New perspectives and a new year

As I grow older…the pressure to have the perfect NYE has completely faded. Thank goodness! Gone are the days of last minute shopping trips for the perfect outfit..and honestly, I’m totally fine with closing that chapter.

NYE 2016 consisted of playing card games with some of my favorite humans, in super comfy clothes, and lots of snacks and drinks.

For the holiday season we took a  whirlwind trip to Houston to see parents (x2), siblings and friends..we jetted back to NYC on 12/27. We were greeted by a surprise visitor (a cousin from Australia) and  played tour guide with her before heading to the DC area on the 30th.  Of course the tour included a stop at Dominique Ansel’s..because frozen s’mores and DKA’s are necessary and to Milk Bar for cereal milk ice cream. All the treats!

Since our long, glorious, and much needed break from work..the hubs an I have been attempting to get back to “work mode”.  Luckily we have a four day work week to ease the transition and our guest heads back home today. To my delight the hubs requested a 30-day eating and workout plan…music.to.my.ears! We were both feeling a bit lethargic/icky after lots of treats/eats over the break.  I’ll share our plan and the meals we’ve had this week tomorrow.

Finally, instead of setting a resolution for 2017, we landed on picking a pillar to hone in on..finances. Not the most thrilling topic but so essential because we know we don’t want to work forever. This year we plan to set quarterly savings goals and to watch impulse purchases (whole foods is where most of mine happen admittedly).  I’m oddly excited to watch our savings grow.

 

On a roll..

Three posts in five days..whaaaaaat?! It seems like this little blog and the act of jotting down my random thoughts with regularity is bringing me joy.  What else is making me happy you ask..I suppose it’s time for a revival of a Helping of Happiness.

  1. Scheduling 15 minutes of quiet time in the morning.

This has been a tough transition – especially fighting the urge to automatically pick up my phone to a.) scroll through social media b.) check work emails or c.) flip open my worktop to continue A or B. Instead I’ve been stretching for five minutes, sipping water, meditating for five minutes, and spending ten minutes brainstorming various creative ideas.

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Here’s the planner I use and I can’t recommend it enough! I purchased mine from Amazon but linked up to Nordstrom .

2. Reading..for pleasure.

The past six months I read anxiety/happiness/self-help style books in hopes of dealing with it head on. I shifted to reading..bare with me..Game of Thrones (<—nerd alert)..and have thoroughly enjoyed decompressing and notice that I’m reading more because it’s fun..and time outside of work should be fun.

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PS..winter is coming..but really..sigh..

3.  Trying new recipes because I love cooking healthy meals at home Monday-Thursday, it’s how I decompress and relax and the kitchen is closed on the weekends.

I love the two recipes from the SkinnyTaste cookbook (Egg roll bowls & Eggplant Stacks) and two from Fed+Fit (Bbq chicken potato bake & Panang curry).  I’m REALLY into curries and asian-inspired dishes as of late.

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4.  Truly focusing on strength training to support my health goals.

Running was a priority but now with the half marathon done..I wanted a structure/plan to follow that I could use in my apartment gym that would take the guesswork out of the equation. Immediately the  two rounds of online bootcamps that I participated in with Your Trainer Paige came to mind. I can only speak to Paige’s bootcamps but I’ve absolutely loved having the daily check in’s/accountability, personalized macros and workouts plus weekly check in’s. The workouts have left me SOOORRREE and I can’t wait to see my strength improvements and hopefully nail a pull up or two. Plus Paige is awesome..if I didn’t mention that already..she’s full of knowledge, positive and motivating!

5. Facebook reminding me who I was with and what I was doing one, five, and even eight years ago…whattttt?!

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What’s making you happy lately? Any fun food, fitness or other random finds to share?

Monday Setup – Eats and Moves

Good Monday morning to you! I’m taking a break from planning my week and sipping a big coffee more slowly than normal. I’ve got a tough leg workout planned and a day full of meetings (ugh..). Without further ado –  here’s my weekly meal plan:

Breakfasts: I’ll alternate between green smoothie bowls and egg white and veggie scrambles with LOADS of coffee.

Lunches: I’m pretty spoiled and work provides materials for salads – so my lunches will include veggies and a a lean protein like turkey.

Snacks: Hummus and veggies – always..and I’ll likely hard boil eggs tonight to snack on.

Scheduled Moves…I failed to mention I was training for a half marathon for the past two months (the Brooklyn Rock’n’Roll)  but have honestly felt uninspired as of late when it comes to weight training. I participated in a few rounds of Paige’s  bootcamps a few months ago and had incredible results..so I went ahead and registered for Lean Body Lifting and it kicks off today.  I will do a whole post of what an online bootcamp consists of but I really like the accountability and focus on eating and effective workouts.

Have a glorious day!

October Rambles

Well hi there, let’s give this a go one more time.

