Posts tagged ‘NYC’

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.

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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

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

March 19, 2013

Glass Slippers Are So Back

Growing up, my sister and I were all about Disney. Like most little girls, we spun around the house in princess gowns (a Jasmine two-piece pajama set, in my case) dreaming of one day being swept off our feet by a handsome prince to live happily and royally ever after. It’s no wonder everyone drools over William and Kate! We have long been imprinted to believe in the whole fairytale baloney…ugh, the communication sciences major in me digresses. Anywho, on Saturday, Kru and my mom came into the city to relive those previously described childhood fantasies with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Sorry, Disney but this version of the most infamous rags-to-riches story took things up a notch. No longer is the soon-to-be princess painted as a pushover, unaware of her self-worth needing a prince to save her. This gal, Ella, is confident and empowering, ultimately teaching the prince a thing or two about standing up for his beliefs in order to be a powerful, successful leader. He needs her to introduce democracy to the kingdom and spread kindness among the people. You go, girl! Now that’s a message I hope all the cutie patooties in the audience takeaway. 

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With that being said, my only criticism would be that the whole musical harped a bit too much on this notion. Like, I get that they were targeting the tiara-wearing audience members so they had to be overly obvious about things but after a while, it was excessive and borderline obnoxious–especially in the song lyrics, which were, dare I say it, amateur and lame. So yes, I just contradicted myself a bit. I liked the empowerment message but I wish they toned it down a bit, particularly in the music. Get it? Don’t get me wrong, the show as a whole was whimsical, surprisingly funny and spectacularly entertaining. The set design? Spot on with regal architecture and an enchanting wooded forest. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the costumes. Woah. I’m STILL trying to figure out how Cinderella’s dress magically upgraded from tatters to gown mid-spin…twice! Mind. Boggled. I may no longer prance around in “gowns” and faux diamond-encrusted accessories from the mall’s Disney Store, but sitting beside my mom and sister during our matinee the other day brought me back. Watching the wide-eyed kidlings around me made me realize how grateful I am to have been raised to believe in myself, in my future so that I can “be whatever I want to be,” as the cast belted out–with or without some handsome prince. Lucky for me, I’ve got one of those, too.
Who was your favorite princess growing up?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

January 2, 2013

Hello, 2013. It’s a Pleasure to Meet You.

My birthday, the holidays and ringing in the new year has officially come and gone in the blink of an eye. What a whirlwind the last month or so has been! Ever since Vegas, I’ve been go, go, go. As you can see, blogging has been low on the priority list between all the celebrating, baking, working, ’tis the season shopping and wrapping. Welp, sue me. Let me get you up to speed. The night before my birthday, my nearest and dearest gathered at my apartment for chili, wine and Christmas cookies with tons of laughs in between, just what I wanted. Mike was out of town on business for my actual birthday and I may have had a mid-20 crisis/breakdown (ahem, when I say mid-20, I of course mean 23…), but luckily Emily came to the rescue for a quick sweat sesh and dinner at the new Tommy Bahama restaurant. Hey, it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to. Our meal was too good, as was the company (Em, her dad, Bob, and Bob’s girlfriend, Dianne). Live music, a tropical setting–I literally felt like I was on vacation–and birthday cake? Perfection. Thanks again! Mike made up for his absence the following day with a perfect-for-me dinner of salmon and roasted veggies over quinoa and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. I’m. So. Spoiled.

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Soon enough, it was Christmas. I headed back to Connecticut for good food, family and thoughtful gifts (13.1 was a common theme!) with new traditions and a new stove…FYI the holidays are never a good time for a stove malfunction but luckily, ours went on the fritz the day before Christmas Eve. Plenty of time to scramble and get a new one, right? 2012 had its fair share of ups and downs. I was in and out of New York interning, cruised with some of my bests for spring break, graduated from UConn, mourned the loss of two family members, enjoyed a summer of a whole lot of nothing, moved into Manhattan with my boyfriend of 5 years and started my dream career. I ran [my first] two half marathons, tackled a Tough Mudder and ran up the mountain I’ve skied down since I was a tot. I went dairy and gluten-free after suffering from tummy troubles for years. Fellow recent grads can probably relate when I say that this has been a weird limbo chapter of my life but certainly an exciting one. I’ve embraced city living more than I ever had expected although I still all too often find myself retreating to my comfort zone. This year, I need to start living, as I’ve put it. I have an itch to explore, learn and try new things. I have set an ambitious goal of six half marathon races this year, I want to get my spin on (SoulCycle every other week with my old roomie, Allie, why not!?) and have decided my body needs yoga again. Like desperately. Oh, and I have already signed up for another obstacle mud race in the summer. I never thought I’d say that. If 2012 has taught me anything, it is to be grateful for all that I have, appreciate loved ones and be patient, for hard work always pays off in the end. So cheers to 2012 but boy am I glad to start fresh this year. Let’s do it.
What fit goals/resolutions do you have set for 2013?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

