The Best Days

If my future self could communicate with me right now and told me that I was, in fact, currently living out some of what I’d always remember as the very best days of my life, I would 100% believe her. It all feels that authentically, blissfully good right now. I feel so healthy and balanced and happy and comfortable in my own skin, in my own lovely little life. Of course, some of this is because SUMMER, but I attribute a good deal of it to things just going swimmingly well and having a hopeful, positive attitude. That really does wonders for a soul.

Things are just good. Work is good (job one, the new one) and wonderful (job two, the passion job). Running is really, really good right now. I feel balanced, and happy, and surrounded by amazing people on all sides and angles. That really does wonders for me, having quality people cross-contexts. I enjoy my co-workers and feel fortunate to work with some of my close friends; I love weekends at home with my family; I have absolutely won the human being lottery when it comes to my boyfriend.

I’m really, genuinely happy right now. & I plan to ride this joywave for as long as I can.

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This past weekend was one for the books, as they say (I really have to start looking up the origins of cliches). I spent it upstate at the lake with the boy and one of my best friends.

Weekend Highlights

Dave Matthews Band. I have been such a fan of this band since I was about 14 and discovered how ridiculously amazing they are. This was my (count ’em) 10th time seeing them, and we went to my favorite outdoor venue, SPAC in Saratoga (one of the cutest towns I’ve ever seen, and a place I’d easily live one day). Dave never fails to put on an incredible show, selling out a 30,000 person amphitheater, and we had a blast dancing and drinking rose and loving our summer lives. Outdoor concerts are such a quintessential summer event for me, as I grew up going to SPAC every year, and my heart was so happy.

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Lake life/SUP. This is the summer of stand-up paddleboarding for this gal, and I can’t get enough. We thought it looked like it was built for two, so I paddled while she struck crazy half-yoga moves and basically danced around. By some miracle, we kept our balance!

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Is there anything better than a gorgeous day on the lake with some of your favorite people? I highly doubt it.

Running. So I’m just gonna (shamelessly) say it: I’m killing this lately.

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(I also ran in new sneaks for the first time this morning, which is always exciting! Same ones I’ve been running in, just brand spankin’ new and diff colors!).

I know very well just how those feel-amazing times go through cycles, and how frustrating and difficult the not-so-amazing, dealing-with-injuries, feeling-meh phases can be, so right now, I’m basking in the fact that I feel great and strong and am praying this lasts (for, like, ever would be great). I had one of my best runs in a long time on Saturday morning: 11 miles in the heat and sunshine, at a really decent pace (I even had a 7:45 mile in there!), almost entirely under or about 8:30s, with hills. It.felt.amazing.

The boy and I then ran a little over 3 miles on Sunday as well, so it was 14 (hilly!) miles for me this past weekend. #notbadatall

Also, in fun running (frunning??) news, I found this never-seen-before (by me or my family) photo of my grandfather and his 1924 Olympic gold medal relay team online on Friday:

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How amazing is that?! He’s one on the far left and my dad looks so much like him (and I’m being told by friends and colleagues I do as well?!). I printed it out for my dad and hope to have it framed — I love this part of my family history so much and take such pride in being part of a runlegacy!

Other fun weekend activities included a trip to the Troy Farmer’s Market with my friend Alex & my parents, which is such a great Saturday morning activity in the Capital Region. (Fave vendors for me include The Placid Baker & BuddhaPesto, which is by far the best pesto I’ve ever had!)

So yeah, this weekend was phenomenal. And I hope the same for you all of you!

Tell me a highlight from your weekend!
Fave band?

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Pinknic & Beach Bummin’

This weekend was a best weekend. So much so, that I have no choice but to link up with Katie for my first Marvelous in my Monday post in a while, because, well — my weekend was nothing short of mar-vel-ous.

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I’m talking jam-packed from start-to-finish with all sorts of wonderful people & events & activities & food & fun. I honestly can’t think of anything I’d have rather done this weekend than exactly what I did. Riding that high pretttyyyy nicely this Monday morning.

When the boy arrived on Friday evening, we set off for our first highly-anticipated weekend adventure: a dinner date trip to Pokeworks, a casual Hawaiian poke place near Bryant Park, where we took our food and had a lovely little park date dinner.

