2 Things Tuesday: For the Love of Wine

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ONE: Women who love wine. Heard of this IG account? It’s such a fun one, and definitely worth checking out if you’re, well…a woman who loves wine, otherwise known as a woman (period). 😉 I entered a giveaway contest they were hosting last week and actually won, to my happy surprise! What did I win? This adorable t-shirt that I’m totally digging:

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How cute is that tee? They have other super cute shirts available on their site as well, so definitely check them out.

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They were also gracious enough to offer all RunThisApple readers a 20% off discount sitewide, so use the code TIPSY at checkout and snag the shirt that speaks to you!

TWO: Rosés. It’s no secret that I enjoy my summer rosés, but in all honesty, I can be picky about them. Not all rosés are created equal in my book, and I’ve definitely had some lately that just didn’t do it for me at all. Then, I fortuitously stumbled upon this gem at my (one of 3) local wine stores (I love my neighborhood) and feel like it’d be unfair to not share.

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I thiiiiink I might have had the 2015, but regardless, the Chateaux La Mouliniere Bordeaux Rose is amazing. It’s so light and crisp and fruity and such incredible quality for the price (I think I paid like $12?!). I went back to snag more the following week and they were sold out. In a case full of rose, this was the only one they’d sold out. Such a bummer.

If you can find it near you, definitely try it. (And please send me one!). 🙂

Happy rose (and day drinking) season, friends!

Which tee shirt would you choose from the WWLW site?
Fave summer wine?

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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?

Two Things Tuesday

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ONE: half marathon training.
since my marathon this past October didn’t happen, i actually haven’t run a race since last May, which is a heckuva long time. now that i have one on the docket for March, i decided to add a little structure to my mostly-haphazard running schedule and use Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Half Marathon training plan.

i chose this one because i’ve loosely used some of his plans before and they make sense to me, and since i have a solid mileage base/cardio comfort level and only 6 weeks left til my race, i’m confident i can stick to this one and get these miles done. it’s rather nice to have the plan as a guide, considering that left to my own devices, i’ll run too many 5-6 milers a week, do very little speed work, and pray i get a few long runs in.

unfortunately it was reallllly cold and slushy and messy and gross out here this morning, so today’s schedule 4 miles had to be done on a treadmill. considering my difficulty in getting up early enough to workout the past few weeks, i was just glad to have them done before 7am! and i’m super thankful the treadmills in my apartment gym have fans. i haaaaate fanless machines.

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TWO: travel. because my little wanderlust gypsy itchy-footed heart hates to stay still for too long, i’m off again tomorrow evening for what i already know will be an absolutely amazing, long girls’ weekend, the highlight of which will be celebrating our best friend’s birthday in two sunshiney, beautiful places:

Boca Raton

FullSizeRenderthanks for the image, LaurBear!

anddddd South Beach, Miami!

IMG_6291i.am.so.stinking.stoked!

this is our second annual “go to these cities to celebrate Al’s bday” trip, and i know this one will be just as fantabulous — if not better — than last year’s, because another crazycool girl is joining us this year for the Miami portion, and we are staying at some gorgeous resorts…so yeah. i’m super ridiculously excited to get out of the cold for a long weekend and head south!

not sure just how much blogging i’ll do while i’m away, but i’ll be thinking of you all as i’m lying by the pool with some sort of delicious cucumbery drink in my hand…if my memory serves me correctly. 🙂

Where’s the last place you traveled? Where’re you going next?
Anyone love Miami? Where are your fave places to go out/eat there?

MIMM {11.17.14}

is it realllllly Monday again?

i had a perfectly lovely weekend and put myself to bed nice and early to try to avoid those Sunday night blechs… and then i saw this on The Berry’s Instagram (anyone else obsessed with this site??) as i was getting into bed, and had to send it to one of my best friends immediately because we spent the weekend together and were totally bemoaning this exact thing earlier in the day:

photoerrrr, yep.

welp, now that i got that out of the way, let’s focus on all the good things, hmmm?

MiMMthanks to Katie, who hosts MIMM!

so, my weekend had all sorts of marvelous:

*workouts. i had two very different, both noteworthy workouts this weekend.

