Quarter Life Crisis?

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24 in a nutshell – I am currently reminiscing about the past 12 months. My 24th year of life was  a roller coaster to say the least. It began with one of the worst weeks of my life, but after coming to terms with certain revelations that had been made, I learned I needed to make the most of my time here and the time I have with the people I love. 24 was a year of many ups, downs, highs, lows, tears, and laughs. There were times I woke up content and at peace with my life and other times where I wanted to crawl into bed and hide from the world. This year has been one of growth: personally, mentally, and emotionally (even physically, but we shall get to that later). I made new friends and said good-bye to others.  I had the opportunity to experience so many new places! My first time in Paris, my first time in London, my first time in California, my first SOLO trip to Miami. I have been to hockey games, baseball games, basketball games. I have gotten to go to see Jay-z & Beyonce, Ellie Goulding, the 1975, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, John Mayer and more. I have fallen in love with new places, made amazing memories with my family & friends & have learned a lot about myself and this world we live in. The most important realization I had in the past few months is, it is the memories that matter, not the material things and the memories are what I have begun to focus on. I want to thank my family, friends, random people on the street, coworkers, dancing folks on the subway and New York City, for providing me with a book full (not kidding I have a book full of ticket stubs, etc.) of memories I will cherish forever.

NYC – At times it seems as if it is the worlds most inimidating place and at certain moments, it is. You can feel as if you are lost in a sea of millions of people, but that encourages you to stand out, make a name for yourself, accomplish your goals, and do things you would never be able to elsewhere. Growing up I had a great life in a small town. While home will always have my heart, I realized that living there can be a bubble, even though I love going back to that bubble when the city overwhelms me. If I had stayed there, I would not have this job that has granted me so many opportunities, I would not be able to walk out my door and be immersed in such a cultural masterpiece, I would not be able to stumble into my apartment at 6 am, try a new restaurant every night, go to exhibits on weekends, attend sporting events and concerts whenever I feel because they are two stops on the subway, attend one of the many festivals the city offers, develop daily crushes on strangers on the subway, and just have once in a lifetime experiences. New York City is an incredible place, it brings out both the worst and best in everyone. It challenges you to figure out who you are, what you want, and why you want it in a few short weeks. It is a place for growth and self  discovery & I really love this city with all of my heart.

FAMILY – 24 has been a year of horrible first dates, great first dates, having my heart broken, mood swings, self discovery, hair cuts, HORRIBLE hair cuts, gaining weight, losing weight, ups, downs and everything else in between, I have gotten through this roller coaster of a year with my family. I had been dreading 25, because I felt as if it meant my life was passing by too fast, and you know what it is. Just yesterday I was 16 with braces, scaring the shit out of my parents with my learners permit. Now all of a sudden I am 25. Everyone around me is growing older too and that I have come to realize, is the scariest fact of all. It puts things into perspective and makes you realize it is important to cherish every moment and spend time with those who love you and you love the most. The things I used to dread doing with my family when I was a stubborn 14 year old, are memories I now cherish and look forward to! I would give up any night at the bar to spend a night at home, watching movies with my mom, even though she falls asleep five minutes in. I would rather go on dinner dates with my dad, than with some random guy, one because my dad picks some good restaurants, two because I can order whatever I want, and three because my Dad is the bomb. My dad and I have standing weekly dinner dates and they are what I look forward to after a long day at work. Even though my sister and I are polar opposites and she texts me only once in a blue moon or when she needs advice, I actually like being able to be the one to give her advice because even though I am only three years older, those three years make a huge difference. I used to never care about holidays, but now they are what I look forward to. I absolutely love Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, because they are an excuse to get the whole family together, have some drinks, eat some food, and just have some laughs.

LOVE – My family began to get on my case about my love life a few years ago, asking why I am being so picky, when will I have a boyfriend, when will I get married, when will I have kids because “the clock is ticking”. You know what, a year ago (hell, even a few months ago) I freaked out because people started getting engaged, were in serious relationships & there I was all by my lonesome. Now, I am happy for those who are in relationships, but I am also happy for myself. I realize that yes I am EXTREMELY picky when it comes to men & out of all the dates I have gone on this year I have found something wrong with every one of them, but I know what I want and I am not ashamed. I have not been in a relationship in three years & I am perfectly fine with that. To be honest, being single is one of the best things about my life right now. With my job, this incredible city, my family, my friends, I do not have time for a relationship & am not ready to give up my life as selfish as that seems. Sure I will keep going on dates, but I guarantee I will find something wrong with them too. When the right guy comes along then yes, maybe I will settle down. But for now, I am enjoying going on dates, meeting new people & hearing their stories even if it leads to nothing. And through these dates I enjoy discovering things about myself that I never knew.

HEALTH- At 23, I was diagnosed with a metabolic disorder and while it is not life threatening, it has changed my entire life and the way I have to live it. It alters my mood, my weight and many other things. I have seen a bazillion doctors, had countless amounts of bloodwork done, and have been to a nutritionist because apparently I can only eat leaves and cucumbers.  It is both really easy to be healthy in this city and really hard. There are an abundance of gyms, fitness crazes, healthy restaurants, health food stores, active things to do, and on the flip side there are amazing Mexican joints, boozy brunches, happy hours, great Italian food, and plenty of reasons to skip the gym when the opportunity arises to go out and do something fun. It is a constant struggle to find the balance. I do not feel 100% healthy at the moment & that is something I hope to change this year. I have begun to change my life slowly and because I am stubborn beyond belief, it is proving to be a challenge. Baby steps people, baby steps.

25- 25 is here & I honestly cannot believe it. I am going to go into this year with a positive outlook & I am going to say yes to everything. I am going to get my life together, my health together and make myself an all around better person because I feel you can never be done trying to improve yourself or the lives of others around you. While yes, I am scared about hitting that quarter of a century old mark, I plan on embracing it, and everything that comes with it. I plan on making even more memories, meeting new people, strengthening relationships, and making the most out of every second I have. When I was 16 I thought by 25 I would be established, be engaged or married, living in the suburbs, getting ready to have a family. While my 25 years did not go as I had hoped at 16, at 25 I hope my next 25 years are just as wonderful and spontaneous as my last. Everything happens for a reason, we are exactly where we are supposed to be in our lives, and that is a fact because one thing is for sure, I am laughing at my 16 year old self. There is NO way I’m ready to move to the burbs, get engaged, or have a family at 25…maybe at 35?

We shall see 🙂

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West Side Workout

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Oh NYC!!! You are just so gorgeous sometimes. If you go anywhere near Midtown Manhattan (Times Square, Rockefeller Center) you may think you have just stepped into a three ring circus or a zoo, especially around Christmas & spring. But, if you know the local spots where the tourists do not venture, you will find yourself a little slice of paradise in the concrete jungle. I love downtown Manhattan. It is so different and peaceful and there is just so much to do. When the sun comes out and the temperature rises, everyone who lives in NYC seems to flock to the West Side along the Hudson River. It is so serene and a great place to exercise. Since the weather has been getting nicer and the sun has been setting later, I am able to go for nice long runs after work! I usually start by the ferries make my way up to Midtown, then turn around and head back. Once, I had the misfortune of running all the way to the Upper West Side, spraining my ankle, and having no way to get back to my apartment with no credit card or money. Lesson learned, always carry a Metro Card, cash, or a credit card while you run.

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Who could honestly ask for a better view than this! It is so gorgeous and a true sign of American determination and spirit. The Freedom tower looms in the skyline when running towards Wall Street along the West Side, it truly is a beautiful sight. If you have yet to walk this, or run this side of NYC you must. One, it provides one of the most scenic routes and two, no cars, or hills, or distractions, it’s just a straight shot. After running the boards at home, it’s great to be able to run a “boardwalk” here in NYC.

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If you have yet to hear of Nike Fuelband, you can read all about it here. This little device is the best invention EVER! You download a little app to your phone, set yourself a daily goal and get walking or running. It tracks your steps, distance, and calories. When you reach your goal, a little dancing man appears on your phone & your fuelband lights up and flashes the word “GOAL”. The picture on the left shows the calories I burned throughout the day & after my run. It really is great motivation to look down and see that your hard work is paying off.

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On to another subject, Swim Daily is a pretty cool website that I write the Casting Call column for. So while running yesterday I decided, why not throw on my Swim Daily jersey and (not) shamelessly promote the website up and down the West Side. Hey ya never know it could work! We got these jerseys for all of the girls to wear during a March Madness event, and ordered them for ourselves too. I’d say they’re pretty stylish and actually one of the most comfortable workout shirts I own.

So on this gorgeous NYC day where the temperature is supposed to reach 68 degrees, go for a run! Maybe on the West Side, maybe in Central Park, just get out there and get active! Summer is just around the corner and I am sure you want to look your best, while improving your overall health as well. So go, tie up those sneakers, fill up that water bottle, crank up your playlist, and just RUN! xxxxxxxx

Spring Has Sprung !!!

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YES! FINALLY! Spring has arrived after what has seemed like the longest, coldest, most miserable East Coast winter in history. Personally, I am NOT a fan of the cold, the rain, the snow, and everything that good old winter brings. When there is that first sign of warmth I am the first person to run outside and praise the sun. Needless to say I went on the most remarkable run at home this weekend. After Hurricane Sandy our town was devastated along with many of the places I grew up, so it was great to run on the beach, on the boards, and by the bay!

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After I got all the running out of my system, I went on a shopping spree. Ever since moving to NYC I tend to gravitate towards black clothing items…it’s a New York thing haha. I was desperate to get back to my laid back, flowy dress, boho style, that has vanished since moving here. Low and behold I found so many great pieces…I even got a pair of $300.00 boots for free, yes F-R-E-E! I am the ultimate bargain shopper, not a coupon crazy, but always in search of a great sale. I came home with bags and bags of maxi-dresses, shoes, boots, hats, sweaters, tees, skirts, and overalls (do not judge until you try), etc. I spent a little bit TOO much $$ for my budget, but I am ultimately thrilled with my purchases. I was inspired, so maybe I can inspire you as well. I have rounded up my favorite spring trends and purchases I made! I decided to do a splurge vs. steal concept for everyone’s budget & all the pictures are clickable so you can order right on the spot. Enjoy!

Favorite Spring Item #1 : Overalls

Citizens of Humanity: 'Quincy' Stretch Denim Overalls $297

So before you say anything, overalls, overalls, overalls, overalls! I am obsessed with them. Who knew this childhood staple would make a comeback. I was inspired reading my favorite blog WeWoreWhat. The woman behind the blog, Danielle Bernstein, finally made me invest in a pair, after I had been going back and forth on the idea for a few weeks. After seeing how well she styled them, I took the overall plunge. The ones above are a splurge by Citizens of Humanity they are priced at $297, they were one of my purchases and I am so thrilled with them!!! They are the absolute cutest, styled with a great pair of heels. Below is a steal from my favorite British site ASOS made by River Island at a retail price of $49 bucks!

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Who can say no to that. The steal is definitely the better deal if you are unsure about this trend, but if you can go with the Citizens, do so. They are incredibly comfortable and adorable!

Favorite Spring Item #2: Boho Hats

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Okay so there is only one hat that has captured my heart and it is a steal!! It is from Free People. It helps that there is a store a block away from my office…or does not help in terms of my wallet. I tried this hat on one day in the store while shopping, didn’t purchase it, left the store, and had dreams about it for the next two weeks. I finally laid out the $60 for it, and have been a happy camper ever since! It is perfection, absolute perfection.

Favorite Spring Item #3: Maxi Dresses

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Maxi dresses are nothing new. They have been a popular staple in the wardrobes of females everywhere. What is better than throwing on a long flowing dress in the summertime…that’s right…nothing. I actually hate wearing tight jeans or pants in the summertime, nothing repulses me more. I would much rather wear a gorgeous dress that is light and feminine. The splurge I have selected is by The Reformation, one of my favorite brands. I recently purchased a gorgeous low-cut mini dress from them…its stellar! The dress above retails for $278, which is not all that bad, but also not that cheap. Below is a dress by Free People, its a simple cotton dress that looks extremely comfortable for the summer heat that will be upon us shortly!

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It retails for a steal price of $88, and once I can get to the store to try it on it will definitely be hanging in my closet! A plus, it comes in three colors so if you are not a big fan of the pink, you can get it in camo, or black! The cute side and back draping is a cute and different touch to this otherwise classic dress.

