Ps: We are off to Alaska this afternoon! Back next Sunday for an epic blog update if I am not eaten by a bear.
When my friends or family members recommend or gift a product to me, I'm pretty much an immediate fan. I always feel more attached to trying a new look, product, or restaurant when someone I trust "swears" it is her/his favorite thing-of-the-moment. Smiles. Friday. Yes. Enjoy.
Ps: We are off to Alaska this afternoon! Back next Sunday for an epic blog update if I am not eaten by a bear.
Snapdragons. I'm a pretty standard bodega flower customer but when Trader Joe's started offering these lovlies I was intrigued. I also wasnt sure they'd look appropriate in a normal vase. But...Voila! (Again, thanks, Carbs:)
Tkees Flip Flops. Kristin is always in the know about the "it" shoe-makeup-fashion piece. I had zero clue what a perfect sandal this was until she brought me a pair from Florida late this spring. It basically matches my skin tone and is just as comfortable as it is demure. By mid-June in NYC, they were everywhere AND being sold in the Equinox store. Who knew Jacksonville was so fashion-forward??? ;)
Birch Box. Ah, my little $10 monthly treat! Birch Box delivers a perfectly packaged compact present of deluxe samples to my door once a month. Hair serums, makeup, tea/coffee, sweet treats, lotions, perfumes, etc...I am always happiliy surprised by the contents and it has turned me on to a variety of products. Each month contains 5-6 treats! Divide that by $10 x the happiness it is to get snail mail=no brainer. Thanks to my sister in law, Neha for giving me inside scoop on this girly find over Christmas JUST after the company launched (aka, sweet upfront new member deals:)
Roberta Freymann Tote. Sarah Kr comes through again this year with a smashingly stylish and everyday summer bag. Gifted to me from my best gal for my birthday, I use this for errand running, yoga outings, lunch dating and farmers market tripping :)
*i'd pay a decent weekly sum of $$ if i never had to wipe down our countertop again.
*it is HOT in the concrete jungle this week.
*alaska is going to be a welcomed reprive from the heat.
*the amount of gear we bought for said alaska trip is humourous.
*crap i gotta break in my hiking boots!
*one hike beforehand counts, right?
*fear=getting eaten by a grizzly bear!
*beach volleyball courts on the Hudson? great pier addition, NYC. (see above pic)
*i'm totally craving charred brussel sprouts for dinner.
Ooo I live for nights like the past two. Dinner al fresco, food with the perfect wine(any wine, really) and conversation that makes me melt into this July hoping it never ends.
Tuesday we ventured to Lavanga in the East Village and spent the evening with the Keigherys, our newly married and favorite NYC Aussies. Milly (aka Mrs. Keighery) and I have become bikram buddies and it's fantastic to have someone share in my crazy love for that yoga. She totally gets it and pushed me to get back into solid practice, encouraging me in that first class post-PT when I basically left in tears. But I digress...dinner was a mix of truffled pizzetta and rosemary rack of lamb heaven with side of spicy rigatoni on an outdoor tiny table for 4.
And this to the left is my gorgeous best friend, Sarah, taken last night in the park. Any Wednesday evening spent in Central Park would be great, but when you take me & this girl + comfy quilt + cool summer breeze + 2 bottles of wine + whole foods takeout + 4.5 hours of gab = my personal heaven. She is my family here, there and anywhere.
I mean, I LOVE New York. I love that this week alone we get to double date with our favorite Aussies at some new culinary find in the East Village, BYO dinner picnic in Central Park with Sarah Kr, and bikram-tabata-flywheel (all in less than a 6 block radius). The choices are endless and sometimes the hardest part about living here is deciding what to do with all these choices. I love that we walk almost everywhere and if not, we're on a subway or in a cab in less than 5min heading to the destination. I love that Lee and I are an urban family and the overstimulation of this town provides us with experiences, people, interactions, restaurants, and social options so unique to Manhattan.
But ohmygod...the SUBURBS(!!). Exclamation marks, galore.
This past Saturday & Sunday we did a real tour de NYC 'burbs and ventured to both Rumson, NJ and Greenwich, CT. In Rumson, our great friends Dave & Marlena and their absolutely darling twin 10-mo old baby girls hosted us for the afternoon in their new home. The overhanging trees, pool patio and massive yard sure made me miss Pittsburgh but in a way that was very different than most pangs of nostalgia. (I wasnt missing my street/home/yard per say...but it made me miss what that Wexford space provided me. One where memories are based on family and the front door slams mean lots of kids running throughout the house.) I mean, there were literally birds chirping as we sat outside, fed the babies dinner, and cheers-ed to all the happiness we feel for Dave & Mar as they start this new chapter of their life as a family of 4. Later that evening, we headed down the road for a BBQ hosted by one of Lee's old bosses. Amazing food, dark & stormy(s), live band, great conversation and the most perfect summer moon. Saturdays really are the best.
And SUNDAY... well, Sunday gave this Saturday a run for its money. A bit over-hung from the previous night's festivities, we rallied and made our way out of the city for part 2 of the wknd...in Greenwich. Dropping Lee and the guys off at the golf club bright and early allowed for loads of time for winding exploration. Thank you Google Maps iPhone app. I made my way to downtown Greenwich Avenue and spent the late morning/early afternoon people watching at a cafe, crisscrossing the shops along the avenue (scoring some amazing deals!), and literally taking it all in. It was quiet yet full of people. It was clean, it was colorful, organized and vibrant all at the same time. It was condensed too, in a way that it still hung on to some desire to mimic its NYC neighbor. After my hours of retail therapy (totally justifiable when Zara sells a skirt you've been eyeing up for a month and is now on sale for $7.99), I made my way to meet Robin, a real estate broker. Yes, I went and saw town by posing as a potential buyer in Greenwich! She took me around to all the little neighborhood and nooks & cranny streets that constitute the town, pointing out homes for sale in our one-day pricerange which gave me such a good feel of what could be our reality. I found myself laughing internally about the questions I posed: "So tell me about the school district..." "What kind of resale value is there in back country Greenwich vs Old Greenwich?", etc etc. I'm so good at this! haha. After an hour or so, I thanked Robin for her time and found my way back to Innis Arden Golf Club to pick up the guys and head to an early dinner at one of their collegues homes. A gorgeous home on the water in Old Greenwich (it had a DOCK, and a tree swing, and neighbors who said hello to each other!). Beers, sandwiches and a quick trip down to the beach....welp, I was sold.
What a weekend. Greenwich, see you in a few years. For the time being....I am charged with living these moments fully, excited for all that is to come down the road and very appreciative of our *now* :)
PS: Special shout out to Carbs for coaching me through my first go at a braised short ribs dinner on Friday night. I basically just take wife notes from her and it always works out just perfectly :) Cheers!
It's been just over 8 weeks since getting back into a solid workout routine post-physical therapy on the gimp hip. I'm really starting to feel the progress made and mental clairty return....but I have a confession: I do not rely on myself alone. I am in daily need of postive reinforcement and motivational check-ins to stay the course. Reminders that I am strong enough to push my limits, that I'm mindful of my choices and that I listen with intention to my body. Each week gets easier but no less a struggle. What do I know for sure? That this is a lifelong course for me. I workout first and foremost as a remedy for anxiety/blues with the physical benefits a close second. Today's favorites are just a few blips of motivational inspiration that I stumbled upon this week in the blogosphere and helped me to keep on keeping on :)
When hungry, chug an 8oz glass of water. If thirsty, chug more. Challenge yourself and see if you can drink about a gallon/day. Remember, to stave off bloating and water retention, you have to drink more water. As backwards as it sounds, it's true!
I just love this. That's all.
Today is Friday. It's hard for me to find the desire to workout on Fridays but seeing this makes me lace up the sneaks and just GO. I dont even think about it. By the time the first song has ended on the iPod, I'm already grateful that I got out the door.
A wonderful daily reminder.
And the truth ;-)
*a wednesday evening rainbow hugging the City is a wonderful midweek cureall
*i love you, you weekend flirt
*emails from old friends make my morning
*along with meyer's clean day dish soap scent: lavender
*seriously, who needs a candle when you have this soap?
*85 & sunny today=not hell for bikram (oxymoron)
*ginger makes my morning smoothie feel asian infused
*ann currie, your shoes this AM are terrible
*shoot i need to finish THE HELP for bookclub by 7pm
*bookclub=gabfest only partially about the book:)
*isnt it funny how in the middle of july you somehow forget the dead of winter and the sweet anticipation for this season?
*thank you, summer
Again, I know I dont have a baby, but I follow this ridiculously hilarious blog called MODG: Martinis or Diaper Genies. She is crass and over the top and one of the wittiest bloggers out there and when her blog began, very much in the place I/we seem to be in of "should we have a child? are we ready? can I still do all that I do now and have a kid?" phase. Anyways.... She did a few posts awhile back in regards to her "favorite things": aka: things you actually need for a baby but dont register for. Being that Abby is an avid fan like Carbs & I are, we decided that for her baby shower gift we would give her a box of MODG's Favorite Things for the baby decorated in MODG's blog's homepage pattern/header. Of course we took pictures. Of course I emailed MODG herself to say thanks. And...of COURSE (yay!) she emailed us back. We feel famous.
...to be blessed with the means and ability to travel to visit those we love.
...to have friends who have become family.
...to experience the excitement of a friend's pregnancy and see the enthusiastic anticipation for motherhood in her eyes and happiness wash over her face when the baby moves.
I loved feeling every one of these things this weekend. Pinch myself happy and feeling very lucky right now.
This past Saturday, Lee and I packed the car up to the brim with decorations and cupcakes, flowers and presents and made our way to the Main Line in Philly for a day of baby showering (wives) and paternity partying aka baseball/cheesesteaks/beers (husbands). Hands down one of the best 24 hours this summer has brought us. The boys left for the game promptly at noon after Carbs and I raced through her house putting all the finishing details on the spread, the look, the mood we were trying to create for Abby's shower. And let me tell you, it was a HIT. From a cupcake station, candy bar, 4 quiche-pasta salad-berry fruit bowls-cucumber sandwiches-chicken salad pita pockets spread, to an island full of bellinis, and the perfect baby themed iPod playlist...I think it is safe to say the mama to be was feeling the love. I was too. I found such joy in listening to Abby talk about the pregancy and the preperation and all the hopes and dreams and wishes she has for her child. After the party, Carbs & Abs and I sat and chatted for hours about everything under the sun. We watched as the baby kicked our iPhones we placed on her tummy. We talked about the future as well as the present. We just were. Friends sharing in the joys and pangs and craziness of life and all that is happenening. Nothing fancy about it, but it sure is priceless to me.
Friday! Woohoo! I'm in my total happy place right now. This afternoon is full of party prep as one of my dearest friends Michelle and I are hosting a baby shower for our close friend and mama-to-be, Abby, tomorrow afternoon in Philadelphia. M and I have had more fun planning this shindig than ever and we cannot WAIT to shower A with lots of love and let baby H know he or she has a world of really cool people waiting for their arrival. What a Saturday we have in store(!!!) So...before tmrw's indulgance in all things cocktail and party appetizers and cupcakes galore gets underway, I thought this week's favorites could be of the healthy variety and how I choose to snack during the week in prep for a weekend of sugary immoderation that is 100% going to occur.
Zico Coconut Water. Instant hydration with a side of feeling like you're in tropical paradice on the beach with a pina colada (just for a second). OK...now I know this stuff gets mixed (read: nasty) reviews from those who think the taste is funny and odd and slimey but hear me out. This liquid is packed with potassium (prevents cramping during workouts), packed with the 5 essential electrolytes, is 0 fat, 0 cholesterol and 0 added sugar....AND....it rehydrates faster than water. A 1 cup serving is 45 calories and when I say the rehydration I feel is instant(the only natural substance that can---ready for it---be INJECTED into your blood stream intravenously), I am not kidding. Perfect for mid-yoga, perfect for the Sunday morning hangover. Get used to it, it is awesome. Chill for better taste.
Almond Butter & Celery Sticks. Such a childhood favorite of mine reinvented with a different nut spread. Packed with Vitamin E much more(40% vs 3%) than it's rival peanut butter, almond butter is also less in saturated fat. My tastebuds for sure favor peanut butter but I dont really like almonds (a "superfood") so I do my part and am getting used to this one. Great midday snack and the healthy fat/oil keeps me satiated til my next meal.
Dried Fruit. A perfect alternative when you need something sweet in a pinch. I prefer mango/cranberry/bluberry packs. Dried pineapple is a yummy option too!
Granny Smith Apples with Brie. Not the whole wedge, friends. It's delicious though! Slice up some apples with some thin cuts of brie and it is a wonderful and biting + smooth taste for your mouth. The cheese helps curb hunger and an apple a day....(you know the rest).
Vanilla Meringues. If you ever were the kid like I was and ate all the marshmellos out of the Lucky Charms cereal instead of eating it with breakfast and the toasted oats like a normal person, than these are for you. Fat free. One 1/4 bite of these cookies and it gives you an instant memory of being 8 years old for 5 calories. Yes.
In just a few short weeks, Camp Kernion: Alaska Edition is officially ON. Lee and I will hop a flight to Anchorage to meet up with the fam (Mom-Dad-Eliz-Brady-Jackson) and begin a 8 day crazy outdoor wilderness adventure.
"Oh! An Alaskan Cruise! I've always wanted to go on one of those...I hear the whales and the night sky in Alaska are..(blah blah blah)" -every person's response to hearing where we are traveling.
But there is no fru-fru cruise to whale watch, we should be able to do that on the half-day middle of nowhere kayak adventure. And instead of some girly day hikes, the 7 of us will be partaking in day long brutal climbs, catch your dinner fishing trip, DOG SLEDDING ON A GLACIER(!!!), kayaking and white water rafting in the Denali Forest. Have you met my parents?!? This is so typical of their active lifestyle and they've certainly instilled this trait within their children.
Mom & Dad Kernion: Fit & 50(ish) never looked so good!
SO...last time Camp Kernion: Breckenridge Edition occured, I was the weakest link during our 14'neer climb up Mt. Quandry. Look at that. Pain. Exhaustion. Out of shapess to the max. Wipe that smile off your face, ELIZABETH;)
This year...well, this year is going to be different. This trip is my biggest motivator since finishing physical therapy on my hip and getting me back to a place of strength and ability to really tackle anything. I had my strongest bikram class to date last night in one of the hottest rooms of the summer season. It was 60% mental as I just didnt allow myself to go into freak out mode alongside dramatic breathing or constant fidgeting. I stayed calm, stayed focused, moved through each posture with fluidity and strength and didnt give into my internal crazies.
Camp Kernion: Alaska is going to be one for the books. A few motivating mantras to myself to keep my eye on the prize. Daily reminders that whatever your goal is in life or in health, to dig deep and remember you have the power to change it all.
Sarah: one part of a family of THREE with my husband Lee and sweet girl Morgan, simply wanting to chronicle the path I'm on and the path that will come to be. For now it's NYC urban mamaville where everyday is a new adventure! (Actually, just getting to the post office is an adventure.)
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