September 1, 2012

Productivity and Ex-Roomies

Yesterday was quite productive. Don’t you just love that? I even slept in! By noon, our entire apartment was scrubbed, vacuumed and organized. Two loads of laundry were washed, dried and put away. I even squeezed in a sweatastic workout DVD. Seriously, I was dripping. What a great way to start off my 4-day holiday weekend! Now, you may have just noticed the whole “our apartment” thing. Well, I have an exciting announcement. Mike and his roommate decided to resign their lease for another year. The best part of the deal? I was invited to stay. And so cohabitation begins! I think they just like the fact that I cook and clean…well, whatever I love the location, building and the company I’ll be sharing it with. Plus, the fact that Mike and I will be splitting rent isn’t too shabby. Next project: redecorating.

 

After making a refreshing post-workout spinach and banana smoothie bowl, I got ready and headed out to meet my gal pal, Amy, for a much-needed girlfriend afternoon. We got mani/pedis in between my place (ahhh! sorry, it’s so weird to be able to officially say that now!) and her work. My toesies are still a sad sight to see without two nails–uh thanks, running–but the Essie’s Smokin’ Hot on my fingers make me so happy. The color is a rich, glam gray, reminding me of mink. It might be my new favorite fall hue. The photo doesn’t even begin do it justice!

After getting pampered and caught up (neither of us read a single page of the magazines we pulled to indulge in during our pedis…), I decided to introduce Amy to the love of my life: the nearby market I cannot stop blabbering about. She was in shock. The Park Slopean–did I just make that up? Possibly.–even bought some items to schlep home with her! Our dinner purchases included three zucchinis, a bunch of Brussels sprouts, four large beets, an eggplant, four lemons, plus a few other items we needed for our own refrigerators. We then went next door to get salmon. Grand total for a dinner party of four? Roughly $25. Unreal, right?

 

We were too hungry to do anything special, seasoning-wise so simply baked the Brussels sprouts and fish while grilling the veggies. Fresh ingredients, appreciated for each of their individual flavors and topped with a squeeze of lemon? Now that’s what I call a delicious, nutritious dinner…on a budget! I giggled when Amy asked if I had nooch or liquid aminos, both in which I recently introduced her to have become staples in her eating. It was great hangin’ with my old roommates, who lived with me and G in 143 three years ago now. With Em settling in her new apartment yesterday/today and my news of officially moving in, it was fun to see how far we have come since our days in Storrs, CT. Although I’ll be living with two guys for a year, it’s reassuring to know I have such amazing, close friends here with similar values…most of which include great eats! The best part of the whole night? Our decision to make this a monthly tradition, taking turns hosting and meal prepping. Like.
Did you have a productive start to your Labor Day weekend?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

August 16, 2012

A 143 Reunion

I was nervous to head back to the city after a few months of being home. I had gotten quite comfortable being back in the same house I had lived in since I was six-years-old, enjoyed the company of my parents and sister and even grew to love the whole “broke and bored” thing. It had been a while since I figured out train times or caught a cab, had to pay attention to streets/avenues or was truly concerned about the cost of city living but here I am, back in the Big Apple and it feels like I never left.

The last time my college roomies were altogether was before graduation. Let’s just say reuniting with my 143 girlies (143 was our condo number…pretty cute, right?) was long overdue so when Allie texted us all that she received four Yankees tickets and special access to fancy, schmancy lounges courtesy of work, we unanimously marked the date on our calendars. As you can see by all of our Yankee garb, we’re huge fans…

After enjoying the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar and hiding out from the weather during the rain delay, we headed to our royal treatment seats so we could discuss what players were good looking and continue to catch up. Um, I mean cheer the home team on to their victory. Right behind home plate. No biggie.

Summer stories were swapped, employment matters were discussed, some reminiscing took place and, of course, all our chatter was accompanied by too many laughs. We had a blast.

A few beers later (red wine for me…yep, I’m THAT gluten-free girl who doesn’t get a brewski at a sporting event), we headed out. G made the trip back to Connecticut while Al, Tay and I ventured back to Mike’s apartment for a slumber party. Oh, come on…we’re not too old just yet for pillow talk, popcorn and a little Chelsea Lately.

Well, I bet we’ll never grow out of that…and I give that a big, thumbs up “like.”

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

PS: Thanks again, Al!

August 14, 2012

Empire State of Mind

Holy real life! I’m moving into NYC tomorrow and start work in less than a week. Luckily the Olympics are officially over so I haven’t had that many distractions keeping me from packing and figuring out what I’m going to need living with two guys for a month. (Yep, you read that right. The boyf and his roomie have been kind enough to let me crash at their apartment until their lease is up at the end of September. Fo’ free.) Oh wait, Shark Week started yesterday. Good thing I’m a great multitasker, as well as a total nerd! Know what else made for a nice diversion? Seeing Mike for the first time in a month.

The man has been busy working behind-the-scenes for the Olympics, “in house” from Manhattan, but that has meant a crazy schedule. Ahem, starting at 3 a.m. So what’s a guy to do when trying to get back on track? Caffeine. We got all cute the other night making an early dinner and then went to watch the sunset while sipping on some Starbucks. I couldn’t get over how gorgeous the view was, which of course included my hunk. Nights like these make me question if I’m cracked up to being a city girl. I do miss New York but there is something about the smell of salt water and honey suckles, the warm breeze and sound of rolling tides that just fits. Sweatastic long distance runs by the water will also be greatly missed. I’ve been soaking up every last one of them.

Ugh, I’m getting all “end of summer” on you. So back to packing. It’s pretty funny what items are on my priority list. Workout clothes and sneakers were the first things to hit the suitcase, followed by my Sparkly Soul headbands (hey, nothing pairs as well with sweat than a little bit of sparkle!) and Spibelt. Then went my blender, protein powder, favorite spices and popcorn. Hey, the city is pricy and I gotta have my essentials! That’s how far I’ve gotten and let’s just say my big, hot pink with white polka dot luggage is already half stuffed. So now it’s time for me to make room for the professional attire. Oops! I’m going to need that. It will be funny trading in my pinny/Norts (Nike shorts) ensembles for a more presentable appearance, that’s for sure. Well I better get back to the task at hand. Wish me luck!

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

April 16, 2012

I Did It!

It’s still sinking in that I accomplished the 13.1 mile goal I set for myself months ago. Long cold runs in the snow and rain, healthy eating, hard work and dedication all l lead up to one race. 2 hours and 10 minutes through Central Park. Amanda came in early Saturday afternoon and after dropping off her stuff at Mike’s apartment, the three of us headed toward the More/Fitness Magazine Health & Wellness Expo to gather our race numbers and gear. A hot pink SPIbelt and matching Sparkly Soul headbands were purchased before we wandered along the High Line, where we casually bumped into (Amanda literally sort of did…) Cameron Diaz. No big deal. Love her! We worked up an appetite after a few hours of exploring so grabbed salads, alongside some groceries (all for $10.49 somehow!) for dinner later on before heading back to sit out on Mike’s balcony and relax. Countless Nalgenes-full of water later, we got started with our night-before-the-race feast, an energizing spread of grilled chicken, eggplant, peppers and broccoli with roasted parsnips and sweet potato. We were hungry. Before we knew it, it was time to catch some z’s in preparation for the big day. 5:30 a.m. came too soon. I didn’t feel right and had barely slept. Coffee, scrambled eggs and an apple with soy nut butter were consumed but still something was off. I chalked it up to nerves. Amanda and I caught a cab to Columbus Circle and we walked to the starting area where we met up with Em. We worried about a few raindrops, were corralled into place and before I could blink (although in reality it was over an hour later…), the race started.

 It wasn’t easy and I hate to use the word “disappointed” because for goodness sake I ran 13.1 miles, what’s there to complain about? But what got me down on myself was the fact that after doing everything right from eating, stretching and hydrating days prior to the hours of training I had endured in preparation, I never would have guessed a stomach issue would prop up. The first three miles were all smiles. I had goosebumps, soaking in the sunshine and aroma of everything in bloom while my adrenaline rushed with each stride. Things were fine and I felt strong, in fact, all the way until mile 7, when my churning stomach hit. It wasn’t nerves, something else was wrong. A full 24+ hours later, I’m still not back to my normal self. Regardless, I’m proud that I had the mental toughness to push through those “uncontrollables” to cross that finish line. I feel accomplished running farther than ever before and strength-wise, I could have kept going! Moreover, I’m positive that I would have reached my under 2 hour goal if it wasn’t for this bug (or whatever it is). It was tough to have been moping at the finish line, though, especially with my crew of cheerleaders there. I can’t even put into words what it meant to have had my parents, boyfriend and best friend waiting for me. Seeing my dad poking his head out, urging me to push it the last few strides made my eyes tear up and my legs fly. I’m honestly still a whirlwind of emotions and cannot get over the amount of love, support, encouraging texts, tweets and sweaty hugs I have received. I’m truly one of the luckiest people in the world and cannot thank everyone enough for celebrating this with me. The popular question has been, “So now what?” Well, I’m nuts, stubborn (in a competitive way) and always looking toward the future with some goal in mind so naturally I have my eye on the next race. I have about 2 months to recover and prove to myself I can hit that 2 hour mark without tummy troubles. Wish me luck!
Have you ever been frustrated after a race? 

Sprinkled with Sweat (er, I mean Love),
Lauren

November 12, 2011

Trendy Tapas

I’m a fan of tapas restaurants. Add in cuisine with a Latin Asian flair and I’m there. After Mike got out of work last night, we headed to DohYo Restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen around the corner from his place. It was a good thing it was close with the dropping temperatures and my tendinitis acting up! Anyway, DohYo’s ambience was pretty “trendy,” as Mike described, with its modern lounge/dining area, bumpin’ club in the back and anime-meets-just-plain-bizarre decor. It was quite the experience but needless to say, the food was absolutely outstanding. 

I started off with a Peach & Bourbon Tea (bourbon, peach nectar and green tea), which was divine. I mean, green tea is good for you, right? Well, no need to justify a nice cocktail every once in a while, you only live once. Cheers!

Without further ado, we dove into the menu. Mike is not going to be happy with me about this candid. Oops!?

To start, we each ordered a Chile Dusted Tuna Salad which had seared ahi tuna, avocado, snow peas and roasted shallots over a bed of mixed greens with a drizzle of miso-mustard vinaigrette. It was just as amazing as it sounds (and looks!). The clean taste of the avocado paired beautifully with the tender tuna and crunch of roasted shallots.

Mike, of course, couldn’t resist the House Ground Beef Sliders for his main course. Get the man a Stella and you’ve got yourself one happy boyfriend! Note that instead of a traditional pickle, the pair of burgers came with a pickled okra. Pretty cool, although Mike wouldn’t try it…

The Wok Seared Cauliflower with ginger, garlic and thai chile was one of the first things on the menu that jumped out to me. I love me some cauliflower! For only $5, this was a bargain side dish full of flavor and a mighty kick. Note to self: if you’re going to try a chile, go for a small piece of one first, not a whole half. My mouth was on fire! Maybe that’s where my drink went…

I had my heart set on the seared scallops for my main entree but since that was the one menu item of the evening they were not serving, I went for the Black Cod and I am so glad that I did! Everything happens for a reason, right? The first was served with a pickled artichoke, teriyaki-balsamic reduction and lemon sake aioli. Holy cannoli it was fantastic. The fish was cooked to perfection with a buttery flavor that melted in my mouth. I’m a sucker for anything dripping in balsamic and this sauce took it up a notch with the hint of teriyaki. Simply out of this world.

I told you the place was a bit bizarre, did I not?

Are you a tapas fan? Do you share dishes to try more of the menu or do you stick to a few plates all for yourself?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

September 22, 2011

You Are What You Eat

As promised, here’s a little synopsis on my wonderful long weekend: I went to NYC late Saturday night to visit the boyf and check out his new, humble abode. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, the food we ate was delish (minus the protein bar I ate in desperation Saturday night for dinner but we’ll pretend that didn’t happen…) and we burned quite a few cals with all the walking we did. Boy, did we walk. A LOT. Since Mike only has Monday’s off, I had Sunday somewhat to myself. It started off with a nice workout, included a grand tour of 30 Rock followed by a little shopping and ended with watching the sunset on his terrace. Rough life, huh?  

Monday was just plain romantic. I’m sorry. I’m not the sappy type but walking through the quaint streets of Soho and Chelsea hand-in-hand is pretty damn cute if you ask me.

After a quick cardio workout, Mike and I headed to Cafeteria for brunch, which is where he proudly declared that they had filmed an episode of Sex & The City. Isn’t he the greatest? I love their slogan, “You are what you eat.” So true. Anyway, it was around noon so we went for the “unch” part of brunch, both choosing the California Cobb Salad with grilled chicken. I got mine without the bacon or blue cheese, of course. Between the outdoor seating, big mug of coffee and healthy dish, I was in heaven. Oh, and I guess my company made it all the better…

We then wandered our way over to one of my favorite places in New York, Chelsea Market, before strolling the High Line. On a whim, we decided to pay tribute to the recent passing of 9/11’s 10th anniversary by heading over to see the Freedom Tower’s progress. The crowded streets and high security was enough to put me on edge so we quickly made our way toward the ever so lovely South Street Seaport, where we enjoyed happy hour (yes, Mike is drinking a Miami Vice…he’s a keeper, huh?) and an early dinner at Pacific Grill. We had worked up QUITE the appetite!

I ordered the Black & White Sesame Coated Yellow Pink Ahi Tuna, which was served over mixed greens, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and hard boiled egg with asian ginger soy dressing. It was divine. Mike went with his typical cheeseburger. Before I knew it, it was time for me to hop on Metro North. I made my way back home, catching the train with Emily after she got out of work, which was fun, then shortly after getting off the train made the drive back to school. Back to reality! It was such a great weekend and I cannot wait to go back the city. Luckily, with the bf now located there, I can go whenever my heart desires. Yay!

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren