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?

Spin, Babies, Rocksbox

Hey hey! Wow, look at me posting twice in a week’s time! 🙂 I loved the comments from some of you guys who have been reading for a long time and it made me feel more connected again. I’ve had a few friendships blossom from the blog and it’s really special. Thanks for still reading!

Backing up to last week and last weekend, my best friend Brenda taught her first spin class so of course I had to be there! She came to my first one almost 2 years ago and the experience of taking your friends fitness classes are just so fun. Or maybe we are just huge fitness dorks. Our friend Mandy came too and we screamed our heads off the whole class. We ran into our friend Dante there too and it’s because the gym is our love language. Friends who sweat together, stay together right?

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I even made it to a BODYPUMP class last Friday morning! I know you probably don’t believe me because it’s been like a year since I strength trained but I took a picture for proof.

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I used crazy light weights on the bar for all of class and I was still sore for about 4 days after. Trying to go 1-2 times a week from here on out!

The Pope was here last week but no, I did not see him. I don’t love crowds and figured my chances of seeing him were slim. Turns out, basically anyone who was near 5th Avenue got to see him! I should have went. I’m not super religious but I do believe, and this Pope seems like such a good person. My grandma would have loved him.

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Last Saturday, after I worked all day, we met up with Brenda and her husband and Ruby for Brenda’s birthday. Funny how our idea of fun for a birthday is now a maximum of 3 hours of socializing and bed by 9 PM. We hung out at Central Park and let Ruby experience all that is ‘nature’ in New York City (aka not much).

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Followed by delicious thai food and a mango cake that we had to keep Ruby’s hands out of. Poor thing is teething and she devours her hands or really anyone’s hands the first chance she gets.

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Sunday morning I taught 2 killer spin classes at Simply Cycle Astoria. We thought it would be funny to take a picture and show the world that I killed them during class. It got dramatic.

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And lastly, I need to tell you guys about a super cool monthly ‘box’ that I finally fell in love with. Honestly, I’m approached by a lot of companies about putting their products on the blog and that’s why you rarely see any from me. I only will write about what I have interest in, and if you know me then you know fashion is a huge part of my life. Rocksbox is an awesome monthly box that costs $19 per month and you receive 3 amazing pieces that are selected by a stylist based off your profile that you fill out. You can make a wish list and at least one of the items from your wishlist will be in your monthly box! You can keep the items as long as you want, ship them back to receive new items, or buy the items at a discounted price. Pretty sweet options if you ask me.

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Honestly, I forgot to take a picture of the 3rd item that came in the box because I wasn’t impressed with it at all. Which is fine, because the other 2 items were TOTALLY me! Let’s start with this necklace that I haven’t taken off in 2 weeks. I have worn it with everything from a plain nude sweater to plaids and it truly goes with everything.

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This is called the ‘Olivia Necklace’ by Perry Street. I am so obsessed. Rocksbox will occasionally slip in some ‘shine spend’ which is a credit towards purchasing the jewelry. I have $10 in my account right now and am still debating between this necklace or the awesome Loren Hope earrings I also received in my box.

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Hard choice! I of course want both but I’m trying to be good! 😉

You can get a free month of Rocksbox with my code artificiallybalancedxoxo 🙂 If you love jewelry and are wanting to try new pieces without committing to buying them, or you need a special piece for an upcoming event, I can’t recommend Rocksbox enough. I am sending back the 3rd piece that I didn’t like and either the earrings or the necklace tomorrow to receive my next box! Rocksbox has generously gifted me 3 months of the service to try in exchange for promoting it to you guys! Let me know if you end up using my code and of course if you do, show me what you get! As soon as I receive my next box, I will post what I get.

What’s your favorite type of jewelry- necklace, earrings, bracelets or rings? Mine is a tie between necklaces and amazing rings! However, I have HUGE fingers (I wear between a 9-10 size) so nothing ever fits me haha

Hi!

Hey guys! Jeesh, cannot believe it’s been 4 months almost since I posted. I really enjoyed this summer (except not enough trips to the beach) and didn’t think about writing here often, but now that it’s my favorite season (FALL!) I’m a little more motivated to write. I am teaching Spin/Cycling again and want to get back to posting playlists, workouts, etc and just generally start blogging again. I miss you guys!

I’m not going to do a big recap of the last 4 months because we would be here all night, but I will do a few highlights.

My mom got married in July! She now lives in Rochester, NY and so we spent the weekend there. It was an absolute blast. For rehearsal dinner we were at a family member’s house and ate great food, drank a lot and laughed our asses off.

My brother and I!
My brother and I!

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It was incredibly hot that day and the house we got ready at had no A/C (death) but somehow our hair still turned out great.

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The food at the wedding was amazing, and we danced all night long.

Johnny and I!
Johnny and I!
John and my mom dancing!
John and my mom dancing!
My brother and our 2 new siblings!
My brother and our 2 new siblings!

 

 

So much fun
So much fun

I’m having the time of my life being an Auntie to my best friend Brenda’s baby. Completely obsessed with Ruby.

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John and I just celebrated 1 year of being engaged this week!

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We were upstate visiting family last weekend so to celebrate we went and got pumpkin pancakes because we are basic bitches.

Yep, fully aware of how annoying this picture is. I DONT CARE.
Yep, fully aware of how annoying this picture is. I DONT CARE.

My mom and stepdad and I went crazy in Target purchasing everything and anything pumpkin flavored. My favorite? Very surprising because I hate normal peeps, but these guys were amazing.

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We finally set a wedding date (July 16 2016) so we are well into our plans now! It’s going well so far and only seems mildly stressful. We went to a bridal show while upstate and ate so many samples of cake we were all grossly sick. That’s the way to do it right? Have I mentioned I need to lose 15-20 pounds before my wedding? Help.

My matron of honor and flower girl. My favorite humans!
My matron of honor and flower girl. My favorite humans!

It felt very weird to be wearing a ‘bride’ name tag. I was gagging! 🙂

I started teaching Spin again. Like, a lot, again. I can never ease into anything in life… I took 4 months off and within 24 hours I had taught 3 classes. I am still teaching for 24 Hour Fitness (NYC clubs) but I also got hired at 2 new awesome places. I am teaching Sunday mornings at a small cycling studio called Simply Cycle Astoria (located in Astoria, Queens) and it is absolutely fabulous. I am also teaching for New York Sports Club now! This is huge. I have wanted to audition for them for so long. They have so many locations it’s crazy. I’ve been working for them for about 3 weeks now and I’ve already subbed 9 classes at almost all different locations. I am going to have 2 set classes starting next week but the subbing opportunities are plentiful.

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Remember when I used to run a lot? Ha. I miss those days. Well, Brenda and I put off half marathon training for way too long (she like, pushed a baby out of her body and all and I was suffering from horrible anxiety for many many months) and when we started it was AWFUL. We got up to about 6 very slow miles and decided that now is just not the time to try to get in shape for a half marathon that was less than a month away. So right now my goal is running once a week. Literally. It’s the best that I can do given my spin schedule and the fact that I need to factor in sleep. Sleep is absolutely critical for me to not feel like my anxiety is drowning me (which at times it still is…) so at least a few mornings a week I have to choose sleep over getting up early for a workout. And for now, that’s okay. I’m not getting any younger so sleep in general is just an important thing to make sure I’m getting!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to in a nutshell. I am hoping to write here a few times a week (I know I know, I’ve said that a million times!) but my attitude I’ve basically had to adopt since dealing with anxiety is what happens, happens. 

What have you been up?! Fill me in on your lives! ❤

Wow. Last week really did me in. Most amount of classes I’ve ever taught in a week- 11. I am still feeling it, as I missed my long run Sunday morning from exhaustion anddd missed it again yesterday morning when I meant to make it up. Ugh. Marathon training is really not even remotely fun for me right now. I haven’t felt even a little excited about it and that makes me sad. But I love teaching a ton, and it’s a source of my income so it is more important than training to run 26.2 miles. Definitely never running a 2nd marathon. I love half’s but this full nonsense is just too time consuming! I NEED SLEEP. (and some strength training would be nice too)

This is how my week broke down.

Sunday July 6th: Taught my 9:00 AM class. Lifted a few weights right before class then walked around all day with heavy ass bags of groceries and other random errands. It was a very active day outside of my normal workout which left me really tired which is actually really sad 🙂 Goes to show you that just because you do 1-3 hours of cardio a day, if you sit at a desk the rest of the time (like me) then some of those benefits are negated.

Monday July 7th: Taught my 6:30 AM class in Brooklyn. Worked all day, then subbed 2 back-to-back classes at 6 and 7 PM. These classes demand high energy because of who I sub for, so I rode about 50 miles or more this day. I also did these exact 3 classes the Monday before and in just a week’s time it’s crazy to feel that I was less tired than the week before. Our bodies adapt so fast! I had this delicious bar right before the 2 classes to fuel up and it tastes like a macaroon. Mmmm.

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Got home, ate avocado toast and my new nightly snack that is sometimes actually dinner because I get home late.

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2% Fage strawberry yogurt, a couple mini chocolate chips and a few animal crackers. There is something so amazing about this yogurt. Please try it if you haven’t. Also please try to un-see how pasty white I am right now.

Tuesday July 8th: Wanted to get in a few miles Tuesday morning but OBVIOUSLY that didn’t happen. I slept in and felt like I was hit by a train. Worked all day then taught my 7:00 PM class. Only day that I only had 1 class. Pinkberry for dinner, yaaaaaaaaaaas.

Wednesday July 9th: Taught my 6:00 AM class which is always beyond rough to get up for, since I don’t get home til around 9 or after on Tuesday nights. Worked all day, then subbed for my girl Nicole at 6:00 PM. This is when my left hip and foot started to hurt during class, so I tried to scale back as much as I could.

Thursday July 10th: My last Thursday subbing the 7:00 AM class and I am really going to miss it! Worked all day, then subbed another 6:00 PM class. I taught in my sneakers instead of my spin shoes for both of these classes and it helped my foot and hip feel a lot better. I learned at the conference in Miami that stress fractures can happen to our feet in spin if the cleats on the spin shoes are too far forward and I think this is the case on mine. The guy actually said something like 80% of people’s cleats are put too far forward! So the sneakers took off some pressure from my toes so I was able to go pretty hard Thursday morning. Thursday night I taught 3 songs off the bike for my first time (it was both awkward and glorious) and welcomed Friday ready to finish my last 2 classes.

Friday July 11th- Taught my 6:30 AM class in Brooklyn. Love my Friday class. We’re so pumped for the weekend and everyone works hard! I was feeling pretty good for having 9 classes under me already. Worked all day, then subbed the 6 PM class that I will be subbing for the rest of summer! I love it and it really helps people get ready for the weekend.

I then had to work overtime Saturday morning where I was a miserably exhausted mess 🙂

My weeks won’t be like that often and at least right now while I need to be running too, my body can’t handle that amount of high-mileage cycling. It’s much different than high-mileage running of course, but it has it’s cons as well. Mainly the fact that I have no real recovery time so I feel too sore and achey to push myself in my classes later in the week. I’m good at faking it on the bike (like any good instructor 😉 ) but the truth is the energy an instructor has while they are also pushing themselves and struggling along with the class is different. I’m still woo-ing, and so encouraging to the classes- off the bike, plus I’m now not afraid to sing along to my songs (i feel bad for my classes haha) but they watch your every move on the bike and it really makes a difference in how hard they work. I’m just not comfortable teaching off the bike (yet? ever? I’m not sure) so I’m figuring out what works for me. If I’m teaching 11 classes in a 5 day span, they can’t all be my own workout too. I HAVE to scale my own intensity back or my burn out is going to happen and it’s my job now to not get burnt out! I do love that this is such a learning process, and I would truly love to be a full time instructor/trainer so I need all the advice I can get from fellow instructors- and those of you who take spin!! Tell me what you love and what bugs you about an instructor!! My #1 thing- I know I used to hate when instructors would come up close to me and touch my resistance knob- hello what if that person has an injury that they didn’t want to announce to the class?!- and I think that motivating and pushing from up front is more effective overall. That’s my opinion, and I’ve asked my classes before if they like that and 99% of them have said they hate when an instructor doesn’t ride with them and when they get all up in their business.

This past Sunday I taught in the morning and then Brenda and I went to the Brooklyn Bridge Park to lay out in the sun. I got REAL burnt like an idiot- it was cloudy and we were too afraid of rain to go out to the beach- but it was nice to just lay out and talk and laugh after a long week! I finished my Sunday with a chicken pita, froyo and bed at 8:30. Gloooorious.

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Total weekly mileage for cycling:

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Why it says 9 and not 11, I do not know.

