Thinking out Loud

i’m joining Running with Spoon’s weekly Thursday Thinking out Loud linkup this week, where we basically just spill our random thoughts and discover little fun (& crazy) facts about each others’ lives. considering how much i love random conversations, i really should be linking up to this more often!

Thinking-Out-Loud1. i’ve taken up a new writing role!  i’m now a contributing writer for MOGUL, “an award-winning technology platform for women worldwide, connecting users to trending content, including stories, jobs, and products that are personalized to their interests. MOGUL is ultimately democratizing information for women worldwide by enabling users to connect, exchange such information, and access knowledge” (taken from their website). basically, i can write articles or pieces on any topic i choose, and use this platform to connect with other female writers while having a global platform for my work. stoked about this! follow me: Shawna Marie. so far, i have two pieces up, but i’m hoping this helps keep me accountable to writing more of my personal/creative stuff (which is where my heart really lies).

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2. spin class. woof. i took one last night at Equinox, which is an incredible gym that i wish i could justify paying for each month — but since i don’t at the moment, i took advantage of a friend’s guest pass and attended his favorite spin class with him — and it took me all of three minutes to remember how much i dislike spin. i mean, i like the idea of it, and i love the music, and the teacher was awwwesommmee and i sort of wanted to be her — but the reality is that i struggle for those entire 45 minutes and pretty much feel like i could die at any time. everything i love about running is reversed in spin: outdoors vs. indoors, individual vs. group, forward motion vs. stationary, so much sweat you can’t see — it’s just nahhhht for me. i get the whole “cross training is good for you” thing, but spin kills me, and my knee aches the entire time from all the repetitive motion. fail.

3. music. i heard a song during spin last night that i loooooved and told myself i had to remember so i could download it later — and i can’t remember how it goes. at all. this drives me crazzzzyyy and has been on my mind nonstop since then. if i’m going to suffer through a spin class, i should at least be able to get new music out of it. i’m honestly considering emailing the spin instructor (b/c she gave me her email in case i wanted to try a class at the SoHo location, but let’s be honest, i’d be happier with new music than a spin class) and asking her for last night’s playlist. okay, so that actually just happened right after i wrote that. let’s hope she gets back to me! i neeeeed this song.

4. yoga. i’m finalllly going to yoga tonight!! i went last year with one of my bestest friends to OM Factory and really enjoyed the class — and never went back, despite continually asserting my need for more yoga, whoops. better late than never, right? oh, and an admission: i think i’m just as stoked to have a real reason to wear my amazing birthday gift from said yogi best friend as i am to actually take a yoga class:

FullSizeRenderobsessed. OmShanti leggings are where it’s at.

5. week of workouts: switching it up. i’m having the most varied workout week, which i’m really happy about (minus the misery that is spin class). i did an hour of strength/kettlebells/abs yesterday morning, then the spin class last night, and then a 5-mile run this morning (which felt way better than i’d anticipated given an angry calf i’ve been nursing all week), and now yoga tonight. sorta feeling pretty amazing about that lineup of two 2-a-days in a row.

6. surprises are amazing. so i just took a break and went to lunch in the middle of writing this post, and came back to an email from the lovely spin teacher with my song in it!! gahhhh this day just keeps getting better and better.

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7. hilarious marketing. my corner wine shop killed it with the signage last night.

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i went in right after spin class and bought two bottles just to support their use of creative marketing. (well and because, WINE.) nice job, guys. sold.

8. every girl needs this. its-a-girl-thing-33-photos-1
in a world where it can be so easy to give into negativity and insecurities and focus on what’s “wrong” with our bodies or our lives, we need to surround ourselves by reminders of how amazing we really are. i want to buy this for every single one of my friends — and put one by my bed, too. imagine starting and ending your day with such a pick-me-up?

or another similar option, from Etsy:

il_570xN.776619731_lehgi’m into this. i think these will make great presents!

9. this is awesome…

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10. & so is this.

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cheers to almost Friday, friends!

