I’m Back. And Married!

Do you remember me?? Can we talk about how it’s been 11 months since I blogged and it FLEW by?! So much has changed and yet so much has stayed the same since we last spoke. It is my great hope that I can manage to find a little time a few times a week to write in this beautiful creation I gave birth to 5 years ago. This blog should be in Kindergarten! I can’t catch you up on 11 months of stuff (I mean, I could– you know I could if you have been reading long enough) but I will try to give you the shortened version and then try to just pick up where we left off.

I will share 1-2 highlights for each month of 2016!

John and I celebrated 10 years together on January 15th! 238d630d-1336-48a5-a477-3e832fc43f0d

I fell in love with Barry’s Bootcamp in February. It helped me lost 16 pounds for my wedding and get into amazing shape. I took anywhere between 1-3 classes per week (some weeks none depending on schedule) and started to really clean up my diet the last 2 months before my wedding. The hype is real! (No pics from when I first started, boo!)

March: Had a few awesome highlights! First- I participated in Cycle for Survival with Andrea and a few other awesome gals! It was so emotional and inspiring. One of the best things I have ever done and we raised just above our goal!4d65b762-69d7-471f-8d00-f8654a879e7b

Second- I was interviewed for the Dr. Oz website to demonstrate how to properly set up an indoor cycling bike! I have been with New York Sports Club for over a year now and I LOVE it.7fe6970b-4336-4f5e-a206-ee6690ec31fa

THIS is the link for the article!

And 3rd- I turned 28 and had my birthday party at Sky Zone, a trampoline park 🙂 28 going on 8. NOT ashamed- it was SO. MUCH. FUN.e8987ab7-9505-4741-8e9a-58fbca67c050e25c29a5-a513-40c0-abcb-700065acd391

In April I joined an awesome team at a brand new cycling studio- Harlem Cycle. Our team has changed since the first group picture, but this is my head shot from the website. We are Harlem’s first boutique cycling studio and we ROCK! I love my team and the atmosphere is fabulous. I teach on Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6:30 AM!15017fdc-b5bc-4a35-8711-745be25cbcdb

I also got Schwinn indoor cycling certified at the end of April with Andrea! It completely changed the way I teach my classes and I am SO HAPPY we got it!fullsizerender

May was not that eventful apparently- I am scrolling through the pics on my phone looking for content! I will share this picture of Ruby falling asleep on me for the first time and melting my heart while babysitting her in May. If you are a new reader, Ruby is my God daughter and my best friends daughter!e79cab9b-0b59-40ac-99cc-e64eaed34c74

June: 10 year high school reunion!2cb8cf3d-d032-4c5b-a89f-11c2b3cbf144

July: MIAMI with Brenda!b3994aba-21fe-463e-bf55-f4f3ac9286e9

We went for a little pre-bach getaway for the two of us and ended up going to an awesome fitness event. We did a beach bootcamp thrown by Barry’s (!) and then an aqua cycling class!fullsizerender-1d1c94219-9e2f-4419-af9a-c05ae215ebbd

Relaxed at The Standard pool- heaven. 1678af52-158b-4670-9bd6-873d04d5166d

And of course- found the food.e6f176b5-2165-4c0a-9002-3f7390dc582c-1

August: Bridal shower & Bach party! Both absolutely amazing and memories I will cherish forever!

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an old spin bike found by my mom :)
an old spin bike found by my mom 🙂
just some of the wedding party!
just some of the wedding party!
always laughing!
always laughing!
bach party drink set up!
bach party drink set up!
SQUAD
SQUAD

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Andrea! <3
Andrea! ❤
so. much. champagne.
so. much. champagne.

September– lots of prep for the wedding but we took a night off to see 2 of our favorite comedians perform their first Broadway show of Oh, Hello. It was HILARIOUS!img_0191img_0192

I also had an awesome makeup trial done in September by Andrea’s extremely talented sister Ally. Her website is here and I can’t wait to show you pictures of my actual wedding day. My makeup was exactly what I wanted!

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I will do a whole post about our wedding this week! It feels great to be back in the blog world!

FILL ME IN ON YOUR YEAR. What have the highlights been for you?

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Hello. It’s me. With a ton of pictures.

And just like that, another year is coming to an end! It’s been quite a year, lots of bad and lots of good, and a new year is always a nice thing to look forward to! I am hoping to really get back to blogging more regularly and post my spin playlists, food, etc and my journey of getting into tip top shape for my wedding! John and I have moved our wedding date to October 15th and switched our venue (I am the most indecisive person ever) and I am even more excited now! Below are some a ton of pictures to catch up on the last couple of months before this year ends. 

FOOD: (obviously)

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Food from the vegan hotspot by CHLOE
Food from the vegan hotspot by CHLOE
From just a few weeks ago! Have been eating outside every chance I get still!
From just a few weeks ago! Have been eating outside every chance I get still!

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Veggie burger at 5 Napkin (a long time favorite) with Andrea!

The extremely rare occasion I actually meal prep these days.. so simple!
The extremely rare occasion I actually meal prep these days.. so simple!
Looks gross but the best thing evaa.. chicken spedie sub from home!
Looks gross but the best thing evaa.. chicken spedie sub from home!
Dark pic but the delicious gnocci from my cousin's wedding!
Dark pic but the delicious gnocci from my cousin’s wedding!
and the desserts from the wedding!
and the desserts from the wedding!
Easiest dinner ever.. steamed potato with coconut oil, chicken sausage, sauteed bell peppers and runny eggs!
Easiest dinner ever.. steamed potato with coconut oil, chicken sausage, sauteed bell peppers and runny eggs!

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Crazy overpriced avocado toast & latte from the raved-about Bluestone Lane.

The best view ever... diet coke, chips and guac on the beach!
The best view ever… diet coke, chips and guac on the beach!
Fresh veggies & seafood on salad for lunch in Mexico!
Fresh veggies & seafood on salad for lunch in Mexico!
mmmmm ceviche!
mmmmm ceviche!
Pina colada shaved ice!
Pina colada shaved ice!
fish tacoooooos
fish tacoooooos
Heaven?
Heaven?
Our drinks of choice on vaca.. bloody marys and white russians, which couldnt be more random for either of us haha
Our drinks of choice on vaca.. bloody marys and white russians, which couldnt be more random for either of us haha
Vacation breakfast!
Vacation breakfast!
Tamarind margarita, so soooo good
Tamarind margarita, so soooo good
LOBSTER tacos!
LOBSTER tacos!
crab benedict...outrageous.
crab benedict…outrageous. From Philip Marie’s
Work Thanksgiving... holy moly, my co-workers can COOK!
Work Thanksgiving… holy moly, my co-workers can COOK!

FASHION: (because when I’m not in gym clothes, I live for it!)

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MEXICO! (John and I went November 3rd-9th, stayed at The Westin Spa & Resort again and had such an amazing time.. got upgraded to a huuuuge suite, too!)

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Our bedroom in our suite!
Our bedroom in our suite!
Living room!
Living room!
Balcony #1
Balcony #1

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My handsome, sweet sweet dude! <3 <3
My handsome, sweet sweet dude!

My sweet baby Ruby: (So she made 2015 the best year ever actually, and if you’re new to the blog she isn’t my actual baby haha)

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Teaching Spin: (For 2 years now!)

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Okay, so 2015 had a LOT of good to it after all! This is my reminder to myself, and to you, to really focus on the positive in all situations. It is a very hard thing to do and I struggle with it daily, but we are always a work in progress.

Merry Christmas to you all, and may 2016 be an amazing year for us all!

Costa Rica Part 1: The Hilton Papagayo

First off- thanks so much for the support on my post about not running the NYC Marathon. As much as I don’t care what people think of me, of course a little part of me does and it was a little difficult to come to my decision and then share it. I really love you guys and appreciate that you accept me for who I am- an insane person who overshares and changes her mind a lot 🙂 I’ve admitted defeat and moved past it and that’s a big accomplishment! I’ve also taken almost 3 weeks now off from running (except a 2 miler on Wednesday) and I am now itching to get back into it whereas I had dreaded every run for the last few months when I had the marathon looming over me.
On to the good stuff. Our trip to Costa Rica was in the works for about 2 years when John’s sister first got engaged and decided she wanted to have a destination wedding. Score! I picked the right family to join! 😉  So the last month before we left was crazy with shopping, and the craziness surrounding John’s dilemma with getting his passport on time. Long story short: he applied weeks before me (early June) for his passport and I got mine in 2.5 weeks whereas he still hadn’t received his a week before our trip. That entire week was probably the worst of our relationship; so much crying and fighting and feeling totally helpless at the mercy of the assholes who work for the passport agency. No clear answers were given and I nearly had a stroke multiple times. That Thursday we were told it had shipped and “should” arrive by Monday. SHOULD. We were leaving Tuesday. 3 PM Saturday, the damn thing finally came. Big middle finger to whoever took so long with it. I hate you.
That Sunday was glorious. I ran 13.5 miles in the morning with Andrea and that’s the run that I had a heart-to-heart with her and decided to  call it quits with the marathon this year. Since this was my first real adult trip, I treated myself to a great mani/pedi/massage/eyebrow combo, my first pair of Birkenstocks (OBSESSED) and a new pair of shades from Express. Getting ready for a trip is almost as great as the trip itself, eh?
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Oh just a disclaimer; I’m going to break it up into each day so grab a drink and some popcorn if you’re into reading novels. 🙂 I actually am going to write so much that this will be a 2-part post. Trip of a lifetime deserves 2! Also: LOTS of pict
That Monday I taught my last class in the morning, worked all day (plus over an hour longer… reallllly had to work for this vaca 🙂 ) then met up with John and his mom for pizza. This was her first time seeing us in the city and I can’t wait for her to come actually stay for a real visit! We went back to our apartment and finished all our packing and got a few hours of sleep.
Tuesday we were up real early, showered and in a cab by 6 AM. Our flight was at 9:50 and it was our first international flight so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time. If you’ve read my blog in the past you know I have a very bad fear of flying, so my anxiety was out of control as soon as we set foot inside JFK. We got through security with plenty of time to get breakfast and relax. I had a delicious strawberry banana greek yogurt smoothie bowl from Jamba Juice with granola and peanut butter on top, then 30 minutes before we boarded I had a big ol’ glass of wine. This is what semi works for my anxiety so don’t judge that this was 9 AM, mmkay?
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Here’s my coping mechanisms. We get on the plane, I usually am spotted looking terrified by the pilot upon entering or a flight attendendent who try not to laugh at me, we sit down and I HAVE to cry. Not hystarically, but it happens involuntarily for a few moments and then I feel 3% better. Then I chew gum like an annoying child and start to sweat and overheat, like to the point where you can feel the heat radiating off my body (ask John). This was our first flight together and I did MUCH better with him because I’m so used to him calming me down from my anxiety attacks anyways. In other words, I’m a god damn mess. Be happy you don’t have to date me. 🙂 Once I get through the first 20 minutes of take off, which involves me clenching the hand of whoever I am flying with until their fingers are damaged, I can begin to relax a little. I stress eat, and JetBlue is absolutely AMAZING for this. All the free snacks and drinks you want! I went with Terra chips (incredible) and animal crackers while watching Sex and The City 2.
Help.
Help.
Miranda took my mind off how much I wanted to cry the whole flight.
Miranda took my mind off how much I wanted to cry the whole flight.
prettttty clouds
prettttty clouds
Finally, 5 hours later, we arrived. John’s sister and fiance picked us up and we drove to our first destination: The Hilton Papagayo All-Inclusive Resort. In other words; heaven.
landing in Costa Rica!
landing in Costa Rica!

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Wut.
Wut.
I can’t say enough good things about this place but let me start. We sat right down to lunch and the start of many howling monkey drinks, which were like delicious mango smoothies with local clear rum called Casique. I HATE rum after drinking it so much of it when I was younger, but this was basically tasteless. Mmm I miss those drinks so much. First meal in Costa Rica was fish tacos (I didn’t eat the shells because they were corn) and a salmon wrap. Delish.
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Iguanas everywhere. This dude pretty much owned the resort. Love him.
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Paradise.
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Dinner the first night was at El Dorado, a contemporary cuisine restaurant on the resort. All-inclusive is literally heaven. You can order any amount of appetizers and entrees you want! The portions are relatively small of most things because it isn’t America, ha. It was super dark inside, so my appetizers are unpictured but it was a grilled vegetable salad a skewer of peanut crusted shrimp. My entree below was duck with a potato cake and dessert was pistachio ice cream and chocolate truffles.
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We were all super stuffed and sleepy so we sat by the pool with some drinks for a bit and then got a good night of sleep.
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Wednesday was our only full day at the Hilton so we got up early to fully enjoy it. First up was breakfast. Aka, heaven. SO MUCH UNLIMITED FOOD. I had eggs, waffles, fruit, sausage and the most incredible out-of-the-oven whole wheat bread slathered in pineapple jam. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
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For the record: I do not enjoy papaya. It tastes like feet.
For the record: I do not enjoy papaya. It tastes like feet.
Followed by hours at the pool and beach. And my beach fashion. 🙂
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Andddd more food. Lunch was SO GOOD and incredibly healthy. All kinds of veggies, caviche, plantain chips (obsessed) and more bread. We also OD’d on Coke Light while there. I think the U.S. is the only place where it’s called Diet Coke but regardless, Coke Light tastes SO AMAZING! They use more sucralose (Splenda) than aspartame. All I know is Splenda doesn’t give me stomach aches and aspartame does so I drank a buttload of it!
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Back to the pool/beach area. This time with champagne. When in Rome (or an all-inclusive resort) 🙂 .
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Finally got off my lazy beach bum and went on a hike with John. Technically this was my first ever hike and holy smokes is it hard. This was just 15 minutes up the hill and my butt was killing me. Views from the top were incredible! The pictures of the little cabanas is where ours was. So cozy!
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ha my attempt at yoga ;)
ha my attempt at yoga 😉

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We left pretty abruptly once John heard a rattlesnack. That brought me back to the reality of how I am SO not an outdoorsy girl. But I will stand outside for a gorgeous sunset.

Our last dinner at the Hilton resort was just like the rest- delicious. I had raw tuna spring rolls that were fabulous and a wedge salad with bread to start.
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Grilled BBQ chicken with a side of unpictured chipotle potatoes and veggies.
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And mini desserts of carrot cake and pumpkin cake.
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Love of my life 🙂
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John’s mom and I got up early to walk on the beach for our last morning at the Hilton and for an early breakfast so we could enjoy every second of the beach. We stumbled upon a dead puffer fish! I love sea life. 🙂
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2 plates of food and a green juice for breakfast. I seriously lost 7 pounds on this trip and it makes no sense. I ate like a 600 pound man.
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Beeeeach. Don’t make me leave.
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Beach squint. 8-)
Beach squint. 😎

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John and I kayaked, too, and I think my abs still hurt from laughing so hard. We each had our own and I basically couldn’t move mine and kept spinning in circles. I have no basic coordination.

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We finally packed up and left around noon to head into the rainforest for the next half of our trip. Next recap will be all about it and John’s sisters’ wedding!

!!!!!

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!! ❤ ❤

Vacation. Need.

Warning: random blabberings ahead. Only way to describe my need for a vacation is just, NEED. This week did me in on all fronts and I am beyond exhausted. I was expecting some good news on Friday and when it got postponed, I had a breakdown. A private one, until I texted my brother who always makes me laugh hysterically. Not only did he make me crack up, but he also Venmo’d me a very specific amount of money to get some froyo to make me feel better. photo 2

So sweet, right? It cheered me up a ton but on my way to Orange Leaf, I got sucked into Pinkberry. The horror. I haven’t had Pinkberry since I first moved to NYC over 3 years ago, because it just wasn’t close to as good as the others and not to mention it’s not self-serve. This was a new location and the signs for the chocolate chip cookie drew me in. I planned to just get a taste but the flavor was SO good. I may have to incorporate them back into my froyo rotation.

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Waffle cookie, cookie dough, almond roca (DELICIOUS), coconut flakes and thin mint crushed cookies made this the best bowl of froyo of my week. I’m such a fro-hoe.

ANYWAYS- about those vacations I need. This is the best year ever because I am going to Costa Rica in August and Mexico in November and neither trip cost me an ounce of debt because I had saved up for them both. But I started thinking that I really needed to get away before August. Like, REALLY NEED TO. I want to rip my hair out on a daily basis thanks to stress and since it doesn’t seem to be getting warm here anytime soon for me to take a quick hour trip to the beach, I started to do some research. Every year at the end of May, there is a conference held for Spinning in Miami, the WSSC Conference where you can earn the points needed to keep you a certified Spin instructor. I started thinking that hey, Brenda and I could go down for 1 day of the conference and then stay another day for the beach and maybe we both wouldn’t go completely crazy in the next few weeks? She agreed, and my co-worker/friend Sharde also decided that she will tag along, but without the spin part. So, a mini girls vacation in a manageable distance of time was born.

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Those are the classes that Brenda and I are signed up to do at the conference. I am looking so forward to learning how to become a better instructor! Equally as excited to lay on the beach and finally see Miami! What am I not looking forward to? Flying. I haven’t flown in 5 years and I am PETRIFIED to say the least. Any tips or fellow scaredy cats out there? I’m gonna need some Xanax.

Just to prove that I still do eat my veggies, I have to share with you the salad that I am completely obsessed with that I need to recreate on my own because I can’t keep spending $13 on lunch every day.

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Chop’t is officially the best salad joint in the city. Expensive as hell, yes, but the salads are gigantic and the mixes are the bomb. I get the cobb with grilled chicken, chopped up bacon, avocado, blue cheese, tomatoes, romaine, red onion and I sub the hard boiled egg for roasted broccoli. They give you a couple of thin pieces of flabread and I get the tex-mex ranch dressing on the side to dip. The way they chop it all up together (hence the name) makes every bite so flavorful!

I have been so great about mindful eating the last few months, but I definitely let it slip a little this week and honestly? It’s okay! This will happen. The thing I feel the best about is that it isn’t making me frantically open up the MyFitnessPal app and start obsessively counting calories again. I actually don’t think I ever even did a post on how I stopped because I didn’t want to jinx myself, haha. I used it for 4 years and would recommend it to ANYONE to assist in your weight loss journey, or even weight gain if that’s what your goal is. But I needed to know that I could maintain my weight on my own and start to build a better relationship with food, and I did it. And of course there is going to be setbacks here and there because this is it. For life. I’m in it forever, and that means failures. I’m dragging my tired ass to Trader Joe’s after work tonight to get some healthies for the next few days until I go out of town to Binghamton. And then after my half marathon next weekend, I am going to eat either a burger or chicken wings and then die. And then come back to vegetables. Sounds good. Give me a week.

Other random things? I haven’t strength trained since January and my glutes and hip are suffering. I also run once a week if that and I really miss it. Teaching spin 4 early mornings a week (and then going into work until 7 PM or later) is making running next to impossible to fit in, but at least it’s so much fun to teach. I do miss the serenity that a lone morning run brings you. If only there were more hours in a day. Once I get my life figured out here (hopefully THIS WEEK) I will have to make more of an effort to strength train though before I need a hip replacement before I’m 30.

What was your last vacation? I haven’t taken an actual vacation in almost 4 years!

Ever been to Miami?

Are you scared of flying?

Treat. Yo. Self.

I am officially declaring today the last day of this winter. GOODBYE. I can’t with you anymore. I am so sick of wearing layers and a huge puffy jacket and feeling just generally gross and unkempt. I am literally losing my mind so I really needed to give myself some TLC. How did I do this? Yesterday I online shopped (a little toooo much) for birthday presents for myself and today I received my yearly bonus at work and guess what? I BOOKED ME AND JOHN’S FIRST TRIP TO MEXICO!! More on that later because I’m so excited I want to be put to sleep until November 1st. (and have someone do all my marathon training for me)

Let me show you a few things I got and although I’ll probably end up returning some of it since things don’t always look the same in person, I’m so excited to see all of them! I’m all about super easy pieces, something that you can just throw on that’s always comfortable and easy to accessorize.

First up: I got an email from Francesca’s today and I was obsessed with the outfit right on the email! I think it will be a great birthday outfit so I ordered the top and skirt but not the necklace.

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Francesca’s is a little boutique I found out about last summer in Syracuse while shopping for a dress for my friend’s wedding. I had no idea it was a chain store and they finally opened a couple in the city. They have SUCH great accessories and clothes. Here is the link to the top and skirt, in case you’re interested. (I get no credit for any of these links, FYI) I did use the code FEBRUARY14 to save some money! If that doesn’t work, try MARCH14.

I also ordered these loafers that are finally on sale! I have been eyeing them for a couple of months and I snagged them for $20, originally $70.

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Too cute, right? They have other colors and designs here.

I then went a little nuts on Forever 21. Twice a year I get the big urge to shop here and ONLY online. I absolutely cannot handle the madness of the Times Square, Herald Square or Union Square locations any longer. I actually hate shopping in stores these days. It’s sad what working in retail does to you! Anyways, I could shop on their website all damn day. Here’s what I snagged:

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Super basic sandal, pretty much essential. $12.80! Get them here.

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I have been searching for an inexpensive pair of these for months. I believe Steve Madden had them and they were close to $100 if not more. Forever has them for $26. Yup. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge loafer/oxford fan and the crazier the pattern the better.

jumper (2)This jumper is hopefully going to be another birthday outing outfit, most likely with a leather jacket over it since I’m sure it won’t be in the 70’s in just a few weeks 😉 It’s going to be a great summer night dinner outfit, too!

I’m a tad obsessed with coats and need one (okay, many) for each season. I’m going to see how this one is but I just need a light-weight coat for the first few months of spring since it stays chilly at night here until June.

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shortsThese shorts. I can’t even with how cute they are. Really hoping they fit! I also got some accessories like scarves and jewelry. Once they come in I’ll let you know what I keep! When I first order things I want them all to fit and then once they come like almost 2 weeks later I want to return things to get money back, haha. Anyone else feel like that? But anyways, sometimes you just really need to indulge yourself with nice things! After all, we can’t take money with us on the other side. (I don’t think anyways 😉 )

So, Mexico. After the last 2 years of my life that have been downright awful and I still often wonder how I’ve come out on the other side, I knew that this year I wanted to do something big and extravagant and just LIVE. I have truly felt dead for 2 years now, just going through the motions of life and being miserable. No more. What is the PURPOSE of doing that? Of course it’s easy to say that when you are starting to feel alive again, but please know that there were more bad days than good over the course of the last 2 years for me and I had absolutely given up 99% of hope that things would get better. But you see that 1% I held onto of faith and optimism? It was the only thing that got me up in the morning. I forced myself to start doing things that I at least once loved, hoping that the repetition and routine would eventually make me feel whole again. And it did. I’m not sure where along the way that something turned for me, but it did. I went into teaching my spin classes last November with next to no enthusiasm on the inside, but I had to be present and act during each class. Eventually teaching became my savior. It was finally something to look forward to, and to give me something to work towards. Making playlists each week, visualizing the choreography, and imagining my classes working their butts off and making them feel great about themselves. THAT’S WHAT IT WAS AND IS. When you are feeling down, I swear the key is making others feel good. Think about it: when you’re down you probably spend a pretty good amount of time trying to make yourself feel good and sometimes to no avail. What if you channeled that energy into making other people feel good which basically always works? It DOES work. Teaching spin has given me a sense of self again because I’m doing something I love that really means something. Sure, working 7 days a week is a little exhausting but it’s not forever and my classes don’t feel like work at all. Well, they feel like physical work but not exhausting mental work!