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This build-your-own poke bar was such a stellar choice, and we quickly agreed we’d be back soon (and often). He had a Pokiritto (White Rice & Seaweed Wrap) with ahi, salmon and shrimp, and I chose a salad option with ahi, salmon, and so many yummy toppings (ginger, wasabi, scallions, garlic, mango, seaweed). I could seriously eat this all.the.time. His only gripe was that it didn’t fill him up, but that’s easily fixable — two orders next time for the boy, please.

We also stumbled upon a nice little surprise at the nearby wine store in the form of this hard-to-find-in-NYC bottle for which we’ve been looking for months now, popping into every wine store we pass to ask if they have this cab sav we stumbled upon at a West Village speakeasy this winter and really enjoyed: Owens & Vaughn.

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So happy this actually exists in NYC! We somehow managed to refrain from drinking it this weekend (you’ll see why in a moment), so I’m already looking forward to enjoying it upstate at the lake next weekend.

Thanks to a quiet Friday night, I pumped out a felt-so-good 8-mile run on Saturday morning (woot!) before we dressed up in pink & white and met our friends for a full day double date at NYC’s first Pinknic at Governor’s Island!

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This was my (and Ty’s) first time to Gov Island, which is literally a 5-minute ferry ride from downtown Manhattan. It was so fun to see all the pink & white clad pinknic-ers festively gathering to drink rosé and lounge around all day. After all, isn’t that what Saturdays in Summer are designed for?

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This was the inaugural event, and we were glad we went and had a wonderful time drinking allll the sparkling rosé and playing Phase 10 (do yourself a favor and buy that immediately if you don’t have it) and picnicking to our hearts content. We all felt that the event could really benefit from making some organizational changes in future years, however. The line to get in was an absolute nightmare and they clearly needed a lot more people working the entrance to expedite that process, as we stood in line for about 45 minutes; there didn’t seem to be enough pink blankets spread out for everyone (although we found one easily, thankfully); they ran out of sparkling wine toward the end, and the boys said the wine tables weren’t organized intuitively either. We agreed we probably would just buy our own bottles of wine and recreate this in a park next year, but we had a blast and are glad we experienced it.

Sunday started with another morning run for me, a 4-5 miler this time, before we set out for a day of that beach bum life at the Rockaways. This beach community in Queens is where my mom grew up going, and it was another first for me this weekend that totally did not disappoint. The area was devastated by Sandy and then rebuilt beautifully, with a wide boardwalk and beach bar, and is a haven for surfers. An easy hour subway ride from NYC, you feel like you’re transported to an entirely different world than the one you just left — one much more California-esque than NYC, which we loved.

The highlight of the Rockaways (aside from the beach, of course) is definitely the raddest bar I’ve been to in NYC: The Rockaway Beach Surf Club, which also houses an uber popular taco stand inside it called Tacoway Beach.

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This place was everything an authentic beach/surf bar should be, IMO, and I wish I owned it/lived there/lived close enough to make it my regular hangout. We drank frozen watermelon margaritas and ate delicious little tacos (grilled tofu for me, which were yum) and played Phase 10 yet again, and felt like we’d found the bar on the East Coast that best fit our personalities and beach bum dreams. Seriously, I already cannot wait to go back.

So, that was my marvelous weekend in a nutshell! Hope you guys had amazing weekends as well.

Weekend highlight?
Best beach by you?
What’s your ideal bar/hangout? 
Surf bum style for me, all the way!

Friday Five: The Girlfriend Edition

By definition, Fridays are yay. I mean, we just love to love them, for all the obvious reasons, so I knew I’d be in a good mood today regardless. But when you wake up on a Friday morning to find it’s 70 degrees and flawless outside, and you were half afraid you’d sleep through your morning workout because of a girls’ night the evening prior but miraculously managed to not only hit the path for a 6am run but actually really enjoy it, and you found a cute sundress you totally forgot you had and have casual Fridays at your new job and know you’re seeing your boyfriend tonight, well…

Friday just feels extra fabulous.

Linking up with the DC ladies Mar, Courtney & Cynthia for the Friday Five’s free Friday!

Five Things You Learn from Your Girlfriends

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of my girlfriends and am constantly gushing about how grateful and blessed I am to have the very best friends a girl could wish for. After waking up with a happy heart from last night’s girl date, I knew this topic deserved today’s post.

1. Sometimes, you just need to be girlie — and be okay with it. Last year, one of my girlfriends (who has since left me and returned to her home city of Seattle, and whom I miss dearly!) told me, “You’re the girliest tomboy I’ve ever met.” An adorable and funny statement, and I actually think it’s a pretty accurate description. I don’t see myself as all that girlie, but if I’m at a flapper-era speakeasy and one of the drink choices is a gin-and-champagne cocktail served in a dainty rosebud teacup, well…that needs to happen.

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2. The importance of genuine listening & empathy. Okay, so girls love to talk — but it’s more than that. We all have “stuff” that impacts us, and even if our stresses and annoyances and day-to-day struggles all look very different from one another, they’re very real and personal and important to each of us. To have friends who acknowledge the weight of those situations (even if they don’t relate to them specifically) and are willing and happy to listen as you vent (even ad nauseum sometimes!) is absolutely invaluable. We all need to feel heard and validated, and we’ll all need more support at some point or another, so to have those authentic friendships where you know you can bring any and everything to the table and not have to think twice about how you’re expressing yourself or what they’ll think of you is such true gift.

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teacup cocktails & conversation = happiness


3. How to be a cheerleader. 
Last night, we were talking about how crucial it is to choose girlfriends who build you up and are always on your team and want you to be the absolutely most successful, best version of yourself, howsoever you define that. It made me think of this quote, which stopped me in my tracks the first time I read it:

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Isn’t that the point of being a true, loving, supportive friend –that we share our friends’ successes and joys and don’t see them as having any adverse affect on our personal paths or life stories? Sure, it’s hard if you lose your job or break up with your boyfriend or have a health issue or anything else life might throw your way, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to begrudge someone else their slice of happiness. I have friends who own beautiful homes and make more money than I do and take amazing vacations and have their dream jobs, and I couldn’t be happier for them and want the people I love and value to have everything their wonderful hearts desire — and I know they feel the exact same way about me. That makes my heart so very, very happy.

4. Celebrate your differences. I didn’t grow up in a very diverse area, and it really wasn’t until I moved to NYC and met so many people from all over that I learned the true beauty of diversity and felt the desire to meet as many people who were different from me as I possibly could. Today, almost six years later, I feel so fortunate to have a truly diverse group of close girlfriends from all over the world and different parts of the US, with different cultural backgrounds, personalities, affinities, careers, and unique traits that make learning from and with one another such a blast. It’s one of my favorite things about living in NYC, the ease of interacting with people from virtually everywhere, and I feel that I’ve learned so much (about others and myself) and grown exponentially as a person because of my friendships with amazing girls who are so very different than me.

5. Heart talks & wine make anything better. And there’s no need to expound upon that.

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Cheers to friends being the very best things you can ever collect.

Favorite girlfriend dates?
A valuable life lesson you learned from your girlfriends?

Work (some changes!) & Play (much needed)

Hi, friends! Gosh, I miss all of you. It feels like forever!

Life is good. Life is hectic and crazy and changing, but it’s (mostly) good.

I’ve been in NYC for 5.75 years, and I’ve had the same day job the entire time — until Monday. I went from working at one Canadian bank (red) to another Canadian bank (green); from downtown Manhattan to midtown; from biking/subwaying to work to a 20-minute walk across town (love that!). This is a huge change for me, which I’m hoping will be all sorts of positives, aside from missing my many coworkers-turned-friends at the red bank. It certainly makes my life easier as I can now walk everywhere — from home to work to my therapy office back home — most days, I’m living in a neat little circle.

So, this is a big change, and the craziness of tying up a near six-year job the past two weeks kept me away from blogging. Something had to go, and it wasn’t going to be my therapy clinicals, my running or my friends, sooooo…there ya have it. I’m hoping these prolonged blog absences don’t become a “thing,” as I always do feel the void of not writing, but I feel like I’m trying to juggle so much right now that it gets a bit overwhelming and exhausting, to be quite honest. I want to sleep for a week.

It’s also forced me to think a lot lately about the purpose of work in our lives, and how much of our time and energy is spent devoted to that one little four-letter word that encompasses the majority of our days. It can be such a difficult world to navigate and so often doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. I struggle on a daily basis with not using what I know to be my God-given gifts for my career purposes and with trying not to become easily discouraged and keep working toward what I want, but it can be hard. I know so many of us experience this at some point, but I feel like it’s been part of my story for so many years, and I’m so ready to have it behind me and start living a life focused entirely on my passions, talents and strengths. Ever just feel like enough is seriously enough?

I’m living there these days.

So! That’s a big part of what’s going on with me. On a happier note, other things have been good: it’s summer, I’ll be at the lake this weekend, and running is going really well. I ran a collective total just shy of 20 miles last Fri, Sat  & Sun, and felt good and strong and pain-free. I managed to drag myself up to run 4 miles this morning as well, which felt like a huge accomplishment given how utterly exhausted I was throughout the run!

I’ve also had a little more girl time in the past week, which has been great, and reminded me just how thankful I am to have such lovely, amazing friends.

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This photo from last Friday was snapped at the cozy, attic-style speakeasy The Garrett in the West Village, about which I’ve blogged previously:

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Three of the four of us actually ordered that delicious green cocktail pictured above, called The First Lady, which was gin based and contained matcha green tea, lemon, fresh basil and a frothy egg white finish — totally unique and I enjoyed it, but probably wouldn’t order more than one, as it had a very distinct, herby flavor.

Saturday morning started off with a quick 4-miler before I headed out to an all-day birthday celebration for a girlfriend, which started with a champagne rooftop brunch at her apartment that she adorably dubbed “Bagels & Bubbles,” which was obviously a fantastic mimosa party,

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before we took our party dresses and June-happy selves off to the Belmont Stakes race track in Long Island. Giddyup!

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It was a very fun, very long, very “I’m definitely losing my voice today” day, and I was on the couch watching How to be Single by 8:30pm with sore feet, tired eyes and a very happy heart. It was the perfect ending to a hectic, crazytown of a week.

So that’s my catch-up for the time being — hopefully I’ll be back in action again here more regularly from now on.

Best part of your week?
Anyone else feeling so runhappy because of the weather lately?
What’s your fave thing to do in summer?

weekend warriors

this past weekend, i did all the things. and by all the things, i mean all the things that make my heart so happy & that i wanted my weekend to contain. i couldn’t have asked for it to be any better.

the boy was in town ( ❤ ) so we had all sorts of plans with my friends, because everyone wants to get to know him better and see how amazing he is. totally can’t blame them. 🙂

we met a few of my friends for a drink at the Irish pub/sports bar Feile as soon as he got here on Friday (which is apparently NYC’s #1 Formula 1 bar, in case that tickles your fancy), which draws a pretty active happy hour crowd and wasn’t bad for a bar near Penn Station.

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he & i then went to dinner at one of my fave neighborhood Thai places, Room Service. i think i’ve taken every single person i know to this place at one point or another. it’s such a hip, fun, delicious spot, and a must-go if you’re looking for a cute little dinner place in Hell’s Kitchen.

on Saturday we ventured out for a morning run in the sunny, 50 degree December weather (!!!) — 6 miles for me (3 solo, 3 with the boy) before heading down to the West Village for a fabulously fun brunch with some wonderful humans at Bluestone Lane, this darling Australian cafe (to which i certainly plan to return). we took advantage of the gorgeous day and sat outside, reveling in the fact that we were so spoiled to have patio weather in December!

avocado toast w/ poached eggs and rounds of mimosas, for the win.

everyone left full & happy and feeling like we’d found the best little brunch place in all of NYC. seriously, go here. it’s fantastic.

Saturday night we checked off one of my December Bucket List goals by making holiday cocktails (thanks for the recipe, Sarah!) in the form of Spiked Almond Nog.

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my friend found Silk’s Almond Nog and brought whiskey, which i rarely drink, but the combo was delicious and i definitely want to make these again. such a perfect (and really light) holiday drink to sip on before heading to a bar on the corner for a friend’s annual charity Christmas party…

where we discovered a holiday photo booth. yassss. i can’t get enough of these homemade party attractions this year and only regret not taking a photo with one of the reindeer names — Vixen & Dancer were reallllly calling to me.