Tell me something random from your week?
Best workout you’ve had this week?
Fave pair of yoga pants?

snippets from my lately life

hi, friends! hope you all had fabulous July 4th weekends. i was off both Friday and Monday and was out and about nonstop since last Thursday night, so i’ve had quite the lovely little long weekend and am struggling a bit to get back into the swing of things this week (aka put on work clothes and be a 9-5 adult).

life has been fun, though! busy busy, but fun.

here’re some highlights/updates from my lately life:

*running. still doing it, but i admit the last week hasn’t been very plan-following…and i’m actually okay with that. it’s nice to give yourself a little slack from the runcrazy mentality sometimes, it seems. i’m aware that i can tend to get a bit obsessive.

runi had a friend in town who is also a runner, so we ran together Friday & Monday, and it was nice to have a running partner (even if he eventually broke away and smoked me both times). Saturday the weather forced me indoors, so i suffered through 4 miles on a treadmill and thankfully emerged unscathed. gah those things are hard to wrap your mind around once you’ve foregone them for a bit!

*Dave Matthews Band. their music was basically the soundtrack to my high school and college years, and i saw them play live on Saturday evening in Saratoga, NY for the first time since my early 20s. i’m such a fan of Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) — it’s an amazing indoor/outdoor venue, and my favorite place to see Dave play.lowerBGand holy cow, those guys are incredible. there’s something about an amazing live show that gives me all the feelings and ignites the very air, and i stood there in a crowd of 30,000 people with such a full heart and an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the simple things in life. i think his music just does that to people, as it’s so uplifting and energetic and makes you want to love everything and everyone.

dave-matthews-quotes-about-love-i7just Googling his lyrics makes me happy. #musiciseverything

*fitness fashion. unsurprisingly (and luckily!), a few of my closest girlfriends gave me workout clothes for my birthday (thanks, loves! you know me so well), and i’m absolutely over the moon for these Omshanti pants my bestie Alex gave me:peacocki think peacocks are just the coolest, and i’ve been eyeing these babies for months now and am sososososo stoked about them. this is my second pair of Omshanti Power Pants, and i’m a big fan of them. the material is super silky and light and stretchy and comfortable, and i love the patterns and colors. definitely a repeat customer here. now i just need to start doing yoga!

*NYC. because my city never ceases to amaze me with little bits of magic around every corner, and little snippets of wisdom speckling the sidewalks.FullSizeRenderi especially liked this one because it immediately made me think of a Bible verse i love, Proverbs 4:23:

proverbs-4-23always solid advice.

*eating: mangoes. can’t get enough of fruit lately, which is actually helping me eat less sugar/chocolate/any other snacks, so i’m loving this and hoping it becomes a sustainable life habit thing. i eat pretty clean, but i definitely could clean it up more and snack less, so fruit is my answer to that!

*reading:91lUeBR2G1Lmy friend was reading it at my lakehouse over Memorial weekend and raved about it, so i jumped on the bandwagon. i’m liking it — definitely a page turner — even if the main character sort of drives me crazy. i have issues with judging the main characters of novels if i don’t find them overly likeable or relatable. does that happen to anyone else? i SO love a good book and i want to like the person telling the story so that i’m invested in what happens to him/her, and it can be a thin line for me sometimes! it’s a cool story — the writing is good but not spectacular (i love when a book has beautiful, flowery, descriptive writing), and it’s a good, light summer read.

Send me some book recommendations, please!! i’m in desperate need of something good.

What’s up in your world lately?
Anyone had any good runs they’d like to brag about? i’ll live vicariously through you this week, as i capped out at a sweaty, humid, messy 6-miler. the weather in NYC has been gross lately!

Thinking out Loud

linking back up for the 2nd week in a row with Amanda at Running with Spoons and the other gals who participate in this Thursday fun!

Thinking-Out-Loud1. is the lamb here to stay?  so please tell me you guys are familiar with the whole “in like a lion, out like a lamb” idiom used to describe March’s personality, right? i’ve been chanting this every Spring since i could string words together (my parents were great teachers, thanks Mom!), but when i dropped it on the boy last weekend, he looked at me like i was speaking Parseltongue. i mean, this is a thing, guys. someone tell me they say this, too?

art: Emily Arnold McCully

art: Emily Arnold McCully

translation: the sun & blue skies have returned to NYC, and we hit 55 degrees yesterday. i seriously considered starting patio season already after work last night. can’t wait to run outside tonight, and i’m choosing to believe it’s only going to get better from here on out. c’mon, March!