One of the best parts of this trip is when we’re going. First of all, we’re going to Costa Rica in the beginning of August for John’s sister wedding but all we have to pay for is the plane ticket. Obviously super stoked to go! I’ve been waiting for years to be able to afford to travel and it’s what I want to save my money for. I’M LITERALLY SO EXCITED I CAN’T STOP DANCING. But we are going on November 4th which is just 2 days after I run the NYC Marathon! What an amazing treat, right? It will give me something to think about during those terrible miles at the end of the marathon when I will be wishing I was dead. And I won’t have to worry about fitting in workouts or anything on vacation because I’ll be taking the week off from exercising other than walking! SO MUCH SLEEP, CANNOT WAIT.

After weeks of shopping and comparing, the resort I kept coming back to was The Westin. Take a deep breath and take a look at these pics. PS- I’ve never been on a tropical vacation, so my excitement level is through the roof.

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Okay I’m literally drooling.

Only 241 days until we leave! Expect a daily countdown and I am NOT sorry. 😉

If you’ve been to Cancun, please tell me all about it!!

How often do you treat yourself with clothes, shoes, etc? What makes you feel good? 

Vacation!

Ahhhh I am sorry for being MIA again! I had the last week off from work and had a few small fun trips planned with John to spend time with friends and family. We had a really great time and about 10 pounds extra to show for it. That is not an exaggeration either. Vacation = food, food, food. But now I need to really get my butt in gear and back in shape! This post is going to be long and picture over load, just as an FYI, but that isn’t much different than most of my posts 😉

Our first stop last weekend was to go upstate to see our families. Saturday I got in first and John a little later so we could each spend only $1 on our bus tickets. Megabus for the win. I waited at this new coffee shop in downtown Binghamton that I was SO impressed by. Seriously why did this not exist when I still lived there? Brewed Awakenings is huge and so, so cheap compared to NYC coffee shops. $4 for a huge iced soy coffee and pumpkin muffin. You’re lucky to find just an iced coffee for under $4 in NYC!

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portions = huge. barely finished the top of the muffin before i was stuffed!
portions = huge. barely finished the top of the muffin before i was stuffed!

My brother then picked me up in style. He drives for my Uncle’s limo company and had just finished a wedding near where I was.

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The rest of Saturday included going to a Binghamton Senators hockey game with some great family friends. I don’t like sports much but hockey is pretty cool to watch, and we ended up having a blast. Plus they have great pretzels.

Amanda and I!
Amanda and I!
My mom, Joyce, Me and Sam!
My mom, Joyce, Me and Sam!

Pretzel. My half is the mustard covered one. John gets the much smaller side ;-)
Pretzel. My half is the mustard covered one. John gets the much smaller side 😉

Sunday morning was spent watching TV and drinking coffee in bed with my brother and John. That sounds really weird, I know, but it’s actually the greatest thing ever. My favorite guys!

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Then John and I went to spend the rest of the day and night with his mom. We stopped at Texas Roadhouse for lunch, did some shopping, then went back to her house and proceeded to eat half a pan of apple cobbler. Not a joke. It is the best dessert I’ve ever tasted.

jhdkjfhdshflsdkhfds
jhdkjfhdshflsdkhfds

Monday morning I ran 4 miles and walked 3 with John and his mom’s dog Lola. It was freezing but felt good to work off some of that cobbler! John got a new fancy camera so these next few pictures will actually be enjoyable to look at, unlike my awful iPhone pictures.

lola

Before we left Monday night, John’s mom made us pasta and we polished off the rest of the cobbler with no shame.

WW rotini, a little I can't Believe It's Not Butter, parm cheese and steamed veggies
WW rotini, a little I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, parm cheese and steamed veggies

cobbler

I am going to attempt to recreate that cobbler on Thanksgiving!

We got back to the city late Monday night, slept in Tuesday and then I had a dentist appointment. We got a really early dinner and spent the rest of the night shopping before coming home to pack for our overnight to Boston. I will post about Boston tomorrow since I have overloaded you with pictures today and mostly because the food in Boston deserves its’ own separate post!