Friday Five: Highlights from my trip to Santa Barbara

if you know me, you know i love a lot of places, and California resides pretttty high up on that list. like, very much at the top.

i was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time in the magical coastal city of Santa Barbara last week, visiting some lovely friends and surprising one of my dearest girlfriends. it was truly an amazing trip, full of non-stop activities and wonderful people and so many memories i’ll cherish. that little city is something special.

so, for this week’s Friday Five, i figured i’d give you a glimpse into some of the highlights from my trip, mmmkay? (note: i unfortunately have zero pictures with my friend i surprised — not sure how that happened — so seeing her transcends this post!) 🙂

ONE: beach run. it’s hard to believe that at this exact moment last week, on a gorgeous Friday morning, i was having one of my very favorite experiences from this trip: a  morning run along Hendry’s Beach, barefoot (i started with sneaks but quickly got overcome by the high tide so happily stashed ’em on a rock and kept going!), literally running in the water. i was so completely, blissfully happy to be starting my morning that way. it was by far the most beautiful, enjoyable run i can ever recall.

FullSizeRender
TWO: flying. i received one of the coolest surprises of my life last Thursday evening: a sunset flight over the Channel Islands in a little baby plane.

FullSizeRender
sunset1
it was absolutely wild and breathtaking and exhilarating and i totally felt like i was in an episode of The Bachelor. you know those moments where you’re like, “How did I get so fortunate to have this as my life?” yep. this was one of those.

meplane
medozaplane
THREE: wine tasting. who knew SB was such a hot spot for wineries & tasting rooms? i loved every place we went in the Funk Zone, the hip, artsy, wine-and-foodie part of town, and wish i’d spent more time there. (aka, i want to go to every.single.winery.)

IMG_8023
i really loved Les Marchands, a cozy wine bar ideal for ending your evening,

IMG_8022
and AVA winery was so rad, boasting a huge mural of the whole Santa Barbara topography and surrounding region and showcasing the various wineries and highlights of the county. ridiculously cool.

IMG_8068
FullSizeRender
other great wineries & tasting rooms we visited:

  • Riverbench in Santa Barbara — small & cute, amazing service/fun people, solid wines
  • Municipal Winery (i went to both, SB & the one in the Santa Ynez Valley — this is my friend’s favorite winery)
  • Curtis in Los Olivos — this place was beautiful and spacious and lovely and all the wines were delicious. it’d be a great spot for either a group or a date, and a place i could see myself lounging around at for a while on a lovely day.

FOUR: the views. the ocean. the mountains. the scenery. the sunset. the night sky.

basically every time i looked anywhere on this trip, it was breathtaking. i absolutely understand why people will do anything they have to in order to live here.

FullSizeRender
cave
FullSizeRender
hike
ocean

FIVE: Solvang. i had no idea this quaint little Danish town even existed until two different friends insisted the week before i left that i had to see it. while i definitely preferred Santa Barbara, i am glad i got to pass through Solvang; it’s such a charming historic village dropped in the middle of the Santa Ynez Valley and seems delightfully out of place, like a little gingerbread town that fell from the sky. i half expected the Munchkins to come bopping out of bakeries and trinket shops and lead me down a cobbled road. 🙂

IMG_8069
the literary geek in me LOVED this: Hamlet Square! one of my favorite Shakespearean works (and basically the only thing i can reference in regards to Denmark).

IMG_8025
so, there’s my enchanting little West Coast trip in a nutshell! i’m so fortunate that my friend is an amazing photographer and captured this trip for me — i can’t take credit for these photos, and having talented friends is such a gift!

have a great long weekend, loves!

xo

Last great trip you took?
Best surprise you’ve received (or planned for someone else)?

2 Things Tuesday {8.4.15}

peace copy
ONE: running update. because this is certainly overdue, yeesh. okay, so, i’m sort of off the plan at the moment. life has been so busy, it’s been so stinking hot, my legs have been sore on and off and not wanting to run too much in the heat, sooooo i’m basically doing what i can and not beating myself up over it.

