Blog Archives

Celebrating Food

I love food. I’m sure you love food. Food is just amazing.

I went to this awesome new (to me) restaurant last night that served me some incredible Mexican food for an even more incredible price. No, it wasn’t purely authentic, but dang was it good!

Where did I go? After work I met up with Libby at Penn Station and we strutted down to Lucy’s Cantina Royale in Midtown.

It’s a quaint little restaurant with a very amicable atmosphere that totally sucked me in the second I walked through the door. Very laid back with fun colors and decor that instantly put you at ease after a hard work day. Seems like the perfect place to enjoy some happy hour grub, especially if you can get a table on the rooftop.

Libby and I are both strapped for cash, so we decided to go the inexpensive route and split a meal. We ordered chips and tequila-laced salsa with a side of guacamole to start, then split a three-taco entrée. Delish!

We also ordered a round of red berry sangrias to take the edge off.

That was quite tasty, if I do say so myself. Libby says so, too.

The tacos were stuffed full of pulled chicken, salsa, tomatoes and lettuce. There was also a hint of lime juice throughout the meat, which really brought the meal to the next level! I enjoyed each and every bite.

We spent less than $20 each! My only complaint was that the tortilla got soggy really fast, making this a difficult taco to pick up and eat. But I usually complain about that anyway so I tend to err toward hard shells.

Either way, I highly recommend Lucy’s if you’re in the NYC area and looking for a cheap yet delicious Mexican meal. I’ll definitely be back!

Now I didn’t title this post “Celebrating Food” for no reason though. I wanted to talk about Lucy’s, but knew I needed to celebrate National Watermelon Day too!

Source

Isn’t it funny how many strange national food days we have? Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day. No complaints from me, I’m just sayin’!

Watermelon is probably my favorite summer fruit of all time. It’s so delicious and I never get sick of it. If someone offers me watermelon, I don’t think I’ll ever say no. Could you?

Anyway, in honor of this fabulous holiday, here are some fun facts about the tasty fruit, courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board: 

 

  • Watermelon is 92 percent water.
  • The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt. (Never would’ve guessed that)
  • Its cousins are cucumbers, baby squash and pumpkins. (Again, who knew?)
  • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
  • The largest watermelon ever (so far) weighed in at 262 pounds.

Now I’m salivating like crazy. Great. I think I’m going to enjoy one of these delicious-sounding cocktails this weekend to continue the celebration, too.

Source

Good night!

What’s your favorite summer fruit? Know of any NYC restaurants I must try?

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Kicking off July

What a crazy week it’s been! I had a wedding to pull off, a move across the state into my new permanent home and a transition into a new job.

Not to mention it all happened on Fourth of July weekend. Fun, right?

Boom Boom Pow.

Macy's Fireworks in NYC.

So to catch you all up, Liz’s wedding was fantastic. Post on that to come soon. But it was beautiful and I loved seeing my best friend in the whole wide world so incredibly happy. Now she’s settling into her new home in Oklahoma and I miss her like crazy. We’ve already planned a reunion in September because clearly we can’t stand being apart for long. Plus it’s her dad’s birthday. Win-win, if you ask me!

Less than 12 hours after the wedding, I packed all of my stuff into a U-Haul and made the trek down to my new apartment in Astoria. My apartment is gorgeous and I’m in love all over again with this area. It just feels like…home. That’s the only way to describe it. Yes, I have my home with my family and I love being there because that’s where my roots are, but it just feels right being here, like it’s where I’m supposed to be.

Breaking in my new blender, a surprise Maid of Honor gift!

I started my new job on Tuesday after the holiday was over. I’m currently doing freelance work and I absolutely love working in the magazine industry. Hopefully something more permanent comes my way soon!

Victoria and Jake, two of my roomies, on July 4th.

Libby and Nina. Libby's a roomie, Nina practically is, too.

In between it all, I’ve enjoyed some delicious eats, like brunch at Sanford’s and a homemade picnic that we all brought to the fireworks show on July 4th. Frankly, it put every other picnic to shame.

Myriad of food, before it was all spread out.

We had bruschetta, a nacho bar, fruit salad, hummus and pita chips. A mix of healthy and indulgences. I had a bit of everything and enjoyed every last crumb.

Mowin' down.

I’m still figuring out a routine for my new life, but I’m going to be back to regularly scheduled blogging 🙂 I promise to have a more interesting post tomorrow!

What have you been up to this week? Any big changes in your life? 

Race Day is (Almost) Here!

Sorry I’ve been absent this week, guys, but this week has been ridiculously busy as I tried to wrap everything up, get plenty of rest and prep for tomorrow’s race.

That’s right, it’s race day tomorrow! Can you believe how fast the last 10 weeks raced (pun!) by? I sure can’t. Just a short time ago I was only running two, three or four miles at a time, and now I’m gearing up for 13.1 — crazy!

The last few days have been quite the whirlwind, too. I hopped on a bus super-late Thursday night (or really early Friday morning, depending on how you want to look at it) to head to NYC, getting into Manhattan around 6:30a.m. Jumping on the subway after grabbing my bag, I made my way to Astoria to stay with my friend Nina for the weekend. Thanks for housing me, Nina!

After a quick shower, I spent the day in various meetings, then met up with Nina and some of her work friends for dinner. I made sure to stop at the health expo though, where I caught up with some of my favorite FITNESS editors and snagged some Clif shot bloks for race day.

Black cherry = yum!

I went to bed shortly after we got home, snagging nine hours of fabulous shut-eye. When I woke up Saturday morning, another whirlwind day awaited me. A quickie breakfast and beautiful two-mile run in Astoria Park were the first on my to-do list.

The weather was gorgeous!

I love that I could see Manhattan from the track.

Can you spot me?

But I realized how much I despise the monotony of running in circles on a track. I didn’t bring my music with me either, so I tried to make this run extra fast.

Seriously, perfect running weather.

Nina and I had an appointment to look at apartments for when I make the big move to NYC, so we walked over there after my run. We looked at a few apartments and I found one I really like! We’ll have to see if the other roomies are on board before we sign any paperwork. I’ll keep you posted!

We snagged a quickie lunch back at the apartment before heading back to the health expo. I was able to chat with more of the FITNESS editors, shop around, and Nina snagged a savvy EFX balance bracelet.

The sign she's making me is in the background!

Next up was the runner’s dinner at B.B. King’s in Times Square, which was amazing. The food was phenomenal and the camaraderie among all of the women there was pretty awesome.

We got a fancy sign outside of B.B. Kings.

I had salad,  pasta, veggies, lasagna, chicken, a roll and a small piece of a brownie. I fully believe in having a little bit of everything.

Deliciousness.

Yeah, I’m officially carb-loaded.

After a long day of walking, Nina and I were pretty tuckered out, so we headed back home. Now I’m in my comfy sweats and have all of my clothes out and ready for race day.

Layered up.

And all of my electronics are plugged in, ready for the morning.

Ready to go!

I’m going to fit in a good stretch session before heading off to bed. I’ll be hitting the pillow super-early tonight to make sure I get plenty of rest before my 5:00 a.m. alarm sounds off.

I’ll be sure to update y’all before the end of the day tomorrow, but I’ll tweet my race time as soon as I’m finished 🙂

See you after the race!

Learning Yoga with Tara Stiles

Strala Yoga Studio

Many people, myself included, take the term “group exercise class” very seriously. Meaning, I don’t go unless I have a friend tagging along. Call me crazy, but I need to have that moral support when I’m exercising in front of a group of strangers and the instructor can zero in on me at any second. I know from working at a gym that most instructors don’t judge (unless you show up to spinning class in cutoff jeans and hiking sneakers), but you never know about the other participants.

If you’re like me, then you’ll understand why I dragged my best friend, Liz, to a new yoga class when she came to visit me in NYC. After arriving at 42nd Street at 12:30a.m. on a Friday night, you’d think I’d let her snag some extra shut-eye the next day, right? Wrong. We were up bright and early to head to Tara Stiles’ Strala Yoga in NoHo.

Now, before you start thinking I’m a huge yoga guru, let me make it clear that yoga has never been on the top of my priority list (same goes for Liz). I usually forget to stretch before and after my workouts (I know it’s important; I’m getting better, I promise!), so contorting my body into various positions and holding them peacefully is not one of my strengths. But I’m here to give you the scoop, so I knew it was time to give it a shot. Not to mention I didn’t want to miss a chance to work out with one of the most prominent yoga instructors in the nation.

Although the “Strong” class is normally an hour and 15 minutes long, I was only there for 45 minutes (due to unexpected subway construction) and I still got a sweat-inducing, muscle-blasting workout. Tara took us through a variety of poses that didn’t just stretch the muscles. We did core, leg and butt exercises that really strengthened the muscles as well. By the end, my tank top was drenched with sweat.

One of many poses Stiles moves into with ease.

Tara was also extremely nice and helpful with each class participant. She corrected my form when necessary, as a good instructor should, but she didn’t point it out to the rest of the class. In the middle of a pose, she quietly walked over and adjusted my body. And to make things less embarrassing, she cracked a joke and always had a bright smile. Her husband, Michael Taylor, was also extremely welcoming. It was jaw-dropping to see him do many advanced yoga poses despite already knowing that he has studied and practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for over two decades.

Although all these things are great, I haven’t even gotten to the best part: the price. Yoga classes in NYC are typically $20 per class and can be close to $300 a month if you’re a regular goer. But Strala Yoga offers a unique, affordable opportunity: $10 a class.

“I want to make yoga affordable for everyone so that it can be something that’s easily integrated into everyday life,” Stiles told me after class. “We make the classes enjoyable and affordable, so we always have people coming back for more.”

Sounds good to me.

This really could be the best deal around. So if you’re in NYC, pick up your yoga mat (or rent one there for $2) and head over to Strala Yoga. Look for me while you’re there — I’ll probably be the girl near the back trying to accomplish the basic Eagle Pose.