Posts tagged ‘New York’

April 16, 2013

A Running Battle

Earlier, I was eager to settle in with my laptop and give you the rundown of yesterday’s kick-ass race but after today’s tragic event, I don’t really know what to do or say. I’m still speechless with a permanent knot in my throat from an afternoon of choking back tears, haunted by the news that hit a little too close to home. The sense of accomplishment I experienced as I crossed the More/FITNESS Half finish line has been stripped and the strength I felt as my legs seemed to float across the hillier-than-I-remember Central Park has been depleted. I’m stunned, disgusted, sick to my stomach and angry because a selfless act of terror has forever changed the sport’s arguably most iconic event.

_DSC1015_DSC1018 My running partner-in-crime _DSC1019

I, like so many fellow athletes, run for that sense of freedom you feel when you reach your “happy pace.” It’s a rhythmic escape from both the good and the bad with a healing power unlike anything else. After the Boston Marathon bombing, that haven has been altered…challenged. The finish line is where our family members band together to cheer us on. It’s where we truly turn on the jets to test our body. It is there where we learn if the blood, sweat and tears we endured in training really paid off before setting goals for the next–a hopeful end to a new beginning. I felt better than ever yesterday, pushing myself to shatter my 2:03:18 Vegas race for a new PR of 1:47:23 but today’s frantic texts to friends and family put everything into perspective. My heart goes out to those in Beantown. I pray for the running community’s strength and perseverance. God knows, it’s one group that doesn’t and won’t give up without a fight.

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

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April 8, 2013

Spring Has Sprung

Price Pritchett (who the hell is he? I couldn’t tell you!) once said, “Change always comes bearing gifts.” That’s why I adore spring. After months of brisk, blustery weather and corresponding drab ensembles, I welcome the turn in temps. I mean, I’ve been in heaven en route to work each day, sporting my sunnies, boat shoes and pastels, soaking up that vitamin D and taking a whiff of cheerful, potted daffodils. I feel like I’ve been a grinning goon, but luckily I’m not alone. The city is buzzing! This weekend I embraced the gifts change has already given me, alongside the exciting “presents” that await in my near future. Let’s just say they include a two bedroom with two baths, a gorgeous kitchen that will be sure to store any appliance my heart desires (wish list: juicer) and a walk-in closet Carrie Bradshaw would approve of. Granted, it will showcase my sneaker collection…not Loubs. Eeeee!

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No dotted lines have been signed just yet but I’m glad to say that after Saturday, we’re one step closer to a big move. Yes, it’s a bit depressing to think my city slicker days are already coming to an end. I’ve caught myself sulking as I savor every last Manhattan sunset and even wandering through yucky Times Square during prime tourist rush. A girl’s afternoon full of mani/pedis, shopping and lunch at Cafeteria with my gal pal, Allie, today further made me realize my love for the convenience and excitement NYC provides with its endless opportunities for all things fun. But after getting a taste of a different gorgeous view full of seagulls, sailboats and even a distant city skyline, I have a different outlook on what’s next. All-you-can-eat sushi just minutes away? That’s going to be dangerous. Stamford’s new Chelsea Piers outfitted with a FlyWheel, women’s hockey and lacrosse pick-up games, alongside tennis courts, gym, etc.? Holy heaven. Oh, and a Zara without New York State tax? Welp, see you never, paycheck. So yeah, things were put into perspective this weekend, to say the least. The city isn’t going anywhere…I’ll still be here Monday through Friday for work! Plus, did I mention some of my closest people are in that area? That may be the greatest gift of them all.
What are your thoughts on change?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

November 5, 2012

Post-Sandy & 4-Ingredient Cookie Dough Balls

I can’t remember a time I felt as scared or alone as I did just seven days ago. Sandy was making her way toward the city I now call home, leaving a destructive path behind her and I didn’t know what to do or how to prepare. After being in denial for most of Halloween weekend, I had only bought a few bottles of water (peer pressured by the mass chaos I witnessed in Whole Foods). I had made another big batch of pumpkin chili to surprise Mike with and roasted up enough veggies to last me a few days, just in case, but that was it. I figured everyone was blowing this whole “Sandy” schtick out of proportion. As the storm got closer, though, the more severe and real things became. Mike’s flight from Denver was cancelled, my office was closed and I began to panic, feeling stranded on this island with no way out. In a high rise with two bedroom walls being floor-to-ceiling windows, I was petrified beyond belief when the winds started to whip. As my roommate, Russ, and I watched lower Manhattan go dark (pictured below), I felt helpless.

In this big city, it’s so easy to feel small and Sandy made me all too aware of that. I ended up being one of the lucky ones with power and my norm was relatively untouched. I felt incredibly spoiled living in a bubble of luxury as I watched the haunting aftermath images on the news. My heart ached (and still does) for those who have lost their lives, loved ones and homes because of the storm. I can’t even begin to tell you how eerie the city has been but in spite of all the sadness and helplessness, these past few days I have witnessed a glimmer or two of hope. The star-studded relief concerts, the support New York City marathoners provided in Staten Island today…it has all been incredible. Yesterday, I had chills standing in the TKTS line with my visiting running pals, Adam and Mandi, as a flash mob of ING runners came barreling through Time Square with smiles on their faces. The cancelled event wasn’t going to slow them down! Tourists lined the streets, cheering on the group for their dedication and hard work. It is with this spirit that New York and all of the Eastern seaboard, for that matter, will get through this devastating time and rebuild for the better.

 

After a strange week, it was nice to have these familiar faces around for the day. We shopped, ate and saw Mary Poppins, which was absolutely incredible, especially since we scored second row seats! I fell in love with the little Michael Banks (ahem, Bert wasn’t too shabby to look at either…) and suppressed my urge to sing along to the upbeat, whimsical music. Next on my “to see” list: Newsies. In preparation for a long day of venturing, I made nut balls Friday night for my guests. They were a hit as a late afternoon snack and in the wise words of Mandi, “Everything tastes better in ball form.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, doll.

 

Ingredients
(made 7 medium balls)
1/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
10 large dates, pits removed
Dash of vanilla extract

The nut/dried fruit concept is nothing new (remember my Mocha Coffee Protein Balls and Apricot Almond LARABARs?) but something about this combination just plain rocked. Seriously, I thought I was eating cookie dough batter. In a food processor, pulse everything together until thoroughly chopped and mixed. Roll into balls and refrigerate. That’s it! Sweet, gooey but with a crunch that will keep you energized between meals. Yeah…you need to make these. They will be a staple snack of mine from now on for cubicle munchies!

Pumpkin Turkey Chili recipe to come! Blame it on Mike…he took his Nikon (which he so graciously lets me borrow for blogging purposes) and has been traveling the past two weeks. I swear it’s worth the hype.
Have you witnessed a glimmer of hope after super storm Sandy?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

January 15, 2012

Food Porn and Shoe Shots

I hate goodbyes. I mean, I guess I don’t know anyone who particularly likes them, but I realized how strongly I dislike them this week as I left my winter internship and job. I had such an amazing experience and enjoyed my time off from school. My only complaint: it flew by way too fast! I cannot believe in a matter of days I’m starting the spring semester of my senior year. The good news: I don’t have to say goodbye to Manhattan anytime soon. I’ll be there twice a week until May, interning at another magazine! Yay! I can’t wait to get started.

Anyway, here’s a look at my week through Instagram. Random but pretty. One of the most important lessons I learned about living in New York is the importance of comfortable chic. Slouchy sweater, skinny jeans and oxford slip-ons make for a cute, but practical-for-walking work outfit!

Daily lunch: spinach salad with avocado, grilled chicken, veggies and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. 

Tuesday morning I had the privilege of attending an Activia event on FITNESS’ behalf to learn about the importance of probiotics in your diet. The three course breakfast was divine and absolutely gorgeous, thanks to pastry chef and Bravo’s Top Chef Just Dessert judge, Johnny Iuzzini.