Saturday: 9.5 miles uptown along the river toward Harlem; pace somewhere around an 8:40 (don’t remember exactly).
Sunday: 7.5-8 miles (forgot my Garmin but i know that’s a good estimate) downtown along the river to the FiDi; pace prob more around a 9-min mile (i ran at 11am and it was SO HOT)

so, i haven’t hit any double-digits and i’m definitely supposed to have been in them by now, but i’m not too worried about it. i’m doing what i can/feel like and that’s that. sure, i’d like to run the marathon — most days 🙂 — but if i don’t feel like it, i’m honestly not too concerned with it. the first time i trained for a full marathon, i was so stoked about it and set on it; this time, i’m really pretty chill about it. if i feel ready, cool. if not, i’m still enjoying running and can use that long weekend to go away somewhere. win win.

TWO: favorite places. there’s a spot on The Highline that stops me in my tracks every single time, and while i’ve taken photos of it multiple times, i never had one of me in front of it — until now.

highlinei’ve stood in that spot, suspended above the city and overlooking 25th St. in Chelsea, and marveled over Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra’s vibrant graffiti mural rendition of the famed 1945 photograph V-J Day in Times Square countless times, and it makes my heart so happy to have this photo of me in this spot. i feel relaxed & content just looking at it.

and in case you wanted to draw comparisons or jog your memory, here’s the original wartime photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, of the sailor kissing the nurse right in the middle of NYC on Victory over Japan Day:

146638236_custom-3c5844b939b55223efcbab0984281038c908e7ec-s900-c85
i love both the original and the modern, urban rendition that captures my full attention on every Highline walk, and i’m reminded every time of just how fortunate i am to live in a city that blends art & culture & grit & beauty & the rawness of every day, non-glamorous city life into something magical and indelible.

What’s something special/unique that you love about your city/town?
Runners: How’re you dealing with summer running?
Tell me anything fun from your weekend!

That weekend I did allll the things in NYC.

i had all intentions of posting this on Monday but chilled out in the Monday blues for a bit too long, which totally hijacked that plan, and then got so busy yesterday that i didn’t have time! but here i am — hi, friends!

so, the good news: i stayed in NYC this weekend and had a non-stop, fun-filled run-around weekend chocked full of awesome people, places & things.
the bad news: back to the non-weekend life was rough.

so, here’s a recap of my non-stop weekend of wonderful places, people & things:

Friday: i took a vacation day (makes alllll the difference to have Fridays free!) because my fun California friend who we (we being me and everyone who knows him through me) affectionately (& appropriately) call Manbun came to visit. i love having friends in town, especially in the nice weather, because i get the chance to play tourist in my own city and bop around all over the place. as expected, we did sooooo many things while he was here, so prepare yourself for photo overload.

protectyourheart
you know what’s better than having friends from California? having friends from California who are photographers. i think i’d be totally fine with someone following me around and photo documenting my life.

Processed with VSCOcam with e2 presetin a camera store, because that’s where photographers hang out when they visit new cities, duh.

the tricky thing about photographers is that they can make you look better in photos than you do in real life. i’ll take it. 🙂

The Highline. there’s a fantastic exhibit on it right now called The Collectivity Project by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (such a dope last name, no?), which is essentially a whole little sectioned-off area boasting tables with thousands of white legos begging visitors to play architect and leave their marks.

legos
IMG_8435
Mets vs. Dodgers game. this was my first time at Citifield in a few years, and i forgot how beautiful this stadium is. my friend is a crazy Dodgers fan, so this was the perfect “while in NY” birthday gift for him, and we ended up with a gorgeous night for a baseball game.

IMG_7764
IMG_7801
Saturday: woke up & ran 9 miles (i needed that — more running chat later this week, mmmkay?) and then trekked over to one of my newly favorite neighborhoods: Williamsburg, BK. man, i love that little hipster town.

here’s my favorite shot of the day: my acro modeling debut against an awesome “DREAM” mural on a random side street.

