shut up and put your $ where your mouth is…

and yep, i’m still wishing i was waking up in Vegas. 😦

Joel-David-Moore-in-the-Music-Video-for-Katy-Perry-s-Waking-Up-In-Vegas-joel-david-moore-23243273-1920-1080have i mentioned my Katy Perry crush? love her. and that song.

and Vegas. i loved Vegas.

for starters, the Bellagio is breathtaking. such a gorgeous place in which to wake up every day.

i can never grow tired of this incredible blown glass chandelier piece, Fiori Di Como, by artist Dale Chihuly. i’d seen it the one other time i bopped through Vegas because it was the #1 thing i had to visit, but being able to stay in the Bellagio and pass by it every day was a serious treat. in my opinion, this is a Vegas must-see.

ceilingthis is what i want my bedroom in Heaven to look like. please take note, God.

the garden rooms were incredible, too. walking through the Japanese-themed indoor garden late on my final night there, i suddenly was hit with the sheer magic of it all — one of those indescribable feelings where time seems to envelope you in the beauty of a moment and you find yourself stopping short, overcome with the very act of belonging, right then and there, as though everything was just as it should be in the world for one split second — and i turned to my friend and all i could muster was, “this is a nice moment.”
umbrellasi think i live for moments like that.

&then there was the fact that i had alllll the family time, which i was craving. it was amazing to spend so many days hanging out with my parents and brother. they’re just the best humans.

IMG_6854side note: dry heat and zero humidity is my absolute dream weather. my hair loves it, too.

so, what did i do? well, i went to the gym every morning and got in a lot of good cardio, which was an ideal way to start my days… considering the remainders were spent like this:

poolside, working on my first tan of the season (woot!) with the same “skinny cool as a cucumber” drink every day,cuke
reading this book in its entirety, finally, (really good — a must-read for anyone who loves running and wants to be inspired by a machine of a running man),

and spending the evenings enjoying yummy food, cocktail parties, banquets and lots of champagne. oh, and one Texas Hold’em tournament…which was fun, for the whole one round i managed to stay alive.

we had dinner at Lago one night, the newest restaurant in the Bellagio, which overlooks the famous fountains and was absolutely charming and delicious. wine and tapas = right up my alley.

lagothe best part was watching my dad when his small plates arrived — we thought his eyes would pop out of his head when he saw the size of his salad. apparently we should have explained the concept of “tapas” prior to dinner. my brother and i almost lost it watching him try to keep it together.

we had a spectacular view of the fountains, Oceans 11 style. it was magical.
i definitely didn’t do the typical Vegas — no crazy nightlife or pool party insanity for me, except for 2 hours i spent at a club in the Bellagio (drinking club soda and wishing i was asleep) — and although i was there for the Pacquiao/Mayweather fight, i didn’t attend the fight and managed to avoid most of the craziness by having cocktails and drinks at a quiet bar in Aria with a friend i never get to see.

for me, this was a pretty darn perfect Vegas trip: balanced, relaxing, fun, and full of wonderful people.

i already want to go back.

Vegas fans: Where do you like to stay? Fave things about Vegas?
Do you workout on vacation?
i was so proud of myself for working out every day, i can’t lie. 🙂


Two Things Tuesday

good news: i’m still alive!!

in case you were worried. 🙂

life has been a whirlwind — i went to my old roommate’s wedding, then to Miami for a quick work conference last week (sooooometimes work does NOT suck), now leaving tonight to go away with the fam til Sunday night on a much anticipated trip to —

oh wait, duh. i’m following a theme here. 🙂

peace copy

ONE: VEGAS! yepppp, so that’s happening tonight and i probably couldn’t be more excited about it if i tried. pretty sure i have every piece of summer and going-out clothing i own stuffed into the suitcase right beside me as i type this, and i can’t focus on anything today other than getting on that plane. family vaca at the Bellagio? did i mention i have the coolest fam ever?

TWO: RUNNING. i’m actually back into long runs again — thank goodness for Spring! training for the Brooklyn Half on May 16th isn’t going quite so badly after all, despite the nagging injury that keeps resurfacing, and i’ve really been loving my long runs along the river again. i did my first long run in the new Asics this past Saturday, and it went really well.


bright colors on my feet and cherry blossoms lining the path?

yes, please. bring on Spring.