2. eating: all the protein. so although i’m not sticking to Whole 30 strictly (i had wine with friends last night, whoops), i’m still loosely trying to base the majority of my diet around their food list, and i’ve been eating more eggs in the past 2 weeks than ever in my life. i was never much of an egg person, and now i’m hard boiling them like whoa and actually loving them. they keep me full for hours and eliminate any desire to snack, so i’ll take that! i’ve also been eating a lot of grilled chicken, and staying away from chips and crackers and bread products 100%, so that’s a win.

3. reading: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. i’m a big C.S. Lewis fan — the Narnia series is one of my faves — and i started this book years ago but didn’t get into it. my roommate and i decided to read it together and discuss it, so i’m committed to it this time.

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in case you’re unfamiliar with it, this is from Wikipedia:The Screwtape Letters is a Christian apologetic novel written by C. S. Lewis. It is written in a satirical, epistolary style and while it is fictional in format, the plot and characters are used to address Christian theological issues, primarily those to do with temptation and resistance to it…the story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior Demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter.”

so yep, the narrator is a demon, and the book uses this interesting style to tackle a bunch of issues in the Christian faith. it’s rather dense, but i think it’s really good for me to read this (especially after all the fiction to which i default), so it’s good. i love being challenged and forced to really think about serious issues, so this is certainly accomplishing that.

4. Vegas! so i just found out last night that the weekend i’ll be in Vegas is now the weekend of the Pacquiao/Mayweather fight — aka the richest fight ever, with a purse of over $250 million!! whaaaaat?! thank God we booked our flights way ahead of time, b/c i imagine the prices will soar. i’m not into boxing whatsoever (i just know Pacquaio’s name b/c my old trainer was a Filipino who was also a boxer and he was obsessed), but the weekend should be packed and full of fun events and craziness, so that’s cool. not that i’ll probably partake in anything. i just am stoked to go to Vegas. and it’s a family trip — have i mentioned how much i love family trips? when your family is as fab as mine, you want to do all the things together. seriously, our vacas are the best.

5. food. these snapea crisps in wasabi ranch are so good.Calbee-Snapea-Crisp-Harvest-Snaps-Wasabi-Ranch-071146002470 i ate them on Tuesday on the train ride to class because i didn’t have time for lunch…but i refuse to consider them “chips” because they are essentially vegetables. they’re so light and puffy and have a great flavor. i’m a sucker for anything wasabi.

6. NYC Half. i’m not running that this year (sad face), but a big “good luck and have so much fun, this is an amazing race!” to all of you who are tackling it. i loooooved this race last year and had allllll the feelings about my city, so i hope you runners have a smashing time.

7. Instagram humor. half of my feed consists of these comedy accounts…please tell me you guys follow them. daddyissues? betches? girlwithnojob? i cannnnn’t. hilarity.

whena bestie and i are going anywhere (before we fall asleep on the couch and our boys take pix):

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when you’re not with an actual like boy and amusing yourself with boytoys:

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when your delusions of grandeur don’t quite align with the reality of your life in NYC:
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but i’m maintaining that it’s still the best city, no matter what.
Whatcha thinkin’ bout this Thursday, friends?
Tell me something good from your week!

Friday Five: Favorites

FRIDAY!!! gosh am i so stoked for this one. this has felt like a loooong week…anyone with me there? all this relentless snow March has been bestowing upon us here in NYC certainly isn’t helping, either, never mind coming down with my first cold in agesss. basically, i’m just ready for this week to be folded neatly behind me, thankyouverymuch.

soooo i’m linking up with Mar, Courtney & Cynthia for this week’s Friday Five theme of Favorites.

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basically i’m just going to assume this means i can write about my overall fave things in life, or my fave things from the week, or choose a theme of favorites…where does a girl start? i’mma just follow my spunky blog friend Salt’s lead and choose 5 random things i like, because i had oh-so-much fun reading her post this morning.

ONE: 100 books everyone should read. i love books. & reading. & lists like this that tell you what books you should make a point to read. i printed it out and highlighted the ones i’ve read (in their entirety — i’ve started, or read excerpts from, a few of them, but that doesn’t count), so i think i’m at about 59. new 2015-2016 goal: finish this list! was stoked that a lot of my personal fave books were on here, including these memorable nuggets that have entirely changed my life:

  • Gone With the Wind (all-time fave book) by Margaret Mitchell
  • Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (love alllll of her books)
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (obsessed with this when i was young)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis (the whole series is amazing)
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (i lived, breathed and thought i belonged in this series as a child)
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (one of my fave stories of all times, and i wrote my thesis in undergrad on this book and won an award for it, woot!)

okay i just realized i could have turned this whole post into “fave books,” so let’s stop this list before it takes up the rest of your morning. anyone want to start a virtual book club and work through this list with me?? i think you do!

however, i would have added White Oleander, Tiny Beautiful Things, and Love in the Time of Cholera to this list.

TWO: poetry. springboarding off my last point due to finding this quote:

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i love poetry. i love reading it, i love writing it, and i love the very essence of what it adds to the world — the idea of it, if you will — the way it makes even the dust swirls in the air seem to glitter & sparkle with the potential of magic lingering close by. i’ve had poetry on the brain quite a bit lately, and i’m feeling inspired to be more diligent about my writing and see what i can make of it.

THREE: my last name. or derivatives thereof. and friends who enjoy it just as much as i do, and buy me cute/funny gifts.

FullSizeRenderi mean, come on…it’s pretty much the best. but you can’t have it, because it’s mine. and my potential future husband better want it, too, because sometimes you are given some amazing things by no doing of your own and you will not part with them, come hell or high water (or hot man).

FOUR: Asos. i lost half my week to this site, holy Moses. does it exist simply to torture me?? you can even choose “little black dress” as a filter, for goodness sakes. like, just take my paycheck now, Asos. between you and OmShanti, i’m going to be the poorest cutest-dressed girl in Hell’s Kitchen.

let’s take 2, on the sneak preview of the 4-dress order i’m currently awaiting. hurry upppp, dresses…

image1xxland if it fits, i’m foreseeing lots of back days in my future. alllll the back days.

FIVE: prayer. never, ever to be underestimated. i’ve been reading my Bible and praying a bit more this week, and i honestly can see the difference, no matter how slight, in my mentality about things and how i’m approaching situations. how easily i get distracted by my daily life, and push this to the side; how silly of me it is to do so, when i know it changes everything.

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as i say alllll the time on RTA, i’m super blessed with the most amaaazing girlfriends in the world, a couple of whom i immediately go to whenever i need to talk or have a situation i need to sort through or vent about. there’s nothing like knowing your girlfriends can — and want to — be there for you and help you through anything. i admit it: i tell my two best friends pretty much everything, all the time, no filters, no TMIs, total “help me with my life” vent sessions. thanks, guys — you’re seriously the best.

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however, i rely so much on these convos with my trusted friends, that i realize i don’t default to talking to God about these issues or pray for guidance on them, because my friends and i should be able to handle everything life throws our way, right? well, no, not really. God is God, and we are not. He’s the one who will really give me the strength and patience and clarity and peace about everything i’m dealing with. He’s the one who will really change my heart, even though my friends do pretty awesome job of helping me stay sane. 🙂

happy weekend, guys! hope it’s fabulous, wherever you are.

Something (random) you love?
A highlight from your week?
Fave book?
Clothing item you automatically default to buying? lbds & running tights for me!

xo.

