Photography

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Are any of you sniffling and coughing at this time of year, even though it’s past cold season? I spent most of the week struggling to fend off brutal allergies, but by week’s end, it was clear that I had lost the battle. In the interest of getting over this now cold with some degree of alacrity, I stocked up on all of the essentials: Emergen-C and Trader Joe’s turmeric and ginger tea.

Here’s hoping that I don’t have to scrap my plans of attending the Dan’s Paper Taste of Summer — Rosé Soirée event on Sunday and that I am well enough to enjoy my time in the Hamptons by then.

I’ll be taking a long weekend around here, so I’ll back with a new post on Wednesday. I hope you all have a happy and safe Memorial Day!

If you can dream it, you can do it

{Wise words}

Acai Smoothie Bowl

{My first smoothie bowl, courtesy of a kind co-worker}

Credo Beauty

{Found my new favorite foundation at Credo Beauty. Blog post coming soon!}

Shake Shack

{Couldn’t resist at stop at Shake Shack}

NYC Humor

{A little New York City humor}

Ready for the Weekend

Some weeks are just harder than others. This was a hard one. From starting the week off with learning that I would need further treatment with radioactive iodine to breaking the heel on my favorite pair of Vince Camuto shoes right when I got to the office (and was already running 30 minutes late, mind you), the only thing that made this week tolerable was that it felt like summer outside. That small consolation kept me going as I struggled to hold it all together through the work day and found solace each afternoon in resuming my daily walks around the neighborhood.

While each day seemed to bring a new challenge, I reminded myself that this too shall pass. I hope you all had a good week, enjoyed the summer-like weather, and are as excited as I am to kick off the weekend!

Here’s a round up from my week:

Anthropologie

{My new mantra for 2017}

Flowers2

{Beautiful flowers at my local Starbucks}

Donuts

{Donuts make everything better}

Spring

{Even the birds are loving this warm weather}

Spring Sunset

{My first sunset capture of the season}

Gurney’s Montauk Retreat with Fern Olivia: A Recap

Gurney's Resort & Spa - Fern Olivia 6

If you follow me on Instagram, you have likely seen lots of photos popping up from my time at Gurney’s Resort & Spa last weekend for Fern Olivia’s wellness retreat. While the projected forecast left a lot to be desired, it turned out to be a nice weekend after all—with only intermittent showers and overcast skies.

My day began with a just under two hour drive out to Montauk, which may not sound ideal, but once you make it out to the Hamptons the serene surroundings make driving a pleasure. Each time I head out East I always relish the slower pace of life that you begin to encounter. The East End of Long Island has a noticeably different feel from the rest of the Island—and is a completely different animal when compared to New York City. Regardless, I embrace the leisurely drivers, the windmills that I pass along the way, and the sense of excitement that overcomes me when I begin to see water on the horizon.

Hampton Coffee Company

Mornings out East for me always begin with a stop at the Hampton Coffee Company in Southampton, irrespective of my final destination. There, I ordered an iced coffee and chocolate croissant for the road before continuing on for the remaining 45 minute drive out to Montauk.

The last time I was at Gurney’s was for a friend’s Sweet Sixteen party, so you could say it has been a while. I had heard that the resort had undergone some recent renovations, so I was excited to see what the establishment looked like today. As I drove down the hilly Old Montauk Highway after breaking away from the long, straight stretch of Sunrise Highway, I instantly felt like I had departed from mainland Long Island. The rolling landscape gave way to spectactular views—which are absent on my daily commute.

When I arrived at Gurney’s, I was greeted by a valet who parked my car…and waited patiently as I tried to stuff fifty outfit changes and four pairs of shoes (none of which I wore) into a single weekender bag. Once in the lobby at Gurney’s I stood for a moment, silently taking in the breathtaking panoramic views.

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 1

Erica, who works with Fern, came to take me to the morning’s first activity—yoga in a studio overlooking the ocean. There, I met the other participants who would be joining us for the day. As I took a seat on my mat I felt an immense sense of gratitude. I was grateful that Fern had included me in this retreat; for the beautiful space that I would be practing in that morning; and to be surrounded by a room full of wellness warriors.

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 2

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 3

The yoga class was restorative in every way, and before I knew it, the hour and a half class was over. Next it was time for brunch. Despite having had a bite to eat on my way there in the morning, I had worked up an appetite after yoga. Gurney’s put out quite a buffet spread—eggs, bacon, pastries—you name it, they had. And if they didn’t, you could order it.

After our delicious brunch and getting acquainted with everyone, I knew that the beach was going to be my next stop. I had been eyeing the soft sand since I arrived and was just waiting for the weather to improve before venturing out.

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 8

Beach, Montauk, NY

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 9

The moody skies briefly gave way to some sun. I wasn’t sure which direction to head first and felt as though I could just walk along the shore for miles. Concerned that I would miss out on the next activity—spa time—I stayed fairly close to the resort. In between taking copious amounts of beach photos, dipping my toes into the somewhat frigid water, and finding some driftwood to sit on and take a rest, I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would have rather been that day.

