Marveling in the Easter Weekend

The best way to beat the Sunday night blues and even Monday blues is to look back at some good memories, right?  That and then plan ahead for the next fun adventure.

IMG_4033 Spent the weekend with this guy.  Would have looked adorable (and probably annoyed) dressed as a bunny or lamb, don’t you think?

IMG_4036First time eating key lime pie and boy I’m hooked. A nice recovery meal from my hot yoga 😉

IMG_4039 Spring flowers.  Enough Said.

IMG_4015 Got to love me some water ice.  I first tested out the east coast trend when they opened a Rita’s in my home town.  While I wasn’t exactly a fan of the custard at first, I soon found its appeal and couldn’t wait to test out this branch in Jersey.  Black cherry + vanilla custard = mmmmm goodness.

IMG_4649Strangely enough, the lights of the city are kind of welcoming.  The Empire State building acts as a lighthouse, welcoming me, and whoever else calls this concrete island, home.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”  – Steve Jobs

Marvelous March By Numbers

Life is funny.  We move through the hustle and bustle, worrying about whether we will get the perfect job, have the perfect relationship, live out those perfect lives that we expect to have.  Rarely do we sit and think about how lucky we are and how life is pretty darn good.

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Sure, there are ups and downs and life throws us curve balls but it’s how we react that matters. I discovered yet another article with quotes or notes about living out life to the max. I’d love to make my own list of life lessons but will probably have to spend some time brainstorming 🙂  With that mentality, I’ll jump into some memorable and marvelous moments from the past week.

A note on taking positive action. – “Don’t sit back and let things happen to you.  Go out and happen to things.  You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.  Stop saying “I wish” and start saying “I will.”  Turn your cant’s into cans and your dreams into plans.”

4.5 – Miles ran on Saturday around lower Manhattan.  I love being able to explore the different areas (east river –> Houston Street –> SOHO –> Highline), see people out and about, and stumble across some hidden gems.

IMG_3403Doesn’t this look like the epitome of New York?  I swear, after watching all those  movies and TV shows set in Manhattan, I thought every apartment would look like this.

28 – Days until the next race, which happens to be a half marathon with my girl friends.  Let’s just say this will not be a PR by any standards.  I have not been training adequately due to my funky legs, possible shin splints, and the lovely snow.

1 – Tasty dinner out with my dad last week.  While he was in town for a mere 24 hours, we were able to connect for a steak dinner.  Let’s just say we went with his favorites but I will always know how to order – medium rare 🙂 I win this one Dad. IMG_3341

20 – Degrees difference between Saturday and Sunday.  I’ve been totally fine with all the snow and cold but please don’t tease me with these temps only to take them away.

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Spring weather means it’s time to return to my weekend routine of Farmer’s Market browsing and sampling 🙂

2 – Meals I ate out and ate solo.  Most of my friends were busy this weekend and I decided it wasn’t worth moping and sitting in my room.  There were restaurants I wanted to try and figured why not.  One was Momofuku Noodle Bar, a crowd favorite and oh-so-crowded, but just right for a single diner such as myself.

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Green Tea Slushy ($4 for a shot glass size practically but absolutely delicious)IMG_3444
This may not be entirely photogenic, but the Momofuku noodle bowl (noodles, egg, pork shoulder) was an excellent option. They are also known for their steamed buns, but I’ll save those for another time. 

Countless – Signs of spring! With spring officially arriving on Thursday, I am beyond excited for the warmer weather and blooming flowers.

4 – Ways in which I pampered myself on Sunday.  Between spending a few hours in the gym (only because the classes were so awkwardly spread out) to brunch in Brooklyn.  From finding a cheap nail salon to finally getting a hair cut. Oh you wouldn’t believe the difference a simple hair cut or trim makes.  I have the pleasure of living with thin hair, so waiting 11 weeks to get a hair cut, while curling and blow-drying the life out of it, probably wasn’t the best decision.  Oh well 🙂

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“Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.”
– Katherine Mansfield

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 with Meghan in Manhattan

Don’t you just love Mondays?  No, well did you know about 78% of Americans get Sunday night blues in anticipation of Monday?  Thank you Fitness magazine for that enlightening information.  Anyways, since I don’t exactly gravitate towards Mondays, I turn to alliteration?  This week I decided link up to the “Marvelous Monday” partay and photodump my weekend with y’all and share the marvelous adventures with my sister and her friend Rae.  