March Goals

although i’m generally a very productive, multi-tasking sort of human, i don’t often sit down and actually write out goals for myself. i know what i have to — and want to — do on a daily basis, and certainly prioritize those things (most of the time), but my goals are usually more long-term or ongoing, like:

  • run. workout. stay fit.
  • finish grad school. do the work i need to on a weekly basis. try to learn stuff and make it stick.
  • travel whenever possible.
  • write. [blog, poetry, creative, whateverrrr comes out]
  • eat healthy.
  • sleep a lot enough.
  • prioritize the relationships i love. fam, friends, boys, whatever that may be. love them well.

these are more lifestyle habits than specific, measurable goals, and while i feel good about winning at life (most days), i think it might do me some good to set some tangible goals.

so hey, March. let’s get at it.

march-paintONE: 13.1 Queens Half. i’m determined to run this, despite the fact that my training hasn’t been going as planned (read: those long runs just haven’t happened) and i’ve been stuck on a treadmill (due to inclement weather) for the past 2 weeks. still, i missed this one last year (b/c my bff got married that day!), and i don’t want to miss it again. so if you feel like sending prayers & good vibes my way on March 21st, i will gladly covet them!

TWO: cleaner eating. yes, i am a meticulously healthy eater — most of the time. i’d like to clean it up even more in March. i considered doing Whole 30, but since i’m not sure i will stick to it 100%, i’m going to “loosely” do Whole 30 and try as best as i can to adhere to the food list. hopefully this will encourage me to cook more, as well, since i’d like to up my recipe repertoire and know my way around a kitchen a little better (ie, at all).

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THREE: no alcohol.
i’m actually excited about taking on this goal, as the last 3 months have been riddled with parties & celebrations & birthdays & girls’ trips & work events & speakeasy dates & alllllll the night life social scene fun…which is amazing, but takes a toll after a while (and leads to a lot of Sundays spent in bed). i don’t have any birthdays or trips or crazy events in March until the very end of March, when i’m going to Wine Riot with a whole mess of friends, sooooo this seems like the perfect month to cut out the drinking and focus on the health. hopefully this will go hand-in-hand with the above goals, too: being as healthy as possible, and having better success finishing that half.

hopefully this will go smashingly and i won’t feel like this by the time Wine Riot comes around and take my April goals in an entirely opposite direction:

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side note: if you live in NYC and love wine and want to check out Wine Riot on 3/27, let me know! we can bump into each other and cheers. 🙂

FOUR: spiritual life. read my Bible or part of a Christian book or a devotional every day. journal at least twice a week. be more consistent in my prayer life, and pray for people’s specific requests. it’s the small, daily consistencies in spiritual disciplines that make all the difference, and i know i need to focus on these. similarly, i need to find a church i love in NYC and be diligent about going!

i think 4 strong goals is sufficient. i was tempted to add “don’t buy anymore clothes this month” to the list, but i think i’ll just keep that one as a “thing to sort of strive for” and not beat myself up about if i fail. i did just order 4 little black dresses (okay so we all have our obsessions) from Asos that should be arriving tonight, however, so if i keep all of those, thennnnn i think i’ll take a shopping hiatus in March.

sneak peak from the upcoming lbd fashion show in my apt tonight:

image1xxlsoooo hoping this one fits.

a girl can never have too many pairs of running tights, too many books she plans to read, or too many lbds.

you can quote me on that.

Anything you’re hoping to achieve this month?
Anyone done Whole 30? Thoughts?
Gone a month (or longer) without alcohol?

weekend recap

Monday. ooof.

let’s recap a few things…since i’ve pretty much been a horrible blogger lately and totally neglecting this lil space!

*running. ok, so this is going semi-well, but i’m not exactly killing it lately. it’s been super cold here — thankfully, that seems to have broken today, so i’m hoping to run outside tonight — so i’ve been dating the treadmill, which isn’t my fave. i got in a few 3-5 milers last week and then an 8-miler on Saturday morning (all on the treadmill), then rested yesterday (aka didn’t leave my bed all day). i’m hoping i can do this half in a few weeks, but i definitely am not very prepared, so we’ll see how it goes.

*celebrating. i love parties. i love birthdays. i love a good excuse to dress up and go out. i am obsessed with my girlfriends.

add all of these things together, and Saturday night was a smashing success in celebrating one of my close friend’s birthdays.

happy birthday to my Southern belle, Carrie <3

happy birthday to my Southern belle, Carrie

there was pink champagne & pink cake (made by me! i’m not a sweets person but love to bake for other people); sequins & sparkly personalities & dancing at Mister H in the Mondrian SoHo, where we celebrated another one of my girls’ birthdays just last month. it’s such a good party spot — not too clubby, but somewhere between clubby and loungey — and always so much fun.

