Another mimosa, please.

I spent the long weekend in my favorite place on earth with my favorite people, and I. Am. Exhausted.

Things I learned this weekend:

  1. When you’re out with a friend you don’t get to see very often and you’re ordering wine by the glass, it’s really easy to lose track of how much you’ve had, especially when the bartender has a heavy pour. Then you get the bill and you realize you’ve had a bottle and a half of wine. Each. Whoops.
  2. It has been four and a half years since my last marathon bottomless brunch (an especially memorable visit to Lasagna’s the day of our 5-year college reunion, when they finally kicked us out because the restaurant was flipping over to dinner and apparently that’s when the mimosas stop being bottomless). Turns out 31 is officially too old for bottomless brunch, especially when you approach it as a challenge. “Oh? You’re cutting us off after two hours? I ACCEPT THIS QUEST.” Again. Whoops.
  3. I know a lot of people get into trouble because when they’re drunk they start craving junk food and end up overeating. I am the exact opposite. I completely forgot to feed myself during Saturday’s marathon outing. There were the token breakfast foods consumed alongside the bottomless mimosas, but let’s be honest, those are only there to add an air of legitimacy to the quite frankly inhuman quantities of champagne you’re consuming. And then I forgot to eat anything else. For twelve hours. When we made it to Crif Dogs at 1am I greeted that hot dog like I had never seen food before. Honestly, I’m astounded I didn’t black out in a corner around 4pm. And once again. Whoops.
  4. I decided to stick around the city and drive home on Monday, officially giving “We’re going to watch the debate!” and “Who wants to drive in a hurricane?” as my rationale. The unofficial but very real reason: I fell asleep sitting up at a bar during the Patriots game at 2pm (luckily I remained upright and spared myself the indignity of face-planting into a plate of buffalo wings) and subsequently napped straight through the 4pm games. Driving four hours back to Massachusetts was a non-starter. The drive wasn’t much better on Monday, culminating with me getting pulled over at a toll booth on the Mass Pike (….and getting off with a warning because my last speeding violation was five years ago, almost exactly to the day, also received while on the Mass Pike on a Monday morning driving home from a weekend of NYC ridiculousness – noticing a trend here?) It turns out things that came easily at 24 are just painful at 31. Who knew?

I am in full on recovery mode. I fell asleep at 7pm Monday night after working from home for the afternoon, and I have slept like the dead the past few nights. I’m still dragging myself through my workouts, but I’m definitely not at 100%. And you know what? I don’t regret a single thing. I needed this weekend more than I even realized.

These past few days have really driven home how much your mental state impacts your physical well-being. I’ve been in a pretty dark place for the past month or so; the world has been throwing a lot my way, both at work and at home, and I wasn’t doing a great job of coping and finding balance. It showed up in my attitude, in my energy levels, in my mental health and in my physical well-being. I had no motivation to drag myself to the gym, I wasn’t eating right, I wasn’t treating my body well. I was going through the motions, but I wasn’t happy.

img_3237This weekend, I got to spend time with the types of friends who make you remember who you are and where you belong. Living in another city makes me appreciate these friends so much more when I do get to see them, and every time we get together I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have these people in my life. They’re my human reset buttons. And it’s not like we all sat down to have deep, soul-searching conversations about our lives – quite the opposite. We did multiple rounds of pickle back shots, we sang early 2000s pop-punk karaoke, and we sent ridiculous snap chat stories to the friends who couldn’t be there. But that’s what I need. I need to be reminded that I don’t have to be the responsible one all the time.

My life is so much more than my job and my parents and the myriad things that make me feel stressed and pressured and pushed to go, go, go, 24/7. My life is my stories and my experiences. My life should be filled with ridiculousness and irresponsible decisions and silliness and laughter and hugs and joy. It’s about finding balance and this weekend, with these friends, they helped me to tip the scales back in my favor.

Friday Roundup: 10/31

Happy Halloween! How are you celebrating this holiday? I already had one costume party last weekend and have another tonight – plenty of chances to show off my costume! I need to take some great pictures while I’m all dressed up tonight and I’ll share those in the next few days.

I’m taking a slightly different approach with this week’s roundup. Since I’ve been traveling this week and haven’t had a chance to post, I thought I’d take the opportunity to write up a recap of the past week, highlighting some of the fun things going on in my life!

Last weekend, I spent Saturday evening at a Halloween party hosted by my dear friend Stephanie and her husband Matt. Stephanie is the creative mind behind Sandpaper & Glue, and I don’t know anyone who loves Halloween as much as she does!

I had a minor costume malfunction halfway through the evening, but I figured all would be well – a DIY queen’s home is the perfect place to be when you need to fix something! Unfortunately, Steph and I had both been active participants in the champagne flip cup earlier that evening, and we went a little overboard with the spray glue…

Let this be a lesson to you all: Don't attempt to DIY after an hour of champagne flip cup.

Let this be a lesson to you all: Don’t attempt to DIY after an hour of champagne flip cup.

I spent Sunday at a baby shower for my friend Jenn. The party was lovely, and Jenn looked amazing! She’s going to be a great mama when Baby Zoey arrives in a few months, and I can’t wait to meet her. Jenn’s shower gave me an excuse to break out my hot rollers again – aka my new style obsession. I’ve always had super straight hair and usually wore it in a bob, so now as I’m growing it out I’m experimenting for the first time with other styles. I am 29 years old and I honestly never knew my hair could look like this. MAGIC.

It took me 29 years to discover that my hair could look like this. In my defense, my mom gave me some truly terrible haircuts over the first ten years of my life, but that's an issue for me to tackle with my therapist.

It took me 29 years to discover that my hair could look like this. In my defense, my mom gave me some truly terrible haircuts over the first ten years of my life, but that’s an issue for me to tackle with my therapist.

Unfortunately I couldn’t linger at the shower, as I had to make my Amtrak train to New York City that afternoon for a few days of training. I had to spend my days cooped up in an office building working through meetings, but that left my evenings free and clear! I went to college in NYC and love any opportunity to be back in my favorite home away from home, and this trip was no different.

flywheel collage

Monday night, I took my first Flywheel class at their Chelsea location. Flywheel Sports is a national chain that offers a unique spinning experience. Every bike is outfitted with a small monitor to help you measure your resistance (or “torq”), your RPMs, and your overall effort/output. You can also opt into the class’s “torq board,” which shows how your effort compares to others in the class. I am super competitive so I loved this feature, and I was pretty pumped to come in fourth place among females, especially after a very tiring workday! Best of all, the class was taught by a friend of mine, and he definitely helped to push me harder – he even called me out at one point! If you’re in the city, be sure to check out Matt R.’s classes – he’s a great guy and a great instructor! I don’t know how often I’ll be able to make it to the Flywheel Boston location (in the Prudential), but I definitely want to go back again at some point in the future, and it’s great to know that this is a chain I enjoy for when I’m traveling to cities with franchise locations.

I could fib and tell you that Flywheel was indicative of my overall wellness on this trip… but actually, it was an effort to offset some less-than-healthy choices. I left Monday’s class and proceeded to meet a friend at a bar, where we indulged in 20 cent wings and delicious fall beers while watching Monday Night Football. Balance is super important for overall wellness, and my mental health definitely benefitted from this night out.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. Most of my time was spent on work, and I didn’t get to fit in a run along the Hoboken waterfront as I had hoped. I stayed in the W Hoboken, and there were some beautiful running paths with views of the NYC skyline – I’ll definitely keep this in mind for my next visit and will make sure to pack my sneakers and GPS watch.

Since I hadn’t worked out, I wanted to be mindful of my eating choices for the rest of the trip. I expected this to be nearly impossible on Wednesday as we were returning to Boston. The last time I took Amtrak, several years ago, there were pretty limited options in Penn Station – and yes, there are still a ton of fast food places. I’d be lying if a crunch wrap supreme didn’t dance through my head when I saw the Taco Bell sign! However, I was super excited to find a takeout place called Chickpea. I was able to get a hummus bowl with grilled chicken, an assortment of fresh chopped veggies, some feta and tzatziki. It was filling and delicious – I may need to recreate this meal idea at home! I love that healthy options are becoming easier to find when traveling.

photo 2

I also keep healthy snacks on hand when I’m away from home. These almonds saved my life before class on Monday night! I like to have access to nuts, healthy bars (like Larabar), and fruit, so that I’m not tempted by the hotel minibar or the candy for sale on the train. Whenever I fly, or head out for long road trips, I always make sure I have my bag of snacks handy! I also keep a water bottle handy so that I stay hydrated. When you’re on the road, it’s easy to neglect your hydration, which wreaks havoc on your skin and on how you feel. I find that bringing my own reusable bottle helps me to remember to keep drinking water throughout the day, instead of continually refilling the free coffee on hand during meetings.

What tips or tricks do you have to stay healthy while traveling?