That’s my last week and a half! How have yours been? 🙂

This is a ramble.

We still have some catching up to do so be prepared, this is looooong!

Basically my life is spent doing nothing but working. Luckily right now I love my jobs, but I don’t love cleaning, laundry or grocery shopping and I had to do all of the above on my 3-day weekend. But the weekend before was no work and ALL play, so lets get to that fun stuff first.

John went out of town for a few days so Brenda and I planned a romantic weekend together since we hardly get to see each other for more than an hour at a time these days. First up: seeing our favorite comedians from the show Broad City! Anyone watch that on Comedy Central? Well it’s hilarious and a very REAL depiction of what life is like in NYC when you’re a broke 20-something. They were performing at FIT along with Bevers from the show and Jason Mantzoukas because he is at literally every comedy show ever. The show was awesome and we were hurting from laughing.

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On the way home I stopped and got myself a cheese-less pizza from Patsy’s to take back to my apartment and eat alone in bed. It was seriously glorious. I love John to death but sometimes you just need a night alone in bed… with pizza. Ya feel me?

 

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I slept in Saturday morning and casually drank coffee and watched TV. I NEVER get relaxing mornings anymore since I’m always teaching, so this was much needed. In the afternoon I headed to meet Brenda at Whole Foods for lunch then we spent the rest of the day walking all over the park. Once we got back to my apartment for a sleepover (yes, were 11) we ordered cheese-less Domino’s (please don’t comment on my pizza addiction) and watched Blue Crush because we will always be wanna-be Surfer Girls.

Sunday morning we lifted a little before my spin class, then headed to my friend’s birthday brunch at Bagatelle. It was Pride weekend so we knew we were in for some fun. It started out innocently enough with rounds of Prosecco, then some appetizers, and the main courses. She had a pre planned menu and we all passed the dishes and ate what we wanted. It was the perfect amount of food because we all really wanted more champagne than food 😉

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Then it got wild. Wild for 2:00 PM.

Superman bringing out champagne to another birthday girl. If this isn’t what your brunch looks like, you’re doing it wrong.

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Gigantic ice cream towers with sparklers. Again, NYC brunch > all other brunches.

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Happy Birthday baybeeeeee
Happy Birthday baybeeeeee

It was so fun and I hadn’t drank since my birthday so it was much needed. Brenda and I went back to my apartment for awhile and I was asleep by 8. Perfect weekend!

Last week my spin schedule was lightened and I was so grateful. I really needed some rest so the holiday weekend was perfect for it. My Thursday and Friday classes were cancelled, so I did a 3 mile run on Thursday then went to a CYC class on Friday morning. CYC is a boutique cycle studio (like SoulCycle except not a cult and less expensive) and Brenda loves it so I’ve wanted to try it for awhile. It gave me a run for my money, that’s fa sho. 45 minutes of crazy-ness including 4 songs where we turned up the resistance almost all the way so we weren’t moving our legs much and used 2-3 lb weights for back-to-back strength training. Sure that weight is nothing but it gets into your tiny little muscles and left me shaking! The founder of CYC, Keoni, was the instructor so it was a blast. He has the best energy and inspired me so much! It was nice to be the student and not instructor for once!

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French toast, coffee and cuddling was next up for my 4th of July.

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I alternated from my bed, my couch, and a lot of cleaning for the rest of the day. It was so nice to be able to catch up on life things that never get done because I’m always working!

Saturday morning was long run time with Andrea! This girl is going to be my saving grace for marathon training. The 3 miles I ran on Thursday were terrible, and while I still felt out of shape on Saturday it went much smoother. 8 gorgeous miles with the birthday girl!

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Followed by my favorite brunch with John at Grey Dog!

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Fried egg, turkey sausage and goat cheese on a croissant with sweet potato fries. YAAAS.

We walked around and got coffees and started to look for running sneakers for John becauuuuuuuuuse he told me he wants to start doing a little running with me. Yes, I almost died. I hope he sticks to it! 😉

What else? I ate fried chicken Saturday night. First time in like 4 years? It sounded so good, John loves it, and it was only $5. Long hair, don’t care.

Taught Spin yesterday morning with a little upper body lift before, then had an extremely active day that has left me very sore today. Started with a nice walk to get an acai bowl at The Juice Shop in Flatiron. Highly recommend this place.

