Mostly :)y Weekend

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My weekend was really quite satisfyingly relaxing and moderately productive which made me pretty happy. But of course amidst the happiness, there were a couple of thumbs down moments which is bound to happen with so many people living in the same space as I do. And I have to say, my thumbs down moments are pretty lame. That’s why I can’t and won’t really even file them as complaints because no one was injured, thankfully, only minimally traumatized.

Weekend smile ūüôā moments:¬†

– good run Saturday morning

– started watching New Girl from the beginning which made both my husband and I laugh

– finished reading my book

– nice weather on Saturday

– made a decision about the appropriate curtain rods we needed for the windows (which I had been putting off for months), bought them AND put them up

– cleaning nooks and crannies

– cooked a yumm-alicious dinner for hubby

– got a call from a special friend

Weekend thumbs-down moments:

– scarred by the ridiculously expensive and mediocre breakfast at Ben Ash after my great run (booooo!)

– near collision on the CitiBike by a delivery guy speeding around a corner into the bike lane and another dude going the wrong way in the bike lane (I hate – and rarely do I use that word – but I hate bikers who break the rules of the road!!!)

– lots of dog poop on the sidewalk (grrrrr!)

Words of advice to myself and others who get annoyed by these little moments:

– take a breath

– think of something to smile about ūüôā

– be thankful for those who make you happy

¬†If you haven’t smiled about something today, there’s something wrong with you. Turn that frown upside down.

Go out and get a cupcake. Come on, who doesn’t love cupcakes ūüėČ

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Ancestors

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Do you know where you blood comes from? I don’t mean scientifically, I mean your ancestry. If you don’t, you should find out. Kind of like that show they have about celebs finding their lineage. It’s pretty cool.

My dad’s parents are from Ukraine. They entered into Canada in the 1930’s and upon entering the spelling of our last name changed so it’s a little harder to trace roots. Googling is pretty useless, maybe I will need to try ancestry.com at some point. Not sure if they can find info in the old country though.

My mom (and her mom and her sisters I think) put together a family history book with her side of the family’s lineage.¬†I’ve known that my ancestors were pretty important, well, one in particular anyway. I wonder if any name throwing will have it’s perks…

So on “Summer Vacation Thursday #4”, my field trip was with my friend Kristen. She lives in Brooklyn so we ventured to Green-wood Cemetery, knowing that at the end of our exploration, we would be enjoying beer from Brooklyn Brewery. Yes, the brewery was holding an event there in conjunction with Brooklyn Historical Society. This year is the cemetery’s 175 year celebration, it was the site of The Battle of Brooklyn during the American Revolution and Kristen just happens to live a couple of blocks away.

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Why am I telling you this? Well, I have ancestors at this very important, historical cemetery which also holds some of the Roosevelt family. I have always been pretty good at codes…

These are some photos of my ancestors and a couple of pictures from my family history book.

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Pretty cool right? Also, you can stop by my ancestors’ statue in Central Park at 72nd Street.

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Thank you http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/things-to-see/south-end/samuel-morse.html for the image.

Don’t you want to know about your blood?

I Could Do That

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My husband and I have this ongoing “you could do that” conversation when we are watching TV or out and about watching people. Similarly, as recently as this morning, my friend Tina says the same “I could do that”! I’m sure there are many people who say that, well at least think it but strangely my neurons fire at the same time and in the same way that Tina’s do. Not only do we have similar tastes and hankerings for life’s great adventures, our brains seems to house these similar “I could do that” thoughts! Woooooooooo!

For example, my husband and I will be watching a show like the Today show and my husband will say “you could do that”. And by “that” he means, host a show. And of course I agree. I could do that!

So here is my list of “I could do that”:

1. Host a show like “Kathy Lee & Hoda” – seriously! How do I get that job, honestly?! Sit behind a table, drink wine in the morning and read from a teleprompter and talk about what I did the night before with my BFF? Ya! I could totally do that! (#tbt photo)

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Circa 1999ish?

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2. Be a director. Telling people (well, children) what to do is what I dooooooo. Now I just need to attach the big $$$ to it. I love telling people what to do! But if I was a director, when someone do something the way I wanted, I could probably just fire them. Awesome!

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Thanks Google for the image

3. Be¬†Supernanny. Yes I’m a nurturing teacher, but tough love is where it’s at. And I’ll stop there…

4. Create monumentally hilarious characters for reoccurring SNL skits. I’ve already been told I look similar to Kristen Wiig, and have a similar demeanor and mannerisms. Not sharing my character and skit ideas for obvious reasons. ūüėČ

5. Assist celebs in purchasing useless, expensive crap that no one needs. Enough said.

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Thank you again Google & realtor.com

This is a short list, for now, and I actually think that my list of “I couldn’t do that” is much longer… Unfortunately we are always our own worst enemy making these things happen or not happen!

Obsessions

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images-2Obsessions.

We all have them, come on, you know you do. Here are some of mine and just so you know, I have them all under control…

1. The internet: hours upon hours of both productive and unproductive time. Because of the internet I am obsessed with planning trips and reading a lot of useless information. I am also obsessed with looking for awesome races and signing up for them. At least some exercise comes out of it. Thank you google for al the images below.

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2. Cupcakes: Buttercup, Sprinkles, Baked by Melissa, sometimes Crumbs, not so much Magnolia or Butter Lane but I’ll still eat them. If I’m traveling, I will find a cupcake shop. Portland, Mexico City, DC. I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I didn’t get the cupcake in Austin from the toaster trailer. I was too full and I knew that it would have melted in the heat. But.. I would have licked the bag.

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3. Books: I love going to the library and checking out a bunch of books that I know I can’t read in the loan period. So I keep renewing them. And renewing them. Then I go to Barnes & Noble and I take pictures of the covers of books I want to read and add them to my list on Goodreads. Yes, I’m OCD like that.

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4. Certain TV shows: Arrested Development, Pretty Little Liars, Mad Men, and now Hollywood Game Night and Orange is the New Black. I watch shows over and over. And over and over. And over. This actually goes for movies too. I won’t get into the list of my re-watches…it’s pretty long.

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5. Purging: I love getting rid of things we don’t use. Clothes, books, tools, housewares, etc. I will sell them or take them to Goodwill. I like to live in a fairly clutter-free environment.

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6. Planning: anything. Coffee, movies, outing, trip, dinner (hahaha, no laughing), gifts…

7. Projects: I need to satiate my ADD with tons of projects like making jewelry, finding another program I can take (thank you internet), PD workshops, writing, organizing and reorganizing closets, whatever! Of course I decluttered my project shelf a couple of weeks ago to simply things. Yes, I’m OCD like that.

What are some of your obsessions? I may like to add them to my list.

Lost Soul

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I really become annoyed when my day is not as productive as I want it to be. By productive, I’m not even sure what I mean. Cleaning? Finishing a book? Doing errands?

Today I felt like a lost soul when I didn’t complete my unimportant list of to-do’s OR in the order that I wanted – yes I’m OCD like that. I’ll blame it on the rain. Milli Vanilli did.

My plan: run, shower, take the bus up to Target, stop at Lord & Taylor, J. Crew and Gap, Food Emporium and possibly Sports Authority then come home and get dinner ready for Brett, read (book is due tomorrow and need to finish) and maybe watch my new obsession, Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Sounds like an ADD day to me!

My day turned into: run, shower, headed out to bus but turned back for umbrella because maneuvering an umbrella and bags from Target would be a disaster.

Left again with my umbrella and walked in what felt like circles because I couldn’t decide if I should go to places where I would need to try on clothes with wet feet so went to Food Emporium then went home to drop that off. Had to wash off my dirt splattered legs too.

Then I left again after the rain was finished. Went to Gap – no luck, Lord & Taylor and picked up a nice little Michael Kors tote, J. Crew – no luck, made a quick stop at the NYPL – no luck, and totally forgot about going to Sports Authority.

Got home and ate food that shouldn’t have been eaten which I didn’t want to do today, read, and started listing my unneeded teacher books on Amazon to sell. As I’m doing this, I hear Brett’s key in the door. Oops.

By no means am I complaining about my day; after all, the heat wave is over, I have my health, and I did run and shower.

Hope your day was calm and productive!

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Hipster Austin

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This weekend I met my girlfriend Monica (famous for classtechtips.com – educators and parents please check it out) in Austin, Texas after her week with a successful group of Apple Distinguished Educators.

Never did I think that I would be in Texas and it actually wouldn’t feel like Texas.

I arrive Thursday evening, drop off my stuff at the hotel and head to the (in)famous 6th Street where live music resounds from the venues.  As soon as I turn the corner onto 6th, what else Рbut an Irish pub.  I sit at the bar, order a Harp and some chicken tenders (as recommended on Four Square) and wait for the music to start.  Before it does, two older gentlemen sit beside me. One from the Pacific Northwest, the other clearly from Texas. Waco, specifically.

At first I am somewhat dumbfounded by this man’s accent. ¬†I thought if I had to listen to this accent all weekend I might need ear plugs – no offense, but it’s tough to bear when you are used to fast talkers without twang or whatever it was. After a drink they and some small talk, they were on their way and I was on mine.

Friday morning: Monica and I met in the lobby of our hotel and before long we were headed out for our Austin adventure.

Concierge(s) suggest some ideas for us – almost no accents.

Is it hot? Yes, we’re in Texas but not as hot as the heat wave I left behind in New York. Now we should be on our way to hearing some drawling and some Wranglers.

First stop: State Capitol building. Quite impressive. ¬†It’s 14 feet taller than the Capitol in DC. The star in the center of the dome is 8 feet, cool. ¬†Tour guide: Not a Texan. She says y’all only because it’s in her script, plus she says it like I try to. Definitely not a Texan.

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Next stop: Back to the hotel pool for some sun, swim and Pina Coladas (those were for me).  Any Texans with drawls and twang?  Not the servers, nor anyone I heard talking.

Night stops: Iron Cactus – no accents. The Blind Pig – awesome hillbilly bartender with an accent.

Saturday morning stops: We head out to the SoCo district (South Congress) for some market and boutique shopping. ¬†Cool hipster-nearly Brooklyn vibe? Definitely. Do I feel like I’m in Texas, no! Where are the fried chicken and BBQ joints? Where are the cowboy hats and trucks? But there are a lot of what I like to call “toaster campers” which house the food trucks that do serve tacos, tacos, tacos!

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Saturday afternoon stops: As recommended by the virtually unaccented concierge, Monica and I head down to the west side of East 6th Street where the “grown-ups” hang out. We make our way along and stop at 2 great tap houses – again, no accents were had by the staff. What is up?

So what is my point? Well I have many but the main point is – turns out Austin is pretty hipster a little too “progressive” to the conservative state of Texas.¬†¬†They are practically what Canadians think of Quebec. So in my opinion, very few¬†stereotypical Texans live in Austin, in my weekend experience anyway hahaha!

Where are all the people with the drawls, the y’alls and golly gee’s? ¬†I have no idea, I just know they are not in Austin!

Feel the Love <3

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“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go downtown
When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know, downtown

Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares

So go downtown
Things will be great when you’re downtown
No finer place for sure, downtown
Everything’s waiting for you…”

You’re feeling lonely? ¬†Like life is too noisy? ¬†You have too many worries? ¬†Well what I think Petula Clark actually meant¬†by downtown was¬†Laughing Lotus Yoga Center… seriously! ¬†This place is one of my sanctuaries in the city. ¬†As soon as you walk in you will see this…

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Still feeling lonely? ¬†Do you feel the love yet? ¬†Then you turn the corner to see a beautiful mural in the hallway…

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How do you feel now?  Serene?  I feel enveloped by love when I walk down this hallway.  The desire to feel calm, peacefulness and know that there are many others seeking tranquility in a hectic place is all I need to keep me coming back.

This mural has not always decorated the hallway. ¬†I’ve watched the studio blossom into this beautiful space where the yoga family at Laughing Lotus are committed to uplifting spirits. Although the studio has been open more than a decade, it continues to evolve into a haven for the yoga community in the bustling city. ¬†I’ve been coming to the studio since the fall of 2011 and have seen the paint colors change, new draperies on the huge windows, new places to store mats, a cleaning station, and more.

Due to my limited attention span I continue to take the magical Lotus Hour class that is offered multiple times per day. ¬†I’ve taken classes with many instructors, all very knowledgable and well-studied in their practices. ¬†I always enjoy the little anecdotes and intentions before our chanting and Ohm’s to open class. ¬†The center also offers tons of workshops and dance parties continuously, some of which I’d like to participate in at some point.

Need some love?  To settle your worries?  Go downtown to some place that makes you feel loved!

P.S. You can check out the sister studio in San Francisco if you’re there!

Day of Discovery

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Sometimes a semi-unplanned day turns into an eventful one.  I was quite delighted to find that although I pooped myself out today, I had a pretty good time making some discoveries on this semi-unplanned day.

Discovery #1: I love Central Park more each time I go.

I planned a slightly different route today, starting up at the Jackie Onassis Kennedy reservoir and thought I’d end somewhere by Victorian Gardens at the south end of the park. ¬†Although the heat wasn’t in full effect yet, I just found I couldn’t quite fulfill my planned route today, which is a rarity for me. ¬†It’s usually more a mental preparation for me to run than a physical one so I thought it would be no problemo.

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Not so today.

My body and mind were ready to be done at about 2.25 miles. ¬†At first I struggled with this idea of stopping before I reached my destination, trying to will myself to go on since I didn’t have much farther to go. ¬†But I just stopped and walked and discovered I was really happy to do it!

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The park was not full of tourists yet; but nannies and their charges in their little toddler groups singing with a man and his guitar, park workers watering the grass, people walking their dogs, birds and insects making their sounds.  It was beautiful.

Discovery #2: The Rain Room installation was not where I thought it was, but in fact where it should have been.

Good thing I teach grade 3 because apparently I cannot read functional/informational text well hahaha! ¬†I read in not one, but two magazines that this quite spectacular installation called the Rain Room was located at the Museum of Modern Art’s PS 1 location in Long Island City. ¬†I guess I couldn’t distinguish headings in the magazine, no big deal.

When I arrived at PS 1 at 11:30am, a half hour before the site opens, I was stoked that no one was there. ¬†I had my book and a shady spot to stand to kill the mere 30 minute wait. ¬†Although I was super excited no one was there, I thought it was really weird considering I kept hearing about these 6 or 8 hour lines to get in… Whatevs.

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Well, when I walked up to buy my admission I asked the girl where this amazing installation was located and she simply said it was at MoMA in Manhattan. Um, what?!! Okay…so… I was already there and PS 1 had been on my list of to-go for the last few summers. ¬†So I went in and saw some crazy weird contemporary art (me don’t get modern art).

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Discovery #3: There is in fact a piece of the Berlin Wall not so far from where I live and no idea.

Is it a somewhat random area of the city like the other parts of the Wall I’ve seen? ¬†Probably. ¬†It’s not near the German consulate or mission, it’s in a lovely little public rest area with a waterfall, near a restaurant (not German), in between two buildings. ¬†I discovered while walking to the correct location of the Rain Room ūüėČ

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Discovery #4: The hype for something is usually over-hype.

The Rain Room is pretty cool but would not wait 6 hours to experience. ¬†I don’t do lines generally, but thought I should wait since I had already waited the 30 minutes earlier at PS 1. ¬†I was happy with the general viewing , which was a 20 minute wait. It was enough for me to see how it worked, but didn’t need to be in it.

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I hope you’ve made some of your own awesome discoveries today (besides the fact that I like writing in lists and short paragraphs!)… and if not today, then tomorrow. Cheers!

Running Late! Literally!

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I usually have pretty good timing for getting to races at just the right time. ¬†I don’t like to hang out too much before it starts because then I obsess about stupid nonsense like getting too hot or if I’ve got all my tinkles out. ¬†This morning was no different. ¬†Started out well – walked to the downtown 6 which was just pulling into the station as I walked in, planning on transferring to the Q at Union Square then off at Prospect Park stop. ¬†Google maps told me 50 minutes.

I’m waiting on the platform with a bunch of people, runners included, when an N train pulls in on the opposite track of the Q track. ¬†I already know the N DOES NOT go to Prospect Park but I saw a few people get on and so I quickly ask what stop they are going to. ¬†The super-smart looking guy, but I gathered not so common-sensically smart afterwards (as I become at this moment) says that they are going to get off at Atlantic Pacific station then walk the rest of the way. ¬†I have no idea the distance from Atlantic Pacific to the Nethermead area of the park obvi, so I jump on anyway. They must know what they’re doing right? ¬†Wrong!¬†¬†I found out once I’m ON the train that they don’t know either…

We hop of the N at 7:36 – the race starts at 8:00…

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So the one guy and the girl say they are going to do a ‘lite jog’ to the park, obviously me and smart/not-smart guy decide it’s a great idea. ¬†Well, their lite jog was my running pace! We ended up being late because we had to ‘lite jog’ a distance of ¬†2ish miles to get to the bag check and then head over to the start line…. In the end my 50 minute trek to Prospect Park took 1 hour and 25 minutes and my 5K for Sandy turned into an unofficial 8-9k… Not complaining! ¬†My own stupidity! I already knew that I should have stuck with my original travel plan the second I stepped on the N train.

At least I wasn’t one of the dummies who was late because they didn’t use this for bag check! Come on… we all know why these are used now. #BostonStrong

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By the way, the race was great! #MLBAllstar5k

 

Lip Gloss Lover

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Happy Friday!

For me Happy Friday began at 4:30 this afternoon since I had to attend a workshop on the new teacher evaluation system today! Booooo! It was waaaay to much information and way too many acronyms for a Friday in July. The only acronym on my mind was TGIF! …. So…. I want to talk about lip gloss instead.

This is where my plug for products begins.

I love lip gloss and chapstick. I don’t feel complete if I don’t have one or two on me at all times. I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you like something or it fits right, you should buy it in every color. So I did. A couple of years ago I bought a set of Snap You’re Fab Lip Gloss by Smashbox¬†at Sephora. This was a holiday set that I think cost $45. I like gloss with a wand and sponge brush so this fit that description, as did the array of colors that I can wear on my face.

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I LOVE these glosses. ¬†My favorite is “Radiant”, the second from the left. ¬†It goes on my lips every time I leave home, unless I’m running, then that’s just a chapstick with sunblock!¬† I think I’ve use almost all the colors, even the red. ¬†The nice thing about this red is that because it’s a gloss it’s not so drastic like a red lipstick. I love that look, but I cannot get away with it!

If you are looking for a good gloss that has a nice subtle color but does not gather that scummy layer inside your lip, try out the Smashbox glosses.

Honorable mention:¬†NARS! ¬†Another great gloss, fab colors, wand with sponge brush but, I found it would leak a little. ¬†It’s a little more liquid in contrast to the Smashbox gloss. These are $26 each.

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What are your faves?