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Meghan and Rae arrived on Thursday night and off into NYC we went.  There was plenty of eating and running and even a musical on Broadway.  Sure, I could do a whole bunch of restaurant review posts, but I think it will be more fun to bundle it all together 🙂

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Dinner #1 at Eataly – La Pizza – Flatiron district – arugula salad with raddicchio, endive, radish, and picked vegetables – QUADRATI con Ricotta e Spinaci – divine chocolate gelato

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Friday was a day of exploration for Meghan and Rae (Union Square & Strand Bookstore) while I was working.  Meghan then met me for dinner #2 at the Ellens Stardust Diner, where we both selected the quiche + salad combination.  It was located along Broadway near the theatre and had quite a fun looking menu. Most of the staff was made up of aspiring actors and actresses and so they would break into song as the patrons were eating, serenading us all with popular Broadway hits.

Dinner was followed up by a MARVELOUS cup of frozen yogurt (self serve can never go wrong) and “The Book of Mormon”!  Oh goodness it was absolutely HILARIOUS – and I don’t think i have laughed that hard in awhile.  Have you seen “The Book of Mormon”?

Marvelous is running along the east river trail in 60F (got to love humidity) and dragging Meghan to my favorite workout class, which KICKED OUR BUTTS.  Yes, thi week I even fell off the aerobics bench.  Thank goodness only the back half of the class was privy to this sight.  After breaking a sweat we cruised over to Le Pain Quotidien for brunch.

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Marvelous is visiting the 9/11 Memorial.  The engineering of such a space is breathtaking and inspiring.  We will never forget.

IMG_2144Besides the occasional rain shower, the weather turned out to be quite lovely this weekend.  Later on Saturday we picked up Rae and tried our luck at S’MAC.  I’ve been dying to try this restaurant (read…ALL MACARONI AND CHEESE) and it was well worth it.  We tried three different combinations and I have to say my favorite was the 4 Cheese.

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FOUR CHEESE – Our four cheese delight! Cheddar, Muenster, Gruyere and a touch of Pecorino.

GARDEN LITE – Lite Cheddar, Parmesan, roasted cauliflower and portobello mushrooms, roasted garlic, broccoli and scallions.

CAJUN – Cheddar & Pepper Jack cheeses, andouille sausage, green pepper, onions, celery, garlic and, of course, some genuine Cajun seasoning.

IMG_2160 Still reading?  OK, thank goodness pictures are worth 1,000 words because I could go on and on and on.  Well, post-dinner, Meghan and I raged with pajamas, tea, and a movie.  #success

Marvelous is our Sunday Funday, which consisted of a long run in Central Park, breakfast at a local coffee shop, a walk through The Highline/Chelsea Market, and dinner at Vanessa’s Dumpling House.

Breakfast was at Gene’s, an old style coffee shop run by a few older New Yorkers (who I plan to make my friends), with classic diner food (not out of this world but tasty), and an air of familiarity.  I mean, how much better could my Sundays get with a long run in the most beautiful place in Manhattan + breakfast out? Also, what is it about diner coffee?  It’s so drinkable.

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Dinner was divine.  I guess I haven’t been exposed to decent Chinese food in ages and oh.my.goodness, I’m once again hooked.  I’m so happy Meghan suggested trying something new – inexpensive, huge portions, and I’ve expanded my palate 🙂 We finished the weekend with a classic Black/White cookie and the Golden Globes.

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Meghan and Rae both head back to California today and it’s been more than marvelous to have them in town.  I’m never really that good at goodbyes, so until next time…

Marvelous During the Holidays

We are not quite 12 days away from Christmas, so I guess I’ll have to hold off on some quirky countdown.  For now, let’s jump into what’s marvelous in the world. Thank you to Healthy Diva Eats for reminding us to pick out the positives 🙂

Marvelous is … Spending time with family friends and their adorable and absolutely hilarious pooch.  This would be Wrigley, the dog who has extreme separation anxiety and had more pictures taken of him during Thanksgiving than the food did.

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Marvelous is … Discovering new tricks for organizing. Those who know me understand my love for organization.  Well, my room may not be the best example but I love to take the entire kitchen apart when I’m home.  My dad even commented last year “Ah, I know when Kaitlin is home because the tupperware is all over the floor and I never know where to find the Teddy Grahams.”  Oh TFred, you know you love it 😉

Well, along with organizing, I love to gift-wrap and am always trying to keep things in order.   I found this trick in Real Simple and just had to share it.  For “No-Stress Storage” slide an empty toilet-paper roll over a roll of opened wrapping paper to prevent it from unraveling.  Keep labels together by bunching together with a rubber band or piling into an old gift box (Think JCrew’s tiny boxes or something similar)

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Yes, I looked like a lumberjack as I carried this home.