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They also gave me 3 free green juices (maybe they could sense I ate fried chicken the night before?) but they didn’t taste so good, not even a little. I did some healthy damage at Trader Joe’s and lugged 2 very heavy bags back home. Then took 3 big bags of clothes from our cleaning frenzy Friday down to Buffalo Exchange to see what I could sell and donated the rest to Good Will. I made out pretty well and it felt really good to get rid of those size 2 pants I will never fit in again. I’ve been holding on to them for too long! Size 6/8 is working out just fine for me, thank ya very much 🙂

Meal preppin’.

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I’ll share what I’m eating this week and my new obsession from Trader Joe’s later this week! Feels good to blab on about my life to you all again! 🙂

How was your July 4th weekend?? Oh I also ate a hot dog on Friday too. John bought the all pork ones since I can’t have beef and it fulfilled a 3 year craving for me, on a nice white bun with ketchup and mustard. Mmmm the bad stuff!

AND- 29 days til Costa Rica. But who’s counting?!?! 😀

!!!!!

I am so sorry to have neglected you guys. I thought my life would slow down after leaving Chanel and having more normal work hours, but all that has changed is that I am happier! I’ve been teaching so much- currently have 6 set classes a week plus I sub usually 1-3 more times- so I am exhausted alllll the time but in a good way. Add on that I am now starting my first official FULL MARATHON training plan and I seriously have no extra time. Well, I made time to watch all of season 2 of Orange is the New Black in 2 weeks, but that made for way too late nights and ended up being not quite worth it. 😉

Let me catch you up on my last month of life.

My best friend Brenda and I had an amazing weekend in Miami about a month ago. We went for the WSSC Conference for Spin and just to get out of NY for awhile and hit the beach. I am terrified of flying and hadn’t flown in 5 years so I took an Advil PM and chugged 2 glasses of wine. We watched Bridesmaids the whole time while I squeezed Brenda’s hands every time I got scared (basically the entire 2.5 hour flight). I HATE FLYING. But boy is Miami gorgeous!

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The Spin conference was amazing and we took 3 classes total plus a class on how to properly fit people to the spin bike. We ate breakfast after the first session and then went across the street to a cafe with delicious food for lunch. After the last session, we snuck out onto the pool (we weren’t staying at the hotel where the conference was held) and it was SO gorgeous. There was an aqua zumba class going on that looked like so much fun too!

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Once we got back to our hotel, we showered and got into bed where we stayed for the rest of that night. Don’t worry, we had no plans of actually going out in Miami… this is our version of heaven. Working out a ton, eating a ton, and resting a ton. We ordered food from the sports bar downstairs in the hotel and no picture but it was so, so good.

We woke up Saturday morning with no alarm which was such a treat for both of us, then got some coffee and breakfast and headed to South Beach! Miami’s public transportation is pretty awesome for how big the city is, and the bus we took was really easy to get around on. South Beach is GORGEOUS! I wasn’t even expecting the water to be so clear since it’s still America, haha. Clearly I don’t travel much 😉

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My first ever fish taco’s.

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And after the beach we went back to the hotel, ate, and slept. LOL I’m telling you, this is why we don’t have friends but each other. Sorry not sorry. Oh and this was me on the plane ride back Sunday morning. I did NOT do well on the flight black. God help me for my Costa Rica trip in a month which is 2x longer than Miami.

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I’ve barely been running at all which really stinks since I wanted to build at least a 2-week base before marathon training started for me this week. Well, I ran twice (one 1.5 miler and a 3.35 miler, wowza) and then did the Queens 10K. It was a GOOD race. I pushed myself way out of my current comfort zone and averaged 9:57 miles for a finishing time of 1:01:48, only 1 minute-ish off my PR time from 2 years ago. I also got to meet up with Andrea again and it’s always so great to see her cute face! 🙂

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In true Jen fashion, I refueled with nutella banana french toast and fries. Just so you aren’t worried that I’ve changed! 😉

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Oh and I also met Joe Caputo from Orange is The New Black on the train to Brooklyn a couple weeks ago. He is my favorite character on season 2! He was SO nice and we talked for almost 10 minutes. Love NYC.