FullSizeRender
i take zero credit for the concept, but Hundo P credit for the ups. 🙂

3 places we went in Williamsburg (&i’d recommend them all):

Sweatshop cafe & design shop. so minimalist, so elemental, so Australian, so dope. loved this little place.

IMG_7805
IMG_7807
Radegast Hall & Biergarten. such a happening spot on Saturday afternoons! a band i really like was playing, and it turns into an all-out dance party where everyone just can’t help but have the best time. i love when life is like that.

Crown Victoria. i don’t have any pix of this place, but it has a really sweet outdoor space out back with a “backyard BBQ” sort of vibe, complete with food/drink trucks and picnic tables. we saw a bachelor party all dresses as superheroes, which was awesome. really great chill spot.

we capped off our action-packed Saturday with dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village, which is a really hip & popular place to which i’ve never gone before. i wasn’t sure i’d be that into it, but it was the one restaurant he really wanted to try…and it was really good. (i was also starving at this point, but it was seriously good!)

we split these 3 things:
shiitake buns: hoisin, scallion, cucumber

bunscorn appetizer: pickled tomatillo, pepitas, oregano
corn
hozon ramen bowl:
scallion, chickpea, kale
noodles

i honestly would have never ended up here on my own and had zero idea what to order or expect, so i was happy to let him order (thankfully he chose all vegetarian = brownie points for that), and he did a great job, as all the dishes were great. the chickpeas and kale combo was fantastic.

Sunday:

Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel. we swung through here after church specifically to check out this amazing spot where author/artist Ludwig Bemelman’s of the Madeline children’s books fame transformed the walls of the bar with his artwork. it was truly a magical, whimsical spot to which i can’t wait to return.

mad
mad2
we went during off hours and simply walked around, and i had a sort of “moment” there, in the empty, classic bar with the magical walls telling tales of a fairytale NYC that feels so untouched and sacred. i do believe i could have stayed there with a journal or book for hours and had a renewal of the soul in that tuck-away of a lovely spot.

bel
Central Park. 
walking around Central Park on a lazy Sunday afternoon in the summertime, watching the miniature sailboats on the pond and feeling the overflowing happiness of simply being — i should do well to have more of these things in my life.

FullSizeRenderand yes — i am as in love with the world in that photo as you could possibly imagine that girl to be.

Weekend Recap

scenes from my weekend:

*silliness. alternative to the Kylie Jenner make-up pout: pucker-up wine glasses. this is the closest i’ll ever get to big lips.

IMG_6543
*running. it rained allllll day here on Saturday, so my anticipated outdoor run had to be swapped for a 2-hour gym sesh instead. after staying in on Fri night and sleeping 10.5 hours, i felt great. i ran a lil over 5 miles, incline walked til i hit 6m, and then did strength/plyo and abs. booyah, kick start to my Saturday. i finally made it outdoors for a run on Sunday afternoon, but it was super windy out — like, i was seriously blowing off the path and had trouble keeping my footing a few times — and i was exhausted and slooooowwww and just not killing it. i made it 8 miles, and by the end, my legs were just beat. i really wished a hot tub had been awaiting me (like at my parents’ house!).

this leads me to my next running point: i have zero desire to run the Queens 13.1 this coming weekend. like, not one iota of me cares about doing this race. i did it two years ago and didn’t enjoy it — wasn’t feeling so amazing — and i signed up last year but had to forfeit it because my best friend got married that day. i registered for this year’s a few months ago, and i just don’t wanna do it. that’s not like me at all, and i think it’s due to a few factors, but i’m pretty sure i’m going to go with my gut and skip it. i love running because i love running, and i don’t want to take the joy out of it by forcing myself to do a race i’m dreading. not into it. i’d rather go home and see my fam and relax.

i’ll keep you guys posted on this, but as of right now, i’m 80% sure i’m gonna skip it.

*inspire. my cousin & lifelong friend tagged me in this on Instagram a few days ago, writing, “you do all of these.”

