New York, New York Part 1

I really love New York. Partly because my sister is there but also because of the energy. That city really is like no other.

We had an amazing visit and were really sad to see it end yesterday. I wish we could have birthdays all the time!

I’ll do my best to swiftly recap the weekend without boring you all but we crammed a lot in the two days so this may seem like a photo bomb.

We drove down on Saturday morning. I’m so used to the long state of California where you drive for 4 hours and are still in CA that it always surprises me when we cross state lines so quickly. It’s like you blink and you’re in Connecticut.

We quickly headed to brunch after dropping our stuff and Eli off at my sister’s place. I would show you brunch photos but to be honest that food was sub par and the service was even worse. We left the meal hungry and disappointed, not a good start.

We were on the Upper West Side so we explored that area for a bit and then stumbled on the Empire Hotel. Considering we’re all huge Chuck Bass fans and we were right there, we stopped in for a drink.

I loved this bar, classy, ornate and relatively quiet. Maybe that’s because it was 3 in the afternoon 🙂

Empire Hotel

Here’s the birthday girl showing off the new watch her beau gave her.

birthday girl

Couple shot.

Michael and me

And a pic of the good company I was in! The conversation was just so exciting. Can’t you tell?

Phone Obsessed

After a drink we decided to go bowling down at the Port Authority. I thought it would be ghetto but it was super swanky! The lanes were really nice and they played top 40 hits with coordinated neon lights and huge screens playing music videos at the end of the lanes.

bowling sisters bowling

I managed to lose best out of two against Michael and am now washing a weeks worth of dishes. 😦

I wish I had taken a picture of the snacks we had. The menu was great for being a bowling alley. We had a huge bowl of hummus with carrots and pitas and some edamame fritters.

We headed back to my sister’s after bowling to get gussied up for dinner. We had dinner at Monument Lane in the West Village. The restaurant was adorable. Loved the decor and the vibe. The food was hit and miss. The brussel sprout appetizer was amazing (you can kind of see it in the background), I hope to recreate it somehow. Michael’s fish was apparently very good and my veggie hash was fine but very expensive for some parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes. It also reminded me of something very familiar…this!

vegetable hash

The company was lovely, of course.

Sarah and Me at dinnerMichael

This post is getting a little long so I’ll recap Sunday tomorrow which includes a delicious veggie burger and Jenga. That’s right you read correctly, Jenga!

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Happy Birthday Sista!

We are currently on our way to NYC for a very special weekend.

My little sister, Sarah, is turning the big 3-0 today! Welcome to your thirties sister dear.

May there be many, many, many more years of ‘making memories’.

Thank you for being my first best friend.

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For dancing on the bed to Rod Stewart with me.

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For teaching me humbleness while showing me up on the soccer field, even though you were two years younger.

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Thank you for being the co-conspirator and co-host to all of our high school parties.

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For picking on Teddy so much that I am and always will be the favorite sister!

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For missing me when I went away to college.

Sarah

Then coming to see me all the time! (However, shame on you for not telling me that my hair and shirt were so AWFUL.)

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Yet amazingly, never missing the chance to call me out on my ugly photo face.

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Thank you for the inside jokes.

Spain

For making me laugh so hard it hurts.

sisters

For loving food as much as I do.

Falafel Eating Spain

And lastly, thank you for being so wonderfully, unapologetically you!

Bay to Breakers 2010

How lucky I am to have my best friend, greatest confidant and biggest fan all wrapped up in one person.

I love you, yo my sista!

Sisters

Enjoy and Exhale!

Celebrating My Birthday Weekend

Oh what a lovely, long birthday weekend. Firstly, thank you for all the texts and comments and phone calls and Facebook posts. You all made this girl feel very, very loved.

This was probably the busiest weekend I’ve had in a really long time so I’ll just start at the beginning.

On Friday night my friend Kristy and her sister Kim hosted a ladies Bunco night. If you don’t know what Bunco is it’s a dice game that requires very little skill besides keeping score but is still super fun. I think there were 16 girls at Kim’s apartment and what started out timid and shy ended up rowdy and loud. It was amazing. I didn’t take any pictures of the ladies but I did take one of my losing score card which earned me a pile of loser gifts including some Mitt Romney toilet paper, a charm necklace from the 90210 era and a pear shaped candle!

Bunco Score Card

Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of the juicer. Michael woke up early to make me breakfast in bed before my classes. He made me a kale, cucumber, apple, carrot, ginger, lemon juice that was SO good. He may be my new official juice maker from here on out. He also made me a bagel with smashed avocado and tea accompanied by red roses. He’s a keeper.

Birthday Breakfast

I also opened one of my gifts that morning. These guys!

Patriots Tickets

I had to rush off to classes soon after presents and right after class I headed over to Back Bay Yoga for a teacher training. The training was a 12-hour workshop on how to teach Hip Hop Yoga. Although I don’t think I’ll be teaching Hip Hop Yoga specifically I learned a lot from the training. We did a lot of teaching with the wireless mic over loud music. It really helped me work on projecting my voice and how to teach with more energy which will be beneficial in my own classes. It’d been a while since I’d taken a training and it got the creative juices flowing again. Reminds me that I can’t get stagnant or complacent in my career, regardless of what that career is.

After training Michael took me out for a birthday dinner at the Top of the Hub. The restaurant is on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Building and overlooks all of Boston. We got a great window seat looking south. We ate in the lounge as they have a different, more veg friendly menu that catered better to me.

We started with cocktails. Wine for Michael and a vodka martini for me. I don’t drink a ton of martinis. I sort of burned myself out when living in Sacramento after college. My coworkers at the time were obsessed with them and got me hooked. But, it was a special occasion and I was starving so I wanted to eat the olives as an appetizer while we waited on the food. 🙂

Vodka Martini

My lovely date all dressed up.

Michael

City views.

Top of the Hub

Olives are great and all but our real appetizer was way better. Beet salad!

beet salad

I had the veggie burger with sweet potato fries, so predictable. Michael had a steak of some sort.

After dinner we decided to walk home but there was one more surprise stop. We had dessert at the Wine Cellar this adorable fondue place on Mass Ave. We had three different types of fondue with fruit and brownies and cake pieces for dipping. The perfect dessert.

chocolate fondue

Once home I opened my second gift which will benefit us all. Hello beautiful!

Nikon

Sunday was more training and then we headed to Foxborough for the Pats game. I was so excited that I didn’t even feel the cold until the second half when the Pats decided to stop playing football and let the Ravens run all over them. So depressing. I guess I’ll be a 49ers fan for the Superbowl now.

Pats game

The rest of the weekend isn’t really worth writing about especially since this post is getting wordy as it is.

Hope you all had a great long weekend.

Enjoy and Exhale!

On Birthdays and Aging

Tomorrow I turn 32. I know that may not seem old to some of you reading (or it might seem really old for others) but it’s the oldest I’ve ever been so to me it’s a little strange to say the number. 32. 32. 32! By the time my mom was 32 she had three kids under 5 and a Master’s Degree in Nursing. Crazy!

I don’t know what I expected of my thirties. I didn’t really give them much thought as I swirled around in the haze and angst of my twenties. I’d heard they would be better than my twenties and in almost all ways that has turned out to be very true. Minus the fact that drinking 3 glasses of red wine will now give me a 2 day hangover and the gray hair at the crown of my head has decided it will never grow beyond 3 inches and prefers to stand straight up. Despite those minor grievances, age has been very kind to me and I don’t mean that in an appearances sense.

In the first 2 years of this new decade I’ve discovered some really wonderful changes:

1.) I feel more confident with who I am (most of the time).

2.) I am more comfortable with my body (much of the time).

3.) I found and know the person I want to grow old with (all of the time)!

4.) I eat a whole lot better than I did in my twenties, hello bean dip!

5.) I exercise with more joy which in turn has resulted in me being a better runner than I ever was 10 years ago.

6.) I more deeply respect and appreciate my friendships that have proven to be strong competitors against distance and time difference.

7.) I found the courage to quit a job that didn’t feel right and to pursue a path that feels more authentic.

8.) I started this blog which has become an amazing outlet for discussing all those topics and people near and dear to my heart.

However, there is always more to learn and ways to grown.

I spent this morning writing a list of goals I wanted to work on over the course of the next year. But somehow the list felt forced and pressurized.

Maybe it’s best not to put so much emphasis on change as a new year of my life approaches. Maybe a birthday is a chance to honor who you are and not what you lack, to celebrate what you’ve already accomplished and the people who have made you who you are today.

Tomorrow I use my birthday as it is intended…to celebrate my life. Without a foreboding list of must-dos in the back of my mind.

That said, I did, find this one little saying out in the world that spoke to me and made me want to share.

Life Rules

This year I’ll keep it simple. Love, laugh, forgive and let go.

Lastly, when my dad died my mom said to always remember, ‘aging is a privilege, not everyone gets to do it.’

May we make the best of this privilege.

Enjoy and Exhale!