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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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)

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Brunchers:

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

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Lunch:

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

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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.

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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?

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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

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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?

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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.

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

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Any memorable meals in New Orleans?

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?

Om On

After three weeks of chaco attire, sporadic runs, sitting on planes/trains/automobiles, and erratic eating, there comes a time to get back into the swing of things. That entails using my stove (which I have yet to do in my new apartment), jumping back into a workout routine, no longer living out of a suitcase, meal planning, budgeting, girls nights, and…

Hiking chic

Hiking chic

 

 

The fear. The fear of yoga. Grappling thoughts of tight hamstrings, overwhelming heat, chaturanga fatigue, inflexible everything, and slippery mats filled my head this last week. There’s no wonder that yoga becomes an addicting activity, as the ease of postures and breath come with practice and commitment. And a fallen yogi must get back on her mat regardless of sore hips from 23 hour plane rides and a bowl or three too many of mango sticky rice. It must be done.

Om on

Om on

 

 

And Monday night I did it. Thank you, Mimi for kicking my butt all over the exposed brick. Long, long, long, strong holds were the theme of the class. An hour and fifteen minutes of planks, hip openers, and fire jumps gave me the overwhelming soreness the next morning that I needed. To my surprise, she led me through a new, deep heart-opening camel to wheel to standing transition. Not as scary as it looks.

 

 

 

I’ve found that I can more easily jump back into double digit runs than I can unwaveringly flow into a power vinyasa class after a respite. Yoga for me varies every single day. It’s a constant journey of stronger self, striving to be present, discovering new balances, and that slow but sure handstand.

Intersection of yoga and running

Intersection of yoga and running

 

Hope I can manage yoga and a trail half this weekend. Wish me luck!

Any yoga or running plans?

Thai-Land of the Food

I adore traveling. The opportunity to immerse myself in another world. To witness a culture and people first hand. Jogging past inconceivable urban layouts. Tasting my way through a country’s rich history.

In fact while tasting my way through Bangkok, Thailand, Luang Prabang, and Colombo, I forgot my blogger hat completely. I managed to salvage a few semi-devoured meals, but the pictures do little justice to the dining that took place over the two weeks. From village woks to street carts to boutique cafes.

 

Thanks for hosting, Jenn

 

Fueling for the day (breakfast):

Buffet x5

Buffet x5

Granola hodge podge

Granola hodge podge

Perusing the aisles

Perusing the aisles

Rambutan for days

Rambutan for days

 

Imbibing and hydrating (drinks):

Green juice. Chiang Mai style

Green juice. Chiang Mai style

Street coconut smoothie

Street coconut smoothie

Nothing fresher

Nothing fresher

Fresh pomegranate, please

Fresh pomegranate, please

I'm a fan

Natty Chang

 

Dining on all cuisines (lunch and dinner):

Pad thai for days

Pad thai for days

Fish balls ??

Fish balls ??

Lemongrass stuffed chicken

Lemongrass stuffed chicken

Seaweed and dippers

Seaweed and dippers

Seafood. Can't stop won't stop

Seafood. Can’t stop won’t stop

Heaven

Heaven

Refueling after 3 days of village life

Refueling after 3 days of village life

Real ramen. Thank you Bangkok airport

Real ramen. Thank you, Bangkok airport

 

What’s your most memorable meal abroad?

Prepcation

Okay okay okay. So I may be guilty of taking blogging reprieve #387, but there was positive intent behind it. A little R & R in South East Asia? I’ll take it

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I have to say I feel utterly rejuvenated. Fourteen days of mango sticky rice, street Pad Thai, 5 hour muddy treks, spa days, ornate temples, sleeping on village floors, luxurious hotels, and so on.

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After accomplishing a big career to-do and  being finished with the Thailand/Laos planning, I feel ready to really buckle down and focus on my next steps and “the plan.” I’m a wee bit guilty of over-planning  and overextending details of my life, but at the same time I so often get consumed by the daily commitments that my to-do lists will then repeat for months on end. Thus I’m back from my first truly self-sponsored vacation with a college bestie and ready to focus on what the twenty four year old me needs at this moment.

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Coinciding with this motivated self is a very confused body and circadian rhythm. I’m thirteen hours off and surely feeling it on the return much more than on the arrival. Given that there are fellow type A’s out there who similarly like to micromanage the transit woes, I thought I’d discuss some of my lessons learned for jet lag and travel.

 

Tricks of the international trade:

  • Avoid checking bags if possible. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve arrived bagless at my international destination, only to have my bag returned the day I’m returning home. Save yourself some anxiety…and money buying new underwear

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  • Master the traveling chic. It’s that happy medium between wearing your PJs and being stuck in an uncomfortable formal gown, so that you’re confident if you meet your future husband while sitting in 5D. And luckily  that spells leggings and a cardigan or pashmina throw for me
  • Keep the stewardess on speed-dial. The 3 oz cups of water they serve could not possibly hydrate a mouse. I’m in constant need of a refill and why wouldn’t I on a 10 hour flight? Hydration is key especially with the hand and foot swelling that takes place inflight
  • Pack a neck pillow for 6+ hour flights. This trip was my first time using a neck pillow (which deflates to fit in my bag I might add), and it was a saving grace. I didn’t arrive in Bangkok in need of a chiropractor. Hallelujah
  • Prep those snacks. I’ve starved one too many times on flights when faced with the mystery meat that frequents airlines meals nowadays. Given I’m the snack queen, I can tell you I had sustenance on hand for my 23 hour flight
    • A few ideas: water dense veggies and fruit, protein bars, dried fruit and nuts, sandwich for your next meal, miso soup packets, seaweed snacks, etc
  • Slip on a pair of thick socks. A friend suggested this to me before I left and boy was it a great tip. Sandals and flats are the ideal security shoe; however, when the temperature on the plane drops to 50 degrees slipping on a pair of warm socks helps you maintain whatever menial amount of heat you have retained
  • Move it. I am not someone who will advocate doing lunges and stretches down the aisle. I once witnessed a woman do a full blown yoga sun salutation in the aisle, complete with chatarangas and down dogs. I still cringe. However, I will suggest you move when you make your arrival. I know all you want to do is sleep but whether you go for a walk and explore the city or hop on the treadmill briefly, you’ll thank me because these are the steps (literally) your body needs to adjust
  • Stay present. Whether your luggage is lost or you accidentally drank the native water, you’re at your prized destination and that’s what matters

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Any travel tips?

Excusez-Moi

I took a reprieve from blogging last week, in order to experience Thanksgiving as the Pilgrims did….in Paris, France.

Oh wait.

Well, it was an unforgettable trip regardless. I am very thankful for the remarkable experience I had; all the loved ones that were not there with us were deeply entrenched in our hearts and spirits. My week in Paris was filled with family, Carrara marble, art, cheese, art, Parisian overcast mornings, art, wine, wine, wine, chocolate, cheese, art, art, wine, art. Did I mention the art? Or cheese?

I witnessed such unprecedented works of passion, talent, and grandeur while visiting the Louvre, Versailles, Centre de Pompidou, Musee d’ Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Tuilerie Gardens, Notre Dame, Sacre Cour, and so on. The gilded frames and heart-wrenching self-expressions can implore both confusion and comfort–leaving you seeking to understand all that the building or watercolor illustrates.  I digress, my family really enjoys art 🙂

When I wasn’t meandering down the paneled and priceless halls of museums. I was exploring the City of Love via my favorite vehicle: running. What a life those Parisians live, they were jogging through the gardens of Versailles and amongst the Tuilerie sculptures at all hours of the day. My own runs along the Seine River in light rain were majestic, I took in the stone walls, cobble stoned paths (note: wet cobblestone along the frigid Seine is not a good idea), and abundant history and culture. There really is no comparable way to truly experience a city.

Other than wandering the Left Bank looking for your yoga studio hidden in an obscure cloister near St Germain. The studio was hard to believe: historic, immaculate, warm, inviting, French, serene. It was going to be a wonderful Friday morning regardless of what the class was actually like. Much to my chagrin, the instructor stopped speaking French a few minutes in and continued the class in English after detecting some fluent speakers foreigners. I have only taken yoga in Denmark and Peru outside the US, and I hope to make this a routine in my travels. In addition to this class and my running, we practiced yoga on the carpet of our hotel room. I led my family through a flow practice I had been working on. Concentration was challenging during these practices, as we faced not incense or an alter, but a silver platter of bread and butter. But really.

Au revoir

xo

How was your holiday?

What’s your favorite way to explore a city?

Homeward Bound

What a whirlwind this week has been. Sigh. Remember when I use to cook? And post recipes?

Well I can’t remember the last meal I had at home. Maybe it was juice? I mentioned that I would be traveling successively this month and that, I have. Enumerable amounts of hotel breakfast, take-out, sit down restaurants, and so on. You get the picture. The lack of home-cooked meals has been coupled with various team idiosyncrasies that have made this whirlwind week utterly exhausting. My team likes to meet in the lobby at 6:30AM to leave for the office in the morning and then we tend to stay much much much longer than necessary at night.

These events have left me with no choice but to throw a temper tantrum begin my runs at 4:45AM everyday. With paralyzingly early wake up calls, no coffee (still not needing it), and long days and nights, the only thing I want to do is vegetate in my hotel room. It wouldn’t be the week I had without my reservation dates being incorrect and the hotel selling out my last night in Louisville. Let’s just say last night was one for the books. Go back to my hotel and veg? No, I did not. Share a room with my 60 year old female boss, ignore her pink polka dot pajamas, work on a deliverable with her all night, and sleep in the fetal position on a pullout couch? I did. Four in the morning did not come soon enough this time.

An additional stressor for me as I’ve mentioned is being out of my routine. But I’ve adapted to it all well this week and rolled with the punches. Holiday vacation is almost tangible right now, so I’m moving full steam ahead. A factor that simplified the inconsistencies of work travel for me these past few weeks was having food on hand. Luckily, I made my snack run prior to my trip. When the snack monster or stress of an assignment hit hard this week, I didn’t have to gorge on the gargantuan bag of Halloween candy temptations. Snacks on snacks on snacks. Fruit, yogurt, bars,nuts, packaged tuna. You name it, I had it in my purse.

Since you all are clearly eager for recipes, some food pics will have to suffice 🙂

My days have been filled with a little of:

Omelets and salsa

Apple, PB,  yogurt

Salads +mellow pizza

Bars

How has your week been?

What snacks do you eat on the go?

Sunday Funday

There’s just something about Sundays…

Peaceful, buoyant, and uplifting. Or at least that’s how my Sunday was today. Usually Sundays are filled with the dread of school, looming homework, or an ominous work week. Today was an aberration but hopefully not in the subsequent weeks. Yesterday I set an intention of Positivity for the day and that is just what happened. I went into the day with a specific mindset, cultivating that intent in every action, thought, and word of mine. I’m a believer in the process of “like attracts like” in our lives; a corresponding frequency results from how we think and feel. The Law of Attraction makes sense to me but that’s just me. We can all use a little more positivity in our lives, so why not try it?

My Sunday began as most do:

12:45AM- Being kicked out of my boyfriend’s party by the police due to a noise complaint. Are we 18 or 23? I think the Georgetown police thought the former. No big deal–I got to head home to sleep after an eight hour day of Yoga TT

7AM: Feeling like I should get up. Nope. Daylight savings 🙂 Time to catch up on some sleep debt

9AM: Refreshed and rejuvenated. Ready for my Sunday

10:15AM: Wonderful Rocket Yoga class. I go to this teacher often but today she had a certain gleam of happiness and spirit. Her music was on cue, her instructions were engaging, and her assists were purposeful. I also applied some techniques I learned the day prior

Our teacher training on Saturday was amazing, and sometimes instructions resonate and the slightest adjustments can completely alter a pose for you. By firmly pressing down my forefingers while in downdog, I released an immense amount of pressure from my wrists and shoulders. Downdog felt good again. And then hearing the instruction to place our hands three inches in front before launching into chaturanga was game changing for me

11:45AM: Peek next door to see if the running store carries my shoes. It’s been a year since my last pair. Bad Grace. They had my Asics in hot pink…yes please

12PM: Stroll through the Dupont farmer’s market, enjoying the cold temperatures, lively ambiance, and many familiar faces. Must.restrain.from.purchasing.going.out.of.town.

1PM: Juice up everything that lay fresh and idle in my fridge. Perfect way to use up produce before going out of town

2PM: Yoga TT. There are days when I can’t fathom sitting on the floor for eight hours, inside for my entire day. But what makes Sundays like these great are the days when I cannot wait to reconvene with my friends, discussing topics we are passionately united by. It’s the aura of learning that I really love–the structured curriculum, peers, studying, tests, and quest for knowledge. We can discuss a concept for the majority of the day’s training session, and I can still leave with unanswered questions, seeking a more lucid understanding like my teachers have. There’s an air of excitement and love when we convene each week–definitely the energy and people  I want to be surrounding myself with

4:45PM: Say goodbyes and plan to meet with some other yogis while in NYC next weekend

4:55PM: Whole Foods pitstop before my work trip Monday. Stockpile bars and trailmix. Learned the hard way a few weeks ago traveling for work at 5AM and not being able to break from my team for food until 4PM. Hungry, irritable Grace is not a sight to be seen. Crisis averted this week

5:15PM: Cram cold weather, business casual into carry-on and hope that I haven’t forgotten anything. Sad sight when 1/4 of my suitcase is filled with a hodgepodge of snacks

6PM: Wait for boyfriend to come over to visit

6:25PM: Continue waiting

6:55PM: Receive text that he’s leaving in three minutes

7:40PM: Receive another text that he’s on his way. Practice being a very patient girlfriend 🙂

9:50PM: Bedtime for early risers. 7AM flight. Zzzzzzzzzz

As Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Beautiful thought. Small acts with ardent intent . We have no control over the universe but we do have authority over our thoughts and emotions. Our mindful intentions mean everything.

We have the ability to make all our Sunday great