Life of Late ~ 4.8.16

First off, a very happy birthday to my mom, or Madre as Meghan and I like to call her, as well as a happy birthday to my uncle Kevin who just so happens to share the lovely April 8th birthday.  It turns out that I don’t have many recent pictures with my mom, probably because I live practically 3 thousand miles away, so here’s a throwback to her 2014 oh-so-humid visit.

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What’s been happening in these neck of the woods?  Well Mother Nature has decided that we are not ready for spring and has delivered some brutally chilly mornings and freak rain storms.  Cool.  I have caught a cold despite all the vegetables and jugs of water that have been consumed.  I am still running every few days and am training for the next race – Brooklyn Half in May.  I’m not sure if I’ll try to PR on that course (when I ran the course in 2014) or if I’ll just take it easy.  Since it does happen to be a NYRR clubs point race, maybe I’ll find a happy medium and try to maintain a fun tempo. Stay tuned to see if that actually happens 😉

Other than that, it’s been lots of wandering, working out, and eating.  All good things.

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IMG_6153^^ The Easter brunch spread with some of the tastiest homemade quiche! I was invited out to Brooklyn by a new friend and she had the most adorable apartment.  But really, it was something out of a magazine.

IMG_6231IMG_6225^^ Friday Destination Deck at Fort Green Park – A few of us ran across the Brooklyn Bridge to the park where we then spent 30 minutes going up and down the steps and pumping out as many burpees as possible.

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IMG_6236^^ Listening in to those after-workout announcements and wondering why our Co-Leader Paul said caravan in such a French accent.  Good times.

IMG_6223IMG_6224^^ Currently obsessing over almond milk and almond milk lattes.  I have even picked up my own Califia Barista Blend to keep at work.  Turns out bringing your own milk and adding it to the $1.80 espresso is way cheaper than ordering it out.  Duh.

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IMG_6192^^ Thank you CNN for deciding to celebrate its employees with all the quesadillas, guacamole, and chips one could ask for.

IMG_6168The other day we had a baby shower for someone at work and the setup was safari themed and there were little printed pails with various snack foods and a full on ice cream bar.  Now despite having just finished lunch (a very healthy lunch if I might add >> tuna, hummus, carrots/brussels sprouts, sweet potato chips, and avocado), I proceeded to inhale a mini sundae and a couple handfuls of extra toppings.  I wasn’t exactly hungry but it felt like a mini fight or flight moment where if I didn’t eat it then, I wouldn’t ever have ice cream again.  I then decided to swear off sugar for a month and then found this mug cake recipe on Running on Veggies.  That’s where my #raceweight mind is at apparently.

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In similar news, I bit the bullet and signed up for Inside Tracker, a test that looks to optimize your body’s performance.  I’ve followed a few people insdie and outside of November Project (here, here, and here) that have been utilizing this program and am very curious to see what types of nutrients that I am lacking or over-doing.  My sugar intakes aren’t nearly as bad as they used to be (besides the above paragraph incident) but there’s room for improvement and with running on my mind, it’s worth a shot.

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^^ When find something that I really want to purchase but shouldn’t because I already spend too much money (namely at Lululemon).  Good thing it was sold out in my size. \

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^^ So if I won’t let myself buy clothes, what about prints for the wall?  Found from reading The Well Traveled Wife and now I’m absolutely in love with this Etsy prints shop.

Runners World ~ “Eight Reasons to Sip on Coffee” ~ You don’t have to tell me twice.  I do think that I over-did it in DC (averaging 3 cups at brunch) but who knew that restaurant coffee could be so rich and tasty?

YouTube ~ “Mirinda Carfrae training for the Ironman World Championships” {Australian professional triathlete and current triathlete world champ training video} ~ I used to have this dream of going to Kona and participating in the Ironman World Championships.  This started years ago when I was truly in love with Hawai’i and had never actually finished a triathlon.  Today the desire to do a full is still there, but not anytime soon.  Starting with a half would be smart and for that, I have my eye on the Oceanside location.

Gothamist ~ “Top 12 NYC Bridges Ranked” ~ With our mini rogue race (Take the Bridge) over the Williamsburg Bridge a couple weeks ago, that puts me at  5/12.  Meet November Project at 5:30/6:30 on 4/27 to check off #9

Pure Wow ~ “Perfect Poached Eggs” ~  Perfecting the poached egg is actually on my bucket list and with this how-to video, it should be a no-brainer.  Also, the fact that I’m outsourcing restaurants and paying $16-$18 for avocado toast and a poached egg is insane.  So maybe it’s time I give this a shot.