Tell me what you love about Vegas! i’ve never really been!
Runners: How’s your Springtime running going? make all the difference?

Friday Five: 5 Travel Experiences

Friyayyyyy! thank the good Lord.

this week’s Friday Five link-up, hosted by Mar, Cynthia & Courtney, revolves around one of my favorite things ever: TRAVEL. each one of those blogger chicks interpreted it differently, so i’m going to put my own spin on it and talk about different types of trips i’ve taken and what i’ve loved (or, um, what hasn’t worked so well for me) about each.


ONE: the family vaca. never will i ever grow too old to drop everything at the mere thought of a trip with my amazing, awesomely fun family. i’m so fortunate that my parents started this tradition when we were super young, and we’ve travelled often together (although not overseas yet — hint hint, mom and dad, let’s get on the Italy bandwagon please??). i have so many incredible memories of family trips — snorkeling & learning the luau in Hawaii, drinking Sangria on the River Walk in San Antonio, driving cross country for a full month to go on a white water rafting excursion on the Salmon River in Idaho, winding up the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park and watching snow fall in August, dozens of baseball games in various stadiums and my dad insisting i try to speak to people in French in Montreal — the list is endless. i’m so blessed that we actually like each other so much. 🙂


and thankfully, we have two family trips back-to-back in just a few weeks: Vegas, the weekend of the Pacquiao fight (woot!), followed directly by my cousin’s wedding in Amelia Island the following week. so stoked for alllllll the fam time in those fun places.

TWO: the party-with-your-girlfriends trip. i mean, this really should be at least a yearly event. i didn’t do a lot of these when i was younger — not much of a Spring-breaker, even in college — but between Boca/Miami and Montauk the past few years, i’m making up for it. Image-1they’re a whirlwind of alllll the fun, laughter, silliness, girliness, memory-making, shenanigan-loving, wine-riddled, bikini-clad, exhausted-mess of a time, and i wouldn’t trade a second of these trips for the world. especially because my friends are the best. 🙂


THREE: the travel-with-a-boy trip. i think these can go either way. for me, they’ve been much more on the “fail” side than the “this is fun” side, with some exceptions (usually in the form of, like, one day or a few hours) sprinkled into the mess mix. i’d say these have been my least enjoyable trips, which could be due to a number of factors (like, um, maybe the boys with whom i’ve travelled?!). needless to say, i will certainly think twice before traipsing off with a boy, and make sure i 1)really know him, 2)actually like him, and 3)am sure he’d be fun to travel with. doesn’t seem like too much to ask, but you’d be surprised at my track record. 🙂

FOUR: the just-you-and-your-bff trip. if i could go on one of these trips every month for the rest of my life, i’d be monumentally happier. one hour spent with my bff turns my whole week around; a few days spent entirely with her reminds me of how life is supposed to be (and does wonders for my abs — alllll the laughing!).

FullSizeRenderwe’ve had some hilarious travel experiences (most of which entail delirious road trips and a serious collective anxiety attack over leaving me living in smallest of small town, Colorado), but my most cherished of our trips was our time in San Fran and wine country the year we both turned 30. it was the perfect trip.


i am so, SO thankful for our friendship and wish i could travel with this girl all the time!

FIVE: the travel-with-completely-randoms trip. okay, so i’ve really only done this once (with a second time with almost-strangers whom i only marginally knew), but that one trip ended up being pretty darn amazing (minus one girl who was a huge life fail). i went to Paris (my dream city) in 2010 with three girls i’d never met — and ended up having the time of my life with two of them, one of whom i’ve since gone to visit in Dallas. (so far, Texas has been all good things for me!)

girlsi had no clue what to expect when going to a foreign country with girls i’d never met — literally, i was trying to figure out who they were in an airport — and minus the one killjoy girl, i couldn’t have asked for anything better from this trip. i got to see an incredible city with two awesome girls and ended up with a wonderful, lovely friend who i still talk to regularly. we salsa danced and drank champagne and met cute boys and shopped and ate and just had an all-around fantastic week in Paris, that i will cherish forever.

laughand funnily enough, i met one of my close friends here in NYC on that trip as well! we sat next to each other on the red-eye from Philly to Paris, and although we didn’t hang out on the trip, we stayed in touch, and she moved to NYC a year later…and the rest is history. we love telling that “how did you guys meet” story and maintain that it’s basically the best.

happy birthday to my Southern belle, Carrie <3

i loved this week’s theme, and it’s totally making me reminisce over my travel experiences and wish i could just travel my life away!! because you know wanderlust is the name of this little heart’s game.

hope you have a great Friday and fabulous weekend, loves.

Any good travel stories for me?
Fave trip you’ve taken?
Ever travel with randoms?
Going anywhere fun soon?

Easter, a babyface & new runners!

i meant to pop in yesterday to do a brief lil Easter post but was so relaxed and loving my fam time upstate that i really couldn’t bring myself to turn the computer on. i kinda loves those days, don’t you?

i saw this yesterday when perusing Easter images and thought it was so dope. simple can be so powerful.

IMG_6667i hope you all had lovely Easter weekends, friends. i certainly enjoyed every moment of my time upstate with my family and friends, and woke up refreshed and thankful this morning. i even managed to jot down a few morning thoughts in my journal before work, which is a habit i’d love to continue.

i think starting my mornings with even a few positive sentiments before i set off to conquer the world each day (brrrrrpppp right) will have a big impact on my mental state and help me stay positive throughout the day.

so, a recap of my Easter weekend:

*a lovely walk through a park and Mexican dinner on Friday night in Albany with an old friend whom i haven’t seen in far too long started things off on a wonderful note. there’s nothing like spending time with people who make your heart so very happy, and with whom you can immediately pick right back up as if no time had passed at all. those people are so necessary to remind you of how important it is to feel truly comfortable, truly liked for who you are.

*a 7-miler on Saturday morning (on a treadmill, b/c the wind was atrocious, and i wanted to go to the gym with my bro), sporting Easter colors. a pink & purple pastel gym get-up is my idea of a grown-up Easter outfit.

FullSizeRenderside note: i just bought this Elastic-Racerback tank at Old Navy (in 3 colors), and am in LOVE with it. seriously: it’s the lightest, most breathable, comfortable workout shirt i own, and such a steal. i can’t rave about it enough. for size reference, i’m wearing an extra small.

*i finallllly got new running sneaks! i met my bff and her adorable baby at Fleet Feet in Albany for this exciting adventure, as i like to bring a supportive posse with me for any monumental event in my life.

IMG_6658can you stand his face? i clearly cannot. LOVE.

i’m trying to teach him to say “Auntie Shoshy” but apparently words yet elude him. i will not give up.

so, back to the shoes. after being a long-time New Balance and Saucony fan, i’ve made some major shifts, which totally surprised me. say hello to my two new pairs of runners:

kicks1) Asics GEL-DS Trainer
2) Nike Air Zoom Fly 2

happy Easter to me!! 🙂

i haven’t taken either out for an actual run yet, but i LOVED both from the initial fit (and cruise around the store parking lot) and am really stoked about them. the two models actually have similar fits, and both are light and breathable yet offer more stability than my Kinvaras, which i definitely need. i haven’t run in Nikes in years, and i’ve never run in Asics, so i was shocked by how amazing these two felt on my feet.

i did try on the new New Balance Zantes, as i’ve long worn Newbies, but they aren’t made for me — they have a really high arch that i found so uncomfortable for my semi-flattish feet. they were perfect for my best friend, though, so it just goes to show that finding your right fit is SO important in determining your success as a runner. i’d have never thought i’d be fitted into Nikes, and yet i loooove them!

what’s better than a beautiful new pair of running shoes? TWO. that’s what.

*we still do Easter baskets in my house, because my family loves tradition (and each other). Ry and i gave my parents candy and gift cards, and then we got what grown-up kids should get on Easter (along with sneakers): dark chocolate and wine.

you’re never too old for chocolate bunnies! dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt is my absolute demise. i forced myself to leave most of it upstate in hopes that either my parents will eat it all, or i’ll be able to spread it out over a long period of time and nibble when i’m home. but the wine — that got packed. duh.

pretty good highlights for a quick trip home, i’d say! now i just have to make it through the afternoon at work before heading out into the 60 degree day (woot!) and trying out the new sneaks tonight. can’t waiiiit.

Highlights from your weekend?

Any Easter traditions you still keep alive?

What kind of sneakers do you run in?

Thinking Out Loud

so, after reading so many other fun bloggers’ “Thinking Out Loud” Thursday posts, courtesy of Amanda at Running with Spoons, i decided i’d take the plunge and jump on that train this week, too. because we all need a healthy lil dose of randomness in our lives now and then, don’t we? i like a good ramble.

