March 12, 2014
Good Morning from the Big Apple!
Yesterday was jam packed with excitement as I made my way from Detroit to New York City. I am here with a few fellow bloggers and FitFluential Ambassadors (thanks to Reebok!) to cover a launch party later this morning. Just another standard Wednesday, right? (!!!)
After an eventful morning of travel, I arrived at the JFK airport mid-afternoon. Julie was scheduled to arrive just a few minutes later, so I grabbed us an afternoon pick-me-up from Starbucks and before I knew it we were in a cab and on our way to the Reebok FitHub on Fitfh Avenue!
Reebok FitHub Fifth Avenue Tour
Luggage in hand, we quickly made our way into the store and both noted the bright and active feel of the store right away.
How cute and fun is their yoga line?
As we walked up to the front counter, we were greeted with enthusiastic smiles from employees and Reebok Fitness Ambassadors Michele and Darren.
I had never been to a FitHub before, so I was excited to learn about all of the different activities like dance classes, events, and workouts that happen right here in the store.
While waiting for Gina to arrive, we kept busy chatting with Michele about what makes this retail store unique. With a quick look around, it all became obvious. The ground is made up of gym flooring, there are ropes and rings hanging about, and the store is filled with weights and kettlebells.
Near the wall of shoes, there are boxes placed specifically for people to test out real CrossFit moves on. In order to figure out exactly what shoe fits your type of workout the best, why not test out how they feel right there?
The end of our tour took us down to what seemed like an underground secret workout society. Just downstairs, we entered the Reebok CrossFit Box that screamed amazingness.
With upbeat music blaring, CrossFitters ran by us sweaty and “in the zone” during their WODs. We were all tempted to jump right in! Alternatively, we just took photos of the box and I shared that was my first visit to a real CrossFit box.
I’m pretty sure the words “this makes me want to lift really heavy things” even came out of my mouth. Maybe one day I actually will visit a box in my area! (Maybe.)
Core Fusion Barre at Exhale Spa
About 5:30 p.m., we gathered our belongings and took a cab over to 77th and Madison to Exhale Spa Upper East Side.
While the spa offers plenty of pampering treatments that could have kept us occupied, we were there to take a barre class from Kat Steers. There was also a gorgeous yoga studio and adorable lobby filled with boutique-like items like fitness apparel, candles and jewelry.
Everything smelled so good!
All dressed and ready to go in our Reebok True Studio Slippers, we entered the barre studio for a Core Fusion class.
(A full review of these slippers will be coming soon.)
The class was filled to the rim and Kat made sure to introduce herself and learn our names. The style of this barre class was very similar to what I am used to and included the expected tucking, lifting, holding, shaking, and burning I normally get out of them.
Although I just took one in Orlando two weeks ago, you would have thought it had been years with how bad I was shaking! The class definitely gave me a challenge and I have a feeling I will be be sore for at least a few days as a result.
(Gina, Julie, Me)
With rumbling bellies, we made our way to our hotel by foot and actually got stopped at a stand still for a good fifteen minutes. Apparently President Obama is in town and just so happened to be exiting someone’s private residence. I’m pretty confident we kept the NYPD entertained with a series of questions as we waited for the security to clear and the sidewalks to open back up again.
Finally, just shy of 9 p.m., our hotel was in sight!
The Plaza Hotel
The Plaza Hotel in New York City is nothing short of a dream. I have only been to NY a handful of times, and remember passing by the gorgeous building thinking it would be amazing to stay there one day.
Thanks to an awesome partnership between Reebok and Fairmont, one day is currently today and tomorrow!
I have never had the opportunity to stay in a hotel quite this enchanting.
The beauty and elegance of this legendary stay is obvious, but all three of us couldn’t get over how good it smelled too. Every single flower in the hotel is fresh and replaced weekly, and there are a lot of them.
As I walked into my hotel room, I became instantly impressed. Gorgeous, no?
On the bed was a hand picked Reebok outfit waiting for me, as part of the Fairmont Fit Program which I will explain in another post coming up!
While deciding what we wanted to do about dinner, I noticed this alluring fruit basket and hand written welcome note that made me feel extremely welcomed.
Also, at least a third of that entire bowl was gone in about two minutes after snapping this photo.
Still in fitness apparel, we made our way down to the lobby and ended up grabbing a bite at the The Plaza Food Hall on the bottom level. It was perfectly casual enough for us to feel comfortably dressed, but still served food worthy of a 5-star restaurant.
All of us wanting everything, we put in an order for lobster guacamole to split as an appetizer.
I also ordered a shrimp and spinach tortellini (made with homemade noodles!) for my main entree.
The portions were perfect, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t go to bed feeling wonderful. I am already having the best time and am bursting with excitement over today’s itinerary!
I’ll be sure to check back in when I can with more NYC adventures!
March 11, 2014
Hi friends! Today I am up and at ‘em extra early, about to depart for the airport for a very quick but exciting trip to New York! I will be busy in the city attending events on behalf of Reebok, and can not wait to tell you all about the experience! Seriously… I’m so pumped.
Since I plan to blog and catch up here at night, I wanted to go ahead and knock out this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post. I had a couple of interesting and new combinations going on yesterday and didn’t want them to go undocumented.
So, I present to you… What I Ate Tuesday. Or technically, What I Ate Monday. WIAM
bam, thank you ma’am… or something like that.
What I Ate
Strange But Good Combos
I woke up craving waffles yesterday. Since I have been quite the oatmeal fiend lately, I was happy to focus my attention on something else and turned to my favorite go-to flavored waffles for breakfast.
For those of you who are wondering, I have not gone completely gluten free. I do, however, prefer to substitute GF products whenever there is an option available, and have grown to prefer the taste of GF products over regular or wheat. My stomach seems to appreciate it too!
Anyways, the Greek yogurt held me over until a few hours later when I enjoyed a bowl of fresh blueberries for a snack.
I swear I could eat an entire package of those in one sitting! Have you ever tried drizzling them in milk and freezing them? That was one of my favorite snacks growing up. Grapes too!
With a mission of planning my week on the computer, I didn’t leave it until it was time for me to pick a friend up for the airport around 2 p.m. Dressed and ready to go to practice directly after, I turned to the refrigerator and put the definition of random on a plate.
You might recognize some of these ingredients combo! Last week I put together a very similar quinoa bowl and had extras of all the ingredients ready to use. I heated up the quinoa and veggies, then added a protein and wrapped it all up to eat on-the-go.
Tortillas Nuevo Leon Whole Wheat tortilla (<- thanks Olga!), Cajun spiced turkey, quinoa, black beans, butternut squash, peas, corn, Parmesan cheese, and pepper.
I told you it was a weird one! I wasn’t sure how the spiced turkey would taste with the quinoa and veggies like corn, butternut squash, and peas, but it really was delicious. I was also fearful of making a mess with the quinoa, but it surprisingly stayed in place pretty well when I wrapped it up tight. Wins all around!
I also made sure to grab a few snacks to get me through practice, in case I didn’t have time to stop for dinner beforehand.
Yup. The baby food strikes again. If you missed what sparked my new obsession with it, you can check out the explanation here. It really is the ish.
In the car, I couldn’t help but to get ridiculously happy over sights of melting snow and sunshine. Three cheers for the need to finally wear sunglasses in Michigan again!
After dropping her off, I ended up meeting up with Scott for a hot second, and convinced him to grab Subway with me around 5 p.m.
While I normally stick with the six inch, I went for the foot long this time knowing I would probably be hungry again when I got home.
Turkey with American cheese (toasted) with all the veggies minus jalapenos and onions (spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green + banana peppers, black olives, pickles) oil + vinegar and pepper on whole wheat.
There wasn’t anything really strange but good about that one… but it was out of character for me to also drink a Diet Coke during practice.
I probably have a soda about once every few months, so I allow myself to indulge every once in a while. That’s right, I said soda. I’m from Florida ya’ll.
I returned home around 9:30 p.m. and dug right into the rest of my turkey sub for dinner (again!). You better believe I finished those snacks too. Feeling content, I skipped dessert and spent the rest of the night packing and getting ready for my trip.
Since I am a day early, I am going to have to wait to link up with Jenn for WIAW, but you will definitely see my face pop up there tomorrow.
Time to jet… see you all in NYC!
• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!
• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.
Question of the Day
• What is something “strange but good” you have enjoyed or made recently?
Hmm… I think I have a lot of these. Maybe it’s because I feel like I can add fruit and vegetables to anything? A few of my favorite strange but good combos have to be almond butter on cereal, grilled cheese with jam, and fish dipped in ketchup. (<- I swear that’s the only way I will eat certain kinds!) I’m so weird. Please tell me you are too!
March 10, 2014
Good Morning! Hope your Monday is off and running smoothly. I had a great weekend, and in case you missed it here’s the recap! Splendid.
While attending our church service yesterday, I felt a special connection to the message and wanted to reflect on it today. And before you think differently, I promise that anyone with any religious background can relate to this one.
Actually, talking about what I take home from services has sparked the first post of a new series I hope you will enjoy reading here on the blog!
I named it Coffee Talk because I want it to be the type of subjects you would enjoy reading or discussing with a friend over cup of coffee. Think of it as a virtual heart to heart, if you will.
I included Food For Thought into the title because I want to questions to come up that come up to make you think! I would love you to engage back into the conversation with me and use the comments section to discuss the topics at hand. So without further adieu, let’s start the first one!
Coffee Talk: Moving Past What Doesn’t Matter
It’s no secret that Scott and I have been through more than our fair share of adjustments and transitions over the past few years. In fact, since the day we exchanged wedding vows, everything about our every day lives has changed. My last name, the city we call home, our ability to see Orlando friends and family every day, wardrobes, licenses, and occupations are just a handful.
With any new life changing situation or new chapter, there also comes a set of challenges and obstacles we encounter. Transitions. Things that pop up in our “plan” of how we see our lives unfolding.
Most of these things come as a surprise, and aren’t exactly what we were hoping for. Sometimes these things are people. Sometimes these things are the environments we live and work in. And sometimes, we build our hopes up so high that everything is supposed to happen “this” way, and as a result, we get frustrated about what these new situations are and what they aren’t: what you’re used to.
That’s just it. The concept of change. Transition, adjustment, moving forward… all of these things equate to taking an unfamiliar step into a new direction we can’t predict the results of.
So what do we do? We live for the day and take it in baby steps, day by day. We see how everything turns out, and the smart ones do so without those preconceived expectations in tow.
They accept change, take situations for what they are, and move on. They find and create their own happiness.
The biggest take-home I got from our pastor was to live in the NOW. Stop thinking about “one day” or in the future when things might go a certain way. Quit wasting the time you have and start living life to it’s fullest.
Feeling extremely connected to this concept at this point in my life, I started taking notes and jotted down three questions he asked the congregation:
• How much time do we spend or waste worrying about things?
Oh man. Who doesn’t waste time worrying about things?
At this moment in time, I am surrounded by silly life worries and stress about petty things. Things that don’t matter. Things that are frustrating and annoying. Rumors and gossip. Who did this or who said that. Things that, unfortunately, I find myself guilty of stressing myself over as well.
At the end of the day, who really cares? None of us should. Things happen, and how you deal with it is the only thing you can control. Basically, you have three options:
1) Complain about it being different.
2) Do something to change it.
3) Realize it is what it is and move on.
I know I am guilty of the first two, and the third is what really takes my focus and determination to follow through. As someone who has gone through a multitude of changes in the past few years, I feel like I have been faced with these situations over and over. Every day, around every corner I turn, something is different than what I am used to… and usually I don’t like it. Because it’s new, and change isn’t an easy concept to grasp and accept.
But, over the past few months, I have finally realized that I choose my own happiness. I can’t always control the situations I am put in, but I can control how I let them affect me. I have started to separate what I used to know with what I know now, and I appreciate the two categories separately.
We are all handed things in our lives for a reason, and with every challenge or frustration, we also have the opportunity to learn a lesson. Is this going to change? Is there anything I can do to change it? If not, then don’t stress over it.
The sooner you realize that, the more you will learn and get out of every hard spot handed to you.
• Do you experience frustrations with people that are dominating your thoughts?
Of course. If I am frustrated with something, that situation or person completely takes over my thoughts and energy at that point in time.
Whether I keep what is going on to myself, or share it with loved ones, I allow it to consume time out of my day to dwell on it and ninety-nine percent of the time, I get mad at myself for allowing myself to worry over silly things I can’t change. (See point above!)
Once again, if you have frustrations with something or someone, only you can fix them. If it’s a case or situation that is simply un-fixable, stop giving them the time of day. Instead, focus your energy on the positive things and people surrounding you!
• Have those things ever gotten so full that you miss what is going on around you?
Absolutely! Friday was a perfect example for this.
Since I usually spend my weekend at events, games, practices, or outings, I try to dedicate a good part of my Fridays to cleaning the house. As soon as I finished my work for the day, I went upstairs to tackle some laundry and start the cleaning process. Right then, I encountered a situation I instantly became frustrated with. No matter how hard I tried to change it, the answer was clear and no budging was going to happen.
So I got angry. I shared my frustrations with loved ones and I ended up spending the entire afternoon on the phone. I got zero cleaning done, and I barely even took a break from it to get outside and run before the sunset. Umm… that’s crazy. Why do we allow ourselves to get so frustrated with things we can’t change that it ends up consuming our hours, days, weeks, and even years?
Instead of getting what I needed to get done, I completely stopped my day and plans to get wrapped up in frustrations. Why?
It’s really silly, and there comes a point when you have to tell yourself you are not going to let it affect you anymore.
Separate it from your day, your mood, what you are doing when you encounter it, and put it on a shelf far, far away from anything that concerns you. It’s really not worth it.
Food For Thought
I do my best to try to listen to my own advice, and when I do I am a much happier, more productive person. Change and challenges happen and we are the only ones that can control what happens next.
You get the choice to spend your time in the spotlight and on things that matter, or caught up in the background on things that really don’t.
If you ever get in a place where you can’t distinguish exactly how to handle it, or if it is even worth stressing over, think about how it will directly affect you a year from now. Better yet, five years from now. Are the things and people you are worried about still going to be there? If not, then they certainly aren’t worth your trouble.
Whenever I find myself at wits end, I have to take myself out of the situation and become emotionless. I can’t care. If something is the way it is, and I have tried to change it the best I know how, and it still isn’t ever going to budge… why persist? Accept what it is and move on.
Let those you worry about do the worrying for you. At the end of the day you will be the one enjoying life in the meantime.
And there it is, friends. Our first Coffee Talk! I hope you enjoyed reading my little nuggets of perspective every once in a while, and I welcome you to join in on the conversation below!
Questions of the Day
• Are you good at walking away from stress, or do you let it affect your mood/day/life?
• Any tips on how to go about your day without getting wrapped up in it?
March 9, 2014
Hey there! I hope you all had a great weekend.
We are close to wrapping ours up over here, and since I am pretty certain nothing more than a long family walk and possibly a movie in is happening, I figured I would go ahead and share some of my weekend happenings.
Two main highlights are in the title of this post, but just for fun, I’ll include some extra shenanigans too.
Snowy Trail Run with Roadie
After being well into what everyone living north of Tennessee has admitted to being the worst winter in over twenty years, it is a serious breath of fresh air when the temperature rises above thirty. Pair that with the wind dying down and the sunshine making an appearance, it all equals up to the best day I have seen up here since October! Sad, but so unfortunately true.
Obviously, I needed to take advantage of the “warm” weather and decided to do so by taking an overly anxious pup out for a little afternoon run in the sun Friday.
Holy geez, was he excited! When we reached our normal winter turnaround spot around the mailboxes (around a quarter mile), we started jogging straight instead. I think this is when he realized we were taking our chances on a run outside together and he started sprinting like Seabiscuit.
I was more than down for a challenge, but when we made it to the two mile mark, I became a bit discouraged to try out our normal path home through the trails. Surely people don’t actually run them when there is this much snow out right?
Wrong. As soon as I snapped this photo, a runner darted right past us and proved us wrong. (You get on after it, ambitious neighbor friend!)
All right… I guess people do run trails in the snow. Knowing this, I did what a lot of you would do and tested the concept out for myself.
(We got this!)
