Weekend Reflections

This weekend was exactly what I needed:

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Friday evening, post-work, was spent in Central Park, reading. I found a little grassy nook with an accordion player close by and took in the gorgeous early-summer sunset. I texted D a version of the picture above and he left work and found me without any other clues! Impressive. We went and grabbed dinner at one of our favorite spots.

Saturday included some much-needed yoga, a Coffee Bean date with myself, a bit of baking (I made this gluten free, dairy free strawberry rhubarb crumble which was delicious!) and a night at work wrapping up the first show of our summer season.

This morning (Sunday) I woke up feeling really achey, with a headache and sore throat (boo!), so today I’ve laid low all day — lots of resting, reading and way too much housewives watching.

This is the first weekend we have stayed put in the city in quite a while and I have to admit, it was just what I needed. Lately, it feels like my weekends are jammed packed with activities: weddings, visiting family and friends, MOVING, chores… and it felt really good to stay in one place for a weekend.

Every week, when this time of the weekend rolls around, I routinely start thinking about the week ahead and the way too many goals I have for myself including:

  • eat healthy — stick to dairy and gluten free if possible
  • get up early before work and exercise, ideally every day
  • get to work early and have a really efficient week
  • make plans to see friends I haven’t connected with in a while
  • make meals at home, pack lunch for work, no eating out
  • organize everything
  • blog every day
  • I could go on and on… the list is endless!

I know, I know… this list of “goals” is clearly overly ambitious. I don’t know if it is the oldest-child-perfectionist in me or what, but by the time I get to the end of the week and realize I haven’t stuck with or accomplished any of the above, I start to get really frustrated and end up picking on not only myself, but on others around me as well. Not cool or cute.

This coming week is funky — it’s a short week (long 4th of July weekend here I come!) I have visitors in town for a few days (hi Mum and Erin!), a huge one-night-only concert to manage on Tuesday night, I have to get my NY license and registration figured out at some point, and on top of it all, I’m feeling achey and under the weather.

That all being said — this week I feel the need to kick things off with a new attitude. It’s time let go of the unrealistic goals I create and time to start being kinder to myself. After a day of “me time” (or G-Tox as I like to call it… get it, G, for Gillian?), I was able to take the time to reflect and create some positive intentions that will help me make the most of this week:

  • drink lots of water (I am terrible at this! Especially when sick.)
  • attempt to stay peaceful and positive with others (in work and personal relationships), take deep breathes where I need them
  • eat foods that make me feel good and not crappy (lots of greens!)

This list feels a lot more manageable — I seriously already feel lighter. We will see how it goes!

Now I am off to bed early to get some extra shut eye and see if I can kick this sore throat situation I have going on… I need to get heathy, I have a baby to visit next weekend!

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What are some ways you would like to be kinder to yourself this week?

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What I Ate Wednesday: Watermelon Gazpacho

Our summer festival kicked off with an invited dress rehearsal last night, and work leading up to the whole thing has been cah-razy! (when is it not?). Between the long work hours and a weekend out of town — food for me this week is on the go. Luckily I live in New York City, which caters to this lifestyle!

Apologies in advance for the bad office/restaurant lighting and the limitations of my iphone camera. As always, thank you to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting. Here are my eats from yesterday (Tuesday):

  • Pre-Coffee Coffee

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^A watery keurig iced coffee made at home… or what I have started calling my “pre-coffee coffee”

  • Breakfast
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^Breakfast on the go. My “real” iced coffee with a splash of half and half and an overpriced cup of steel cut oats with blueberries and walnuts.

  • Snack

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^During my lunch break I had some errands to run and ran into a promotional team giving out free Vita Coco Cafe on the street — SCORE! I am a huge coconut water fan — combine that with my love of cold coffee and I am in heaven. This drink tasted like a milkshake and was delicious. At 140 calories and 3 grams of fat it was nice as a treat (probably not something I should be drinking every day).

  • Lunch

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^Lunch was the Melrose Salad from Chop’t — featured in my last Things I’m Loving Fridays post. Includes: quinoa, peas, broccoli, avocado, cucumber, feta — and I substitute the romaine for spinach and kale for some extra flavor. Topped with (the best part): basil mint pesto dressing. I have been splitting this with a co-worker as the Chop’t salads are HUGE and sort of expensive. It’s a win-win.

  • Afternoon Snack

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^Afternoon snack. Lately I’ve been doing the Starbucks Passion Iced Tea, unsweetened, but yesterday in my wanderings I saw a sign that Starbucks was now offering Teavana Blackberry Mojito Lemonade. Intriguing! I went in and asked for the tea just is (without lemonade) and… it was okay. I was disappointed that the blackberry flavor was syrup (adding 140 calories) and not brewed tea. Back to passion tomorrow!

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^I had one half of this gluten free chocolate cookie leftover from the day before that I nibbled on.

  • Pre-Show Snack

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^Bali smoothie from Blue Dog to tide me over until after the invited dress rehearsal. Includes: banana, coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla and shredded coconut.

  • Late Night Dinner

Post-show I met up with D and Kerry at The Smith to grab a late night dinner and decompress from the day.

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^We spent last weekend in Tallahassee for a wedding and I was still in the southern mindset, craving a good old fashioned bourbon drink. This was a special and I’m totally blanking on the name, but it included boubon, citrus juice and mint.

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^D & I shared some deviled eggs

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^Another special: Watermelon Gazpacho, including: watermelon, feta, toasted almonds, balsamic vinegar and cilantro (?). I also snacked on bread and some of D’s fries.

  • Dessert

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^At home I snacked on some M&M’s that a co-worker brought back from a recent trip to Mexico. She also brought back tiny bottles of tequila, but we’ll save that for another night ;)

There you have it! A pretty loose day of eating for me — but I tried to keep it mostly to whole foods where I could.

Off to get ready for opening night tonight — happy Wednesday, friends!

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A Little “Ray” of Sunshine

The baby countdown is officially over!

Okay — it was over more than a week ago but I have been too busy swooning over baby photos 24/7 to do anything else. My sister Meg gave birth to sweet little Reagan on the morning of Sunday, June 15, Father’s Day. My mom called to tell me she had arrived and exclaimed “and there’s a surprise!” This was quite disturbing to me for a few moments as my mind scrambled… she’s actually a he? …twins? …other more extreme things?

“… she’s got red hair!” :)

I was only able to stay for a day before heading back to NYC for work — but I have been getting my fair share of daily photo updates to tide me over until I can get back for another visit.

Here is a week — the first week — in the life our cute little Ray of sunshine:

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^Day one, two hours old. Auntie meets niece. I loved watching her little nostrils flare as she got used to breathing. There was even a tiny snore or two mixed in there — absolutely adorable.

Reagan June 16B

^Day two. Stolen from my cousin Zoe’s instagram. Look at those gorgeous eyes!

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^Day three. First family photo shoot with Auntie Erin. What a cute lil family! Hat by mum mum over at Knitting the Blues.

Day 4

^Day four. Snuggly morning with mumma. The tiny hospital bracelet and the sweet dreaming smile kill me.

Day 5

^Day five. Time to go home! A tiny car seat for an even tinier baby.

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^Day six. I think I’m gonna like it here!

Reagan June 21^Day seven. A visit from Auntie Erin. Reagan perfecting her cute baby animal pose.

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^Day eight. Happy one week birthday Reagan! We all love you very much.

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Things I’m Loving Friday 06-13

Happy Friday the 13th! Another doozy of a work week makes the promise of the weekend even sweeter. No baby news yet — my sister is huge and miserable and so ready. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for this weekend.

Here are my loves for this week, my loves:

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^rose season is finally here! Ordering rose any other time of the year can feel sort of cheesy, but there is something so soothing about sitting outside, sipping rose in the springtime. D & I were walking home from work through Central Park on Wednesday and when we saw there were tables available at The Boathouse we couldn’t help but stop for a post-work drink. Sure, we were surrounded by tourists and it was overpriced, but it was one of those moments that make you stop and remember how cool it is to live in NYC. I am in love with this city!

^this video where Laura Benanti “auditions” for every role in the NBC’s Peter Pan Live. She is hilarious and makes the theater nerd in me proud.

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^The Melrose Salad from Chop’t. I wish I had a picture of this salad because it is just as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat. I may have had it for lunch 3 of the 4 days this week so far. I recommend substituting kale and spinach for the romaine and mesclun — gives the salad more flavor and a nutrition boost. YUM.

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^I received this Smashbox Eye Brightening Mascara as a sample at Sephora a few months ago and fell in love with it. It is not goopy or clumpy and I love the medium size of the brush. It’s so hard to find a good mascara! I finally treated myself to a full size version on my way home last night.

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^being a redhead. I keep hearing that we’ll be extinct in the next 100 years or so, but to be honest, it’s hard to believe — I can’t imagine a world without redheads! The photo above is a link to an article that touches upon the controversy regarding designer babies and includes a cool photo study of some unique looking gingers.

Happy Weekend!

Click here for last week’s Things I’m Loving Friday. 

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Stitch Fix – June

From the first time I heard about Stitch Fix back in the fall of 2013, I knew that I had to try it. First off, let’s be real: this blog will never be a fashion blog. Shopping gives me anxiety: going into stores, trying things on in dressing rooms — I start to get a headache just thinking about it. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but really, shopping is not my favorite. Fashionista, I am not.

Despite that, I am a girl, I live in New York City, and I do love to feel pretty, confident and cute, especially at work and in midtown where there are so many fashionable ladies to keep up with.

Enter Stitch Fix — they basically exist to do all the work for me! Here is how it works: you fill out a style profile online including size, style, shape, budget and lifestyle. Then a Stitch Fix stylist puts together a box of 5 personalized items they determine you might like based on your style profile. You pay a $20 styling fee (which you are able to use as a credit towards anything you want to purchase in the ‘fix). If you buy all items you get 25% off everything. If not, anything you don’t want gets sent back in a pre-stamped UPS envelope provided in the ‘fix.

Before I signed up, I thought the worst that could happen is that I hate everything and am out the $20 styling feel, big deal. Months later I realize the worst that can actually happen is that I love EVERYTHING and am out $200+, but that’s a different story… ;)

I got my first fix back in February, and since then I have been hooked. I thought I’d share my most recent ‘fix with you today!

photo (30)^from the very first moment, receiving a ‘fix feels special because the packaging is so cute!
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^each box comes with a personalized note and a styling card for each item that was sent to you — providing ideas of different ways to mix and match the pieces that were sent to you with other items that you may already have in your wardrobe.photo (27)^I always try on the things I know I am going to love first, and this striped top by Pomela immediately spoke to me. It is lightweight, breezy, great colors and very comfortable. Also only a reasonable $48. Winner! KEEP.photo (28)^I thought I was going to love this shirt by 41Hawthorn, but once I tried it on, I had second thoughts. The chest and under arms was a bit big, and the ruffle in the front felt uncomfortable. Also — at around $50, it felt a bit overpriced. I feel like I could have gotten something similar at Target or Express for a bit less. RETURN.photo (26)^I was a bit skeptical about this black shirt by Pomelo. I tried it on and while I actually love the way it looks in the photo above, I was sucking my tummy in and felt sort of uncomfortable. This also felt a bit overpriced (around $50) for what it is, again something I could have gotten somewhere else for less money. RETURN.photo (25)^also in my ‘fix were these blue ankle jeans fro Pink Martini. Stitchfix has really gotten me hooked to colored skinny pants — I have purchased a pair from almost every box since I started! Unfortunately, these pants were a bit too tight and I couldn’t get them up over my hips. The Jill Michael earrings on the right are really pretty and I would have definitely kept them if I was keeping more items – but on their own, it didn’t seem worth it to me this time. RETURN.

Overall, this was probably my least successful ‘fix. Up until now, I have always kept at least 2 or more items. I have been so happy with my Stitch Fix experience and I really look forward to getting the box in the mail each month — it’s like Christmas every month!

The links in this post are referral links, which means I will get a small credit if you sign up.  I am not affiliated with Stitch Fix, I purchased this service on my own and just love it so much that I wanted to post about it :)
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What I Ate Wednesday: Back At It

It has been a while since the last one of these, but I am excited to be back with What I Ate Wednesday post! As I’ve mentioned in the past, if I had the time to document my food daily, I would. I love that it forces me to actually stop and be thoughtful about what I am putting into my body. I am always happy to join in with the link up once a week and share my eats.

Let’s jump right in with this week’s WIAW,  actually from Tuesday:

  • Pre-Work

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^keurig iced coffee to get the day going. I had a dentist appointment scheduled before work and I have total dentist anxiety, so my stomach was too queasy to handle anything else.

  • Breakfast

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^after my dentist appointment, I was proud of myself for good behavior and thought I deserved a treat! I stopped at Blue Dog Cafe and ordered the Tropicana Smoothie (pineapple, banana, orange juice, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon).
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^I also grabbed iced coffee #2 of the day… can you say addict anyone?

  • Lunch

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^it was board meeting day at work so we got to partake in some catered lunch. On my plate is a chicken salad sandwich, Caesar salad, tomato mozzarella salad and potato salad — lots of salads going on there.

  • Afternoon Snack

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^we were celebrating an office birthday and I just couldn’t say no to a Sprinkles Cupcake! I went with lemon and it was absolutely delicious. So worth it.

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^accompanied by an afternoon passion iced tea

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^we decided to walk home from work to get some exercise (it’s about a 3.5 mile walk) and we happened upon Museum Mile on Fifth Ave. Fifth Ave was closed to traffic, museums were offering free admission, food trucks were out — such a fun surprise!WIAW7

^sidewalk wisdom

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^even more sidewalk wisdom from one of my favorite books!

  • Post Work Snack

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^I was very proud that we made it past all of the street carts full of ice cream cones and hot dogs without stopping. By the time we got home I was starving and snacked on an entire red pepper with hummus while dinner was cooking.

  • Dinner

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^dinner was an apple chicken sausage, mache sauteed with onion and garlic (yum!) and a baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon.

  • Dessert

WIAW12^I snacked on a few pieces of this  salted almond dark chocolate bar while catching up on The Bachelorette.

So there you have it — a few sweet treats snuck their way in there, but it could have been worse. It’s all about balance :)

In other news, we are still in the midst of Baby Countdown 2014 — this baby niece of mine is taking her sweet old time. Keeping my fingers crossed for this weekend.

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Things I’m Loving Friday

This week has been a tad crazy work-wise as we prep for a big festival happening in a few weeks… which makes me extra happy that the weekend is here – I feel like I earned it! We spent all of last weekend moving me from Pennsylvania (a post on that to come), so I’m excited for some R&R this weekend — and possibly a trip to the beach? Keeping these fingers crossed. Here are some of the things I’m loving this week:

TILFPlaybill

^Broadway celebrates 30 days of Pride by incorporating the iconic rainbow flag into their logo. I love the message, I think it is a really smart idea, I love my colorful playbill, and you can read more about it here.

TILFHydrangeas

^pretty hydrangeas for my dining room

TILFOITNB

^Orange is the New Black Season 2 returns today! I love this show and the first season left off with a big cliff hanger — very exited to watch an episode or two tonight.

TILFBabyCountdown

^the baby countdown is on! My sister Meg’s due date is this SUNDAY and we all can’t wait for Shakira (our nickname for this little dancing lady) to get here! Hurry up niece, I love you!

TILFNatDoDay

^apparently today is national donut day… what great news to wake up to! So, that’s clearly where I am headed next.

What things are you loving this Friday?

HAPPY WEEKEND! xx

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