Soul Cycle ~ “Inside MB Regan’s Soul Journey” ~ Forever in limbo between east and west coast and I loved what she said regarding NYC >> “the intensity, edge and realness of the people. What you see is what you get. No BS!

IMG_6450 ^^ Double days with these gals.  Just making our way down the west side highway and back to the Lululemon store in time to get a free headband.  Always in it for the free swag.  Jessica (left) even lucked out and won a free gift card!!  That girl is amazing and is training to run the Boston Marathon next weekend and the Big Sur Marathon the weekend after!!

IMG_6198 IMG_6191^^ Eating the rainbow in a different fashion.  This time it was thanks to a November Project friend who brought the tasty treat back from Long Island.  Deeeelish.

IMG_6444“Don’t be afraid to give up the GOOD for the GREAT!” – Steve Prefontaine

Life of Late ~ 3.25.16

Soooooo, I’ve been off the blogging train lately.  Not entirely sure why.  Yes, there have been some later nights at work.  Yes, I have oodles I could talk about.  Yes, I have been addicted to watching Gilmore Girls nonstop.  So there aren’t too many excuses other than maybe I need to just pop in and out every now and then.  Anyways, a very applicable post by the lovely Margaret about “Blogging Break(s)“.  I know Georgie and Christina have had posts about feeling burnt out, taking a little break from blogging, and then feeling oh so much better, thus coming back better than ever.  So maybe that’s where I’m at.  A little more living in the moment.  Maybe I’ll just photo dump all my favorites from week to week because that’s what I really love to do. 🙂 For now, enjoy and happy Good Friday to those celebrating!

1^^ I’m not a huge candy fan but this pop-up shop in the mall gets me every time.

23 The BEST way to spend a Saturday (or any day if possible) is running and then eating, hence my popular hashtag #runtoeat.  I have discovered a delicious smoothie shop near the Brooklyn Lululemon that serves only the best acai bowls in Brooklyn (or so I’ve experienced).  I think this little rendition of LuluRunClub + acai bowl may have to happen again tomorrow.

4 5 ^^ Friends that run together stay together 😉 Me and my November Project buddies after one of the Saturday runs.  We four are on a team for the upcoming North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain.  Trail running really isn’t my expertise at the moment, so it may be more of a fun trek through the wilderness.

6 ^^ Sampling out some fun products such as derma e‘s latest charcoal products.  Because I live in one dirty city (the only “fresh air” I get is in Central Park), I tend to gravitate towards the more holistic skin products.  I’ve heard lots of good things about charcoal and green tea (well duh) and have been using a couple of these products for the last few weeks.  I definitely love the cleanser and how soft it makes my face feel.  The Purifying Youth Serum wasn’t my top choice, simply due to the smell (I have a sensitive nose and stomach), but the charcoal mask and gel cleanser however are quite on point and luckily can be purchased at ULTA and Whole Foods, so I’m in luck!

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So when I’m not sitting on my rear in the office, I am usually out and about working out.  My friends and I tested out a tough 45-minute HIIT class at the fhitting room, thanks to this nifty free code.  We went to the location on the UES (upper east side) and left sweating as you can see from our glamour shot above (ok not dripping in sweat but still).  Since I have an Equinox membership, I’m not sure if I’d pay consistently for classes, but I did love the strength training and it’s on my bucket list to do more in preparation for the rest of my races this year.

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Pure Wow ~ Baked Cheese Recipes ~ Everyone say CHEESE.

Pure Wow ~ “Summer Trips to Book Immediately” ~ Who else has the travel itch?  I’m stuck between enjoying my routine and wanting to break free.  Luckily I have a few trips coming up this month to satisfy that wanderlust craving (no, semi-planned trips aren’t exactly “wanderlust” but whatever…it’s travel so carpe diem)

NYMag.com ~ “Relying on Friends in a World Made for Couples” ~

C’est Christine ~ “This is Your Life” ~ Remember, you do you and you stay focused on you.

November Project ~ “2 Years 200 Workouts” ~ A absolutely lovely tribute to NYC’s 200th workout by fellow NP runner, inspiration, friend, and badass Sara Beaney.

Well + Good ~ “10 Most Exciting Healthy Books in 2016” ~  When you finish your latest show binge and don’t know what to do with your life. Not to mention this activity is PERFECT for this spring weather.  Am I right?

Pure Wow ~ “NYC Secret Parks” ~ Who knew any of these locations existed?? I guess I have to up my exploring game.

In It 4 The Long Run ~ “20 Healthy Recipes You Can Make w/ Almond Butter” ~ Because who can’t say no to nut butter?