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So besides Miami and teaching Sunday-Friday for the last 6 weeks (usually 2 of those days includes AM and PM classes!!) I have really been doing nothing else. As you can imagine it’s exhausting, but I am really happy that I am out of that terrible disaster of a job I had at Chanel. While I’m still not 100% sure what I want to do, it’s great to have this time to clear my head and get a lot of teaching under my belt. This week officially started marathon training, too. How much exercise can one person take?! Haha I also need to fit in some strength training and yoga here and there, too. I mean it’s a good problem to have, but I really want to get back into blogging at least once a week specifically while I’m marathon training to keep a log of all this! So this is my unofficial I’m-back post. I’ve missed you all so much and I don’t want this to end! Bare with me.

WHAT HAVE YOU ALL BEEN UP TO??!! Fill me in!! ❤ ❤

Food, Sun, Best Friend & A Celebrity = Great Weekend

Is the title of my post not extremely obnoxious? I never claimed to be creative, ya’ll. I’m so sorry with how MIA I have been lately but I am hoping for a very positive shift in a big area of my life where I will be a whole lot less stressed, and therefore have the energy to do anything other than just drop into bed fully clothed and fall asleep at 8:30 PM. That has been happening almost every night for the last few weeks. Long story short: I miss writing! So I apologize for the abundance of pictures coming your way, but last weekend was nothing short of amazing so I want to share 🙂

First off- the amazing weather that we’ve had for not even a full week yet. I celebrated one day last week by wearing my new J Crew shorts that I scored for $22 through their factory website, and these great gladiator sandals from Forever 21. Be proud of my artistic angle. This was the same week that it also snowed. WTF.

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I also need to spread this PSA and say that if you hate low-rise jeans and don’t wear anything other than workout clothes because of it, try Express jeans. They have the perfect amount of stretch that let you breathe but don’t make you look like you are wearing denim leggings or “jeggings”- that word alone terrifies me. The anchor printed shirt is also from Express and I have been living in it.

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Okay, not to food. John and I had a little Friday night date at 5 Napkin Burger and it ended in a huge dessert that we actually could both eat. Waffles, ice cream, raspberry sorbet and whipped cream. I ate half of the waffles and all of the sorbet while trying to not eat the whipped cream but of course I did.

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Saturday morning I taught Spin then enjoyed the absolutely gorgeous day with Brenda. We walked around all day (probably close to 6 miles) and carbloaded. We got froyo, then lunch (omelettes and french fries, that’s how we rollll) and while we were sitting at the diner Brenda saw Elijah from Girls walk by to the deli next door and pick out flowers. We hadn’t paid yet so we rushed to the counter to pay while I stalked the front so as to not let him get away. When he exited the deli, I bolted at him like a complete freak and literally scared him. He was physically trying to get away from me when I approached him yelling “OMG YOU’RE THAT GUY FROM GIRLS!!” because I could not remember his characters name for the life of me. He laughed, still trying to walk away, while I asked him for a picture and admitted that Brenda and I had been stalking him. I literally screamed into the entrance of the diner “BRENDAAAAAA!!!” and she came running out. It resulted in a very awkward/terrible selfie that Brenda made me crop her out of, but I left her cheek in it.

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It’s been awhile since I saw a celeb so I was pretty stoked. Looooove my NYC!

We decided to actually be fun for once and went out with my co-workers for a drink, and then of course landed at Lombardi’s since we were in SoHo and hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Awesome friends, awesome pizza, awesome way to end a carbload.

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After a late night out, waking up early to run and teach wasn’t easy but it ended up feeling so great. I dressed like an easter egg for our easter run of 7 miles through the park.

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Such a dork. Followed by teaching THE BEST spin class I have taught so far. The energy was incredible, everyone was working hard, having so much fun and singing along. We all sweat some serious buckets and I’m still riding that high days later. Have I mentioned how much I love teaching?! 🙂

How was your Easter weekend?

More/Fitness Half Marathon

Half Marathon #5 was completed this past Sunday with my best friend Brenda. Truthfully, it was the worst race I can ever remember running. It was unexpectedly hot and we were dehydrated and completely over it from the start. We finished 4 minutes slower than our first half together last year (and 12 minutes slower than my PR), but this one included multiple walk breaks and about a 5 minute stop at the port-a-potties at mile 5, so we are still in much better shape than last year! At the end of the day, all that really matters is that we got out there and did what we could and we did it together which was automatically a blast.

Before the race started
Before the race started

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Stuffed our faces afterwards at brunch with my new post-race ritual of chocolate chip pancakes, eggs and turkey sausage.