Saturday: at 9am i ran 8 miles outside along the Hudson River. it was the chilliest run i’ve done so far this year, as it was in the 30s, and i regretted not bringing gloves. i felt really good, though, despite the cold. and i know i plug them all the time lately, but it’s true — adding the 1975 album to my daily running playlist really kicks things up a notch. i can’t get enough of this band.

Sunday: at 9am i took my first barre class at Local Barre in Hoboken with my bff Alex. i haven’t taken a group exercise class in a minute, and everyone seems to be all crazy-eyed over barre, so i was game to give it a whirl. plus, the 9am class was free for first-timers, so that was an extra added incentive.

the studio was small and cozy, with an elemental, wood & exposed brick decor, which i really dug.

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they also had this sweet mason jar light fixture that i’m totally crushing on and want for my apt. amazingness.

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as per the actual class itself, well — it was okay. i liked it, and appreciated it for what it was, but it wasn’t high up on my list of fave workouts or classes i’ve taken. it’s definitely a totally different type of workout than i’m used to — i don’t do much low-impact, isolated muscle groups, active stretching stuff, which is what this totally was. it had its challenging elements for sure, and my tight runner’s IT bands certainly weren’t happy at many moments, but it wasn’t my class of preference. however, it basically had the same effect on me that yoga does: made me realize just how inflexible i am and how much more i need to stretch.

oh, and it made me want to be a ballerina, for sure. my dream life do-over? be a professional dancer. tomboy in real life, dancer by trade. the dream.

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speaking of (aka shameless plug): if you’re not following my friend and i on our inspirational Insta journey, please do so! @wildeyes.gypskyskies. we posted this pic this past wknd and are kiiiinda in love with it. 🙂

*yum. i had some fab eats in Hoboken this wknd, including great sushi and veggie dumplings, but the only thing i remembered to take a pic of was my greek yogurt/granola/fruit bowl yesterday from this adorable little cafe called La Bouche that i kinda wish i owned. pretty sure this is my fave food combo ever.

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in keeping with my love for yogurt, i discovered this seasonal Chobani this past weekend as well and am totally hooked:

chobsapple cinnamon. so so good. this is a close second to the pumpkin for me, as those two tend to be my fave flavors of most things. i’m just sad that both are limited batches. i need these in my life alllll the year ’round.

*girl time with my kindred friend. this makes my heart the happiest and was the highlight of my weekend for sure, spending Saturday-Sunday with my lovely friend all snuggled up on her couch doing allll the best things: giggling and boy-talking and eating sushi and drinking pumpkin beer and watching movies and working on our Instagram page and knowing we were exactly where we wanted to be. it’s one of the greatest things in the world to have a friendship like that, and i couldn’t have asked for a better, more soul-fulfilling weekend.

oh, and our pumpkin beer taste testing is still in full effect. we both agreed this is our fave of the season:

Southern Tier’s Pumking (how great is the name, too??)

southern-tier-pumpkin-2the flavors were just perfect. def the winner.

*baking. i’m not a huge sweets person but i like a little every now and then, and i really enjoy baking and try to make healthier goodies. i whipped up some pretty great little drop cookies last night that turned out even better than i’d expected: pumpkin oatmeal peanut butter doo-dads, with Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips.

cookiesthey’re so yummy, i sorta feel like i should just quit life and start an all-things-pumpkin company or something. i’ll get back to you when that idea pans out into something that makes any sense at all. 🙂

*humor.

photoi mean, it’s funny because it’s true.

hope you all had fab wknds!

Tell me something that’s making your Monday bearable marvelous.
What are your fave things to do with your besties?
Any good workouts this weekend?

