Life of Late ~ 3.27.15

We made it.  The last day of the work week and the last Friday of the month.  Folks, friends, people – this is the end of March already.  Time is pretty much flying by. So to celebrate this, let’s end on a hodgepodge of what has been going on in my corner of the big apple.

IMG_8933 >> because spring does not mean it should still be snowing, right? … … … I thought so <<

IMG_8934>> my mom and I made the trip to central park twice last weekend and each time (morning), we ended at the uptown Joe Coffee with a cold brew coffee and cinnamon scone for me and cappuccino and rosemary scone for her.  simply divine <<

IMG_8766 >> joyful almond smoothie from juice generation is quite nice, especially when it is free.  I was planning to use the rest of my gift card, but when the machine stopped working, they ended up giving it to me for free.  Don’t mind if I do. <<

IMG_8923 >> swish. let the march madness begin.  does anyone have a baller bracket that is still in the running?  one can NEVER predict the upsets…never <<

We sometimes like to joke about this whole November Project World Takeover.  Or do we?  Just this week, the awesome NYTimes journalist Courtney Rubin wrote an article about our tribe and the movement that Brogan and Bojan started back in 2011.  You may recognize a name or two 😉  Courtney came to one of our workouts a month or so ago, participated in the shenanigans and then interviewed a few of us on why NP is so special.

Then, what do you know and Racked picked up the NY Times article, pinning November Project as an “anti-Soul Cycle”, which really means against paying $35 a workout.

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>> double trouble crew from a couple weeks back.  because working out at 5:30 and 6:30 is just sooooo much fun (sometimes…when the weather is nice…which means it’s not -10 or snowing) #runtoeat <<

Speaking of eating, remember how I talked about my obsession addiction love for peanut butter?  Well, I told myself that I would not out right purchase a jar of nut butter.  Lucky for me the cafeteria provides an excellent spread of crunchy and creamy Skippy.   But, seeing as I am no longer a teenager and have to really think about what goes into my body, I better start taking better care of it.  (*Not that I ever had one of those supermodel metabolisms anyways…stupid genes. Just kidding mom and dad 🙂 I still love you)

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I connected with a company called us.myprotein.com, which is the biggest online sports supplements store in Europe and rapidly growing in USA.  They also operate myvitamins.com – online store offering Protein Powders, Instant Oats, and other healthy foods health and wellness.  To be honest, I’m not much of a protein powder person and I’d much rather prefer to consume products, which contain ingredients that I can understand.

I’m sure we have all heard over and over how important omega 3’s are to one’s heath and what about those monounsaturated fats?  (insert thumbs up emoji and thank you to my friend Rebecca 🙂 ).  But really, I have to give two thumbs up to these products because the peanut butter is made of JUST peanuts, none of that added sugar business that I was eating from our 10th floor cafeteria.  I only started taking the Omega 369 a couple days ago, so stay tuned.

IMG_8913 >> have I told you how much I love Joe + cold brew lattes?  Cold brew coffee, strong coffee, just coffee.  I’ll take it 🙂 <<

~ “10 YouTube Channels That Will Actually Make You Smarter” ~

There are days when I feel I am digressing in my education.  Not that I really want to go back to school, but I don’t feel that staring at a computer for 8+ hours a day helps with my mental capabilities.   I’m 100% sure my attention span has digressed but what’s new.

An article about elite athletes brings up some good points about running.  One of my favorite quotes – “For us, running competitively is not about winning the race, but testing our mettle, seeing what we’re made of. It’s a negotiation–and sometimes a battle–with our own egos.”  David’s (the author) takeaway:

4 Keys to An Elite Attitude

1 – Don’t treat training runs or race times as indications of your self-worth
2 – Value every runner’s efforts, success and potential
3 – Don’t beat yourself up in training or in evaluating your workouts and racing
4 – Recognize that your running ability is a result of many factors, not just how serious you are or how hard you push

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>> that time we skipped the line to access the rooftop bar and and celebrate these girls’ march birthdays <<

hope you have a fabulous weekend 

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Fall Eating Fun

Well what do you know?  It’s October 1st.  Let the foodie partay commence.

BREAKFASTS

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When I’m not throwing together a hodge-podge of oats + nut butter + banana, it’s off to smoothie bowls and yogurt cups, all topped with any granola I can get my hands on.

