Oh, Just in New York City

So, this one time, we carried a couch through New York City. Not exactly the entire city – just out of one apartment, down the street about 800 yards and back into another apartment.  But it was quite an event and I thought it was absolutely hilarious and found myself laughing the entire time.

Last week I received a text message from my friend Laura, asking if I wanted a free couch.  Um, free couch?  Well, her host family is in the process of remodeling and wanted the couch out by the end of the weekend.  It was either give it to someone who would take it (so yes, that isn’t even a question.  I would LOVE a free couch) or leave it on the curb for trash pickup.

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I sent this picture to my sister, she asked if I had just picked random people on the side of the road to help out.  Since I can be pretty independent or self-sufficient but knew that trying to drag a couch across the street solo would not work out. We wrangled up a few of our guy friends and made the deal sweeter by treating them to Belgian waffles.  Everyone in the picture was known before hand and was fully aware of what they were getting themselves into.  Well, maybe not completely aware but that element made it that much funnier. IMG_3309

Because every Sunday should be celebrated with strawberries and waffles


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 As you can see, we were able to fit it out of the doorway and into the elevator.  Although, there were many moments where I didn’t think it would work out.  But then I thought, “they had to move it in somehow, so there has to be a possibility”.  That along with the fact that I will not give up and that was too nice of a couch to just leave on the side of the road.

So, to keep the theme of Marvelous in My Monday, I can definitely say marvelous being a proud owner of a legitimate couch (eons better than our <$150 Amazon Prime futon).  Oh, and its price tag of $0?  Yes, that makes life even better.

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Other notable moments from the weekend included celebrating Laura’s birthday with a comedy show, divine Mexican dinner in Brooklyn, and dancing the night away at the Beauty Bar.  Fun, no?  I even made a flourless chocolate cake (recipe to be shared soon) and toted it along to dinner and then continued to carry the cake pan as we went out.  I mean, isn’t that the latest trend?  Carry your baking supplies through the bar?

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Saturday was spent with a gorgeous run along the east river and some last-minute babysitting where I spent a solid hour or more discussing actors, actresses, movies, and televisions shows with a highly intelligent 9-year old.

Sunday started with some blog reading, Pinterest, preparation of soft pretzel dough, and a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It was nice to catch up on blogs since I barely get a chance to read my emails during the week.

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After moving the couch, Laura and I went for a run in the sun along the east river, around Battery Park, and into SOHO.  We splurged and had an afternoon snack at Chobani and then found ourselves wrapped up in the JCrew sale.  Of course the afternoon was perfect since running + JCrew were the superficial reasons we bonded in the first place.

Not so marvelous would be trying on clothes in those goodness awful dressing rooms.  I despise the lightening of those mirrors and I swear JCrew (along with most clothing companies) like to change the style and sizing of their clothes.  I know running is great but that paired with genetics make for not-enjoyable clothes shopping.  But even with the moans and groans and frustrations, I came out with some tank tops, a couple pairs of shorts, and anticipation of the spring weather.

After our afternoon’s interesting turn of events, we hopped on the subway back to the apartments, I iced my legs, took a quick shower, and finally made the soft pretzels.

c822a8d4d56d0d4b26e1a06329348accWith that, I leave you to a marvelous Monday and week ahead!

Marvelous Beginning of March

Weekends are marvelous but when I have difficult time turning my brain off, it can be tough. I admit, I’m one of those goody-two shoes who wants to go above and beyond, doesn’t like to get in trouble, and wants everything to work perfectly on the first try.  Yeah, good luck with that Kaitlin.  So when work picked up significantly last week, I knew it was important to make my weekend and time away from my desk simply marvelous.

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Friday started (or ended) with a few splurge items from Whole Foods – sushi and this beyond amazing ice cream.  This may be my new favorite brand simply due to the creaminess and pairing of coconut and chocolate (my two favorite flavors).

I was feeling a little exhausted from the week and when I got home, I found a care package from one of my best friends, Laura, who is all the way out in San Francisco.  She had made me some of her favorite granola and even packaged it in a fancy little mason jar.  That, along with a number of other goodies (including an adorable hand-written card), made my night for sure.