SBC finale: 30 Random Facts (about me)

so, given that it’s “September last” (so sad to see this month go — i love it so!), i figured i’d end out one of my fave months with the final day of the blog challenge i so inconsistently decided to attempt.

and then i read today’s task and was like…oh geeze. 30 things about myself?!

i’m not one to normally do the questionnaires and arbitrarily share all sorts of little facts about me and my world, because i’m never quite certain if people like reading those posts (do they? do YOU?). but i’ll take this one in stride and see how it goes!

try to pretend you’re not bored, mmmmkay? thanks. 🙂

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1. September is my favorite word. and my fave birthstone (sapphire).
2. i like lower case letters better. when i started writing poetry more seriously (in high school), i became a little “i.” thanks, e.e. cummings.
3. i detest jiggly foods, like jello and flan and gummy worms and all that jazz.
4. i drink coffee every day. espresso, drip coffee, keurig — you name it, i drink it.
5. i eat salad every single day for lunch. and sometimes for dinner.
6. my family has always had dogs. i got to name our first one, when i was 2. enter Spanky.
7. flip flops or boat shoes > heels.
8. chips & salsa > sweets.
9. i wish i had a job where i got to travel all over, all the time. Seattle. Greece. Croatia. Maldives. Austin. Bali. Cali. bring it on.
10. i grew up with a running obsessed dad who would always tell me “running is the best and only real exercise.” welp, thanks, dad. clearly that stuck.
11. i don’t really drink beer much. unless it’s pumpkin. game changer.
12. i have sooooooo many rings. thanks, mom, for the love of jewelry you’ve imparted to me.
13. i have the best best friend in the world. in college, we were thought of us basically one person made up of 2 people. get me? she’s amazing and my entire world would be different if i didn’t have her.
14. i love variety. i do pretty well with change. hence, working on a third college degree and still trying to decide what to be when i grow up…
15. my all-time fave movie is 10 Things I Hate About You.
16. i sing. a lot. i can sing pretty decently well, actually. which is a good thing, since i rarely stop.
17. i prefer to drive standard. vroom.
18. for a hot second, i wanted to major in French and be a French teacher. or just live in Paris and be able to talk to people. c’est la vie tres magnifique.
19. i had Lasik done in 2010. one of the best decisions everrrrr. don’t overthink it — just do it.
20. i’d like to end up with someone who’s left handed, so we can hold hands while we eat. awwwww. you knew i had a soft side in there somewhere…
21. i’m the biggest fail with movies, esp old ones. as in, other kids watched them and i was out doing 432524 other things. Goonies? nope. Karate Kid? nope. Rocky? Indiana Jones? any of those mobster/mafia/Godfathery movies? nope, nope, nope. but i’ve seen Pitch Perfect, like, 10 times. priorities.
22. i don’t eat red meat. or pork. or pasta. or potatoes. so picky.
23. i really want to move to a beach town and be a surf bum. hang ten and eat mangoes like a hippie.
24. i saw Mount Rushmore when i was 14…and have zero recollection of it. tourist fail.
25. on that same trip, i spent 4 days/nights on the Salmon River in Idaho, white water rafting with a group. and that was when i decided i’d be a raft guide when i grew up. and sometimes, that still sounds appealing…
26. i love love love the outdoors (see 25 above for proof) and always have. how i justify living in NYC, sometimes baffles me…
27. i only get a few months of summer weather where i live, yet my fave thing to buy is bikinis. go figure.
28. i really like Jeopardy!
29. i have zero tattoos, but constantly talk about getting one. i’m all talk.
30. my fave animal is a unicorn. and yes, my life is a fairytale.

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Tell me a fun fact (or 2, or 3, or 10!) about you! i like to talk about you, too. 🙂

WILW {4.30.14}

heyyy, friends.

i definitely didn’t intend to take that long of a blogging hiatus, but life has been a busy one lately! glad to be back. 🙂

things i’m loving about this week/my lately life:

*consistency with the shorter-to-medium runs. i have yet to start rocking the longer training runs for my half in a few weeks, but lately, the 5-6 milers have been doing me just fine. i’m happy with the consistency of my times as well, and although i’ve felt a bit more sluggish than i’d like and running on some tired legs, i’m hoping that changes soon! i had three pretty decent ones in a row last weekend (getting progressively more tired as the days went on!):

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*the coolest script ever.
in looking for a sweet script for a potential tattoo, i stumbled across this girl’s blog/site called Neither Snow. she has such an incredible calligraphy talent and i’m absolutely in love with her word design. the flow and artistry is amazing. check out her site, as she has some sweet ideas for gifts or weddings or tattoos or anything you’d like writing on.

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*a “Good” happy hour. a good happy hour spot is a great thing in NYC, and when you’re meeting your girlfriends, you want a cute, charming little place with decently-priced cocktails and a low enough noise level so you can catch up without shouting over each other.  Good Restaurant in the West Village offers all of that, with $7 House Cocktails (and they have a great selection), $6 glasses of wine, and an intimate little bar. i’ll definitely be returning here for some girl time.

goodnot a bad little list, and just $7 til 8pm. we tried the Sandia Limonada (minus triple sec), which was fruity and summery and would be perfect on a hot day at the beach, and The Bradford (with vodka instead of gin), which was really good and cucumbery (my fave). definitely a winner of a girl-time spot.

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*passion. i love how people arrange words sometimes into the most beautiful sentences and phrases you’ve ever read, and all you can do is sit in awe of how mere words can make you feel…and wish to God you’d thought to pen those words yourself.

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this totally speaks to me, for i am one of the over-enthusiastic. i get excited about, well…pretty much everything.
and i won’t apologize for that. 🙂

*this sign in McSorley’s, the oldest bar in NYC (quite a tourist haven, which i finally visited for the first time this week). i want this sign in my house.

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also, i have to announce the winner of my first Color Me Rad giveaway today as well!

congrats to Lindsey, who won the first registration i’ll be giving away for the various Color Me Rad races coming up this summer and fall.

be on the look out for upcoming giveaways for the Color Me Rads in this area! and don’t forget, you can use the discount code RUNTHISAPPLE10 to receive 10% off a registration for any race.
Your turn…
Tell me something good about your week so far!
Favorite girlfriend happy hour spots in your city? Or if you have some for me in NYC, please share!

xo

 

 

Will run for girlfriend dates.

Last night, I did two somethings very out-of-the-ordinary for me:

1. I ran at night, after work, and
2. I ate pizza.

First thing’s first: I am a morning runner. I seriously love waking up at (or before) 6am, bopping right out of bed and into running clothes, and bolting out the door. I love the morning air and the way the sky & river look in the early light, and the scarcity of people out at that time. It’s my quiet time; my chance to start the day on a peaceful note, when all seems right in my little corner of the world as I zone out and run along.

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Because of my Monday  morning post-lake weekend fatigue, however, I slept in and set out to run last night after work. I planned to just do an easy five-miler, since my run two days ago was significant. It was a lovely evening; the path was full of bikers and runners and walkers, and the river was dappled with paddle boarders and kayakers enjoying the beautiful sunset.

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The first three miles went by nicely; the last two, however, were border-line brutal. It amazes me how easily the body can fluctuate from day-to-day, as I felt amazing all throughout my long run on Saturday, but could hardly hold it together for the last two miles of a shorter run. Maybe it was what I ate before I ran, or my body just being tired, or just because, but maaaan, I was struggling. I just didn’t feel great, and could hardly wait to hit my goal distance before walking the rest of the way down to the West Village.

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I managed to keep up a good trot despite my woes, so at least that was a nice surprise. I also apparently achieved a “Course award” from my running app, which is always a fun little pat of encouragement, even if I am only competing with myself. 🙂

I ran down to Chelsea Piers, then walked to meet a girlfriend for a Monday night West Village date (yes, in my running clothes — running skirt, mind you!). It was a gorgeous evening that screamed “situate me on a patio ASAP,” so we did just that. A little dry rosé, please, to juxtapose prettily against against the cement and lights.

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We then meandered our way over to Olio, which I’ve been meaning to check out ever since I heard they boasted a delicious baked gluten free Margherita pizza. We snagged an outdoor hightop on their darling garden-inspired patio and had the loveliest of evenings at this adorable spot. I rarely ever eat pizza (yes, I’m probably the only NYer you’ll hear say that), but Olio certainly will be changing that. It was light, crispy, fresh and delicious, with a completely charming atmosphere set right in the middle of a bustling intersection that situates you perfectly between feeling like you’re part of the city life while still safely tucked into your own little corner. Definitely a new RTA fave.

