Thursday, September 30, 2010

Extreme Interval

In my effort to get fit, I decided that I need to put my gym membership to better use than just using the boring treadmills. Luckily, my badass gym offers oodles of classes! Fluidity (planning to do another post on this one), Pilates, and Just Dance are some of my faves, but tonight, tonight I tried Extreme Interval knowing I would hate it.

And I did.

Just kidding... I didn't hate it.  But it was exactly what I was afraid of, meaning it kicked my bum!  Multiple times!!  It's basically 45 minutes of nonstop hardcore cardio and strength training (as in cardio-strength training-cardio-strength training).  We did all kinds of nonfun things like mountain climbers and loads of push-ups and so much jumping and sprinting in place that I wanted to kill the instructor.  The class, however, made me realize a few things:

1. My legs are not as strong as I thought.
2. My arms are stronger than I thought (that's not saying much).
3. My abs... well, they're not as strong as either of the above.
4. I need to go to this class every week.

On another (food-related) note, in an effort to eat better, I've been paying significant attention to the nutritional breakdown of the foods I eat.  I was SHOCKED to learn that my beloved green smoothie has a MUCH higher calorie count than I expected.  Then I was shocked to learn how many calories and fat are in my beloved Earth Balance.  Apparently, I was equating vegan with "low in calories," and well, that just ain't the case.  I'm still processing this information (and hating it).

So... Fit for Fall is still goin' strong!!!  How are you gals doing?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fit for Fall: Detox Week Review (and Ramble)


Today officially marked the end of my one-week "detox" (I use that term loosely), and well, it didn't go so well.  I should say that today didn't go so well, the rest of the week went fine (more or less).  Eating 100% vegan again wasn't that much of a challenge, except that due to many factors, I just can't have the variety of food that I used to in Austin.  Because of that, I found myself eating the same things over and over and also not being able to find some of my fave products... that got annoying.

Still, it went pretty well.  After just a couple of days, I just felt less... bloated.  My clothes felt better on my skin, and I just wasn't as uncomfortable.  This is what I love about vegan eating!  As for the sugar, well I did crave it a bit, and tonight I caved in when my friend bought Sour Patch Kids at the movies.  I'm not ever going to be one of those people who gives up sugar for life, but all things in moderation, oui?

As for alcohol, that was surprisingly easy to give up.  I'm just not a huge drinker, and while I appreciate a glass of wine as much as the next gal, I can easily go without.

Tomorrow I'm going to brunch with my friend Will and that means definitely no vegan eating.  It also means caffeine (hello, coffee!) and alcohol (mimosas, anyone?).  But.  I'm going to try and eat as intuitively as possible (in other words, stop when I'm almost full instead of gorging because I haven't had cheese in a week.  From now on, I want to try and eat vegan when at home, and then make the best choices I can when I go out.  I've also started tracking my eating on Livestrong.com, and I even got the iPhone app!  I really like Livestrong because you can find out how many calories you should be eating (whether you want to lose, maintain, or gain weight) per day, and it also breaks down the nutritional info of what you're eating.  I learned that today, I ate way too much fat (hello olive oil and Earth Balance), but not that many calories.



Now, enough about food, let's talk working out.  Over the past week, I had three cardio sessions (1 elliptical, 2 running) and 2 strength training (Fluidity and Pilates).  Honestly, that's better than most weeks, but I really wanted to squeeze in some yoga.  Next week!  Pilates was good - my abs are SO sore today!  I have really weak core muscles and since core is so important in both running and yoga, I want to attend Pilates regularly to, well, strengthen them!  I'm going to try more classes at my gym - Zumba, Xtreme Interval, Cycling - because that'll be the easiest way to fit in cardio and strength training.  I also want to get a heart rate monitor - do any of y'all have one?  I'm thinking about this one, but I won't buy it until I have a job offer (which will hopefully be very soon - fingers crossed!!!).

Fit for Fall...  that's what I want.  I can't lie and say this isn't about my appearance, my body, or my weight, but more importantly, I want to get FIT.  That means clean, balanced eating and loads of exercise, but also living life and enjoying it!  If that means a particularly boozey night or a greasy brunch, then so be it.  Who's with me??

Friday, September 24, 2010

Missing Austin

Although I am undeniably happy to be back in the City, I am also starting to realize how much I miss Austin.  Austin was my home for almost 10 years, and it's the only place I'd ever live in TX.  I love its laidback feel, liberal tude, community feel and just right size.