It’s a lovely fall Saturday in NYC – hard to believe this is my second fall in this glorious city. Last year was a blur since I was frantically attempting to adjust to a new job/home/life. On Friday we toasted the weekend with one of my favorites California reds (Smith & Hook) and my coworker buddy Siana joined the mister and I for a rooftop happy hour. After wine time, we headed to the subway to meet friends at the Hotel Hugo rooftop (double rooftop night!).  I liked the Latin/Cuban vibe and music at the bar and we arrived just in time for the sunset.

We visited with friends for about an hour before we all decided it was time for dinner. The out-of-town friends requested pizza so we walked to a nearby TriBeca casual spot called Saluggi’s.  I was pleasantly surprised by the street lamps inside the restaurant and the cost-effective menu. Our table ordered a vegetarian pizza and a mushroom, sausage and pepperoni. Both were delicious and our bill came to under 15$ a person..that NEVER happens! After dinner we decided to stop by one final bar for the night and landed on Macao Trading Company. Luckily we snagged a table downstairs which seems to be a little more of a relaxed scene. As the night went on..the music got louder and the space became crammed ha so I stuck to ordering one drink and was happy to head home a bit after midnight. We took the subway home and I fell asleep immediately! Such a fun night with wine, friends and food!

Back again (but for real this time)

Yep, this consistency thing with blogging is a wee bit harder than I anticipated haha..imagine that. Instead of being annoyed with myself for committing to blogging and writing for my own “therapy” I’m going to forgive myself and look forward. Incessantly hammering yourself with negative self talk will never be beneficial and as my mom always says “the dialogue you have with yourself if the most important” <–she’s so wise. So since its Sunday and Sunday is when I like to shut down technology a bit..here’s a few life updates before I head out for the day to enjoy it with my main squeeze..

  • We signed on for another year with our apartment – hooray for more NYC living!
  • Husband started traveling internationally for work (sigh), he went to India for nearly 2 weeks
  • We signed up for a half marathon, the Brooklyn 1/2, let the training begin!

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Consistency & Commitment

Well hello again!

I fell off the radar for quite some time but I am back and making a revised commitment to you – and myself – because I really am blogging for myself, as free therapy, and secondarily for you, in case my rambles help you.

My commitment – I will post 2-3 times a week. Why so specific? Because setting parameters (ie: hard numbers) makes reaching goals actually tangible and tracking/metrics appeal to me (even though I would classify myself as the creative type vs math/science girl). As you can tell if you’ve perused my other posts, I am incredibly consistent in some areas of my life like working out, meal planning, making time for friends and family, etc..BUT..not so much when it comes to turning the focus inward and following through with activities that support me dealing with my inner issues. I use the word issues somewhat lightly, because hey, we all have our own issues and inner struggles. I plan to start digging down deeper on mine, hopefully it will be therapeutic because talking about my issues is incredibly challenging (even with my loved ones).

Let’s end on a lighter note, shall we 🙂 – it’s Saturday and rather rainy her in NYC but I’ve taken advantage of the indoor weather and cooked breakfast and lunch, deep cleaned the house and even spent 10 minutes meditating (so hard to actually do by the way).

I hope your Saturday proves to be enjoyable, productive or whatever you need to feel happy and at peace. I’ll be back early next week with recent eats, a fitness update,and with more on meditation.

Weekly Workouts: 3 & 4

Happy President’s Day friends..this is my first year to participate in the holiday celebration and I couldn’t be happier to have a bonus day to rest, relax and spend quality time with hubs. We are heading out for the day soon for the museum after I make lunch – so I will keep things short and sweet!

Monday: Lower body circuit in apartment gym – I was proud for cranking this out after snowboarding for 4 days straight!

Tuesday: 30 minute treadmill run, at a steady state

Wednesday: Upper body circuit in apartment gym

Thursday: 20 minute treadmill HIIT

Friday: Total body circuit in apartment gym

Saturday: Quick body weight circuit in apartment gym

Sunday: Yoga @ David Barton Limelight – doing yoga in a gym that was formerly a club, then formerly a club..only in NYC!

 

You may notice I’ve shifted my workouts significantly over the last week and am placing more emphasis on strength. I signed up for an online bootcamp for the next six weeks and will share more details later this week. I plan to still hit up Class Pass for yoga, occasional cardio and weekend classes but I craved structure and the boot camp seemed like the perfect solution.

Last week catch up – I had a work trip followed by a fun getaway to hang with our Texas friends in Breckenridge..it was glorious!

Monday: Rest – travel day to Boulder, Colorado for a work retreat AKA..lots of meetings and long nights..

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Snowboarding

Friday: Snowboarding

Saturday: Snowboarding

Sunday: Snowboarding

Weekly Workouts: 2

If you read my post from Sunday, you already know I mixed up workout routine with two dance cardio classes this week. Thank you Class Pass for having every possible type of fitness class invented on the planet in NYC! Here’s what else I did

Sunday: Body by Simone, dance cardio

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Uplift, strength – a well-rounded free weights class with a few tabata bursts to get the heart pumping.

Wednesday: Doonya, cardio Bollywood class

Thursday: Pop Pilates – with a master trainer – MUCH tougher class, my first class wasn’t the least bit challenging and I considered not returning.

Friday: Rest day again..oops..I wasn’t planning on it but I had a few 12+ hour work days and my body wasn’t up to it.

Saturday: TrampoLEAN, full body – such a cool class, you “fitness bounce” and bands and light weights are utilized plus tabata drills. Full review coming next week!

Sunday:  Reflections yoga, yin yoga – ahhhh 90 minutes of holding poses for three to five minutes and deep breathing. Some poses were incredibly intense but it was the perfect Sunday afternoon relaxation class and the studio was beautiful.

Did you try a new workout this week?

Dancing On My Own

Hello again, I can’t believe it’s Saturday afternoon and I am just now getting around to blogging. This week was a stressful one full of meetings, late nights with the laptop in bed and I found myself struggling to keep positive.

Here’s what helped – red wine and chicken pot pie on a Thursday, sweat dates with hubs and reminding myself that in a few days we are off to see friends in Breckenridge and snowboard!

Annnnd back to title of this post..I am wrapping up my first month of Class Pass and decided to get out of my comfort zone with class selections this week. I’ve been mostly sampling spin, barre and circuit classes..which I love, don’t get me wrong, but I feel comfortable and confident tackling those workouts. To shake things up a bit, I signed up for two cardio dance classes..eek..it’s been YEARS since I danced (high school) so I knew I’d be rusty but dancing makes me happy ,so I swallowed my pride and signed up.

Body By Simone

I dove right in and  signed up for the Sunday dance cardio dance class with Jasmine. If you haven’t heard of BBS..then you likely do not follow celebrity fitness trends haha :).. famous clients include Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, and Reese Witherspoon. Simone is a very likable, petite, ex-professional dancer that has a large fan following in NYC and LA. She recently released a line of DVD’s and has online streaming classes, so the whole world can access her method.

Guys..I got owned..but I still smiled as I saw my reflection in the mirror and awkwardly tried to catch on to the fast-paced choreography. This class would be reeeeally tough for people who have never danced (for at least a few years) or are new to 8-count choreography. The 6-7 strings of choreography loop over the course of one song, but keep in mind, it’s very fast-paced choreography! I was huffing and puffing after the second song concluded..but the upbeat music and class setting made me forget I was getting such a great workout in.

Jasmine, the instructor, smiled the entire hour and didn’t look tired  as she danced along with us. She was warm and positive – just what you need when you really want to take a break and slack off a bit.

The studio is off 11th and is a really nice, large, open space. They had clean showers with lots of space to get ready if you need to go to work or freshen up.

I plan to return for another dance cardio class, but have my eye on the trampoline class..classes at BBS book quickly, so expect to be flexible with class availability and timing.

Doonya

When I scanned through the studio description and read “Bollywood dance inspired class”..I decided Doonya would make the perfect Wednesday date night activity and the hubs agreed. He’s a realllly good sport, obviously.  The studio is located in NoMad and I arrived ten minutes early to sign waivers and get changed. The front desk and changing area was small, but the studio was well lit (I hate dark, window less rooms).

The actual class format was fun, easy to follow and very energizing! Similar to BBS, you repeat a handful of 8 counts over the course of a song, but this was not nearly as technical..just fun! The teacher was very warm, encouraging and added her own personal touches of “sass” to the moves. A few power moves like burpees and jump squats were peppered in to get the burn going a bit more. It was fun to see other men in the class, often at dance classes it is primarily female – love that about NYC!

On the sweat scale haha, I made that up, I would rank it a 6/10.  I was smiling throughout the class and enjoyed the choreography, it was just different movements and sequences but not so overly complicated that I felt intimidated. Doonya also does a great job of cultivating a positive environment through their staff and it truly is a “happy workout”.

Have you tried a cardio dance class before?

Weekly Eats: 2

Good Tuesday morning!

I planned to share my weekly eats with you yesterday but ended up taking a sick day because I woke up with a pulled neck and shoulder. Ouch. Does that happen to any of you? I couldn’t rotate my head to the right and most of my day was spent with a heating pad, in bed horizontal. It feels a bit better today but I will be taking it easy..when all I want to do is take all the workout classes..boo.

Storm Jonas impacted our meal plan this week haha, that feels like a dramatic statement but grocery deliveries scheduled to arrive over the weekend were cancelled. Really, no biggie, we live walking distance from a few nice, small markets so we snagged dinner ingredients before cooking Sunday and last night. It made me feel a bit European just buying one meals worth of supplies haha. Luckily groceries and Blue Apron are scheduled to arrive today.

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner – because it was easy! Sautéed mushrooms, roasted brussel sprouts, roasted Japanese sweet potato wedges and a fried egg.

Monday: Chicken stir fry served over white rice, mix in’s included bok choy, red onion, mushrooms and green beans. I made a quick Asian marinade with soy, sesame oil, fish sauce and honey.

Tuesday: Blue Apron, Creamy Lemon Linguine

Wednesday: Blue Apron, Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice

Thursday: Blue Apron, Chicken and Sage Biscuit Pot Pie

Friday: We have happy hour with friends..I am sure we will grab a casual bite out after drinks.

Saturday: Wherever the day takes us!