Fern and I made plans to hit the sauna at 1 pm. I hurried back to the room and changed before walking over to the spa area for a sweat session. Gurney’s spa was a happening place that day, with women waiting for their treatments, but it didn’t feel crowded. The atmosphere was relaxing and inviting—the perfect setting for pampering.

The dry heat of the sauna felt good after being out on the windy beach. After the sauna, we spent 20 minutes in the steam room, before freshening up and heading to our next event of the day.

Despite bringing enough outfits to live in Montauk through the summer, I forgot to pack my makeup bag so I could touch up as needed throughout the day. I was fully expecting my new Armani Silk Foundation to be running down my face after the sauna and steam room, but to my surprise it actually held up well.

Our last official item on the day’s itinerary was a natural beauty workshop. We sat out near the beach club on a deck overlooking the water. Fern started off the discussion by asking what beauty meant to each of us. While I can’t remember my answer verbatim, the definition of beauty has changed for me. As a 30-year-old cancer survivor, beauty to me is no longer about wearing a ton of makeup—something I had embraced throughout most of my twenties. Today, I am proud to show the imperfections in my skin, skip makeup entirely when running errands, and wear lighter foundations with fewer ingredients. Beauty to me is being happy with the person I see in the mirror because I know that true beauty is within and radiates out. I am happy and healthy, and that makes me feel beautiful every day.

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 12

Fern then discussed her line of essential oils, which I have incorporated into my own beauty routine since first meeting her last year. Her Ajai Alchemy line is made with therapeutic grade ingredients and each blend is blessed with the Ajai Alai sound current. I have been using Grace Alchemy, an essential oil with Egyptian rose geranium, patchouli, and Australian sandalwood for a year now, and I feel like it is my signature scent. In January, during another of Fern’s events, I purchased a bottle of her Solar Sun Protect. During the cooler months, I wear it on my cheeks over my highlighter for that dewy glow. But during the summer, I plan on applying it under my makeup to give my skin a little extra protection from the sun.

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 14

As the evening began to wind down, the weather turned cool and rainy. But the night couldn’t end without celebrating our beautiful Fern’s birthday. In honor of her special day, I brought her some of my favorite fudge from Chocology (thanks, Chocology!). They make their fudge with Belgium chocolate and goat’s milk, so I knew Fern would enjoy the sweet treat. We returned to the room for celebratory drinks and reminisced about how we all felt like we were back in college hanging out in each other’s dorm rooms.

When the weekend concluded, I felt like a kid leaving summer camp. Monday’s post about community over competition was inspired by the women I met and the friends I made at the retreat. Their positive energy and ambition surely rubbed off on me, and after doing yoga with Fern, I left with a renewed outlook on my health, this space on the internet, and on my future as a creative entrepreneur. I left the retreat knowing that I was moving ahead in the right direction, feeling inspired to continue with my yoga practice, and loving the life I was building.

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 10

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 11

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 7

If you are looking for a resort out East, I highly recommend a stay at Gurney’s. The resort is like a peaceful oasis, and you can’t beat the balcony views and direct access to the beach. Gurney’s has every amenity you could ever wish for—a spa, an indoor and outdoor pool, and delicious meals—all with great views of the ocean. Leaving was no easy feat. I wish I could have stayed out there forever!

Gurney's Resort and Spa - Fern Olivia 15

A special thank you to Fern Olivia for having me out at the retreat and for sharing her birthday with us. And lots of love to Erica, Megan, Sari, and Suzie for making this incredible day even more special!

48 Hours in Washington, D.C.

Washington Monument

{The Washington Monument…at midnight}

While venturing to Washington, D.C. last week for work, I learned some lessons. First, anyone who spends considerable time traveling these days deserves a medal. I experienced a four-hour delay getting down to D.C., which resulted in an airline change (mind you, the flight is only one hour from New York City gate-to-gate). On the return leg, I endured a two-hour delay (where we sat parked on the runway awaiting further instructions from the destination airport regarding our departure). After these tribulations, I have no burning desire to head anywhere—unless Amtrak takes me there. But on a positive note, the trip made me realize how much I miss living in D.C. and all that the city has to offer.

Georgetown Waterfront

{The view from Georgetown Waterfront Park}

Now that I am home, I thought I would share some of the highlights from my trip. While I was able to make it to American University for a walk down memory lane, Georgetown for some shopping, and Dolcezza for two scoops of their delicious gelato, I was unable to stop in at Crumbs & Whiskers (perhaps I’ll have to book another trip to D.C….with Amtrak!).

The weather during my 48-hour stay was ideal. It felt almost summer-like, which was a welcome relief from the rainy conditions I experienced when I departed New York. Thanks to the warm weather, everything was in full bloom in D.C., which made for great photo ops.

Washington DC 1

Georgetown 2

Washington DC 4

Despite the travel snags, my time in the District was much needed, and I feel like I came home to New York with a renewed perspective.

