Category Archives: celebration

Let Freedom Ring

My Fourth of July weekend was all sorts of fabulous. Let’s recap, shall we?

Friday: After work, I forced myself to run a 5K. I wanted to make sure I could do the length, since Chris and my first official 5K race (since I was in high school) is coming up soon. It wasn’t so bad! My biggest issue with the run was pacing myself. I went out too slow most of the time, since I was scared I couldn’t make the distance, and then ended up finishing with a lot more to give. I guess over time I will remember how to pace myself? When I ran in high school, I was able to autopilot whatever time I sought, but that skill is long gone. I guess there could be worse problems.

The run paid off. I already proved I will run for pasta. Well, I’ll also run for Mexican. Chris and I meet up with Lauren and her BF for Mexican food. It was finally good real Mexican food, none of that fancy NYC Tex-Mex that drives me nuts. We shared guac to start (fresh-made at our table = awesome), enjoyed sangria (BYOB wine and they do the rest), and I polished off my entire veggie burrito plate, rice and all. I paid for that with a food coma, but it felt so worth it at the time.

Insane amount of Mexi food.

After dinner, I watched my new obsession HGTV, and Chris and I fantasized about buying property all over the world. Julian Alps, I’m coming (one day) to you! We ended the night watching She’s Out of Your League. Good concept, but meh movie.

Saturday: Woke up early for a Saturday (before 9AM = early on the weekend) and headed down to my brother’s place near Princeton. Hadley meet bro’s adorable pup that he rescued last month, Rider, for the first time. At first Rider was timid, but Hadley showed him the ways of the good life. By the end of the weekend, Rider was all play all the time.

Hadley and Rider playing tug of war.

After introducing the pups, we took them on a hike that lead to a pretty waterfall. Hadley was even brave enough to follow us into the water, but then freaked out a little (water and kayakers are Hadley’s two big fears). Even with lifeguard Hadley (I swear he thinks that water is dangerous and only he can save us from it), it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

The evening was spent in New Hope, PA. My brother’s GF recommend an awesome garden restaurant there that offered American, Italian, Thai, and Mexican food! We all choose Thai, and I had my first yellow curry. Very yum. Dinner was followed by walking around the cute town, the bro and his GF trying out chocolate covered bacon, and then we all ended our food fest with ice cream. Homemade ice cream is always a good thing.

Teddy bear shaped rice with my yellow curry.

Sunday: Sunday was supposed to be a beach day, but it was raining. We slept in and then headed to a famous Princeton pancake spot, PJ’s Pancake House. We ate at the counter, which made me feel like a kid, so I went with that feeling and ordered a chocolate milk. It really hit the spot.

Chocolate milk goodness.

My egg white veggie omelet with a side of pancakes was huge. I ate two of the pancakes, but failed to eat the rest. Next time, I must remember that my eyes are bigger than my stomach (sometimes).

Too much!

We spent the rest of the afternoon food shopping (outside of NYC = real super markets) and playing lawn sports when the rain finally let up. My parents joined us for a pizza party at night and supplied a strawberry shortcake. Yes, this weekend was a fattening fest.

Monday: We were up early to head back to our apartment. Chris and I spent the rest of the day prepping for our Fourth of July party. We are lucky to have a view of the Macy’s fireworks from our apartment terrace, so we invited over friends to share in the festivities. It was the first time I saw the fireworks live (something I’ve always wanted to do), and it was really great to be able to do so surrounded by friends both old and new. All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.

Let freedom ring (they looked better in person!).

Now it’s back to eating healthy. Today so far = chobani kids yogurt with honey bunches of oat cereal for breakfast and a TJ’s frozen Indian meal for lunch. Some fresh sliced strawberries and blueberries are coming up soon for a snack. You know what, healthy is yummy, too!

How did you spend your Fourth of July weekend?

Celebrate Good Times

This weekend was jam packed with celebrations. My cousin Adam lead Friday night services, his Bar Mitzvah and party were Saturday, and Sunday was my good friends Melissa and Aaron’s engagement party.

Friday after work, my dad picked Hadley and me up to get to my parent’s in time for Friday night services. Hadley spent the weekend with Cheryl’s family, who he loved to bits. He was excited to go away on a mini-vacation!

I'm sticking my tongue out at you, but I'm still excited. You just take too many pictures of me.

Services were nice and gave me an opportunity to wear my new LOFT dress that Chris bought me for my birthday. He also bought me the lovely pair of sandals that I paired with the dress.

Can't find the dress online, but here are the sandals. They are so comfortable.

After services, my mom and I picked Chris up from the bus station and went to my hometown diner. I’ve been craving tuna fish like crazy, so I had myself a yummy tuna wrap. It’s always a sign that I’m anemic when I’m craving fish or meat, so I’m going to work this week on upping my iron intake.

Saturday was the festivities. Adam did great at his Bar Mitzvah service. It was crazy to me that it was his Bar Mitzvah already, because he was born 4 days before my own Bat Mitzvah. Time really can get away from you. The party following services was great. My mom’s whole side of the family was there, including all my cousins and their boyfriends and girlfriends (Adam and his little brother are much younger than the rest of us cousins). We enjoyed the cocktail hour, danced until we were hot sweaty messes, and enjoyed playing with the awesome army inspired table decorations.

We totally made set-ups like here.

Sunday Chris and I were hoping to get up early, but we were so tired from all the dancing (seriously we got a harder workout than we do running! I think Bar Mitzvah dancing should be a new gym class – imagine the tone arms you can get from all the chair lifting!) that we slept in. We spent the afternoon/early evening celebrating Mel and Aaron’s engagement. It was lovely to meet some of her other bridesmaids and to chat about all the excitement to come. She’s the first of my close friends to plan a wedding, and I’m so excited for all the festivities.

Chris and my night ended with me eating yet another tuna wrap (seriously, Allie, buy some iron pills), Chris cheering on the basketball game, and us watching some Parks and Rec. We were going to get up this morning for our run, but my calves were killing me so much from all the dancing that Chris suggested we go tomorrow instead. He actually said, “I want it to be a good run, so let’s do it Tuesday.” I’m so proud of my boyfriend for coming around to running!

Does it make me old that my calves hurt from dancing? I think maybe, yes.

What did you do this weekend?

MDW Recap

I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day Weekend! Mine started out right with a visit from my best friend from college, Kelley. We had dinner with Chris at a restaurant I’ve wanted to try out for a while, Westville. We actually went to their Chelsea location, go figure. I was drawn to the restaurant because it’s a fun setting and provides both healthy and not so healthy eating options. We started with their four-choice market vegetable plate. We shared grilled asparagus, chickpea and olive salad, plantains, and a mushroom medley. It was so yummy that I forgot to take a picture! For our main course we all choose two hot dogs and a side. My hot dogs were vegan hot dogs and topped with relish and sauerkraut. My side was Dijon cauliflower.

My main course wasn’t nearly as good as the veggie plate. Chris liked his a lot, though, as did Kelley. Still, I would go back. The restaurant was really inviting and the salads that passed by my table looked amazing.

Chris's hotdogs: one meat chili, one relish and a side of fries.

After dinner, Chris went to meet up with a friend, and Kelley and I checked out a Comedy Club. It wasn’t our type of humor, but we decided it was worth it to try something new. You win some, you lose some, right?

Saturday started off with brunch outside by the Hudson. It was a perfectly sunny day and more than enjoyable. After brunch, Kelley and I got our exercise in by spending the next four hours meandering through NYC. We stopped at a Street Fair for some fuel:

Mine. I dream about grilled corn.

Hers: can't go wrong with a nutella crepe.

 And saw some pretty sites:

And I used a gift certificate (thanks Carrie!) to get this new toy:

Food processor!

