Foliage Watching

I’ve been a wee bit distracted by the gamut of orange littering the street. There’s little more beautiful than the transition of Fall.

image

 

And evidently, I’ve been too distracted taking pictures next to leaves to blog the past few weeks. Infinite apologies.

image_1

Note: I do have other shoes I swear

 

While I wasn’t foliage watching, there have been a few notable moments:

1) Halloweening in Chicago. It’s a hard life being a party animal unicorn. Costumes followed by a girls weekend in NYC. In withdrawal from everyone and both cities.

image

image_4 image_3

image_6 image_2 image_7

1395781_10201228592812004_102755164_nimage_1 image

 

2) It seems that I’m late to the auto-correct text jokes. Regardless, I lost my whole night a few hours of productivity this weekend due to uncontrollable laughter and amusement. I’m actually still chuckling to myself, which my coworkers are clearly loving this bright-eyed Monday morning. Read THIS

 

3) Mediterranean for lunch. I’m successfully hitting my Falafel quota every other day. Be still my heart.

image

 

4) Wearing my underwear on backwards, because I’m that cool. Or maybe because I’m just that lazy to make the transition after my discovery in the work stall. Well, at least I got treated myself to Starbucks. Cheers.

Good day

Good day

 

5) Candy wrappers at the gym. Washington Sports Club is the epitome of health.

nothing like a Hershey's Kiss to fuel your crunches

nothing like a Hershey’s Kiss to fuel your crunches

 

6) My thoughts on trail mix exactly.

image_9

 

8) Colleen’s new VW body. This made for a very fun drive to our 10 miler trail race.

image_2

1382022_10100478610387893_176785214_n

 

9) Tranny Tuesdays in Dupont. But really, there was a wine night with le friends and then the annual Dupont Drag Queen Race. Quite an impressive display of Halloween costumes and very tall, made-up men.

 

How has your November been?

 

WIAW: NOLA Edition

New Orleans saw a college senior roll in for Mardi Gras…and limp out. And we can say that my body and health are still recovering from those four days. Nonetheless, I came back to the scene of music, humidity, and food. I’d like to underscore food many many times. I did a lot of running (indoors I might add, in order to avoid heat stroke hospitalization) to counter the NOLA tastings over countless days.

There was a successful balance between cooking and eating out.

 

 

Breakfast:

Birthday buckwheat pancakes par moi. Banana, just like dad used to make (cough, cough)

image_5

image

image_4

image_1

image

 

Brunchers:

New Orleans must. Isn’t this what everyone eats post yoga class?

image_5

image_6

 

Lunch:

Hidden neighborhood juice bar. Is that not the most amazing menu design??

image_1

 

I’ll keep the lunch portion short and sweet. Let’s just say it involved starvation scavenging  a male fridge for something edible. Feat in itself, ladies and gentlemen.

image

 

Din:

Is there anything better than a peasant dinner? Bold red, hearty wheat bread, pungent cheese, guacamole (game time decision), and an amazeball greek salad. Can I get an amen?

image_3

image_2

 

And there were also restaurant tapas. Four times as expensive and not as delicious as our hodge podge snacks above. Some say I’m a cheap date when I’m not ordering lobster

image_3

 

The  denouement was the birthday dinner. Steak, mashed potatoes, and peas for the boy. Fish, peas, and a yellow heirlooms for me. Wine x5. Could you have guessed?

image_8

 

Oh, and let’s not forget dessert. Withold too much judgment please, as this baby was created in a kitchen sans pie pan, flour, sugar, butter, or anything relevant to baking.

image_9

 

I may have had my face buried in some goat cheese right before this was taken. Please forgive.

image_6

 

 

Any memorable meals in New Orleans?

Fall into It

After 60 minutes of long holds, trembling triceps, I was finally there. Dear, Shasvasana. My heavy breathing coming to a pause, my lips parting, and eyes falling heavy.

 

In that state of rest, my yoga teacher whispered reminders to be still. To be comforted in this instant. To relish in the moment. And quell our worries and push away those nagging anxieties. We were here. Perfect in this moment.  And exactly where we needed to be.

 

With a crazy work schedule like I had last week, it’s seemingly impossible for those words to resonate.  Heck, I’m even on my work email Sunday night. But we must let them. Be still with your breath and comprehend that you are in this moment—not yesterday’s argument or next month’s job review. You’re here now. This is the opportunity to remain grounded. And to find perspective. Challenge yourself to ride life’s waves and not connect every dot in your life. Be patient enough to endure and strong enough to believe.

 

image(6)

 

WIAW: Sips in the Heat

As someone so eloquently put it on the news, this past week has been like “living in a dog’s mouth”….

Personally, I’d like to move on from living in a steam room, from my makeup melting off my face, from the sleepless nights in a hot bedroom, from the sad reprieve of my air conditioned office, from weighing the opportunity cost of a trip down the street. This Florida girl did not move to DC to spend her summers 10 degrees hotter and more humid than back home. But I digress.

 

There have been countless smoothies and juices flowing over here. It’s the only thing that sounds moderately appealing when you’re sweating away your fluid intake for the day. The roar of the blender has been music to my ears, and my mornings have looked a little like this:

 

IMG_3318

Add: Almond milk, pineapple, strawberries, coconut

 

IMG_3319

Insert: Whirllllllll  and blurbles of the blender

(Optional) Mute: if roommates are sleeping

 

IMG_3320

Pinch: handfuls of spinach and Amazing Grass Chocolate (review to come)

 

IMG_3321

See: a specimen of a smoothie

 

IMG_3322

Swim: in this refreshing goodness

Growing Up

How can something be so exhilarating, momentous, and painful all at the same time? A time that we can feel utterly jaded and bitter while still having so many niceties and lessons to come. During this confusing time the best years of our lives, there’s a constant learning curve. We begin to grow up regardless of if we really want to. A new realization every step along the way

 

-I’ve yet to see the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, so dad’s shoulders still might be the highest place in the world. Even if they’re not, his arms are always open, welcoming a hug and cry.

image

 

-Being employed in the real world is a little different than that summer job at the ice cream parlor you use to have. You’ll have a cry session in the office bathroom and get papercuts and see an optometrist three times in a month because you forget to blink at your computer screen (true story). But you will also befriend coworkers, stifle uncontrollable laughter during your Monday meeting, and have more than three digits in your bank account–at least until you pay rent. And as many keyboard shortcuts and impressive Excel outputs as you’ll learn, you’ll still be more perplexed by that coworker, the sole person on the planet who manages to not gain a pound at her desk job.

 

-There’s no longer any excuse to be on, at, or near the floor. Ergo, my taking up yoga and training for five months. Sitting in sukasana on my mat is now socially acceptable, who knew? The days of cart wheels and handstands and tumbling around the grass are gone. Though if you learn to do handstand pushups you can have some fun while looking super hardcore at the gym. And then of course, you’ll instagram it…

IMG_2989IMG_2953

IMG_2049

 

-Doing taxes for the first, second, or fourth time will not make the process more inherently clear. I guess keying away at Turbotax is a right of passage. A right I look forward to delegating to my accountant.

 

-You’re going to dislike things you shouldn’t, love people who are wrong for you, and miss opportunities you should have valued. Understand the mistake, the frustration, the loss. And move on from it. Work to be happy and feel it in every cell and fiber of your being. Remember that life will go on.

IMG_3139

 

-Proclaim you’re going through a quarter-life crisis. To multiple people, on a myriad of occasions. It happens.IMG_3100

 

-Choose comfort over style. I’d like to be advising you that pain is beauty but come on. As many times as mom told you to wear sneakers with your jeans and tennies with your dress for those long walks, you may argue that she was institutionally insane or just plain pragmatic. That barefoot walk through the Meatpacking District may just be the smartest decision of your life after a night of too high a heel and too close of a fractured toe.

IMG_3077

 

-Unless you hire a sous chef, you will not have the bountiful, fresh fruit salads of your childhood. Ones in which you picked out the ripest of blackberries as your dad and mom chopped away. Instead you will rely on the simplicity of biting into an apple or finding diced mangoes on extreme sale. It’s a sad truth right here.

Mangoes on saleee

Mangoes on saleee

IMG_3026

 

-You’ll learn to wake up on your own. Without the pour of water over your head or the slight touch of a head rub. You’ll wake up to the garbage truck terrorizing your street at the same hour before dusk every day. You’ll wake up with the approximate 19 minutes you need to commute to work without breaking into a frantic run. You’ll wake up early (gaaaasp) because you’ve come to adore the quiet, reflective time the morning allows you.

photo

 

-Take the time to see beauty. Subjective beauty at that. It’s never too late and you’re never too inexperienced to just create. To pour your thoughts out onto paper, to imagine colors that were never “meant” to be paired together, to fulfill your dream regardless if it fits the mold. We did it in our coloring books on the floor of our bedrooms, so why not now?

IMG_2878

 

 

-Host a dinner party just because. Because you have your own kitchen, because you no longer have a curfew, because you have a semi-functional albeit rusty cutting knife, and because you need your wine cabinet restocked. They’re the dinner parties of your parents that we you watched from your bedroom. But with a few more paper plates and liquor bottles.

IMG_2615 IMG_2417IMG_2532

 

-Call in sick to work, so that you can fly home just to have waffles and sit by the pool. There’s more validity in that than you know.

IMG_3095IMG_1356

The Weekender

We spend the majority of the day at our desks wishing away our week, drumming our fingers, and imploring the clock to turn faster. And then the weekend is gone before we begin to unwind a single degree from the maddening week.

A productive and inspired weekend adds an extra degree of elation to the reprieve from work. And the sudden appearance of spring  sunshine and transition from my puffer jacket to light cardigan within days, may add to the delight.

 

Pilates and a wonderful yoga class with some lovely ladies.

IMG_2988

 

Union Market explorations. We were a bit overwhelmed with where and what to eat.

IMG_3006

Reading and more reading.

 

Cherry Blossom 10 miler. And PR for this distance.

IMG_3008IMG_3015IMG_3012

Brunch on brunch to refuel.

 

Meal prep for the week. Hello, less rushed mornings

IMG_3021

Protein pancakes Protein pancakes

Mangoes on saleee

Mangoes on saleee

Hummus central

Hummus central

 

 

Discovering an amazing oasis in DC. I couldn’t even believe I was still in the city–lounging in the grass doing Acroyoga to the beat of the Drum line. IMG_3034IMG_3040IMG_3042IMG_3045  IMG_3043

 

Tell me about your weekend

WIAW: Breakfast Style

I think I have to proclaim breakfast as my favorite meal of the day. Growing up I was a banana pancakes kind of girl and could not be force fed eggs of any sort (much to my parent’s chagrin). The texture gave me the heebie jeebies. And now that I don’t have my dad to wake me up with morning smoothies, I’ll have to starve concoct my own. Sigh. How nice was it having someone else make breakfast before school? Double sigh. Those were the days.

So back to reality… now the morning fare ranges each day according to my mood. After morning yoga or a fast run, all I’ll want is a juice and then I’ll move onto a heartier meal. Sometimes my sweet tooth is ravenous and needs to be tamed before I even get dressed for the day. I do love me some egg scrambles, ergo those are usually saved for the weekend given the time expenditure and my penchant for hurried mornings.

 

Protein pancakes in the works. New spin on my old banana pancakes

image_6image_7

 

Juice on juice on juice

imageimage_1

 

A little chocolate fuel to start the day

image

 

And sometimes new, wild, and filling dishes. ..

Almond Porridge
2 eggs or 4 egg whites
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons flaxseed
½ cup vanilla almond milk
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk
2) While skillet is heating, spray with oil or butter (your preference) and pour mixture into pan. Allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring when needed
3) Remove from heat and top with additional almond milk, toppings, and sweetener if you choose

image_2  image_5

I think I may have added too  many eggs my first time around–kind of like sweet eggs.  I’m still processing my feelings on it and how frequently it’ll make an appearance in my kitchen. Round two is the charm?

 

What’s your breakfast of choice?

Spring Renewal

I hope you all had a happy weekend or Passover or Easter depending on your beliefs. I experienced some poignant reminders in between the beautiful spring weather and the dismal rain. I often feel that my time on my yoga mat is my church, my spiritual time. To set an intention for myself at that moment no matter the challenges my day brought–it’s my chance to move forward from the stress and tears that came before I stepped on my mat. To move without thought in harmony with my breath. To rejuvenate. To renew. To be. Yoga means union. The union of the body, the mind, the breath, and God. Yoga philosophy teaches us that everything is God, you are an image of God, you are one with God and grow as God.

image_2

 

Following my beautiful time on the mat next to wonderful friends and a unison of breath, I attended an Easter service near the White House. The reverend spoke about the resurrection and moving away from “Befores” and “If onlys.” His words truly resonated with me. How often do I spend my time in that frame of mind? Thinking about when I was in college and things were easier, when my parents were still together, if only I had taken those prerequisite courses, if only I had done a language immersion, if only I had lived closer to my grandmother.  Easter is about renewal and change and moving forward. A new dawn with beginnings and opportunities. What is different and uncomfortable and hard allows us to grow and to begin.

 

In between my poignant lessons on renewal, I spent time enjoying the cherry blossoms (only one tree, don’t be misled), maneuvering around tourists invading DC, hunting for eggs and tiny vodka bottles, consuming too many chocolates after 40 days, and hosting a cramped (I need a real living room) but festive and joyful Easter dinner for twelve.

image image_1image_3 image_4 image_5 image_6 image_7 image_8

 

Any lessons for you this weekend?

Blurry Eyed

I drive past it every day. In a morning fog and with blurry eyes. Only looking at the clock and thinking of the traffic that will impede my commute to work. But last night after over a year reprieve from any performance, I re-familiarized myself with the beautiful and historic Kennedy Center.

photo by Carol Pratt

 

New York City Ballet? Swan Lake? Birthday celebration? And Caitlin’s stash of  jelly beans? Done deal.

image_1 image

 

After a night of regard for the pointe work and feather-like adages, I dragged myself out of bed this morning for spin class. I have to tell you I’m very particular about my spin instructors, and I’ve been known to walk out of classes if they murmur comments like “this is your ride,” “forget I’m here,” and the like. I’m there for a motivating class that kicks my behind, or else I’d be riding solo in the cardio room (insert Ridin Solo song here…or not). I’ve found two teachers at my gym who I religiously go to. And the others I will not touch.

So back to the dragging out of bed. Post that event, Robert burned up my legs with sequential sprints beginning at 1 minute and moving up to 5 minutes non-stop. Then repeat. Glad my heart stayed in my chest this morning.

image_2

I always find spin a refreshing change from runs and yoga. But that’s me. Good start to my almost Friday day.

 

Have you ever taken a  spin class?