Lately

I have tumultuous love-hate relationship with New York City.

On weekends like this past one, when the air is fresh and crisp and the trees are a one-two punch of color against the cornflower blue sky, my heart leaps as tall as the skyscrapers.

The debut of the annual Starbucks red cups don’t hurt my mood either.

I strolled through Central Park for three hours on Saturday, sipping hot tea and catching up with S, my long lost college roommate of two years. We ended up at Belvedere Castle, which offered us a spectacular view of the park.

samantha

The fiery colors in the park popped.

Okay, okay, enough photos of leaves. But truly, is there anything more beautiful than autumn in NYC? As long as no awful smells waft by unexpectedly, you don’t run into any rats or cockroaches and you manage to avoid those puddles of putrid who-knows-what that linger on the roads, that is. (Remember when I said this was a love-hate relationship?!)

We met up with G after exploring the Upper East Side, where S fell under the spell of a Burberry circle scarf at Michael’s. Go there and bury your face in the floor length fur coats. Works like a charm. Insta-smile!

On Sunday, I gathered the crew to watch some NYC marathoners run their tails off.

It was a rush to witness the city bond and cheer on complete strangers. I’ve decided to run the marathon next year. In the past I’ve favored reality TV marathons, but hey, people can change. If it’s on the blog than it must be true. Remember when I gave up baked goods for 31 days?

Bring it on, 26.2.

 

 

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Happy Halloweekend

Embrace your inner child this Halloween.

Oh, hey there.

Seeing double?

Say Grace

Oh.

grace

My.

grace 2

Grace!!!!

grace 3

G and I traipsed around Fifth Avenue for  Fashion’s Night Out last Thursday, sipping champagne and absorbing the hyperactive state of the shops. I spotted Grace Coddington, the Creative Director of American Vogue, at Prada. My inner stalker was set loose.

Last Hoorah Pasta Salad

Fall has arrived in New York City with a whirlwind of rain and chilly temps. The sun finally poked out today and inspired me to whip up a “last hoorah” pasta salad for lunch.

pasta salad

First, chop up ¼ of a red onion. The Pioneer Woman has a great post on how to easily dice an onion, if you post-grad kids are challenged like me.

chopped onion

I threw some broccoli and green beans into the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Don’t touch the vegetables as they roast; you want those delicious caramelized edges!

veggies

While I waited for the vegetables, I boiled 1/2 cup of whole wheat penne.

pasta

Throw all of the ingredients into a bowl with ¼ cup of your favorite Italian dressing. Toss. Ignore the fork in this photo, it got hungry for the vinaigrette.

dressing

Eat hot or cold. The crunch of the vegetables and bite of the red onion just scream summer to me. Make this before we are forced to survive on squash for seven months. Or before it starts to rain again. That gives you about 10 minutes.

finished product

Kick the Habit, Reflections

Tomorrow marks the one-month anniversary of my pledge to Kick the Habit.

I vowed to eat ice cream just once a week for four weeks. Although the first week of the challenge proved harder than expected, I was surprised that I gradually stopped obsessing about when my next ice cream fix would be as the days wore on. I focused on how my body felt. Would ice cream truly improve my mood? Some days, the answer was a heartfelt yes. Others, a walk over to the Upper West Side for some fresh air, sipping on an iced tea, was enough.

I did slip up a few times. Hey, when you live above a McDonald’s, anything can happen. M&M McFlurries were my downfall. I also indulged in Pinkberry, but I’ve decided that those treats don’t count. Frozen yogurt is no comparison to ice cream, no matter how you spin it.

Kick the Habit was a learning experience. My first thoughts were that this challenge was an irritation. I wanted my sugar fix, and nothing was going to change my mind. However, as my body began to adjust, I found that it isn’t the sugar that makes me happy, it’s the people in my life. My family and friends who make me laugh, cry, and feel all those tumultuous emotions in between. I can live without ice cream (!) but I could never enjoy life without people to share it with.


Hurricane Irene Blows

6:30pm – Humid, foggy, and gray on the East River. All restaurants, movie theatres, grocery stores in my neighborhood are closed. Even McDonald’s. Thanks Irene.

east river

10:45pm – Torrential rain, small gusts of wind. Streets are dead. Stir-craziness has ensued. You can only watch so many Lifetime movies and Bravo TV marathons. Thanks Irene.

My neighbor said it better than I can.

message

 

 

 

Water Fight

I went back to my roots last Friday to visit my grandparents in the good ol’ Midwest. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve, unable to sleep as I thought about grassy green lawns, sprinklers, central air conditioning, and double ovens. My family came from Toronto, so it was a reunion of sorts.

Our annual water fight bonanza commenced bright and early Monday morning. Check out our neon arsenal.

water balloons

My grandpa was in charge of refilling our water guns.

grandpa

Things got wild fast. We were all drenched with icy hose water within minutes.

water fight

water fight 2

Action shots. The faces of angels, I tell ya.

mom water

jack

chris

scott water

Before shot. Dry with wide smiles. Ready to take down the enemy.
before
After. Soaked and giddy. We’re all winners, folks.
after
Please, don’t be alarmed.
winners