An October Baby Shower.

Last weekend we celebrated a friend's baby girl, due in less than a month's time. These events are so wonderful and important, allowing us to step back from our obligations and routines to appreciate life and all of the potential in its beginning.

(for seasons of life)
(for new roles, new support systems)
(for joy in newness)


Old souls, and other weekend things.

A few of my former colleagues referred to me as "The Old Soul" - a nickname earned during Monday meetings in which some would share details of their Saturday morning hangovers and dating escapades... and I would share how I had tea with friends on Saturday afternoon, started knitting a new scarf and read a great biography. Awwesomme.

In high school I thought my 90-year-old soul was uncool. Hide that thing under a bushel, my subconscious said. Now, I love this soul of mine. And I found another old soul (husband) to spend my life with. We will watch documentaries and listen to classical music and have wine tastings with friends until our bodies catch up. And it will be glorious.

How to spend a weekend, if you're an old soul:
*On Friday evening, we headed to a ramen bar in the West Village. I love that ramen can't decide if it wants to be soup, salad or a pasta dish.
*I spent Saturday morning at a baby shower for a dear friend, who is due in less than a month!
*We took a walk through the park on Saturday. The leaves are finally beginning to change.
*I ran through the finish line of the NYC marathon (next weekend) yesterday. The bleachers were empty, but I felt like a big deal.
*We watched The Out-of-Towners for the first time in ages. Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn might be the funniest couple of all time.
*I went to a fundraiser for She's the First, an organization I stand behind wholeheartedly. I've talked about it before, but check it out if you haven't already!
*Gus found a new best friend at the dog park, and they played like puppies.
*We co-taught our first class of toddlers at church this morning. Oh my goodness, the energy of those kids. Who knew parachutes were so. much. fun.
*Big Nick's and their waffle fries. Best/least healthy decision made all weekend.
*Judy Garland has been an afternoon necessity lately. Judy's voice soothes the soul.
*I'm on the market for some new Christmas ornaments, and I'm in love with these and these and these. Really, I'll take anything that Gus won't eat off the tree.


Thankful for.

Happy Friday, my friends. It's a cold one around here, and I can't say I mind. Our heater went on for the first time yesterday, and I was pretty excited. We can finally get those unsightly air conditioners out of our windows. 

I'll be spending the weekend with my two favorite boys, a basket of laundry, a long book and some friends.

 (for friday afternoons)
(for siblings, who are missed)
(for late night walks across midtown manhattan)
(for being a pup's favorite thing to snuggle)
(for fall boots)
(for orange salads)
(for opportunities taken, and not)
(for the right to choose)


Return trip.

^^if I could eat this breakfast and use that hotel gym every morning, I would be the picture of health. minus three cups of coffee. smallish ones.^^
^^a fraction of the snacks that I got at this conference. trick-or-treaters are going to be SO EXCITED when they stop by our apartment this year. kids love dried prunes.^^
I spent last night's flight back into LaGuardia collecting notes, sorting business cards and watching HGTV (real estate shows. i'm like a moth to the flame.) When the pilot announced our descent into the NYC area, I opened my window to see the lights of the city illuminating the world below me. Not too far off, there were planes rising off the runway like lit balloons headed into the night sky.

In all of the places that I've traveled to, nothing thrills me quite as much as returning to this little patch of the world and the people (and pups) who live in it.

(for homecomings)
(for safety in travel) 
(for the store manager who let me buy yellow Gatorade after hours. bless you, store manager.)



I've been in Houston for the last few days, supporting a client at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. It's been a great trip - the conference itself is full of smart, influential people, food can't be beat and the hotel gym makes their own sports drink (what is this place??). Plus, I've never been to Houston, so I'm enjoying the little bits of the city that I've been able to see.

Now that things are winding down, I'll be spending the evening reading, catching up on emails and ordering room service. Wild and crazy, I know.



Like I said, this week has been a busy one (and I still haven't gotten a new highlighter...) The year seems to kick into high gear towards the middle of October, rushing in the holidays and all of its travels and deadlines and celebrations. I got our company's holiday party invitation yesterday and was all what, already? How? 

In these weeks of too few free moments, I realize how much I enjoy being in our home. I'm so proud that we've created this little part of the city that's completely our own. It's become a representation of the things that we love, the things that inspire us, the places and people who make us smile. Much like this blog, in some ways.

Last night the three of us collapsed on our bed (we put down the "special blanket" so that Gus knew he could join us) for a few minutes when I got home from work and talked about the day. And in these moments, I can't help but think how wonderful this little life is and how the whole of it is such an extravagant gift.