Favorite Spring Trend #4: High Waisted Shorts

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Ah a girls best/worst friend! This style can be either flattering or the worst thing to ever grace your hips. First, you must find your correct size. They are sized way differently than normal jeans and shorts due to the location of the button and waist. So, before you order yourself a pair online that you cannot squeeze a leg into, go to a store and try them on!! The above pair are by Citizens of Humanity ( I love citizens as you can tell). They are a little pricey for a pair of shorts, and retail for $179, but they are the stretchiest most comfortable things on the face of the earth. I have them in my shopping cart on shopbop waiting for my next paycheck! Below are a pair I actually purchased from one of my new favorite brands MinkPink. We work with the brand a lot here at Swimsuit so naturally I browse their website from time to time.

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These shorts are still a little expensive for a pair of shorts but worth it, I will not be taking these bad boys off once Spring/Summer is in full swing! They retail for $74 but I can assure you, they will be worn plenty of times! They go with everything!!!!

Alright well hope you like my favorite trends for Spring. Once the temperature hits around 70, I will be racing through the streets of NYC in my new duds. Probably racing to a sale or thrift shop (my new favorite hobby). Hope you like these picks! And maybe you’ll purchase one of these items for your spring wardrobe…do it, do it, do it!!! You know you want to! xx

Workout Wishlist

So I just had surgery and will not be able to resume working out for around 3 weeks which is KILLING ME because it is getting nice out and all I want to do is run on the West side or at home on the boardwalk. So while cooped up in bed, I browsed the web for my must have work out wears for spring.

1. A GREAT sports bra

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So for the girls who are a little more gifted like myself it is the biggest pain (literally) trying to run and exercise when things are not in place. In comes the greatest invention of all time the Lululemon Ta Ta Tamer II. It is a little pricey for a sports bra but for girls who need it, it is definitely worth the investment. I have one and can attest to its greatness, it makes running a much more enjoyable experience when you do not have to worry about creepers staring at you while you’re trying to burn a few calories.

2. The most fabulous pair of workout pants

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 I am very very very against leggings being worn as pants for daily use, however leggings for the gym, when proper workout material are quite sexy. These leggings by Michi are so stylish and sleek and the sheer panel gives it a little edge compared to the average gym legging. The Stardust Pant retails for $129 which is a little expensive for a pair of workout pants and I will not be purchasing but a girl can dream. This is my workout wishlist not my workout reality list.

3. A freeing top

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My love affair with Lulu continues. I have this top in every color made because I am obsessed with how comfortable it is. The Lululemon Practice Freely Tank  allows you to move and exercise freely, without restriction making it a perfect top for Yoga or Pilates, or Yogilates, or Piloga, or whatever the new craze is these days. It allows free range of motion, which will help you get the sexiest body as well as feel your sexiest while at the gym.

4. A krazy pair of kicks

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WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS HOW MUCH I WANT THESE SNEAKERS! They are just amazing. At first I saw them and thought they were glittered, that would be a little too “snooki” for my taste. They are however printed with the most fabulous pattern and retail for a steal of $100. For anyone who has purchased running shoes this is a good bargain, I may have to trade in my trusty Asics for these because it was love at first sight. Go pick up a pair of the Nike Free TR III Printed Training Shoe. I want these Nike sneaks. If anyone reads this and would love to donate to a girl stuck in bed after surgery I would not say no.

5. Chic yet practical water bottle

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I have yet to purchase but I want to purchase this water bottle by KOR Water.  The One Hydration Vessel is BPA free and has a hinged cap so you will never misplace it! I always lose parts of my water bottles around the house so having a bottle that stays together is the best! It is also pink, and what girl doesn’t love pink! Going to order this right now.

6. The most amazing invention ever

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The Nike+ Fuelband is the most miraculous genius idea ever and my right hand man. I got one for Christmas and it has not left my arm since. The Fuelband keeps track of your distance and steps taken, and has a little handy iPhone app which helps you keep track of your progress as well as set goals. I love it. I can see how many calories I am burning by walking around the office and to and from my apartment, as well as monitor how far I run and how many steps I take without dragging my iPhone with me to track it. If you do not have one, get one, it is 120% worth it.

So this is my workout wishlist, I will be accepting donations for the next few weeks. Hope you like what I am loving, and maybe this will inspire some to get up and out of their winter funk and begin looking forward to that summer beach body! A healthy body is a happy body 🙂