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i think i missed the fact that i was supposed to hold the “Kiss Me” sign above my head…whoops. but i still got what i wanted, as a girl should. hey, it’s Christmas. 🙂

Sunday was another fairly warm morning, so i ran 8 lovely miles while the boy slept in, then did 10 minutes of planks and felt like Wonder Woman. total weekend mileage: 14 miles, all outside. i feel good about that & rode that high all the way to another success of a brunch, this time at Georgio’s in Hell’s Kitchen, which was adorably decorated for the holiday season and had a real homey vibe that made me happy.

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i haven’t been here in over 5 years and sorely underestimated this place. i sadly forgot to take pictures of our meals because i was starving, but we both had egg dishes (i almost always order eggs benny w/ avocado and tomato, no sauce — if there’s avocado on a menu i will find it) and really, really enjoyed them, and the mimosas are massive and reasonably priced, soooo i have zero complaints about this place. we were a strong 2-2 on the post-run brunch circuit this weekend & i had poached eggs, avocado & mimosas both days, soooo i was about as happy as a girl could be.

in other news, it’s supposed to be 63 degrees here this weekend. i have no idea what is happening in the universe but i’ve decided God really loves NYC this Winter and am basking in this loveliness for as long as we have it. when Winter looks like Spring, life is prettttty darn good.

Tell me something great from your weekend!
Runners: How’d you do this weekend? Still running outside?
Favorite brunch dish?

Two Things Tuesday

i’ve been such a blog slacker lately. i wish i had a great excuse, or some super attractive reason to give you…like, ya know, a novel in the works or a great tale about climbing a super hard mountain upstate or stumbling into my dream job of becoming a travel writer and living out of a suitcase…buuuuut i don’t. what i have been doing is much of what i always do lately — work-clients-run-gym-sleep-red wine-Scandal-see friends when possible — with some online Christmas shopping (i’m proud to say i’m so ahead of the game this year!) and city-traipsing speckled in there. life is busy, i know we all get that, but busy can be so good!

so, let’s talk two good things from my weekend, shall we??

ONE: my BFF & baby Henry visiting NYC. jessandhenrythis was such a treat to have them down for the day on Sunday, and we had an absolute blast walking all around the city and having a much-needed girls’ day. life is just so much better when your best friend is around!

oh, and this little guy just melted my heart…henryb especially now that he actually knows me & loves me and says “Nawna” nonstop and blows me kisses. i tried to teach him to say “selfie” (this is what happens when his mom goes into a bakery and leaves him alone with me, we have a really important vocabulary lesson) but he just kept pointing at the phone and saying “Nawna,” so i considered that a success, too.henryandmeblue eyes & tired faces unite!

TWO: Skoop Ignite Beet Blend

skoop-logoSkoop was kind enough to send me some of their products last year, which i really enjoyed, so i was glad when they reached out and asked if i’d be interested in trying their new Ignite Beet Blend pre-workout product, designed to improve endurance, resilience and energy. i love beets. i naturally gravitate toward any juice that has beets in it (who doesn’t love peeing pink??). i also can always use a little pre-run energy boost, since i hate to eat before runs and usually just drink coffee, so i had a good feeling about this product and all of its organic goodness.skoopScreen Shot 2015-06-12 at 12.25.52 PM
the product: Healthy Skoop’s Ignite Performance Beet Blend — or what they like to call #BeetMode — is a pre-exercise boost for optimal athletic performance, geared at increasing cardiac efficiency & reducing recovery times. they use organic beets, which naturally contain nitrates that help oxygen-rich blood reach your muscles faster. it’s meant to improve your performance and not to be used as a post-workout drink. you just add a skoop of the blend to 8-10 oz of water, shake away, and drink 15-30 minutes before working out or running. 

verdict: i really like it and can see myself using this on the regular. i just tried it for the first time on Saturday before my 11-miler, and it was great. i liked the taste a lot, and it definitely gave me the little boost i was hoping for (without the weird caffeine headiness i sometimes get from coffee before running). it was nice & light without being too sweet or sugary. basically, it was exactly what i was hoping for. i’m going to start using it on the regular to see if it continues to serve as a pick-me-up (i never know if i’m just assuming it’s working because i want it to, ya know? does anyone else have that issue??), but i had a great first impression of it and am a Skoop fan.

