NYC: It’s Not Goodbye, Just See You Later

The last four years in New York City have been a part of an era that I don’t know how to adequately put into words.  There’s truly too much to say, too many links to reference, too many pictures to post, and too many people to say goodbye to.  Since I promised that I wouldn’t Irish Exit, this is my first attempt at saying goodbye.  Or rather, see you later because let’s be real, who actually likes goodbyes?

In about two weeks, I will be getting on a plane with a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, California.  I made this decision about 6 months ago and it wasn’t until last week that the puzzle pieces started to fall into place.  I don’t think it’s really hit me that I’m moving but am sure I’ll have an “oh sh$t” moment at some point.  But for now, I know that everything ebbs and flows and I will forever be grateful for this time in my life.

 Four years ago I moved out to the Big Apple I do something different.  Some could consider it cliche to pursue your dreams in New York City but that’s where I was going.   It was thrilling to have this whole new adventure ahead of you, an entire city to make your mark on, thousands of people to meet, and maybe leave a legacy.  Sure, I wasn’t going to find the cure for a disease or solve global warming, but I set out to figure out myself, my goals, and my ambitions.  As I have now learned and accepted, we never truly know what we want or what we want to do with our lives.  There are patches where we find passion within a job, a workout or routine, or even seeking experiences like hiking or traveling.  But in the middle there are bound to be down patches and that’s what makes life unique.

I have grown more in the last 4 years than I ever did in college.  I have found the confidence (though it’s really an ever continuing work in progress) with my mind, body, and unique strengths.  I’ve learned that you aren’t going to please everyone and you may not stay friends with everyone.  There are reasons that we meet certain people and while those reasons aren’t clear at first, I do believe that things happen for a reason.

All of this couldn’t have been possible without moving out on my own, exploring this booming city, and then creating friendships with countless amazing humans through November Project.  You’ve followed along as I drank the cool aid, became obsessed with the cult-like workouts, fell in step with some pretty awesome folks, and so on.  There’s something unique about finding people who are ready to greet you with a smile so early in the morning and are there for you when you need them most.  As I began marathon training, I stepped out of it but am dipping my toes back in the water.  I’ve drowned on in too many posts about it and I’m sure you get the picture 😉

To the NP and NYRR community, thank you for allowing me to spend all of my disposable income on races and get so caught up in the spirit of racing.  Totally not being sarcastic (ok, except for the taking all of my money part…).  I will forever be spoiled by the standard of race organization, the ability to select a race every weekend, and to run the greatest marathon of all time – the New York City Marathon.

Looking back this was probably one of my favorite memories.  There were the months leading up where I would run in the early mornings, run with friends, and get excited to put my body to the test.  There was the week of anticipation and there was the day of nerves and then disbelief that it was over.  Granted, there was just less than 4 hours of running and pain going on for me but I now know that starting with this marathon was the perfect decision.  I mean, just watching this video with Alec Baldwin again brings up all the good feelings and sometimes some happy tears.

 Over the last few years, the frequency of my blogging declined and my use of Instagram skyrocketed.  I try to document as much as possible to remind myself what an amazing city I’ve lived in and how many wonderful people I have crossed paths with.  For the most part, I’ve linked up various adventures to my NYC Bucket List and leave it to Instagram to fill in the rest.

Things I love and will miss about this city:

  • Access to bodegas on every corner.  Looking for a seltzer at 1am?  No problem (not that I’m really ever up at that time but still.  Easily accessible)
  • Subways and buses aka legit public transportation.  Come on.  We complain about the subways but where else can you get to so many places so easily?? And really just for $2.75?
  • Fall leaves ~ This whole concept of fall and the changing of seasons is so unique to the east coast and I loved it!
  • Bagels and pizza dough.  I was definitely a no bagel kind of girl when I moved out here.  It’s something about the water.
  • Black & White Cookies + Babka + Challah ~ Let’s continue the food train because food always makes a city unique.  I only eat these on special occasions because there’s no need for me to have a box of any of that in the apartment (it would be eaten within a day) but they are so.darn.delicious.
  • Citibike ~ I love love love biking and it makes the city even more accessible
  • Walking around town.  There is so much to see in this town and while the concrete does start to get you down, it always blows me away that I’m walking past Rockefeller Center, through Central Park, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and past so  many unique people.  Most weekends I would run in Central Park, grab brunch and then just find myself walking home.
  • NYRR + other sporadic races around the city including the very great New York Marathon.  It was such an amazing thing to experience from the years I volunteered to the year I ran.

There were ups and downs and I know this is how life will always be; there will always be times of triumph and times of loneliness.  Now, it’s about using that confidence to say yes, I’m one helluva person and am going to go chase my dreams.

I LOVE NEW YORK

It’s taken me about 25 years to learn how to bend the rules and have a little fun.  I do like to have fun but typically it’s Type A and by the book.  I never ditched class (ok a couple of times senior year), never skipped a day when I didn’t have to, and followed all of my coach’s directions (except this one time we walked home from hill repeats and were then scolded…no hard feelings).  Anyways, now that I’m 25 and two weeks old, I’ve realized that life doesn’t have a rule book (though some people still tell me I’m a goody two-shoes).  As I’ve said (or written) before, life is what you make of it.  So, I decided that I was going to take a day off for my birthday and take a day off to explore the city with some friends.  The former was actually at the encouragement of my own boss, so that’s that.

But last Wednesday happened to be my good friend Jess’s 5th year anniversary in the city.  A few of us coordinated time off and a schedule to explore this island we now call home.

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The obvious plan was to start at November Project and of course we made it a double (5:30 + 6:30).  I opted in for the running of 5:30, part of 6:30 and then took to strength and stretching.  With Saturday’s impending half, I didn’t want to wear myself out.

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From there, we made our way downtown, picked up some java from a quaint little coffee shop by NYU, and onward to the Greenwich Avenue Equinox.  Oh my goodness so much fun since we actually took our time getting ready, enjoyed a bit of sauna time and didn’t have to battle our way for a shower.  Let it be known that normally around 7:45/8am it’s mad chaos and takes forever to actually get showered.

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Then it was breakfast (more like brunch) time.  We arranged our schedule to be by an avocado toast locale and Bluestone Lane just so happened to be right down the block.  Most of us went with the avocado toast + yogurt mix board – a perfectly portioned plate for sure.  Un-pictured was the banana bread split and devoured by the table.

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^^ Brunch at Bluestone Lane (mmmmm delish)

I definitely forgot to put sunscreen on and with about an hour in the sun at breakfast and additional walking during the day…it was not a pretty tan line.

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Once finished with breakfast, we walked out of the West Village and down towards the tip of the island towards Battery Park. Jessica (the girl of honor) had picked up “I LOVE NY” shirts for us to wear on our touristy adventure.  I swear, the amount of funny looks, pictures, comments, and even some cat calls, were hilarious.  We even got a few people saying “wow you really do must love New York”.  That or “where are you visiting from?”.  Our reply “the East Village”

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^^ Pretty good story behind this picture.  Obviously we would want something that matches our shirts but more about who took the photo.  We saw this man standing on the street writing in a notebook.  We asked him to take our picture and he did, but then asked us for help with his class assignment (to help him learn English).  The topic was art and he had to analyze what differentiated street art from graffiti.  We all gave him our opinions – emphasizing street art such as the one above helps improve the ambiance of the area rather than degrading it.  It was just one of those moments where you think “wow I live in such a unique city that I am surrounded by so many different people and places”.

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^^ what a bunch.  also noticing the tomato red burn on my arm…

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We did attempt to wait in line for burgers and milkshakes from Burger & Barrel but ever since it became the Instagram hot spot, it’s been a zoo.  We arrived around 2:30, thinking we would be able to just jet in.  Well, given that the line was wrapped around the street corner and we weren’t expected to even be seated together for the next hour or so, we ditched that plan and headed east to another bar for cocktails and burgers.  All of us were still full from breakfast and wanted to leave room for dinner (Pauly Gees pizza to come), so divide and conquer we did.  Two burgers split amongst the two of us and a few drinks to go around.

