May Highlights ~ 5.27.16

Just as I was about to write my weekly (almost weekly) life of late post, I realized that this was the LAST FRIDAY OF MAY.  But really, how in the world have we already reached a full 5 months of 2016?  Spring has arrived and really before we know it, summer will be here – hot and humid in all of its glory.  You know, with a few days of heat already, I’m wishing I lived closer to a beach (or pool).  Thank goodness I sleep right under the air conditioner and oh spend 90% of my day inside underneath fluorescent lights (sarcasm people. all sarcasm). Hey, I can thank my lucky stars that my office has wonderful air conditioning.  I’m sure there are some that can’t say the same.

But onto what I have been doing the last few weeks.  Oh there is always a bit of running and eating going on, but some other fun things in between.  It may be the same ‘ol same ‘ol stuff that I post about but it’s what brings me joy.  Jordan from Balanced Blonde made an excellent point about the purpose of a blog.  There are many people who start a blog with one theme in mind – food, fashion, travel, etc and some people are able to monetize their content.  To those people I say well done.  Although I’d like to consider my own blog as a lifestyle blog since it pretty much documents my style of life.

It all comes down to what I am passionate about and that’s what I write here and share with you.  So sit tight because this is turning out to be a long one 🙂

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^^ Birthday run to brunch bash.  I organized a fun run around parts of the Brooklyn Half course and it just so happened to be the day after my birthday.  We then made our way to an epic hole in the wall joint that serves some of the best biscuits around.  Now I’m not an expert so we can call them the best biscuits around Prospect Park.

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^^ But really, I’m game to go back for a snack and maybe even a bloody mary.  I’m not usually a boozy bruncher but apparently those too are some of the best around.

Butter & Scotch
818 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

IMG_6996^^ Still ever so grateful for the friendships I have made here in this city.  As Ali mentioned in her blog (I know I mention her a lot but she speaks words of wisdom and she shares my birthday so obviously I’m biased), finding November Project was a godsend.  I have learned to push myself, learned how to relax, and made genuine friends in this strange city.

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^^ As I always say, running with friends makes things 10x better.  This is me and my friend Annelise at November Project, just waking up the sun.  Now if you are curious to learn more about running, the ins and outs, why it sucks sometimes and how to make it better (LIKE MORE FUN!!!), check out my friend Ali’s new segments on the run section of the Fitness site.  Words upon words of clutch information right at your fingertips.

Oh and you get to know some of my cool friends from November Project 🙂 But really.  Check it out!

IMG_7220^^ When you need a snack and the dynamic duo come to your rescue.  Thank you Starbucks and Pinkberry.  It’s quite funny how my body reacts to sugar now that I don’t eat as much of it.  Sure, sure if you follow me on IG/Snapchat or this blog you may be rolling your eyes but what that really means is I used to eat a WHOLE bunch more.  Anyways, I’ve figured out a little trick where if I drink straight black coffee, I can stop slow some of the nasty side effects.  Ok mostly slowing the sugar crash.

IMG_7229^^ A new watch for my birthday with only the best and brightest blue wristband.  I also discovered that Mile Posts had created a Garmin interface with the runner movement phrase “I Run this Body”.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, it’s a movement (trending with a hashtag and clothes to match) that celebrates runners of all types – all speeds, all body shapes, and all levels.

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^^ One AMAZING kale salad from Westville.  My first time dining at the east village location and boy was it love at first bite.  The kale was shredded and dressed and mixed with walnuts, blue cheese, and cranberries.

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IMG_8501 (1) ^^ Last weekend Lindsay’s family (at least the girls) came out to visit and I was lucky enough to tag along on Sunday.  We started up at the Boathouse with a truly delicious brunch (frittata for the WIN), some time spent wandering Central Park, and then down along 5th Avenue with a stop inside Tiffany’s.

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^^ Absolutely ADORING my birthday bouquet from my friend Liz.  She ordered some of my favorites – Gerber daisies – from a new company called Bouqs.  What’s great is that they are 1) eco friendly and 2) cut to order.  I swear, those flowers lasted longer than I have ever had a bouquet last.

IMG_7219^^ After my very quick trip to LA for Meghan’s graduation, I saw this at LAX.   Now remind me why I’m living in a concrete jungle and not by the beach? 😉  Thank goodness I’ll get my ocean fix this weekend when Lindsay and I go to check out not one but two seaside escapes.  We both agree that we are spoiled by our proximity to favorite Laguna Beach back in California but since that’s not an option, we must venture out and try new things.  At least for now.

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^^ Some excellent street tacos by Tacombi found in Nolita, Flatiron, and Bleeker Street.  Guacamole is highly recommended a non-negotiable.

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The sun may set on another day but have no fear as there is you have the whole world out there to explore tomorrow.

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Weekending the NY Holiday Way

Welcome back to a lovely Monday morning.  Looks like this was my last full weekend in the city for 2014.  Hard to believe but by the time I fly back after the holidays, it’ll practically be the new year.   I actually lucked out this past weekend because I had a four days off thanks to my works awesome paid vacation schedule.  I had two more days to use or lose so Merry Christmas to me.  Sure, I could have jet-setted on a trip up or down the coast, but sometimes sitting back and soaking up your own city can be just as nice.

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On Friday, I woke up early to attend the special selection November Project location – Borough Hall – out in Brooklyn.  After a quick workout, breakfast with some NP folks, I decided to jog my way back into Manhattan.  Now, how’s this for a picturesque view?  There’s only one other time that I saw the bridge this empty and boy was it a treat to just glide over rather than elbowing my way through tourists.

IMG_7530I thought it would be nice to walk through the city and see all the festive decorations and lights.  Walking through Macy’s, Bryant Park, and 5th Avenue, may have made me regret this decision.  But, in the spirit of the holiday, it was fun to see all the shiny and sparkly decorations.

IMG_7543^^ How’s this for some patriotic cheer?  You go Bryant Park!

IMG_7546 Do not be fooled by this picture.  I swear everyone and their mother (no really, lots of families out there) was trying to get the most artsy angle. I also think that every tourist in the city had made their way to Rock Center because it was a gridlock from every direction.  In the 13-14 months that I have lived here, I don’t think I have ever seen that many people in one spot.  Ever.

IMG_7549 Lindsay’s family was in town this weekend and were kind enough to let me tag along to a few dinners and Sunday brunch. They are quite the foodies and love Mario Batali, so snagging a reservation at Babbo was practically a dream come true.  (Lindsay actually went in person to make the reservation a month ago!)

Babbo
110 Waverly Place
New York, NY 10011
212.777.0303

The meal itself was honestly divine.  I normally enjoy narrating through pictures, but sadly the lighting didn’t allow for a full meal recap.  So, we’ll go old-school with a little written narration with some help from the Babbo menu.

We each started out with a special cocktail (spiced rum for myself) and a hearty slice of sourdough bread.   For the main meal, I ordered the beef carpaccio with white truffle sauce and arugula.  Apparently this is more of an appetizer, so a side of brussels sprouts and pancetta helped fill me up.  All of the portions are relatively small (at least on the American standards), so while we were quite full, we were able to manage a tiny bit of dessert.

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^^ What a festive looking sight.  Only a few hours earlier, this park was filled with hundreds of people protesting.  Fascinating how the city can change in a blink of an eye (or maybe just a couple of hours and 10 degrees)

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On Sunday, I decided to wake up and go swimming at my local gym before meeting Lindsay and crew at the Boathouse for brunch.  This lovely shot above is how I like the streets to look.  None of that jam-packed tourist action.  Dream on Kaitlin, dream on.

IMG_7558 Doesn’t it just look darling?  We arrived around 9am on the dot for the 9:30 opening.  While there were quite a few dog owners sipping their coffee out front, there weren’t too many waiting in line for the dining room.  We practically waltzed right in when the doors opened and were seated right in front of the water.

IMG_7561 ^^ One can never go wrong with the eggs florentine.  I even asked for a side of jam (typical of me and my love for condiments) and was presented with a trio of sweet options.  Lesson – all you have to do is ask. 🙂

IMG_7564 From there, we walked north to visit the Guggenheim and the current Zero exhibit.  No real explanation here as I’m not quite sure how to interpret modern art.  While I don’t really enjoy abstract art fan (no offense or digs to those who are – it’s just not my cup of tea), I did thoroughly enjoy the architecture.  Actually, I happen to be reading a book about Frank Lloyd Wright (and his affairs  but besides the point), so it’s also a bit thematic, don’t you agree?

Back to the apartment for some rest and relaxation, food prep for the week, and packing for home; all while watching “White Christmas”. Hope everyone has a fabulous Monday and rest of the week.  Power on!

Summertime with Momma in the City

That’s right, not only is it officially summer, but Momma Fuelling was in town for a fabulous girl’s weekend ~ shopping ~ eating good food ~ exploring and more.

IMG_5047_Fotor_CollageThursday night we met up with some family friends and ate oodles of delicious pizza and gnocchi at the ever so popular Eataly.  I’m truly blessed to have these guys on the east coast since they are pretty much my east coast family.  I love it!

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First thing Friday morning, we set out to New Jersey to visit Hoboken.  The real search was to find a jewelry store that my mom’s college friend had started.  Apparently it was called Anastasia’s Accessories but sadly has since closed down.

It was not a total fail since I had never been to Hoboken and we soon found ourselves outside the famous Cake Boss Bakery.  Obviously we had to get in line and see what the real atmosphere was like.

IMG_5047_ Fotor_CollageJust look at those monstrous cookies and cakes!  All the fondant!

Since it has become such a big deal, that there is a line outside the bakery and a man giving numbers for when you enter the store.  After we picked up our sole cannoli (later to be put in the freezer) we headed back into the city to do some shopping. 

The rest of Friday was spent cleaning my apartment top to bottom.  No really, Madre, bless her, got right in the tub with a toothbrush and cleaned all the grout and tile.  Doesn’t that sound fun?  But really, I don’t think I’ve seen my place this spotless and it’s sort of incentive to keep it up.  I did try to pick up a bath caddy but had the most difficult time getting it to stick to the wall.

