Weekend

THIS WEEKEND | ...WAS AN ODE TO NEW YORK IN THE FALL

Life lately - it's been busy.

New York City happens to be just about the most overly-stimulating place known to man. And, I admittedly, happen to fall hard in the trap, if you will, of wanting to do it all. So, all of that on the reg., in addition to preparing for Equinox Pilates Training this December, many weekends spent traveling, an overly-ambitious work situation and well, just being my social-self, you could say my balance is (more than) a bit off kilter. 

But today, I watched the marathon. And for a good portion of it, I watched it alone. And during those moments of being alone (which is a rarity in my life), a few things became clear. I watched totally inspired, and moved by all of the strong ones who crossed that finish line. It was as if some serious sense of peace swept over me. 

Here are the thoughts that I thought. Some obvious. Some - not so much.

I really am a New Yorker. I have a full life here. I've established a life for myself here. The majority of the people I spent the past 72 hours with... happen to all be people I didn't know before planting myself here, on this little island I call home. 

A decision was made. While watching the marathon, I was moved in a big way; especially watching my coach, mentor and some friends crush the course. And I always am moved, but this year I decided I am going to try and run the New York City Marathon in 2018. And while it sounds far out, I want to properly train for this, and I really want to achieve this. While I know there are definite doubters, the believers outweigh it all for me. 

Step one? The first step in accomplishing this goal is going to take place this spring, when I face my fears and tackle the Brooklyn Half; a race that doesn't stand a chance in breaking me now. 

Last thing.

Saturday evening I was out late at a cocktail bar with an old friend of mine, and he asked me before I was leaving, "Are you really happy?", to which I looked at him totally perplexed. 

Then I turned to him and responded, "Yes, happier than I have been in a very long time." 

As I left and walked away, I felt no need for further explanation. My answer was concise, yet a simple truth. And while some days, or some weeks are better than others, the general consensus rings pretty clear. 

The people I spend my days with are serious rockstars; serious sources of inspiration. My weekends lately have been filled with travel; new places. My family has a group text that goes rouge 24/7 as we all keep tabs on one another. My fitness endeavors? They are continuing to grow and take root in new ways.

So, yes. I am happier than I have been in years.

And... I am also happy to be back in this space online; a place that I've missed. Can't wait to catch you up to speed on all of the things that have had me enamored lately. New York is a seriously magical place in the Fall.

THIS WEEKEND | ...WAS SPENT ON MY FAVORITE ISLAND

I LOVE to travel. I do. But I also love to be in New York, considering this city's greatness.

As this weekend is the last I will be in the city for the upcoming three, few things sounded better than partaking in all of my favorite weekend activities with a few of my favorite people.

Also: How hot are my friends? Jeez. 

Also: How hot are my friends? Jeez. 

Friday evening started our GNO series. Our what? Girls' Night Out series. Go ahead and take a moment to laugh - but like, it was totally successful and my girls all enjoyed. With everyone's travel schedules this summer, sometimes you need to wrangle down a few of your best gals and plan for a night of dirty martinis, rose and rooftop views c/o Mr. Purple on Ludlow. And because once you have one of these successful kinds of nights (street meat included for Queen Vic), you realize that one is not enough and this is going to become, well, a regular thing. 

Saturday morning started a Akin's Army Bootcamp at Bandier. Descriptors include a very packed room and Jake Gyllenhaal just a few mats to my left; descriptors also include a very challenging class and a mat fully soaked in sweat after 90 minutes. 

This studio gets uncomfortably hot, but I will admit: It's got a pretty calming aesthetic. 

This studio gets uncomfortably hot, but I will admit: It's got a pretty calming aesthetic. 

My slight obsession with Australian bites was fulfilled over avo toast and a flat white at Bluestone Lane Collective in the West Village. 

And since I have already come clean with my addiction to Soul Challenges, I completed my afternoon with Akin's 90 minute ride. Spoiler alert (!) comes in when I tell you this: It was truly challenging. But when One Dance comes on... damn. I lose it on that  bike and the second-wind mentality takes over.

Side note: Made the most amazing avocado banana bread (yes, a unique combo) loaded with blueberries. Dairy-free and swapped out sugar for light agave. Needless to say, this will be making future appearances. 

As for my evening, it was spent with my main chick, Jade, breaking (corn)bread at Red Rooster in Harlem. Guys: How the heck has it been five years of me being here and not once making it to Harlem? Our meal was totally Southern Comfort and the interior celebrated diversity, curated in a manner that almost transports one to another era. I loved it, almost just as much as I loved catching up with Jade (her boyfriend, brother, etc). 

Sunday I slept in (until 8am!) and had a cup of coffee - paired with a peach and small slice of the banana bread - while laying with my laptop. I rarely start my mornings this slowly; I should do this more often. 

Met up with Vane for more coffee at our new 'in between workouts' spot called Gasoline Alley. This was followed by SLT, then a very hard Soul. Trying to keep the pace was a challenge to say the very least. Happy to be surrounded by a girl where I can share my affinity for sweat with so frequently... and further, be supported so impact-fully. 

Recently have grown to love a grey day, and the mood ensued because of it. SLT Soho views FTW.

Recently have grown to love a grey day, and the mood ensued because of it. SLT Soho views FTW.

Rewards for our work came later on when we met Alina at Fresco; rewards in the form of a hearty quinoa patty bowl with avocado and edamame. Oh yes, and in the form of gelato to celebrate Fresco's fourth birthday (and also our week of putting in the work).

This kind of weekend was so necessary for me. It helped me find some sanity again before another daunting work week commences.

So, pardon me while I hop offline for a few days as I dive back into my daily routine... More days (!) to make count. X

THIS WEEKEND | ...IN THE FORM OF A PEACH BUNDT CAKE + ROOFTOP ROSE

There are seldom things I enjoy more than entertaining (working out aside) friends and family. I feel this love probably took root growing up in a home where my parents were constantly having friends over for hours spent throwing parties on our back patio and countless time in the kitchen preparing.

SO on Friday, a select group of my friends all gathered on the roof of apartment 88 for (what I like to think of as a  #magical) midsummer party.

Rooftop parties are a way of life if you live in the city in the summer; a place for friends to gather around, catch up over those insta-worthy views, all while consuming cocktails, wines, fresh fruits, vegetables and coveted cheese spreads. If you live here, then you likely know the kind of night I am talking about.

For me, the best part may have been rooted in the fact that, finally, my old friends got to spend time meeting a few of my newish friends (all relative in the scheme of things) met through the fitness community; and further, the fact they all got along so perfectly. This made all of the effort beyond worth it. 

Will this city ever cease to make me swoon? I sure as hell hope not. There's truly nothing like this view in the summer, crisp breeze and all.

Will this city ever cease to make me swoon? I sure as hell hope not. There's truly nothing like this view in the summer, crisp breeze and all.

Saturday's move?  Sweating out (three bottles worth of) rosé and an aggressive few rounds of desserts, from the night prior, at Akin's Army Bootcamp. Not a morning I need to re-live. Push ups and planks definitely involved a little bit of mind-conquering that morning.

Rewards came in the form of a rooftop sun-sesh with Vane, where we proceed to talk all things from the night prior... and the nights we are planning escapes in the coming weeks.

And oh man, you GUYS (!) Saturday night... 

The primary take away? It was very spontaneous. It was also very rich in random details. 

Sunday comprehensively involved all of the walking: both downtown, and later on, uptown back downtown. 

It also involved some Mister Softee + Pinkberry... because National Ice Cream Day. 

My morning started off so strong after taking one of the best Soul Survivor classes I have taken in quite some time now. Everything was in synch; Akin's messaging was on point and he really helped push my limits in those 60 minutes. I left high on sweat. #satisfying

 

 

Most of my day was spent with Alina, and involved Fresco (naturally) and a nice 8 mile (sweat-filled) power walk along down the Hudson River to One World Trade and back up again. And later, my night involved walking home from dinner at HU Kitchen on the Upper East Side with Jade.

All of this resulted in me logging 15 miles of functional movement. #canthelpmyself

These are the weekends during the summer, in steamy New York, that are quintessential to what one would envision summer-in-the-city to look like; rooftop parties, sunning and sweating, all whilst serendipitously making new connections during time spent wandering. And while none of this is new to me, per say, there still is something just so fascinating about how times like these are ones that will likely never be forgotten.

