Friday Five {11.7.2014}

*inspire. i’m pretty sure most of you know by now that i’m a creative free-spirit at heart, so i’m not sure that anything excites me more than dreaming up projects and outlets to unleash my creative side and hopefully inspire others in the process. one of my best friends is a kindred wild-and-young-at-heart-gypsy-soul-bright-eyed-believer sort, so we teamed up to start a still-in-the-works project called


photo 4
just a blonde and a brunette, trying to take on the world one messy-hair-don’t-cared dream at a time. 🙂

we’re not sure exactly what this will become — i’m already dreaming big and getting ahead of myself, because that’s how i do — but we’re excited to go with it and see where it takes us! for now, we opened an Instagram account under that name, so please follow us in our journey to post inspirational, girls-in-love-with-the-world sort of sentiments. check out today’s posts: Fridays are for friendship and fitness.

been sort of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants week for workouts.

Monday morning: 5 mile treadmill run + abs
Tuesday morning: a full hour of strength/plyo + abs, followed by 20 minutes of Arc trainer
Wednesday evening: 5.5 mile treadmill run + abs
Thursday: skip. i’d say “rest day” but it was unintentional, as i’d wanted to work out but was so exhausted. 9pm bedtime last night.          Friday (today): couldn’t get up this morning – slept almost 10 hours. much needed. plan to run after work

tonight will hopefully be a 4-5 miler (or else a combo of running and strength), and i’d like to get a longer (8-10 miles) run in tomorrow morning. i just wanna move. a lot. that’s all.

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*ego-boosting. i want a boy bear to put on my dresser and repeat such sentiments to me. this guy knows how to compliment a girl.

“all the talents. look really good. impressive vocabulary. great butt.”

i mean, come onnnn…do compliments get any better than those??


a whole lot of my favorite things are on store for this weekend:
running, sleeping, relaxing, and an all-day cuddle-up-on-the-couch-and-do-work with one of my bffs date tomorrow (the other half of wildeyes.gypsyskies, so hopefully some creative brainstorming will be happening there!). i can’t begin to explain how excited i am to wear sweatpants and hunker down into full relaxation and productivity girl-time mode with her. i’m getting reallllly good at relaxing these days.
*pumpkin. still goin’ strong with the punkin’ obsession.

this stuff is my newest jam:

promo_pumpkin-spice-yogurtomg it’s so so so so so good. the best yogurt i’ve ever had, and doubles as the perfect dessert. they need to keep this stuff out all year round, as i don’t know what i’m going to do when it disappears. must buy allllll the pumpChobs. mmmm.

happy weekend, lovelies!

Fave yogurt flavor/brand? pumpkin + Chobani for me, fo sho.

Weekend plans? you know mine!

Best compliment you’ve received or given in a while? because we all like to hear and say (hopefully) nice things.


Giveaway!! Old Factory Candles

hi friends — i have a special treat for you today!

if you read my previous post, you know that i recently had the chance to review a lovely set of Autumn-scented candles from the wonderful people at Old Factory Candles. i was so happy with this product that i immediately reached out and asked if they’d consider letting me do a reader giveaway at some point…

welp, that point is now. ask and ye shall receive, i believe is how it goes? 🙂

i’m happy to report that i’ll be able to make one of you happy with your own set of Old Factory Candles!

you want these in your life, trust me. they’re the perfect little candles with phenomenal pops of alluring scents.

i chose the Fall Harvest trio and totally dig it (i mean, could i really have chosen anything better at this time of year??).

the winner is free to choose any theme that tickles his/her fancy, however, so be sure to peruse their selection and see what best suits your tastes.

the Happy Holidays would make a great Christmas gift; the Winter Wonderland has me dreaming of cozy-ing up before a fire after a long day of snowboarding; and there’s even a Man Cave set for your favorite man in your life. i’m super impressed with their options.

how to enter this giveaway:

1. go to their Amazon link and peruse the options (note: you have to scroll through their drop-down box to see the options.)

2. leave me a comment below letting me know which set you’d choose.

i’ll choose a winner at random on Saturday, Nov. 1. because that’s my bro’s 30th bday and it feels like a good day to give gifts.

you can also check them out on Facebook and let your friends know about this great gift idea, or share it on Twitter (i’m @glitterstruck). sharing is caring.

*please note: at this time, Old Factory Candles can only ship to the USA, and customers must have an Amazon account to redeem their prize.

Old Factory Candles Review & all things Autumn

this past weekend was absolutely glorious in the way an Autumn weekend should be in New York: crisp, warm in the sunshine, blue-skied and all-round lovely. i was fortunate to spend a good portion of it outside yesterday on such a picture perfect day, as i took a boat cruise to Bear Mountain a little ways upstate and checked out their Oktoberfest festivities.

this place was truly gorgeous.

it definitely fed my obsessions with all-things-by-the-water and for-the-love-of-autumns. i was a very happy girl yesterday. it’s truly a blessing to live in such an amazing city, and yet have some of the most beautiful scenery in the country just a couple of hours away by train, car or boat.

oh, and this happened last night, too: kept the pumpkin beer trend alive and well at Rogue Bar in the Flatiron area, where they have an October special of $25 for a bucket of 5 pumpkin beers. anyone say “taste test”?

this one was definitely the winner of best name category (which is clearly important): Punk’n. adorbs.

i was recently told that my next blog endeavor should be a tribute to all things pumpkin (wonder where he got that idea from?) and should be called “I love you, Pumpkin.”

can’t say i hate that idea.

*please note: the rest of this post is a product review. and yes, it also includes pumpkin references. 🙂

so, i was recently contacted by a company called Old Factory Candles and asked to review a three-set of their candles. as i am a big fan of candles and a little scent goes a long way in my NYC apartment, i was more than happy to partner with them for such a fun opportunity.

candleshow cool is their packaging/branding? really dug it.

i was able to choose my triad from a list of fun themes like Fall Harvest, Winter Wonderland, Vacation, Romance, etc…any guesses as to which i chose? i’m guessing no surprise here…

i chose the Fall Harvest set, which included the fab trio of Cranberry, Pumpkin Spice and Autumn Leaves. not a moment’s hesitation in my decision.

the verdict: i really, really like these candles. the Pumpkin Spice is totally perfect and very pumpkiny and delicious; the Cranberry is warm and cozy and will be great as a holiday scent; the Autumn Leaves is sprucey and reminds me of being outdoors upstate in the fall. they’re all totally different and yet all complement each other well, and they’re consistently fragrant and lovely without being overpowering. i plan to burn through these babies pretty quickly this season!

these soy candles have self-trimming wicks and each burn for over 20 hours. i think they will make great holiday gifts, and there are themes for every season or personality as well. check out Old Factory Candles on Amazon to peruse their selection (there’s a drop-down box with the various themes) and see which interest you most — and if any of you try them, let me know which sets you get and what you think of them, please!

and now i leave you with one last pumpkin reference, because New York Sports Club always has fun seasonal ads:


Are you a candle person? What’s your fave candle scent?

Tell me something great from your weekend!

what you do when you can’t run the marathon

when you enter “the real world” and work your life away, one of the greatest pleasures becomes the novely of a 3-day weekend. amiright?!

Memorial Day. July 4th. Labor Day. Columbus Day. i don’t even know what i’m supposed to be celebrating half the time (other than more boat time, bathing suit sales and lots of sleep), but i’m always glad someone did something wonderful that deserves remembrance and i’m more than happy to celebrate it.monday-holiday-work-relax-memorial-day-ecards-someecards-e1337955616535since 2011, Columbus Day weekend has always been a memorable, exciting weekend for me, as it’s the Mohawk Hudson Marathon and Half Marathon in upstate NY, where i grew up/went to hs/college/grad school/lived before moving to NYC/still go home to regularly on weekends. it was my very first half marathon in 2011, and again in 2012, and then my first (and only, as of yet) full marathon last year in 2013, which was one of the proudest and most wonderful days of my (still young) life.

photothis past Sunday, it was supposed to have been my second marathon — but instead, it became the first Columbus Day weekend in 4 years that i didn’t run a race. the past two months of super painful leg injuries have kept me from fulfilling that goal, and although i totally made peace with this fact a month ago and was able to def til next year, it was still a bit of a bummer to not keep the streak going…regardless of how much fun i’ve had the past few months after i knew i wasn’t training for a marathon. 🙂

so, i still went upstate this weekend, fully aware that i wouldn’t be running but rather uncertain as to exactly what i’d do to keep myself occupied with fabulous people/activities that’d keep my mind off running. and you know what? i hardly had a single moment’s trip to Bummerville the whole weekend, because it was full of so many great things and people.

how to be happy when your marathon plans fall through:

*go running. like, for myself: no race pressure, no other people, no expectations. any running is a victory for me these days, so i consider this past weekend a huge success: a 2-miler on a treadmill on Saturday and two hilly 5-6 milers on Sunday and Monday. all were painful, especially in the beginning, and i had a few walking bouts in miles 1-2 and did a little screaming at the sky and bemoaned that i’d never be able to run pain-free again. but i forced myself to work it out and push through the pain until it dulled, and although they were slower than i’d have liked, they were huge steps in the right direction.

*shopping date with mom. this is always a good idea, for every reason in the world. especially when you’re shopping for things like shoes and Halloween costume parts for a DIY costume endeavor. new Converse, a pair of moccasins (aka the world’s comfiest feet protectors) and some white clothes with a lot of canvas potential later, i was a happy girl.

*pumpkin beer date with dad. immediately succeeding a shopping date with mom = great pairing. nothing like back-to-back parent dates to make my Saturday love-full. and the place not only had Magic Hat’s Wilhelm Scream, but she also gave me a cinnamon-sugar rim. right in every way.

photo*advice on life & love. this book, i’m telling you…it just continues to rock my world, one advice letter at a time. she’s amazing and i wish she had 10 sequels to this book just waiting for me when i finish this one. i had every intention of going salsa dancing with the bro on Saturday night, but i cozied up in sweats and stayed in to read instead. it had to be done. her words haunt me, like the ghosts of things i wish i’d written, of emotions i wish i’d felt. i love this book.
photo 2photo 1*Halloween costume prep. i love love love love dressing up for Halloween. it makes my inner 5-year old (and creative arts minor) so giddily excited to choose a costume, then shop for parts, and then get to make the costume myself. i’m especially excited for this year’s endeavor — which i will be home working on tonight and tomorrow night, to wear at a party on Saturday night — because i think it’s so stinkin’ cute and i’m having wayyyyy too much fun making it!
lil sneak preview:
dalm*sushi & sake date at my fave sushi restaurant ever. as far as i’m concerned, it doesn’t get any better than Hana in Albany, NY. i’ve had a lot of sushi, and this is one of my faves ever. we also tried a sake flight, which was a super fun way to taste a few different kinds of cold sake (after having warm sake to start, of course), and paired so well with the sushi. i’ll be dreaming of this meal for a while now and wish i’d brought my phone in with me to take some pics of our amazing rolls.
*lunch date with the bff and her newborn. Henry David is the cutest baby alive, for reals. and no, i’m not biased at all. i love this lil nugget so so so much!
so, what do you do when your plans to run a marathon fall through?
well…you do everything else you love the most, with the people you love the most, and totally surprise yourself by realizing that running isn’t life, after all. it’s a part of it for me, and God willing always will be, but it doesn’t bring me as much joy as my relationships do. and i hope i never, ever forget that.

What I’m Lovin’ {this} Wednesday

*Living in a city that everyone loves to visit. I love NY, you love NY (well, you should, if you don’t!), we all love NY. One of the great things about living here is the fact that people from all over this great big crazy world flock to see this city of all cities to experience its magic for themselves.


Also, your far-away friends and relatives are more enticed to visit you when you live here. I had family from Nova Scotia in town last week, and it was suuuuch a treat to see them after about 15 years.

wonderful Canadians invading Times Square

So yes, this is my subtle way of saying please come visit. You all should know who you are. 🙂

*The return of comfy sweatpants and t-shirts  when the air cools at night (and clearly the ridiculous faces that come part-and-parcel with selfies)

was hoping this shirt motivates me to run faster (or fool people into thinking i'm a speed demon) but really it just makes me want to curl up and go to sleep

I was hoping this shirt motivates me to run faster (or fool people into thinking i’m a speed demon) but really it just makes me want to curl up and go to sleep

*The great Autumn spice revival : aka, the grand return of everything pumpkin spice and appley and gingerbready and cinnamony and all that jazz. Love this craze (along with every other girl in the world, yes, I’m aware).


While I will naturally gravitate towards anything pumpkin flavored at this time of year, I did just see an ad for something that sounds so wrong: Pumpkin Pie Vodka. I can’t even. No thanks.

*Planks. I love ’em. I started out with a minute or two here and there, and now I push myself to hold them for as long as 10 minutes (woot!), alternating the form of plank every minute or so (hands, elbows, sides). It’s amazing what your body can do if you put in the time and hard work, and I kinda like the sweat dripping into my eyes and down on the mat in front of me. Nothing quite like measuring your life in sweat droplets. 

*Being a student again.
  I just started my 2nd year of grad classes for a (second) Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Yes, one day I hope to tell people what they’re doing wrong in their lives. JK. I actually want to help people. Promise.

I’m one of those wannabe forever students who actually loves opening text books and learning things. I love the forward-motion of working toward something and educating myself in a field that interests me, and I’m fascinated by psychology and the complexities of relationships. So far, this program has been a really good thing in my life, and I’m grateful to be able to have this opportunity.


Aww, thanks honeybun. (blush)

Question: What makes you smile lately?