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Friday night was a night on the town ~ A quick dinner at TGI Fridays (keeping it classy) before watching Motown the Musical.  I was so looking forward to the music as much of it was on the local stations I listened to growing up.

IMG_5047_Fotor _CollageTHE BLACK & WHITE COOKIE ~ Two flavors living in perfect harmony (homage to the Seinfeld episode)

A New York classic that may have been consumed three days in a row.  It’s safe to say I’ve found a new favorite dessert (or just add it to the list).  I had to include the picture of cookies at Pick-A-Bagel where they create separate cookies, for those who like one flavor over another.  My mom and I were laughing all the way home about this.

Both Saturday and Sunday started off with a light jog down the east river trail.  Even though we were walking all over the city, it was helpful to start off on the right foot and of course work up an appetite for the fabulous food we planned to indulge in.

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Literary adventure on Saturday – a trip north to Tarrytown and Sunnyside, NY where we visited Washington Irving’s estate (post to come soon…I’m sure y’all are dying for some English gossip 😉 but really, it’s a neat trip).

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Then for dinner we went to Pete’s Tavern where O. Henry (author of Gift of the Magi) was a regular.  My mom had spotted the tavern back in November and kept telling me to test it out.  I had no clue what she was talking about even though I walked past the place almost every other day.

It’s safe to say I had one delicious burger with sweet potato fries and my mom had the most amazing turkey burger.  I have no idea what seasoning or sauce they used but I was hooked!

IMG_5047_Fotor_ CollageWe wrapped up the weekend with another run along the east river trail (got to get this girl back in shape…slowly but surely) and then dressed up for brunch at The Boathouse.  I have certainly lucked out with weather because it was another brunch to remember.

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Today she heads home and it’s back to work I go.  Looking forward to the summer days ahead and hopefully a Fourth of July fete.

“Family is not an important thing.  It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox. 

A Brunch to Remember

Living as a young professional in the city can be tough.  Especially when more than half of your paycheck goes to rent.  I really mean more than half here.  Anyways, it’s nice to live a little on the edge and treat yourself once in awhile.  While I do love my Kate Spade splurges, one should diversify their investments and so the next best option is an experience.  How about the New Yorker’s favorite – brunch??

IMG_4849It’s just like applying to college.  One must have a list of safety, target, and even those reach locations.  I’ve found myself at the corner bakery for a classic NY bagel and schmear, a diner for a stack of waffles or pancakes, and then there is The Boathouse.   Who wouldn’t want to sit and eat at this picturesque location?  It has been featured in films such as When Harry Met SallySex in the CityLittle Manhattan, and 27 Dresses.

Hope had thrown around the idea of going to brunch and mentioned that she had always wanted to try The Boathouse.  Well, I am always game for an adventure and had also expressed an interest in eating at the iconic location.  Since they don’t accept phone reservations, we decided to give it a shot.

IMG_4850Doors open for weekend brunch around 9:30, but there is a much more casual option of ordering from a side bar and sitting in the back.  This is a great option for those wishing to run or walk about the park and saddle up to the window while still still adorned in their get fit clothes.

IMG_4852If you are more interested in having a drink, then there is that option as well.  Although, you have to wait until 12, when the NY officials allow one to indulge in those adult beverages.   The atmosphere and decorations reminded me of a golf course clubhouse with proper seats and white linen tablecloths.

IMG_4853Hope and I arrived around 9:35 and got into the line right away.  Although, we were surprised at how the time passed so quickly and we soon found ourselves seated and looking out over the water.

IMG_4855The prices on the menu may be a bit steep but I swear that each dish is worth every penny.  I may very well have spent $18+ on brunch elsewhere, but I doubt the food or atmosphere would have been as grand.

IMG_4856As you sit down, you are graced with a basket of delicious zucchini bread.  Really, if you want to know what type of breads I enjoy, it’s the ones with the most ingredients and flavors and spreads.  Ah, it was so flavorful and had just the right amount of sweetness and gooey texture.  Spread a little softened butter on top and I’m in seventh heaven.  Definitely not a paleo approved meal here. 😉

IMG_4857Hope went for the “Fried Eggs w/ Esposito’s Breakfast Sausage & Potato and Gruyere Tart” $19

Now normally my sweet tooth gets the better of me and I have a slice of french toast or mini stack of waffles in my presence.  But, this time I decided to be good and limit my sweet habit to the basket(s) of zucchini bread on the table.

The decision came down to “Eggs Florentine w/ Chef’s Vegetables” $18 or the “Warm Quiche Lorraine w/ Apple wood Smoked Bacon, Gruyere Cheese and Leeks” $18

IMG_4860The morning was simply a treat and another item has been checked off my bucket list.  Have you ever been to The Boathouse?  What are some of your favorite brunch locations in the city?

IMG_4861The Boathouse ~ Central Park
East 72nd Street and 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10021
(212) 517-2233