April 29, 2014

It's a Sunday Stroll

We stroll on Sundays.  It's kind of our thing.  When we moved to the East Coast, we knew that we needed to soak as much in as possible.  As the weather got nicer, the adventures started to multiply and our new Sunday tradition was born.

We are 4 weeks into this tradition and it is fantastic.  We get up on Sundays whenever we feel like it and head into the city.  Our first stop is usually Chelsea Market.  We've been REALLY loving the shakes and juices from One Lucky Duck.

Once we are juiced up, we hit the streets.  We wander through new neighborhoods.  We walk through random shops and browse.  We sit in the little city parks and people watch.  We enjoy afternoon snacks and glasses of wine in new restaurants.

Our first stroll was the New York Botanical Garden for the Orchid Show.  I enjoyed the outdoor parts of the park way more than the Orchid show.

Our second stroll was through Greenwich Village and the High Line Park.

And this week, we enjoyed the northern part of Central Park and then met some friends for a sidewalk lunch on Mulberry Street.

So this is our thing.  If you come to town, you are welcome to join in.  We usually end up covering a few miles and get to explore this amazing city.  As the temperatures rise in the summer, I hope to take these strolls to beach towns and riverside parks.  Do you stroll?

April 28, 2014

Summer Vacation

I touched a little on my obsessions with vacation posts last week.  Lately, I've been seeing quite a few of them and it gets me so excited to plan our next vacation.  We had friends in town yesterday and getting to hang out with them while they explored NYC and hear about their DC adventures just got me so excited.

If you've seen the surrounding areas section of our New York City Bucket List, then you know that we have quite a few places near here that we want to explore.  I've also talked about a possible Iceland trip later this year.  It's getting near the time where we actually need to start financially planning for vacations and I can hardly contain my excitement.

So I'm curious, what are your plans for this summer?  Are you taking any vacations?  What tools do you use to plan your adventures?  Share all your secrets with me.

Also, I'd like to introduce you all to Tinisha who blogs at The Reality Insider.  She is working on her own 30 Before 30 List which are my personal favorites to read.  I think a good list is a
great way to get a quick glimpse of someone.  She started her blog to write about her daily life, share her thoughts & ideas with other bloggers and hopefully inspire & educate a few people along the way.  She loves when readers share their thoughts & opinions with her.  She is also launching an advice column soon.  Go say hi!

April 25, 2014

Random Happy Things

I was recently cleaning out some photos and found this gem that was taken last year in the end of April.  As I look out the window today, I'm pretty grateful that my new home takes spring a little more seriously.

It is pretty though.  So, aside from being super happy that there is no snow on the ground, I'm sharing a few other favorite things this week.

Scandal.  Now, I get it.  Whenever J is traveling for work, I find myself searching for my next Netflix binge watch.  I've been hearing about Scandal forever and finally started it last night... and watched the whole first season (thank goodness it was only 7 episodes.)  Every time I would say that I would watch one more episode, something would happen that made me NEED to watch just one more.

Blogs about blogging.  They were everywhere this week.  It might be because of the American Blogger documentary that was released, but who knows.  My favorite post that I read was this one from The Laurel Gazette.

Good phone conversations.  I've learned that having an old fashioned chat session on the phone with girlfriends can probably solve all of your problems.  I have a few friends with a really long commute and it works out perfectly to keep them entertained on their drive home.  We are planning our first trip home in about a month and I'm pretty excited.

Vacations.  I love reading vacation recaps.  I don't know why people always apologize for posting "too many pictures" because I want to see them ALL.  My running partner took a quick trip to NYC and wrote about it yesterday here.  Also, here is another blogger that apologizes for so many vacation recaps and I'm sitting on my couch wishing she would post even more from her recent adventures (here is a link to her last highlights post.)  Is it just me that loves these?

This season in sports.  I know I keep talking about it, but I love that my weekend includes hockey on TV tonight and my first game at Yankee Stadium tomorrow.  I love football too, but these two sports overlapping just makes me so happy.

This song.  It kind of just makes me happy.

Meet At The Barre

April 24, 2014

Favorite Warm Weather Things

The wind here is whipping through at rapid speeds, but the sun is shining and I'm getting more and more excited for warm weather (that sticks around for a while.)  I have a few favorite things that always remind me of spring and the big warm up.

Mint green is my favorite spring color.  I think really green is my favorite color all year long, so each season is just a different shade of green.  I also love switching to white wine.  I love red wine when it's cold out and white wine when it's warm out.  I will allow a little cross over, but not much.  My springtime outfit involves a maxi skirt or dress.  They are hands down the most comfortable articles of clothing.  And Magnolia trees in the spring time are just amazing.

A perfect spring day for me would require coffee and a book early in the morning.  Once I'm up and ready for the day, I would get myself a shake from One Lucky Duck and whatever food I find appealing in Chelsea Market.  Justin & I would either go to a baseball game or a rooftop bar and enjoy some sunshine.  Dinner would be fish tacos followed by dessert from Magnolia Bakery and then bed... early.

I love the changing of the seasons and everything that comes with it.  I asked Becca from Becoming Adorrable if she would play along with me today.

Her favorite spring color is bright green.  Although she gets horrible allergies, she still loves white daisies (but keeps her distance).  Her spring outfits include sandals, tank tops and a few fun lipstick shades.  I wish it was warm enough here for tank tops.  Her go to drink as the weather warms up is a Malibu Pineapple cocktail.  I've never tried this, but it's on my list for this weekend.  I'm always game for something new.

When I asked her what a perfect April Saturday looked like, here was her answer:

After sleeping in, I take my sweet time fixing my hair and applying makeup, go out to lunch with the hubs, and get some shopping done.  Of course this means a trip to Sephora and Ulta.  Then we'd have dinner at the Olive Garden and I end the night dancing with friends at our local bar.

I also asked if she would make you all a playlist with some of her favorite warm weather songs.  The first song is one of my favorites.

I have loved getting to know Becca better and you should probably do the same.  My favorite posts to get your started include Why I Belong in the SouthWhy I Rescue (which you will probably need Kleenex for) and I was super excited to find out my Unicorn name when I read What's in a Unicorn.  Plus, I think she has one of the cutest "about me" pages I've seen on a blog.  I love reading about her adventures as a newlywed and I love how she incorporated her new last name into her blog title.

Here are the places you can find Becca.  Go say hi!

April 23, 2014

A Little Earth Day Challenge

Yesterday was Earth Day.  Doesn't it seem weird that we have to have a day to celebrate the planet?  Shouldn't that be every day?  Who hasn't posted a picture of spring flowers on Instagram in the last few weeks?  We all kind of love this place.  I decided to step up my game a little yesterday and appreciate the earth a little bit more.

We read an article this weekend in our April National Geographic about coal and whether or not it will ever be clean.  One of the things that stood out to me was the average daily consumption of coal per person - worldwide it is 6.4 lbs and in the US it is 18 lbs.  You can read the full article here.

I decided to take the day off from electricity yesterday.  Now, I live in an apartment and I left the major appliances alone, but I unplugged everything small and didn't turn on a light or a TV or even charge my personal phone or laptop yesterday.  Work kicked my butt so it was nice to not have any music on in the background.  I got so much done.  Obviously, I had to keep my work computer charged, but at the end of my long workday, I unplugged the power strip and shut it all down.

To be totally honest, it was super easy.  Trust me, I love TV and cooking things and my Keurig as much as the next person, but I could do this at least once a week.  I found myself just quietly sitting and taking it all in.

My dogs were content.  We had longer walks yesterday and without a laptop on my lap, I was able to cuddle them both at the same time.

Reading is one of my favorite things to do, so an entire evening of reading a few of my current books was incredible.

You could smell the rain outside.  Plus, the candles I had burning in the apartment were Huckleberry scented and that also made me very happy.

I could hear my dogs snoring, the people outside and all the birds.  I heard hysterical parts of conversations as people left the happy hour across the street.  I also was able to hear my phone ringing and caught up with my sister-in-law and one of my best friends from home.

I ate up a ton of fruits and veggies that were in our fridge as well as some yogurt and granola. My dinner was a smoothie and some cold pasta salad.

It was a totally normal day and even though I challenged myself to do this tiny little thing for Earth Day, it didn't feel like a challenge at all.  It was much more of a relief to have a night off from stuff.

Also, I will say that I didn't have the stress of watching the Ranger game last night.  But I'm totally stress free this morning because they won, plus I'm drinking coffee.  Hope you all took a minute to appreciate this planet.

April 22, 2014

I Love the NY Rangers

We jumped, we yelled, we sang, we drank, we ate and we lost, but we had a blast.  Yes, I splurged and bought tickets to the Rangers/Flyers game on Sunday.  Holidays can be tough when you are far from your family, so I've found that distractions are necessary.  What better distraction than playoff hockey?

Madison Square Garden was amazing.  Playoff hockey is amazing.  Losing was not so amazing.  I'll be watching the next few games from my couch because the price tag is also not so amazing, but it was totally worth it.

I've been without an NHL hockey team since the MN North Stars left and went to Texas when I was 5.  I never really got on board with the Wild.  My husband is a huge LA Kings fan since that's where he grew up.  When we moved here, I decided to give the Rangers a try and I love everything about them.  Getting to finally see them at the Garden was amazing (yes, I've used that word 1 million times in this post.)

And next time, someone needs to tell me to go home after the game and not participate in shots of fireball, K?  Go RANGERS Go!!!!!!!!!

April 18, 2014

Thank You Notes Vol. 3

Back again for another round of Thank You notes this lovely Friday.

Thank you Spring for being that bitch that we always knew you were.  Cold, hot, warm, rain, cold, snow, wind.  I'm well aware this will continue for a while, so I'm just embracing the few weeks of the year that I have all seasons of clothes all over my closet.

Thank you Rangers for winning last night and fueling my desire to get tickets to Sunday's game.  I mean, we have no family to spend Easter with this year out here, so we might as well spend it with all our hockey friends at Madison Square Garden.

Thank you Iceland for continuing to have pictures featured on EarthPix.  I will see you before the end of the year.

Thank you Stitch Fix for being spot on the last 2 months and sending me my new favorite shirts.  I swear I'll put a post together on the stuff I've gotten since there have been some questions about it in the past, plus you'll get to see the most awkward pictures ever taken.

Thank you wedding season for getting me home a few times this summer and putting so many of my favorite people in one building at one time.  Makes life so much easier.

Thank you Taco Tuesday for being part of my week.  Now if only I could find someplace that delivers Margaritas.

Thank you Friday for giving me a new playlist for a few runs I have to get in this weekend.  The song I'm sharing today isn't super upbeat, but I've been loving it lately, so enjoy it.

Thank you hockey, sunglasses, easter candy and mimosas in advance for sponsoring this weekend.

Hope you all have a fabulous Easter weekend.  (Previous thank you notes - vol 1vol 2)

Linking up with Whitney.

April 17, 2014

How do you do that?

I am a people watcher.  I am so amazed at some of the things that humans are capable of.  There are a few talents that just blow my mind and constantly have me wondering "How do you do that?"

Experts on wine.  I've taken wine classes with my mom before and I have no idea how the people next to me are able to accurately guess the region each wine is from.  Have you really memorized them?  It amazes me.

Raw foodies.  I read that book and got horrified when it started talking about sprouting my own beans.  I'm all for eating healthier and cleaner, but I draw the line at sprouting.  How do you have a job, friends and eat raw?  Also, cheese.  I have to eat cheese every day.  Looks like I won't be a vegan either.

Moms.  Just hearing about my sister in law's day yesterday wore me out.  Doctor's appointments, visiting the Easter Bunny, conferences, plus doing her normal daily things.  It's amazing how much time they seem to have in their day to get these things done.  I consider it a win if I feed myself, Justin & the dogs all the meals in one day without ordering from GrubHub.

But my nieces are pretty cute :)
Artistic people.  I have always said that I'm not creative, but that isn't true, I just have no artistic talent.  My husband is such a talented artist and I can't ever win at a game of Pictionary.  I would love to be able to design fancy websites, have my creations up on Etsy and decorate my apartment to look like a Pinterest dream, but that part of my brain just doesn't work like I want it to.

Non TV watchers.  I will never understand this.  I love to read, but I also love to watch TV.  What do you do with yourself when you're hungover sick?  Don't you wonder about who Walter White is or how everyone knows to clap at the same time during I'll Be There For You.

Exercise addicts.  The struggle is real.  I just don't want to do it most days, but when I force myself too, I'm so happy.  Why doesn't my brain recognize that feeling and make me want to work out?  I will say that the #1800minutechallenge is helping and I have been getting in an average of 30 minutes per day, but it's a fight.  Also, why am I the only one at the gym with a bright red face and a towel because my face is sweating so much?  How do you look like that and you're running faster than me?

Fashionistas.  Yes, I feel wrong even typing that word out.  HOW BIG IS YOUR CLOSET?  Just kidding, if my closet was bigger, I'd just buy more sweaters and yoga pants.  But really, do some of you just go to the store and take pictures in their dressing rooms, because if I tried to purchase half of the things you wear, I'd be broke and a hoarder.  This leads me to my next point...

Walking in heels like it's easy.  Ummm... it's not easy and it's not comfortable, so I just won't do it.  I'm still amazed when I watch other people do it.

Justin Timberlake.  How can one person be so talented?  Mind = blown.

If you have all the secrets, please fill me in.  If you are one of the people above, just know that I am incredibly impressed by the things that you do every day.

Jade and Oak

April 15, 2014

Being a Grown Up

Nothing says Welcome to Adulthood like writing the government a big, fat check for taxes.

I think about "adulthood" a lot as I near my 29th birthday.  I joked yesterday about feeling like an 80 year old woman because I love going to the Botanical Gardens, but maybe that is something that makes me more "adult."

I started making a list of things that make me feel like an "adult":

I enjoy getting up in time to see the sunrise.

Stretching is required almost every day.

Hangovers exist and they are the WORST.

I have to work even harder to stay in shape.

I feel like a party animal if I make it to midnight.

Savings accounts are a real thing.

Excitement happens with new appliances, organized closets and "getting a great deal."

Comfortable clothes and shoes win... ALWAYS.

Bad manners and bad grammar annoy me.

I have regular conversations about the weather and gas prices.

And then this Buzzfeed article.

In good news, there are a whole lot of things I do that show that I'm still young at heart.  I love mac & cheese, cheap champagne and cartoons.  I have hot pink pajama pants.  I watch trashy television (read BRAVO.)  I love taking shots of fireball.

I guess I don't have one foot in the grave yet.  Cheers to tax day!

April 14, 2014

Ahhhhh Fresh Air

I feel like a whole new person after a weekend full of sunshine and outdoor fun.  Spring really is a magical time.  The weather was perfection this weekend and we enjoyed every second of it.

We finally made it to the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden (which made me feel 80 years old.)  We spent 2 hours wandering through the park and enjoying the sun.  We left the city after getting lost multiple times trying to find the Bronx brewery and spent the afternoon eating cheese and hanging out with horses at a farm.

On Sunday, we enjoyed juices from One Lucky Duck at Chelsea Market and then we Sunday strolled.  It was a perfect morning.  After a decent brunch, we headed to Berry Park in Williamsburg and got ourselves a spot on the roof.  Sunshine + a few Grapefruit beers = non stop smiles.

This was a glimpse of what our summer will look like and I am one happy girl.  Now it's Monday and time to kick some ass at work.

Did you enjoy the sunshine this weekend?

April 11, 2014

sports - the ones I love and the ones that make me yawn

I am a sports fan and it's is the beginning of a new season.  Baseball is all over my television and there were riots over college hockey in my hometown overnight.  Since it's Fan Friday, I will share my favorite sports and teams with you and also a few sports you won't find me watching.

Sports you won't see me watching:
Boxing or fighting of any kind (exclude Rocky please because that's a movie)
Nascar or any driving sport


Sports I like watching sometimes:

Basketball - I do sometimes feel like the Kardashians have taken over this sport, but I love the last 2 minutes of any basketball game.

Tennis - I like watching Tennis, but I don't really have any favorites.  I just enjoy watching the faces they make when hitting that ball and then trying to copy them when I hit a tennis ball.

All events of the Olympics - Except that I only like watching them during the Olympics (unless it's snowboarding, I like that all the time.)

Here is my list of my favorite sports and my favorite teams:

Hockey - I have written about hockey a few times before including reasons I love hockey.  It's the sport I grew up with in the cold tundra of Minnesota.  I didn't really understand the love of college football, because we only had a D1 hockey team (go Bulldogs.)  Hockey during the Olympics this year was my favorite thing to watch.  My NHL team of choice is the New York Rangers.

Football - I didn't grow up in a football family, so this love bloomed once I started dating Justin.  I have now learned the heartbreak of being a Minnesota Vikings fan and I love every minute of it.

Baseball - And this is my favorite.  I love everything about Baseball, but mostly, I love afternoon games when the sun is shining, the beer is flowing, my team is winning and I'm eating funnel cakes (or something else amazingly bad for me.)  I will always be a Minnesota Twins fan, but I also cheer for the Boston Red Sox since that is my husband's team and we celebrated our engagement at Fenway Park (plus it's our favorite ball park in the country.)

This baseball season has me more excited than most.  Now that we live on the East Coast, we will be crossing so many new stadiums off our list.  We are heading to Yankee Stadium at the end of the April and I can't wait.

We have been to 8 out of 30 stadiums so far.
Those are my sports, my teams and the things that get me excited.  In other athletic news, I ran with my husband last night and he pushed me during the last 1/4 of a mile so I sang Eye of the Tiger loudly to try and embarrass him.  Mission failed.  I just got really winded and learned that he can quickly leave me in the dust.  Happy Friday all.

Tell me what your favorite sport is and what team you cheer for.  You can also check out my guest post today on one of my favorite blogs, Life According to Steph.

Linking up with Whitney and Sarah (aka Venus)

April 10, 2014

Thankful on a Thursday

Hallelujah.  I walked outside and it is gorgeous today.  Thank goodness for a work errand that got me out of the office for a few minutes.  Windows rolled down, sunglasses on and happiness is floating around in the air.  Well, happiness and the smoke from the brush fire in Edison this afternoon, but still - nothing can bring me down today.  I think I'll even enjoy an evening jog (I probably won't enjoy it while it's happening, but afterwards I'll be happy.)  I am extremely grateful for the sunshine today.  Happy almost Friday everyone.

go say Hi to Carly

April 9, 2014

4 Words for 2014: Connect

I rudely reminded everyone last week that the year is a 1/4 of the way gone already.  I only speak the truth.  At the beginning of the year, I chose 4 words and told myself that I would focus on each for a few months to make a few lifestyle changes.  Since I spent the last few months focusing on the word clean, it's time to move forward.

My second word for the year is connect.  I had so many things in mind when I picked this, but none of them involved plugging a cord into the wall, so that's awesome.  It's time to set a few goals for myself.  

Connect:  April - June

- Be the best wife ever.  I am such a lucky girl and I am married to the best guy.  I want to remember to be grateful for that every day.  Maybe take a few weekends off from phones and do the things we love doing.  Take a few weekend trips.  Go on a few dates.  The fun stuff.

- Send letters - like real letters in the mail.  Hopefully our friends and family remember to cheek their mailboxes (HOLLY).  Not just letters, but emails, FaceTime dates, 

- Become a part of our community.  Doing a little volunteer work and getting to know our neighborhood a little bit more.

- Be present and intentional during social outings.  I spend lots of time distracted by my phone or the things going on around me and I'd like to be a little more present.

- Meet new people.  It might be a little scary, but it's also exciting to add a few awesome people to the roster of awesome in our lives.

- Be a good neighbor.  This is something I was super good at when we owned a house, but apartment living is different.  I'm learning a lot about apartment "etiquette."

- Appreciate our friends and make sure they know that.

- Support some local businesses and other projects that friends have been working on.  

- Spread the love and practice random acts of kindness.  Funny that as I'm making this list, another blogger posted this post and it says it all perfectly.

So there you have it, connect.  Let me know if you've heard of any good books or any good tips you have.  I'm extremely excited about these goals.  Now that spring is here, people are outside and the it kind of feels like the world is alive again.  Time to get out there and be a part of it.  Cheers.