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#isthatyourcrocodile

ummm so if you haven’t seen Chris D’Elia’s skit “Drunk Girls,” do yourself a favor and watch it right now. like, right right now.

all sorts of hilarity.

*writing. someone just pay me to sit around and write little snippets all day, please? mmmkay.

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*inspiration. because i don’t know about you, but i certainly can’t be reminded of these things enough…and feeling it today, especially. even when you know life is beautiful & amazing & wonderful, it’s so easy to get caught up in our own heads and let the world beat us down, for a million little reasons that seem like such formidable giants at the time.

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positive words can do so much to renew our soul. sometimes, i forget where my hope lies; i forget to just be still, and trust that God has much bigger plans for me than i could ever imagine or devise on my own. it’s easy to let your focus slide, and lately, i’m feeling like i could use a recharge.

hope your week starts off well, friends.

xo

Friday Five: L-O-V-E

annnnnd i’m back! i’m sure you were all wondering if i made it out of Miami alive, after my radio silence for over a week here?!

i did. i survived. barely, but i lived to tell about it. and i promise to recap it at some point, after i’ve caught up on sleep and regained most of my brain functioning. i’ve had such an insanely busy week since i returned, both at work and outside of work, that i’m thankful today is a Friday Five Link-Up and my theme is already chosen for me. #lazyblogger

this week, the ladies have appropriate chosen “LOVE” as the Friday Five theme.

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given that i’m one of the overzealous types who gets excited about everything, i need some sort of focus here to prevent me from spewing a whole list of random things i love (like unicorns & mermaids & head wraps & snapbacks)…so i’m just going to give you 5 things having to do with love & hearts & all that darling “all the feelings” stuff to get us in the V-Day mood.

because berate it though you may, i happen to love Valentine’s Day, single or taken. a day to celebrate all the love in the world, regardless of to whom you’re giving your love away, makes my little heart oh-so-happy.

ONE: Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

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TWO: Shakespeare in Love quote. quite possibly my favorite quote ever.

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THREE: Sidewalk wisdom. because love can be ever so urban, & ever so universal; ever this simple.

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FOUR: the truest example of what love really means.

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FIVE: White Oleander. these are some of my favorite sentences, from one of my all-time favorite books, and this sentence has stayed with me since i first read it. i will forever be haunted by this image of love, and i wish these words were my own.

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have a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend, loves!

What’s something you love?
Any Valentine’s Day plans?

Friday Five: Goals for 2015

i just have to start by saying: how hard is it to come back to work on the day after New Year’s?! i mean, even though it’s a Friday and the weekend is fingertip-reach close, this day is totally killing me. i cannotttt.

hope you all had safe & wonderful New Year’s Eves and days, friends. mine were both lovely and included running (both days) and some great girl time with wonderful friends…like this gem of a girlfriend, who always makes my life that much brighter. so thankful to have closed out 2014 and ushered in 2015 with one of my favorite people in the universe.

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my New Year’s was perfect: champagne (with lychees, mmm) and dinner at a local Thai restaurant we love, followed by some low-key parties right in my apartment building. good friends, no craziness or lines or high heels or cab-worrying involved…it was great. i saw all these girls decked out in miniature dresses and sky-high heels and bare legs — it was freeeezing here, mind you — and was so, so thankful for my boyfriend jeans and Chuck Taylors and faces i loved and impromptu apartment bachata dancing. such a good night.

so, i didn’t think i was going to write a “goals for this year” sort of post, but after i saw that the ladies are doing that for their Friday linkup this week, i figured i’d jump on in.

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ONE: Have a great year of running, including running the marathon in October. i’m starting off 2015 feeling so strong and happy about where i’m at with my running, and i’m praying i remain injury free and continue to feel so good. i really want to run the marathon in October this year that i was forced to defer from last year (injury, boo), so here’s to hoping i’m able to accomplish that.