These are a few other things I've been missing...


How nice people are.  Yes I've had moments with not nice people (including a woman who pulled up next to me, rolled down her window and yelled "YOU STUPID C*NT!!!"), but for the most part, people in Austin are delightful and happy.

Its perfectly petite size.  Getting across town takes a mere 20 minutes, and because I lived pretty central, I could get to most places I needed to go in less than 10 minutes (including work!).

That you can't get everything there.  This used to be one of my biggest complaints about Austin, but I now realize it makes you spend less money and get creative.  Also?  Sometimes I don't need to be able to walk down the street and buy whatever I find in a magazine (not that I have... yet).

The greenery.  My drive to work was along a lush and very green road, and I miss that.  Skyscrapers, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, and posh cafes are nice and all, but sometimes I just want to see some friggin' grass.

My apartment.  (Obvi.)

Central Market.  The best grocery store ever ever EVER, and yes it's even better than Whole Foods and Trader Joe's!

Texas thunderstorms.  We've had a couple of wild storms here (including a couple of crazy tornadoes that touched down in Brooklyn and Queens last week), but nothing like a real TX thunderstorm.  I used to open all the windows, turn off the TV, and just listen to the rain (with Lola at my side, bien sur).  It's still one of my top favorite things to do.  Unfortunately, here, we don't have much thunder, and I can't open my window because of my window A/C unit.  Ghet.  To.

Driving.  Windows down, sunroof open, blasting tunes.  Love.

Familiarity.  I knew Austin almost inside and out, and that was comforting.  I don't know the City at all (although I'm learning), and I realize it will take some time.  But sometimes I wish I knew exactly where to get for the best banana pancakes (Pacha), gelato (Teo's), late night queso (Kerbey Lane - the original), breakfast tacos (um, anywhere in Austin b/c that's the only place you can get 'em) and pasta (La Traviata).

Alamo Drafthouse.  Doesn't charge $14 for a movie, serves cheap and delicious food & drinks, has excellent surround sound, and has been the setting for many a fun times with good friends (including waiting in line for 6 hours for New Moon).

Jenny.  My irreplaceable best friend who is so like me in some ways it's scary.  Jenny and I parted on unhappy terms, but quickly realized that nothing can tear us apart.  She's been there for me in so many ways (think holding my head as I sobbed in my bathroom with 5 other girlfriends in my bedroom), and I miss her terribly.  Good thing I just got the new iPhone so we can FACE TIME!!

I thought I'd wait until ACL next year to return to Austin, but I think I'm going to need to make a trip before then.  I miss it too much!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Triste

{image credit: we heart it}

I'm sad right now.

I'm all over the place these days. It's frustrating. One day I feel like my life is falling to pieces and the next I'm on top of the world. I know what's bugging me... deep down. But I can't talk about it, not even with people in my real world. I know I'm honest on this blog, but there's so much I wish I could write here that I can't. I read Kirsten's blog, and I'm like wow, I really admire her brutal honesty. The highs and the lows, ya know? That's what life is about. Here's one thing I'll confess: I have an interview tomorrow, and I really don't want to go. And yet I'm terrified that I won't find a good job. What's up with that? Here's another thing I'll confess: New York makes me feel really unattractive and undesirable. Yuck. I want to feel confident and beautiful, and I don't know if I want to live in a city that doesn't nurture that. Then again, is it really the city that matters? Isn't it... the person?

It's late, and I really need to go to bed. So I can wake up early (ish). And prep for my interview. And put on a suit that makes me feel frumpy. And hopefully have a better day. (Although actually, my day was pretty fantastic. Tonight just sucks.)

Oh and the season premiere of Glee is really, really, REALLY good.

Bon nuit.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Only in NY: Part Deux

Sooo a few weeks ago, my dear friend David had a petite partay at his place. And there I was, sipping my wine, chatting with some new acquaintances when guess who walks in the door?