FullSizeRenderthat totally made my day. i loooove this image — Gerbera daisies are even my fave flowers, and i adore the words on that page — and love that someone who knows me so well saw this and instantly thought of me. it’s those little things, those sweet gestures when someone reminds you “hey, i’m thinking of you, you’re special to me” that can turn your whole day around. ❤

*drink up. how have i not had this stuff before this weekend?

perrieri drink club soda basically daily, but i somehow managed to make it all these years without having Perrier Grapefruit. it’s soooooo good. i’m craving one as i write this.

*cake batter blondies. i made these for a friend’s lil get-together on Saturday night, because i know she loves sweets, and even though i’m not a huge sweets gal, i love to bake stuff for other people. i used a Funfetti cake mix instead of vanilla (because who can have too much fun?! not this girl!), and subbed applesauce rather than oil, to make it that much healthier, at least. they were super easy to make and went over so well, and the applesauce worked wonderfully. i’ll def be making these again, for fun people, of course. because FUNfetti. you get me.

PS, anyone ever Googled the word “funfetti” before? i just did…holy rainbow overload. i think every time i feel a bad mood coming on at work, i’m going to do this. it’s sure to boost my spirits at least 5%. i mean, it’s just glitter for food, right? ezzzzactly.

tumblr_mjxkaxeylM1qjhc40o1_500
*dirty hair don’t care. i don’t wash my hair every day. it’s thick, it’s dry, it doesn’t get greasy very quickly, and who has time to wash their hair every day?! because of this, i’m a big dry shampoo fan, and i’ve probably tried half the options on the market. however, this one has been a game-changer for me:
Batiste-Dry-Shampoo-Dark-and-Deep-Brown-200mlBatiste makes a dry shampoo specifically for dark hair, and it’s awesome. no more white residue to brush out! it blends in perfectly, and the quality of the product is fab. it’s a must-have for brunettes.

*confusion. so, given that 2 of my lifelong favorite things ever are mermaids and unicorns, my attention was obviously sparked when i saw a shirt at H&M this wknd that said something along the lines of feeling like “an ex-mermaid but a newborn unicorn.”

ummm…what??

can someone please tell me what the whattt that means?! i seriously stood there and stared at it for a good 30 seconds, completely baffled. are we supposed to assume that by putting mermaids and unicorns together in the same sentence, all of our fantastical dreams of mythical creatures have suddenly collided and we NEED that shirt? why would an ex-mermaid now be a unicorn? why am i an EX-mermaid? what happened to my mermaid-ness? did i just exchange fins for a horn?

what?

no, H&M. just no. stop ruining things i love.

but this is cute, so that makes me feel better. 🙂

FullSizeRender
hope your week is off to a great start!

Weekend highlight?
Unicorns or mermaids?
Does that shirt make sense to anyone else??

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.

trailer_06
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.

photo
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.

dad
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.

photo 4

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

photo 2
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.

1_131998750_3

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

10054335
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:

photo 1
and, welp, it apparently struck other people out there as well. ah, how Google searching brings us all together.

06f6536dee2a020f24ebb77e88c85b03
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?

Once (that time i had alllll the feelings)

warning: this post is full of alllllll the emotions and heart ramblings and waxing poetic you could ever dream of. it’s not a review of the show — i don’t know how to review something so akin to magic. it’s just me, bleeding emotion all over the screen. don’t say i didn’t warn ya. 🙂

you know those inexplicable moments when time truly seems suspended, and you forget everything about your life and the outside world and all the things & people you’re supposed to know and all the responsibilities you have and all the ways you’ve loved and lost and rejoiced and been let down? how the world seems to pull a velvet curtain around you and encircle you in an infinite moment of such intense beauty and emotion that you wonder how you will ever again exist in the reality of your every day life? how you walk through a door and into a place that’s like every other and like none at all, and what happens in that room transforms you from a girl who dreams of city lights and champagne nights to one who suddenly needs so much more, more than anything this world can offer, it seems — love like an explosion of the heart, a riot inside that cannot be put on paper or spoken into words?

well, welcome to my world, today. population one, in the wake of Once.