TWO: Healthier eating. i eat super healthy most of the time, but we all have our own struggles with defining this for ourselves, and i’m not happy with some of my choices and want to change them. less alcohol, less sugar, less snacking. healthy, balanced meals. i want to be in the best shape i can for my running, and after a rough week of indulging this past week, i’m feeling ready to commit to changing these patterns.

THREE: More focus on my spiritual life. get involved in a church again, start reading my Bible regularly. live out what i say i believe, every single day of my life.

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FOUR: School. this is my last semester of classes (woot!), but i still have the monster of a clinical internship looming ahead of me — and, quite frankly, it’s stressing me out. i need to make figuring this out a priority, as i’m not sure how it’s going to fit into my life, but i know that it MUST. i need to finish this degree and get started on that career!

FIVE: WRITE. i said i was going to write more in 2014, and i did: more blogging, more creative writing, more trying to figure out how to find various outlets for my personal writing. i want to continue to commit to this and focus on it and hopefully see it take off even more in 2015.

i feel like i could keep going here — i want to write about love and friendship and making it an extension of all the great things from 2014, because i had so many awesome things this past year — but this is the Friday Five, soooo…there ya go.

happy almost weekend, friends, and happy 2015.

what’s one of your goals for this year?

WILW: Christmas (Eve) edition

happy & Merry & all things glorious Christmas Eve to you, my lovely friends! whether i know you in my real life or have had the pleasure of “meeting” you via the blogosphere, i’m thankful to have so many absolutely incredible people in my world and wish you all the cheeriest, loveliest, most blessed of Christmases and holiday seasons.

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when you have a full week off and you’re able to use your time to spend however you so desire, with the people you want to see, well — you can’t help loving everything. i’m basically having the best week ever.

*Jesus. because although there are a million and one little & big things to love about Christmas — the spirit of the season; the indelible magic in the air; the shimmer of white lights glittering in the darkness; a cozy sense of belonging when you’re sharing time and space with the people you love most — no matter how precious & warm & all-things-lovely these moments may be, Christmas will always start and end with the birth of Christ, for me. He is my joy and my salvation; he is my hope in all things; He is my wonderful savior. anything good and lovely i have been given is because of Him, and i truly believe that the reason i have the most wonderful people in my life is because God chose to bless me beyond measure in this way. for me, Christmas is a time to love Christ, and then love the people i hold dear and count them as my most cherished blessings.

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*friends. i know i am a broken record with the whole “i have the best girlfriends in the world” thing — which is fast becoming a theme on this blog — but i really believe it’s true. [see point above for reason.] girls’ nights just make my life such a lovely one to live.

photo 1so thankful for these amazing ladies! and for our new little addition to girls’ night, lil Mr. Henry, my bff’s baby (who i confiscate as much as possible). this little guy just melts my heart, and i’m hoping his first words are “Auntie Shoshi.” still working on that one.

isn’t my best friend the cutest mom ever? love you baybay!

photo 2
henry

henry2baby jumping jacks. it’s a thing. can’t start ’em too early!

oh, and speaking of baby workouts…

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my friend Jessie made this delicious bourbon cocktail for us that we all loved, too, and it was so easy: bourbon, gingerale and a splash of cran. perfect holiday drink.

photo(10)oh, and the above spread pretty much displays my dinner every night this week. this is my fave way to do a meal.

*home. i love being home at the lake. fireplace & puppies & sipping Bailey’s w/ almond milk with my parents at night and having bro-sis time and wearing gym clothes all day…this is my kind of life.

pups
this is my current blogging state, as we speak:
Photo(10)

*running/workouts. they’ve been consistently great — i haven’t missed a day since i’ve been home! Saturday was freezing here, so i hit a 7-miler (in just under an hour, which made me happy) on a treadmill, and it wasn’t as horrible as i expected (given that i haven’t made the treadmill jump very often this winter, as we’ve been fortunate to have pretty mild weather so far).

treadmill
Sunday i ran 7-8 miles outside, which felt amazingggg, and Monday i did an hour of total body workout at the gym, followed by 2 quick miles on a treadmill. yesterday i ran 4.5 miles on a treadmill and walked a half mile at an incline, and then did a half hour of abs (planks and decline bench). i’m pretty happy with this week’s workouts so far, i have to say, and i’m feeling so great with the running.

my best friend asked me the other night (while i was playing with lil Henry!) if i got upset when i didn’t run…like, if i needed to have it in my life and felt “off” if i didn’t.