At first, it was really fun and reminded me of running in the sand. I didn’t mind the extra challenge, and Roadie seemed to be equally okay with it.
After a half mile passed and I started getting thrown off by tracks and dips in the snow. Then it seemed a little more annoying than running on the beach. Plus my feet were getting damp, which always makes me crabby.
Whenever I thought one of us (or even our ankles!) needed a break, I stopped to take pictures of the winter views.
These sights right in my back yard around this time of year really are stunning, and I know I don’t always give credit where credit is due up here.
As the sun started creeping it’s way down, I knew that was my cue to head back to the house. Without even looking at my distance until I made it there, Roadie and I knocked out 5.27 miles together! I was so proud of him!
Upon our arrival home, I dove into a heaping serving of blue corn tortilla chips and salsa, showered, and got ready for dinner plans with Scott. We went to Bar Louie, a fun dinner and night spot we used to frequent in Orlando with plans to see a movie right next door afterwards.
We ended up meeting a friend there and all split a hummus plate to start.
I ordered the Chop Chop salad for my entree and added grilled shrimp to it for extra substance.
Shrimp, iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomato, avocado, carrot, blue cheese crumbles, onion, garbanzo beans, egg, cucumber, tortilla strips, house dressing.
It was even better than the last time I ordered it and for the extra cost for shrimp, I justified having enough leftover for an entire additional meal later.
We had plans to see a movie, but both Scott and I agreed it might be a waste of money with our drooping eyelids. Instead, we made a quick stop at the grocery store and then went home to turn in.
Saturday in Downtown Detroit
February through April is Scott’s busy traveling months, so it isn’t out of the ordinary for me to spend a weekend alone here and there. Thankfully, this is also when my friends intervene with my “me” time and take me out or stay in with me to keep me company! Particularly this one.
Around 10:30 a.m., Alex arrived at my door to take me to brunch in Downtown Detroit. Before moving here, I already ruled Detroit out of my options of places to spend the weekends. Growing up, I had heard horror stories about how unsafe the city is, and while that is true in some areas, Alex is determined to show me it’s not true in all areas.
She had a Groupon to use at Good Girls Go To Paris, an adorable crêpe place in Midtown.
She mentioned this spot a while back, and I was excited to finally check out more areas in Detroit besides the Boardwalk and Greektown.
Wanting a combination of sweet and savory, we ordered one from each category and split them along with two side salads.
The Allison: hummus, spinach, herb de provence, hot sauce.
The Katie: apple, brown sugar, caramel, salted butter.
They weren’t quite as filling as the ones Scott and I experienced in Paris, but hey… that’s pretty rough competition!
With content but not overly full bellies, we were on our way back to the car and passed a great vintage apparel and boutique en route. I believe it was called the Peacock Room, but their website alludes to being mostly women’s apparel and accessories, which is not exactly how I would describe the store.
The funny trinkets is what drew us in, and as soon as we started reading things we both labeled this shop unexpectedly hilarious.
I mean… you just can’t keep a straight face in here!
With a few small purchases in hand, we left the store in a great mood and drove back to our part of town to get ready for bible study. I have really been enjoying getting together with some of our team in a small group setting on the weekends!
The discussions are always relevant to our lives and there are always more than plenty of snacks to go around.
After our session ended, we hung around and chatted the night away. For being a Saturday night and having the next morning off from practice, we all joked that we should be out doing something fun. Eh… apparently that meant a cleaning sleepover at our house instead.
Channeling the complete inner grandmas/dorks we are, Alex and I cracked open a bottle of wine, cranked up the *NSync Radio and cleaned our entire condo. We finished the night off with face masks and it really was the most fun I have had in a long time.
Sometimes you just need those relaxing nights in!
Today flew by, and I spent the majority of it doing laundry and preparing for the week ahead. It was chilly, but also sunny again outside, and I am getting really pumped that some of the piles of snow are slowly melting down.
I was about two seconds from going on another afternoon run outside, but took a clue from my extremely sore shins to back off. Maybe tomorrow!
Tuesday, I am off to New York City for an exciting trip I can’t wait to share more about with you. With a lot of dance reviewing to do and posts to plan, I’m also off to pack.
See ya in the morning!