Friday Five: Favorite Winter Activities

while i undoubtedly look forward to Friday every.single.week, i’m especially stoked for today, because it commences my week-long Christmas vacation! i’m going home tonight for 9 full days of fun with family, friends and the man, and i couldn’t be more excited about this. ’tis a merry, merry Christmas indeed, starting tonight for me!

for this week’s link-up, our DC hosts Mar, Courtney & Cynthia chose the following theme to help remind us that there are some fun things to be done even when we’re freezing our bums off (especially in the Northeast, although this year has been marvelous thus far!):

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ONE: snowboarding. i’m not a big fan of the cold but i’m also not one who complains like it’s the end of the world each year as well, and one sure way to get me out there & loving Winter is to put me on a mountain. i was hoping to ride at least a day or two next week over break, but considering we’ve accumulated zero snowflakes so far this year (and man-made snow isn’t my favorite thing), that might not transpire.

TWO: running. thank goodness for Under Armour & Nike, who make some pretty great cold-weather gear, because i try to suck it up and get out there even when it’s chillll-eee. nothing like a good run to warm up the cold blood!

THREE: wine bars. in Summer, i like to be “outdoorsy” and take advantage of patios and rooftops; in Winter, a quaint & cozy little tuckaway of a wine bar serves me just right. with lots of windows, of course, so i can see the snow as i cozy up.

FOUR: anything related to Christmas. this counts, right? i’ve always been a Christmas-lover Winter –> all things merry & bright give me the fuzzy, i-love-everything-and-everyone feelings. & it’s so easy to love Christmastime in NYC! speaking of — the boy and i walked 5th Ave on Tuesday and checked out Bergdorf’s amazyyyyzinggg window display (at a time when the crowds had thinned, thankfully!). Bergdorf collaborated with Swarovski this year to create truly brilliant, glittering, fantastic displays made out of thousands of gems and stones, with names like “Glitterati,”  “Treasured,” “The Crystal Ball,” “Hidden Gem,” & “The Crown Jewels.”

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these photos hardly do them justice — they were spectacular. “Treasured” (the ocean scene) was so winter blues lovely and opalescent in person, and “Glitterati” (the first image) was such a crazy, chaotic, fun explosion of colors representing the 12 months of the year with 12 cakes made out of their birthstones. it was just so, so well done.

FIVE: traveling somewhere warm. okay so i know that’s a total stretch of a “Winter activity” but like, also sort of necessary. by the time we head out for our annual girls’ weekend to Boca & Miami at the end of January, i’m pretty ready for some sun. last year i went to Miami & Austin in the cold months; this year i hope to have some similar warm-weather trips to break up the chilly stretch.

hope you enjoy your weekend, friends!

Favorite Winter activities?
Snowboarders/skiiers: What’s your mountain of choice?What island should I visit this year??

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Friday Five: Holiday Wishlist

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so, i’m going to be totally honest: when i first saw this week’s link-up theme from our wonderful DC hosts Mar, Courtney & Cynthia, i thought i might sit this one out. not that there’s anything wrong with posting a wish list — i mean, we all have them, right? — i just felt a bit funny doing that, because quite honestly, i have everything i could ever want or need and then some. my life really is full to overflowing, and i mean that in the best way possible.

but then i realized, what if i just change it up a bit — nobody said this had to be a list about material things. the heart of the holiday season really revolves around all the warmth & love & all good things we share with one another anyway, and gifts are just an expression of that. so for my Friday Five, i’ve decided to list 5 things i’m wishing for this Christmas season — for myself and/or for others — that can’t be wrapped up and tied with a bow.

ONE: lots of quality family time. if you’ve been hanging around RTA for a bit, you know how obsessed i am with my family and how close the four of us are. i’m fortunate to be able to take the week of Christmas off work and go home for 9 days this year, which will definitely be the longest stretch i’ve been home in a while, and i can’t wait. family time at our house looks like homemade dinners & brunches, playing cards, trips to the farmer’s market & Target, watching at least one Christmas movie (my vote is The Family Stone), drinking wine together, and going out to dinner at one of our fave family spots at least once. oh, and lots of play time with the pups. we’re infatuated with our three dogs.

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TWO: some great runs/workouts. and not just for me, before you start thinking i’m getting all selfish on you. 🙂 while it’s no secret i love my solo runs, last year my dad & i went for a run together on Christmas morning, and i have thought about that morning so many times throughout the year. we have a real bond through our running and it was so special to get out there with him and run his route upstate. my brother & i also make a point to go to the gym together a few times while i’m home, and i always look forward to that as well.

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THREE: health & safety for those i love. because who doesn’t want that, at this time of year and always? i pray for that for my loved ones every morning, and i’m praying for a safe & healthy & lovely holiday season from start to finish.

FOUR: rest, refreshment & rejuvenation. sleep. write. read. pray. enjoy great conversations with my favorite people over glasses of wine in sweats on the couch. cuddle. linger. laugh. just be. i can’t wait for all of these things that make my soul so centered and content.Photo(10)

FIVE: all the time with the boy. we don’t live in the same city, so i’m stoked to be near him for a good stretch of time, and to have someone special in my life this year at Christmas who makes me the happiest. 🙂

What’s on your wish list this year?

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?

December in NYC (hello, Magic)

so this December 1st post was obviously a fail — i realized as i was falling asleep last night that i’d forgotten to publish it. whoops!

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is it possible to not love December? i don’t know about you, but for me, the word just immediately conjures up all sorts of things merry-&-bright in my mind. sure, it can be really cold, and that can certainly be a bummer…but it’s all part and parcel with the Christmas season. (and anyway, it’s 50 degrees on December 1st here in NYC this year, sooooo there’s that.) i, for one, am really excited about December. i love all things Christmas spirit-y.

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so, to get us into the festive mood, my Chicago blog friend Suzy over at The Suzlyfe posted her December Chicago Bucket List today, and i decided to follow suit and post my own NYC version of a December Bucket List. December is a huge tourist month for NYC, and it’s not hard to see why: the city is absolutely transformed into a holiday haven, and you can’t help but feel festive just walking around this town.

My NYC December Bucket List

1. Bryant Park Winter Village. NYC has several of these little pop-up holiday shoppe villages, and while i enjoy them all, this one is my fave. i’m such a fan of Bryant Park. i’ve actually already hit up this annual Winter Village twice this year (as it opens Halloween weekend, because Christmas can never come to early in NYC) — once with the BFF and her baby, and once with the boy — but i’d love to go back and see it at night, and maybe ice skate or have a drink at Celsius, the modern ice castle/igloo-ish restaurant/bar. tonight is actually the Tree Lighting Skate-tacular, featuring some famous ice skaters (and obviously the lighting of the tree). i’m hoping to swing by briefly, as i have to pass the park on my walk home from seeing clients anyway.

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2. Rockefeller Center. this is an iconic NYC Christmas must-see, so although i doubt i’ll swing by tomorrow night for the tree-lighting ceremony (thousands of eager people packed into one square holds zero appeal for me at the moment), i’ll definitely go see the tree & the skaters & all the holiday fun at some point. i prefer to visit at night — it’s just the prettiest. i actually saw the tree the weekend it went up in November — this year it’s a 78-foot, 10 ton tree from Gardiner, NY — but it clearly was still in the packaging and hadn’t been cut or decorated or anything. it was kind of neat to see it like that and then be able to juxtapose that with the final product in all its glory! i personally really like the angels they put up each year as well. reminds me of what Christmas is really all about. #jesus

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3. Snowboard. okay, so this won’t actually take place in NYC, but it’s definitely on my December list so i’m counting it. my inner snowbunny is so annoyed to have to admit she didn’t make it onto the slopes once last year (i don’t think, at least). not proud of that fact, considering i used to ride several days a week when i was living in Colorado and absolutely love to snowboard. granted, i have to make a real effort to get myself to the slopes living in NYC, but i have no excuses for my weekends home upstate, and this year i’m going to make sure i go as often as possible. the boy’s winter goal is to learn to board (and judging by his athletic ability, i foresee him being Olympic caliber in like 2 days…ugh some people! :)), so hopefully we’ll get on the slopes fairly frequently this year.IMG_0322
4. Make festive cocktails. it’s no secret that i’m a wine chick, but i enjoy a good cocktail now and then, and ever since i read Sarah’s post about an almond “nog”/milk holiday drink, i’ve had it on the brain. i think a good holiday cocktail making sesh is in order at some point and i’ll have to make an effort to find some low-cal/healthier options — something cinnamon-y or gingerbread-y or vanilla-y. mmmm.no clue what this dream of a concoction might be but i’m determined to make a healthy version of it!

5. Walk 5th Ave/ See the Window Displays. this is another iconic NY at Christmastime experience that i don’t want to miss. there’s even a map laying out the stores that are known for their fabulous holiday window scenes! my favorite is always Bergdorf’s — consistently intricate & extravagant & just such a “WOW” factor. i walked by in early November and saw the windows all boarded up, which heightened my excitement for this year’s reveal. i’ve yet to see it in person, but the photos of this year’s dazzling partnership with Swarovski are breathtaking and i’m stoked to see them up close.

here’s a glimpse of one:

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i love it, in all its chaotic, colorful glory. there’s just something so timeless New York about walking up 5th Ave on a December evening and taking all of this splendor in, and i’m looking forward to doing this soon.

Happy December, friends! hope this month starts out wonderfully for you and brings all sorts of holiday goodness & all the warm feelings your way.

What’s on your December bucket list for your city?
What do you love most about this month?
Any good holiday cocktail recipes?

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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?

WILW: Christmas (Eve) edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

oh, and speaking of baby workouts…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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errrr let’s just leave it at that. 🙂

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

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

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Friday Five: Five Holiday Traditions

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

so many good things to look forward to!

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

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

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

photospecifically these. i want these.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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happy Friday, friends!

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

Ups & (Sorta) Downs

this is still a WILW post, but with a twist: some of what i love, and some of what i don’t really love so much lately but am still powering through. work with me, mmmmkay?

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Up:
i’m happy to report that i have refused to cave in and submit to the treadmill so far this year. apparently i’ve lived in NYC long enough to get over any fears (silly or warranted) of running the Hudson River path solo in the dark, because i’m feeling just fine about it these days. if i run before work, it’s dark; if i run after work, it’s dark. so, dark and cold are now my friends. ish. or at least, i’m beating them. boom.

some shots from last night’s chilllllllyyyy windy run:

Empire State from Chelsea Piers - always a view to be found

Empire State from Chelsea Piers – always a view to be found

lastnightruni can’t stop won’t stop with that headband. it’s so much fun and colorful and comfy and totally hides the fact that i don’t wash my hair very often if i straighten it (hi, if i’m putting in that much effort, it’s staying for dayyyyys). it was a short & sweet run that felt good (despite the wind on the way back) after a few longerish ones lately. oh, and it ended at the bar (how is this becoming a thing?!), where two of my girlfriends desperately needed my wit & charm & gym attire to round out their happy hour. (peach bubbly as post-run hydration, anyone?) and you know i made it home for The Voice, my fave show. i can’t stand my mom up for our running-text-commentary as we watch from two different cities. we’re both totally team Matt McAndrew all the way. and yes, i like to do allllll the things in one evening, thankyouverymuch.

Down: so, i found out this morning via email that i didn’t get chosen by lottery to run the 2015 NYC Half Marathon. i’m pretty bummed, because i had such a fantastic experience running it last year and i’ve been feeling so strong with the running lately, but i’m sort of not-tooooo-bummed, because the big annual gala i love to attend for Big Brothers Big Sisters happens to be the night before it this year, soooo…looks like the decision between dressing up and drinking champagne with thousands of people and going to bed early to run a long, fun race was made for me. even though i was trying to convince myself i could do both…kinda like that time i ran a full marathon and then went to a good friend’s wedding immediately after. that was fun.

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October 2013: one of the best days of my life

so, i’m not super thrilled, but hey — there will be other races. and at least i get to buy a new party dress now.

Up: tonight, i’m fiiiiinallllyyyy doing something i’ve been wanting to do since it became a thing people could do in NYC. (get that?) a lovely girlfriend and i are going to see this spectacular wonder of a Broadway show:

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eeeeeee i’m so excitedddddd! i’m not quite sure how i managed to not see it before now, but all that matters is that i will tonight. i adored the movie (and sobbed my eyes out), will never ever grow sick of “Falling Softly” (Taylor killed it on The Voice this week, too — so good!), and am a sucker for anything related to music & love & the love of music. i cannot wait for this.

Down: i’m having issues waking up to workout this week, even though i’m going to bed early enough. usually this isn’t a prob for me at all, but for some reason i just cannot get up when my phone sings to me at 5:30am (yep of course my alarm is a 1975 song) and need to go back to sleep til 7. at least my workouts aren’t suffering, as i’m still running or working out every evening, but still. it’s weird. maybe the night workouts are making me want to sleep in? anyway, let’s hope i break this soon.

Up: i’m doing great with the Christmas shopping and have most people done already! thank God for online shopping. some of my go-to sites this year, in case you’re still looking for ideas:

*for, like, anything: Amazon
*amazing stuff (and great deals) for your runner/fitness lover: Joe’s New Balance
*preppy/trendy/all-American & great quality, made affordable: J. Crew Factory
*designer quality & fab holiday sales (and the perks of an awesome friend offering me her discount): Ralph Lauren

these totally nailed it for me this year. shopping with my feet up and coffee/wine in hand is my idea of shopping.

& no more downs because i have to end on an UP, duh. because because.

26310381-EF6E-4E54-A3A7-5E1D4F259EBExo.

Give me some ups & downs, or just ups, from your life lately!
How we all doing on Christmas shopping? Any sites saving you this year?
Who has seen Once? Thoughts?

the busiest week everrrr

no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you — yes, i really am posting two days in a row! boom. totally not sure what’s gotten into me but i’m digging this lil burst of consistency here and hoping it means December is getting me into the spirit (or something like that? that expression just seems to fit for anything that happens in December so let’s roll with that).

meanwhile, please enjoy the view of a white December in upstate NY, aka my lovely life last weekend:

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visitors welcome. as long as you’re cute and fun and want to play with me in the snow.

right, so, blogging. i think what happens is that i sometimes feel like i’m just not sure i have so much interesting stuff to say, and a blog needs to be interesting (right?!), so if i’m not super killing the running or taking these amazingly annoying workout selfies (sorry not sorry, this is a running/healthy living blog so you’re stuck with those!), that i just kinda fall by the wayside.

but really, i need to get over myself and just write write write, no matter what comes out, because that’s the whole point. and if some days all i have to post is lil note to tell you all how fabulous you are and how much i adore your faces, and then add a cute/funny/random picture i like, well, that’s what it is.

oh, and btw, since i didn’t run this morning, here’s a cute/funny/random picture i like:

photoOH and Luna is promoting its new gluten free flavors and we all can reap the benefits by receiving a freebie of their new Peanut Caramel Cluster flavor! yummm.

image12go here to snag yours: http://www.lunabar.com/tryLUNAgf

so now, let’s talk about the fact that i was fun last night, especially for a Monday! i met a friend at an awesome rooftop bar called Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel in Midtown East. i’ve only been here during the summer before, when this place is guaranteed to be squashed beyond all squishing crowded any day after work. i much preferred it during the off-season, when it’s covered and quieter and cozy and quaint and so, so lovely.

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they give you these darling little paper bags of popcorn (that was lightly garlicky), and i had an amazing rose that i must find again. i deem this the absolute perfect after-work place in the colder weather, to escape the crowds and get some lovely views of the city.

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still considering that career change to an iPhone photographer, don’t you worry. portfolio available upon request.

this is going to be a crazy good and insanely busy week — here’s my lineup:

Tuesday (tonight): final grad class of the semester (woot!)
Wednesday: going away drinks for a co-worker and/or an after-work workout
Thursday: annual work holiday party (the biggest event i plan and work all year) followed by THIS exciting life event: going to see my new music obsesh w/ one of my besties at Terminal 5!

the-1975can.not.wait.for.this!
Friday: a friend’s annual charity holiday party — his fam owns a restaurant in NYC near Bloomingdales and he provides all food & drinks, and us lucky guests get in for the price of one toy, which all get donated to Toys for Tots. love this spin on a reason to celebrate the season.
Saturday: Christmas shopping and another girlfriend’s holiday party at night

tis the season to be SO BUSY! & lovin’ it.

Tell me something you’re looking forward to this week!
Any good Christmas parties coming up?
Current fave band?

welp that was a long break & now i’m an artist

errrr, heyyyy, friends. i wish i had a good excuse for that little blogging hiatus, but all i can say is, life gets crazy sometimes! i know the holidays are insanely hectic for everyone and i really don’t have anything to say for myself except that i have been doing a whole lot of everything — running, working out, drinking wine, sleeping, shopping, holiday parties, and now adding painting to my list — except writing.

whoops. but hey, Merry Christmas Eve, darlings! i just love this time of year. even more so when the Winter Solstice ushers in at 60 degrees and sends all us NYers running for the river path first thing in the morning.

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this felt pretty dang amazing, as i definitely needed this break from the treadmill that has been my running home for the past two weeks. it’s not even the cold that i mind so much, running outside these days; it’s the darkness that i’d be running into, either before or after work. that can be a bit sketch around these parts sometimes.

i don’t know about you, but this December has felt very holiday-ish for me. NYC probably does a better job than any other city in the world in creating a truly magical holiday vibe. one of my fave NYC Christmas traditions is the hanging stars in the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle, which change colors consistently before your eyes. love these.

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i made it to both the Columbus Circle and Bryant Park holiday shoppes this year as well, which never disappoint. i love those little artsy markets and always do well with my Christmas (and, um, personal) shopping at these. definitely make for a perfect little snowy Saturday outing, especially if you and your best friend feel like dressing alike (right down to the beanies, or “tucs” if you’re Canadian).

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and now i’m back upstate with the fam for a full week, which feels like Heaven. i can never get over the cozy perfection of their little lake cabin of a home. it’s charming in every season, and covered in snow, it’s absolutely picture-perfect.

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how can you not love coming home to this?? (even though the snow is all but melted by now, and the sun is glorious and sparkling over the lake!)

after a good 7-miler on a treadmill yesterday and some last-minute shopping, i spent the afternoon camped out on the glassed-in porch with some red wine and my painting materials to craft a gift for my brother. i was super excited about this and loved every second i spent on it. i haven’t painted in, like, ages, and i forgot how wonderfully relaxing and amazing it feels. i’m never so happy as i am when being creative. always been my thing, and i totally need to get back into it on the regular.

so my first artistic endeavor in years may not be the most technically adept piece, but i couldn’t be happier with it — and my brother absolutely loves it, which is all that really matters. i chose his favorite song lyric from his favorite band and turned it into something he can hang on a wall. cuz the boy seriously needs some artwork, and i seriously needed some creative time.

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and there you have it. a regular Picasso in the making. 🙂

i figured what better way to combine three of my favorite things: writing, music, and art? and painting is just so therapeutic, it’s unbelievable. i must do this more often.

so i hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve and a lovely morning tomorrow. keep your loved ones close, count your magical blessings and give from thankful hearts.