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Ending the day with a delicious round of pies and complimentary limoncello shots by Pauly himself.  Do note that this is a dine in only establishment – no pies to go, even though a picnic in the park would have been divine 🙂

One helluva way to celebrate an anniversary and here’s to many more adventures!

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“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” – Marthe Troly-Curtin

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 ~ 12.23.15

So because I really like posting these little life of late posts, I’m setting mine up a couple days early.   I have been in a quasi-active posting mode, publishing posts on M/W/F and obviously a tad bit inactive the last few weeks.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  Anyways, I figured not many people would be browsing the internet and checking on emails come Friday, so here we go.

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^^ Second annual NP_NYC Carols with double the turnout from last year!  We met at Columbus Circle, divided into teams, and then went on a scavenger hunt through midtown.

IMG_3947One of the main reasons I love the New York workouts is that every Friday locations takes you to a new part of the city.  Oh, and 9 times out of 10 you’ll be somewhere totally iconic.  Brooklyn Bridge?  Been there.  Columbus Circle? Done that.  Plus, waking up early to hang out with some of your friends?  How else would you want to start the weekend?

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Oh the joy of client events…meet the “Sleigh Belles”

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What in the world are we doing?  Well, completing a mega stair and deck-a-day workout in the WARM December night.  That’s right, New York may have just hit below the 40’s this week but in the last couple weeks, we had highs in the 60’s!  There were some days where it was warmer than Southern California in December.

IMG_3968Meet the NP_NYC Race crew.  This was from our last NYRR race of the year, the Ted Corbitt 15K in Central Park.  I signed up relatively last minute and was happy with how it went.

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Yes, I race with music.  Lately it has just been a necessity and if I could play a few of Bieber’s songs and “Lean On” on repeat, it would be a good day.  Overall, I’d say the 6.5 miles weren’t half bad.  The last few were a different story.  I still finished strong but need these next few weeks off from racing.

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With a cheer squad like this, you are bound to have a strong finish.  Just knowing you will have people waiting there screaming for you makes a WORLD of difference.  Also note that we are all in shorts and tank tops.  It was that warm in mid-December.  Hello Global Warming.

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With the last couple weeks in New York came lots of good times.  I scored four tickets to Jimmy Fallon and managed to see Tina Fey and Channing Tatum all in one day!

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Apparently they are SUPER strict on the no cell phone rule inside the waiting room.  Strict as in they mentioned it at every opportunity they could over the course of two hours.

IMG_4036IMG_4019 It may not have been your typical New York December with temperatures in the 60’s but seeing things like this on my way to the gym definitely makes up for that.  After all, we need some decoration to make the season merry and bright, right?

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^^ Another look at our mega turnout from NP Carols.  So many people were fascinated by us and were taking pictures and videos.  With our luck we will not only be in the Snapchat story but in someone’s scrapbooks. If people make those any more…

Business Insider ~ “Brothers who cofounded a $100 million company say this question their mom asked every night at dinner is what inspired their business” ~ Ask others about the good in their day rather than focusing on the bad.

I’m Begging My Mother To Not Read This Blog ~ “Fifteen Things for When the World is Shitty and Terrifying.” ~ Sorry about the language, but sometimes you have to keep things in perspective. I like the way she ends the post.  Do what you can.

Bananas for Balance ~ “An Honest Look at Body Image & Self-Talk” – Currently in the same boat and I love what she writes at the end “While I can make some exercise and nutrition changes to feel better, I also know that part of that process is loving my body for how it is today and all that it can do. End of story.

IMG_4140 ^^ When in doubt, explore what’s out there.  This was from Pho Show out in Brentwood/Los Angeles area.  So.darn.delicious.

