Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

holy holidays, this whole once-a-week blogging thing really needs to stop. i love having a blog. i love writing. i don’t love when i don’t write and neglect my blog. life fail.

but you know what wasn’t a life fail? my 6am run this morning. after a long, restful, family and friend (and sleep and wine) filled weekend upstate, i guess i returned well-rested and motivated or something, because this morning’s (in the dark) run just felt amazing. really needed this.photoit was also 54 degrees out on December 1st — how’s that for a hellllooooo, Decemberrrrrr?! running in the early-morning dark in a lightweight shirt and capris just weeks before Christmas? i’m lovin’ this Indian Autumn, or whatever we shall call it.

photoso, how were your Thanksgivings, friends? mine was amazing, especially because i was off from life work since last Tuesday and spent 5 days upstate doing as little as possible. i mean, i devoted plenty of time to the important things, of course (minus writing…brrrpppp somehow that fell by the wayside): there was plenty of running, gym time, family time, sweats and gym clothes ’round the clock, wine, good food, movies and sleep. i think i covered all the basics there.

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my adventures in pie baking; writing my final final of the semester(!!); at the gym on Thanksgiving morning

equally breathtaking in every season...this view never gets old

equally breathtaking in every season…favorite morning view

hazy light, new snow and some geese

hazy light, new snow and some geese

really into this wine, too, which my mom and i enjoyed this weekend: Joseph Carr’s “Josh” Pinot Noir. so good.

1_131998750_3annnnd we can’t forget about this little nugget face, who lights up my life every time i see him — even though he still refuses to keep his eyes open when i’m around. i’m going to go ahead and give myself props for this and say it’s because he’s just sooooo relaxed and comfortable in my lap. otherwise i’m going to start developing some sort of baby-boring complex or something, because seriously — the kid sleeps the entire time i’m there. it’s crazy. but i forgive him because, well, look at this face?!

Henryexactly.

i also saw a few movies over break and have determined that 1) Channing Tatum is actually hilarious (21/22 Jump St, anyone?!) and 2) not all Johnny Depp movies are amazing (Transcendence just wasn’t what i hoped).

oh, and my creative writing? it’s still happening. thanks for asking, friends. 🙂

photohappy December 1st, lovies! ❤

How was your Thanksgiving?
How’s the running going, runners? Any killer runs to talk about lately?
Pie preference: apple or pumpkin?

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Christine & Chad’s wedding weekend

i love any excuse to go back home to beautiful upstate NY, but this past weekend’s excuse was an exceptionally amazing one: my good friend and former roommate Christine married the love of her life, Chad, in picturesque Saratoga Springs.

we started the weekend off with a day at Saratoga Racetrack, which was a blast.

anyone ever gone to any live horse races? i’ve only been to the track once before despite having grown up in the area, and although i didn’t bet on any horses, it was so much fun to be up there. there were SO many people picnicking and hanging out and having a grand ole time, and they had a great group of friends and family members present.

their wedding was on Sunday, August 17, which was a bright and beautiful, picture-perfect day. everything about this wedding was absolutely perfect and lovely in every way, from start to finish.

the bride looked absolutely stunning:

christineand we took these adorable old-fashioned trolley buses from the hotel to the reception:

trolleythe reception was at the Canfield Casino in historic Congress Park in Saratoga, which i’d heard was absolutely breathtaking. it’s known as one of the most sought-after and gorgeous wedding venues in upstate NY, so i couldn’t wait to see it. and let me tell you — it did not disappoint, and was spectacular:

casinocheck out that ceiling — those are all panels of stained glass. my photo doesn’t quite do it justice, so here’s another from photographer J.P. Elario:

WIS4it was outstanding and perfect and definitely a place i’d consider having my wedding (if that ever becomes a thing).

oh, and did i mention i had a wonderfully charming and handsome date? he definitely made this event even more fabulous for me, and i was lucky he was free to accompany me that night. 😉

lucasme2lucasmethe groom looked like he was having the time of his life the whole night, and stopped (with his bowtie and suspenders — how adorable?!) to pose for a pic with me and my friend Melissa:
photothis definitely has to be one of the liveliest and most fun weddings i’ve attended, and i think that says volumes about Christine and Chad and their close circles of friends and family. these two have such amazing personalities and hearts, and everyone there was absolutely bubbling over with love and joy for them. it was truly a joyful, exciting event, and i felt so blessed to be a part of such a beautiful day in their lives. thanks, friends. i love you so.

since it was a Sunday night wedding, i took Monday off work and spent it doing this:

on the boat with the fam

life is just so, so good. weekends like this past one remind me exactly how beautiful life, love, and lakes can be. 🙂

hope you had wonderful weekends, friends!

On a scale of 1 to ‘Merica…

welp i’m for sure a bit late on the “let’s recap our 4ths” posts, but i’m jumping on it anyway, mmmmkay?

so glad our country has a birthday right in the middle of the summer, so that we can have a fab excuse to have a long weekend and celebrate the wonderfulness of being an American. God bless Americaaaaa. in my world, this means more time to spend at the lake with fam and friends.

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three of my girlfriends and i escaped the city for the long weekend and headed upstate to my parents’ lakehouse, aka a lil slice of Heaven…and we couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather or a better all-round naturey weekend. allllll the boating swimming bbqing kayaking laughing fire-ing firework-ing s’mores-ing board gaming wine-ing eating running imaginable. all of it.

this is my fave pic from the weekend. it’s nice to have friends who take lovely pictures.

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we went out to watch the Brazil-Colombia soccer game on Friday when it was a bit overcast and had these amazing Arnold Palmer and vodka drinks in mason jars that i feel like i need to recreate. in the mason jars, obvi. only way to do it.

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and that was the only time we were indoors, except when we were asleep. it was truly a golden weekend in NY, and we were total sun gluttons.

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we had front-row seats to the “fireworks over the lake” displays, which were pretttty spectacular, and made that much better by our running commentary and shenanigans.

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i’d have to say this was one of the nicest, most enjoyable-in-an-entirely-comfortable-and-relaxed-sort-of-way, nights that i’ve had in quite some time. to be lakeside with some amazing people under a perfect sky and watch fireworks explode over a lake, by a fire, is pretty much as good as life gets.

amidst all the fun, i did manage to get in some good weekend workouts:

Friday: hit the gym in the morning with my bro and one of the girls for a strength sesh and ab workout.
Saturday: i managed to eek out a long run on the beautiful morning, covering 11 miles of hills that left my legs really sore but made it that much easier to wear a bikini for the next two days. trade-off.

hope you all had wonderful 4ths, friends!

and just one cute pic to leave you with — received this in a text message last night and the America ref is too apropos to not share in this post. kinda love this.

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errr, not very. but appreciate the pic. 🙂

Your turn:
Best parts of your weekend?
On a scale of 1 to America…how good have your workouts been lately? 🙂 Any long runs?

 

bestest birthday everrrr. like ever ever.

when you have the best family and the best friends, welp, it’s not hard to have the best birthday.

i always love June 16th, not gonna lie about that, but yesterday’s was just absolutely perfect.

it started with this view from my parents’ deck:

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followed by a boat ride with the fam and a lovely brunch at home with all my favorites: yogurt, fresh berries, these quinoa banana pumpkin raisin walnut “hippie bars” my bff made for me, and rosé champagne mimosas. fruit, yogurt and champagne = <3. never said i was hard to please.

i then zipped back to NYC mid-afternoon for the other equally wonderful half of my bday: out to dinner at a restaurant i love with some of the best girlfriends a girl could ever ask for. so, so thankful for these darlings, who make my life in NYC such a wonderful one to live:

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we went to Market Table in the West Village and although i failed to take pix of our choices from their lovely seasonal menu, everything we had was delicious. such a fan of this place and will totally keep returning.

Photo oh, and that flourless chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse and banana gelato? yeahhh, get that, if you go. you need that in your life.

it was an absolutely perfect day in every way, and i couldn’t be more thankful for my amazing family and girlfriends, and everyone else who sent me lovely messages or calls throughout the day. thank you all, my wonderful friends.

i haven’t taken any time to reflect upon the past year and do any dreaming or scheming for what i hope the next year looks like yet. maybe i will soon — or maybe i won’t, too, and that’s okay. because it’s days like yesterday that make me feel so blessed and so lightheartedly happy to just be alive in my little life and love fiercely those who love me back — that, to me, is what makes my life so very wonderful, indeed. it’s not about where another year will take me but more about how i spend each single day, and with whom. i won’t claim to be the best at planning for the future, but i sure think i do a pretty decent job of loving the moment i’m in.

cuz that’s all we really have, after all. ❤

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weekend recap: dancing, running, Easter, Boston

hi friends! hope you all had lovely Easter weekends. having Friday off just makes everything so much better in my world, especially when it means i can head upstate on Thursday evening and enjoy this sunset as a “welcome home”:

Photoand then head straight out to Saratoga Springs to check out a new salsa night at The Mine. not a bad venue at all, and right on Broadway in Saratoga: spacious with a good-sized dance floor, and suuuuper empty (which was good for us die-hards to practice). dancing + good music + great venue + amazing people = best way to start my long weekend. guess who else agrees with me…

photowhy yes, yes, i do. just fully clothed.

workouts
Friday started off with a short hilly run that totally felt like struggle city. my legs were exhauuuuusted and i was ready to quit by mile 2, which hasn’t happened to me in a while…not sure if it was the previous night of dancing combined with running or training every day last week, but i was hurtin’. i really think i was running slower than my app calculated. he’s being generous.

photo 1i hit 5 miles total but shut off MayMyRun early and walked half of the last .9 miles (and slow jogged the rest). rough one.

i then spent Friday afternoon with my best friend and her family, and finally saw Frozen. anyone else seen it? it was really cute and i was super impressed with Kristen Bell’s singing voice. and also super glad Winter is over. and it kinda reminded me of Narnia.

Saturday’s workout was a long, killer circuit/boot camp style sesh at the gym that included:

  • burpees w/ push-ups, over a bench
  • squat jumps
  • skaters
  • clapping push-ups on a bench
  • jumping jacks w/ free weights
  • squats
  • jumping squats onto a bench
  • back rows
  • flys w/ leg raises
  • high knees

and a few others thrown in that i either can’t remember or can’t describe well. 🙂 it was awesome, and followed by a 20 minute ab circuit with my brother, which included a bajillion incline sit-ups on my fave machine. love that thing.

Saturday was a double workout day for me, essentially, as it also included 4 straight hours of Latin dancing that night in Albany! my calves were buuuuurning and it was amaaaazing. so thankful for that scene and the wonderful friends i’ve made there…you know who you are. love you guys.

i took Sunday as a rest day and enjoyed church with the fam, followed by a pretty stellar brunch that Ry and i made for our parents while they napped on the porch by the lake.

Photothe chef in action. and i did a mean job of cutting everything up for him to cook, and keeping our mimosas refilled. critical role.

our Easter was quiet and relaxing and nap-ful and lovely. i so cherish full days when it’s just the four of us together, and i’m so thankful to have such an outstandingly beautiful, amazing family. the older i get, the more i love and appreciate them, and the more i value my time spent at home. NYC ain’t got nothin’ on the lakehouse.

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i hope you all had lovely Easters with your family, friends and loved ones as well.

switching gears for a sec…did anyone follow the Boston marathon? i unfortunately didn’t watch any of the coverage, but of course i’m overjoyed that an American won for the first time since 1983, and i love that he had the names of last year’s victims displayed on his race bib. such an emotional, heartfelt experience.

(Image Credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

(Image Credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

i was super tired from having taken an early train from Albany-NYC yesterday morning, but i made myself go out and do a little honorary “run for Boston” after work last night along the river. it was a beauuuutiful evening to be out.

photo 2i was just one of maaaaany runners/walkers/bikers out on the path last night, which was amazing. it warmed my heart a bit to imagine that a bunch of those runners were also out there thinking of Boston, honoring the city and the victims in the only way we runners can: by doing what they — and we — love to do.

and before i scoot, just wanna share my fave commemorative Boston pic with you — one that my dear friend from Massachusetts took of her beautiful little girl:

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so sweet. never too young to spread love. ❤

Questions:
Highlights from Easter weekend?
Did you follow/run in/run in honor of the Boston marathon?

September was my Favorite

I’m sad to see it go; September was the most amazing month in NY. Almost every day was glorious, and I was fortunate enough to have increeeedible weather at the lake this past weekend. Couldn’t have been more perfect for end-of-September loveliness. Waking up at 8am on a Saturday to this view never gets old.

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The picturesque mornings certainly helped my running morale, as I can’t lie — running has been a bit on the rough(ish) side lately. The half went pretty well last weekend, but I only did one 5-miler this past week, and it was painful. I set out Saturday am with pretty low expectations and hoped I’d be able to tough out at least 8-9 miles (while secretly wanting to hit 10-12). I actually struggled a lot the first 3-4 miles with the calf and hip pain and might have screamed at the sky/begged God to make me pain-free and make running easy again at one point. Thank goodness nobody is alive/awake/outside at 8:30am in the country, as I can only imagine what sort of looney toon I looked like.

I managed to push through the initial misery, however, and end up with a pretty nice run after all,

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…even if I hobbled into my parents’ car at the end affirming that “half marathons are more my style and I really don’t have any desire to ever run a full.” The verdict is still out on whether or not I’m a post-run liar. 

The rest of the weekend was just what I needed after a crazy week: stress-free and full of relaxing time with my family and BFF. There was an amazing boat ride, a fabulous service at my old church, a wonderful Saturday afternoon patio date with my best friend, and lots and lots of family time —  which included drinking the bottle of Sebastiani red zin I bought at their winery in Sonoma back in 2011. I can’t believe I hung onto it for the past two years, and am on a serious mission to get myself back there ASAP to visit their winery again. It was so, so good.

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Oh yeah, and this crazy lady was certainly a fun highlight of my weekend:

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the Quinners, my overly excitable “niece” who loves me so much she pees everywhere whenever I’m around. My brother swears she only does that for me and one other person, his friend from Colorado. I guess that’s true love right there: when you just can’t control how happy you are to see someone. 🙂

I’m such a dog person. Those eyes and paws just get me every time. So thankful I have such an amazing crew of people (and furry friends) to go home to when life gets a little too hectic.