IMG_6478Coffee all day every day.  I’ve tried to be better about brewing my own cold brew at home or sticking with the cheap basic sort in the office.  But, every now and then a little treat is necessary, especially when it’s so-called National Coffee Day.  If you insist 🙂

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My first time trying Dannon Greek and I have to say, I was quite a fan.  Plus the chocolate + cherry was a little bit like dessert (or so I like to tell myself…it will work eventually)

LUNCH TIME

Probably my least favorite meal of the day, mostly because I hate feeling sluggish or tired at work in the afternoon.  I try to bring lunches from home, packing in the veggies or grilled chicken breasts.  Let’s just say it’s less than exciting here.

IMG_6396Oktoberfest in Madison, Connecticut

IMG_6458The one and only special sauce made by a friend’s mom.  Apparently it’s a Sunday tradition and boy was it tasty.  The sauce was packed with veggies and turkey meat and I practically dumped it all over my salad.

SUPPER TIME

IMG_6505Eating out at Eataly
~ Spaghetti Squash Bruschetta ~ Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad ~ Cabbage/Greens Salad ~ Gnocchi ~

IMG_6232We’ve been cooking up a storm most weekends and I have to say, this mac and cheese is HIGH on my favorites list.  Packed with cheese and cheese and cheese, you really cannot go wrong.  Although, I let Lindsay take the lead on this one as I’m bound to cut corners and butcher the recipe.

IMG_6350Making dinner with friends every Wednesday night makes the week go that much faster and oh so enjoyable.  Lately we have been on a pizza kick but I think we’ll be implementing some good ‘ol Tex-Mex tonight with enchiladas and chips+guac.  I mean, 95% of the group is from California anyways…

Sweet Treats

Let’s see if you notice a trend here

IMG_6408Fall flavors at Oktoberfest – Pumpkin + Chunky Apple Crisp

IMG_6473Baskin + Robbins Pumpkin Cheesecake (this store is a bit too close to our apartment, which could be dangerous)

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The grand finale.  Why go out when you can enjoy the season’s most popular flavor at home?  Who knows, maybe I’ll turn orange by the end of the season.

Have you jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon?  Have you ever been to Oktoberfest?

Summer Camp for Bloggers

Yes this Blend Retreat recap is probably a week late but better late than never. Plus I had to break it up from the other lovely blogger’s recaps.  Wouldn’t want to step on everyone’s toes now or overwhelm the readers.  That’s right, always thinking about y’all.

Isn’t it great when you enter an event not knowing a soul and leaving with some honest to goodness best friends?  I went into the weekend with open expectations, just hoping to meet some great people and be outdoors.  What I received was so much more.  I’m not just talking about the endless supply of goodies from Arctic Zero to Quest Bars, but possibly lasting friendships, raw and real conversations, and so much more.

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Where would I even begin on this trip?  Well, let’s just say that I’m still riding the high over a week later.  Sure it’s back to work and the grind of city life but reliving those memories of the outdoors and blogger bliss helps keep me sane.  I’m not so impressed by the 12 hours it took to arrive home on Sunday and lovely humid and rainy weather I was greeted with in the city but that’s another battle.  I have a feeling this summer will be the true test of my strength on the east coast.

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If you didn’t catch on, I’m recapping my trip to Park City Utah for the Blend 2014 Retreat.  Now many people are unaware of the term “blend” just as I was unaware of the term “hangry” for a while.  No fear – it’s another way to say “Blogger Friends” and I personally think it has a better appeal than “hangry”.

But anyways, this retreat was a way for bloggers – most of which fall into the healthy living category – to meet and connect.  Some of us follow one another’s blogs and have connected online a number of times, but have never met in person.  A few of my coworkers think this is odd but in today’s reality of online dating and technology in general, it couldn’t seem more normal.

The adventure began Friday where I successfully took public transportation to JFK and arrived way too early for my flight.  Three coffees and about 6 hours later, I was in Park City.  Those who had actually planned ahead had arrived on time and were off on a group run led by the ever so sweet Janae (Hungry Runner Girl).  I arrived just in time to indulge in a snack break hosted by Arctic Zero.  After all, those travel days are quite exhausting, don’t you agree?

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There I had the chance to meet my roommate Megan (who was uhMAZING) and sip on a smoothie made with almond milk, Arctic Zero and some frozen fruit.  I did feel a bit hipster with my mason-jar like mug, but that’s as hipster as I’ll ever be.  We scooped up a few extra mugs and were on our way.

