A Little of This

After such disjointed time in DC this summer, it’s nice to settle back into life in the nation’s capital. I can breath a sigh of relief not having to source my wardrobe from my textbook sized suitcase. With the crisp hint of fall in the air, I’ve been soaking up rendezvous with friends, sleep time in my quasi new apartment (as its been very rare), pumpkin flavored everything, DC centric activities, reading whenever I have a spare second, and overall, some care free weekends.

 

 

This fall has looked a little like this:

Pumpkin candles....and spring tulips

Pumpkin candles….and spring tulips

 

Scoping out my next meal at Ted's

Scoping out my next meal at Ted’s

 

Killing a trail half marathon...while killing myself in the process

Killing a trail half marathon…while killing myself in the process

 

Still nursing wounds

Still nursing wounds

 

Rekindling my love for Sweetgreen salads

Rekindling my love for Sweetgreen salads

 

Alt-J

Alt-J on Wednesday

 

Pumpkin pancakes and pink kettles

Pumpkin pancakes and pink kettles

 

Coveting puppies

Coveting puppies

 

Froyo with my bro

Froyo with my bro

 

Potomac scrambling life

Potomac scrambling life

 

Pumpkin lattes and fall nails

Pumpkin lattes and fall nails

 

Pretending to be hipster

Faux hipster selfies

 

Shifts at the yoga studio

 

Breaking bad therapy

Breaking Bad therapy

 

Anyone watch last night’s finale?? What’s your fall looked like?

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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:

 

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Add: Almond milk, pineapple, strawberries, coconut

 

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Insert: Whirllllllll  and blurbles of the blender

(Optional) Mute: if roommates are sleeping

 

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

 

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See: a specimen of a smoothie

 

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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.

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-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…

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-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.

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-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.

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-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

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-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.

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-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?

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-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.

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-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.

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Schweatttty Downpour

For those of you more in tune with the weather and less predisposed to be stranded at the gym in a gusty downpour circa 7am. Extra points if you were also in spandex shorts for the first time in 6 months, because of course its spring and was 90 degrees less than 12 hours ago…

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So if you plan to avoid the cold, biting rain and puddle-filled sneakers but still want a workout today then I have a treat for you. After spending some time on the Stair Master this morning, I figured I needed some HIIT exercises back in my life to get that heart going and metabolism active. I have a love-hate relationship with burpees–hurts so good.

I performed the below at the gym but you can do so in the comfort of your own, dry home. No equipment needed and you’re sure to be sweaty as can be.

 

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Let me know if you try it out!!

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.

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

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Reading and more reading.

 

Cherry Blossom 10 miler. And PR for this distance.

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Brunch on brunch to refuel.

 

Meal prep for the week. Hello, less rushed mornings

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

As of Late

Lately… my days look like this. Despite the kind beginning of the Spring Equinox

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Lately…I’ve been running more. Stella is getting her groove back and likes it. I ran my third half marathon, the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon last weekend.  The route was hillier than when I PRed at it two years ago; I was also in Charlottesville hill shape then and actually training. I loved the race and it was so nice to run with a friend the entire time, rather than be plugged in to my pod. I loved having support waiting for me at the finish line 🙂

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Lately…I’ve been channeling Martha Stewart. The pre-insider trading/criminal Martha. Nothing is as cathartic as spending a few hours in the kitchen working on a dish for loved ones. Peach-pear pie anyone?

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Lately…Bloody Marys have made a come back in my life. I guess it takes a make your own Bloody Mary bar to make me reconsider my Mimosas. Getting in my veggies, right?

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Lately…Breaking Bad has been on the mind. Two episodes away from being caught up on the current season. Eeeeeeeee, so good.

 

Lately…I’ve been loving words like these, “I believe if you float that the wind will certainly one day find you… that it takes patience to hover and watch… it takes courage to put out your sails and wait for an invisible force… this is no external hand but the quiet space between effort and letting go.”

 

Lately…I discovered the best French restaurant in DC.Montematre, I have no complaints. It was the most delicious race fueling I’ve done. Wine helps the legs right?

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What have you been doing lately?

May I Be

“may i be i is the only prayer–not may i be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong today… may i be me….five foot eleven, brown hair/eyed, smart, serious, happy, frustrated, impatient, joyful, running, sleeping, smiling, eating, trying, believing, listening, being & becoming.” -EE Cummings

 

Flowing through our Surya Namaskars on Saturday morning, we saluted the sun. These series of poses are Sun Salutations. The sun was radiating through the window, and the “blizzard” we had expected days prior was gone. Spring was in the air. As we moved through our salutes, our teacher spoke of the idle waiting we do during winter and the opportunities that emanate as spring arrives. It’s a time for us to finally plant our seeds. To cultivate. To ignite. To be and become, as EE Cummings said. It’s a season of blossoming. For the hyacinth and the cherry blossoms and ourselves.

 

It was nice to take a moment this weekend just to be. To spend time in the kitchen, to snuggle, to celebrate birthdays with my family and friends, to stay have breakfast in bed, to reconnect with my mat, to drink champagne, to feel the sun permeate my skin, to run along the Potomac with 75% of DC, to take a breath, to not plan my entire day.

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Running it Off

I have to say that living in a running city is  a nice reminder with every step. A reminder that someone else is pushing through their training run, running off a heartbreak, forgetting about their work week, and recovering from their umpteenth injury. It reminds us to be gentle with ourselves through each pleasure and pain, confusion and wisdom of our uncontrollable everyday lives. We have to let there be room for the smiles from passerbys, for the misery that will shadow our week, and for the relief that will come at a new dawn. The pavement is the perfect place for me when things fall apart. It’s within reach when so few things seem like they are.

 

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Ended up doing 12.05. The time of day is off fyi

Ended up doing 12.05. The time of day is off fyi

 

Thank you for lending me your roads this weekend, DC. I needed them