Thinking-Out-LoudONE: once upon a time, when i was a snowboard bum (briefly) in Colorado, we used to delight in snow days as it meant lots of fluffy, powdery goodness for us to play in on the mountain. now, living in NYC and slushing through street-corners-turned-lakes and sweating through layers as soon as i hit the subway station, my opinion on snow has changed. falling from the sky and making things look pretty, sure — the first 5 times a season. but if i’m not snowboarding in it or curled up by the fire at the lakehouse, i’m about done. sorry, March, but i really had higher hopes for you, and today’s blizzard is quite the let-down. c’monnnn, Spring!

IMG_6502welp that’s one bright side of living in NYC — might be wet & miserable, but at least our earth isn’t quaking. thanks, Eeyore. #perspective

TWO: where the heart is. i’m going home upstate tomorrow for the first time in almost 2 months, which is a long stretch for me! they’ve been two very busy, very fun, very activity-laden months, so i’m stoked for a relaxing weekend upstate with people who make my heart so very happy. and speaking of some of these people: last night, i got a text from an acquaintance upstate with this picture, captioned, “They don’t have this in New York City.”

FullSizeRenderthat would be my adorable parents, sitting at a diner, waiting for my brother to join them for their Wednesday night family dinner. so much cuteness. totally made my night.

THREE: i got my first pair of OmShanti leggings last week. i say “first,” because i’m hopeful there will be more in my collection in the (nearish) future, once i can justify another pair.

first pair: Hearts in the Sand.

74-127f-heartssandSummer, i’m so ready for you.

i knew i had to have these as soon as i saw them — my little beach-bum, Summer-dreaming heart felt like they were meant to be mine, and i thought of little besides these leggings for a solid week. i’m happy to say they’re really cute in person and fit super well (i’m 5’5” with an athletic build and the small fit me perfectly), even if this skinny lil model rocks them better than i do. 🙂 this pair is next up on my “want all the leggings” list:

74-128f-peacocki have no idea why i need these but i do. because one day i will do yoga and i’ll want to wear peacock pants. and because one time in high school one of my friends randomly announced that if i was an animal, i’d be a peacock. cool. good enough. i need these.

FOUR: anyone watching The Voice? i’m not much of a TV person but i am addicted to this show, as i’ve mentioned before. my opinions range from “this person is the best singer in the world” to “if they picked her, i would have definitely made it,” to “i’m pretty sure Adam Levine and i would have hit it off, if i’d gone on this show before he got married and we fell in love.” i sort of think i’m getting discovered every time i sing anywhere, so maybe i should get a voice teacher and try out. and i can wear those peacock pants, because blind auditions, whhhhattttttcha know about that!

FIVE: i did not go out one single night this week — no restaurants, no bars, no late nights, not a sip of alcohol (heyyyy March goals), just me and lots of hours at the gym and dates with The Voice judges — and i have my first head cold in a year and am exhausted no matter how much i sleep. God must be trying to tell me something. there has to be a lesson in there somewhere…

or my personal hypothesis: wine has been keeping me healthy all these months. not only is it good for my heart, but it keeps me swimming in antioxidants and probably kills all the bacteria so i don’t get sick. go off it for a week or two, and look what happens. i’ll be lucky if i make it through wine-free March in one piece at this rate! 🙂

SIX: i really need this. because i’m six and that’s Ariel and ’nuff said.


Any random thoughts for the day?
Fave pair of patterned leggings you own, or a style you want?
links, please!
Fave Disney princess?
i think it’s clear who mine is… #mermaidlife

2 Things Tuesday

peace copy
ONE: workouts. i did back-to-back last night and this morning, so i’m in a pretty fantabulous mood about that. i fully admit i definitely have an exercise obsession, but i consider it a healthy one: i crave this form of “me” time as a way to decompress, focus on bettering myself in the healthiest of ways, and just tune out from all the crazychaoticeverythingness of my life.

oh, and it feels pretty darn good to see yourself getting stronger and your body changing, too. i like that.

*last night (Monday, 3/2): 5 miles on the treadmill (4.25 mile run, .75 mile incline walk); 30 minutes of kettlebells and abs
*this morning (Tuesday, 3/3): 4 miles on the treadmill (3.5 mile run, .5 mile incline walk)

this morning’s was short-n-sweet, but considering i haven’t been running outside the last few weeks and i’m not feeling prepared for my half in a few weeks, i just had to get a few miles in before work. bam.

TWO: gratitude & love.
last night, i was working on a reflection paper for my Parenting class (yes, i’m taking a class called “Parenting” this semester, with an amazing professor), in which i had to write about my own childhood experiences being parented. to although i’ve always been aware of it, this Master’s program has instilled within me time and time again a renewed sense of just how ridiculously, unbelievably blessed and “ahead of the game” (with “life” being “the game”) i am, just by the sheer fact of being born into the family i was given. to be fortunate enough to have the parents i have, and the childhood i had, grounded on a foundation of unconditional love, support, encouragement and security, is more than any girl could dream of…and it was, and still is, my very present reality, every day of my life.

not every child gets this. there are so many, many broken families; so much heartbreak and dysfunction and world-shattering life experiences all around us, and the reason i went into this Marriage & Family Therapy program is to humbly try to do my part to help people “get better” at doing relationships and learn how to navigate through their situations as best as they can. i’m so grateful, today and always, for the life i was given, and hope i never take it for granted. i’m so grateful for assignments that force me to that place of introspection where i remember what is most true and real and important and beautiful about life, and where the essence of the human heart and emotion really lie: embedded in the relationships we have with those we love.

may we never forget that, in the midst of the chaos that sweeps us away. may we always love fiercely, despite the storms, no matter the cost.


my 48 hours in Austin

if i could find a job that required me to travel to new, fun cities all the time, i would take it in a heartbeat. nothing excites me more than seeing new places; i get that sort of electric buzz of a thrill to walk down streets just aching to be explored and pop into little boutiques and coffee shops and wine bars and drink it all in, literally and figuratively. i have this natural inclination to invent a life for myself in every new city, imagining what it’d be like if these streets were mine to traverse each morning — which restaurants i’d like best, which local haunts would know me as a regular, which routes i’d prefer to run, in what part of town i’d lay down my head.

of course, living in Manhattan, it takes me all of about 3 seconds after my plane lands and i see the NYC skyline to remember that i really have no desire to live anywhere else right now…but that doesn’t mean i’ll stop engaging in these little make-believe lives whenever i go somewhere.

all this wanderlust rambling to segue into this: i got home last night from a whirlwind of a 48-hour trip to Austin, Texas, which i had prematurely decided i was going to love long before i saw it. i’ve heard only rave reviews of this hip town, and from my short stay there, i can definitely see why people love it.

some highlights from my first (and hopefully NOT last) weekend in Austin:

*spending a weekend with my wonderful cousin and lifelong friend, Tara, and celebrating her bachelorette!

*dinner at Bess Bistro. this restaurant, founded by Sandra Bullock, was a true gem: tucked underground, with a very elemental, cavernous interior, it offers a seasonally-inspired menu with ingredients from their own farm just outside the city. the food, the drinks, the service, the atmosphere — everything was great.

photo from Austin Food Journal

photo from Austin Food Journal

i especially got a kick out of the tin mug in which my drink was served. such a cute touch!

*wine tour. for our main bachelorette weekend activity, we spent Saturday on a tour of the wineries outside of Austin in Fredericksburg with Texas Winos Tour. this was my first organized wine tasting tour, and it was such a fun thing to do for a bachelorette party.

9 girls, 3 wineries, and alllll the wine = pure silliness, in the best, happiest sort of way. it went smashingly.

photo 1our bus’s theme was a Masquerade, so everyone had to bring/wear a mask. i rather liked mine and am definitely going to be looking for excuses to go to masquerade balls in the future…if that’s, like, a thing outside of Broadway shows. i sorta felt like bursting into song every time i put it 3photothe first winery was hilariously called Fat Ass Ranch & Winery (because apparently they have a pet donkey, that my cousin was determined to meet), which sounds like an appropriate place to start a day of wine drinking. cheers!

photo 2i didn’t snap as many pix as i’d have liked (huge fail), but i’ll just chalk that up to the fact that we were having oh-so-much-fun that it seemed a shame to distract myself by looking for my phone. i experienced two completely different sides of Austin nightlife, as we did the “hipper,” more relaxed Rainey Steet area on Friday night, where all the bars were old historic houses or bungalows — such a sweet concept, and much more my style than the fratty craziness we ventured into on 6th Street on Saturday night. it was fun to see the totally completely different sections of town, and i’d love to spend more time out on Rainey St. next time i visit.

so, my first Austin experience was a huge, dynamic success of a jam-packed weekend, and my cousin had an amazing bachelorette party, which is all that really matters. i definitely want to go back to Austin and explore more of the city, as i can tell from this small little jaunt that it’s totally my style.

hope you all had wonderful weekends, my loves!

Been to Austin? If so, what do you love about it?

Tell me something fun from your weekend!

WILW {1.14.15}

*when my job is fun. tonight, i have a tour-and-drinks/dinner visit at the Trump SoHo, as our company has recently partnered with them for travel rates. this is when i love my job: when i have fun events to plan, or when i get to visit cool hotels and be entertained by their sales managers and eat good food. i’ve been (mostly) on a liquids cleanse (juice and protein shakes) since Monday morning (minus a yogurt i had last night bc i was delirious after some hard workouts…whoops), so i’m not sure how much food i can stomach, but it’ll be cool to go and see Koi, at which i’ve never eaten. i’m a big sushi and sashimi fan, so hopefully it’ll look appealing to me by tonight!

*Rawpothecary. when i decided to cleanse out my weekend life choices on Monday morning, i hit Whole Foods (the fix-all health stop) for some juices with no real plan other than to get juice & protein shakes in me and keep all else out for a bit. i ended up with a basket full of Rawpothecary’s juices, and i’m really enjoying them. they’re a privately-owned Brooklyn company that makes organic, cold-pressed juices, and every juice i’ve tried so far has been really good. i’m not really sticking to any sort of juice cleanse plan, just drinking them throughout the day, but i’m a big fan and i’d definitely buy them again.

*Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein.
i bought this on a whim at Whole Foods the other day as well, and i have to say, i’m pleasantly surprised by how much i like it. it has 15 grams of protein to 100 calories, and it’s organic, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, grain-free…and it actually tastes really good. i bought the Smooth Vanilla and i’ve been putting it in unsweetened almond milk, and it’s totally doing the trick. i found it at Whole Foods (which is pretty much my favorite restaurant), and i def plan to continue buying it.

GoL_plant-based-protein-1024x545*this sibling truth.

photocould nahhhht be more accurate for my bro and i (okay so minus the strangling part — we might get a lil annoyed with e/o sometimes but nothing ever serious). but we bust into some serioussss duets. i’m talking full-blown harmony & falsettos & arm movements & serious singing faces, on the regular. this is basically our #1 hangout pastime (with or without wine, and his guitar, and my hopes of being discovered mid-performance). we are one wannabe rockstars family.

*this song.  “Shut Up and Dance with Me” by Walk the Moon.

it’s quite possible i’m late to the Walk the Moon party, but a guy at my gym and i got talking about music and realized we needed to be friends based solely on our love for two very important things: the gym and the band 1975. he then recommended i listen to Walk the Moon, so i did, and he was right. they rock, and not only because i really want to grab a guy by the shirt and say “shut up and dance with me” (okay so that’s, like, 77% of the reason). this is one of my new running jams and you should check it out if you want a fun new dancey beat to run to.

*when someone else understands your lifelong aspirations.

and to think i just was following a childhood dream blindly, without ever once stopping to itemize all the other perks that came along with living in the ocean & being able to sing “Part of Your World” & having covet-worthy hair. this nailed it.

Anyone else obsessed with mermaids, or any other mythical creatures? i have a unicorn thing too, but mermaids have always been my first love. one of my bffs asked me last month, “if you could be a mermaid or a unicorn, which would you pick? and you HAVE to pick.” and it was actually a really, serious question for me. lollz. oh, and mermaid. definitely.

Discover any new good workout/running music lately? please share!!

Fave protein powder or juicing company?

Year in Review: It’s been a time, 2014.

“it’s been a time, hasn’t it?”

one thing i love about “girl speak” is how we all have our own little idiosyncratic phrases, and we love them because we associate them with our lovely friends. i have an adorably sweet girlfriend who likes to say “it’s been a time” when something silly/fun/awesome/worth remembering happens, and that’s exactly how i feel about 2014. (thanks, Laurbear!)