Marvelous is … HAVING A LEGIT CHRISTMAS TREE! Can you tell that I’m excited?  My mom used to pick up little baby trees from Trader Joe’s but we decided to go all out in our apartment.  I swear, we may not have had much the first two weeks we all lived together but my roommate went to town on decorations (actually she just picked them up from her house 🙂 ) and it’s beyond adorable.

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Marvelous is … New York Shenanigans – shopping along the decorated and overly crowded 5th avenue, wandering through Union Square market items, enjoying multiple workouts at my local gym, treating myself to a acai bowl from Juice Generation, and just plain ‘ol exploring.

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Marvelous is … Trying something new – like a Upper East Holiday House Tour.  $35 for a tour of a fancy looking home completely overly decorated?  Sure, I considered it more of a test or experiment as New York decorating really isn’t my thing.  After wandering for a mere 20 minutes, I realized that I am a California girl through and through and fall in love with the true simplicity of Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn (even though it’s quite out of my current price range).  Funny enough I walked past both of these stores after the home tour and felt so much more at home than I did throughout the entire tour.  IMG_4427_Fotor_CollageMy photos don’t do enough justice.  It was just so “New York” and so “Upper East Side” that I couldn’t document enough.  Just trust me on this one 😉 Think extravagant Sex in the City.

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Marvelous is … Hanging out with coworkers.  Not only did my friend make an amazing garlic bread (yes, coming from a girl who doesn’t usually choose bread) but my other coworker put together an divine lasagna and together we had a wonderful night of games, dinner, and fun.  That combined with lights decorating the office, free Pinkberry, and Christmas gifts come early, I’d say it’s been a great December.

I also finished off the weekend with a tree lighting party with my new friends Laura and James at James’s family home.  Friends, family, and some good food and wine made for a wonderful Sunday night.  Hope everyone’s holiday season is going well!  Carpe diem!

“A negative mind will never get you a positive life.” – Dale Partridge

The Power of a Weekend

The weekend really never seems long enough.  One minute it’s Friday afternoon and the next thing you know it’s pitch black on a Sunday night.  However, we are getting closer and closer to the official holiday season!  While I have been a supporter of Starbuck’s red cups and Christmas beverages, I really think that the day after Thanksgiving is the time to bring out all the bells and whistles.  The Christmas market at Union Square has already opened, so I’m super pumped to check that out when I return from Thanksgiving.  I’m not sure how much damage my credit card can handle at one time, so I might as well push it off as long as possible.

So, while we are just four days away, let’s get a recap of what’s marvelous in the world.

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Marvelous is … Spending your Friday night cooking up a storm.  I went over to Laura’s apartment where we proceeded to make homemade pesto, stuffed kale red peppers, AND homemade enchiladas.  All recipes I pulled randomly from my Pinterest boards.  How’s that for being productive and crafty?  The family dog Hercules could smell what was happening in the kitchen and was bound and determined to obtain some of that ground beef.  Sorry bud, don’t think that’s good for you.

IMG_1395Marvelous is … finding a new ice cream flavor.  This was also a part of my Friday night shenanigans and boy was it good.  What’s funny is we went out to get ice cream before meeting up with Laura’s friends at a local bar.  Usually ice cream comes post drinks, but really ice cream is good any time.

IMG_1400 Marvelous is … coming home to this sign.  My roommates knew I was going to be running on Sunday and made an adorable sign.  One of my roommates had also run cross country in high school, so she included the phrase her coach would always use.  Don’t worry Mother, I did not steal anything. 🙂

IMG_1414_FotorMarvelous is … proving a point.  Ok, maybe it was just a point to myself – the idea that I can handle the elements.  I tend to have a “I can do anything” mentality, which sometimes gets me into trouble.  I’ll have a better recap on Wednesday but basically Sunday’s forecast called for winds of 20-40mph and a temperature of around 9F.  13.1 miles later … you get the picture.

This week shouldn’t be too bad as I’ll be heading out for Thanksgiving on Wednesday afternoon.  It will be the first year I’m not with family but am stoked about going to see our family friends in Philly.  What’s strange (maybe a good thing) is that I’m not uber homesick. I was able to see my mom last week and call everyone pretty often.  I don’t really know what I would do without the daily calls to my mom, dad, and sister, and weekly calls to my girlfriends back in California, so that obviously helps a ton. I even got to facetime two of my best friends in SF last night, which was amazing.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill