September 26, 2014

Friday Favorites

I am spending another day in NYC with a few of my favorite people from Minnesota, so I'll keep it short and sweet today and leave you with 5 awesome things.


1.  Our friends, Keith & Whitney, will be making their Amazing Race debut tonight and you should all make sure to cheer on #teamnashville.  Also, go check out Whitney's new single, Roll All Night.  If you don't want to take my word for it, here is a Rolling Stone article to read instead.

2.  It's Samantha's wedding weekend so make sure to show her a little love today as she begins the 24 hour countdown.  

3.  Justin just introduced our friend, Tony, to fainting goats yesterday.  The thought crossed my mind that maybe other people have never seen this video.  You are welcome.


4.  My dogs are getting groomed tomorrow and it is long overdue.  Be prepared for Instagram to blow up with pictures.  If you don't follow me, you should @stephgregerson

5.  We are having a super tourist day today with our friends and I'm beyond excited.  Top of the Rock, Broadway Show, Central Park.  But the best part is that we are starting with my favorite breakfast in all of New York City and I actually had a dream about my food last night.  It's so nice to have friends from home here and have an awesome excuse to take ridiculous pictures, eat so much food, have a few afternoon cocktails and appreciate this place in a totally different way.  Love you Caroline!!!!


September 24, 2014

Things I've Learned from 30 Days of Yoga


Another item has officially been checked off my 30 before 30 list and it feels amazing.  After 3 failed attempts, I finally succeeded.  I did yoga every day for 30 days and I loved it.

30 Day Yoga Challenge

The Rules: at least 20 minutes each day, learn more about yoga and the history of the practice, try different styles, do not put too much pressure on myself.

The Tools: Erin Motz videos on youtube, Rodney Yee DVD's, the outfit in this post and other comfortable clothes, my Gaiam mat, Google.

Now that it's done, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you:

I still shake during almost every balance pose.  For some reason, I thought this would go away after about a week.  One of the articles I read said, "Think of a graceful treetop swaying in the wind, held firmly in place by strong roots."  That helped.

I have better balance on one side than the other.  That was a fun little surprise too.

I didn't lose any weight doing this challenge.  I didn't try to lose any weight, but I thought it might magically happen anyways.  I should stop eating cookies all the time.


My hips making weird popping noises and they desperately need to be stretched.

Midday yoga breaks make afternoon meetings easier to get through, plus I am 10x more aware of my posture.

Sometimes it is hard for me to stay in peaceful pose for too long without falling asleep.  It happened to me 3 times in the last month while cooling down.

The Chakra system is beyond intriguing to me.

I have strong legs.  I need to keep working on my core and my arms.

Being upside down and making it look cool has become one of my life goals.


I love my quiet yoga time.  I'm terrified of any yoga in a group setting still, but I'm sure I'll get over that someday.  Until that time comes, I will continue to make yoga part of my routine at least 3 days a week solo style.  I will eventually do some fancy hand stands and shake a little less while in Warrior 3.  I will keep learning and making progress.

Have you ever done a 30 day challenge?  Turns out they are kind of my thing, so share your favorites in the comments.

September 23, 2014

So Long Summer

I wrote my requirements for summer back in June and I revisited that list today.  Turns out, I didn't accomplish everything on that list, but I had an amazing summer.  It wouldn't be a normal blog if I didn't highlight some of my favorite things that we did, right?


Watched the Mermaid Parade in all of its crazy and insane glory.  In my opinion, it's one of the best ways to kick off the season.

Summer afternoons sitting outside enjoying fresh air, sunshine and a few cold ones.

A weekend at a lake in the Berkshires sitting on the dock watching one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.


Flying over a mountain valley via Zip Line.

Nights in a tent in the mountains enjoying the sounds of nature.


Spent a hot, but amazing, weekend in Nashville.

Bonfire nights with marshmallows and sangria.  So much sugar.


Epic road trip across the country with one of my best friends.  Laughing, singing and some of the great roadside attractions this fine country has to offer.

Lots of yoga, strolling and healthier decisions.


An engagement ring on my soon-to-be sister's finger.  And a new puppy niece that I got to play with for hours on a weekend trip home.


Weddings, weddings and weddings.  I love celebrating love.


Minnesota weekends with decent weather and not quite enough time with friends & family.


Days spent wandering through little beach towns.  Our favorites were Newport, Cape May and Montauk.

A successful bicycle ride through New York City.

Sunday strolls down so many streets in Manhattan complete with crepes, brunches, pizza, smoothies, donuts, seafood and tacos.

It was just a wonderful three months.  I'm sad to see summer go, but I'm excited for our first Autumn on the east coast.  I think my favorite thing about living here are the endless places to explore and discover.  

What was your favorite summer moment?  

September 18, 2014

If I Could...

I found the prompts for this little game/quiz on tumblr and thought it would be fun to play along.  I love answering questions like these.

If I could...

Travel anywhere, where would it be?  Iceland.  I think everyone knows I'm a little obsessed with the country and we've had a few setbacks and our trip has been rescheduled AGAIN.  Damn life.  We will get there soon.

source
Meet anyone, who would it be?  Jimmy Fallon.  Duh.  Hopefully, it's the night that he's hanging out with Justin Timberlake, but I won't push my luck.

Be anyone for a day, who would it be?  Beyonce.

source
Get anything free for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Lush products so I could smell awesome forever... I would also like a free lifetime supply of 3 wick candles from Bath & Body Works.

Change one thing about your life, what would it be?  I would like all my friends & family to live where I live instead of half a country away.

Have any superpower, what would it be?  I would love to be able to teleport places without the travel time.

Be any animal for a day, which would you be?  I would love to be a bird so I could fly.

Change one thing about the world, what would it be?  Wow, one thing is completely impossible, but I'm going to say clean water... for everyone.

Live in any fictional universe, which would you choose?  If you are a super nerd, I would pick Naboo from Star Wars.  If you are anyone else, I would pick any part of Harry Potter as long as I have friends that are magical.


Eliminate one of your human needs, which would you get rid of?  Clean clothes and clean dishes.  I hate laundry and dishes - simple as that.

Change one thing about your physical appearance, what would you change?  I would like a smaller midsection without having to work at it... #sorrynotsorry

Change one of your personality traits, what would you choose?  I wish I was a little less of a control freak, but at the same time, it is who I am and I don't really want to change that.

Be talented at anything instantly, what would you choose?  I wish I could just speak tons and tons of languages.  Also, cooking.  I wish I was an awesome chef.

Have any hair/eye/skin color, which would you choose?  Love being a strawberry blond with hazel eyes and skin that burns.  No shame in my game.

Be any weight/body type, which would you choose?  The kind that never has to work out and just is in shape at all times, that would be good.

Live in any country/city, where would you choose?  I love where we live, but I would love to live in Boston or Charlotte, NC for a while.

Change one law in your country, which would you change?  Without starting an entire debate, I would probably change some gun laws.

Have any job in the world, which would you choose?  I would be a writer.

Have anything appear in your pocket right now, what would it be?  A Boston Terrier puppy - even though we couldn't handle a 3rd dog.  Maybe tickets home for Christmas.  Money too - that's always fun.

Have anyone beside you right now, who would it be?  My husband is working crazy hours right now, so I would love if he were next to me right now.  I would also take one of my girlfriends too.  I miss them so damn much.


Let me know what you would do.  Play along - these are fun.

September 12, 2014

Thank You Notes Vol. 4

Because if you've ever seen this post, you know I'm in love with Jimmy Fallon.  Since I love him, that means I love everything that he does, so I'm going to do a round of Friday thank you notes.

Thank you Bath and Body Works for putting out fall candles even though it's still summer.  It's the only situation where I'm totally on board with jumping the gun.  (yes, Kelsey, I bought 1 big candle and 3 mini candles last night but my husband knows about them.)


Thank you Lush for the greatest shampoo and conditioner that I have ever used.  My hair smells amazing and the frizziness is going away even with a few humid days.  Also, I love everything you sell.


Thank you internet for convincing me that I do things my dogs hate.  I read this article about the 11 things humans do that dogs hate and ordered my dogs new leashes and harnesses that are dedicated to "sniff walks."  My dogs better love me a million times more for this major life change.

Thank you little brother for making the best decision over Labor Day weekend and asking Jen to marry you.  I'm so excited to have another sister and I love even more that she asked me to be part of your special day.  Love love love you both.


Thank you coffee for getting me through this final work day of the week.  Well, I guess I should thank you for getting me through every work day.

This weekend will include a trip to the Botanical Gardens, cinnamon rolls, coffee, books, football and so much pajama time.  If I'm lucky, it might also include a late night trip north to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.  I leave you with this song (because I'm buying tickets to their December NYC concert in a few minutes.)


September 11, 2014

Dear New York City

Dear New York City,

It has been exactly 10 months since I moved to the banks of the Hudson River from the motherland of Minnesota.  Every single morning, afternoon and evening, I look across the water and stare at your beautiful skyline - one of the most beautiful in the world.  We are able to walk your streets anytime adventure is calling and you never disappoint.  There is always a story to hear, a performance to watch, new food to try.



When we gaze across the river, there are a few things that stand out.  The Empire State Building that changes colors each night to help bring awareness to different causes, support different teams and celebrate different groups of people.  The Chrysler Building looks like a Christmas Tree with sparkling white lights every night.  The towers of midtown reflect the lights from Times Square and change colors instantly.  You are breathtaking.



On this day, 13 years ago, you were changed forever.  I was in 11th grade Chemistry with Dr. C when I heard the news.  The first hour was very confusing and then we were all sent to homeroom to watch the news coverage and we were eventually sent home.  Everyone talked about connections they had to you or Washington DC.  Everyone knew someone that was supposed to be on an airplane that day. Everyone was afraid.



As I stare at the Freedom Tower in the distance today, I can't even begin to imagine what it would feel like to be standing in plain sight of the World Trade Center buildings on that day.  People that saw things with their own eyes and heard things with their own ears instead of on a news station.  The dust, the noises, the sirens, the tears.  Those are things we saw on TV, but more importantly, we saw your heroes of all shapes & sizes step up and show so much bravery and kindness.



You are a constant reminder of resilience.  People here are strong and proud.  There is an energy present, a constant pulse that is so enticing.  I'm so grateful to be in a place where I can stare at you every day and be constantly reminded of your strength.  Thank you for being an inspiration to me and a reminder that courage and kindness are such important parts of being a good person.

Sincerely,
A NJ girl that has been forever changed by time spent in your lovely city

Take a second today to remember your fellow Americans that lost their lives that day and your fellow Americans who were brave enough to do the right thing and help others.  Remember and be grateful today and every day for the soldiers that fight for our freedom.  The world can be a scary place - be kind, be brave.


September 10, 2014

Confessions

It's Wednesday and my mind is bouncing all over the place.  I have 7 conference calls today which seems a bit excessive.  Busy, busy, busy.  I leave you with a random assortment of thoughts.

I'm not rushing out to get an iWatch.  I have no interest to have my phone constantly in my sight.  I like to be able to put it away in my purse or leave it at home somedays.  It's liberating.

I have not been good about sending snail mail recently.

I've started unfriending people on Facebook if they ask me to play Candy Crush.  It's annoying and I've tried blocking it a bunch.


My dog has that $10 shirt from PetSmart (from Grandma) and I feel like that means I should get the matching Kate Spade bag.  I think it would be totally justified.

I haven't picked up a book since mid August.  I love reading, so this is a little weird.

I've been doing #100happydays on Instagram and I have no idea what day I'm on.

I have a weird obsession with 30 day challenges.  I'm halfway through my 30 day yoga challenge and I just committed myself to a blogging challenge where I have to post something everyday in October. If you want more info on that one, go check out Helene's Post.

My closet needs a serious deep cleaning and purge.  I put StitchFix on hold for next month because I don't have any room left for more clothes.  It's time to get rid of some stuff.  I'm sad and happy at the same time.

I still think the Humpday commercials are funny.


Linking up with Kathy

September 9, 2014

Plans Change and Volcanos Erupt

I have talked so many times in the last few months about our Iceland trip.  As I was getting ready to purchase our airline tickets, we received a call about our home that we still own in Minnesota.  We have tenants and there were some issues - some big issues.  All I heard was insert my money into the toilet and flush.  Homeownership can be stressful, but it's even worse when you are living across the country.  Thank goodness our dads are willing and able to help us meet with contractors and get things back in order.  Without them, one of us would have been on a flight back home until the matter is resolved.

The Iceland trip... well, that's being rescheduled.  The same day we got the call about the house was the day that the news broke about the volcano erupting in Iceland.  Crazy how things happen like that.  Now, I've heard that the media is exaggerating the situation a little bit, but I've made a new hobby out of watching the Live webcam of the Volcano.

We will be keeping our vacation plans this fall close to home and hopefully heading out of the country in the spring.  And we are thinking that maybe owning a home in another state might not be our thing for too much longer.

In other news, the Vikings won this weekend.  I won one fantasy game and lost the other.  I found this picture on the internet and I loved it.


I have to say that the Vikings/Packers rivalry gets pretty heated sometimes, but we know that we haven't won a championship in a million years.  So many of my best friends are from Wisconsin and I love them no matter what football team they cheer for.  And I think Aaron Rodgers looks like Ellen.  

Now, go enter the giveaway below and win yourself some money.


paypal
a Rafflecopter giveaway

September 4, 2014

East Coast Beaches - Cape May & Montauk

All my life I've heard how amazing the beaches in California are (and have visited a few) and I've dreamed of places like Hawaii, Fiji and other little islands with white sand beaches and crystal clear water.  I decided that the beaches in the northeast deserved a try.


We took a Saturday and headed to Montauk on the tip of Long Island.  And then I just fell in love.  The Hamptons are fancy and beautiful with large houses and celebrities everywhere.  Montauk is further out and a little more laid-back.  We stopped for a late breakfast in the surf town and then headed out to the lighthouse.





After climbing to the top of the tower, we had worked up another appetite.  Weird, I know.  We had driven by a few roadside places outside of Montauk, so we picked the one that clearly had lobster rolls.  It was a fantastic place.

amagansett

amagansett

After second lunch, we headed back towards the city taking a few of the backroads.  We will be back next summer to stay a little longer.



After the awesome day we had out on Long Island, we decided to take a day to check out the southern part of the Jersey Shore as well.  One of my favorite things is being less than 2 hours away from these beautiful places.  

We left bright and early and headed to Cape May to start the trek back north.  Cape May was absolutely beautiful.  The rip currents kind of ruined our beach day, so we didn't get to use our bathing suits, but that didn't stop us from enjoying the town.


jersey shore


jersey shore



After we left Cape May, we slowly made our way north to Atlantic City.  I didn't really take anymore pictures.  Atlantic City isn't the prettiest place in the world and I don't think we'll be making a return trip anytime soon to that specific spot on the shore.  We loved Ocean City & Cape May though.

I don't know which area I liked better, but we'll be spending weekends in both next summer to figure it out.  It's a fun mission to determine a favorite beach.

Have you been to either?  What is your favorite beach?

September 3, 2014

6 Pictures for 6 Years

On Saturday, Justin & I celebrated our 6th anniversary.  It seems as though we weren't the only ones.  So many anniversary posts and wedding pictures posted over the last week.  So much love.  I can understand why - the end of summer is such a beautiful time of year with weather that rarely disappoints.  If you want to read more about our wedding, I wrote about our special day last year here.

We have had the most amazing year and we are so grateful for each other.  I decided to share with you my 6 favorite pictures of the last year.


Winter sports has quickly become a love for both of us.  I'm not the best skier in the world, but having some outdoor fun in winter is necessary to remain sane through the cold months.


Spending weekends exploring the east coast has been amazing.  This was a sunset we watched from a dock in the Berkshires.  We were able to take the pups with us on that trip and they were in heaven.


This picture was from our last trip home for a wedding.  Getting to celebrate with our friends and family as they celebrate their marriage is amazing.  You are so much more aware of the little details after you've gone through the planning stages yourself.


This describes us so well.  Superman jammies, photo bombs and our first Christmas with just the 2 of us.  New York City is a beautiful place to spend the holidays and that made it a little easier to be away from family & friends.


Our first beach day this summer.  I just love this guy.


And one final picture from this weekend.  We were wine tasting on the North Fork of Long Island.  This guy spent the whole day with me, my mom & my mom's best friend as our driver and I could not be more grateful for his willingness to go along for the ride.

It's crazy looking at where I'm sitting today and knowing that there is no way any of this would have happened without Justin.  He's just the best and I'm pretty damn excited to see what happens from here.