Check out the almond encrusted french toast. Simply out of this world! The crunchy coating had a gooey inside and a cut out middle filled with yogurt, berries and fresh herbs. Can it get much better than that?

Panna Cotta at 10 a.m.? Why not? You only live once.

I’m on a pretzel/chocolate kick, especially when it comes to gifts. Post to come on the Valentine’s Day-themed treats I made for everyone at my internship! Aren’t they pretty? 

Last but certainly not least, my newest purchase: Michael Kors booties. I’m obsessed. Warm, comfortable and oh so cute! Sorry for slacking on recipe posts. I haven’t been too creative in the kitchen lately… 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

December 23, 2011

Easy, Last Minute Holiday Treats

Like everyone else, this week has been a crazy one. I’m back in New York for a month, interning and enjoying myself in the city before my LAST college semester begins. Tuesday was my first day back at FITNESS and it was great to see everyone again. I jumped back into everything like I never left! The commotion in Manhattan is unreal, especially outside Mike’s building (30 Rock) which is pure mayhem, but who can complain about Christmas in New York? Too bad I haven’t finished my shopping nor have I even started wrapping…

Before I head to Grand Central to catch a train home for the holidays, I wanted to blog about the tasty treats I made for everyone in the Neag School of Education’s office where I work: Peppermint Chocolate Covered Pretzels. Super easy if you’re in need of a last minute gift or have room in your cookie tin for another holiday sweet.

All you need is a big bag of mini pretzels, 11.5 oz dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips) and crushed candy canes. On a baking sheet, lay out the pretzels so they are close to one another, melt the chocolate in the microwave or double broiler and drizzle. Sprinkle the candy cane crumbles overtop and place the baking sheet in the freezer until the chocolate has hardened. 


Wrap it all up and tie it with a big, pretty bow and you’re all set! I ended up dipping the leftover candy canes in the remainder of the dark chocolate. Stir into a big mug of hot cocoa for a sweet snack. They can also dress up a wrapped gift for that special someone!

Well, I need to pack up and get back to Connecticut. I have some last minute shopping and baking to do tonight!

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

December 16, 2011

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” Betty Friedan

Today is a day of twos. It’s my 22 birthday and what better a way to celebrate than taking two final exams before noon? Woohoo! Well, at least I’m officially DONE after that. New York, New York for a month starting Monday! I simply cannot wait. Anyway…nothing too (hehe, journalism major humor?) rowdy planned for the evening, just a quiet dinner and cocktails with my two besties. In honor of my day of birth, I compiled a list of fun facts about yours truly. Hey, I’m a quirky, fun gal full of surprises so why the hell not?

1. I modeled when I was little.
2. I was a band geek (alto saxophone) in high school. I rocked that plume-topped hat and wool ensemble!
3. I was the co-captain of my ice hockey team my senior year.
4. I can flatten my nose.
5. My favorite food is seared ahi tuna, especially when it is sesame encrusted.
6. I’m a firm believer that the book is always better than the movie.
7. I only use black ball point pens. I hate blue more than anything and don’t even get me started with pencils…
8. I’m addicted to Pinterest and may already have every last detail of my wedding already picked out.
9. I love grocery shopping and could spend hours wandering the isles.
10. My favorite movie, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, was what inspired me to seek a career in journalism. Well, that and the fact that I have a collection of my favorite magazines dating back to 2000. There are stacks hidden in every crevice of my room at school and home…if that wasn’t a tell tale sign, I don’t know what is! 
 

Peek-a-boo! I’d just like to add, when I asked Mike about a fun fact about me, he said that I’m obsessed with peanut butter. That was all my man of 4 1/2 years could come up with…I guess I’m not as quirky and fun as I’d like to think I am? Thanks babe! I guess another interesting fact is that I drive a huge, red SUV. Remember the episode of Laguna Beach when Kristin Cavallari’s car broke down on the side of the road? I drive that same Isuzu Trooper…but in fire engine red. (Yes, the fact that Kristin drove one made it even cooler back in the day.) I love my car and feel super badass driving it. Well, I’m off to take some tests and celebrate. Happy Friday!


Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

July 1, 2011

Cross It Off the Bucket List

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a fabulous week. Here’s a look at what’s been going on with me lately. As I mentioned in my last post, it was my sister’s graduation last weekend so I wanted to give you a quick glance at the celebratory festivities first and foremost. Congrats Kru! You made it!

The graduation was postponed Thursday evening due to the bad weather so we all woke up bright and early Friday for the rescheduled ceremony. Luckily, the rain held off for the Class of 2011 to march to Pomp and Circumstance and grab their diplomas!

Saturday was Kristen’s graduation party. The food (half of it being catered for convenience purposes) got rave reviews but the fruit salad in particular, the presentation courtesy of my father’s “famous” pineapple trick, was my personal favorite. I’m pretty sure half of that big bowl was consumed by yours truly, alone…my stomach is still thanking me for that.

Although I would have loved to help make a few dishes, I was quite busy catching up with visiting family members and enjoying some much-needed R&R so I contributed by making a simple punch. Two liters of raspberry lime seltzer + one 64-ounce Ocean Spray Light Cranberry Raspberry Juice + a bag of frozen raspberries + lime slices = perfection. For my over 21-year-old crowd, add some cranberry or raspberry flavored vodka and you have yourself a great cocktail. 

Before I knew it, it was Monday again and I was back on the train to New York. Tuesday was super exciting because I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Giada De Laurentiis! Words can’t even begin to describe…such an amazing experience. What did I ask? What did I learn? Find out soon at The Fit Stop. I’ll keep you posted!

I had to show you Tuesday’s romantic train ride dinner for one: Chicken & Avocado Salad (topped with Lentil & Couscous Salad) drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette from Pret A Manger! Can you tell I was ravenous? Every last bite was consumed and 5 miles were ran once I got home thanks to the boost in energy! After a very busy day in the office on Wednesday, I attended an Ed2010 event about the do’s and don’ts of interning. Really great stuff! A fellow intern, TK, and I ended up going to Havana afterwards for some Cuban cuisine. I got the Ensalada De Pollo A La Parilla (Grilled Chicken Salad) for an incredibly affordable $9.00. (Of course I took a photo but it didn’t turn out well, wahh!) TK and I couldn’t believe our bill was just over $20, not that we were complaining! We ended up crashing on another intern’s couch for the night after sitting in Bryant Park and chatting under the twinkling lights of the NYC skyline for a bit. Isn’t it funny how comfortable you feel right off the bat with someone who shares a lot in common with you? We both joked the entire night how we felt like we had known each other for years, rather than days.

The first month of my internship is now behind me and I cannot believe how fast it whizzed by. I have been learning so much, meeting incredible people I will be sure to stay in touch with in the future and even got to cross something off my bucket list! Someone PLEASE pinch me. After getting off the train yesterday morning and squeezing in a quick upper body workout at the gym, I relaxed poolside with Chelsea. We flipped through magazines, chatted about our week and bronzed our pasty bods. Sounds like one solid afternoon to me! At 5:30 we headed over to a favorite local restaurant of mine, The Guilford Bistro & Grille Cafe, for a mother/daughter dinner. How priceless is that picture?

I got the Montego Bay salad (arugula and fennel with balsamic vinaigrette) topped with grilled salmon and asked for some cucumbers and grilled asparagus to be thrown on there. Delicious!

A bottle of red and a bottle of white were polished off, four massive meals were enjoyed (with endless MMmmm’s! inserted here and there) and girly giggles were muffled by napkins, as we tried to not disturb other patrons enjoying the outside dining. Such a pleasant way to end the week before a long holiday weekend! Bring on the fireworks!
If you could meet one celeb who would it be? What would you ask them if you had the opportunity?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren