End of Summer ’17

Is it just me or did this summer literally fly by in the blink of an eye? July was spent basically doing nothing but working and moving into our new apartment and then August was a lot more relaxing and fun. I made it to the beach 3 times in August which was great and I have a new fav beach to go to around this area. We went out to Spring Lake, NJ which is an adorable town about an hour and a half drive from NYC. First, let me back track to the beginning of August so I can wrap up my summer.

One of my good friends from my Chanel days, Sharde, opened up a nail salon in the Bronx and I could not be more proud of her! It’s called Saint Glam and if you are in the NYC area, please take the 6 train 1 stop into the Bronx and check it out! The salon is fabulous and so are the nail artists!

Beach trips with these lovely ladies (+John) that were unfortunately a little chilly but still fun, and obviously ice cream trips at the beach are mandatory.

We only had 1 wedding this summer (#blessed) which was my cousin Lisa’s and it was beautiful and on such a beautiful Friday evening up in Binghamton! It was our first wedding together being married and we kept saying how happy we were that our wedding and planning for it is over LOL My cousin was so happy it was finally the day of and almost over too- weddings are lovely but so much work.

 

The Friday of labor day weekend I headed to Atlantic City with Andrea, her sister Ally and our friend Patty. We stayed at The Borgata and it was my first time in AC (romantically known here as Atlantic Shitty) and it was exactly how I envisioned it. So fun but so trashy. We had an AMAZING dinner though at Angeline followed by a fun 90’s cover band (which made me feel 102 years old) and a bedtime of midnight. Nothing better than a girl’s weekend away!

sausage stuffed clams
my rigatoni with vodka sauce, brussels sprouts and Patty’s chicken parm
Andrea’s ravioli and Ally had rigi’s too
orange flavored cannolli’s

I had a gnarly hangover all of Saturday and most of Sunday haha Finally had some life back in me on Labor Day so I took John to our favorite brunch spot (specifically favorite french toast brunch spot) Le Grainne Cafe to thank him for all his hard work painting our living room the last few weeks!

Then we headed out to NJ for the day for one last pool day with the Golden’s (our 2nd fam!). No one was happy that summer is ending.

We went back to their house for a delicious BBQ and drinks and had such a great time as always. So happy they are in our life! ❤

This past weekend I taught my Saturday morning classes at Push Pedal and then subbed my favorite class to sub at Harlem Cycle, Striver’s Row, right after. It’s a 30 min cycle/ 30 min strength class that we offer and it’s SO fun to teach! I grabbed coffee with my co-worker after class, ate a bagel sandwich at home with John and then headed back to Push Pedal to hang out for our charity ride. We had a ride for Hurricane Harvey and it was sold out! Such a great turn out with some of Washington Height’s businesses supporting us with food and drinks!

The rest of Saturday we unpacked and cleaned which feels NEVER ENDING. John finished painting our living room but we still need to organize and decorate. Here is a glimpse!

Sunday I subbed a 10 AM class at Harlem Cycle (45 min cycle/15 min core- so fun) and then John and I headed out for a day of eating and walking around. It’s our favorite thing to do here and we haven’t had a day to do it in MONTHS which is insane.

#CouchGoals at ABC Home

 

Only $12,000. NBD.
Dinosaur BBQ

And now back to the grind today! I had to work super early this morning so no class today and it is a very welcomed rest day. I don’t plan rest days since I teach and often sub last minute so it always feels SO good to me these days to not have to move my body intensely for at least 24 hours 🙂

How was the end of your summer?

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Ruby is here! (+some other updates)

Hey there! It’s been a little while again but I’m still here! The biggest/best thing that has gone on since I wrote last is that my best friend Brenda (ya’ll know her on here by now!) finally had her baby a week ago today!! I got to be there for the whole time she was in labor (about 17-18 hours) and now her gorgeous little babe is here in our world. Of course we made our time at the hospital a blast…

Obviously she had her Spinning water bottle with her.. homegirl took a spin class the day before this! My hero.
Obviously she had her Spinning water bottle with her.. homegirl took a spin class the day before this! My hero.
Obviously we watched Broad City all night long <3
Obviously we watched Broad City all night long ❤

And finally at 9:25 AM, Ruby came into the world!

Ruby and Daddy!
Ruby and Daddy!
I am finally an Aunt!! :)
I am finally an Aunt!! 🙂

She is absolutely perfect and I am so excited to start my journey as an Aunt! I also fell even more in love with Brenda watching her become a mommy. One of the most special moments of my entire life!

And on to other stuff…

I don’t want to go on about too much right now but lets just say I’m still dealing with anxiety. I am learning how to manage it/accept it/live with it more than I was. It’s a really hard, AWFUL process but I focus on each hour and just getting through it. I know this won’t last forever but it certainly feels like it is going on forever.

So while I am still on a hiatus from teaching Spin, I have been going to CYC at least 3 times a week and running here and there. Running is SO hard after taking basically all winter off and not being at all consistent. Here’s what my running is looking like right now (in the spirit of keeping it real)

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I’m doing some run/walk intervals but nothing set- just running until my lungs feel like they are going to explode (thanks, allergies) and then walking a bit. Getting past 2 miles right now feels sooooo hard. A good friend said the other day to me that training for the first 3 miles is always the hardest when getting back into running and she is so right. Once I can consistantly/easily run 3 miles again, I’ll start training for longer runs. I don’t have a half marathon or any race at all right now planned until October, but I may try for a 5 miler at the end of next month. CYC is so amazing and hands down the best spin classes I’ve ever taken! They are so motivating and SO fun, plus super challenging but I can feel myself getting stronger. If you are in the NYC area, let me know if you want to try a class with me!

Natalies class from this past Saturday!
Natalies class from this past Saturday!

This past weekend was an absolute blast. John’s mom came to visit us and we took her to most of our favorite spots- of course you need at least a full week with us for us to take you to alllll of the best spots 😉 Friday night started with Patsy’s pizza and a walk down 8th avenue from 23rd to 14th St to show all the fun gay culture through Chelsea- she loved it!

Saturday morning we headed to brunch at Le Grainne Cafe, our absolute favorite place for french toast and delicious coffee. This is hands down the best french toast in the city.

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We strolled through Chelsea Market and Union Sq, then I took a quick class at CYC and met back up with them in Soho at Harney & Son’s tea. From there we walked through Soho to a few other stores, then took the 6 uptown to show her Grand Central. I always forget how magical Grand Central is until I’m seeing it through someone else’s eyes!

It started raining so we cancelled our initial plan of walking from Grand Central to Times Square and just headed to dinner. We had to of course take her to our favorite, 5 Napkin Burger, as we take pretty much everyone who visits us!

Sunday morning we headed to one of our favorite bagel places, Absolute Bagel, on the Upper West Side. This is right near the gigantic cathedral on 110th st that we wanted to see. We’ve been past it a million times but never actually went in until Sunday! It is so huge. Definitely a must see here.

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We walked all through Central Park and took the train down to the West Village to get Big Gay Ice Cream…obviously 🙂 We were pretty exhausted so we ended the trip by heading back uptown to Trader Joe’s and last but not least, Shake Shack. If you can’t eat red meat or cheese like me, they have chicken sausage dogs that are incredible!

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According to my FitBit we walked about 10-11 miles total for the weekend!

Fill me in on your lives!! What’s new?! 🙂

 

 

DR OZ!

Hi!! This week has been insane for me and to top it off I have been so, so sick. This is the worst cold I’ve had in a couple years and has knocked me on my ass. I’ll do a quick re-cap starting with last weekend and bring you up to speed with what will be on today and/or Monday! 😉

Last Saturday night:

My usual pre-long run dinner (cheese-less chicken and onion Domino’s pizza), except I ate the WHOLE thing because on top of my long runs I now teach 3 spin classes on Sunday’s.

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Brenda and I ran a great 8 miles Sunday morning and they felt pretty effortless for how little I’ve been running. Thank you, 1099 spin classes a week.

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Followed up with my hour spin class that we had a ton of fun in. I used the same playlist that I posted here because I hadn’t used it in this class yet.

I started to feel sick this day and by Monday it was full throttle terrible sore throat. I stayed home from work but had to teach my 6:30 AM spin class because guess what? No one wants to sub at that hour haha I pushed through and came home to rest all day. My throat got worse and worse but it was my first night teaching at NuYu so I had to go. I drank a couple Emergen-C’s throughout the day and it at least took away the achy feeling and gave me a bit of energy. This was a 45 minute ride and more of a beginner’s class so I took it super easy and it was a great vibe! Here’s the playlist for that.

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My throat was on.fire. after teaching even though the room at this gym is small and I didn’t have to scream, so I stopped at 16 Handles for froyo to soothe my throat. Great excuse, right?

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Just a little bit to tide me over until I got home and made a healthy dinner full of vitamins to help me out!

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I was off from work Tuesday but had to teach at 7:30 AM and I was feeling worse. I ended up feeling better for awhile after my class but that was just the momentary endorphins because by the afternoon I was dead again. I NEVER lose my appetite, and this week I have had to force myself to eat to have enough energy for my classes and to get better. I was in bed all day and night Tuesday with the hopes of feeling better for Wednesday morning because I had VIP tickets to…

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Last week I was contacted by one of the producers of the show asking if I could film a few videos of myself saying some scripted lines, one of me working out and either stepping on a scale looking really happy or looking in the mirror proudly! I chose the mirror shot to keep it real since I don’t believe in the scale making you happy! 🙂

We got to sit right in the front row and it was awesome! Despite my coughing fits, it was a really great experience and Dr. Oz is a smart man. He mingled with the crowd more than I expected and I’m in a group shot with him that will be up on the Facebook page next week so I will post it then! So, my videos will either be on TODAY’S 4 PM SHOW (EST) or MONDAY’S. They were unsure of the schedule of shows yesterday and I have not heard back from them. Hopefully they still use me! haha

After the show (we were there for almost 4 hours and hadn’t eaten before) we ran to brunch because we were about to eat our hands. French toast at our favorite little french cafe, Le Grainne Cafe, that we have celebrated great things at!

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This is the best french toast IN THE WORLD. It’s made with baguettes so it’s crispy on the outside and has an orange zest to it, topped with almonds and served with thin sliced ham, a couple little potatoes and fruit. I also had a soy iced latte that was so strong and so needed.

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Latte = happy Jen. If you watch the show today or Monday, I am in the front row and this is what I wore! The shirt isn’t as dark as this pic shows and John had a red flannel shirt on.

After brunch, I went home to rest and had to head back out to sub the 7:00 PM class. I was the most sick at this point and losing my voice, but ended up having an amazing class. It’s funny how that works! I took it as easy as I could, which really means I was still working too hard. It’s hard to slack off when you have 20 people looking at you for motivation! You know how they say go ahead and workout if your cold is in your head, but don’t if it’s in your chest? Well it’s true. Working out Wednesday night made me feel 100x worse almost immediately after stopping, so I grabbed some Mucinex at CVS on my way home.

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Definitely has helped a ton. For $27, it better. I REALLY hate taking medicine and almost never do since there isn’t a cure for the common cold but now that some of my income depends on me being healthy and able to workout I wasn’t playin’ around.

I made it through about 7 hours of work yesterday before I had to call it quits and go home. I was sweating through my clothes and feeling super weak so I molded myself back in my bed and today I’m feeling better. Still sneezing my brains out and coughing, but not as weak. Progress.

So yes, amazing news that I will be on the Dr. Oz show!! I’m sure I will be able to get the clip and post it here as soon as I can! Beware that it’s corny but I’m actually a pretty corny person haha

Have you had a really bad cold this winter?

Do you watch Dr. Oz? My grandma would be sooo excited, she loved him!

Amazing Turkey Chili

I mentioned recently that my food obsession lately has been turkey chili. I ate it every day for lunch before I was off for a week and then decided late Friday night to finally use the ingredients I bought at Trader Joe’s earlier to make my own and save some moolah. I based it off of this recipe but tweaked a few things so I will write out what I used below:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pound 99% fat free ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped up
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes– this kind is really sweet & my favorite!! They come peeled inside not crushed so you have to crush them up in the chili yourself
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chili powder (i like it super spicy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

You just heat the oil in a large saucepan and then throw the turkey in to get it cooking. Cook it until it starts to brown then throw in the onion and cook for a few more minutes. After it was getting soft, I added in the liquids and all the seasonings. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. I let it simmer a little longer so it would thicken up because I love thick chili!

I’m still new to cooking so I don’t know exactly how to figure out serving sizes? I put all the information into MyFitnessPal and said it made 6 servings (1 cup) so each serving is 200 calories. I have eaten 1.5 servings (1.5 cups) 3 times so far and still have 1.5 servings left- anyone want to do the math on that if 6 actual servings was correct?

Top it with some 2% plain greek yogurt and hot sauce if you want to burn your mouth off.

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Even better the next few days! If you make this let me know how you like it! 🙂

Other random delicious eats from my weekend:

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Chicken, onion & goat cheese omelet (SO GOOD), salad & potatoes at Le Grainne Cafe for brunch on Friday.

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Crazy strong french iced coffee with the beautiful soy swirl.

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Spinach, apple, pear and ginger juice. I rarely get these but I’ve been so sick the last week I just felt I needed some extra nutrients.

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Had to travel down to the Chobani in Soho to try their seasonal pumpkin creation! Plain greek yogurt, pumpkin butter, cranberries, walnuts and gingersnap pieces. Incredible.

What’s your favorite kind of chili? Turkey, beef, chicken or vegetarian?