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!

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!