On Wednesday Morning.

^^this is the new view from my desk after the whole reconfiguring that I talked about on Friday. Not so terrible, I suppose...^^
^^this little guy was itching one of this wrinkles (a common bulldog problem) so I had to put a sock on him. and oh, has he mastered the pathetic look.^^
My to-do list is a bit of a mess this week. And one of my highlighters ran out on Monday, so it's throwing my whole planner organization system off. I need to make a stop at Duane Reade to pick up another highlighter, but I don't have a highlighter to highlight that to-do, so how am I to categorize it? Someone please save me from myself. 

In any case, here are a few fabulous photos of my morning for your viewing pleasure. If this post were any more riveting, I would have to receive some kind of award. But guys, please look at Gus. Just look at him. That is so worth sharing. 

Happy Wednesday! 


The dog park, and other weekend things.

This afternoon we took Gus to one of his favorite places in the whole world - the dog park. We normally go to the one next to the Intrepid Museum, which is a quick walk from our apartment. It's also right on the water and most of the dogs we've run into have been friendly.

As luck would have it, our favorite park was closed today, so we headed up to another dog park nearby to let Gus run around. We hadn't been since Gus was just a pup, and I'd forgotten how nicely that park is shaded under bright autumn leaves. The dog ran around like a wild animal, encouraging others to chase him, then getting shy and hiding behind benches. He also thought it was a fine opportunity to soak everyone at the park after repeated dips in a kiddie pool.

When we brought him back home, Gus shivered (as in teeth-chattering, bum-wiggling shivering) until he dried.

Some of us are ready for autumn. Others aren't so sure.

More from our weekend:
*A Saturday afternoon up at The Cloisters. Medieval art appreciation has become an October tradition.
*And we couldn't walk by Mister Softee without getting a vanilla cone to share.
*Routine doctor appointments of the dullest variety.
*A grocery run and vegetarian chili on Friday night, followed by Harry Potter.
*An interview at our church for a volunteer children's ministry opportunity. Starting next month, we'll have a class of twelve three-year-olds on Sundays. We can't wait.
*New running shoes, finally. I'm swearing off knee pain. It must be done.
*We made an apple pie that we'll be sharing with friends this week. This is how we foster friendships.
*Sweater shopping and closet organizing in preparation for cooler weather.
*I started this great book (thanks for the recommendation, Valgerdur) and can't put it down.
*Sunday brunching at a 50s-themed restaurant that streams music from the decade. It makes me think of my dear Pop, who gave his children a healthy appreciation for The McGuire Sisters and Bobby Darin.
 ^^No ice cream in the cone? What is this travesty?^^
^^a friend just brought these back from Hong Kong. aren't they the cutest?^^
^^flexibility right here. and the teeniest glimpse of a tongue.^^


Working from home on a rainy Friday.

There's a bit of a desk shuffle going on at my PR firm, so I worked from home on this rainy Friday. It was kind of wonderful, really. Not having to schlep my way through the subway with rain boots and an umbrella is a win in my book. Plus, it gave me a little more time to sleep, a little more time to work out and the opportunity to have lunch with Lawrence Blake.

We escaped the house for a quick break at a Thai place that we love (Viv, if anyone is local and looking for a cheap lunch) and grabbed coffee on the way back to the apartment. At some point, we realized that we left our umbrella back at the restaurant and had to go back for it. We can't be trusted with umbrellas. We forget them every time we bring them out. In the land of missing umbrellas, we are king and queen.

I spent the rest of the afternoon working with a bulldog asleep on my lap. Please excuse the loud snoring on my end, fellow conference-callers.

Anyway, we're looking forward to the rain letting up (or not. we're ok with that, too.) for a great weekend. I'm on the hunt for some new running shoes and we have a ridiculous amount of cleaning to do. Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are!

(for an extra 15 minutes of sleep) 
(for new desks, new views)
(for an empty laundromat on a Friday afternoon)


Apartment dog.

Gus is a great apartment dog - he sleeps most of the day, constantly seeks closeness and barely makes a sound (unless he's grunting or snoring). Still, we like to get him out on the weekend for long walks in Central Park or runs at the dog park. He loves meeting new dogs, especially if they're snub-nosed. He knows his own kind.

Then we come back to the apartment and he falls asleep across our laps on the sofa. Reason #23,459 why we adore this ridiculous animal.

(for sweet pup snores) 


Our city.

New York is a crazy place. In the sum of nearly three years living here, I've sat next to Big Bird on the subway, watched a neighbor take a golf club to a car parked on our street and was nearly trampled by a fight at a restaurant in which a woman was pulled across the floor by her hair. The city is filled with angry bikers, elderly men who sunbathe in thongs, frantic tourists who will take you down with their handbags and scores of people who will wait in eight hour lines for ten minute experiences.