New Yorker ~ “The Spiritual Life of the Long Distance Runner

Ideas.ted.com ~ “Why Rejection Hurts So Much – And What to Do About It” ~ I’m debating about whether to dedicate an entire post about this.  For now, here are my two cents.  Rejection hurts.  We’ve all experienced it in one form or another.  But here’s the thing – it makes us stronger and pushes us to be better.  Sure, things don’t always go your way, but as my yoga teacher said last week, that’s the point of life.  If things were always easy, life would be boring.

Great Big Story ~ “Fighting for the Starting Line: Chris Mosier’s Quest to Compete” ~ This is amazing because not only is it a part of the new CNN news platform (something my company created), but I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Chris through November Project.  Chris is the first transgender man to make one of the male national teams and he is by far one of the toughest athletes and pushes himself and others to their best.  Please take the time – it’s 2:22 minutes – to watch.

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Meghan and I went to an ugly sweater party at a friend’s place last weekend and yes, they had a puzzle.  My sister is the queen of puzzles and so when one girl said “I don’t know if we are going to be able to finish this tonight, it’s just too complicated”, Meghan responded with “do not underestimate my powers” (points for whoever guesses where this line is from).  As you can see, it was a glorious success.  Although, there was some butthead who thought he was hot $hit and said “wow, what losers are doing a puzzle?”.  I glared at him in a nice fashion and said, my friends, and promptly went to help with the puzzle.  #rude

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With that, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and see you on the other side (aka next week)

Life of Late ~ 11.27.15

For some of you, Black Friday has already been a shopping success.  Bless the souls who have been up and at ’em, fighting the sales and fighting the lines.  I made that mistake once and realized crowds were not my thing.  Funny since I maneuver the subway crowds on a daily basis.

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Anyways, after rolling out of bed – with a stomach still full from last night – my sister, her friend Laura, and I headed out to Runyon Canyon for a little hill workout with NP Los Angeles.  Having grown up in Southern California, I really hadn’t spent much time exploring the local hot spots.  Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park are both known for their hiking trails and so it was neat to see what L.A. has to offer.

IMG_3709^^ Always fun to have a friend with me from my NP_NYC family.  Of course I may be biased but I love the New York tribe so much.

Let’s work in a little bit of reverse manner.  Throwing it back a week, I drove down to visit Meghan in her college habitat and completely forgot about this little thing called traffic.  It took me a good 90 minutes to drive down when it only should have taken 30.  Good job.  Some might think it strange for someone to want to go back and stay in the dorm overnight but that just meant free breakfast and boy do they have an excellent spread.  Putting that college tuition at work. We met up for dinner at Eureka! Burger, grabbed some frozen yogurt from the Southern California famous 21 Choices, and then finished the weekend with a nice hike.

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^^ What we call Instagram vs. Reality.  I love those posts where bloggers share a picture from their social media account and actually explain the level of difficulty it took to get that perfect, swoon or drool worthy shot.  Yes, Meghan does deal with my foodie photography but usually gives me a hard time along the way.

The rest of the weekend was spent playing golf, prepping for the week, and helping the parents cook a good dinner.  On Monday I took an early Equinox spin class, thinking that waking up early would help me beat the LA traffic.  Nope, apparently all of Los Angeles is also up at the crack of dawn and it still took me 80 minutes to travel 22 miles to the LA office, which certainly raised my blood pressure.  Later on in the day I picked up a friend from Santa Monica and we braved the two hour commute back home.  I’m glad we had the time to catch up but I swear, that traffic is just a depressant. If I decide to move back to Southern California, I would try my best to live and work as close together as possible because if I had to drive that commute 1x or 2x per day, I may very well go insane.

Monday was actually my only day of work since I had coordinated my vacation time to align with the holidays…hello extra long weekend!

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^^ Tuesday was filled with all sorts of doctors appointments and lunch with a friend from high school.  We had originally targeted Tender Greens for a nice sandwich but when we saw the line around the corner, we opted for Pasadena’s newest addition – Urth Caffe – instead.  While I usually go for the Spanish Latte or Spanish Granita, I was feeling more of the green tea boba combo.

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Bored Panda ~ “18 Real-Life Locations That Inspired Disney” ~ So you know those times where you walk around a foreign city and you feel like it’s right out of a movie?  Well, turns out these gorgeous locations were the creative inspirations FOR various Disney movies.

I’m full of good clips today.  Sit back and relax 🙂

Ok, I may be a new Bieber fan and James Corden fan.  Watching James drive through Los Angeles with various fans had me cracking up.

The Healthy Maven ~ “Life Without Labels” ~ Another great one.

IMG_3637 ^^ I was finally able to get my friend Laura to test out the free fitness movement with me and on Wednesday we ran NP_LAX’s PR Day, which meant zig-zagging the four levels of the Hollywood Bowl twice, enough to feel the burn in both our legs and throats.  Now I just have to make my way to SF to visit her and test out the SF tribe.  #traaaaaaverbal 😉

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^^ Pasadena’s temperatures were well into the 50’s but one should never turn down a trip to the Ice Cream Lab.

IMG_3647 ^^ For the past two years, I have spent Thanksgiving across the coast in the chilly Northeast.  While it was a great experience to be away from home, build a little character, I really missed some of those traditions.  My favorite? The morning ritual of running around town, burning up an appetite for that afternoon.  Since I decided to warm up with my sister and her friend (both college athetles), this was destined to be my view.

IMG_3651 ^^ They were nice enough to humor me and agree to a picture.  Because if there wasn’t a picture, it didn’t happen.  Right?  I tried my best to keep up with them but that was a very long shot for three miles.  Still, I wasn’t too bummed with my effort, a 7:22 average for 3 miles and a total of 5 or so miles for the day with the warmup, cool-down and various gallivanting.

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^^ Connecting with a couple of Thetas.  Siissssssters 😉  (cue jokes from both my mother and sister, I’m sure)

Breakfast (pumpkin waffles made by Meghan and batter by Trader Joes) + Thanksgiving Day Parade + lounging around + food prep and next thing you know, it’s time for TURKEY!

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^^ stuffed for days but possibly ready for round two tonight {coconut sugar cranberry sauce, broiled carrots, rolls, mashers, brown butter sweet potato mash, brussels sprouts w/ pancetta, turkey, gravy, and sourdough stuffing}

IMG_3674 ^^ If we weren’t full enough, we had three pies for 9 people.  My favorite was the chocolate pecan but since it was Thanksgiving, I was obligated to eat some of the pumpkin pie.  Ok, maybe the pumpkin pie was tied for my favorite.  Or the Talenti pumpkin gelato.  Or all of the above.  With full stomachs, we fell asleep to the sound of the first Star Wars movie and there you go, back to the beginning.

Boy, it was great to be home for Thanksgiving.

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Life of Late ~ 11.20.15

Get this. I’m home again.  In California.  Sort of seems surreal to be honest since this is my first Thanksgiving at home in a few years.  Some people think it’s silly to travel so much around the holidays, but hey, it’s one word – “family”.  Sure, I could be using this time to travel to places outside the United States and make the most of the fact that I’m halfway there (hello direct flights to Europe), but there’s time and place for that.  I do however happen to have a bit of a travel itch and have been trying to set a plan for 2016 and of course consider the important things like budget and days off.  For now, I’ll be enjoying some west coast love.

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^^ Being home means I don’t get to see these lovely ladies and my New York NP crew. Alas, there’s always NP_LAX.  Also, We looooooove our Lululemon shorts.  Even in the fall.  Even when it’s raining.  Especially when they are on sale in the We Made Too Much section.

IMG_3449^^ What we at November Project call the bounce.  Because every workout requires a mighty good warm-up. Safety first, right?

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^^ Updated view of the park.  So long to those harvest leaves and (almost) hello to bare branches.

