My post on Friday got me thinking. The progression of a day is so interesting to me. Friday was so wonderful because it was completely unplanned but I did everything I wanted to. But normally, I love a routine. Here's mine:
Monday through Thursday I'm in the work world. Friday through Sunday I'm in my own little world.
I used to dislike Sundays, but I've grown to appreciate them. I try to relax and I get ready for the week ahead. I go to the market and I prep meals - breakfast and lunch. I don't have an actual kitchen so when I say I 'prep meals', I mean I decide what to eat for lunch the next four days, I wash and bag apples, I group things together for breakfast. Sunday is usually Family Day, but even if it's not, I always have dinner with my family on Sunday. It's never planned, it's just implied.
I love Monday. A fresh start, a clean slate. I like to wake up early. Lately I'm on a bizarre caffeine kick, so I'll either make some at home (hot) or stop for one on my way to the train (iced). I only drink coffee if it's hazelnut flavored (or has hazelnut creamer/syrup added). I usually stay in on Monday nights - especially if it's Bachelor/Bachelorette season! And now that Bethenny Ever After is back on, that's been a nice little treat as well. Though, I want to start getting back into yoga and Monday may be the night for that. I always have to pick out and pack my outfit for the next day because...
I spin at 6AM every Tuesday, which means waking up around 5:20. After class I shower and blow-dry my hair in the Soul locker room. I do my makeup on the train and pray I don't see anyone I know. Oh my God, I hope my mother isn't reading this. Applying makeup in a public place... I swear she raised me better than that. I usually meet a friend for dinner or drinks on Tuesday night, even though I should probably go home and relax. I'm like an energizer bunny. Sometimes it's easier for me to just keep going (and going).
Wednesdays are pretty much the same as Mondays, except that at night sometimes I spin and sometimes I go out (but never both!).
I've always loved Thursday, but now it's like my Friday so I love it even more. It's around this time that I'm usually due for Patron on the rocks, or at least a chilly glass of wine.
I want to have more Fridays like last one. They're like snowflakes... no two the same. Sometimes I run errands; sometimes I spend the day with my mom. I usually spin at some point on Friday... either at 8AM or around 5PM.
Saturdays are usually spent brunching and shopping, but not lately the latter with my hiatus. I also usually spin on Saturdays... the 5PM class is the perfect pre-game for my evening. Saturday nights in New York don't usually start until Sunday mornings. And I always wear heels.
Ah. This weekend was exactly what I needed. Low key and quiet and relaxing. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you've probably already seen these...
I bought the mini candles on my walk home on Friday. I chose these because of the scents, but it worked out well that the colors match my monogram tray. Market Peach is lit as I type this... yum! (The blue candle is Sea Spray. I love the teeny tiny size!)
I rewarded myself with this pomegranate peach bellini after a Soul Survivor class (60 minute spin!) on Saturday morning. I rarely drink during the daylight hours but this was delicious.
And speaking of delicious... we had these bacon, egg and cheese on buttermilk biscuit sliders at brunch and they were out of this world. Oh my goodness.
I took another long walk this weekend (I'm so thankful the weather has permitted) and was trying to think about the last time I bought myself fresh flowers. When I realized I couldn't remember, I decided it was time. I chose a bouquet of white roses that haven't yet bloomed and put them in my window. They're already starting to open.
Still working on my Instagram/photography skills. How was your weekend?
The other day I tweeted that I wanted to create a whole new account in which I could be the queen of overshare. I'm not actually going to, and hopefully no one swipes that name and pretends to be an inappropriate version of me.
But - and I don't do this often - I'm having such an amazing day that I wanted to sit down and write about it so I don't forget about it. And it likely will be a little TMI and I'm in a babbling mood so I don't actually expect any of you to read this. This one's for me.
Sometimes I do an 8AM Soul class on Fridays but I decided that I wanted to sleep in today. I woke up at 9:40 and had a few bowls of cheerios... talked to BHB online... and decided to have a super productive day, and indeed I did.
I wore my Joe Fresh boyfriend jeans for the first time. I can't believe how soft they are for $29. I got my big bag of clothes to sell/give away, threw my spin shoes and some Lulu into a tote in the event that I decided to spin and headed out the door.