Image-1it’s been a real time, 2014. it really has.

i guess this is where i’m supposed to say something like, “i can hardly believe this year is over!”, or “where has 2014 gone!” — but i don’t think that’s quite how i feel, this year. looking back on it, although of course “life goes by so quickly” (how does that saying go? “the days are long, but the years are short?”), it doesn’t seem like it flew by, really, because i know exactly where it’s gone — and i am thankful for every golden moment upon which it flew away.

for me, 2014 has gone to some of the most memorable moments of my young adult life, and i can honestly say that i feel like i really, truly lived this year. i lived the heck out of it.

:: it’s gone to further cultivating and strengthening my amazing girl friendships, for which i’m so unbelievably grateful.

:: it’s gone to standing beside my best friend in the universe as she married the love of her life, and then becoming an auntie for the first time as they had the most adorable baby boy this fall (who has completely stolen my heart).

:: it’s gone to the most fun weekends at the beach and the lake with the girls, dancing at the Sloppy Tuna in Montauk and losing afternoons on the boat upstate to pontoon shenanigans. it’s gone to late-night fires with white wine and fireworks. it’s gone to the best kinds of silliness.


:: it’s gone to celebrating close friends’ weddings (Jess! Christine!) and engagements (Tara!) and baby’s births; to trips upstate and to Texas to do so.

:: it’s gone to so much quality family time at the lake, made even better now that my brother lives in NY again. it’s been such a blessing to see our family grow even closer year by year, and 2014 was a banner year for that.

:: it’s gone to the start of a writing reawakening for me, as i’ve definitely written more  — both personal creative writing and blogging — this past year than i had previously since i’ve been in NYC. (i’m hoping 2015 takes this even further!) shameless writing plug: what i consider to be the best thing i wrote in 2014: What It’s Like to Have a Wanderlust Soul.

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:: it’s gone to so much running and working out and allllll the happiness i derive from those hours and hours of “me” time. even though i couldn’t run the marathon this year, i’m feeling so strong and happy in my running, and that’s what really matters. this was a good year for pavement pounding, with a highlight definitely being running the NYC Half in March. such an iconic, amazing race.

pre-race excited face!

pre-race excited face!

:: it’s gone to reading some amazingggg novels, like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things, Cutting for Stone and Room and Rules of Civility and so many more. hours spend in books are never wasted, for me.

:: it’s gone to finishing another year of grad school and being that much closer to the dream of a new career. to enjoying every minute of my Human Sexuality class and learning so much more about myself than i ever dreamed i needed to uncover. cheers to self-discovery, at any and every age. cheers to lifelong learning.

:: it’s gone to so many nights of early bedtimes so i could run as the sun comes up; it’s gone to balancing that with some crazysillywonderful memorable nights out dancing with the girls ’til the sun has almost come up. it’s gone to loving both of those, equally and separately.

:: it’s gone to buying alllll the fun running tights. all of them.

:: it’s gone to liking the same boy as much on this day last year as i do today, one year later. i almost can’t believe i’m writing that, and i’m so very, very glad it’s true.

:: it’s gone to falling more in love with, and more settled into, New York City, and discovering exactly who i am, in a city that tells me to be anyone, to be everyone. to Broadway shows and speakeasys; to picnics in Central Park and rarely ever wearing heels anymore; to very little make-up and more hours spent in snapbacks and headbands; to laughing too loud with friends i love too much to imagine my world without. to knowing that i could have ended up anywhere in this great big glorious mess of a world, and i landed exactly, precisely where i am supposed to be at this moment in time, no matter how many ways you spin it.

steinbeckbut it’s gone to loving home even more, too, and the amazing people i have there. it’s gone to recognizing that you can belong in, and be in love with, two different places on an equal scale. it’s gone to having a split heart, and finding joy in that.

and that, i believe, is what we call “living on purpose.” i’m not saying 2014 held zero challenges or hard times or tears for me — it had them all, and some i handled gracefully, and some rather badly. but looking back, i think i can honestly say that i lived this year entirely on purpose and did the best i could with what i was given — and i’m not sure i can ever ask for anything more than that.

and thanks to YOU, all my lovey readers, for being such an important and fun part of my life this year. i’m so grateful for all of you — my “real life” friends and family members who read my blog, and all of my new “blog friends” who i’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to interact with via our little virtual corners of the universe. i hope this has been an equally amazing year for all of you.

God bless us, every one.


Christmas: aka break from life

today is December 29th. the last time i was sitting at my desk at work in NYC’s Financial District was Friday, December 19th.

Merry loooooong Christmas break to me. thank the Lord.

suffice it to say, i feel like i just took a mini vacation from my regular life and fell into a 9-day black hole of all things wonderful and homey and comfortable.

my Christmas break was long, lovely, and exactly the way i wanted to spend a week off.

*family time. alllll the family time. it’s like the four of us live in our own little bubble at the lakehouse, completed by 3 dogs. we watched The Family Stone, which i think is my fave Christmas movie and seems to be totally underrated. i forgot how awesome this movie is, and with such an amazing cast.

every time i watch a movie with Rachel McAdams, a small part of me wants to be her. or be friends with her. or both. and every time i watch a movie with Luke Wilson, every part of me wants to date him. especially his character in this movie.

we did our Christmas Eve tradition of attending the candlelight service at my parents’ church, which i always enjoy immensely. as soon as we start singing “Silent Night” and the flames begin popping up all over the sanctuary, it feels like a bit of magic has descended out of thin air and wrapped us all up into a velvety moment, a transcendent moment, where all is right with the world for the duration of that song. as long as we hold those little flames and raise our voices with the people we love standing beside us, our hearts are full to bursting.

on Christmas morning, my dad and i went for a run together. rephrase: we drove to the place where he has mapped out a mile route and ran it at the same time, until i lapped him and we finished 4 miles (me) and 3 (him). 🙂 i think he secretly loves that i can outrun him these days, and i totally love that he passed down his running legacy to me. it was awesome to be able to get out and run with him, for the first time in years.

i rocked a pretty good pace on this run, too, so that was a nice little addition to my Christmas. check out them splits?! happy girl.

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*cuddle time. breaking news: i am officially a cuddler.

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baby Henry, my bff’s lil guy, has officially stolen my heart. i’m still not having children, but it’s nice that my friends continue to have such adorable little babies who seem to want to turn me into a big mush. i held this guy as much as possible over break. he seems to like me, which is always what i’m going for with cute boys, so that works.

*all the workouts. the best thing about having your days to do as you please is that you do everything you like best — which means i worked out every single day except for this past Friday, the day after Christmas. (a day spent relaxing with the boy was more important and much needed, and entirely worth skipping any workout.) i ran (outside or on a treadmill, when it was raining) almost every day (!!!) and had 2-3 good, long strength/total body workouts, so i think my caloric expenditure far outweighed the wine intake this week. winning.

my “fastest” run was my Christmas 4-miler, and my longest runs were two 7-milers: one on a treadmill at the beginning of break, and this guy outside on a hilly route on Saturday. my legs were so tired throughout this entire run, but i managed to survive.

photo 3those hilllllls. def slow a girl down and make your muscles scream.

i wish i were training for the NYC Half (insert sad face), as i’m feeling so good and loving the running so much lately. i’m thinking of doing the Queens 13.1 half in March, so we shall see about that.

*Christmas drink of choice. Josh by Joseph Carr, Pinot Noir. this wine was my go-to drink this past week. really loving this lately, and my mom (who is wonderful on all accounts, not just because of this) knows i love it and makes sure we’re stocked when i get home. she’s so good to me.


 *read. i finished a beautiful, clever, witty, amazingly-written novel over break, called The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.

this is what i’d call a real “book lover’s book.” it’s beautifully crafted, with rich, dimensional characters and interesting, clever dialogue, and the theme of good literature and literature loving runs rampant throughout, as the main character is a book worm and literary aficionado herself. it held a double appeal for me, then, because it’s also set in New York City and paints a glorious, realistic, varied portrait of this amazing city in the late 1930s, with all its dazzle and charm and grit and rawness. i loved loved loved it and am so glad my friend lent it to me. Alex — you must read this next!! you’ll love it. 🙂

i have a habit of taking pictures of passages in books that i want to remember, and this one struck me:

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and, welp, it apparently struck other people out there as well. ah, how Google searching brings us all together.

and now i’m off to try to write something grand about life and love and loss and New York, dahlings. because that’s what life is all about, after all.

hope you all had wonderful Christmases!

Tell me a highlight from your Christmas!
Read any good books lately? i need recommendations!
How’s the running, runners?