THIS WEEKEND | SERIOUS (REAL)TIME WITH SISTER IN THE CITY

Audrey came to town this past weekend. I literally can't even tell you how much I luv'd every second. But, come on. You know I am at least going to try. 

What's interesting? There wasn't one hiccup. Not one. I know. 

This scene though? Ever-so-dominant playground for Instagram.

This scene though? Ever-so-dominant playground for Instagram.

Sister landed early Friday morning, with just enough time to get coffee + museli with me from Epicurie at The Plaza before the work day started. We sat outside and briefly chatted about our expectations for the weekend including food goals (obviously) and all of the people we wanted to see. I wish more of my mornings started with her sipping coffee by my side. 

 

 

 

That evening, we made our way to the McCarren Hotel in Williamsburg for a pool party event co-hosted by one of the best in the biz, Zach Weiss, that really, well turned up quite quickly. The place mastered the insta-genic vibes with a concrete wall painted in bold and bright colors that made any #instagoals sheer perfection. We stayed for some time. And naturally, drank with the (spiked) Kool-aid. 

Finished the night with a few of my bests at Brinkleys over wine, Ritz Crackers (but, actually) and well, dollar slices for dinner.

See New York? You can be economical sometimes! Who knew. 

Started #saturdaystrong with Barry's Bootcamp, and Vanessa, by my side holding me accountable (especially to my push-up game) throughout the class. It's incredible the friendships that spawn over mutual feels to feel stronger. 

Not long after, Aud and I headed to Narcissa, at The Standard East Village, to crush the brunch game in their outdoor garden space. Highly recommend. It's a magical (and even, quiet) escape from the typical outdoor eating scene. We dabbled with the French Toast bites to start... and my egg white omelette stuffed with spinach and mushrooms, drizzled with a pesto on top didn't disappoint either. Add it to your list of spots to go this summer. 

Our afternoon was spent walking. 

Our afternoon was also spent poolside at The Jimmy at The James Hotel in Soho. Another place, you've just got to go. The sunshine, the rosé (basic) and the views of the city, all while being with family sparked some serious joy... and a whole lot of laughter provided by Victoria.

That evening we met up with our cousins for a dinner at DBGB for a most-necessary catching up session - outdoors. After all, this is the city that truly comes alive the second the retractable glass walls are opened up and the patio furniture is brought outdoors. 

Notable: The (small) eggplant app. It's definitely not one for the hungry, but the grilled flavors hit some savory notes. 

And we ended the night at Tiki Tabu above Sixty LES; drinks in hand with a full squad assembled.

Guys: Add this place to your casual but want.to.be.out.on.a.v.chill.vibe rooftop hit list for summer. Trust me on this one. 

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Sunday? While Aud caught up on beauty sleep, I did Soul Survivor in Soho to get the metabolism kicked in prior to our brunch reso at Rubirosa. Tie.dye.pizza will forever be the only thing I can order from that place. 

Spent the afternoon at Blue Ribbon Beer Garden (again, #rooftopping) with some lovely humans before walking around (forever walking) Washington Square Park and Nolita just a bit more. 

We ended our evening at Frank; I couldn't think of a better place to end our weekend but with a plate of homemade gnocchi with fresh sauce before our faces, burrata to feed an army and well, enough wine for certainly more than two ladies (that still was totally consumed, regardless). We sat outside, on Second Ave, for hours, never taking a breather from all of the chatting. 

She's a real beauty, this one. 

She's a real beauty, this one. 

We also had a server who made the experience that much more memorable i.e. all of wine, after dinner drinks and homemade pana cotta a girl could dream of.... 

 

I went to bed wishing the weekend didn't have to end. 

 

The life of being a New Yorker - itwell, it makes you a little jaded, sometimes. Then you have a visitor - family or not - around and you start to see the street corners with intricate art once again; the sunlight washing through a back alley that you forgot can be magical; the moments that begin to get lost when you've been walking these streets for five years and start to stop (make sense?) looking up. It happens.

Thanks for opening my eyes to this home I so love in the summer, Aud.

And of course, thanks for being my wing woman (and sister who is forever stuck with me...!) in crushing the most perfect weekend.

Next up? Looking up how to repeat this ( ^ ) as soon as possible. 

X

 

CELEBRATING BECAUSE... COLLEGE EDUCATED, SHE GRADUATED

College; it’s one of those places where you utilize very few of the skills actually taught in the classroom and all of the skills acquired while delving further into those mythical next steps of growing up.

It was a bit mystifying, heading back to Ohio (yes, again, back-to-back weekends) for the last Martillotta kids'  commencement. Time continues to tick on quite quickly these days. Everyone in the family is on that #grownup grind.

But that said, being back, it was very exciting to spend that mere 36 hours in the Midwest with my family; while of course drinking gin and tonics, toasting with copious amounts of Chianti -- all while celebrating my sister's accomplishments.  

This one right here? She's resilient. She's strong. She's determined. What more of a reason to celebrate? 

But, alas, it was a weekend where my parents perhaps deserved the biggest celebration of them all. They raised four children, who yes, have now all received college educations. But further, and far more importantly, they have raised four children who have looked to them every single day for guidance; and every single day this guidance was reciprocated. They have raised four children, who have sought them out as role models from day one; they have raised four children who have constantly looked up to them; they have raised four children who grew to understand the unspoken value in putting forth the effort to pursue passions, to really pursue them.

They continue to encourage us to push boundaries; to be bold; to be brave when the next steps are unclear; to be aspirational; to simply do things.

You - Mom and Dad - have raised four of us to understand that nothing worthwhile comes without rigorous effort, and therefore, have taught us to wake up every single day in pursuit of accomplishing something more.

At the end of the day, graduation really is one of those things that does deserves proper celebration. It lends itself to the next phase, where finally, you begin to understand that the whole learning-thing has only just begun.

Albeit cliche, it's a pretty damn exciting thing to think about. 

APRIL WEEKEND(+S) | ...BECAUSE SEEMINGLY THEY'RE BLURRING TOGETHER

PREFACE - WILL ADD PICS LATER; WANTED TO POST THIS ASAP (#slacking) BUT ALSO WANTED TO GET SLEEP (#necessary)

Wow, you guys. When I think about April, I think to myself how the hell can one feel so many feels. Highs and lows; uncensored emotions. And then I remember; we live to learn in experience. And I also note; Mercury is in retrograde (and seemingly every other planet is too - a v. serious thing to remember right now).

I believe - well, know - I am missing a few majorly epic weekends that don't deserve to be forgotten. That said, totally rallying right now and going ahead with a cliff-notes version; my brain is pretty maxed out from werk madness these days. 

WKND I | SAMMY TAKES NY (...LIKE A CHAMP, OBVIOUSLY)

It's certainly no secret that when my brother, Sammy, and I get together, ruckus becomes reality. Highlights? Well first and foremost, spending time with the kid. He's one of those people that you just want to be around. It's a weird thing to explain but it probably has something to do with his antics and bold personality. That, and the fact that we could kill hours talking about places we want to travel, places we want to explore, and the like. 

A few days of having him on the island and this is a glimpse of what happened; 

  • A warm welcome that started at 11:30pm but somehow ended hours later after frozen margs, live music at dodge-y bars (uh, hello Pianos...?) and well, ended the next morning when I woke with a strong hangover. 
  • Pizza Beach because how else do you engage with friends (hey Michael + Justin) on a Friday than over martinis and margherita (and brussels sprout) pizzas? And of course, Sammy ended up calling the shots that night; planned out pregame, bar scene, etc. That's him.
  • A day trip to DUMBO, Brooklyn for one of the sunniest of afternoons this Spring has dished our way. Brunch at Atrium (and happened to include a dreamlike biscuit situation), a ferry ride to South St. Seaport, followed by a very late dinner at Morandi in the West Village with two of my faves, Sarah and Nick. And let's not forget a #firsttimer experience at Output in Brooklyn... the anti-club club. 

Listen up - I could go on and on about how it was one of my favorite weekends of the year - really (you're not surprised, I know) - but let's not forget how I prefaced this post. We're going for the cliff-note version this time around. Just know I love when you visit, Squid, and can't wait for your next visit.

 

WKND II | KARA COMES TO KICK IT

When this lady comes to town, it's like getting the band back together. At the end of the day, us Miami design school kids just can't split. And really? It's not a shame. 