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Saturday consisted of a workout class, some much needed stretching and foam rolling, and a lengthy trip down to SOHO.  My original plan was to camp out at one of the few Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shops in Manhattan but I guess plans are meant to be broken.  After wandering aimlessly for awhile, I stopped into a local bagel shop to see what the hype was about.  All I can say is boy, New Yorkers and their bagels.  Marvelous, just marvelous.

Marvelous molasses cookies –  I brought a majority of these beauties into work, where thank goodness they were well received.  More were sent off in snail mail packages to my friends on the west coast.

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When I went to college, my mom told me to each door in my dorm and offer cookies to make friends.  Ok, I may be twisting the story just a tad (I can’t recall the exact breakdown) but I figure that baking still might win my coworkers/bosses over.

Sunday was a monumental day when I attended a yoga class and actually liked it.  My legs have been acting up with a chronic soreness and while I decided to push through a spin class, I knew I needed something more therapeutic and relaxing.

IMG_3147I’m pretty certain I can diagnose my leg issues as “chronic soreness” based on this month’s Runner’s World articles.  I’m not too pleased with my legs at the moment but it’s better to realize what I’m doing wrong before I get too beyond hurt.  I’m still looking into what to do or not to do and it looks like rest, stretching, foam rolling, and so on.  I even have picked up a weekend treat of “Chinese Foot Massage” visits in SOHO.   I have no clue how people learn to rub muscles out like that and while it certainly hurt, it was worth it.

IMG_3153_Fotor_Collage What I love about New York is that I can take a quick subway ride and I’m in a completely new area of Manhattan.  I’d love to really document the various trips in the city but I was amazed at how vibrant Little Italy and Chinatown were, how cheap the prices were ($1.50 for two boxes of strawberries!), and how much variety was out there.

I ended the weekend relaxing by watching golf, making an eggplant lasagna, and soaking up every bit of Oscar fun. Golf isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it was something I grew up watching and playing on the weekends and has become something familiar when I’m at home.

ec5edf6cc3007aa6013dee0894dc0aa7For more marvelous adventures, check out the crew at Healthy Diva Eats.

What’s in a Weekend?

How does one normally spend time during the weekend?  Recovering from the week? Binge-watching House of Cards (or any television), exercising, brunching, exploring?  That seems to be the question.  While weekends are grand, a day off is wonderful,  making memories with new friends is the most marvelous feeling of all.

IMG_2904Friday was of course Valentine’s Day – chocolate lover’s day or singles awareness day or whatever mixed up naming convention you use to enjoy or abhor February 14th.  It’s not a day that really matters to me and it honestly turned out to be just another Friday.

Except that I made extremely delicious Girl Scout cookies that were devoured by my colleagues (nothing like a little compliment to get your weekend started) and we danced our hearts out until 3am at a 90’s theme bar.  Yes, I may still be struggling on the lack of sleep aspect, but screaming until your voice is gone and dancing like you don’t care to the Backstreet Boys, good ‘ol Brittany Spears, and N’SYNC is totally worth it.

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Somehow I seem to gravitate towards those who happen to be blonde and are from Southern California.  Also semi-black&white makes everything look better, don’t you agree?

I thought it was hilarious that my “post-bar” meal consisted of a Samoa cookie, celery, almond butter, and glass of milk.  Not your average 3am snack, but it worked.  It was also funny because on Saturday, my roommates asked if I had a nice relaxing Valentine’s.  They thought I had been chilling in my room all night and were completely surprised that I was I was out later than they were (that says something).  See folks, although I may be living the granny lifestyle during the week (complete with tea+crossword), this girl does know how to have a good time in the city.

Thank goodness I loaded up on water throughout the night because Saturday morning I subjected myself to intense back-to-back classes at my gym.  Total Body Conditioning plus the ultimate spin class resulted in a very tired Kaitlin.  The spin class was an extra treat because it was lead by favorite instructor and he played music videos on the back wall.  This enabled us to focus on the strange ways artists portray their music instead of the pain we were feeling.

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I decided to treat myself to brunch at Le Pain and watch the snow start to fall.  While the environment was enjoyable – quaint and perfect for a Saturday afternoon – I was underwhelmed by the food.  My meal – a tiny Belgian waffle and soft-boiled eggs – ended up being overpriced and nothing close to what I was craving, but an experience in itself.

The rest of the day I spent picking up groceries at Trader Joe’s, wandering through the glorious and endless aisles of Bed, Bath & Beyond (consumerism for the win), and watching a mix of Olympics and House of Cards with my roommates.

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Sunday’s adventures topped it all.  After braving the cold for a 45 minute run (gallop through the snow), I took a shower, organized the pile of recipes I had accumulated, iced my legs, and watched parts of the Olympics.  From there, Laura I traveled north to the upper west side for brunch with some of friends (or friends of friends).  They all graudated from Pomona and found themselves on the east coast, although 3 of the 10 actually lived in the city (so much for expanding the friend group).

IMG_2959Best way to brunch = diner coffee and splitting two meals.  Therefore you get the best of sweet + savory. 

The next four or so hours proved to be quite intellectually intriguing.  I really didn’t have anything to contribute to the conversation (we were talking about immunity and neuroscience, and the biology and gene-aspects) but was intrigued by how the discussion was evolving.  I adore talking to strangers (or new friends), I loved how everyone was so passionate about something, and I was impressed by the fact that not a single individual pulled out his or her phone during the afternoon.  So different from other social scenarios I’ve been in.

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Throughout the afternoon, we adventured up and around parts of Columbia University and then back down and around Central Park to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Whenever I think of the MET, I think back to The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and how the two children manage to run away and stay inside the museum.

I admit, I was not the most respectable human being and did not pay full price to enter the museum.  However, I justify this by the fact it’s on a donation-based entry and I also plan to return for an entire day of exploration and then of course donate a proper amount.

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The New York Public Library.  Oh if I were only able to snap a picture of where I am sitting, I’m sure you would have an “Oh my goodness” moment as well.  The outside of the building is breath taking; a pure work of art but when you step inside, that’s where the true magic occurs.  It’s the “silent reading room” that is a beauty.  There are books lining the rims of the room, long wooden tables with simple, gold-styled lamps, and every seat filled with someone reading, writing, or typing away.  Note, I think I saw a total of ten PC’s in that room.  #applemonopoly

Sad part (for us patrons) is that they kick people out around 4:45pm every day.  Alas, I managed to hangout at Laura’s apartment, which actually resembles a house – complete with kitchen table and television.

I have yet to decide how I will spend today but I think it entails a cup of coffee and oodles of food preparation or baking.  My roommate left some of her prosecco in the fridge, so that might amount to Champagne truffles, and I picked up some salad items for work lunches.  For more marvelous fun, head over to Healthy Diva Eats and come back Wednesday for tips and instructions on this beauty.

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“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”
– William Butler Yeats 

Rounding Up A Weekend of Snow

As I type this up, I’m watching the Grammy’s and I have to say, marvelous can be summed up in two words – Hunter Hayes.  I swear this guy knows how to express all sorts of emotions in his songs and it must be something about his voice or country music but it makes me, and probably the rest of young women my age, melt.

Anyways, now that we’ve covered that topic, let’s cover the bases of the marvelous weekend and last weekend of January 2014!  Many thanks to Healthy Diva Eats as usual 🙂

Marvelous is going with the flow.  I really do think I’m getting the hang of this whole “don’t plan out your weekend to the minute” deal.  I had a few things on my mind – I needed a new pair of jeans, I wanted to work out, and I wanted to explore something, which is pretty average for a Kaitlin weekend.

Friday night my roommates and I found ourselves with takeout (sushi and green tea ice cream for myself) and Monsters University.  There wasn’t much else on Hulu or Netflix (so pick up your game please!) and it was the only decent RedBox movie.  All in all not half bad but I was still riding the high of Frozen.  That’s right, I went to see Frozen a couple weekends ago and AM IN LOVE!  Don’t mind this 22-year old watching a movie and laughing by herself – there were no regrets there.  Oh and did anyone else have a “you go girl” moment at the end?  Two thumbs up for Disney and Chris Buck.

On Saturday I brought my roommate to my Total Body Conditioning Class but may have oversold it.  Oops.  While it was still a workout, there wasn’t as much cardio (or I wasn’t sweating as much that day) and the music was not exactly my cup of tea.  I then satisfied my hunger with a massive salad from Sweetgreen.  Oh my gosh nommmmms.  If it wasn’t so pricey ($20 for below – juice + salad), I’d probably find myself there on the regular.  Eh, give and take and treating myself with delicious foods was worth it.

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Later in the day I went with my friend Laura to volunteer up in the Bronx.  We both are a part of New York Cares and were able to find a project where we could play sports with a bunch of kids.  I have to say, it felt great to goof around, joke, and let loose, all while making a difference.

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Laura and I continued down to pick up a snack (I’ve been super hungry lately – maybe because I’m lacking in the protein department of my meals) and then explored Central Park in the snow.  Two California girls in the snow makes for one grand adventure.  However, the cold started to get to us after a couple hours out there and we were ready for a hot chocolate.  I’ll do a recap of our favorite hot chocolate locations at some point but I swear, whatever we had was pretty much dark chocolate chips melted in a cup.  DIVINE if I do say so myself.

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As we headed back to our apartments, I received a last minute invitation to dinner and how could I not accept when it was a couple of my Santa Clara friends and I had nothing else to do that night?

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Michelle (a fellow New Yorker now 🙂 ), myself, Andrew (Michelle’s boyfriend), and Dimitri

Sunday was filled with gym time (ugh dreadmill, you are not my friend yet but keep tryiing), brunch with my roommate, plenty of shopping (#success with Nordstrom Rack!) and even some meal prep.  This came after I dropped what I thought was a lot of money at the grocery store.  I figured by picking up the necessary veggies, chicken, and other goods, I might save some cash during the week.  Who knows, it’s good in theory, right?  It probably didn’t help that I picked up some baking ingredients here and there but I love to bake for people, so I’m not really complaining.

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Marvelous is catching up on the phone with a couple of my best friends.  Texting is good, email is great, but chatting on the phone is the best when they are over 2,000 miles away.

There were multiple times this weekend I thought to myself, “wow, I cannot even believe I live in such a place. The snow, the city lights, the ability to go from one part of the city to the other in practically no time at all?  Just brilliant.”

33ca11f05c4def6774b667e3338daf98Award show preference? Emmy’s, Grammy’s, or Oscars?

Weekend for the Records

Shouldn’t every weekend be record-breaking in some way?  Maybe you caught up on some extra sleep, ran more than you ever thought you could, went out to brunch for the first time or experienced your first snow. As I always say, it’s about the little things in life that are marvelous.  A little over a week away until the big day and here’s what I’ve been up to.

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You know, they may be onto this whole “white Christmas” thing.  We had our first bought of snow on Saturday and it sure made the holiday season a little more magical.  My roommate and I also agreed to participate in the annual Santacon on Saturday.  Seeing hundreds of Santas flock the streets of New York was quite interesting indeed.  We didn’t invest in a red suit but decided next year we needed to find matching onesies.  Thoughts? 😉

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Let’s just say what happens as Santacon, stays at Santacon.

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Lately it’s been great – I manage to catch the subway exactly where I need to, hop on with out shoving too many elbows, and get off within a period of 20-25 minutes.  I’ve picked up a routine of grabbing a AMNew York newspaper after I getting off one subway as I head to the next.  I’ve also been having breakfast at work because it’s nice to know that I can take my time, looking out over Central Park, reading the morning news.  This is also due to the fact that I arrive painstakingly early because I can’t figure out the morning subway routine yet. Yes, still a problem.

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Let’s hope everyone feels this way.  The majority of the time I spend walking the streets, I have my phone plugged in and end up belting some country tunes or more recently, some attempt at Christmas carols.  If only we were as talented as Mariah Carey.

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The time of year to be merry and bright 🙂 I love picking out odds and ends that create the perfect gift for someone (or so I hope).  In the end, you must always remember the effort that was put forth when a gift is given.  Remember the time and thought that was hopefully put in to it to represent your friendship or relationship.

In the words of my daily TUT Universe e-mail,

“Being happy now is always more important than any new dream coming true later.”

Marvelous in Manhattan

So I’ve seen a number of bloggers share what’s marvelous about their weekends, their days, and their Monday.  I think it’s a pretty good time to share what’s been marvelous around here lately.  As many of you know, I recently transported my life to Manhattan and while it’s only been a few days, I’m pretty excited to call it my home for the next 1+ years.  Who knows how I’ll fair with the weather, but that’s another issue for another day.  Hey, other people have managed, so it can be done, right? Continue reading