9 ^^ Like I said, you can usually find me working out, running in the park, or at some cafe that serves avocado toast (aka Bluestone Lane for the win)

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Or re-fueling with festive burrata + prosciutto for the Bachelor finale.

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^^ Another Brooklyn Lululemon run club adventure in the books.  This was to send of our fast and fearless leader Chloe as she moves to Berlin for her new job.  With a quick 4 mile shakeout under our belts (this was the Saturday prior to the NYC Half), we arrived back to an ice cream cake and the manager telling us that we could each pick out a pair of shorts in Chloe’s honor.

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12 ^^ This would be my meal the day before the NYC Half Marathon.  It was divine and I totally should have come here after the half to celebrate and replenish those calories. The biscuits.  The sausage gravy.  The biscuits.  The epic Mary J Blige Pandora playstation they had going.  So amazing.

Pies & Thighs has two lovely locations (Lower East Side and Williamsburg) and we selected the original local (Williamsburg) to dine.  Waits aren’t terrible and if you put your name in, wander back down the street to grab a coffee while you wait.

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^^ Almond milk latte and gooey chocolate chip cookies for extra measure.  Didn’t want to feel faint on the course, that’s for sure. Oh and Califia Barista Blend is quite possibly the best thing to happen to coffee.  Forget cream, forget coconut  milk, go Califia or go home.

15 Right.  This little race called the NYC Half Marathon, sponsored by United Airlines.  Both Lindsay and I had entered our names in the lottery and both happened to luck out with bibs!   We picked up our bibs on Friday afternoon, snapped a picture and then headed home for an early evening.

It was a VERY early morning Sunday – up at 5:15 to eat and prep, barely making it to the starting line by 7:10 (corrals closed around 7:15) and a swift start at 7:30.  I had actually signed up for this race prior to Arizona and after running 1:40ish in Arizona, I considered taking it easy in NYC.  But, I was feeling good in and around the park, cruised through Times Square, and shot out at the West Side Highway where I saw a few people that I knew and most importantly, the mile 9 NP_NYC cheer station.

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^^ I may not have been smiling for this shot (by one of the NP peeps) but boy was I excited to see them.  With a wave of the hand (shaka as always), I was off to the last part of the race.  If you aren’t familiar with the course, let me fill you in.  The whole West Side Highway is long and when you hit mile 12, you go through a tunnel and have to deal with two tight turns before the finish line.  Those were NOT my favorite parts of the course.  But, all in all an excellent morning and I ended up running even faster than Arizona with a solid 1:40 time!

19 ^^ Like I said, friends that run together, stay together.  We have goals to keep signing up and traveling for races – maybe a few epic destination ones one day.

20 ^^ But for now, it’s back to training.  I’ve got the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler next week and Brooklyn in just under 8 weeks.  Here we are with a blurry Tuesday morning speedwork. I was just jogging behind the group as I was still sore but the sunrise and company is always worth it AND WE SAW MEB K!!  Always worth the wakeup.

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Who knows what this weekend will bring besides some workouts and exploration but that’s fine by me.  Carpe Diem my friends and the happiest of Easters.

“It is better to travel well than to arrive” – Buddha

Life of Late ~ 1.22.16

Quite possibly my favorite posts to write because it entails me dropping a few too many pictures into a post and writing up every random thought I have at that moment in time.  Well, it’s also a way to share with the fam what I’m actually up to and so everyone here gets to enjoy it as well 😉  We’re past the halfway point in January and (knock on wood) it hasn’t been too cold or too snowy! (and because this was pre-written I cursed myself with an impending storm tomorrow…good job).

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^^ Stopped by the Brooklyn Lululemon Run Club and sooo glad I did.  The girls were great, helped push my pace, and I got to explore a new part of town.  I hate to write this, but I’ve grown a little tired of Central Park, the hills, and not enough people to run with.  I seem to fall into this weird place running wise – right in between pace groups.

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^^ Well, any day (Saturday especially) is made better with a trip to Juicepress.  This shake is quite possibly perfection for post-workout.  I do believe Jackie’s Cold-Brew Warrior (something or other) with almond butter was on par, but she had to pay for that one.

Backpost ~ “52 Magical Places You and Your Dog Need to Visit in 2016” – Luckily I’ve checked a few places off the list, but still, maybe I should find a furry companion 😉

The Peanut Butter Lover ~ “2016: The Year I Stop Subconsciously Scrolling” ~ Goals. But really.

Vermilion Roots ~ “Breakfasts from Around the World” ~ I could take those spinach and eggs any day! Or the dosa. Or the acai bowl. Or the puff pastry with cream cheese and guava paste.  I like how those move downwards on the health train.

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^^ view from Monday’s run along the East River Path

As a matter of fact, the city actually had its first snowfall last Sunday and of course I was not prepared in the slightest.  I had slept in, started my laundry and read the NYTimes at Starbucks all by 11 and as I was getting ready to go to spin with some NP folks, I decided the sun meant it was warm and I would wear capris.  Bad news bears.  Everything was fine since the spin class was inside (duh) but later on, after leaving the movies (Bridge of Spies – decent flick nominated and worth a go), the snow was really coming down and I was not as happy of a camper then.  Ah well, live and learn.

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^^ These amazing folks joined me for a sweaty session and we even lucked out and had Kelly Ripa in our presence!  Yep, the queen of Soul herself, crushing it on those bounces.

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^^ See, we actually like to do other things than just run, ok?  This was take #2 of Justin Bieber’s Sorry class and we even got one of the guys to tag along.  He actually was a trooper for dancing it out, but hey, who would turn down a night with at least 20+ lovely ladies? 😉

It’s hilarious that we all know the dance moves because whenever we hear it (Brother Jimmy’s bar as one example), we drop everything and start strutting around.  I thought it would be a hoot if I showed my new dance moves to my new friends in Brooklyn last weekend, but judging as they were talking about the presidential debate and Bernie Sanders, I decided otherwise.

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^^ All about that sass and yes, I may be wearing the same outfit as above.  Don’t worry Mom, I washed it.

LinkedIn ~ “4 Lessons from 2015” ~ Love that the first one is about finding your tribe.  Also, brilliance is in point 3 >> “live patience”

A Dash of Cinema ~ “At the Dinner Table for One” ~ I know so many articles are telling us to find other means of motivation and connection besides food, but the dinner table and tradition has such a warm feeling about it, don’t you agree?  Our “dinner table” is usually the couch in front of the TV (we are oh so social) but thinking back to Downton Abbey days or even a nice Sunday night meal at home makes me smile.

 

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^^ For now, let’s work to live.  A last minute invite to the work suite and boy was it sweet.

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^^ On a not so happy note, as many of you might have seen, we had quite a few deaths in society last week.  On Monday it was announced that Glenn Frey – one of the founding members of the Eagles, passed away.  This one was a little harder to grasp since they were my parent’s favorite and as a result, we spent our fair share of time listening to their albums.

CNN ~ “Jaded, numb, and bickering: Travel blogging couple reveal pain behind perfect photos” ~ Proof that Instagram (and social media) isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Duly Noted ~ “I Should Be Engaged” ~ My friend posted this along with the following: Wow, this is fantastic. Embrace each moment. Or like my grandma always says, “Be here now.” Don’t get so caught in the future or past to miss the present. This is a great goal for 2016! 👌   I couldn’t have said it any better.

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^^ Oh and run for life.  Shared from Ali’s site because it’s more fun running and taking pictures in groups, right? I may have planned my outfit for this run and since it’s on the world wide web, that means #famousforlife 😉

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What’s on tap for your weekend??  Northeast folks, brace yourself for the storm!!  

Friday Favorites

A little taste of what I’ve been digging this week.  It’s been fun to test out a few food places, some of them new and others not so new, as I run errands and make my way through the traffic of Southern California.  Honestly, I am NOT a fan of traffic and sadly, it’s making me despise driving.  I have exhausted every radio station, even some of the bilingual ones, and will probably scream the next time I hear Daft Punk’s song about getting lucky or Selena Gomez’s latest musical melody attempt.  Don’t get me wrong, most of the songs on the radio are quite catchy, but there is only so many times they should be played and certainly not simultaneously on multiple radio stations.  Thoughts?

