5 Things…To Take Note Of

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Cheers to the first full week of October beginning today! After work on Friday, I ventured into the city for a weekend full of F & F (family and friends) time.

When I arrived in the city Friday evening, I spent time with my brother, his girlfriend, and a couple other people. We had a fantastic steak dinner at my brother’s apartment and we spent the remainder of the evening unwinding from the week. I rarely go out on Friday nights because I’m usually exhausted from the week, so having a low-key night at my brother’s place was the perfect compromise.

I was supposed to participate in a run with a group of friends on Saturday (see #1 below), but due to extremely poor weather conditions that run was cancelled. We had to postpone participating until 2016 but at least we didn’t have to run in the rain, cold temps, and wind! Since the run was cancelled, Saturday morning was a continuation of Friday night’s low-key energy. I decided to meet up with one of my friends from junior high/high school and we had brunch at where else but The Smith! (Surprise, surprise? Not at all) I’ll admit- I was extremely tempted by the Salmon Benedict and the Blueberry Waffles that The Smith has ha on their breakfast/lunch menu, but after indulging by eating a heavy steak dinner the night prior I chose to order an omelette. It turned out to be the perfect energy-booster on a cold and dreary day!

Later on I met up with a friend for dinner. I’d never been to the East End Kitchen before, so I was thrilled to try out a new restaurant. I absolutely adored the simple yet sophisticated decor of the restaurant, and the food was just delicious. I’ve already added it to my list of restaurants that I love in NYC! I ended up staying in the city an extra night, and left the city after having a late breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien on Sunday morning.

Sunday was a continuation of a mix of friends and family- the clouds cleared by the time I got to my father’s home, which was perfect timing for our rather new weekly routine of tennis practice. Sadly, despite the fact that the clouds had cleared (for the most part), the wind lingered from the storm so our practice was cut a bit short. Later on I spent time with more family, since a relative was in town from out-of-state – then I headed back out east just in time to welcome a dear friend visiting from Germany.

I’ve said it so many times, to so many people- the autumn out here is by far my favorite time of the year. Besides the beautiful scenery, the energy in town changes completely from hipping-and-hopping to being absolutely cozy. One of my favorite restaurants, Tutto il Giorno, is a perfect example of this. In the summer, it’s very difficult – if not impossible – to drop in for dinner, as there is usually a long wait. The front of the restaurant, where the bar is, is usually bustling with people who are having a drink before dinner or with people who are waiting for their table. Last night though, the girls and I were able to drop in and be seated at one of my favorite intimate corner tables without having to wait. Perfect! The girls and I indulged in pasta (their Paccheri is unbelievable), veggies galore (oh my BRUSSEL SPROUTS!), cheesecake and good conversation (of course). It was the ideal ending to a weekend of being here, there, and everywhere.

5 Things…To Take Note Of

  1. I was so excited to run this (last Saturday), but it was cancelled- now I can’t wait to run it in 2016!
  2. Shopping for gifts for a certain someone and this, this and this from West Elm caught my eye (monogrammable!)
  3. Chelsea boots + a bit of leopard = LOVE
  4. This is pure brilliance.
  5. …and last but not least, if I won the lottery this is how I’d spend a chunk of it
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5 Little Notes…on All-Nighters

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Happy Weekend!

This week turned into a blur- After creating a serious to-do list on Sunday night, I felt completely prepared for the week. I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish by the week’s end, and I knew the priority of each. I have to say though, as much as I was prepared to throw myself into my work and get started, random things kept coming up. By Wednesday, I knew that I’d have to stay up late to play a game of catch up or else I’d feel unsettled going into this weekend.

This game of “catch up” isn’t quite new to me, but it’s been a while since I’ve played it. Specifically in college, I remember venturing with my roommate down to the university’s 24 hr. market to pick up coffee flavored ice cream and other snacks to rev up my energy levels to get work done. Now of course I know that sugar is definitely a no-no for being productive late at night; for me it’d often result in a crash around 1am.

After playing “catch up” in college, I can confidently say that I’ve learned a couple things:

  1. Music is my friend. Back in college, I used to listen to a group called Owl City because I found them to be energizing- now I have a long playlist of super upbeat 90’s music that often has me dancing while sitting at my desk! Even if I feel my energy levels slipping, I know I can rely on that playlist to boost my spirits and productivity levels.
  2. High sugar snacks are a big no-no! My roommate used to snack on goldfish or oreos, and I used to devour nearly an entire pint of ice cream…and then a couple hours later I’d be falling asleep at my desk. There’s nothing quite as disappointing as waking up super early in the morning only to realize a project is still unfinished. When I have a late night craving, I often resort to nuts or a tablespoon of Sunflower Seed butter. Both options provide a boost of energy from the protein, and never leave me conked out at my desk.
  3. Even if I create a to-do list with the most enthusiasm about getting each and every task done, life can (and often does) throw curve balls. It can just take a subway diversion or (in my case this week!) a stalled car battery before your entire day is thrown off! That is why I remember that it’s important to prioritize my to-do lists. I’ll typically write down each task I need and/or hope to get done for the week, and then number each one in order of priority. That way, even if the line at Starbucks is extra long or even if an appointment runs late I can feel satisfied with getting the most important things done.
  4. Lights, lights, lights. Since I don’t have an official “office’ (one day!), I often work in a section of my basement. Our basement is not finished (also one day!) and we have a lot of overhead lighting…which is definitely not helpful for having a power hour at midnight. To help combat this problem, I’ve brought several table lamps down to my work area to brighten things up.
  5. Know when it’s time….to hit the lights, and hit the sack. As much as I think these games of “catch up” as vital to my overall feeling of satisfaction at the end of the week, I also know that a good night’s sleep is crucial to the success of the next day. Even after I have a small handful of nuts, or I have a two minute dance party down in my basement I try to be as mindful as possible of when my energy levels are really falling. By sleeping right, I know I’m setting myself up for a good next-day so I will turn off the lights and head up to my bedroom if I know my energy levels are sloping down and plateauing out.

