HAPPY HALLOWEEN/ALMOST NOVEMBER & 30 DAY PLANK CHALLENGE

Happy Halloween! Are you celebrating? My plans for this evening include my couch, maybe a big bowl of soup, and hopefully a nice glass of red. We have a packed Saturday and Sunday, so it'll be nice to relax tonight. The next few weeks should be mayhem between school events, an engagement celebration, and life in general. It'll be Thanksgiving before I know it.

So, there are officially two months left in 2014 and I have a few things I'd like to accomplish before Jan 1. I want to become visibly toner in my arms and abs. I tried a squat challenge over the summer, and it didn't quite pan out. I'm not even sure why I chose squats of all things. One {somewhat silly} goal I've had for years is to be able to hold a plank for five minutes straight. But without any concrete plan in place, I've never held myself accountable to this desire. When I came across this 30 Day Plank Challenge, I knew I wanted to give it a go.

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For me, this truly is a challenge. The longest I've ever held a plank is about 100 seconds, so I should be "okay" though about day 15. And I'll be on a plane on Day 30. But I'm determined to make this happen! I'm going to use my Social Workout account to record my progress, since I'm already keeping track of my workouts over there.

Who's with me?!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY #11: NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY

Happy Hump Day!

Let's get right down to what I ate yesterday. Many thanks to Jenn at Peas & Crayons for hosting another week!

I kicked my day off with a bowl of Van's Cinnamon Heaven topped with a sliced banana and almond milk, and a glass of Starbucks iced coffee with soy milk.

Mid-morning, I was working/studying and read something about "cheesy popcorn" and all the sudden I got the strongest craving for just that. Does this ever happen to you? I had a handful of white cheddar Popcorners, but I definitely realized that I probably would've chosen something else - or not snacked at all - had I not seen the words "cheesy" and "popcorn." Interesting stuff.

Lunch was at Whole Foods. I was famished after a great Pilates class. I had Asian kale salad and a quinoa and brown rice spicy salmon avocado roll. So delish. Too much rice, though. I peeled off probably more than half.

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For an afternoon pick me up, I had a glass of iced coffee with hazelnut coconut milk creamer that I'd just picked up at Whole Paycheck.

Dinner was carrot chips and hummus...

...and chopped salad.

I found out late in the day that it was National Chocolate Day. Phew! That was a close one. I'd sure hate to miss that. Obviously I had to celebrate...

...so I got a little bit of salted caramel fro yo with NSA dark chocolate chunks.

And that wraps it up! Your turn! Did you link up as well? What are you eating and enjoying this week?

MATCHBOOK QUESTIONNAIRE

I've always adored Matchbook Mag, but I sometimes I forget about it for a few months at a time, for no real reason. I have recently rediscovered "the field guide to living a charmed life" (again) and one of my favorite parts to read is this little survey. I think I've posted this questionnaire on here before, but I figure my answers are going to be different now, so why not do it again?

(If you blog, I think you should do it too!)

TEA OR COFFEE?

Iced coffees and hot lattes.

I COLLECT...

I collected hand bells and Pez dispensers as a kid.

FAVORITE CITY?

Miami. 

SPRING OR FALL?

In New York? Either! Both.

BLOOM OF CHOICE?

Anything oversized and petal-y. I'm not good with names. My best friend is a flower aficionado; I'll be enlisting her expert eye for wedding arrangements!

STYLE ICON?

My parents.

CHINA PATTERN?

Currently I'm caught somewhere between kate spade "Castle Peak" (a recent fav) and kate spade "Larabee Road" (I've loved it for years).

I'M LUSTING AFTER...

A pair of Stuart Weitzman Nudist sandals.

MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?

My engagement ring.

GIRL CRUSH?

Sophia Bush.

BOY CRUSH?

Bradley Cooper.

ON WEEKENDS...

I'm all about balance. I like to have one morning that starts with a jump, like a sweaty workout and a coffee, and one morning that unwinds slowly, perhaps with a lazy brunch and a long walk. Days spent in cozy flats and evenings spent in not-quite-as-comfortable heels.

 

So? Tea or coffee? What are you lusting after? Who's your girl crush? Tell me everything.

MIMM #1: STARBUCKS & SNEAKS

Happy Monday! Here's what's Marvelous In My Monday today... (Thanks Healthy Diva Eats for spreadin' the Monday love!)

 

- A lovely Sunday evening... a big chopped salad (I added shredded brussel sprouts for volume and their nutrients - they're chock full of vitamin K, C, folate, manganese, the list goes on...), wedding planning, and Snoopy. :)

- I have been wanting black leather slip-on shoes for months, but haven't wanted to spend the money. Enter these $24.99 Mossimo quilted kicks from Target. They're comfy and look way more expensive than they are. I haven't even been wearing them for two full days and 4 people have already stopped me to ask where I got my shoes from.

- I have finally located more bottles of my beloved Starbucks Brewed To Personalize Iced Coffee. Hooray! Target is still the only place I've found these. We still don't own a coffeemaker (long story that really isn't that long, my Keurig broke and that's that) but sometimes I want to enjoy a cuppa Joe without, well, leaving my apartment or putting on real clothes to do so. Until it is absolutely frigid out (AKA as long as I'm in the mood for iced coffee) this remains the best solution.

- Spring cleaning in the fall. Sending a box of gently used goodies to Twice later today. 

- The cutest pens from my dad for, you guessed it, wedding planning!

What's marvelous in your Monday?

FRIDAY FAVORITES #6: 10/24/2014

Happy Friday! I am linking up with Heather at Housewife Glamour to share my recent favs.

 

ABC Cocina. When my best friend got engaged a few years ago, I took her to ABC Kitchen to celebrate. A few weeks ago, she took me to the restaurant's Latin sister around the corner to celebrate my engagement! It was the most delicious, extravagant lunch. Our sweet waitress surprised us with an extra dessert, too! If you're looking for a special dining experience in NYC, I cannot recommend either of these places enough. (Plan in way advance, however, as reservations at peak dining times are not easy to secure. We went at 1:30 on a Monday for corn's sake and the place was hoppin'.)


Mineral Fusion nail polish remover. I know I mentioned this brand last FF, but I have to give a shout out to their nail polish remover. Yes, it's a bit pricier than many other brands of polish removers but to me it's worth every penny. It's natural, smells pleasant (really), and took off my dark polish quickly and easily. I'm never buying the icky, acetone-y run-of-the-mill bottles ever again.

 

J.Crew scarves. The wool/cotton blend is light and easy to layer with (I'm a bit of a goober when it comes to wearing/styling scarves) but substantial enough to warm me up on a chilly day. Great for travel, too. I got the plaid mix scarf last month and picked up the leopard variety over their Columbus Day sale. (Take 25% off with code TGIFALL!)

 

J.Crew Factory jewelry.  (Sorry for the photo repeat.) I don't really buy jewelry at J.Crew stores anymore, and it's not because it isn't beautiful. I've just found that the styles at their factory stores are comparable and the quality is basically the same, usually for a third of the retail price. (I lived in this chain link pendant over the summer, and for fall I'm currently wearing this crystal necklace, link bracelet and these drop petal earrings (a gift from my best friend). Not all at the same time, though. Promise.)

 

Annual sorority dinner at Otto. Every year since we moved to NYC, my best friend and I have an annual dinner at Otto around our sorority's Founders Day to celebrate friendship and sisterhood. The group has changed quite a bit over the years due to people moving away, new people joining in, etc. The two of us have been the only constants. But it's a delicious and dear-to-our-hearts tradition we love and one I hope never ends. 

What's your favorite(s) this Friday?

Have a wonderful weekend!

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY #10: SHORT & SWEET

Howdy all! I'm stopping in quickly for a short & sweet What I Ate Wednesday to share my meals from yesterday. Many thanks to Jenn at Peas & Crayons for hosting the link up!

 

Breakfast was scrambled egg whites and an Ezekiel sprouted grain English muffin with almond butter and coffee. And water... I'm trying to up my H2O consumption. I defrosted the muffin in the microwave, which was a bad idea. It was heated unevenly and so chewy that I was only able to eat about half of each half. I need to start taking these out of the freezer the night before. Oh well!

 

Lunch was tomato soup and a big chopped salad (greens, beets, mushrooms, salami, mozzarella) with mustard parmesan vinaigrette. ( <--- Recipe link for those of you who asked for it!)

 

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Afternoon snack was frozen yogurt with a chopped banana on top. I hadn't had fro yo in weeks (crazy) and it really hit the spot!

 

Dinner was an Amy's frozen meal - veggies and rice noodles in an Asian sauce. I needed something on the go. It wasn't great; I wouldn't buy it again. And at 250 calories, it's not terribly filling...

 

So when I got home, I had a mug of cereal to round out the day.

 

That's another Tuesday of yummy eats on the books! What foods, snacks and meals are you enjoying this week?

OUT WEST & MANY THANKS

Happy Tuesday! How's your week going? 

My fiancé and I spent the weekend out west in San Francisco and Napa. Here are a few photos. It was a very quick trip but we managed to pack lots of fun stuff (and Peet's Coffee) in.

 

A fruit plate for breakfast at The Grove.

 

A quote by the Bay.


A gluten-free cupcake from Mariposa Baking Company.


Group wine tasting. We went through Platypus Tours and had a really great experience. I'm wearing an Old Navy sweater (on sale for $17 and so comfy), Rag & Bone Skinny Jean, Frye Pippa bootie, Tory Burch satchelJ.Crew Factory necklace, and J.Crew Factory bracelet.

 

Strawberry pancakes at Fume Bistro.

 

On another note, I want to thank you for your well wishes over the past few weeks. Our engagement (and the celebrations) have been a ray of sunshine in an otherwise incredibly dark year.

I'm not quite ready to write (or talk) in detail about losing my mom. I don't know when I will be. But in the weeks and months that followed her passing, I was blown away by all of the kindness and love that came my way, and I have many of you to thank for that.

I've spent the past nine or so months (starting with the quick unraveling of her health after months of believing she was really going to be okay) trying really hard to hold it together. It hasn't been easy. I have fallen apart and scotch taped myself back together countless times. I'm the first to admit that there are many parts of my life that are an absolute mess right now. I am human and all I can do is my best. But there are things to celebrate and moments to enjoy. So celebrate and enjoy I will. Life is too short not to.

A million thanks to those of you who have continued to send me encouragement and support. It means more to me than I can say - truly.