Let's Grab A Drink & Catch Up!

Hi there beautiful people! 

I feel like we haven't had a proper chat in awhile - I've been really enjoying writing more thematic posts but once it's awhile it's nice to just throw out some of those smaller tidbits that don't necessarily warrant an entire post, but still might be of some interest. A lot of bloggers have "coffee chats" with their readers, but in reality, I'm way more likely to catch up with a friend over drinks. So grab a drink, I'll grab a drink, and we'll catch up!

Stepping Up My Nail Game

My parents beg me to keep my nails looking professional. For some reason, they don't find my constantly chipped and peeling nails to be endearing or work appropriate. While I was home last weekend, I finally got my first ever gel manicure and my wallet is weeping because I think I might be hooked!

For $39 + tip (another $8) I got a pedicure and a gel manicure. From what I understand, I got a pretty damn good deal AND my nails are still looking perfect 6 days after. Had I gotten a regular manicure - chances are they would have been chipped by the time I made it back to my house.

Now the challenge is finding somewhere in NYC to maintain this habit.

Brewing My Own Kombucha

On my way from the Denver airport to Morgan's house I asked her if she had any water in the car. She didn't, but she had home brewed kombucha. Instead of rolling my eyes and saying, "You WOULD make your own kombucha Morgan!" I asked her if I could please please please have a piece of her SCOBY to take back to New York so I could start brewing my own too. Then, I said, "You WOULD make your own kombucha Morgan!" My favorite outdoorsy hippie.

I've been spending WAY too much money on the 'booch ever since I discovered it about a year ago. And I've looked into brewing my own a few times. But I was too lazy to order a "starter kit" and starting a SCOBY from scratch seemed a little too complicated. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, there will be a post on this to come for sure!)

Long story short - I put a piece of Morgan's SCOBY in a Tupperware, in two zip lock bags, in a shopping back and checked it in my suitcase hoping for the best. It was a success and tonight I bottled my first batch of home brewed kombucha! Once it carbonates for two days I can refrigerate it and see how it tastes! I'm nerding out hardcore over this and really hope it tastes good.

Home Brewed Kombucha

Reading

I have been reading up a STORM. I often find myself walking while reading my Kindle. I'm sure I look like a crazy person but lets be real, everyone else is looking at their phones, is it really a huge jump for me to walk around reading?

Here's what I've read recently - lucky for me, I've liked it all (Except A Manual For Cleaning Women).

Paper Towns by John Green

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

This book completely captivated me and I haven't stopped thinking about since. Has anyone out there read it? I would love to chat. Please, don't let the introduction turn you off! But also, definitely don't check this out of the library if you're looking for a light summer read.

Me Before Youby Jojo Moyes

Yes, the movie everyone is freaking out about. Yes, you really will sob uncontrollably in your bed with tears streaming down your face. It may get so bad that you can't properly read the pages.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Eternal Wonder: A Novel by Pearl S. Buck

Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Doing Less

I'm trying to be more OK with down time. Unscheduled time. Time to plop down on the couch and think, "Whoah - I have nothing to do right now." Unfortunately, I'm finding that this is really really hard for me.

On the other hand, I'm constantly feeling guilty when I start thinking, "Ugh, do I really have to do that tonight?" It happens for any number of things. Grocery shopping, working out, meeting up with a friend, blogging. And these are all things that I enjoy.

When I have responsibilities and plans I find myself dreading them and wanting to crawl into bed yet when I actually have that option, I feel like I should be doing more. It's a vicious cycle and one that I'm sure tons of twenty-somethings struggle with. 

I'm definitely working on finding a balance. But in the meantime, reading articles like this one let me know that I'm not alone in some of my anti-social "just want to go home now" tendencies.

A New Kind of PR

I'm on a self-imposed 1 month running break which has been a bit of an emotional adjustment. Running has become such a part of my identity and social life in the past two years that I've been struggling more than I'd like to admit. Every morning I wake up and see my Facebook and Instagram feeds full of morning miles and smiles. So why the break?

I've been constantly injured now for over a year - unable to run more than 13 miles when all I want is to train for my next marathon. The Brooklyn Half Marathon was an absolute nightmare. And I will be qualifying for the 2017 NYC marathon and I need my body to be on board- so for now, running has taken a backseat to strength training, physical therapy, cycling and swimming.

I wrote a review awhile ago on SWERVE Fitness and since then I have become somewhat of a regular at their midtown studio. I love it. And though I'm not PRing any races, my SWERVE score has been slowly climbing to the point where I have absolutely SHOCKED myself at a score of 802.

My last free class is this Friday and I'm really not sure what I'm going to do after that. Having the metrics and being able to set goals and challenges for myself outside of running has been a huge help! Also, their showers are amazing and their smoothies to die for.

If you've never taken a class with them before, they're offering new riders a free class in June and I highly suggest checking them out!

Eats

Oh come on, you knew this was coming!

In the world of food I've been to a few places worth mentioning.

Harlem Tavern

Harlem Tavern Brunch

My new favorite place to go for brunch for a few reasons - jazz music, outdoor seating, reservations, drink included with your meal, $16! The menu options here are out of this world. I tried the lobster and shrimp egg white omelette (!!!) and it was FILLED with seafood. Their Bloody Mary was on point. I'm almost scared to share this place with the Internet in case it gets overrun with brunchers!

Jane

When I returned from Denver the one thing I was CRAVING was a giant hamburger. I think it might have had to do with the fact that it was Memorial Day Weekend and my social media was blowing up with cookouts and BBQs. We had Memorial Day plans to ride bikes to the Captain Lawrence Brewery but unfortunately, the weatherman lied and called for rain all day. We cancelled our plans and opted for brunch instead (and then it ended up being beautiful out).

The burger I had at Jane was pretty damn good - bacon and caramelized onion - but nothing beats one homemade by my dad!

by CHLOE.

by CHLOE Veggie Burger

This place has been all the rage and I finally stood in line to see for myself how good the veggie burger was. It's a tempeh-lentil-chia-walnut patty with pickles, onion, beet ketchup and special sauce.

Unfortunately, it didn't blow me away. It was a little dry and had way too much bun! There's a bunch of other stuff on the menu that I'm tempted to try, so I may be back despite a disappointing experience the first time around.

Gran Electrica

Gran Electrica Happy Hour

My summer mission is to hit up some of New York City's best margarita establishments. Even if it means paying a price. Shockingly, my first stop on this mission was in Brooklyn. These margs from Gran Electrica were really good, and the outdoor area of the restaurant is so beautiful! I was very excited to learn that even their flavored margaritas qualify for the happy hour pricing ($8 margaritas from 5:30-6:30). I went with the Margarita de Pepino (cucumber, lime, cilantro, lime salt).

Summers On Long Island

After going home next weekend, it's official. I need to spend MUCH more time on Long Island this summer. It was such a relaxing weekend - sitting out on the deck with breakfast and my kindle, getting my nails done, meeting friends for coffee, eating lunch on the water, listening to live music on the water, watching the hockey game with my grandparents, going to a yoga class with my mom. Family time is my absolute favorite time.

That's all for now, I think I've rambled enough :)

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