Here’s a quick recap:

Hotel Room Views

{The view from my hotel room}

Daniel Webster

{Statue of Daniel Webster—Dupont Circle}

American University 2

{Welcome to The American University!}

American University 1

{My old study buddy at AU—right outside my dorm}

American University 3

{McKinley Building—one of my favorites at AU}

Washington DC 3

{Even the doors get in on the political action in D.C. LOL!}

Dean & Deluca

{Capitol Cookie at Dean & DeLuca}

Dolcezza - Georgetown

{Dolcezza—home of the best gelato in Georgetown}

Lunch - Georgetown

{Final meal in D.C. at &pizza}

The Weekend Recap: Spring Edition

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a happy Easter (and you aren’t suffering the lingering effects of a sugar coma). The weather on Easter Sunday reached a record high (around 75 degrees) and I was happily able to break out a lacy yellow sundress. Here’s hoping the rest of the week is just as nice, and that I don’t devour all of my Easter candy in the next 24 hours.

Starbucks

{Iced coffee season is here}

Spring

{Beautiful Blooms}

Chocolate

{I think the caption sums it up}

Glow Fish

{These fish got their glow on}

Lindt Gold Bunny

{This Easter bunny is out and about}

Spring Is Here

Now…let’s hope it stays around. It looks like we are in luck, judging by the weather reports for the week, with temps reaching the high 50’s and 60’s almost every day. After last week’s rain, I am elated by this development.

The weekend didn’t disappoint, either. Sunday was too perfect a day to waste, so I took full advantage of it. I went to breakfast with a friend, found my way to a Farmer’s Market in Port Jefferson, NY (where I caught up with two of my favorite people—Linda and Madeline from Chocology), and even took a few minutes to relax and listen to the sound of the water lapping against the shore.

If the weekend is any indication, I’d say we’re in for a good week…at least weather wise.

Here’s a quick recap:

Dessert

{Irresistible treats at a work event in New York City}

Motto

{My new motto courtesy of @thetaylorhouse}

Gym Selfie

{Gym Selfie}

Port Jefferson, NY

{A perfect spring day in Port Jefferson}

Chocology Unlimited

{A sweet gift from Chocology. Check out my Instagram to see what’s inside!}

Thoughts on the Weekend

Ah, another weekend is upon us. Like the end of every week, I can’t wait until Friday at 5 pm. There is something about having two days where I don’t have to set an alarm, make my lunch, and rush out the door that excites me. If you are like me and are always running 15 minutes late in the morning, you need to check out this article about the seven habits of punctual women (I’ve only adopted two of them, so I have some work to do).

For me, this weekend is all about getting back into shape (we’ll see how my back feels about that!). I plan to return to kickboxing for the first time in almost a month. After that, I will probably be unable to do much of anything…except relax.

Here’s hoping you have a restful weekend!

Sunrise

{Rise and Shine!}

Spring

{More signs of spring}

Can't Adult Today

{Target, you know me so well}

Flowers

{A perfect flower}

The Friday Five

Goodbye, winter. Hello, spring (even if it does feel like winter is still lingering in the shadows). After suffering with back pain for the last week, I sure am glad to have two days off and no plans. Here’s to spending the next 48 hours away from my computer, somewhat off social media, and most likely on the couch with a heating pad, binge-watching shows from the week. It sounds like an ideal weekend, if you ask me.

La Boulange

{Decisions…decisions}

Long Island Spring

{Hello, spring!}

Spring Starbucks Cups

{My latest obsession: the spring cups from Starbucks}

Fireplace

{A cozy dinner by the fire}

Chocolate Mousse Cake

{The most #instaworthy cake there ever was}

Snow Day

Well, the snow day on Long Island turned out to be a bust for the most part. Our predicted 12-24 inches of snow that had been forecasted, was more like three inches of snow with another inch or two of sleet. But that doesn’t mean it was a great day by any means. The morning brought high winds while the evening offered some light snow showers before the storm continued up the coast. All in all, it was a good day to stay in and cozy up!

Snow Storm Prep

{Preparations for winter storm Stella}

Who What Wear at Target

{Browsing (and buying) the Who What Wear collection at Target—before the storm}

Yoga

{Some mat time}

View from My Office Window

{The snowy view from my office window}

The Calm After the Storm

{The calm after the storm}

Instagram Moments

My wait for the weekend is almost over. In just a few hours now, I will be catching up on sleep, reading the new book I checked out from the library, and enjoying two whole days of relaxation.

The last few weeks have been stressful, as I’ve waited for test results and answers. It may seem like I am always waiting for results. That’s because I am. In the upcoming weeks I will be going for a radioactive iodine uptake scan to see what might be causing my antithyroglobulin levels to rise. Should you hear the Imagine Dragons song, “Radioactive” playing on the radio, please think of me!

In the meantime, cheers to the (much needed) weekend!

Adulting

{Story of my life//Image via @sweatpantsandcoffee}

Starbucks

{Exhibit: A}

Spring

{First sign of spring on Long Island}

Weekend Workout

{Gearing up for another weekend workout}

Flowers

{Bold blooms to brighten the work week}