I grabbed a cab down to the Union Square area. My first stop was Beacon's Closet (resale shop). I'm so happy they opened a shop in Manhattan. I went to the one in Williamsburg last summer and made over $200. I dropped off my bag at the sell counter and browsed. They have a LOT of stuff... a lot of designer stuff, at that. Found a gorgeous Jay Godfrey dress in my size for $40 but it was snagged, quite obviously, on the front. I looked a lot but didn't find much else in my size. I made $75 and didn't buy anything, but will definitely be going back soon.
Afterward I headed straight to Lululemon for underwear. I bought a Technithong at the Lulu shop in the Southpark mall in Charlotte, NC last weekend and love it. Like everything at our beloved Lulu, it's pricey, so I picked up one pair and a pair of the Foxy to try those out. I'll go back for more but I have to space the purchases out for now.
I had a pass for a free walk-in class at the SoulCycle studio in Union Square and had checked the schedule ahead of time, so I knew there were tons of bikes open in the 1PM class. It was with an instructor I knew nothing about but I decided to give it a shot. I headed to Jamba Juice for an all-fruit smoothie before walking to Soul.
It was so nice to take a class in the middle of the day when I normally take them in the morning or evening... refreshing, really. But it was no cake walk! The instructor was tough and I was drenched in a little more sweat than usual, but I'm so glad I did it. Gotta love of a free class!
Afterward I treated myself to a big lunch of salad and sushi. I got a text from Perri saying that she was starving and had no cash (I love you, but TYPICAL) so after I finished lunch and paid the bill, I met her at Starbucks and got her a drink and a snack. Her class was in the neighborhood so she was able to run over on her break. We only got to spend about 15 minutes together but it was such a nice surprise. I also treated myself to the new Brown Sugar Walnut Tart... heaven!!! Definitely my new favorite sweet treat.
I was carrying a lot of stuff (my tote, spin shoes, spin clothes, and some clothes Beacon's didn't want to buy that I wasn't quite ready to part with anyway) but it is such a gorgeous day out that I decided to walk home rather than take the subway. I took a quick stroll through Barnes & Noble for inspiration, like I often do, and stopped in Bath and Body Works for a new lotion. I also got two baby candles... a peach scent and a beach scent. They look so perfect on my monogram tray... I'll have to post a photo.
The walk home was so nice. It's always nice when it's a beautiful day out but to truly enjoy it and bask in the sunshine and wind is something else.
Now I'm home and even though I've had a productive day, I'm looking around at my messy apartment and reminded that there is still much to be done. Happy weekend to anyone who made it this far! Here's to many days like this one in the future.
I'm so thrilled to say that in just under two months, I'll be participating in The Sports Bra Challenge 2012! The SBC is a day long fitness event centered around women working out in a series of classes in... you guessed it... our sports bras!
Growing up in Florida, I was always active as a kid. The warm weather meant I was outside a lot... riding my bike, rollerblading around the block, or in the pool. I was never athletic but I was a ball of energy and couldn't sit still. Actually, I still am and I still can't. But that all sort of changed for awhile when I moved to Texas and became a teenager and was only concerned with cruising around in my Jeep and kissing boys. I ate carefully and had a pretty decent metabolism, so I always managed to stay thin without doing very much.
Enter college and then living in New York City and becoming a foodie and in general, life. Metabolism still decent, but it wasn't enough. About a year ago, a skiing trip changed my life... it showed me that I can be athletic and "working out" can be fun. I came back to the city and started experimenting with different exercise classes and discovered SoulCycle a few months later and now spin three times a week. The classes are like snowflakes; no two are the same and each one challenges me in a different way.
The past year has been a complete transformation for me. Though not directly related, my body has gotten smaller (a reminder that nothing in life is perfect - parts of it that were already small have gotten even smaller and I'm not going to lie, it's a bit depressing but I digress...) and my confidence has grown immensely, but not just because of lost weight or smaller dress sizes. All those endorphins truly do a world of wonder. I've never felt better.
The Sports Bra Challenge is all about self empowerment and inspiring strength in yourself and those around you. The event supports the S.E.A.K. Foundation and City of Hope’s Positive Image Center, which helps cancer patients regain and retain confidence in how they look while undergoing treatment. The event is held in Union Square park and consists of two large scale SoulCycle classes (think 100 bikes!) and a Vinyasa yoga class. I'm so excited to be a part of something that sends such a good, incredibly positive message to women of all ages, sizes, and health conditions.
The photo above is of me in my Rooster shirt, a gift from Soul for being a dedicated "Rooster" (someone who spins consistently at 6AM). I never thought I'd be a spinner, let alone one who wakes up before the sun rises. Then again, I never thought I'd be someone who wore a sports bra in class, let alone in the middle of Union Square park! All proof that you can change and you're stronger than you think.
I can't wait to reveal myself on May 17. Lord knows my body is far from perfect but I love it and I'm proud of it, flaws and all. Even if you don't live in New York and can't join us, I challenge you to wear your sports bra in class, around the house, or even to the mailbox. You're beautiful... don't forget to stop and embrace that every now and again.
Thank Y'ALL so much for all of your sweet comments on the previous post. Your kind words mean a lot to me.
I found a few additional photos from the weekend on my iPhone that I wanted to share...
Perri and I wandered through the open air market and had so much fun discovering all of the different goodies. This particular booth had dozens of these cute quippy wooden painted signs.
We were in Charleston for a wedding and literally only had one meal to ourselves, so we had to make it good. So many people suggested Magnolias, and we were pleased as punch. I had fried green tomatoes with white cheddar grits.
Dancing fools at the wedding reception! I love this shot.
I'm still going strong on the shopping hiatus front, but my dad did treat me to these Brooks Brothers silk bow ballet flats on one condition: that I get rid of an old pair! One in, one out. A good rule I'm going to try to follow.
My gal pal BHB knows not to "tag" me in posts because I don't really do them... But her questions were so good today that I couldn't help "borrowing" them and answering myself!
If you had been born a boy, do you know what your parents planned on naming you? My parents did not know my sex prior to birth because they wanted to be surprised. (Two notes: Should I ever get married and pregnant I plan on doing the same and also I think it's no coincidence that one of my favorite things in life is to be surprised.) They decided if I was a girl my mom would get to name me and if I was a boy my dad would choose. He had picked out the name "Joshua Andrew" which I would love to use someday if life permits.
What is your favorite book of all time? It hasn't been written yet.
If you could have lunch with one celebrity, who would it be and why? My instincts are screaming Larry David, but I'd probably go with Sophia Bush, not only because I hugely admire both her work and charitable efforts, but I feel like we're a lot alike and would be instant friends. Also because we're both...
Did you go Greek in college? If so, which house? ...KAPPAS! Kappa Kappa Gamma, wanna say I amma...
Sweet or salty? Both both both.
Do you prefer to make a phone call or send a text? Most of the time I'd rather text. I think I'm better on paper than I am out loud!
What is your favorite flower? Honestly, I'm not big on flowers but I love a tight, neat arrangement of white roses in a simple square glass vase.
Did you have an American Girl doll as a child? I sure did! I had Molly because she seemed so nice and looked the most like me. I liked reading the books about her, too.
What is your favorite white wine and favorite red wine varietal? I love Sauvignon Blanc. I honestly don't drink red because I haven't found a variety I'm partial to. I like learning about wine and would really love to be able to order a glass of red that I could drink and actually enjoy. Put it on the to do list!
What is your favorite quote? "Go the extra mile; it's never crowded."
After taking stock of my wardrobe and checking my MasterCard statement, I've decided that I need to put a hold on clothing purchases for awhile. This is not easy for me to say or do and I used to never make these sorts of promises or statements because they're usually empty... I always have my eye on something and am a great bargain hunter.
We all know that I live in a very small apartment and space is limited. Additionally, I'm still getting rid of clothes that no longer fit and aren't worth taking in. I need to set aside an afternoon to organize both my armoire and my closet which I anticipate will be challenging (see previous blog post) but I know I'll feel a million times better afterward.
Quality over quantity. Less is more. It's all about investment pieces. Wah wah we wah.
Of course in the mean time, I have pink pants on the brain. Again. Wouldn't these look great with a crisp white shirt and metallic Jack Rogers?
I always make a point of saying out loud how good my life is. Because it is. I'm blessed beyond measure and I don't want to take any of it for granted. Sometimes I feel the need to remind everyone else and sometimes I need to remind myself.
But I'd be lying if I didn't say the past few months were a bit tough. Lots of heartbreak and lots of questions. I still consider myself incredibly fortunate and exceptionally happy, but sometimes I feel as though I am constantly searching for something and I'm not sure what. I think it's balance.
I've admittedly never been great about prioritizing my time well and lately this is more and more evident. I overcommit myself and I still don't feel like I'm accomplishing enough. I over schedule and I still don't feel like I'm doing enough. I had such a great weekend but I wanted so badly to relax and I did the exact opposite.
I've never been one of those people who can just get into bed and fall asleep. I always say I'm the Energizer Bunny... I keep going and going and I don't require a whole lot of downtime. But lately it's all I crave because I can't understand how I'll ever truly be successful if I can't figure out how to juggle it all. What's the answer? Cut something out? More multitasking? How will I ever really complete my book or finish the laundry or fall head over heels if I can't figure out how to get the rest done?
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler I curl with this before and after. I'm very insecure about my lashes and try to make them as big as possible.
Urban Decay Naked2 I use this for special occasions and weekends. I'm definitely not daring enough to experiment with all the colors so for now I use Bootycall on my brow bone, Chopper on my lid and Busted on the outer corners. The brush it comes with is great (flat end for Bootycall/Chopper, fluffy end for Busted).
Here's how I did in February.... (hint: not great)
Buy pink pants. I didn't. I haven't found the right pair and after some reassessing I'm not entirely convinced I need to add them to my wardrobe right now. Take 10 SoulCycle classes. I did! I took 11. Read 3 books. I did not. Lose one pound. I did! Write 12 blog posts. I did not. I wrote 11. Try 3 new restaurants. I did! This is never tough for me to accomplish. In February I dined at 5 restaurants for the first time: Market Table, Babbo, Morso, Empellon Cocina, and Armani / Ristorante. Send snail mail once a week. I didn't keep track, but I know I didn't do it. Try something new.See previous blog post. Buy a plane ticket. I did! Clean out wardrobe. I did, but it still needs some work.
Last week, I was in the SoulCycle locker room after my 6:00 AM class. I was blowdrying my hair straight when a girl with long flowing curls walked by.
"You have gorgeous hair," I said. (Side note: as anyone who has ever spent time with me in the wee hours of morning will tell you, I am an early bird and annoyingly chatty upon waking up. Perri, I'm looking at you. I see the way you look at me when we're doing our makeup together in hotel bathrooms and we haven't even had breakfast and I JUST WON'T SHUT UP!)
The girl smiled and then frowned. "Oh, thank you. I wish it were straight."
Why is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence?
I'm just as guilty as the next guy. I was born with curls, and when I was young, they were beautiful. As I got older, not so cute. My hair was thick and unruly. Over the years, my hair has thinned out and dries much closer to straight than it does to curly due to the many different experimental treatments I put it through. Recently, the Brazilian Blowout has simplified my life (and beauty regimen) beyond measure.
In all fairness, though, this girl DID have gorgeous hair. I wouldn't give an insincere compliment just because I wanted someone to chat with while I got ready. Long, wild blond curls with natural lowlights - a very free spirited look that complemented her professional ensemble. I felt so bad - a pretty girl with that head of hair and she didn't even like it!
For me, the past year or so has been about accepting what I've got and working with it. I think back to a few years ago and cringe; I should have been taking much better care of myself! But I try not to beat myself up about it too much. What's important is the present and the future.
What I've learned is that it's not about looking in the mirror and feeling beautiful; it's about looking in the mirror and feeling happy. It's about buying clothes because they're flattering and not just because they look cute on the hanger. It's about figuring out what makeup works best for me: that black eyeliner is superior to brown and that my face looks better matte than it does shimmery. It's about being careful in the sun, using lots of moisturizer, and fitting in an airbrush tan when I can. It's about fresh fruit and SoulCycle and sleep.
So much has happened and changed and I don't feel the same insecurities about my looks that I used to. I decided it was easier to embrace my flaws than fight them. Then again, I sympathize with the pretty-haired girl because I know how hard it can be to accept a compliment without being at all self-depricating. But I think the next time someone compliments me on my hair, or anything, I'll just smile and say, 'Thank you!"
I may never be the prettiest girl in the room, but sometimes I do think I'm the happiest. And I'll take joy over beauty any day.