Highlight reel; 

  • Sitting for hours at Frank, I mean outside at Frank, indulging in the largest burrata in all of Manhattan, paired with Monteplucciano and laughter that resulted in tears of joy. Those kinds of nights might be the most simple, but also the ones you know you'll just never forget. 
  • Nachos and wine on the roof topped off with an epic sunset. Us New Yorkers like (love) a badass sunset and the city put on a show that night. 
Name one thing that tops this: _________________. 

Name one thing that tops this: _________________. 

  • Would you have expected that she would get to sleep in on Saturday? Absolutely not. She got a taste of my favorite Saturday morning ritual, that of course, started with Akin's Army Bootcamp at Studio B. Let's just say the girl earned her shower. 
  • Frying Pan ALERT: We took it over. Justin, Dylan, Victoria, Kara and I spent hours outside #basking in brews and breezes off of the water. Winter had me hankering for a day pseudo-seaside. I guess you could say we were inseperable that day seeing as we wound up at a BYOB joint in Alphabet City - Eleven B - and danced the night away at Pianos. Oy. In the words of Victoria, "Our bodies are made to dance...!"... 
  • Sunday brunch at Prune. We can call this a reminder that this spot has been compiled to hit the top of my best.brunches.in.ze.city list. Homemade whipped ricotta with figs, honey and pinenuts? Dead.

Whether we are in New York City, or Oxford, Ohio roaming fields and the picture-perfect college town, this was a weekend spent with people that will forever be rocks in my life. 

 

WKND III | ...WAS SPENT W. AN ATHLETE (WHO IS ALSO MY YOUNGEST BROTHER)

When I tell you I needed this weekend, I mean I really needed it. There's something say about the slower pace that resides in the Midwest. Granted; not for me majority of the time, but after what has been an absolutely insane past few weeks at work, I needed the city respite for the little bit of sanity I have left. 

Things that happened:

  • B'fast and talk of wedding plans with the lovely bride to be, Danielle, at the Flying Fig in Ohio City. Chianti and a cheese board in my sunroom with Han later in the evening in our sunroom (#faveroom) followed with lots of laying on the floor with my pup. 
  • Traveled a few hours to partake in Rocket-gate (aka a tailgate) with Toledo University's super fans, followed by a game in the rain. Nothing like that Northeastern weather to really warm the soul... Psyched. 
  • Really just loved hanging with P + S and Sammy during the games. Basic but true. 

I had to continually remind myself to slow down and continuously remind myself of the real reasons I was in this weird area of Ohio. It was a good mental exercise, really. 

Other things you should know? I absolutely adore my brother John. I so very much admire his extensive talents, on and off the field, but more so his ability to continually remain humble. I don't know how he does it. It's funny though; he's the youngest child - well really, man - in my family, but continually inspires me to be a better person; to act with more kindness. 

After spending the summers of my youth traveling the country to watch both Sammy and John play an extremely high level of baseball, with teams and families that I will always remember v. fondly, it kind of struck me that it was all coming to an end as I watched the last game I would ever see John play at this level. I'll never forget those summers. All kinds of warm feels. 

 

So that's the #condensed update... because I know you've been sitting on the edge of your seats for it. Come on now... Be honest ;) 

PS - Jetting off to Ohio (...again) for the last Martillotta's graduation this weekend. Wait, what?

PS(x2) - Did I mention I'm going to Australia in a week? Because - well - that's happening. 

 

THIS WEEKEND | ...I NEEDED MY WEEKEND

Fell into Friday pretty emotionally exhausted. What a week (!) 

That said, this weekend; I needed my weekend. And luckily, I live on a small island that usually brings me back to my senses quite quickly in the 48 hours we dub as the weekend. 

The first portion of warming this soul started on Friday evening celebrating the engagement of my dear friend Meaghan (oh hey, FitCrasher) and Matt at the most elegant party on the Upper East Side. Visualize: lots of champagne, passed appetizers and a whole fan club of people supportive of the lovely couple.

My thoughts are quite simple in describing this (and them): lovely. 

 

Also: Park Avenue in all of it's glory

Bowl game strong Friday night: zucchini and cauliflower on repeat, topped off with some chili flakes. 

 

...this is 25... 

And Saturday morning, I woke up feeling myself again. It's a remarkable what a solid night of sleep will do to help you reset. Madd and I headed to Akin's Army Bootcamp - seemingly something we've made a weekend ritual quite quickly together with La Colombe and all - to get coached to new strengths by our fave.

We always leave class on a high. 

Since it was extremely rainy, i.e. cold, miserable and the like, I figured it was the perfect day to bake some chocolate peanut butter (protein-packed) cookies from my favorite food blog The Secret Ingredient Is... and damn, did I make a wise decision. True life testimonial from an acclaimed peanut butter addict (me): imagine the taste after taking your spoon into a jar of peanut butter and further, dipping it into dark chocolate chips, where you could literally repeat this motion all day long. That my friends, is what these cookies taste like; hitting the nail so hard on the head. Recipe here

I've said it multiple times before but since moving to NY (almost 5 summers ago...), Mexican cuisine makes my world go round.

I've said it multiple times before but since moving to NY (almost 5 summers ago...), Mexican cuisine makes my world go round.

As for our evening? It was spend celebrating Mel's birthday at La Esquina. The food was absolutely phenomenal. Still dreaming of the mushroom tostadas and the plaintain chips with queso fundido. And Mel? Well, this girl, she outdid herself on setting the table (yes, we had assigned seats), ordering just the right kinds of pitchers of margs for the table (oh hey, passion fruit!) and treating us all to an evening that couldn't have been more perfect with our design crew. 

 

 ^^ p i c s on pics to scroll through ^^ 

It's crazy, really, to think of all of the places we have all been together. 

It's crazy, really, to think of all of the places we have all been together. 

Sunday brought about the nonnegotiable(s): Soul Survivor and a coffee date I totally rock at third-wheeling, more coffee at Maman later (like duh) and Y7 Yoga with Kels and Cat, followed by a much-needed catch up at Fresco afterwards. Rounded out the day with some major foam rolling... as I seriously have lactic acid build up from the past few sweat sessions. 

Feeling ready to take on a new week. Feeling even more grateful that it is a new week.

THIS WEEKEND | PLANKS AND PASTEL CELEBRATION

Easter. A word, and weekend, synonymous with pastel-colored eggs, bunnies, benedicts and bellinis, dresses covered in alluring flower prints, preppy bow-ties and, well, if you're lucky, some warm weather and budding blooms. In fact, we tend to get so caught up in these sensory-inducing #things that we often forget the reason we are even celebrating to begin with.

I digress.

Friday night, I spent the evening at Mission Chinese Food with Jade and her lovely family. I adore her parents... and there are few things better than going to dinner with a family that loves to eat. Who wants to go out to eat with people that pick at their food? Not. I. 

Also: I have truly encountered my fair share of great dishes, but the green tea noodles at this joint? They are winners. Order those... and the pop rocks dessert. 

Saturday was spent sweating. Started at a full body bootcamp with Akin's Army with all of the troops lined up at Studio B. Per usual, I left the class so psyched about the session and strength gained. Because I had nothing else to do the rest of the day, I found myself parked front row at a 90 minute Soul challenge... alongside many of the people I finished bootcamp with earlier. Endorphins. Amplified. 

My dinner 'er reward? Vegan peanut butter chip ice cream from Van Leeuwan

Easter morning I didn't go to church. But I did take time to remember the reason for the day.  I walked to Black Seed Bagels and had a morning moment to myself to just reflect? Seems like the right thing to do with coffee and an everything bagel before you. Shortly there after, headed to Basking Ridge, New Jersey to spend the rest of the day with Victoria and Kels' fam. We drank rose, ate so much (insert: a cauliflower au gratin dish) and a chocolate peanut butter peeps 'smores dip that was to.die.for. Good work Kels. 

But back to where I started: if you forgot why we all were partaking in fun extra-curricular activities, I will help clear it up for you. I'm not an overly-religious person, but I am sure as hell spiritual and do believe that this weekend was meant to celebrate him rising up. And to celebrate forgiveness. And over all else, to celebrate the brilliance of his most powerful, radiating love from above. 

Hopefully you celebrated this with ones you love, too. This city is idyllic in the spring. x

THIS WEEKEND | SURPRISES 'N PREDICTABILITY - YES BOTH

Let me preface this post with the mere simply do not have time for any sort of cold situation that is going to slow me down; especially when it cuts into my weekend jaunting. My biggest, er, struggle was forcing myself to do less this weekend. But you’ll soon see - I think I only made that goal - well, half-way, this time around. Probably why I am more sick today... 

Mane-maintenance: a true nonnegotiable. With the change in seasons, it was time to lighten the locks a bit. That being said, there is no other place I would trust more for my #springsprucing other than the hair whispers at the Oscar Blandi Salon on Madison Ave. 

Side note: kidnapped Kels for a quick piercing on our way uptown. Like when I say quick, the pit stop and piercing all happened in under 10 minutes. 

#earparty

 

I had a serious case of the chills all day long (no fun zone) but this helped cure me some to get ready for Jade’s evening soiree. Chris threw a surprise party that truly had our girl, well, surprised. The party consisted of a wine tasting that involved multiple bottles of various reds - all from ze Americas - and each of us trying to figure out which bottle was which, etc. And of course, what party is complete without homemade guac, brie and gummies? 

Only fail for the night? There isn't a picture that has everyone's #approval to post of the group, but there’s no faking it: the people that were at the party are my people for life. Please review our exclusivity clause if you’d like to be included. Kidding; kind of. 

My Saturday morning started with a few shots of ginger and cayenne from Juice Press to ward off any further nonsense that could slow me down. Shortly after, made my way to Akin’s Army Bootcamp at Studio B. I’ve never loved the structure of a class as much as I love his one.hour.and.thirty.minute full body magic — and I have never been surrounded by more people who all aspire to build together; finding new ways to make our body react. 

I did try to nap during the afternoon. And I did, successfully, fail. 

My night? It was spent with Jade. And it was spent doing what we do best: consuming dirty martinis, at The Dirty French, and trying newly buzzed-about restaurants. This time we headed to the Lower East Side to try Wildair; a James Beard Award nominee for best new restaurant in New York. 

I want to repeat this exact meal, over, and over, and over again. 

I want to repeat this exact meal, over, and over, and over again. 

Being a girl who’s had her fair share of eating adventures in this city (too many?), I often leave enthusiastic about the ambiance and underwhelmed by the plates. Not the case at this spot. It’s wildly appealing for foodies who enjoy fresh cuisine that’s not trying overly hard. For starters - the bread - it was incredible. And not all olive oil is created equally, but the one served here? Unreal. The charred red beets blew my mind, as well as the little gem salad. And did you really complete a meal if you don’t try the dessert? Three words: chocolate peanut tart. Game over. 

Honestly, the night was perfect. We ended it in the West Village with drinks at The Happiest Hour and another spot that I don’t recall the name of…

My Sunday routine was varied this week as I wanted to give my body a bit of a break. I opted for a mid-morning sweat session with hot yoga at Y7 with Kels. Honestly, felt amazing afterwards. Sweating out any last bit of cold I had in me. 

Naturally, we rewarded ourselves with acai bowls, sweet potato hash and kale avocado salad afterwards. By now you’re probably scratching your head, wanting to figure out a way to tell me I have got to get someone to sew my mouth shut, etc.? I’d let you… but I would miss espresso far too much. 

Rounded out the weekend with upping my meal prep game for the week ahead + making a rice krispy treat birthday cake with tiers of frosted flakes and dark chocolate chunks for a friend of mine. 

It’s a classified process; learning to love living in this city the way I do.

Happy first day of Spring! Glad it's giving us such a #warmwelcome

Side note: My little brother, Johnny boy, was featured on ESPN's Top Ten plays of the day for his catch in centerfield for the Toledo Rockets. Proud sister. Way to make your dreams come true. Check the catch here

THIS WEEKEND | MY THIRD.WHEEL.GAME WAS STRONG

I like weekends without an abundance of set plans. While they're a rarity, I went into this weekend without too many commitments and all ended up working out, well, quite consummately. Really. 

Friday night, I dated Madd and Ed. Kind of kidding? But then again, kind of not. Started the evening with wine and apps at Madd's apartment, followed by the utmost v.i.p. treatment at Arturos c/o who frequents the restaurant habitually for good reason; a spot I can say with certainty that I will be returning to time and time again. Envision this - fresh parm on arugula, penne with homemade vodka sauce + a large pizza loaded with veggies (skinny swallowing) - then, add a small jazz band adjacent our table (baby grand and all), checkered table clothes and a lovely couple across from me. What more could one want in a Friday dinner date?

Moved by new friendships rooted through a passion to better one another.

We then partook in Catchphrase. We then rounded out the night at Spring Street Lounge.

The night ended late. The night ended successfully.

And a Saturday morning wouldn't be complete without a start at Bandier's Studio B with a 90 minute training session led by Akin. Madd, Ed and I (note: third.wheel.status, success) left feeling that inevitable endorphin high, fully inspired to continue to create better versions of ourselves and of course, totally ready for a strong coffee from Toby's Estate off of Fifth Ave. And of course, had a lunch consisting of a quinoa granola bowl with homemade almond milk and fresh strawberries from the best in town: Fresco. 

Lots of movement before quickly throwing myself together for an afternoon at the Bronx Botanic Garden with Jade and Mel for the Orchid Show.

More of a succulent kind of girl, to be totally frank with you. BUT the orchids were also v. pretty. 

Things you should know: 

It takes quite a bit of time to get to the Bronx via subway. Lots of subway time. Wow, like a lot. 

The show? It was worth seeing - seriously. I'd highly recommend going. It was kind of crazy, to be fully honest, how calm I felt walking through the entire conservatory exhibit. Something about nature, and the purity of the plants, that just makes your mind race a little less, and your head think a little more clearly.  

Us three have ze best adventures together. We really do. 

The rest of Saturday was spent walking around with my sister-friend Jade, watching Sex and the City final episode reruns, drinking dirty martinis on the Upper East Side and having Tor join us for dinner at UVA. This is where bread and burrata, plates of pasta and pairings of wine from Pulglia can be inserted. 

Quick reflection: My friends? They're always my biggest inspiration. How we got here? How we got so blessed, etc.? I try not to take it for granted. 

I digress. 

Sunday mornings usually look the same (you know this) with spin in Soho, followed by a stop by Happy Bones for a large coffee. Wowzers. I'm such an addict. 

 

 

 

 

Spent the afternoon at my first Rangers game and my third consecutive day with Madd and Ed, and my sidekick aka pseudo-date, Lizzie B. We had the most amazing seats (thank you Madeleine!) and #stadiumsnacks. Duh.

We also lost (...) but hey, the company was a win. So, as the saying goes: ya win some, ya lose some. 

Hockey terms I understand: GOAL. LGR. LGR. LGR. 

Hockey terms I understand: GOAL. LGR. LGR. LGR. 

The rest of my afternoon was spent on the rooftop with the roomie followed by some serious relaxing... since there wasn't a whole lot of that happening at any other moment throughout the weekend.

Things I have come to terms with: I rarely sit. 

Starting my week off reveling in the people that I know that inspire me to live unabashedly.

All kinds of mixed highs this weekend. All of the warm - literally & figuratively - feels that come along with the warm winds that Spring brings along with it. 

P.S. I love to third wheel ;)

THIS WEEKEND | & THE FEELS THAT ENSUE WHEN YOU MEET YOUR IDOL

After what felt like a marathon week, I could not have been more excited to come home to an empty apartment, pour a glass of wine and cook alone... while listening to Frank Sinatra. I just made myself sound v. old. 

But I cooked a dish of rice noodles topped with sautéed cauliflower, asparagus, chili flakes and drizzled with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. It was pretty damn delicious. 

All of this was the most necessary of fuel before heading out with my lady, Lizzie, and her squad (always rolling squad deep, always) to hop around to a few locations before a private party on top of The Jane Hotel for The Knocks album release party. 

 

 

Let me preface with this: every time I go out with Lizzie, great things happen. It's the craziest thing (!) but one that I surely will never complain about. 

Let me cut to the chase here: I MET HANNAH BRONFMAN!

I met Hannah Bronfman; fitness guru, NY socialite, Adidas fit model, Founder of HBFit and basically a vision of the wellness lifestyle I try to live by. Guys (!) I can't even believe it still. And the biggest bonus of all of this? She is so sweet and engaging. My girl crush has been amplified. Wow, guys. Wow.

And on Saturday morning, I used that #starstruck energy to crush a Barry's Bootcamp class in Noho with Maddy and Vane. Good morning full.body.domination with Niv. Hard work leads to good things though; insert brunch. 

Locanda Verde was calling, so Claire + boys made our way to Tribeca for a brunch of manging that covered all of the bases I was jonesing for. Menu breakdown? Freshly glazed donuts (not usually one for donuts, but d.a.m.n...) and warm banana bread, with a side of ricotta drizzled with honey and crispy sour dough to start. To start, that is correct. This of course was followed by the main event which consisted of soft scrambled eggs and a small salad with wild mushrooms. Mouth party, all the way. 

We spent the afternoon on Madison Ave exploring at the Gagosian Gallery and playing house in Ralph Lauren's mansion of a store that takes you to another world... if only, you guys. If only. 

And later that evening, I had dinner in Soho at Bò Cà Phê, a trendy Vietnamese spot, with Jade, Chris and posse. It's certainly no chore to enjoy an evening with this company over bottles of wine, the sampler platter of appetizers and a zucchini noodle dish that blew my mind. A wholesome meal completes a Saturday night. It just does. 

Okay, so most of us wake up on Sundays and wish to lay in bed. Not the case for this chick, this past Sunday. Akin is back in town (with a whole new bag of bike tricks for us to master) and his #army could not have been more psyched to sweat it out at spin (finally! gosh, we missed you) at 8:30am. My fave Sunday morning posse (Maddy + Ed) then headed to Ceci Cela afterwards for a quick coffee. All of this before I made my way to The Standard Hotel for Nicole Winhoffer NW dance and toning class -- in ze MOST beautiful studio I have worked out in this city to date. Seriously. Those wood paneled walls and ceiling? The views that overlook the Highline? 

Heart beating. Energy flowing. Vibes penetrating. Back to back sweat sessions. 

Riding a serious high. Feeling more than blessed. Hello, world. 

Fueled up on an acai bowl before making my way to the Upper West Side for a day at The Natural History Museum with my boys, Justin & Dylan. We spent hours roaming from one floor to the next, looking at dinos and planets and successfully getting lost multiple times. Personal fave? The American Animal exhibit. Moose mania. 

Another weekend so full of time spent with my loves. March is bringing it bold already. 

...and I'm a major fan. X

THIS WEEKEND | ...WE DRANK EVERY DIRTY IN MANHATTAN

Gallery wall on F L E E K. Perfectly lit. Super seductive. 

Gallery wall on F L E E K. Perfectly lit. Super seductive. 

It's always on the most unassuming nights when you somehow wind up with a much later night than you'd bargained for... which, if you couldn't tell already, leads me to Friday evening. 

Victoria and I headed to Tartinery in Soho for winter salads, beets and burrata and of course, a bottle of Chianti. It was so nice to just catch up with her outside of the apartment since we'd both been away the past couple of weekends. So, we did as middle school friends do: we laughed a whole lot and made fun of even more. Oops? 

But because we weren't ready to end our night, we headed to Mr. Purple: a chic (I know, I know) enclosed rooftop bar in the Lower East Side where we proceeded to consume dirty martinis. This is when I will refrain from sharing the number. 

Our night ended shortly after there because with views like ^ this ^ you get caught up quickly as time is spent doting over the skyline. Our skyline. Our home. 

Saturday morning, I woke up and headed to Yoga Charged at The Movement for a killer class by Courtney. I already have serious balance issues... but let me tell you, after a late night, it's even worse. However, I always dig a challenge and that's what the class proved to give. 

Shortly after, I met Jade at Combina in Soho for a brunch of Mediterranean tapas. Each dish - aside from the b. sprouts - contained eggplant. Not one complaint about that situation. Eggplant is my achilles heel, second to peanut butter and zucchini... It was such a nice afternoon catching up and not having anywhere to rush off to. We ended up walking about 6 miles (avid iPhone Health app tracker) taking in the sunshine and strolling down some fave streets from Nolita to the West Village back to the Lower East Side.

This is where the nick name farm girl still comes into play... 

^ a r t

And Sunday, I was up early so I walked over to Barry's Bootcamp in Noho for full body torture... and to ensure I had enough room to finish a full stack of pancakes at Clinton Street Bakery for a brunch date with Kels. 

YOU GUYS: there is substantial evidence now for the reasons people wait hours for these things. My banana walnut chocolate chunk pancakes were the sh*t. And so was my morning, and multiple cups of coffee at Why Not while we waited for our table, hanging with Kels. 

Not all pancakes are created equally. It's one of the most true statements. 

Not all pancakes are created equally. It's one of the most true statements. 

And the weather? Wow.za. Such a teaser of what's to come in the next few weeks. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around, window shopping for my next pair of Nikes, and finally making my way to SLT.

Seizing every last drop of sun before heading to the Marko-Andlinger flat for ze best Oscar viewing party. Let's just say this, if the following elements are involved - champagne, lemon parmesan spaghetti from Supper and crack pie from Momofuku Milk Bar - how could you have anything but a fab time?

Blue skies and filtered light for.the.win.

Blue skies and filtered light for.the.win.

And LEO WON. He finally broke his longstanding curse and took home that metal statue. 

Beyond happy for Brie Larson as well. So deserved. And her counterpart, Jacob Tremblay, is beyond the cutest. The relationship those two share is beyond... and it's one that should be nominated for most-genuine. 

It's Monday. Tomorrow's March. Buh-bye winter blues. X

WORDS | ...(+) A WHOLE WIDE WORLD AHEAD

I was out late last night. 

But, this morning I got up early. Of course I did. That's what I do. 

I wake up. 

I work out. 

And I continue to repeat this routine because it drives me. 

But this morning walking to my coffee shop, after an extremely challenging class at SLT, I couldn't help but think about how it wasn't always this way. It wasn't always that I found peace-of-mind during moments of finding mental strength, inevitably building my physical strength.  

It took time before I got to the point of finding this release; this physical release that brings me clarity. 

As I have so many thoughts going through my head right now (all of the thoughts, always too much thinking), I can't help but let my mind divert to one of my favorite quotes from Great Expectations

 

We changed again, and yet again, and it was now too late and too far to go back, and I went on. And the mists had all solemnly risen now, and the world lay spread before me.
— Charles Dickens - Great Expectations

There is nothing more crazy (is that the right word?) than looking back, and, seeing that you can't go back. You can't change what's happened (or maybe what hasn't) due to your own decisions.

Obviously. 

But, you can look ahead. You can look ahead and see there is a whole lot of ground to cross. And you get to think: holy crap (!) there is so much to come, there are so many possibilities, there are so many unforeseen ways we will change, grow, etc.

It's thrilling. It's really so thrilling.

There is so much ahead for each of us. But you have to take advantage and find that thing that brings you life. 

What drives you forward?

THIS WEEKEND | WHEN YOU PUNCH THE BODY, THE FACE

This has winter has been a season of becoming; one where no connection has gone unnoticed, and neither has the value add. 

These are less than four bones per taco. Can't beat that in this city. Ya just can't. 

These are less than four bones per taco. Can't beat that in this city. Ya just can't. 

On Friday, I had one goal set out to accomplish: indulge in tacos. SO. That is exactly what I did. I high-tailed it out of the office and made a beeline straight for Taqueria Diana… because not all tacos are created equally. And yes, that is a fact. 

The rest of my evening was spent with some of my very favorite New Yorkers in Alphabet City at a party to welcome home our girl Linds, who has just returned from almost a year in Tel Aviv working with an architecture firm, falling in love (!) and gaining perspective. 

Saturday was spent… well, sweating. Maddy and I headed to La Colombe for a quick caffeine boost before an one.hour.and.forty.five.minute bootcamp with the sergeant himself, Akin, at Studio B. When I say it hurts to lift my arms, I will clarify: it really hurts to lift my arms. But we left feeling so accomplished, inspired, the like; at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. 

Like, did we cast the sequel to Fight Club? You guys will never know. But this place was ze most intense. 

Like, did we cast the sequel to Fight Club? You guys will never know. But this place was ze most intense. 

This was all before I decided to be spontaneous and do a boxing class at Overthrow Boxing Club off of Bleeker with Lizzie. And when I say it was a no joke sort of class: it was a no room for messing around kind of class. However, wow, I really threw some punches. Kind of wondering why I don’t engage in this “boxing” thing more often. We rewarded ourselves with Liquiteria. 

If you're looking for casual drinks with friends - this is definitely your spot in the West Village. Try.

If you're looking for casual drinks with friends - this is definitely your spot in the West Village. Try.

< 3 this one. 

< 3 this one. 

And the rest of the day? Spent with S, and co. We started at the Comedy Cellar for a few hours of, what some would call, comedy. There were a lot of performances - I repeat - a lot. Few were funny though. But we did have an occasional laugh. And we also got told to shut up. So, that was that. 

Shortly after, dined at The Happiest Hour, which has a whimsical feel about it… well, whimsy paired with a refined 70’s flaire. I was a fan. I was a fan of the fries that we split too. 

And again, we met up later in the evening to hang with our fave Nicks in New York. I so love every time we all hang… and talk about food. For some reason, that’s always the topic of conversation. Such savvy foodies we are. 

This bar scene FTW. I am thinking it might be my new Friday night #happyhour hang out.

This bar scene FTW. I am thinking it might be my new Friday night #happyhour hang out.

Slowed down a bit on Sunday. Started with a Soul Survivor in Soho, coffee with my spin sidekicks at Ceci Cela afterwards and an extremely long shower (yes, like upward of 20 minutes) when I finally returned home. My afternoon was low-key: writing and walking sums it up. 

Ended the weekend at ACME with my cousin and our friend Nelson visiting from London. He spends so much of his life traveling and exploring the world; exploring it in the context of immersing himself in the culture. For instance, he has been to four different continents in 2016. That should give you a better idea... and furthermore, fills me with ideas. 

As Americans, maybe our thinking is off. Maybe we need to do less of the living to work thing and do a little more of working to live, explore and grow. As of late, I am really trying to leave it at the office more. It’s an added resolution (to the many)… as of, today.                                      

How did your weekend shape up?                                                                        

THIS WEEKEND (well, last) | ...DID IT UP BIG, DENVER STYLE

Travel, man. It's just one of those things you really have to do for yourself, your sanity, etc. - especially when the winter feels have really kicked and we cart around our heavy cold-weather gear as if it's become our second layer of skin... 

So I escaped the nonsense for a bit and headed to Colorado, to, well, escape and immerse myself in that Western lifestyle with a few of my closest friends that have recently moved out there.  

Highlights and the like are probably what you're most interested in, so that's what you're going to get. 

 

FRIDAY

I had the pleasure of kicking off my trip to Colorado with lunch in Cherry Creek and the company of three of my favorite Denver-ites: the Oakes family. Some of my all-time favorite people on the planet. Only missing person was Alan - forever my main man. It was fantastic to catch up with them and talk about the next time we will be able to get the two of our families together.

Shortly after, Ash, my best friend since the spry age of nine (!), came by to pick me up. We didn't spare a minute in catching up and headed right to View House to kick off my "vacay" with an overly-large hefeweizen on the roof, because, yes, it really was that warm outside. 

 

The long and the short of the rest of the night? Margs and Mexican fare (insert: too many fresh chips + a massive bowl of guac), crafts at Upstairs Circus (note: crafts while intoxicated are never ze most simple thing to do) and finally, all of the drinks (quite literally!) with the girls and a whole crew of the boys (aka Sammy's squad) that we went to college with at Miami University.   

 

SATURDAY

And... we woke up "tired". 

Started our morning at Union Station with a very long (but worth-it) wait for breakfast at Snooze. It actually wasn't so bad after I got my coffee... but we strolled around and hung in the middle of the station, which is a brilliantly designed to make people congregate, and it totally works. 

But back to b'fast at Snooze: the potato hash 'round' was phenomenal. But the game changer? The coffee + donuts pancake: a pancake 'donut' filled with granny smith apples and topped with chai glaze, walnuts, etc. I will reiterate: worth the wait

The rest of the day? Well it was spent out and about mingling, being social: one of my very favorite hobbies. 

 

SUNDAY (Valentine's Day...!)

Let's just say the altitude + drinking? They'll get'cha. They will get.you. In hopes of a quick recovery, we headed out for fresh doughnuts that were honestly, melt.in.your.mouth good. They were piping hot, so not fully cooked (if ya know what I'm sayin') and dripping with fudge, cookie crumbs and other skinny, health-conscious toppings... 

And the ice cream cone? Well, that was dessert, but the ice cream at Sweet Action Ice Cream was so on point: chunky peanut butter with extra nuts? Sign me up. Truly, the sweetest Valentine.

But, as I was saying, you have to fuel up for a hike somehow, and a donut just seemed like the best way to go about it. Shortly after, Ash and I headed up to Boulder to go on the Chautagua hike: super scenic, super muddy. That sums up my feels on that little adventure. Honestly, would have preferred to tackle a bit of a more challenging hike, however we were not properly equipped. 

Need to see wide open spaces like this more often.

Need to see wide open spaces like this more often.

Side note no. 1: There really is something to be said about being detached that made me long for more of it in my everyday affairs. It renews your faith in things... 

Side note no. 2: Boulder is an awesome town. Could totally jump on board with the reason people decide to live there. Time was well spent in that town. 

We toasted our #luv for one another of bubbles + martinis at a bar in the heart of the city. We then had dinner at Euclid Hall for a dinner of warm winter salad, roasted root veggies and crisped cheese bites. Also known as: food that makes for invigorated tastebuds. 

One of the pleasures of visiting a friend that falls into the sister quality is that you can literally sit and talk about nothing and everything simultaneously. Did that make sense? 

 

MONDAY MOVES

Re: End of trip sadness. 

Have you ever been to Red Rocks Amphitheater? If not, you must go immediately. It's that pretty. Ash and I headed out early on Monday morning, picked up 'ze most insane peanut butter & jelly smoothies (like actually, so delicious) and headed to the Windy Sadle Open Space Park - or The Overlook - to do as one does: overlook. 

Rocky. Mountain. High.&nbsp;

Rocky. Mountain. High. 

^ Yes, you see, it's quite clear why many migrate to the state. Is it not? 

But as mentioned, we headed to Red Rocks Amphitheater to hike around, explore the grounds and take in the exotic color scheme presented by none other than Mother Nature herself.

I'm very into the idea of a room with white walls and accents pulled together from the various hues pulled from the rock formations... who needs a space designed? I want to help spend your money. 

^ Couldn't help myself. We had to do a few pushups, planks + backbends. Gaining perspective, that actually, was far from upside down. 

Looking for healthy eats in Cherry Creek? Head over to True Food Kitchen. Menus like this one overwhelm me, solely, because for my vegetarian-self, there is the widest of varieties offered. Best part (?) No grease (thank goodness... after previous eats) + an LA-esque open floor plan vibe with color brought in by the vibrant fruits & veggies. Such a win. 

Finished the afternoon mosey-ing around before (sigh) heading to the airport for a slightly, but not shockingly, delayed-departure.  

 

This trip helped me to restore some of that much needed inner-fire that had been burning a little less due to the daily grind that lately has given me some anxiety, just trying to keep up with it all. I needed some clarity; some respite from the things I worry about. Why worry? No benefit in the long run. 

Ash, thanks for being the best host. And Em (+ enterage) and Mady, so happy we got to spend time together. Love you, ladies. 

Already in the back half of February. Each week, we are a little closer to that Manhattan Spring magic that, well, all of us long for. X

THIS WEEKEND | ROOM TO ROAM... CHECK

Maybe it's all inline with the feels that the winter blues procure, or the fact that everyone needs a dose of vitamin D, but by Friday (lately) all of the feels seem to channel one desire:

48 hours of freedom

Admit it. It's true. There is generally something in the air on a winter Friday that just screams a needed respite. 

So, I did as one does on a snow-scaped Friday in February and attended a turtleneck party with Lizzie and company at Bleeker Street Bar. It was ze most fun being out with her, per usual, yes. Did I mention, much tequila was also consumed? Or... 

And on Saturday, that little tequila worm was sweat right on out throughout the course of an hour-and-a-half Akin's Army bootcamp at Bandier with the crew. Talk about a humbling experience? That was it. Fully inspired to learn how to work my backbend into a fluid motion... amongst other things. You should always feel challenged to do more, eh? 

After, we celebrated with banana almond butter smoothies at HU. Full body experience #activated + a successful morning with Maddy - one of my favorite people to work out with. It's crazy the friendships that can grow over a love for pushing one another to be, well, bigger than we thought we could be. 

Spent the rest of the afternoon roaming around with my crew consisting of Justin, Dylan, Jade + Mel exploring The Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District.

Highlights?

The Frank Stella exhibition nailed it as far as art is concerned. Large scale. Bold. Colorful. And I usually am not so into the "color thing"... 

But here it works - it just works. 

Although, I almost always prefer white, black or grey... 

IMG_3758.jpg

Geometry + color stories for the win.

And then, of course, the architecture of the building itself was the real winner for us architecture nerds. The exterior circulation of the building via metal staircases that exposed you to various views of the city, was, in my opinion, brilliant. 

We completed our day-date at The Gansevoort Market over Mediterranean... before my individual unit headed back East. What a lovely afternoon. 

And because I can't help myself, I just had to stop at MILK Bar for a pretzel-cereal milk soft serve cup, because it was freezing and made ample sense at the time. 

My Sunday morning was predictable: a double ride at Soul Soho with a few of my people (and an added burn from the morning prior) followed by a large coffee at Happy Bones. You can call me a creature of habit in this sense, it's okay. I'll agree with you. 

That afternoon I fueled up with my kind of "super bowl" at Fresco (and maybe a small scoop of PB gelato), followed by some errands to prep for my jet-setting that's happening this weekend (Denver bound, remember?)... and I actually crossed all of my to-dos off the list. Are you shocked? I'm shocked. 

The rest of my day was spent with Jade, brews and well, Super Bowl 50. Bey and Coldplay kind of crushed it - per usual. The kaleidoscope color show was pretty epic in my opinion. The 'Believe in Love' spelled out by the crowd? Pretty damn awesome. And the win? Convenient timing as I will be in the winning team's city in four days.  

The week ahead is absolutely slammed, starting with a party tonight to launch the bespoke pop up flower boutique designed by Ron Wendt at WestHouse New York, a few b'fast meet ups and a whole series of classes to knock out before heading to Denver on Friday a.m. at... 6am. #fingerscrossedidontmissmyflight 

THIS WEEKEND | WAS 'ZE SOREST OF THEM ALL

WOWZA.

Friday 6pm could not have come any faster. Lots of strange vibes all week left me seriously longing for the weekend and a short bit of respite. And that's exactly what happened this weekend. A mental break + w h o l e lot of sweat. 

Translation: champagne + chaturanga on repeat. In the spirit of living a balanced life, eh? 

Friday evening, met one of my workout chicks, Alina, for dinner at Caravan of Dreams; a vegan restaurant in the East Village. It was unreal. And we ordered... three entrees + two desserts. And I want to go back already. We honestly sat at the place for three hours, as one does with a friend who provides soulful advice. The mushroom "burger" wrapped in a rice? Wow. And the Nutella crepes topped with coconut whip? Wow x2. People are naive when they think raw foods taste bland. Educate yourselves. 

Shortly after, I was snoozin' c/o a little thing called a food coma. 

Also: table cloth game? So strong. #sparkles 

 

Early on Saturday, I met up with Kels for Y7 Hot Yoga in Soho. The vinyasa flow is seriously vibing quite well with me these days. It's honestly like the Soul Cycle of the yoga world. That said, are you surprised I dig? 

Left soaked in sweat and feeling a little lighter before heading to The Movement Fitness for Yoga Charged; essentially yoga combined with some serious strength training and core work. The class was no joke. Walked out fatigued and challenged to find better balance. 

The day was gorgeous so I walked. I (window) shopped. I did as one does on a sun-filled day in January. 

And then I met up with an old friend for a few drinks, then met up with Mel for a quick #snack at Risotteria Melotti before heading to Claire's birthday fête (!) at PIORA in the West Village. 

 
How pretty are my friends? Jeez.

How pretty are my friends? Jeez.

The evening was filled with many (too many?) bottles of champagne, polaroids and the most epic of chocolate cakes I ever did taste. Decadent would be a good describer of this dark chocolate beauty that we consumed. And are you even shocked at all that little Claire would have a cocktail created for her royal self? Happiest of birthdays to you, Claire; a truly unique individual with a heart that's forever giving more. 

The night was lovely. The night ended late. 

 

And the morning came too quickly... 

But it was started strong with a double ride and that Akin buzz. My arms. They're burning. My heart? It was beating. It was a two hour stretch resonated perfectly. The music combo had me feeling, well, all of the feels

Shortly after, met up with Claire + Ben to rehash the previous evenings' shenanigans at Lafayette over so.much.coffee and soft scrambled eggs with truffle and leek and oh.my.gosh. We had a laugh, or two. 

The rest of my day looked like this:

Whole Foods

Meal prep

+ 30 minutes of a massage on my very sore self.

 

GUYS: life has been totally crushing it lately. Crushing it. It's been filled with so many positives. So many highs. The past few weeks I have made some really awesome new friends through sweat seeking. When you find something you love, and commit to it with a full heart, the possibilities multiple tenfold. 

Hope you crushed your last 48 hours. New week. New buzz to keep strong. xx

 

THIS WEEKEND | #JONAS STOPPED BY

Oddly enough, or maybe not-so-oddly, this weekend brought nothing but those good kind of vibes alongside the endless inches of snow. Thank you, Jonas. Seriously.

I'm pretty sure I say this every time I go out with the chick, but nights out with Lizzie Q. are always some of my favorites. Her #clique is on point. Quality people; the kind that are more few and far between in this city than one would imagine. We watched the Rangers game at a bar in Tribeca, drank lots (obviously) and well, made new friends, which I believe is the proper way of stating it.

What. A. Late. Night... That led to the most lazy of mornings with breakfast in bed and watching the snow fall. It was blissful. 

Vague, but I will just say this: all hope is not lost. 

Later in the afternoon, went over to Kels, Jess and Cherylin's apt for a #snowday escape. We really did get hit with so much snow. So much so (!) that much of the city shut down starting at 2pm, which gave us the perfect excuse to drink wine, eat cheese and listen to Sia (my current obsession). I'm not one for lazy... but afternoons like this are sometimes necessary.

Spent the rest of the evening with Marko eating Napoleon style pizza, drinking craft beers... that eventually turned into BudLight and watching Room. If you haven't seen this movie; it's an absolute must. It's one that definitely pulls on the heart strings, makes you think a little harder about how lucky you are, and so on. 

ROMANCE. If this doesn't make you fall in love, then I hate to break it to you, but all hope might be lost for your little soul. Really...&nbsp;

ROMANCE. If this doesn't make you fall in love, then I hate to break it to you, but all hope might be lost for your little soul. Really... 

Nothing beats a sunrise covering the glean of fresh snow. Anything but frozen for the feels here.

Nothing beats a sunrise covering the glean of fresh snow. Anything but frozen for the feels here.

Sunday? You didn't think I would miss my double ride with Akin's Army in Soho, did you? Talk about one way to stay warm in this cold. Successfully left the class dripping with some of the crew and headed for a re-charge, aka coffee, at a neighborhood fave - Ceci Cela. And... this was followed by a 2 (+) hour brunch with Justin at Supper. Supper is the coziest of cozy places to spend a morning in Alphabet City; signal multiple cups of coffee, an epic garlic cannelloni bean dip and a hearty laugh about so many things. All of the things. 

It was a weekend where I will admittedly say I was less than ready for Monday morning to roll around. Hope yours was as cozy... and full of surprises. 

 

 

THIS WEEKEND | AUSTIN GOT ME LIKE >

WOW. Talk about a weekend that's left me seriously beside myself with a whole deck of new memories. My heart is so full after the last few days spent in Austin with Kara and Erin Michaela (and others).

Let's dive on into it... After all, that's what you're here to read. I think.

All of our flights got in relatively late since we all headed out after work on Friday, but some how, some way, we found means of rallying after all dealing with extremely annoying humans on the plane. 

TOUCH DOWN IN AUSTIN TOWN

We checked into our airbNb off of Dexter St., where we had a huge studio loft space above the "garage". I could have moved into the space gladly. It was not a garage. It was a beautiful studio.

How awesome is the modern architecture of this house? Swoon-y for sure.&nbsp;

How awesome is the modern architecture of this house? Swoon-y for sure. 

Anyways, we headed to the other side of the river where we went to Peche for a light dinner. Totally kidding. It was a dinner of mac'n cheese, fries and mushroom fritters. When in Austin... Leave with high cholesterol 'er something like that?

Honestly though, we spent the night laughing so hard - making fun of each other - and of course, partaking in drinking activities. It was the warmest of welcomes.

SATURDAY


Well, I swear - we tried to sleep in. We really did. But, it just simply didn't happen. However, I did con both of the suckers (!) to scratch my back... So I think it was a win overall.

We walked into town, the ya know, "scenic route", meaning the longest way known to mankind to be sure we were extra hungry for brunch at South Congress Cafe. Any place that brings you mini cornbread muffins as a 'teaser wins. Also, any place with batter-y chocolate chip pancakes wins. We loved.

We then shopped around at a few of the seriously well-curated boutiques on the street, picked up a couple of trinkets (repeat: no self control) and took another break for coffee at Jo's.

Shortly after, it was an acceptable time to take down a bev., we headed to Bangers Sausages and Beer Garden off of Sixth where we proceeded to seriously laugh (recurring theme) for hours over flights of beers before meeting up with the mayor of Austin... Our man of the weekend, Billy, at Bar 96.

Crazy fact: See the boot stamped on the glass? They actually will tattoo that on you for FREE if you fill out the paperwork. It's the craziest thing I have ever heard. And even crazier? People do it.

Crazy fact: See the boot stamped on the glass? They actually will tattoo that on you for FREE if you fill out the paperwork. It's the craziest thing I have ever heard. And even crazier? People do it.

The day started off grey but quickly turned around once the town realized the value of the guests in town ;)

We headed home for a quick (most necessary) refresh before heading to Lamberts in town for dinner. It was freakin' delicious; mouth watering chile queso and fresh chips and garlic (!!) broccoli and jalepeno martinis. Done.

 

Side note: these two chicks have been a straight up back bone to me over the past years. I truly can't imagine more honest friends. And I truly can't wait to watch our stories each unfold even further.

Again, met up with Billy and the boys for further instigating on the drinking scene. We headed to Whitehorse for live music and dancing and photo-boothing (now I am just completely making up words). It was perfect. Smiling just thinking about it, to be honest.

Things I learned: I absolutely cannot two step. My poor lead...

I made up for lost ground, for at the very least, a laugh. I think ;)

 

 

A not.so.scary SUNDAY 

Sunday snuggles and stuff happened before getting our acts together for our next brunch adventure at Sandra Bullock's place; Waltons Fancy and Staple. Again, mind blown by the vanilla almond milk latte, chocolate croissant and egg.buscuit.sammy (pants fully unbuttoned by this point) that were consumed. No self control.

Rest assured: we walked about 13k steps to shed a few of those bites... Before heading to Torchy's Tacos.

We tried three different taco trucks (y i k e s) and this was hands down the winner.&nbsp;

We tried three different taco trucks (y i k e s) and this was hands down the winner. 


REPEAT: no self control, when in Texas


My mind blown was by the fried avocado taco. Honestly, maybe a happy life just happens to be made by a good taco and guac. Like guys - I'm not kidding.


Oh, I almost forgot to mention we actually stopped by the Whole Foods HQ (pre-tacos) to pick up green smoothies (#necessary) and wine (detox, then retox) for later. The store was massive.

Spent the afternoon with Billy and his funny friend, Andrew, at Ginny's for... Chicken Shit Bingo. Yes. That's a thing. And yes, it draws the most unique (as you can imagine) crowd. My crew was pretty captivating so I was in no rush to leave.

We also witnessed a pretty epic sunset that gave me goosebumps; admittedly, I sometimes forget to look up.

I really don't like to use the word perfect, but in this case, it's applicable.&nbsp;

I really don't like to use the word perfect, but in this case, it's applicable. 

The gals and I headed to The Odd Duck for dinner where we split tons of tapas. The portions were super small, which was super refreshing, seeing as we had quite the day of consumption. It was a dinner full of love, heart-felt talks of aspirations, and of course, talk of where we hope to be in our careers in the coming years. Surround yourself with the people who lift you. This trip was affirmation that it's the only thing that matters.


Ended the night with tequila and the boys.

MONDAY MOURNING (our leaving, of course)


And seemingly the morning rolled around too quickly for my liking. We went to Elizabeth Street for a Vietnamese, Parisian-inspired breakfast. Sound extremely unappetizing? It was phenomenal - my mind was blown by the homemade almond milk, Vietnamese pastry and egg white poblano pepper sandwich. I was also so swoon-stricken by the interior; my heart skipped a beat for the details from the chairs to the speakers to the printed menus.

SPACES LIKE THIS &gt; I honestly was in my own sort of heaven with each and every detail.&nbsp;

SPACES LIKE THIS > I honestly was in my own sort of heaven with each and every detail. 

 
This 'everything' croissant filled with cream cheese (?) - it was everything.

This 'everything' croissant filled with cream cheese (?) - it was everything.

Afterwards, stopped by the Criquet Clubhouse to check out the space and say our goodbyes before heading to the airport. And, alas, the airport served as a mini detox for me starting with drinking Kombucha and so.much.water. 

Weekends like this are of utmost importance. I forget to chill. I forget to not run around and pack my days. I forget that work doesn't need to be taken so seriously. These are the weekends that give that reboot to fuel the spark again.

Feeling blessed. Feeling high. Feeling full. 

...and already feeling like I am really wanting to go back x

THIS WEEKEND | CHILI + COMMUTING AROUND TOWN

I love winter for many reasons, but one of the heavy hitters for me is in part due to all of the warm comfort food that coincides with the season.

i.e. chili. 

On Friday night, a group of us headed to Jade's on the Upper East Side for a lentil (vegetarian) chili that was truly, quality. I mean, it had just enough spice to really give it a kick and was hearty, which really, is necessary. Everyone brought a bottle of wine, I made a jalapeño cornbread to pair with the chili, and Mel surprised our birthday boys, Justin + Dylan, with a homemade buttercream cake. And let's just say, the butter cream? It didn't disappoint. 

All yes to all of that. What more could you ask for on a Friday? J-bird, thanks for crushing the host game. 

Nights like that >

Followed by morning views like this >

The next morning I woke up early (like 7am) to head to SLT in Soho for a sweat session with Claire. Those machines of torture are weirdly addicting - in part because you want to be able to do the moves with even more fluidity and in part because you see the results - but nonetheless, we earned our brunch. 

The morning after burn is always epic. J'luv.&nbsp;

The morning after burn is always epic. J'luv. 

Which leads me to the next big news: finally got sat at the infamously overly-crowded Egg Shop. 

I suppose there is legitimate reason people geek out over the place - the egg sandwiches are on point (mine was a biscuit with egg whites, gruyere - the best, avo - obviously, and a caramelized onion aioli) and so is the ambiance. Brunch fans, rejoice

Mornings: FTW (for the win)

 

 

 

And then I was secretly happy because the weather turned gloomy and it started to rain. So, I decided to do something kind of crazy... 

I napped. 

I actually just shut the eyes and napped. And since we're being honest here; it felt amazing.

Saturday night, headed to Williamsburg with J and a few other chicks for Shelter Pizza, which was pretty much inhaled within seconds of being placed on the table. We got sat by the fire - not sure you can ask for more than that - especially when you're in a city that actually doesn't have fireside seating everywhere (unless I am missing something...?). 

Taking the subway home last night, I looked around and admired my car - some freaks, some couples, some sexy men, etc... and just thought - how crazy is it that we're all here in this hard ass city because we love to feed off of the energy it breathes. Crazy, right? 

Finished the night with (free) Fresco Gelato, peanut butter, of course. 

Started off a very soggy Sunday with a double ride that really - well - really burned. So many bursts of energy throughout the two hours. Hamstrings. On. Fire. 

Afterwards, treated myself to an almond milk cappuccino at Happy Bones, and decided to save some cash (t r y i n g to be better) and make my own b'fast grain bowl of quinoa, broccoli, avo and egg. Not bad eh? 

ALSO - these peanut butter chocolate chip energy bites? AMAZING. Stole the recipe from The Secret Ingredient Is... so simple. So good. Love ya Mich! Oh wow, love me some peanut butter. Heart heart. Perfect for my week ahead where I will pretty much be out of my little a-p-t from sun up to sun down. 

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Because the majority of the day was quite rainy, not much else to report.

Well actually, walked around for a few hours, did a little shopping and some Globes watching at Kels'. HOW HOT IS KATE HUDSON? She slays. Forever fave. 

Coming at ya hard Monday. So psyched for trip no. 1 of this year in Austin. Can it just be Friday?