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?

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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?

Friday Five {5.2.14}…on Monday

welp, i totally started this post on Friday (obviously) and was such a busy bee that i never got around to finishing it! so instead of disregarding it altogether, i’m bringing you the Friday 5, first Monday edition. hoping this procrastination posting doesn’t turn into “a thing,” but hey — better late than never.

*baseball season. yes, yes and yes. raised by the quintessential sports-nut of a dad with an especial affinity for baseball, i love going to professional games and went to my first Yankees game of the season last night, on the most beauuuuutiful evening. great weather + pre-game patio drinks + amazing friends + Yankee stadium = perfect way to kick off my May.

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*dance. it’s important to stick to your passions, and i’m determined to get better at one of the things i love most to do: salsa. i just ordered myself a new pair of Latin dance shoes (since my 2 pairs are years old), and hopefully this will spur me into taking more lessons this summer and improving my dancing. look good, feel good, dance…better? let’s hope so. 🙂

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*healthier summery cocktails. who doesn’t like a light, refreshing cocktail to sip on a patio in the sunshine? however, i try to be very conscious about the amount of calories that they can pack on, so i like to do my research and find some lighter versions that i can make. here aretwo that i’m looking forward to trying (taken from Shape magazine)

Vodka Cucumber Mint Cocktail (like a mojito, but with vodka rather than rum)

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How to make it: In the bottom of a Collins or mixing glass, muddle 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon water, herbs (1 pinch fresh ginger, peeled and grated, 3 medium basil leaves, 3 mint leaves) and juice of half a lime. Pour in 1 oz.  or vodka and stir. Top with crushed ice and club soda. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Green Sangria (although i’d omit the Midori)

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How to make it: For about six servings, you’ll need a bottle of Pinot Grigio, 1 oz. Midori melon liqueur, 1/2 green apple (cored and sliced), 1/2 lime (sliced), 1/4 English cucumber (sliced), 10 mint leaves, 1/2 kiwi fruit (peeled and sliced), and club soda. Combine all ingredients except club soda in a pitcher and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 8 hours. For individual servings, spoon some of the fruit into a wine glass before pouring and then top off with a splash of club soda, diet lemon-lime soda or diet ginger ale to taste.

*New York City. as the winter begins to (finally) fade and the days are snowless and sunny, i remember anew each morning how truly glorious this city is. something about the rebirth of a city in Spring just makes you feel so utterly alive, and i believe it’s even more extraordinary in New York. because isn’t everything?

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it’s so silly, the things we sometimes take for granted. i shouldn’t forget how fortunate i am to wake up here every day.

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i’ve been here for 3.5 years, and i’ve learned so much about myself in this time. you really can’t live in NY without being changed.
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*wanderlusting. i spend a good deal of time dreaming about the places in this great big world that i need to see, and just the thought of getting on a plane in 2 days is enough to make this a wonderful week. it may not be some place exotic, or foreign, or beachy, or surf-town-ish, but it’s traveling…and that’s good enough for me.

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happy new week, friends!

Questions:
Where’s the last place to which you traveled?
Favorite summery cocktail?