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Followed by a pedicure that John treated me to. BEST IDEA EVER to get one after a half! The leg massage was so great. I broke my right big toe in half during this race along with worsening the permanent blister below my 2nd toe on the right side, too. It was a pretty painful pedicure to say the least. photo 4

I taught spin Monday morning with SO much less soreness than last month’s half! I ended up finishing last weeks training with 99 miles total of running and cycling. Insanity.

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My brother came to visit Monday night and stayed with us all day yesterday and John was also off of work from the day. We had a blast. Drew came to my spin class with me Tuesday morning and KILLED it! It was his first spin class ever and of course he beat me in mileage. Boys. Then we went to brunch with John, went back home and laid in my bed all day watching TV and napping. Dinner was Domino’s and POPEYES FRIED CHICKEN because we were just in need of a fat day. We ate super early and took another nap, so on the way to the bus station at 10 PM we stopped for froyo at Orange Leaf where they were selling froyo for $4.15 regardless of the weight of the cup for tax day. We ball hard. photo 4 (1)

It was a super fun few days and I’m paying for it today in exhaustion and bloat 😉

Did any of you guys run the More/Fitness half last weekend? What did you think if you did or did it in the past? I just can’t pay $80 to run in Central Park again. Not when I run it for free and not when the swag bag is absolutely terrible!

Deliciousness + A Lot of Spin

How is it already Thursday?! This week has FLOWN by because I have taught Spin every single day since last Friday! It’s been a crazy non-stop week, that’s for sure. I welcomed today’s rest day with open arms and sadly one extremely sore and pained hip and glute 😦 I need to spend a lot of time foam rolling the next few nights before the More/Fitness Half Marathon on Sunday that I’m obviously ill-prepared for. Brenda and I ran for 1 hour and 25 minutes last Sunday before my spin class and I was seriously dead the last 15 minutes. Where am I supposed to fit running in when I’m teaching spin so many mornings?! So many things are up in the air right now and I’m hoping to have it figured out by next month and hopefully that includes a big change. 🙂

Backing up to last weekend because it was so awesome, on Sunday after my long run and Spin class, I met up with my good friend Alyse and her awesome roommate and other friends that I love for a belated birthday brunch. Alyse is the sweetest! She took me to ABV which has my favorite eggs benedict in the world and amazing iced coffee; pretty much my two favorites. photo 1

The hash browns take it to a whole new level. A whole new level of caloric insanity, I’m sure 😉

After brunch we stopped by Dough Loco, a doughnut joint that Alyse had told us about that we had to stop at. No one else really had room for a doughnut the size of their head except me, and I’ll blame that on the fact that I did almost 3 hours of cardio before hand. So, a blueberry doughnut was part of my refueling, natch. photo 2

 

We hung out at Alyse’s apartment for awhile before John and I split to hang out down in the East Village for awhile before his belated birthday dinner. We went to Brindle Room because it’s John’s favorite and the food is so delicious. We had beer battered pork belly for an appetizer and it was ridiculous. So, so good. photo 4

I had the happy hour $5 mussels and fries for dinner because… $5. And they are GOOD. photo 5

Followed up with froyo at a new-to-me place that I am now obsessed with and thankful it’s so far downtown I won’t be running there more than once on the weekends, Yooglers. So many awesome flavors and SO.MANY.TOPPINGS. HELLO, POPTARTS AS A TOPPING!!!!

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AND oatmeal squares, aka my favorite cereal but it’s $8 a box here so I never buy it?! Actual heaven.

Included in that weekend was teaching spin Friday morning, Saturday morning, Sunday morning (+8 mile run), then bright and early Monday morning. I also taught Monday night and came home to a great dinner late Monday night. I needed some healthy grub after all the junk from Sunday! photo 1 (1)

Sweet potato with goat cheese & raspberry preserves, egg whites, baguette with smashed avocado, and my first attempt at a poached egg that I overcooked by… a lot. It was still good! Followed by a bowl of my current cereal obsession, strawberry frosted mini wheats with vanilla almond milk. photo 1 (2)

Tuesday morning after I taught spin, I came home to finally take a glorious nap and try to regain some energy. Around 2 I thought I should probably go try to find some food so I went to a place in my neighborhood I have seen but never had the chance to try. It’s basically a cafe with all kinds of salad, sandwiches, etc and it’s directly across from Columbia hospital. The food is SO fresh and much more affordable than places in midtown! I got a turkey sandwich on this delicious tomato foccacia bread and a huge feta salad. photo 4 (1)

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So good.

And my healthy dessert I’ve been having every night this week with no guilt: photo 4 (2) Even if you don’t have an allergy to dairy, these are worth eating. So Delicious brand coconut almond bars for 170 calories each, topped with vanilla almond butter. Of course the almond butter is optional but… not really. 😉 They have the exact consistency of real ice cream but only 10 grams of sugar which is really good for a dessert. They are a little pricey but worth it if you can’t eat the real deal!

And finally last night, I taught back-to-back spin classes which is only the 2nd time I’ve ever done it. I must say, teaching twice in a day isn’t bad when it’s spread out but back to back is pretty brutal. By the end, I was light headed and was completely depleted of everything! photo 2 (3)

I ate a banana right away then a quick protein shake and some Popchips with 1/2 an avocado for dinner. Not even remotely fancy when trying to prepare dinner at 9 PM and SVU is about to start! Did anyone watch last night? I am so happy that guy finally offed himself. He was so creepy.

How has your week been with workouts and food? My sweet tooth has been off the charts lately, woops.

Week Highlights

Happy Saturday! REALLY wish I was outside enjoying the gorgeous weather and not stuck at work. I’m also really over the fact that allergy season has now started, and going from a month of being sick straight into allergies basically feels like I’m just still sick. UGH! I take Zyrtec to ward off some of the symptoms, but it doesn’t seem to be helping much. I read this year will be one of the worst years for allergies in a long time. WHY. Puffy eyes and a dry, flaky nose really just isn’t my best look.

At least this week showed signs of spring. I made it a point to bring actual clothes with me to the gym in the morning even though I’m only in them for the train ride to work and then home. We have REAL ugly uniforms at work (if you know where I work you are probably even more shocked) so I basically never get to wear cute clothes anymore. It sucks and I miss it so much. Speaking of cute clothes, I am a big time hater of jeans but found really great fitting ones at Express. They offer low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise which is spectacular if you are like me and don’t like the way low-rise jeans fit (more specifically- you don’t like your slight muffin top and butt crack hanging out of your pants). The mid-rise fit is perfect on me and even though I’m 5’7, my height is not at all in my legs so the ankle length fits me like just normal skinny jeans. I don’t have a pic of me in them but they are these. I think they call them a legging because they are stretchy and fit tight but they are definitely heavier like a real jean. Freaking love them and Express jeans have always been my personal favorite! Since I have their credit card, I get coupons all the time and got 4 pairs of those jeans, this top in mint green, and these sunglasses. On top of the coupons, I also had a $40 gift card they sent me for my birthday so I made out super well!

Besides my 2 mile run on Wednesday, no other running this week. Still. I’m telling you, I just can’t find my groove. I taught Spin Monday, Tuesday, Friday morning and this morning so I obviously still got my workouts in but running just keeps taking a back seat. If only I got paid for it 😉 Ate some greatness though, of course.

First of all, how adorable is this new glass portable mason jar from David’s Tea? photo 1(1) I’ve been making iced tea with stevia in the early mornings to drink on my way to teach spin so that I’m not drinking so much coffee since having an iced soy latte at work is a non-negotiable. It’s more of a gentle way to wake up, I think!

After a particularly terrible Wednesday, I went to drown my sorrows in froyo at my favorite froyo joint Orange Leaf. They are more expensive than the others, but when you taste it you happily oblige. Plus I had a $3 coupon for my birthday. It was April 2nd and they had eggnog, my absolute favorite flavor of froyo. So that pretty much turned my frown upside down!

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Last night John took me to a greek place I’ve wanted to try for a late birthday dinner since he was so sick last weekend. While it was a little pricier and the service totally sucked, the food was outrageously good. I ate more french fries than I care to admit and was extremely sick after but that is 100% my fault. The feta was amazing, the kebobs delicious and the jalapeno hummus with pita bread? Best thing ever.

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If you like Greek food, I highly recommend Stix on East 23rd street!

What were your week highlights?

Favorite Greek/Mediterranean dish? I loooove hummus, pita bread, feta, and chicken shawarma so much.