there are feelings that we can name and understand; these things we expect. then there are things we experience that puncture deep to the very marrow of our beings and we involuntarily bleed forth every emotion we’ve ever known and a whole slew of others we cannot quite comprehend, and we have no choice but to capitulate to this thing which is so much bigger than us and yet the very truest part of us: that essence of what it means to be human, to be connected to all of humanity and the world at large, and to understand that things like love and loss and God and destiny and joy and pain and beauty are all so very, very real, and so much bigger than we allow them to be in the smallness of our own minds and lives.

this is how i felt last night, watching one of the loveliest, most heart-wrenching, gorgeous things i’ve ever experienced: Broadway’s acclaimed musical Once.

photo: broadwaybox.com

photo: broadwaybox.com

i will have all the trouble in the world trying to capture with words exactly how brilliant this experience was for me, so i’m just going to relay allllll the feelings and tell you that it was a life-changing piece of theater and art. truly beautiful, in every way.

i’ve been aching to see this since it came out, and have no excuses as to why i didn’t go before now. i live near the theater; i have plenty of free nights; i have it on my bucket list. now that it’s ending in just a few weeks, a girlfriend and i felt the urgency and knew we were running out of time. and i’m so, so glad we didn’t run out of time.

have you seen the movie? if not, well — see the movie. stat. a few years ago, when my brother was still living in Colorado and i’d just moved to NYC, i received a slim envelope from him in the mail containing an unceremonious burned CD in a generic sleeve, upon which he’d written just one sentence: “i have a feeling this will be your new favorite movie, too.”

i watched it on the train to Boston, where i was going to attend a girlfriend’s wedding — and i sat in my window seat with my Macbook and my headphones and a fresh glow from my new love affair with NYC — and was utterly, completely unprepared for what hit me. i remember how i felt in that moment, crying like a baby as it ended. i remember the first time i heard “Falling Softly” and how i saw love in an entirely new way — unplanned, unfettered, born entirely of a shared passion for something so much bigger than the two people it brought together, and so raw that it seemed unable to truly exist in everyday life. and yet, everything about it was everyday life.

i think i feared (felt? knew?) then that i’d never fall in love like that, and it broke my heart a bit to think that it was probably my own fault — and that the little hidden romantic in me stays hidden because she’s always waiting for that great big love that springs up right out of nowhere and everywhere and is quiet and explosive all at once, and that i believed in it the way you believe magic might spring out of thin air like a bouquet of flowers — you can’t imagine anything more beautiful, but you can’t imagine it truly exists like that, either. it’s the tension between the real and the ideal; between the dream of the fairytale and the half-knowledge that there isn’t one; between knowing things can change in a moment, and then remembering that they can change in every moment after that, too.

this all came flooding back to me last night as soon as the first actor opened his mouth and began to sing. i lost myself and found myself all at once, in the way the best forms of theater and music and poetry and art and all that is good and true and beautiful in the world can do to you — and it shatters me in the most gorgeous way possible, and creates me anew every time.

so today, i’m sitting here — back in the real world, where things like morning alarms and jobs with desks and people asking “how’s your morning?” out of habit and heels that click too loudly on these cold floors — i’m sitting here in the middle of all this but high above it, a bundle of synapses and skin, of felt emotions and raw edges, and i’m wrecked for it all — for love and loss and anything beautiful and genuine enough to make you feel the pangs of both — for all that reminds us what it means to be alive.

and all i can think of is how something like a show — people play acting out the very things we’re often too scared or unsure of putting into action in our real lives — can turn your world upside-down for a brief moment in time and remind you that nothing can compare with the wonder of knowing/realizing/remembering that love is real, in so many shapes and forms, and that any day not spent pursuing that as our truest reality is one in which we lose a tiny bit of what it means to really be alive.

that, my friends, is what this show did to me.

things like this should come with warning labels, i do believe. “come for a show. leave with your heart ripped out and held in front of you in your open palms.”

but oh, it feels so utterly glorious to really feel, doesn’t it?

i think it does.

xo.