IMG_9297Visiting Megnan at her internship.  Not only does she have a little balance board, but she also had a stand-up desk and an amazing view of Santa Monica.  That should certainly balance out the hour+ drive to work 😉  I was actually on the south side of town to catch up with one of my mentors and get her thoughts on my post-college job search. IMG_9302But, a trip out should be rewarded, don’t you think?  Meghan and I took a quick trip to the food truck row and while I was drooling at some of the choices (even though slightly overpriced…then again, what isn’t these days), I had to go for a juice. Hello JUICEBOX! I’ve been reading how these juices provide the most amount of nutrients for the body because none of the products are cooked or altered.  Instead, you get 100% of the nutrients in one cup.  Seems like a great deal to me.
IMG_9303I was debating between the Citrusbox and Kalebox, but was wary of the beet addition.  I had been less than enthused with the last time I tried beet, so kale it was.  I thought it was a success, but then again I have a slight addiction to weird food combinations.  Meghan’s report was that it was alright, but would need some adjusting too.  I just told her that Kombucha had an even more distinctive flavor, so she was lucky. 🙂 IMG_9305 I’ve also been doing my fare share of cleaning out my room and house.  We are having a garage sale next week and I’ve been trying to get rid of all the junk lovely sentimental items that we have collected over the years.  I’m also helping my mom scrapbook our sports careers, which requires a lot of digging  through old newspaper clippings and picture boxes.  We come from a small town, so even the softball scores would get reported on.  My claim to fame was the fact that I could hit.  Not only that, but I threw right-handed and would bat left-handed.  Tricky, tricky, tricky.  IMG_9307 A trip to Pasadena is NEVER complete without a trip to 21 Choices.  I swear, I could go to this place every day and never get tired of it.  Well, maybe after awhile.  I guess there is such thing as too much of a good thing.

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This little joint is a little like ColdStone Creamery, but eons better.  They have daily flavors of frozen yogurt, along with a couple of regulars.  Then, you are welcome to choose from the many toppings, which they will mix in on a frozen countertop.  They will offer you a taste of your yogurt and if you are satisfied, you proceed to pay and devour the remaining bowl.  If not, they will be happy to try to make your creation again.

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I have been known to sit inside and wait for a customer to refuse their selection because the bowl of heaven will then be offered to the customers in line for free.  Ok, this only happened once when I was simply tasting looking at the day’s flavors.  My parent’s won’t let me forget it though.

IMG_9313This is relatively new; a board of recommended pairings, many of which I wouldn’t even have been able to create on my own.  Sometimes you just need a little help. 
IMG_9316 IMG_9317I went for the “Salty Sailor” complete with cookie dough, peanut butter, and sea salt.  They even let me keep the spoon they used to scoop out the peanut butter.  You see, it’s the little things that make me happy. IMG_9318Meghan happens to be a pro at ordering 21 Choices because she has the privilege to attend Claremont McKenna.  Why do I make this connection?  Well, Claremont is host to TWO 21 Choices, so it can often be a weekly outing, especially since she and her other cross-country friends run so much and work up quite the appetite.  I’d like to think my time on the elliptical works up the same amount of appetite or maybe it’s just my love for ice cream and frozen treats.  IMG_9319As you can see, some things never change.  I’ve been in love with ice cream since a young child.  This stuff is legit, right out of the old-fashioned ice cream machine.  Ah, I also was recently made aware that when we lived in England (granted I lived there from 6 months – 2.5 years old), my grandparents would treat me to an ice cream cone quite often.  This trend seemed to have continued as we all got older and you can always count on them to offer up a scoop.

IMG_9326Rarely do I get to purchase something from Lululemon, but a birthday gift card enabled me to splurge on my very first pair of shorts and I am oh so excited to wear them today as we head to Mammoth Mountain.  Let’s just say they will be getting a lot of use in the future 🙂 I also am loving the new style of bags Lululemon has out for the summer.  Theresa actually got me on the #lululunches bandwagon and I have to say, these bags are perfect for packing all sorts of tupperware away. IMG_9321Maybe my coffee addiction is a little out of hand.  Or not.  This was an attempt to find the perfect beverage – soy vanilla latte.  I promise that when I make the big bucks, I will treat my mom to coffee all the time.  For now, I am eternally grateful for your sharing nature and am pleased to be your coffee buddy 🙂

IMG_9324Last up, I had the chance to visit my high school friend Laura out in Westwood. She took me to one of her favorite places in Santa Monica, Urth Cafee, which has simply some of the best teas/coffees and salads.  I was in seventh heaven with my mixed veggie salad and Spanish Latte Granita, a perfect blend – creamy and sweet.

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Had I taken a look at the breakfast side of the menu, I might have gone that route, but felt a salad was in order.  Yes, salads can be sort of boring, but call me crazy, I just had a craving for a massive plate of vegetables. (I’m fully aware how strange this sounds to some people…go with it).  May I also recommend the scrumptious looking desserts?  Apparently their pumpkin pie is to die for.  Oh goodness, just looking at the menu makes me wish I could eat there more often.  Maybe I’ll resort to making some of the tasty selections from home.  More cost and time-efficient for sure.

Today we are heading up to Mammoth Lakes, one of my favorite places during the summer.  I’ll be sure to pick up a coffee or two 😉 and share some of my favorite places next week.

What are some of your favorite places where you live?  Who knows, maybe I’ll put it on my to-do list and visit one day!