IMG_3429 ^^ Throwing it back to that good ‘ol casual style.  You know, I probably will wear sweats more often while I am home than I do in New York. That is because my house is built like an igloo (meaning one wears layers upon layers to stay warmish) and my apartment has central heating (blessing and a curse) so we just walk around dressed as if it is summer.

IMG_3461 ^^ Why hello Jo Malone.  The Columbus Circle mall just opened a fine and fresh scent shop and if I’m not careful, I’ll be spending a good deal of my lunch breaks there.  Or in Whole Foods.  Or Williams Sonoma.  Or JCrew.  Basically a mall that has too much good stuff.

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^^ With the holidays comes the return of the gorgeous star decor inside the mall.  I haven’t seen a full on musical production just yet, but I’m sure we’ll catch a glimpse after the Thanksgiving holiday.  I know it’s not Macy’s Christmas Spectacular, but I do recommend checking it out if you are in the area 🙂

Mashable ~ “35 Career Goals” ~ Know your strengths, weaknesses, when to say no, and just know you.  Too often we start to say things about ourselves that aren’t true (are we detail-oriented or do we just want to be detail-oriented?)  Pick a side project, get involved, learn how to delegate and try something that scares you. 

The Muse ~ “13 ‘Crazy’ Interview Questions That Awesome Companies Will Ask” ~ Well, if that’s any indication of the complexity of the applications, I’m not sure if I’m ready for the likes of Google or Apple just yet.  Let me also say that my answer to one of the Tournament of Roses Court questions – what’s your favorite class? – was “lunch”.  Yeah that’s a real winner Kaitlin.  Obviously didn’t get asked back and probably got an eye roll and talking to from my mom.  What can I say?  I’m a keeper. 

Elle ~ “The Case Against Career Ambition

Ali on the Run ~ Just her blog in general makes me happy.  I’m slightly biased since we share a birthday.  Naw, she’s just real and it’s amazing.

The College Prepster ~ “4 Ways to Break Your Digital Addiction” ~ Boy, isn’t this one true.  Let’s just say that my phone is at 49% by noon most days.  More often than not, I feel like stranded without my phone.  No means of getting in touch, scheduling with others or even my own schedule (sad but I live through my iCalendar), etc.  But then there is another part of me that feels relieved.  As if I don’t have to respond to anything and it’s a way of saying get out and do something different.  There are many times that I think to myself (while scrolling through some stupid app while watching TV), that I’m wasting my brainpower.  Isn’t that sad?  People used to read books and educate themselves or learn a new skill.  I sit and scroll and swipe and respond to things.  I’ll probably add something related to this in my 2016 resolutions but for now, I’ll just try to be more mindful. 

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^^ Thanks Coach Brian for being an epic runner who can not only run a marathon, but have enough energy and stamina to run around the water coolers taking pictures of all of us and then go off and chase down whoever he was running with or pacing.  That’s what we call #beastmode.

Dinners with friends are hands down the best.  Especially when you get to eat at places like The Cellar – a restaurant in Beecher’s Cheese Place.

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^^ world’s best mac & cheese + kale & red peppers mac + harvest flatbread

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^^ PUMPKIN PUMPKIN PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE.  Seasonal selections for the win.

Volunteering for work means catching glimpses of Neil Patrick Harris, Taylor Schilling (aka Piper), Sharon Stone, Kathy Griffin (who is actually hilarious), Common, Kelly Ripa (tiny tiny thing), Chris Noth (Mr. Big), Zachary Quinto, and my favorite –  Anderson Cooper.  It also means listening to stories about individuals like you and me, making big changes in the world and giving back way beyond belief.  I’m talking about CNN Heroes, which will be broadcast on Sunday December 6th at 8pm ET.  I highly highly recommend watching this.  You might need a box of tissues as well.

Buzzfeed ~ “13 Reasons Thanksgiving is Not a Holiday for the Weak” ~ TRUTH

IMG_3420Have a fabulous weekend, enjoy the week of the turkey, and share your love and thanks near and wide!