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I was glad I stuck through the rough run to be rewarded with this magical little evening. It was such a welcome reminder of how giddy grateful I am for my city, my friends, my health, and the little life I’ve created here.

Question: What’s your pizza preference?

When August Feels like Autumn…

…you brush off your favorite (new) pastel blazer and straddle the seasons: mint-green for a summer’s hue, yet warm enough to ward off the bizarre chill in the beautiful mid-August air…

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and you tuck yourself (and your date, girlfriend style) into the corner of a quaint little UWS patio with a glass of dry rosé and some delicious tapas to share.

 We stumbled across the rustic and sweet little Italian spot Barcibo Enoteca for some quality girltalk catch-up time (read: boys, travel, prospective tattoos and boys again) and both really enjoyed the food (excellent crostinis and salads) and wine. One of the absolute best things about NYC in the summertime is the patio scene, and I will sorely miss it when I’m forced back indoors and subjected to limited people-watching.

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We then rushed down the block to see The Spectacular Now, which we’d already pre-determined to thoroughly enjoy simply based upon its writers, trailor and overall indie-feel and adorable plot. Such girls.

It totally did not disappoint. Boasting far more than just the flippancy of a boy-meets-girl, it was a multi-layered coming-of-age story marked by a bittersweet quality from beginning to end. It was completely character-driven and awkwardly-endearing, this teenage story about love & fears & dreams & family issues & all the rawness of life that can hit you at 17, or 32. We laughed and almost cried and said “Awww” about 743 times. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I did 500 Days of Summer (maybe because I have a weird kinship with Zoey D’s character in that movie…but that’s a story for another time, or never), but I found it to be a touching, genuine movie, and one of the best depictions of teenage reality I’ve seen. The two main kids were superb, and you can’t help but love the girl.

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Totally successful evening…

…followed by an amazing run this morning. I was pretty darn sore from my strength workouts this week so wasn’t anticipating a stellar run, but the morning was incredibly beautiful and ideal running weather: 60 degrees, crisp and cloudless — a little slice of Heaven. I loved my 6-miler up the WSH and have been really happy to see that my average pace is continuing to improve on my shorter runs:

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Felt good and strong and managed to run through the leg soreness, although it’s lingering a bit today. Thank goodness for these puppies:

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I try to sleep in them every night. I’d wear them to work every day, too, if I thought I could get away with summer dresses and compression sleeves in a financial institution. Seriously. They rock my running world.

So Thursday flew happily by and I’ll leave you with some motivation to find your own way to get a little bit healthier every day:

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xoxo

Survival Kit for City Life

Let’s face it: this city can be a bit overwhelming at times.

And by overwhelming I mean fast-paced, little-breathing-room, tight corners, constant activity, crowd-inducing side-walk rage, loneliness, and exhaustion. Oh, don’t get me wrong — it’s one of the most fabulous places in the world. It’s just a LOT. A lot lot lot lot lot. Of everything. To live here and love it, you have to really commit to being a fan of chaos.

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And that works quite well for me. I like change, and frenetic activity, and lots of options. I like full days and a busy schedule and people to meet and talk to all around me. I like when things just seem alive.

Buuuut…in a city of this magnitude, you can easily feel lost at times, or have those moments of sudden tunnel vision where everything seems to press in around you and you feel so small, so uncertain, so singular.

birds girl

That’s why you need to equip yourself with a good Survival Kit for life in the Big Apple.

Necessities in my personal Survival Kit include:

1. Amazing friends. I feel like a big part of my life story is that I’ve been so blessed with wonderful people everywhere I’ve gone and lived, and NYC is no exception. In a city where you can meet people left and right on a daily (and nightly) basis, it’s crucial to have a tight, small circle of your closests with whom to do life and share all the craziness. Thankfully, I have found some incredible, irreplaceable friends in this city, without whom my world wouldn’t be the same.

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Girls’ nights are critical. You really can’t live here and stay sane without them.