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The swag bags for this trip were beyond belief fantastic.  But really.  The sheer amount and quality of goods practically paid for the trip and will definitely help my future grocery bills.  I can’t even begin to list out all the goodies we received but just know, I’ll be pumping out some  posts with my favorites.

One of my favorite sponsors was Quest Nutrition. The representatives at the retreat were just a blast to hang out with and get to know.  I found it even more fun to talk with them because they lived near my hometown!  I love those small world connections 🙂

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The whole trip really did seem like a summer camp.  We had a schedule with boot camp on Saturday and Sunday mornings, both of which were oodles of fun.  I love working out in the morning and well just love working out in general.  We had sets of push-ups and burpees and even some sprints. What’s funny is I completely forgot about the altitude and was wondering why it was such a struggle.  Oh, working out in the mountains is not the same as sea-level-ish Manhattan…blonde moment.

Day #1 – Led by ONNIT – Total Human Optimization

Day #2 – Led by GPP Fitness (definitely my favorite of the two)

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Such an attractive picture right?  Hopefully you can’t spot me

Following our workouts, we were treated to buffet breakfasts – day #1 sponsored by Quest and day #2 sponsored by Yoplait.

IMG_4793Picture with my new blend Ashley ❤ Also, there’s something homey about drinking coffee out of a mug.  

I HIGHLY recommend the coconut yogurt by Yoplait.  It may have a bit more sugar than a plain Greek variety but I’ve never tasted a flavor more pure and even enjoy the flakes of coconut stirred in the middle.

I do however have a love/hate relationship with buffets.  This is because while there are a ton of different options to choose from, I feel obligated to take a bit of it all. This usually leaves me a bit full and sleepy but no fear because a hike was near!

IMG_4758Pep talk (nutrition-talk really) by Organic Valley and a quick pic with celebrity trainer Joel Harper

That’s right, on Saturday we took the gondola up the mountain and proceeded to hike around some of the ski trails.  While it wasn’t like the trails I was used to at Mammoth Lakes, it sure was nice to be out in the fresh air.  My roommate and I attempted the long route back home and may or may not have just created our own trail down the hill.  Definitely wouldn’t have passed the scout test there.

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What was truly nice about this retreat is that it enabled the bloggers to hang out, explore the outdoors, and get to know each other.  We didn’t have any seminars and there wasn’t a strict schedule.  We simply were allowed to explore, chat, and get to know one another as well as the beautiful area around us.

IMG_4871_ Fotor_CollageA stop into town with my gals is of course a must.  As is a picture with Mr. Moose.  What can I say, I make friends with all the animals, real or not-so-real.

It was also refreshing to talk to everyone about food, fitness, body image and more.  Really it seemed as though we had been best friends forever.  In fact, I had more heart-to-hearts with these gals than I did with some of my college friends.  I guess it comes with the territory of blogging – you are practically putting your life out there for the world to see and read.

But wait…there’s MORE

IMG_4798We ended the weekend with a giveaway, one prize for every blogger.  I swear it was like Christmas morning or winning a mini-lottery.  This girl came home with a “six month supply” of Organic Valley coupons.  Who knows if this will really last me six months but I’m game to try.  It’s safe to say I won’t have to make too many grocery stops in the future.  That or I’ll be able to bake some more goodies for my co-workers.  Either way, it’s an epic success.

Some of my new blends below 🙂

Candice Bement – http://hungrymotherrunner.com

Heather Blackmon – http://betterwithveggies.com

Danica Buss – http://itsprogression.com

Lindsay Cotter – http://cottercrunch.com

Ashley Cubit-Palms – http://milesonoats.com

Amanda Dewitt – http://semihealthyblog.com

Nicole Handler – http://fitfulfocus.com

Janae Jacobs – http://hungryrunnergirl.com

Molly Keck – http://thislifeissparkling.com

Samantha Kolpin – http://betterwithsprinklesblog.com

Julie Luong – http://juliegoeshealthy.com

Mollie Lyon – http://molliessprinklesoflife.com

Madelyn Moon – http://moonfitness.net

Megan Olson – http://theskinny-life.com

Heather Powers – http://kissmybroccoliblog.com

Bethany Qiang – http://thesmallvictories.com

Stephanie Reiter – http://wholesomebydesign.com

Emily Roark – http://perfectionisnthappy.com

Laura Skladzinski – http://50by25.com

Brooke Stluka – http://wreckingroutine.com

Gina Topley – http://healthloveandchocolate.com

Brittany Trentham – http://delightsanddelectables.com

Kait Welch – http://chickadeesays.com

Katie Wheeler – http://peaceloveandoats.com

Lindsay Wright – http://lindsayslist.com

Until next time my blends…

We Run the City in Spring

Being a California girl pretty much means I live for spring and summer weather.  It’s pure bliss with the sun shining, the hint of warmer weather, and flowers everywhere.  The past few days were perfect examples of this and I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