After our walk, we got ready for my birthday party. Kelley was my college roommate, and I forgot how much fun it is to get ready with another girl. Chris just doesn’t get the singing to music while trying on clothes thing. Boys. When we were all ready, we met up with the rest of my friends at a small Italian restaurant. They set a long table for us lined with candles – perfect! Most the pictures didn’t come out, because of the low lights, but everything was delicious. Dinner was followed by drinks at a bar. It was a great night, and I’m thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Sunday can be summed up in one word: lazy. We slept late, Chris made us all waffles and eggs (including Hadley regarding the egg), Kelley introduced us to HGTV, and I finally suggested a Target trip. Chris and I were so excited to have Kelley’s car to use instead of our normal routine of dragging everything back that we went a little overboard. I know have a fully stocked kitchen!

Our best find, this huge thing of olive oil for $6! decorations.

 Monday was a great capstone to the long weekend. Kelley, Chris, I ate lunch outside at an adorable falafel restaurant. My falafel pita was oh so good! Plus, they had some cute decorations.

Nom nom nom.True beans.

 

Lunch was followed with Kelley having to say goodbye to head back to Philly. Chris headed to work, and I headed to meet a friend at Union Square. I made a quick trip to Trader Joe’s – because after Target we needed more food – but really, because I can’t resist their good deals.  I then headed home to give my apartment the cleaning love it needed. I ended my night making hummus. Recipe to come!!!

How did you spend Memorial Day Weekend? If you made it to the beach, I’m jealous!

Too Much Good Food is Still Too Much

Yesterday was a glorious day. We inched our way into the 80’s for the first time in so long. Immediately after work, I took Hadley to the dog park. He ran around in the heat for a good hour and played up a storm. When we left the park, he lied down and refused to get up. I tried to get him to move, but to no avail. Finally, I just carried the lazy bum inside. He’s not spoiled or anything.

Hadley passed out on the hardwood floor fully exhausted while I got out of my play clothes and into nicer duds for dinner with my parents. Chris joined us and we headed out to a brick oven pizza place. My parents brought a cake for me to the restaurant, and I drew a lot of attention. A woman insisted I cut her in the bathroom line as my birthday gift. I actually thought this was a pretty awesome gift.

My dad, Chris, and I split a well done pie with extra cheese and mushroom. Asking for a pizza pie well-done is my pizza ordering trick. It makes the pizza so much better when they do it right. Last night, they did it right and the three of us polished off the whole pie, while my mom munched healthily on her salad. The meal was ended with my yummy birthday cake.

To make up for the extravagance of the past few days, today I am eating healthy all the way. Breakfast was greek yogurt mixed with Honey Bunches of Oats. This is my favorite breakfast ever. Lunch was also pretty great: white rice, broccoli, and a Morningstar Chick Patty all mixed together with a pear. Of course, I’ve been snacking on baby carrots throughout the day. My goal of the weekend is to eat healthy every meal with the potential exception for Saturday night when I’m going out with friends for my birthday. It will be a bit of a challenge, since I’ve been off the healthy eating wagon this past week. Also, my best friend from college, Kelley, is visiting this long weekend, and one of our favorite things to do together is try out different foods and bake. We will just have to focus on eating healthy!

Now I ask you a question. Warmer months means more visitors. We had visitors last weekend, and I ate horribly (wonderfully, but horribly). We are having the lovely Miss Kelley this weekend. We are sure to have more visitors in the near future. When people come to visit, you want to take to your favorite places to eat. Often, those aren’t the healthiest places – they are often your “treat” places. This past weekend, we went with our guests to a great pub, Good Restaurant, Grom gelato, our favorite Indian, place, our favorite Italian place, etc. All were so so yummy, but  I know that my body isn’t the best for it now. What are your suggestions for eating healthy when you still want to show off your favorites to your guest? Hopefully, I’ll have some recs for you after this weekend!

My Twenty-Fifth Year in Review

I celebrated my twenty-sixth birthday yesterday. It feels funny typing that out! For some reason I had no problem turning twenty-five, but I got a little fluster over twenty-six. I guess I just always viewed twenty-six year olds as mature real adults, and I’m still just learning what it means to be a “grown up”. It helped that Chris and his sister both reassured me that twenty-six was a very kind year to both of them. I hope for me, twenty-six is the same way! I’ll recap my birthday fun (which is still on-going!) in a later post, but I think it’s important to take some time to remember my twenty-fifth year.