2.  Something that you do – and love – entirely for yourself, whether it be an activity, hobby, personal interest, etc, and on a regular basis. This is where running and working out comes in for me. I’ve become an avid morning runner/ gym girl, so I’m up by 6 or earlier every day, either pounding the pavement on the WSH or playing with kettlebells and free weights. If I didn’t start my days with some personal time, I think I’d go nuts. It’s so easy to get pulled into the current of the city as soon as you step outside, so you really have to be diligent and disciplined about setting aside some YOU time.

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3.  Love where you live. For me, this has been key. It’s important for me to have an apartment that serves as a sort of safe haven, a little “home,” and I’m lucky that my amazing roommate and I have managed to create that. We chose a neighborhood we liked, a building in which we felt safe and comfortable, and set up a cozy little environment to which we both love coming home. We’ve embraced our neighborhood and become familiar with our fave local restaurants, parks, running routes and stores, and we’re comfortable there. We all need a safe nook where we belong.

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4.  A great church. I know this is a personal thing, but I’m really happy to have found such an amazing church in Hillsong NYC and am hoping to get further involved and meet more people. It’s such an encouraging, vibrant atmosphere; a sanctuary tucked away from the rest of the hectic city pulsing outside, and for those brief hours spent there, you’re suspended from the rushing world and the pressures you face. I need this.

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5.  Comfy flats and a big purse to carry your heels in. You don’t actually wear them to the restaurant/bar/party. Nobody wants to trek these blocks in those calf-killers!

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6.  A gym. I probably wouldn’t survive without mine. I go to NYSC, which has over 100 locations total and literally can be found in every neighborhood in Manhattan. It’s certainly not the most upscale gym but it has everything I need, and we get a corporate rate, so it suits me juuuust fine.

7.  Coffee. Lots of it.

8.  An open mind, a ready smile, and a quick hello. Might sound cheesey…but trust me, these go a long way here. People are actually a lot friendlier than you’d expect, I’ve found; just because we’re all busy and rushing doesn’t mean we don’t care about each other. The best you can do is to remember that every person you pass has their own story, their own stuff, and a little kindness goes further than you think.

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Shakespeare in the Park

I’m an incurable word nerd.

grammar

That isn’t to say that my blog will be entirely error-free, as we all miss our mistakes sometimes! But a girl can dream of a world where everyone uses the proper forms of “you’re” and “your” and doesn’t employ the word “irregardless.” That’s not a thing. Let it go.

I fell in love with poetry and fiction at an early age, and was probably one of the only high school girls who actually got excited about reading Shakespearean plays. His wit, his word creation, his brilliant iambic pentameter…I was obsessed instantly. Although Hamlet and Midsummer Night’s Dream were my fast faves, I enjoyed every play of his I read and even flirted with the idea of engaging in Shakespeare-focused graduate work. That didn’t happen, but I remember my college Shakespeare class as one of my very favorites (and not only because it was where I met my college love). His plays just sucked me right in.

battleofwits

It’s no surprise, then, that one of my absolute favorite things I’ve done in NYC in the past two consecutive summers is attend Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park. Held at the Delacourte Theater just off West 81st St, this amazing free event has really been a bit of magic for me. Good theater can transport me in a way little else can, for I’ve always been a big believer in the necessity of make-believe.

I won tickets through the virtual lottery last night, which was a brilliant stroke of luck, as it was opening night for the summer’s second show: Love’s Labour’s Lost, one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies.

lovelabour

I cannot even begin to rave about how amazing this show was. It was an absolutely hilarious musical with a phenomenal cast that included an SNL comedian and a lead actor who might show up in every single one of my singing-and-dancing-and-not-singing-or-dancing dreams from here on out.

Colin Donnell...I can't even deal.

Colin Donnell…I can’t even deal.

There was not a dull moment in the entire hour-and-a-half show, and the actors looked like they were having the time of their lives. If you have any interest at all in musical theater, hilarious comedies, adorable actors or an enchanting and utterly unique NYC experience this summer, put your name in for the virtual lottery. You won’t be disappointed.

set

the set

Question: What’s your favorite Shakespearean play?