Friday night I met up with Laura and we walked our way down to the Lower East Side to watch a comedy show put on by some mutual friends.  The show was pretty decent but am always surprised how much comedians have to focus on gender and sexual content to get laughs out of people.

After catching up with her friends, we made our way to the famous Katz’s Deli and feasted on some classic pastrami.  Now how’s that for a carbo-load meal?

IMG_4077The week had taken a toll on the both of us, so it was off to bed.  Ok, I may have watched a few things on Hulu but that’s because I’m in the middle of binge-watching Nashville and am hooked.

Saturday 

What better way to start Saturday than with a track workout? (Said no one ever…)  Just kidding – I absolutely loved it and honestly didn’t realize we had run almost 10 miles because it was so much fun running with my friends (or shall I say coaches?).  The people I hang out with ran cross country and track in college so running through Central Park or around a track has become a weekly no-brainer.

photo (8)With a mile to and from the track, a 1/2 mile warmup and cool down, 10x800s with a lap recovery in between, we conquered close to 10 miles.  Not bad and definitely motivation for me to work towards a half marathon PR.

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First stop after our track workout was Juicy Lucy – a smoothie/juice shop that our friend Carmen told us about.  I’m all about green juices and had been craving something citrusy to recover from the run.  I’ve read that pineapple is helpful combating inflammation and helping aid muscle recovery, so it was added into the mix. Make sure not to mix it up with Juicy Lucy – the burger bar and grill – and complete opposite health wise.

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I don’t know about you but the more I workout, the more ravenous I become.  That’s probably pretty obvious, but yes, I become a snack monster.  A smoothie was not enough to satisfy me for the rest of the day, so we checked out the ever so popular Tompkin’s Square Bagels.

IMG_4112A cash only shop by Tompkin’s Square (if that wasn’t obvious), it’s known for it’s excellent bagels, variety of spreads, and delectable bagel sandwiches.  I opted for my new favorite – whole wheat everything – and topped it with chocolate chip cream cheese – because adding chocolate makes the world better.  Although, I really should have gone for the “Kaitlyn” just because it was named after me.

IMG_4096Yes, this is still part of my recovery meal because I had missed out on my daily dose of coffee and felt a frozen dirty chai from The Bean would be worthwhile.  Yes, indeed, it was a worthy choice 🙂

After filling up on sufficient snacks, it was time to veg out and recover from the morning’s run.  A few episodes of Nashville later, Laura and James came over to study procrastinate and we made huevos rancheros for dinner.  I left them at the apartment and went off with a few coworkers to attend a birthday party in Brooklyn.  Oh the stories that happen after 10pm. 😉  I’ll leave it with three D’s – drinks, dancing, and diners.

Sunday Funday

Getting home at 3:30am didn’t exactly bode well for my sleep patterns, but at least I’ve got some time to sleep in later this week.  I wanted to take a spin class by a fellow blogger but when I saw the sub-instructor mounting the bike, I made a bee-line for the door and found myself picking up Stumptown cold brew and a bagel instead.  Both were consumed in the beauty of a spring morning in Madison Square Park, one of my favorite places in the city.

IMG_4105In the early afternoon I caught up with my Claremont running buddies for a long run up to and around Central Park where we had to push past plenty of tourists and finished with close to 10 miles.  Boy, I’ve surprised myself with how I’ve managed the past couple days but I think my legs will not be so pleased in the next couple days to come.  I’ll have to make sure to stretch, ice, and foam roll to prevent shin splints or other fun aches and pains.  But I wouldn’t have changed anything because running with my friends absolutely made my weekend.

On another note, my friend Mia ran her first marathon today and finished in 3:31, subsequently qualifying for Boston 2015!  I’m so proud of her!

“Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” – Jamie Paolinetti

 

MLK Day Munchies

Thanks to a day off on Monday, I’m somewhat rested and cannot believe it’s already Wednesday!  Let me be honest, my days off don’t usually entail relaxation.  I tend to pack my schedule a little too tight, but that’s my personality.

Since many of you might be visiting my blog from the WIAW link, I’ll catch you up on the previous two posts.  This past weekend I spend some time with my blogger friends, or blends as they are sometimes called.  Y’all probably understand how tough it is to explain to outsiders (those who don’t blog or don’t understand blogs) about your new found friends.  When I came across this Thought Catalog article about the hardest things people have to learn in the 20’s and it makes perfect sense.  For example, how does one make friends if they don’t always have the time to join clubs related to all their hobbies, approach random strangers in the gym, or pick up cooking classes at night?  Besides, when I do attend gym classes, most people are already in their own cliques or friends groups and I feel like I’m in junior high again.

IMG_2364 Thought Catalog suggests learning – “How to make friends outside of school. We’re all so used to having our friends ‘provided’ to us by circumstance, that once we leave the support network of school/college/university we often find our social lives stall somewhat. You actually have to get out there and meet people through your own efforts, something a lot of people are unprepared for – I know I was (am!).  Also, realising that your relationship with your old friends is going to change can be hard for some to swallow. You will all have your own lives to live. Them not being around when you expect them to be can take some getting used to.”

So there we go.  Now onto my marvelous eats from Monday’s day off of work!

Started the day off with a run along the east river trail with my good friend Laura.  She was off for an entire month from grad-school and it was wonderful to have her back.  We both decided that just saying you live in New York is such a magical experience – even if it means dealing with the freezing temps and blustery snow storms 🙂 All a part of life people and we will get through this.

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Afterwards, I cleaned up and made myself a PlantFusion smoothie filled with a frozen banana, unsweetened almond milk, frozen blueberries, and a tad bit of Chobani Greek yogurt. My-oh-my it seriously was one of my best smoothies!

I had to consume the smoothie on the way to my volunteer event – helping out at a local soup kitchen.  This was an opportunity organized by people at work and I thought that it would be a wonderful way to give back.  Of course everyone seemed to have the same idea and so instead of being able to actually serve food or even clean the tables, I somehow was stuck guarding our coats.  I didn’t complain because it still gave me a chance to talk to some of the guests and make a mental note of thanks for the blessings I have in my life.

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Once that was over, I walked through Trader Joe’s, where there was practically NO line (*the 6th avenue TJ’s is far-superior to the Union Square), and went home for lunch.  As I walked home, I considered my options – buy lunch (soup? tuna melt off a truck? latte and chocolate croissant from my favorite bakery?) or make lunch.  Well, the stingy side came out and I settled for a grilled cheese and side salad.  Of course when I didn’t wait for my hunger to settle, I inhaled the remainder of the sunflower seed jar and a small apple.  There actually wasn’t much left and it left me satisfied for the rest of the afternoon.

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A few TV shows later, I was ready to be out and about.  As I mentioned earlier, relaxing is not my strong point.  I have a huge case of the FOMO and feel the need to be outside whenever I get the chance.  That or I feel the need to be productive in my apartment.  Maybe I’ll pick up knitting again.   Feel free to call me a grandma, no offense taken.

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I met up with Laura once again and we attempted to pick her up a New York Public Library card.  But, of course it would be closed for MLK day.  At least we got some good pics without all the tourists!

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A little shopping at Joe Fresh (SUPER deals! I tried to limit my purchases and managed to come out with 2 shirts for $6), Thai dinner at Grand Central Terminal, and going to see The Hobbit rounded off our afternoon of fun.   You know the movie wasn’t half bad!  Of course it would have helped if I had seen The Lord of the Rings or the first movie, or you know … READ THE BOOKS.  But, all in all a good experience 🙂

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How do you like to spend your days off?

WIAW #49 – Burgers, Rita’s and Blogging Changes OH MY

For this lovely Wednesday, I’ve got an epic turkey burger recipe, tasty smoothie, and my new favorite treat, if you can even call it a treat. Curious about Jenn’s fabulous link-up, head over to Peas & Crayons for more information.

But first, here’s a little break down of my life.  I was born in Southern California, lived in England for almost 2.5-3 years, and spent the rest of my young adolescent days in beautiful Southern California.  I attended Santa Clara University in Northern California, spent a semester in Barcelona and am now considering something different. Very different.  Any guesses? Continue reading