie Snacks” (crème brûlée with popcorn and homemade milk duds) so make sure to keep some room for that!

If brunch is more of your thing, it’s served on the weekends from 9:30am – 1:30p.  Either call for a reservation, submit a request online, or place your name in and take a walk around the town.

Barbareño
205 W Canon Perdido St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 963-9591
~ About ~ Menu ~ Reservations ~

 

Life of Late ~ June Favorites

Quick.  Think fast.  How would you summarize the last 6 months?  How about the last month?  Exciting, adventurous, optimistic?  Maybe I should just pick up a dictionary and thesaurus at a bookstore to help improve my vocabulary.  Now if I could explain everything via songs or GIF files, that would be truly amazing.  Alas, I can’t (always) and so I turn to my other method of expression – pictures.  It’s crazy to think that just yesterday I was running over the Randall’s Island footbridge in 3-5 layers of clothes, just to celebrate the start of the new year with my November Project friends.  (Not that I’m really reminiscing over the cold…)

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But still, come Tuesday, we are finished with the first half of 2015!  That means that I have lived out on the east coast for just short of two years, I will be in the midst of my second humid summer (still not sure what’s worse – humidity or bitter cold), have made so many wonderful friends, and even more amazing memories.  The ups, the downs, the moments of pure boredom.  That’s life folks and I’m just another twenty-something learning how to function in this world.

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^^ flowers from one of my account executives for helping out with a million dollar idea 🙂 isn’t she sweet?  fingers, toes, and limbs crossed we can sell it through!  (PSA: the flowers are still on my desk…the daisies may have passed on, but those green objects are holding strong, a solid 3 weeks in! don’t worry mom, I’ll throw them out when they smell)

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^^ may not have bought into their juice cleanse (yet) but am loving all sorts of green juices and smoothies – especially in this humid weather!

IMG_0454^^ work event at Escape the Room (“Agency” Midtown…much harder apparently than the downtown location) – We did not escape 😦

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^^ when you are invited to dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant like the STANDARD GRILL, you definitely experiment with the cocktail list.  this here was the SIMPLY(RED), which definitely falls on the sweeter side.  my advice is to go for the THE PROFESSOR & MARY ANN {Gin, Strawberry-Champagne Shrub, Lime, Prosecco} … extra points if you know where the name comes from (I grew up with it…the reruns that is)

IMG_0478^^ when NYRR uses your fastest time for your bib and it’s an all female race.  I don’t always snapchat, but when I do, it’s memorable.  sometimes.  ok, maybe I just think it’s funny.

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^^ was able to meet this gal – a fellow blogger and NP_SF member – all the way out from the west (best) coast!

IMG_0498^^ yes, we race hard but our cheer squad cheers even harder

IMG_0524^^ some of my favorite november project buddies and accountabilibuddies (in retrospect, I should have merged all of these photographs but I didn’t.  so there is that much more love and photographic evidence circulating on the internet) #nplove

IMG_0531^^ when your friends work for food companies or are just full-on foodies, you make homemade nutter butters and banana ice cream. oh, and this was in brooklyn.  how hipster can we get?

IMG_0564^^ (I realized that I may post too many pictures of myself. then again, it’s my blog sooooo sorrynotsorry? for the record, we have epic NP photo albums after EVERY workout.  it helps that we have some amazing photographers – professional and recreational) – fair warning, not all of them are attractive but hey, you win some, you lose some.

1966328_948893675133890_8800845930441453038_o^^ a new tag for this weekend’s PRIDE run (stewarded by the amazing Burke)

11221751_948895365133721_90525601569340533_o^^ the tribe is strong.  the tribe has pride.  here we are on Wednesday’s bridge day in FULL RAINBOW gear because dressing in all the colors definitely helps you work out harder. (the guys definitely won the prize here!) not that I coordinate my workout clothes on any other day…

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^^ my hometown has a mini-version (obviously mini since nothing compares to NYC), which I do love, but music in THE Central Park was a whole different ballgame.

IMG_0568my instinct is that every event is classical, which isn’t exactly my favorite, but going once made for a check on the bucket list

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^^ my kind of happy hour. I met up with a bunch of Thetas who are living in the city and since some of them are not 21, we settled on something sweet.  SNOWDAYS shaved cream is one of those blossoming trends and if you ever find yourself in the east village (10th & 1st), test it out.

also, apparently if you add a few half dozen hashtags to your instagram, you acquire a lot more (random) likes.  though, I still haven’t come close to hitting the numbers that my college-aged cousins hit.  how in the world do they do that?  kids these days.

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^^ that time I traveled to Hoboken for a workout.  yep, the lengths that we go to for our november project workouts.  I have to say, I do love that city, even with the fog and humidity settling down on it.

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^^ I can’t thank NP enough for the places that I have been able to visit and the people that I have been able to meet.  my world is that much larger and I consider myself more positive and that much better of an athlete because of it.  again, the tribe is inclusive and the tribe is strong.

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^^ a pizza place in Brooklyn (conveniently right off the L!)  I use the hashtag runtoeat for a reason…

Houdini
1563 Decatur St
Ridgewood NY, 11385

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^^ happy (belated) father’s day to this trail blazer 🙂 Looking forward to some solid hiking when I’m home!

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^^ 1) how cool is that globe?  it’s located out in Queens from the World Expo area and the location of last week’s race aka the MOST HUMID RACE EVER.  but really, it was gross.   my legs were so not feeling it and yet I was still somewhat happy with my time.  needless to say I’m a bit raced-out for the time being and will be taking some time off of “racing-everything”

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^^ my high school friend came down from Boston to run in the NYRR Queens 10K with me.  we managed to avoid the massive rain storm, but had quite a time dashing through Queens in the humidity.

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^^ nothing beats working out and replenishing with a fresh-blended acai bowl.  I’ve always been a huge fan of juice generation, probably because it’s the first juice shop I stumbled upon in the city.  the bowls average about $10 but are totally worth it.  those of you shaking your head at the prices let me explain – 1) I am attracted to all the health foods or “health” trends (acai…supposedly is great for you) 2) once you live in the city long enough, you lose track of what’s normal to pay for food.  it’s all absurd so might as well swipe the credit card and pray that you don’t bounce (just kidding dad – I’m very good about managing my money) #worktospend

now, if anyone is seeking food testers, I’m your gal! 🙂

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^^ less than 1 week and I get to see the Bodie man!

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Life of Late ~ 6.12.15

You know the drill.  Welcome to Friday! Here’s a little bit of random fun to start off the weekend.

First off, a few of my friends from college, who were a couple years younger, are graduating this weekend.  No way. I can’t believe it has already been two years.  I would share pictures but then I wasn’t such a fan of them.  So I’ll share a few lovely November Project pictures instead.

IMG_0408^^ Because November Project not only gives you an awesome workout (not to mention free…), but  you’ll often find pictures from the morning’s workout on the Facebook page.  No, you won’t always look your best (note above) but hey this isn’t a beauty pageant.

IMG_0418  ^^ that time that I tried my first juice cleanse.  I selected the Liquiteria Cleanse “Juice, Eat, Repeat” since I fall in the beginner category.  Who knows if juice cleanses are even worth the time or cost (pain?) but I have a few friends who are into them and thought it would be an intriguing experiment.  Yes, the coffee withdrawal is worse than the juices and yes I did eat a full dinner because I didn’t want to go to November Project on a meager four juices.

Next time, I’ll be going more for “49 Detox Recipes that Actually Contain Food

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^^ Post-work walks through Central Park.  I’m fascinated how many people are out and about and love strolling through the park, people running around or having picnics and reading.

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^^ Eating out with a fellow blogger.  Spoiler alert – I did not eat mussels 🙂

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One of my friends at work asked what I do outside of work.  This was because one of my stories started with “this one time at a race”.  Why yes, this does seem to take up a majority of my time.  Literally and figuratively running around.

~ Links I Love ~

Runner’s World ~ “Funny Running Signs” (some real winners out there…might have to put those to use!)

Women’s Running ~ “Reader Race Day Bibs Display” What else are you going to do with all those bibs??

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (A Jerry Seinfeld production) ~ This 1st episode with Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes me want to 1) start binge watching Seinfeld 2) work in comedy (maybe not) 3) have a job that keeps me on my toes (both figuratively and maybe a bit literally…my hips ache from sitting)

People.com ~ “Baby Koala Won’t Leave Mom’s Side” (Isn’t this TOO adorable???)

Jimmy Kimmel Talks LA vs. NY ~ Not sure where I fall on this scale anymore 😉 Although, everyone in NY thinks that we Californians all talk like surfers.  Dude, no.  (ok except the dude part…)

Lonny.com ~ “The Perfect Summer Beach House” (when can I move in?)

Thrillist ~ “The 33 Best Ice Cream Shops in America” (I spy a few New York locations that will be on my summer bucket list)

Well + Good ~ “Top 2015 Wellness Trends – Sugar is the New Trans-Fat” (how bad is it that I paired this with the top ice cream shops in America?)

Linking up with Life in Leggings!

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^^ For some reason I have lucked out at NYRR races and just been at the right place at the right time to snag a professional photo and end up on the website.  Really though, I’m not usually this lucky.  Above was from last week’s “Retro 4 Miler” and my friend Tricia and I decided to pull out our high school singlets.  I actually begged my mom to dig through my closet in California to find it and yes, it was this short when I was a sophomore in high school.

Have a fabulous weekend!