nutrition with a mission: another reason i really like this company is because of their mission to make plant-based nutrition convenient and accessible to everyone and have teamed up with a non-profit to create Project Produce, an initiative to provide grants for fresh fruits & veggies to schools around the country. Skoop donates 3% of their sales to Project Produce and is hoping to increase their footprint in education and reach as many kids as possible with the hope of fighting childhood obesity and encouraging schools to offer healthier choices.

i can certainly get behind that. although i like their products anyway, i really love to see the ways in which companies use their resources for the greater good of humanity and would prefer to support organizations with this mindset. nicely done, Skoop. 🙂

Anyone else use their products?
What pre-workout products do you prefer?

Girls’ Night in the West Village

ever sit down at a restaurant for the first time and just know you’re going to have an absolutely fantastic experience?

that’s how i felt last night at The Little Owl, an intimate little tuck-away of a restaurant on one of the quaintest, most charming streets corners in the West Village (my favorite area of the city), Bedford & Grove. it’s a tiny, rustic, simple little spot that does everything right: classic, elemental, delicious, healthy, and with wonderful service to boot. you just feel welcomed and cozy and totally taken care of.

photo: nycgo.com, courtesy of The Little Owlphoto: nycgo.com, courtesy of The Little Owl

this establishment is a popular favorite and always full, so it’s rather difficult to get in. we lucked into only an hour wait — many nights you can’t get a table at all — and set out for a pre-dinner drink at a fun nearby speakeasy, Employees Only, which is known for its top-notch bartenders (they have to go through a serious training of several years to become a Principal Bartender, and then they all get tattoos of the bar’s logo — i kid you not) and delicious concoctions. the doorman/bouncer (are they still called bouncers at speakeasys?) looked at the three of us and goes, “oh hey, Charlie’s Angels, come on in.” so that was a fun way to start our night. 🙂

girlsam i Drew? i think i must be Drew, right?

i mean, look at their list of EO Classic cocktails. not too shabby.

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our drink choices (we were all very happy with what we chose):
Shawna: West Side
Loan: Provencal
Amber: Fraise Sauvage

side note, before i continue with this review: Amber and i connected this time last year when she was in town from Seattle and Loan introduced us, and we bonded over our loves for travel, adventure, and blogging — this little PNW fashionista, foodie and world traveler writes a sweet fashion blog called Avec Amber. check her out! it was such a fun treat to have her in town and be able to catch up last night after a year. she’s also friends with a girl in Seattle whom i was good friends with in high school — how funny is that?! small (big) world.

speaking of small world: the girl who took my phone # for the reservation at Little Owl commented on it being an upstate number and said her parents live up there outside of Albany, so i replied that mine did, too. she then goes to say the town — which is where mine live — and i say the name of the lake — and hers live on the same lake. (insert shocked face here.) like, what?! how does that happen in NYC?!

so, Little Owl. i can’t say enough about this place. one look at the menu and my friend goes, “this menu is perfect for you.” so much seafood, all the veggie starters, fun app choices –> perfect.

menuwe ordered a bottle of a Pinot Grigio that ended up being so light and delicious, and the girls had their signature meatball sliders (no red meat for me). we also started with their Bibb & Beet salad, which i really liked.

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for entrees, we each ordered a different fish dish: broiled halibut over veggies (me, pictured below), the special, which was an arctic char (Amber), and the whole fish with lobster risotto (Loan). they were deliciousssss.

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we were all so happy with our choices and agreed this was the perfect little girlfriend catch-up date. we turned down dessert because we were so full from all the good stuff, but then the sweet staff surprised us with three freshly baked, still hot little beignettes with raspberry sauce (and stuck to the plate with nutella), and three little glasses of red dessert wine on the house, “for the upstate connection.”