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errrr let’s just leave it at that. 🙂

i could keep going but i need to get to the gym and start my day, sooooo have a wonderful, safe, merry & bright Christmas Eve, my friends! love you all.

i’ll leave you with a fabulous addition to my “feet in the sidewalk art” collection that my lovely friend Lauren took for me last weekend. so thoughtful, and i totally love this one. i’m hoping LOVE is my Christmas super power.

superpowersxo

Friday Five: Five Holiday Traditions

TGIF you guyyyys! i’m so especially excited for this Friday and have been looking forward to it for, ummm, ever? tonight starts my Christmas vaca — taking the whole next week off work and heading home tonight upstate til next Sunday (so get ready for lots of lake pictures!). i cannot wait: for a week off, for so much lovely family relaxing time, for bro-sis bonding, for drinking wine with my mom, for celebrating my dad’s bday tonight (it was Wednesday — happy birthday, pops!), for seeing my bff and her baby, for catching up with other girlfriends, and for as much time with the boy as possible. and mayyyybe some snowboarding!?

so many good things to look forward to!

but first, i gotta make it through one more day of work (brrrrrppppp), which is made more fun by means of the Friday Five link-up. this week’s theme:

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ONE: Fam time by the fire. my parents have a lovely stone fireplace as the centerpiece of their lake house living room, so our holidays often include some cozy cuddled-up-on-the-couch time in front of the fires that my dad loves to make. there’s something so intimate about spending time around a fire with the people you love most, tucked away in a quiet moment. that usually includes wine. and nodding off. two of my staples.photo

relax

TWO: Running. not sure this is any surprise, but i usually like to run on Christmas day. we generally just stay home and chill, so i like to get out and run and reflect on my blessings and lil baby Jesus’ bday. i don’t do any themed races, but i revel in having my own Christmas run.

photospecifically these. i want these.

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THREE:
Family meal. the four of us always have a quiet family Christmas dinner together (now that we’re all adults) at the lake house, which i love. we go around and each say something — sometimes we all pray, sometimes we all say what we’re thankful for — and it always makes me think of how significant the “family meal” has always been in my immediate family, and how very thankful i am for that. i read a study recently on the role of a family meal as an indicator of the strength of a family’s relationship, and it totally spoke to me and made me reflect upon how thankful i am that this has always been such an integral component of our little fam of four. i love having this time together.

oh, and the dogs love this time, too, and try to sneak their ways in at all costs, without fail. they reallllly don’t do well at being excluded from any family events — esp not ones involving food. there have been numerous “tried to jump on the chair or table and ended up entirely falling on my face” incidents, and they somehow always survive those attempts at flight entirely unscathed. their antics are just so cute, you have to give them treats. 🙂

dog

FOUR: Cards & games. we’re a big “play all the games” family. Spades is our go-to card game, and we throw back some rounds of Cranium and Apples to Apples on the regular as well.

and sometimes we look like vampires while doing so. nbd.

cards
the dogs hate to be left out of this time, too. so spoiled.

moka

FIVE: Candlelight Service. we always go to a Christmas Eve candlelight church service, to which i really look forward. as a Christian, it’s paramount for me to stay reminded of the whole purpose of Christmas, and the Christmas Eve service is such a lovely time to commemorate Jesus’ birth and reflect upon everything and take inventory of all for which i’m so very thankful. and it never fails: i get emotional and teary every year when we sing “Silent Night” and light our candles, and the room is pregnant with everyone’s unspoken gratitude and hearts full to bursting, and for that moment, all seems right in the world, and time almost appears to stop and wrap you in the beauty of a moment so completely that you can’t help but be utterly, entirely present and humbled. at moments like that, my cup more than runneth over.

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happy Friday, friends!

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?