But in our years of living here, we've walked down some beautiful streets and met some wonderful people. We've seen a fraction of the breadth of human compassion and joy. We've expanded the heck out of our horizons, and let this place rock our world. In so many ways, moving here was one of our best decisions. Today, we're so thankful we made that leap.


Gravity, and other weekend things.

^^this is such a beautiful magazine.^^
We went out on a date last night - a proper one, with food and long walks and a movie theater. It brought us back to the early months of our relationship, when everything was new and thrilling. But you know, I wouldn't go back to it. Not for all of its wonderful mystery. I loved that time, but there is so much joy and challenge in marriage. Plus, casually dating while you're married has its own perks.

Anyway, we headed up to the Upper West Side to see Gravity in 3D. And let me tell you, being stranded in outer space is a truly terrifying concept. I was feeling claustrophobic just watching. But what an incredible movie. We highly recommend seeing it, if you get the chance.

Other weekend things:
*Game night our friends' apartment, where Blake demonstrated some of his amazing Celebrity skills.
*So many visits to Central Park, I lost count.
*A trip to Trader Joe's, where I bought every pumpkin-flavored thing they sell. I wish that were an exaggeration.
*A long, hazy walk with Gus, who is currently passed out in his castle (crate).
*We stopped on the way home from this long walk for Burrito Box. Nom.
*So much laundry. So, so much laundry.
*More Lucy. Gus and I can't get enough of that show on Saturday mornings.
*Sales at Urban Outfitters. I swear, I can't walk past that store without being lured in by massive discounts.
*A birthday celebration for a dear friend in Chinatown, where we learned the proper way to eat soup dumplings.


Sweater weather.

We are so stinkin' happy it's October around here, and we're praying for some solid fall weather after what looks to be an uncharacteristically warm few days. My fall clothes are begging to be taken down from the closet where they've been hibernating through the summer. The leggings miss their brown boot friends (I'm such a stereotype right now. It's so gross.) The coats have been gone so long, they're beginning to look new again. I could hug them all.

I'm also going to go ahead and agree with all the other people who have already asked it: where did September go? 2013 is flying.

And it's almost Christmas, friends. Is it too soon to bring out string lights? I'm of the school of thought (there is one, I'm sure, and it's largely comprised of store layout managers who put out Christmas trees in July) that accepts Christmas cheer year-round. I mean, why not?

(for crunchy leaves, perfect for a bulldog snack)
(for tofu and vegetables from the Thai place down the street) 
(for lots of birthdays this season)


Fall Fitness & Nutrition.

I'm certainly not a health expert (after next May, perhaps?), but I know how hard it is to form healthy routines, especially as days get cooler and darker and the gym starts to seem so terribly far away. A few friends have asked what works with my schedule, so I thought I'd share some ideas!

*Build a routine around when you're going to work out and drop it into your planner. It's hard for me to skip the gym when I'm reminded every time I open that little book. 
*Vary your workout. I generally focus on strength training at home (this site is amazing) on Monday morning (it's so much harder to get to the gym the morning after a relaxing weekend), then I head to the gym on Wednesday and Friday mornings for cardio (treadmill, elliptical or bike). On Saturday mornings, I take a long run outside during warmer months and at the gym in the winter. This keeps things from becoming mundane. 
*Have healthy snacks like Greek yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereals available in the afternoon. Personally, I think probiotics are the greatest, and a good Greek yogurt (I love Trader Joe's vanilla bean) can tide you over until dinner. 
*Get your folic acid, whether it's from cereal, leafy greens, bananas or a prenatal supplement. I'm not pregnant, but I take prenatal vitamins every morning. It's important for women of childbearing age (and all women, for that matter) to get enough folic acid; read about the many reasons to get enough here
*Pack your gym bag the night before. If I pack my bag at night, I know that getting dressed and walking Gus are the only things between me and my workout. 
*Keep an extra yoga mat at work. I keep one under my desk so that I can take a quick yoga class after work if I have the urge. Something about renting a mat creeps me out a little.
*Get creative with smoothies and salads, and make ahead of time if you can. I blend up a smoothie (like this one or this one) the night before, then defrost it in the microwave at work. I usually stop by Just Salad or a deli if I'm in a rush at dinner time, and trying new dressings and add-ons keeps things (relatively) exciting.

I think this is a reasonable place to start if you're working long hours and trying to balance other aspects of life. Hope you're enjoying a healthy autumn!