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it was absolutely charming and appreciated and elevated this darling little place even higher in our books. A+ for service and attentiveness, and making us feel so appreciated. it’s always the little things that add that extra value to any experience, isn’t it? you don’t forget those tiny gestures; those unexpected moments of kindness or connection.

we had a phenomenal time, and it was just so good to catch up with lovely friends in such a sweet setting. i left last night with a full heart, feeling very thankful for the people and experiences that make my life such a beautiful place.

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Best restaurant you’ve been to lately?
Do you consider yourself a “foodie”? i wouldn’t say i am, but those two ladies are, so it’s fun to go out to eat with them! if you’re a foodie, you’ll love Amber’s blog. 🙂

2 Things Tuesday

today is a day i really love: September 1st.

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for me, September represents all good things. for starters, it’s my favorite word — i just love how it sounds. September. it just seems built for magic.

it’s also my favorite birthstone (sapphire), and one of the loveliest months weather-wise in New York: Indian summer and golden and bright and sometimes crisp. i love the colors and the advent of the Autumn season, when the world is suspended between two seasons i love and takes on characteristics of both. i love apple picking and pumpkin everything and the colors and the way the air smells. i love being on the lake in a hoodie and going for long runs in the breathable, clean air.

i also love firsts, so the first of every month is fun in and of itself, and then combined with September, well — it’s a good day.

so, on that note, let’s transition…Untitled
ONE: California. that’s where i was since last Wednesday — Santa Barbara, to be exact. i’m not sure i can adequately capture the essence & beauty of this magical little city on the Pacific in words, but at some point this week, i’m certainly going to do my best to try. i’m to sleepy to attempt to do it any sort of justice right now, but i will say that i absolutely loved it and had an amazing time with some special friends. i ran on the beach, drank some great wine, met a ton of cool people, had heart conversations with dear friends i wish i saw more, and did other magical things i’ll wait to tell you about later. oh, and i stayed in a little blue bungalow with a darling string-lit patio that was perfect for cocktails & conversation. i just {heart} this place so much.

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TWO: eat & drink. i had my 2nd-ever acai bowl post-hike this past weekend, and i’m pretty sure these foods are made for me. fruit + granola + a cold fruity base = my dream concoction.

bowlwe went to Backyard Bowls in Santa Barbara and i had the Berry Bowl (pictured above), but substituted coconut milk for the apple juice:

SB BYB menu final no prices
it was all sorts of amazingness and i neeeeed to start making these at home.

and on the drink front: i was reading the airline magazine on a flight yesterday and found this delicious libation recipe that i do believe i should attempt to make: a Flower Power.

drinkyes, please.

What’s the best thing you’ve had to eat or drink lately?
Been to any fun cities recently?
Any other September lovers?!

Friday Five: A Day in the Life

this Friday Five is a link-up week — i’m back to rocking and rolling w/ the DC Trifecta who hosts our wonderful Friday Five Link-up: Mar, Cynthia & Courtney. this week, y’all get to read a lil bit about what my daily life looks like…or at least, 5 things that almost always show up in my every day.

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ONE: workout. no surprise here: i generally run or do some sort of workout (gym sesh, walk a few miles if it’s a rest day, the occasional spin or yoga, of which i’m hoping to add more into the weekly routine) every day. this is usually the best part of my day (and if i’m hanging with a girlfriend that day, i have two best parts!). i love this “me” time to focus on myself and get stronger and do something i really love.

TWO: Citibike. i do this every.single.day to work, and usually 2-3 days home from work (the other 2-3 i run or walk). it’s about 3.5 miles straight shot (if i run, i add the piers, which adds at least a half a mile), and it’s the absolute best way to commute to work. i love starting off my days this way, and i use this time to pray for people and think about all the good things in my life and start my day off on a positive note. if you live in NYC, you should Citibike! it’s amazing.

THREE: fruit. every day. almost always a banana at some point, and i generally have berries & mango in the morning, and always get fruit in my salad (that i get from the natural market on the corner several nights a week for dinner). i looooove fruit – i’d say it’s my fave food. (close second: TACOS)daily-motivation-716
FOUR: girlfriends.
it’s no secret: i love my girlfriends. okay, i’m sort of obsessed with them, but in a good way. 🙂  i either see, text, talk to, email, or any combination of that list, at least several of my closest friends every single day. they make my world so wonderful & i’d truly be lost without them. aside from my family, God’s biggest gift to me has been my incredible friends, and i am so fortunate to have the best of the best all around the US & world (i miss those of you whom i don’t see
that often – you know who you are!).

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FIVE: mom.
i am a walking poster child for “but a girl needs her mom!” my mama and i are best friends and we talk, text, email and IM every day. (and sometimes she comments on my blog, too, which is lovely.) every time something great happens, i want to share it with her; every time someone makes me cry or my sky falls down, she listens & picks me up. she’s my greatest encouragement, and my favorite woman. she is part of my moment-to-moment life, no matter how many weeks go by between visits.

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and that’s that! enjoy your Friday, friends, and hope you have a fabulous kick-off into the weekend! i’m headed upstate to the lake to celebrate the parents’ anniversary and mom’s birthday, so i couldn’t be happier.

Whatcha looking forward to this weekend?
Tell me something that shows up in your every day!
What’s your fave food?

Friday Five {7.31.15}

5 great drinks things from my week (remember when i was quitting drinking for the summer? me neither):

1. Whole Foods juice is rocking my world.

juicethe beet & turmeric combo is great (even though i’m generally a ginger girl, couldn’t be choosey), and the pineapple adds a nice bit of sweetness. i’m stoked that their line of juices is $4.99, as opposed to the standard $7-$10 options (Suja, Blue Print, etc). i snagged a green one to try later on as well, as today feels like a necessary juicing day.

2. drinks at Little Branch. i haven’t been to this West Village speakeasy since i first moved to NYC almost 5 years ago (say whatttt 5 years?!), until last night.

pros: the live jazz is lovely, and the bartenders are true mixologists with every element you could possibly conceive of having in a drink (and many that will probably surprise you) at their disposal. you can order the “bartender’s choice,” where you simply tell them the alcohol base & flavors you like, and they’ll whip you something up. for example: i said “vodka & cucumber, and not sweet” for my friend and i last night, and he threw together two entirely different and equally delicious concoctions for us.

drinkssuch a cool concept. we were only able to drink half of those drinks, because exhaustedddd, but they were great.

cons: the place is tiny, they’ll always make you wait on line, and if you don’t have a reservation or a table, well, you’re crammed up against other people. the music & the drinks are great, but i think it’s a much better experience if you plan ahead and reserve a table.

3. this photo. i’m not much of a beer drinker, but since i was at a German biergarten surrounded by people drinking beer, i jumped on the bandwagon. and i’m glad i did…because i got this photo out of it.

IMG_7815let me reiterate, from my last post: talented photographer friends are just sooooo nice to have. thank you, MCB.

beer choice: Martens Witte. some light Belgian white that i really enjoyed, as evidenced above. 🙂

4. sunset & rosébecause while these two things are superb separately, they’re really begging to be paired.

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IMG_7799who needs filters with a sky like that?

location: Le Bar at Le District, a charming new spot on the marina in Battery Park City, also conveniently located adjacent to my office building. it’s the loveliest little place to grab drinks with friends after work downtown.

5. Houston Hall. i went here for the first time last night, and it’s such a rad venue. gallery-exteriorphotos taken from their website.

located on West Houston Street (for you non-NYers, we say “house-ton,” not “Hues-ton” — it’s not the city in Texas!) & Varick, it’s a massive, open beer hall with exposed brick walls & communal plank tables, and an overall chill, fun vibe.

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gallery-tablessolid choice for a fun after-work happy hour on a Thursday,

yes, i will drink sangria at a beer hall, thankyouverymuch

sangria at a beer hall? don’t mind if i do.

especially with a crew like this.

crewi love those faces so much. thanks for such a fun night, friends.

you know you have great, supportive friends when even the boys ask, “so will i make the blog after tonight?” case in point: see that stud second from the left (aka the strapping young lad in the middle commanding all the attention in the photo)? that’s my friend Joe, who’s hilarious and darling and smart and fun and single in NYC.

just saying, ladies. you know how to find me if you want to meet him. 🙂

happy Fridayyyy, friends!

Tell me something great you ate/drank this week!
Fave juice combo?
Something you’re looking forward to this weekend?
Any takers for Joe? 🙂