A Month by Month Guide to my Twenty-fifth Year

1. May: I celebrated my twenty-fifth birthday a week after my law school graduation. Three days into being twenty-five, I began my Bar Exam studies. Hilarity and hysteria ensued.

2. June: June was spent trying not to freak out over my studies and trying to get in any free time possible. Waterfalls were swam in, meals cooked, and lots of wine was consumed on my patio.

3. July: In the end of July, I sat the NY Bar Exam. I was sick – not nervous but actually sick – but managed to get through the exam. Chris and I never wish to return to Albany again.

4. August: Chris and I spent three lovely weeks in Ithaca after the Bar Exam. All our friends had moved, and it was just the two of us. We had a wonderful time taking in the town before we too left. I especially loved berry picking, Wii bowling at Applebee’s, tanning at the pool, and enjoying wine on our patio.

5. August: Chris, Hadley, and I packed up our belongings and moved to begin our lives in the big city. We had a lot of fun exploring our new neighborhood by trying out lots of different restaurants and visiting different dog parks.

6. September: I began my first job out of school as a “real person”. I haven’t had a steady paycheck since undergrad, so this was exciting on many levels.

7. October: I joined Weight Watchers, lost 15 lbs, started exercising again, and learned to live a healthier life style. I still trip up (including this past weekend!), but I’m getting better.

8. November: November was engrained in my mind like a looming dentist appointment. We knew that Bar results would be released at sometime in early November, and the anticipation was high. On the first Friday of the month, I passed the NY Bar Exam!!!! Chris did, too! We celebrated with a fancy bottle of champagne, just the two of us. Then other bar-passer friends joined for more champagne and cheers. We followed drinks with dinner at one of the fanciest restaurants in our neighborhood.

9. November: My little family joined the rest of my family in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving dinner. This was the first time my family has ever done a whole family holiday dinner, so it was a huge deal. We are planning on making this a tradition. Chris and I made our first pumpkin pie, and it was a huge success.

10. December: Holidays! The holiday season stretched extra long for us, since I celebrate Channukah and Chris celebrates Christmas, so we celebrated all December long! For Channukah, we made latkes with friends and had my family over for a holiday party. Christmas this past year was mine and Hadley’s “First Christmas”, so we all got really into it. We took turns taking gifts out of our over flowing stocks (new tradition, I hope!), made a big dinner, and woke up early to open gifts. Chris gave me my Tiffany Signature ring, which I wear most every day.

11. December/January: New Years was spent with Chris and my best friends from high school and their boyfriends at a ski cabin in PA. It was great to get everyone together. My knees even cooperated enough to let me ski for half a day.

12. January: New Years came with lots of resolutions. I started this blog and resolved to keep it going, at least until October when I begin my firm job. I resolved to read 30 novels this year via the Good Reads Book Challenge. So far, I’m reading book #16. Also, I resolved to find a workout class that I love. If you read my blog, you know I’m in love with Pilates.

13. February: On a whim, I bought a Groupon for a month at a local Pilates studio. I feel in love with the classes, and feel that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Now I do Pilates twice a week, and this has helped my knees so much that I am able to run again!

14. February: February brought many celebrations. Valentine’s Day was spent ice skating at Bryant Park, and our Anniversary Weekend was spent at a dog-friendly B&B in Upstate NY.

15. March: On March 28th, I was officially sworn into the NY Bar! Finally, officially a lawyer. I was glad my mom and Chris were able to make it to the ceremony to witness me taking my oath.

16. April: I spent most the month eagerly anticipating my upcoming vacation while Chris worked his days and nights away. Mid-month, he regained free time, and we spent a lot of time catching up. We hosted a Passover sedar for my family, which was a great success.

17. April/May: Cruise!!! We enjoyed a 9 night cruise where we had a fabulous time and got fabulous tans. I still am trying to curb my cruise-induced appetite.

18. May: My brother graduated college, Chris’s family came out for a fun-packed visit, Chris was sworn into the NY Bar, and I turned twenty-six!!!

What a long, wonderful year. I wonder what twenty-six will hold for me.