3 films {and RDJ has to get a mention, obvi}

so today is movie day. 3 of ’em. hmmmmm.

i’m definitely lacking in the knowledge of all the widely-accepted great movies out there and i don’t go to the movies very often, but there are certainly some that i absolutely adore and can watch over and over again. and they’re usually not the ones everyone else would choose (Pitch Perfect? 500 Days of Summer? Aladdin? yep, they all very nearly made this list. and yet i’ve never seen an Indiana Jones or Shawshank Redemption or Godfather…)

and although i’m not going to include Iron Man or the Avengers in this list of faves, i feel compelled to note that if Robert Downey Jr makes a movie, i will be there. opening night. front and center. i actually texted my brother asking for help remembering movies i like best and he wrote “anything RDJ.” what can i say — when i like someone, i like them. 🙂

robert_downey_jr_01

anywayyyyy, so yeah. here are 3 i really like (picking faves is hard but i’ll go with these for now!):

beach-beautiful-blue-clouds-girl-ocean-Favim.com-48131_large
1. Ten Things I Hate About You. this is my all-time fave and i can watch it incessantly. first of all, it’s based on Shakespeare’s play Taming of the Shrew, and i’m all about anything S-peare. secondly, Heath Ledge and Julia Stiles have the most adorable chemistry/relationship any teenagery movie has ever had, and thirdly, i’m not sure i’ve ever wanted someone to do something for me as much as i want them to sing “You’re Just Too Good to be True” over a stadium loudspeaker and have a band play along with him.

10-things-i-hate-about-you-quotes-15
just sayin’. this movie is the best. and also started my Heath Ledger thing, understandably.

flash

2. Labyrinth. i remember watching this as a really little kid and being totally weirded out, and years later it became one of my and my bro’s all-time fave movies ever and a pretty stupid awesome Christmas gift (thanks Ry) a few years ago. it’s trippy and dreamy and weird and fantastical and magical and fun and you can sing along to David Bowie. and Jennifer Connelly is, like, so gorgeous and i totally wanted to be her, walking through that crazy maze and answering riddles and having an epic adventure of mythical proportions.

or maybe i just wanted to wear that ball gown.

either way, this movie rocks super hard and you should see it if you haven’t. it’s the best kind of weird imaginable.

stars

3. Good Will Hunting. just such an all-around awesome movie on every level. the cast and characterization is incredible: i love Matt Damon always, and this was definitely one of his best roles. one of the movie’s strongest aspects is the development of the patient/psychologist relationship between him and Robin Williams — the whole theme of searching for meaning and direction in life, and learning about yourself through this reciprocal relationship that forever changes you is depicted in such a raw, realistic way. the writing is great, the characters are amazing (except i wish anyone else had played Skylar’s role other than Minnie Driver, she just annoys me so), and the story is entirely engaging. so, so good.

good-will-hunting-original-1

 Your turn! What are some of your all-time fave flicks?

 

i like these things (picture post #3)

keep the best things close.

gladyouarealive

love ceaselessly, enduringly, emphatically.
wait for a love of adventure, of ships with no anchors, of immeasurable skies.

pma13h

challenge yourself. take risks. believe in the art of forward motion.

comfortzone

don’t be afraid to have more than a little fun. if you’re not enjoying it, well — why are you doing it?

img-thingwear your favorite color, summer style.

blue

believe there’s magic in the world, and chase it at all costs. find what you deem to be Heaven on Earth.

image
photo
me? i just want to cozy up in a tree house on a swinging bed and set lights off into the sky. is that too much to ask?

xoxo.

 

Question:
What’s something that reminds you just how beautiful life can be, and spurs you to challenge yourself to chase after what you want?

Weekend recap in Upstate, NY

i have to say, my weekends lately have been fantastic. and having a 3-day weekend (thank you, MLK) just makes everything about the week exponentially better, doesn’t it? when Tuesday becomes Monday and Monday means an extra day to play, life just seems that much sweeter.

especially when you fill up those three days with all kinds of wonderful.

one of the best parts of spending my weekends upstate is that i pack them with activity and get my exercise in varied forms. rather than sweating it out in a gym all weekend, i’m changing things up and spending more time outdoors, doing things i love…like

snowboarding with the BFF early on Saturday morning at Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts

board: Burton Lux

board: Burton Lux

and a lovely, picturesque walk around Grafton Lake State Park yesterday, which felt a bit like Narnia, all dazzling white and brilliantly serene.

Photothis was my first time at Grafton Lake, and it was truly charming. i’m rather glad i experienced it in the snow for the first time, as most people go in the warm weather, and it was all but deserted.

the lake was entirely frozen over and we walked right across it to the other side, which was an awesome experience (after i got past the fear of cracking through the ice and drowning a horribly freezing death). the woods were beautiful, the lake was snow-covered and fluffy and dotted with ice fishermen, and a soft, quiet snow fell the entire time. it was a shiver of magic right in the midst of everyday life; one of those unexpected experiences that make life seem so pure and good and beautiful just by its sheer simplicity, and you suddenly catch yourself standing in the midst of a perfect moment entirely unawares of how it caught you up so, but infinitely, inexplicably grateful to have stumbled into it and owned it, deep in your soul.

awe
i also got a 5.5 mile treadmill run in on Sunday and spent all Saturday night dancing my little heart out at a Latin night, which is always one of my favorite forms of exercise and ways to spend an evening. i’m pretty sure i sweat more after four hours of dancing than i do after any other form of physical exertion, which is a bit messy, but in the best way possible.

photo
as if all this activity wasn’t enough to keep me buzzing, i also had the amazing experience of watching my best friend in the whole world try on wedding dresses, in the most charming, loveliest of little bridal suites imaginable: DeAnna’s in West Sand Lake.

wedding
sometimes, it’s just so much fun to be a girl. 🙂

hope you had fun weekends, friends!

xoxo

Questions:
What’s your fave way to stay active outdoors in the Winter?
Any weekend highlights?

 

ohhh, 2014. starting off beautifully.

happy new year, friends! i’ve been suuuuuch the procrastinating blogger lately. apparently spending nearly two weeks at home with the fam and friends upstate put me on a hiatus from just about everything involving a computer. sometimes, you just need to unplug and regroup, and spend more time enjoying the magic and beauty in every day life that we so often pass by in our rushrushrush of a daily existence.

there really is so much of the beautiful in our world, and the shame is that we fail to spend enough time basking in it and allowing it to seep over the edges of our lives and into our skin. i pray that in 2014, i spend more time noticing the beautiful in all that i encounter, and embrace this charming world with an open heart and hopeful eyes.

photo
i woke up Saturday morning bright-n-early to spend the day on the slopes, and the friend i was riding with called me en route to my house to insist i get myself outside and get lost in the sunrise. i padded out in my long johns onto a snow-filled deck in zero degree weather…and all but had the breath knocked out of me by the intensity of such beauty.

photo
standing solo at 7am against a wildfire sky just beginning to break with the promise of a new day, scarcely minding the biting cold against which i hugged myself, it seemed to me that there was suddenly nothing more i needed in life than the ability to experience the wonder in the natural world around me and know that i was among the very blessed. to fall in love with a sky is one thing; to lose yourself completely in a masterpiece seemingly created just for you, in that one ephemeral moment, was something altogether different. i felt as though i were the only one alive on earth at that moment, and that this was all for me.

talk about starting the day off magnificently.

i snowboarded both days this weekend at Jiminy Peak, a short little drive from my parents’ house, and it was glorious. the days were crystalline blue, the air cold and clear, the conditions pretty darn terrific, and the company outstanding. there’s something about sitting on a chair lift, suspended between sky and earth, swinging past evergreens laden with snow and thinking, “this is as good as life gets, right here. this is true contentment.”

photo

and until you fall off that chair lift, nothing can infringe upon your sense of absolute belonging. 🙂

here’s to the start of another year, which hopefully grows more wonderfully inviting with each passing day. so far, so great for me. started it off with a salsa party, wonderful people, and shredding the mountains — pretty darn ideal.

happy and blessed beginning to 2014, loves. xoxo

Questions:
Are you into winter sports? Skier/boarder?

What are you looking forward to this year?