XO

-j.

Weekend Recap: Friends & Family City Adventures

My oh my…what a fantastically busy weekend it was! I had a couple events to attend in the city this past weekend, so I decided to make a bit of a trip out of it and stayed in the city for 24 hours. In those 24 hours I squeezed in so much time with friends and family, and I cannot help but smile about how the weekend went even though I was absolutely exhausted afterwards. It was so worth it!

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Saturday evening I met up with a couple of the girls at The Smith. I had just been there a week prior…so I think it’s fair to say that The Smith is becoming the new Penrose for me (sorry, Penrose!) ! Last week I ordered the Tuna Tartare (fantastic- though it doesn’t say on the menu that it is literally drenched in soy sauce which I’m allergic to. Needless to say, I took tons of Benedryl after eating it) and split the Squash Blossom Flatbread (ah-mazing. I could eat that flatbread all day, every day.) with my friend. On Saturday, I split the Ceviche and the Grilled Chicken Paillard with another friend- both were excellent, especially since the Chicken Paillard had a subtle spice to it.

Sunday was chock full of even more adventures! My friend and I went to brunch at Macondo which was just so darn good. NYC brunches might be the only reason why I love New York- that may or may not be a lie. Rather than have one of the famed unlimited mimosa brunches, my friend and I each had one cocktail. I love spicy drinks so I settled for the Maracuya + Vodka drink with lime juice and jalepeno. Now I only had one, but let me tell you- after having that one, I definitely was craving a second! For my entree I chose the Eggs Benedict. Now, this eggs benny is not your every day eggs benny-  rather than toast or a roll, it is served on yellow corn arepa with smoked salmon and saffron-lemon aioli. I think I died and went to heaven while taking the first bite. First off, the egg was cooked to perfection (and you know that a poorly cooked egg can totally ruin an egg benny), the sweet corn arepa complimented the salty smoked salmon so well and the saffron-lemon aioli tied everything together. I will definitely be going back! Besides the food being terrific, it was such a blast to see a friend who I hadn’t seen in a couple months.

After brunch I headed over to my brother’s apartment for a bridal shower. I didn’t know many people at the event, but I still had a blast. My brother’s girlfriend did such a fantastic job planning and executing the party which was nautically themed, and I’m wishing now that I took more pictures but somehow my phone malfunctioned midway through the afternoon.

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Later, I headed over to my friend’s rooftop to take part in her surprise birthday party which her boyfriend had planned. He is hands-down one of the most kind boyfriends I have ever met! I am so over-the-moon thrilled for my friend, who deserves nothing but the best. It was around dinnertime, so the sun was still shining super bright (how perfect was yesterday?!) but it was cooling down quite a bit. Everyone pitched in and brought something so we had chips and dip and meat galore! So much fun. I wish I could’ve stayed longer, but I was making the drive back out east afterwards so I had to leave a bit early.

kendras This weekend was definitely the perfect way to end a chaotic week…now I can’t wait for next weekend!!

xo

-j.

5 Things…I Adore from Nordstrom’s Summer Clearance Sale

Oh my goodness…it’s that time again! Nordstrom is having a clearance sale for their summer items, and so I had to check it out. I’m a total sucker for sales, especially when Nordstrom has them. There are a handful of pieces that have been on my “Must Have” list for summer and fall, and it looks like I’ll be able to cross some of those things off the list thanks to this sale!

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Taylor Dresses Cotton Jacquard Fit & Flare Dress

Spring and summer are peak seasons for events, from graduations to birthday brunches to weddings. I am always on the hunt for a great dress to wear to events like those, and this one definitely fits the bill. I love that it’s 100% cotton, too.

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Halogen Long Sleeve Chambray Shirt

I absolutely love chambray shirts. I bought one years ago, and now I consider chambray shirts to be a year-round wardrobe staple. There are lighter weight options like this one for spring/summer, and heavier weights for autumn/winter but despite the weight, these shirts are just so easy to throw on with a pair of jeans. Also- these shirts can easily be dressed up with a pair of heels and the right jewelry.

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Vince Camuto Carlotte Pointy Toe Pump

Last weekend, a bunch of my girlfriends and I went out to dance and one of my friends threw on this fantastic pair of cobalt pumps. I had instant shoe envy! My wardrobe consists of mostly neutrals and blue pieces, and my collection of shoes is pretty much the same in terms of color variety. My friend wore a similar pair of cobalt pumps with medium-dye denim and it looked fantastic. Adding these to my shopping cart!

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Barbour Summer Liddesdale Gilet Vest

I know, I know. It’s not even close to fall yet…but I strongly believe in stocking up for future seasons when you see a piece that is reduced in price and you know you’ll wear it. For me, that’s definitely this vest. Come October (possibly even September- but hopefully not!) I know I’ll be on the hunt for a lightweight vest like this one.

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Zella ‘Live In – Streamline’ Reversible Mesh Inset Capris

Meet your new favorite pair of workout capris. I absolutely adore these – I have too many pairs to count! Zella, which is a Nordstrom brand, makes an athletic apparel line that I cannot seem to get enough of. Every time I notice they’re on sale I stock up because they’re totally affordable, not to mention how comfortable and darling they are.

XO

-j.