Signs of the South

We just returned from a nice week in Myrtle Beach.  After 6 days of perfect 80 degree weather, NYC’s 50 degrees was a shock to the system.  But I’m happy to have a whole weekend ahead to get through a busy to do list, attend a baby shower, prepare for the work week, unpack and cuddle with Pettitte.

Myrtle Beach is a place my family frequently went growing up.  I always had a great time and have many fond memories playing in the ocean and mini golfing. MB gets a bad rep and I have to admit that at first I was a little embarrassed to say I was returning as an adult.  That said, it was much nicer  than I expected or remembered, and I see why it’s a great place to go with kids.  We spend the week with my nieces and nephew and had an action packed week of beach, pool, and other activities.

Our trip started at LGA in a terminal with very few enticing dining options.  I had wanted to do a post on healthy airport eats, but offerings came up pretty short.  We eventually stopped at the one cafe in the terminal.

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I ordered a coffee and the organic grapefruit.  A few minutes later, I learned that they were out of grapefruit. Oh well.

We made it to Myrtle Beach and check into our hotel.  We had a pretty spacious one bedroom suite, that felt enormous by NYC standards.

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Then we headed to Market Commons, which is a combination of retail, restaurants and condos.  It’s actually really cute and we ended up spending quite a bit of time there over the course of the week.  I recommend Nacho Hippo and Tulepo Honey for food.

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$2 bud light limes all day, every day

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Tacos

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Taco Salad

After some pool time, we went to Broadway on the Beach for dinner.

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We ended up at Landry’s, which had painfully slow and disinterested service, but decent food.

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The next morning we went for a run on the beach.  One of three that week, all lovely.

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A highlight of the trip was a daytrip to Charleston. It’s such a pretty southern city.

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Lunch at Magnolias was delicious.  I’d love to do a food tour of Charleston next time.

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The rest of the week involved golf, mini golf, shopping and beach time.

It was  great to have some family time, but I’m never sad to return home to NYC.

I hope you’re having a great weekend.

Weekend Wind Down

I can’t believe it’s already Sunday night.  Where do my weekends go?

This weekend was pretty low key, which was actually fine considering we have or are traveling every other weekend in April.

The weekend started with some wine and cheese at Corkbuzz followed by a birthday party.

While I felt like I did nothing on Saturday,  I did book dinner reservations for every night of my family’s week long vacation in a few weeks.  It will be the first time of all my siblings, spouses, nieces and nephews (11 people total) will be on vacation together.  Ever. It should be interesting for sure.  I’m mostly looking forward to the day trip to Charleston!  Does anyone else what Southern Charm?

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The night ended with a nice dinner at Aroma and catching some live music on the lower east side.

This morning I went on a five mile run.  Late to the game as usual, I just discovered how amazing podcasts are while running.  I’m really into Jess Lively’s podcasts, she is a fantastic interviewer!  In fact, this podcast/running revelation was really my entire reason for writing this post!

If you have a podcast recommendation, I’d love to hear it.  I’ve heard a lot about Serial, although that may be too intense while running!

The rest of the night should consist of finishing up the 7 loads of laundry we are doing — not joking. The one plus of not having laundry in unit is having so many machines available in the basement.  It really lets you procrastinate on the laundry front.

Dinner was simple but delish, caprese salad and spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs and roasted broccoli.

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Good night!

Weekend Round Up

I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend so far!   I’m just hoping that the rain doesn’t wash all my beloved cherry blossoms away!  BTW, good luck to all the DC Cherry Blossom 10kers!

The sun is peaking out now, but I decided to head indoors for my run today.  I used a guest pass at the Union Square Crunch. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a Crunch, but overall I liked what I saw.   They had ample cardio equipment, friendly staff and no lines for any machines.

I’m traveling quite a bit this month, so I think I’m going to wait until next month to give classpass a go. I still have some spinning and barry’s class packages to use in the meantime.  I do appreciate those who tweeted, posted or emailed their thoughts on class pass-super helpful!

On Thursday, I joined Subway for an event at Soul-Cycle!

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It was a good class at the Leroy Street location.  Super sweaty with a good dose of Beiber and Beyonce.

After that we stopped at Subway to check out some of their fresh eats! I’m always down for a veggie sub with guac.

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Subway is planning more fitness events in the future, so shout out #springintosubway if you’d like to join in!

While we are talking food, I have to shout out my new favorite restaurant of the moment, Covina!  It’s only been open a few weeks but I’ve already been twice.  It’s a cool atmosphere, moderate prices and a diverse menu with something for everyone. I mean, check out that hummus plate!

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I hope everyone has a good weekend!  I’m headed upstate where it’s supposed to snow.  I hope your forecast is warm and sunny! :)

Thanks to subway for the complimentary soul-cycle class and free sub!

Workouts on Tap for the Week

I’ve been slowly getting my workout mojo back. I’m not sure where it went for a while there, but it feels good to be working out with intensity again.

My plan for this week:

  • Monday: Living Room Bootcamp + vigorous cleaning
  • Tuesday: Flywheel
  • Wednesday: Barry’s
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Fhitting Room
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Long(ish) Run ~ 5 miles

It’s just me and Pettitte this week, so morning workouts are a challenge.

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I always feel bad if I don’t get to give him lots of attention in the morning. But I’m getting to bed early, so the early wake up calls aren’t so bad.

Another thing I tend to do when Frank’s away is cook things that he doesn’t like.  Salmon for example.  This salmon avocado cup recipe is so good.

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and completely random salads

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Did you know that today is National Happiness Day? I enjoyed this article on 10 Basic Rules for a Happier Life.  It really hits home how important relationships are.  Reading it made me glad that I made a point to make plans every night this week. I often let insecurities get in the way of reaching out and connecting with friends and lately I’ve been doing my best to move past insecurities and trying to really make the effort.

I wish you the happiest Monday!

 

33

It’s always difficult to write about birthdays. It’s hard to deny that you’re getting older when you put it in writing.  While I wish I could slow time down, I always start a new year with an almost unreasonable optimism. 33 happens to be my lucky number, so perhaps 33 will be as magical a year as I envision.

In any event, it’s off to a good start!

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My staff surprised me with a cake and the most amazing video! A real tear jerker.

I had a lovely dinner with friends at Pizza Beach!  For some reasons the photos refuse to stay right side up in wordpress!

Somehow Pizza Beach was followed by more pizza at Marta on my actual birthday!  So much pizza! The straciatella pizza at Marta is to die for, or maybe it’s to live for!

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The hazelnut gelato wasn’t bad either :)

To balance out all that pizza, I had an amazing endurance class at Uplift.  At first I thought it was kind of easy, but I left on cloud 9 feeling ready to tackle anything.  I also took a killer Barry’s class this week.  It ran 6 minutes over and I felt every extra second! Whew!  Not a bad way to kick off training for the Brooklyn Half.

Speaking of half marathons, good luck to everyone running the NYC Half this weekend!

 

 

 

 

Five Things I’m Obsessed With – 3/12/16

Hello Friends,

I hope your weekend is going well.  I know everyone in the NYC area is enjoying the spring like weather!  Here are a few things making me happy this week:

Free Birthday Workouts

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 Several studios we kind enough to offer me a free class for my birthday on Tuesday. I’m signed up for an early morning Uplift class –it’s actually the endurance class, which I’ve never tried.  I’m also hoping to drop by Physique 57 after work. I’m looking forward to some fun birthday celebrations tonight as well.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

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 After saving up my Sephora points for years, I finally decided to cash some in. I tried for this moisturizer and I love it.  I can wear it in place of foundation or concealer on most days.  It’s really light and blends well. I’ll definitely be buying the full size product soon.

Fixer Upper

I’m into home reno shows in general, but Fixer Upper might be my current face. I love Joanne’s creativity and style. I also love that they redo the WHOLE house in most episodes.  If you haven’t read “28 Things You Love About Chip and Joanna Gaines,” check it out.  We are currently renovating a condo we bought several months ago and I never appreciated how once you do one thing, it always leads to another and another and another.

Garmin Vivofit 2

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I tested this for a review a while back and really liked it. I  received one for christmas and just finally took it out of the box.  But now, I’m totally back into it.  I walk quite a bit and easily hit 17,000 steps a day, but definitely need to up the intensity of my work outs.

Women Need to Stop Saying Just 

This is a really insightful article on words that women use in the workplace that signal uncertainty or an unnecessary apology.  “I’m just checking in…” I’ve been working on cutting just out of my work vocabulary, particularly in emails.   It’s a great read for anyone.

 

Quitting the Gym and Not Looking Back

On January 5th, I did pretty much the opposite of what most people do around that time of year, I canceled my gym membership.

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I rarely went to my gym and I was basically just donating $60 a month to the company. While this isn’t a crazy expensive gym membership for NYC, paying anything for a gym you aren’t using is a waste. I may as well have put it toward 2 studio classes.

Why didn’t I use my membership?  I picked the gym because it was a block from my apartment, and while convenience is important to me, I now realize it isn’t the most important thing.   I never liked the space or facilities and I found the constantly broken down machines with yellow caution tape depressing.  I don’t need frills, but I also don’t want a machine to be broken for months on end.

Anyways, I haven’t decided exactly how to proceed.  I could join another gym that is slightly further away or I could look for deals on studio packages. I’ve also considered joining something like Daily Burn, as I don’t mind home workouts.  Perhaps the option I’m considering most strongly is trying ClassPass again.  It seems that they’ve made some positive changes since I last tried it and I definitely can’t afford to take 3-4 studio classes a week at the a la carte price.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing lots of Tone It Up workouts and a bit of running here and there! It’s also time to dust off the Garmin Vivofit I got for Christmas to see where my everyday exercise is clocking in!

 

Best Restaurants of 2015

This year I had more than my share of delicious meals.  I wish I could have given a full post to each one, but this recap will have to do.

Top New (to me) Restaurants

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El Dorado Kitchen (Sonoma) – This was an awesome spot in Sonoma Square.  It’s everything that fresh, clean California food should be, plus great service at reasonable prices.

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Boathouse (Disney Springs) – Great addition to DS and fabulous outdoor dining.

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Giada’s (Vegas)-  Giada’s has the best views in Vegas hands down.  The atmosphere Giada has created is incredible and I recommend the small plate options to share.

Mission Chinese – This is a really fun LES spot to share lots of different things and escape with your wallet in tact.  You can get adventurous without going too far outside your comfort zone.  Very yummy food and good drinks.

Louie’s Backyard in Key West (Key West) – A seafood lover’s dream in a relaxed atmosphere with stunning water views.

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Narcissa – Narcissa blew us away with great options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.  The carrots wellington lives up to the hype and the cocktails are not to be missed.

Marc Forgoine – Sexy atmosphere in Tribeca with inventive , modern cuisine.  Their fabulous Bell & Evans chicken was one of the best meals things I ever ate.

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Cosme – Cosme is tied for first place with the Clocktower for favorite of the year.  It is such a fresh take on Mexican and I loved the vibrant, unexpected flavors.  The corn tortillas are the best I’ve ever had.  This also made the NYTimes’ Top Restaurants of 2015 List!

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The Clock TowerAgain, his was one of my favorite meals of the year.  I loved the bar scene and the young and fun the atmosphere. The food is delicious and without restraint. We ended up chatting with the couples on both sides of our table because everyone was in such a great mood.

Honorable Mentions & Places We Loved Returning to:

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Great Casual Finds:

  1. Nicoletta
  2. Paulie Gee’s
  3. Mimi’s Hummus
  4. Mimi Cheng’s Dumpling
  5. Hummus and Pita Co.
  6. Fresh and Co.
  7. Torchy’s in Austin
  8. DJ’s Clam Shack (Key West)

New Years In Key West

Happy 2016!

I can’t believe we are only 4 years away from 2020, that seemed like the distant future when I was a kid.  It’s kind of crazy that we are living in the turn of the century.

I just returned from a great New Year’s in Key West.  It.was.awesome.  I feel so energized for the new year. 2015 brought lots of change (good and bad) and 2016 promises to bring even more (hopefully mostly good). I’m ready to get after it!

After spending Christmas Upstate in balmy 70 degree weather, we returned to New York to celebrate with Frank’s family and our adorable new nephew.

Then we took off for Miami.  We enjoyed some beach time and an amazing dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab.  We had to wait almost 3.5 hours, but with good friends and a fun celeb sighting of Ryan Phillipe and his new fiance, the time passed pretty quickly.

Then it was on to #allthefood. So much food, but so good. Here’s a shot of Joe’s namesake:

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The next day we hit the open road for Key West.  The drive took about 6 hours rather than 3, but it was still fun thanks to lots of guest djing and good views.

We checked into Casa Marina, which had the most breath-taking grounds and beachfront. Right up there with the Four Seasons Wailea.  It was on the quiet area of Key West, which I just loved. You could still walk to everything, but it felt like being on a Caribbean island rather than in a party town.

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The hotel rooms and service didn’t really match the ambience (or room rates), so I’m not sure we’d stay there again without a good deal, but boy was it stunning for our first trip to the Keys. Besides, I have my eyes on the Key West Real World House for my next visit — it’s on AirBNB.

That night we walked around Duval Street and stumbled upon a great dinner at Bliss followed by an awesome night of live music at the Green Parrot.

Our second day, we enjoyed some rest and relaxation at the beach before a last dinner and New Year’s celebration at Louie’s Backyard. I can’t recommend this place enough, make sure to sit outside.  I’m now officially a New Year’s Eve dinner person rather than bar party person.  It was so nice to sip great wine with friends and enjoy the evening without crowds and commotion. #imold #sothisismythirities

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Our last morning in Key West we went on a bike tour led by my friend and three time ironman, JLo.  By the time we finished, we were famished and a lobster roll at DJ’s Clam Shack was in order.  The roll was awesome,  2nd only to Luke’s Lobster. 

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After a little more beach time and sad goodbyes, we hit the road back to the mainland.  We had much better luck and got through 150 miles of keys in 3 hours, which gave us time to make a pre-airport stop at Season’s 52. I’ve seen it on so many blogs, that I had to try it.  Pretty darn good – I love all the small plate options. I had the kale caesar and the artichoke and goat cheese flatbread.

We got back into New York around 2:30am.   So I got about 5.5 hours of sleep before I had to get on the metronorth to pick up Pettitte in Poughkeepsie.  4 + more hours of travel went faster than expected and it was so great to see P again. Even though he is a rascal and needs so much more training, we love him to pieces and missed him so much while he stayed with his grandparents.  To his credit, he is an excellent traveler and was such a good boy on the train. Also huge thanks to the metronorth for being so nice to animals.  Pettitte sat in his bag the whole time, but the conductor was kind enough to let him stick his head out so he could enjoy the view.  On a side note, has anyone found a good carrying bag for dogs around 30 pounds?  P’s only 22, but he’s so long that his carrier which claims to hold dogs up to 25 seems a bit snug. 

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I hope everyone had a great New Year. Here’s to 2016!

Dog Owner’s Gift Guide

I’ve been meaning to write about some of our favorite toys and dog gear for some time and a gift guide seems like the perfect way to do it.

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It’s hard to believe it’s my baby beagle’s 2nd Christmas.  He is so loved and I hate that he is growing up so fast.  He really is a part of our family.

Over the last year, we’ve probably purchased close to 100 different toys, beds, crates and treats.  There are definitely toys that we no are going to last no more than 10 minutes, basically anything stuffed.  Then there are things that we’ve used almost everyday for months.  I’ve put together my list of awesome products that are worth the investment and might even give you 15 minutes of time to yourself once in a while.

Treat Balls:

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OMG. Treat balls.  Both of the trainers we worked with when Pettitte was a wee pup suggested treat balls.  It slows down the time it takes for a dog to eat their meal and makes them work for their food.  As P is a huge food hound, these have revolutionized our life.  Pettitte immediately mastered the task of rolling the ball with is paw or nose to get the food to come out, but it still takes him at least 10 minutes to finish his meal.  We use the soft Omega Paw Tricky Treat ball on hard surfaces and the IQ Treat Ball on soft surfaces.  The IQ ball is nice because you can make it more difficult, but it’s super loud on non-carpeted floors. Must have for puppy owners!

Kong:

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Again, life saver.  P never had much separation anxiety and we may owe that to the kong.  We give him a kong filled with peanut butter and dog food each morning and he happily trots to his kennel and doesn’t even notice when we leave.

Everlast treat toy.

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This wins for longest distraction time.  I timed it the first time I gave it to P and it took him 22 minutes to finish the treats.  I use it even without the proper treat inserts because you can stuff it with anything.

Brindle Super Soft Memory Foam Dog Bed.

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I swear that Pettitte sleeps better on this bed than any bed he’s had before. He is in such a deep sleep when I come home, it’s crazy.  I think he prefers it to our bed! This bed is also pretty affordable on amazon, way cheaper than beds at most pet supply stores.

Antlers

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Antlers are really great because they last forever and they aren’t smelly. If I was watching Pettitte’s weight, I’d also like that they are low in calories. The best prices I have found are on  bestbullysticks.

LeanLix

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These are great training tool because it doesn’t take any time at all for your dog to consume the treat and refocus. It’s also only 1 calorie per lick.  There are lots of fun flavors and it lasts a while, so they are a good value.

Bark Box 

 

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I love this for gifts to our doggy friends and petty’s siblings.  It’s always fun to see what the new cool dog toys are!

Mutt Mitts

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These dog bags changed my life.   They are everything.  They provide you FOUR layers of protection when cleaning up after your dog.  I really could go on and on, but these are a game changer.

I wish you and your pets a happy holiday if you are celebrating and hopefully you enjoyed this dog toy round up.  Let me know what is on your dog’s wish list.