Uh huh, yeah. That's Kelly. AKA The Glamourai. AKA one of my most favoritest fashion bloggers EVER, and I nearly died when she walked in. Turns out her brother went to the same law school as David and moi, and David was his mentor. SMALL WORLD! I was beyond stoked and yes, forced her to take a picture with me. Kind of like this time I met her back in June? AH-MAZING!!! ONLY IN NY!!!!!! Thanks for having a party, David. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fit for Fall: Le Weekend

First things first, here's another pic from my trip! This was snapped after we hiked to a lake (the name of which completely escapes me now... something "Falls"). Ma Soeur and I were relaxing by the water on this awesome giant log/bench. J'adore hiking! At this point in the trip, I had no option but to braid my hair because it was a giant frizzy mess!


Beginning my detox with a weekend was probably not the best idea, but luckily most of my friends were otherwise engaged this weekend so I laid low pretty easily. Also? It took me awhile to recover from my day 'o traveling and just being out of the city in general. The thing is, there's no easy way to acclimate here... you're just thrown into the mix, especially when you live on one of the busiest streets in Chelsea. So I kind of sorta didn't leave the house on Friday. Yup, that's right. After a VERY late Thursday night, I slept in and spent the rest of the day hanging out at home, not doing much. BUT, I did eat vegan! And on Saturday, I redeemed myself a bit by hitting the gym. Did a little cardio on the elliptical and then hit a 70-minute Fluidity class (SO. FRIGGIN. HARD.).

Also, I stopped by Trader Joe's on the way home from the gym and picked up some much-needed essentials: loads of fresh produce (broccoli, grapes, carrots, celery), hummus, tomatoes and whole wheat pasta (made spaghetti tonight), tortillas, and multigrain bread. So far, eating vegan hasn't been too tough (no grilled cheese cravings yet!), but I did want a coffee the size of my head this morning (and okay, I could go for a cupcake right now). I think the hardest part for me is going to be when I'm forced to eat out and the working out... I'm not so good at the working out. I need your help and motivation tricks!!!

As for Sunday, I met some friends for brunch/lunch at a place that luckily had a veggie burger, and confession time: I had an iced coffee. Definitely not decaf. Eek! But I bought decaf coffee to fix that craving. I'm sure it's not much better than the real thing, but I can't help it, j'adore my coffee! Oh and another confession: I had a small brownie. You see, I went ALL day sans eating (bad bad bad idea) and was ravenous by the time I finally got home and was SO hungry whilst waiting for my pasta water to boil, sooo I broke down and ate a small brownie that one of my roommates had made. Oops.

Umm other than that, weekend went great! Only a few days vegan, and my clothes are already feeling better (seriously!). Love.

How's it been going for y'all? It's only been a few days but weekends are the hardest! I'm excited for the upcoming week. I've got lofty goals of running, pilates, and yoga. We shall see!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fit for Fall

Hello, ladies!!! I'm back to blogging from my very petite pink palace in NYC, and surprisingly, I'm not terribly unhappy to be. You see, before I left for California, I was convinced that returning to the city would be torture. After a week of sunny days, mountain views, lovely Lola, nicer people and Ma Soeur's insanely gorgeous home, I feared that the thoughts of sharing a bathroom, a tiny and consistently dirty kitchen, uneven stairs, miserable people and humidity would make me very unwilling to return. While I was definitely sad to leave, I had a wonderful vacation and felt ready to get back to my real life. California is wonderful, and it is likely in my future, but not now. Right now, I'm a New York City gal.

Now, with that being said, another reason I was excited to return to the city is because before I left for Cali, I decided I would embark on a 7-day detox when my vacay was over. You see, my body has not been functioning at its prime, and I know exactly why. My eating habits have been... disastrous. After months of vegan eating, I went on a completely dairy-fueled nonvegan BINGE after moving here. Grilled cheese dominated my life, which is no surprise that not only did I regain the weight I lost when vegan, but my body also rebelled. I'm just not feeling so hot. Weird sleep schedules, total lack of energy, and difficulty working out... yuck. I miss how I used to feel. That's not to say that I'm going to be 100% vegan for ever - I just don't think that's sustainable for me in a city where none of my friends are vegan (let alone vegetarian). However, I do intend to find a balance between vegan and non-vegan, and this detox is just a jumpstart.

For the next 7 days, I will be eating a 100% vegan diet. In addition to that, I will be abstaining from all alcohol (not easy when my weekends have typically been filled with boozey late dancey nights), all caffeine (bye bye, coffee) and most refined sugars. To be honest, I think the sugar part is going to be the hardest. No more dark chocolate after dinner? Le sad. But I think I need it. In addition to my diet, I plan to do lots of moving! Running, yoga, spinning, Fluidity, and pilates are all in my near future. After this 7-day detox, I'm not sure what's going to happen. We'll see how this week goes. To find inspiration as to what the heck I'm going to eat, I'm returning to my fave vegan blogs (like the Voracious Vegan) and to my vegan blog, Vegan Tomato. (Right now, I'm sipping a shake made with chocolate hemp powder, soy milk, and ice and eating a bean & rice burrito.)

I know several of you fab gals mentioned on Twitter that you too wanted to get back to healthy eating. I urge you to join me on this detox or to create some version of your own. Whatever you do, I think we should join together, blog about how we're doing, what we're doing, how we're getting more movement into our lives, and how we're feeling. I'm calling this group effort Fit for Fall. Please comment on this post if you want to join me! My biggest incentive besides feeling good? I want to be able to wear my fave fall clothes and not feel uncomfortable and wonder if I "look fat" every 5 seconds. What're your incentives to get Fit for Fall?

I'm going to end this post with a pic from my time in Cali. This was taken on Thursday night where I indulged in the worst of the worst: Chili's. Chili's is all kinds of unhealthy and tres un-gourmet. But I've always had a soft spot for their chips & salsa & ranch (AND for their french fries). That being said, I want what I ate that night to be the exact opposite of what I intend to eat in my future. LET'S GO!



Monday, September 13, 2010

Sparklista

Bonjour, mes amies! I'm breaking my no-blogging-on-vacay rule just to let you know I've been featured on Kaileen's beautiful blog as a Sparklista. Isn't that so fun?! J'adore the name of the series! Anyway, merci beaucoup to Kaileen for featuring moi. You can read it here!

Just got back from Tahoe yesterday and it was GORGEOUS! Can't wait to share my pics! Have a GREAT week!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Week Off

Did I mention that I'm leaving for a much needed week long vacay tomorrow afternoon? Yep, I sure am! And to say I'm excited would be the understatement of the century because I am literally DYING to get out of this city and into beautiful Northern California.

I'll be there Wednesday thru Thursday, and I'm packing... wait for it... a carry-on. Yup - a carry-on. Me, the queen of overpacking and giant leopard suitcases, is packing a tiny purple carry-on for an entire week! That's because unlike many (okay, probably all) of my prior trips to Cali, I do not plan on getting any kind of fancy on this trip. No, this week is devoted to comfy hoodies, yoga pants, and hot pink Uggs. I'm not packing a single bauble (SO unlike me) besides what I plan to wear on the plane (not much). Makeup-wise I only brought my favorite peach blush, a light powder, a couple of liners, and the easiest, most flattering red lipstick ever. This is so weird, but I'm kind of excited about not having to worry about how I look for an entire week. It's tres unlike Manhattan. I mean, I'm not even bringing my hairspray!

Since I'm simplifying in all those ways, I've also decided not to pack my laptop. That doesn't mean that I won't be tweeting or checking email (although I plan to limit those if all goes as planned), but I definitely won't be blogging. I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to share when I get back though so I hope you'll be here when I return!

Obviously the darling I'm MOST excited about seeing that sweet lil doll below. It's been entirely too long, and despite her love of attention, she'll most likely attempt to escape my grasp by the end of my stay. I wonder if I could sneak her back on the plane...


Also? Ma Soeur and I are going here where I'll be indulging in the eucalyptus steam room, sauna, and an 80-minute massage. My body desperately needs it, and although I know it won't be as ahh-mazing as the ones I used to get in Austin (le sad), its definitely better than nothing.

I'm ALSO excited about our camping trip to Tahoe! We're going here, and Ma Soeur reserved our fantastic spot on the beach an entire YEAR ago, and she's already bought me a head lamp (cute, eh?) and sleeping bag and pad. I haven't been camping since I was in 7th grade, but I am STOKED. I'm not so stoked about the fact that we have to use bear lockers though... Scary!




However, the idea of strolling along the beach at sunset, hiking in the beautiful mountains, and making s'mores by the evening fire are SO good, I think I can handle the bears.

Needless to say, I'm a very happy camper (pun intended!) right now. I hope you all have a divine rest of the week/weekend/next week, and I'll see you next Friday!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guest Post!

Hi, y'all! Check out this guest post I did on my dear friend Valerie's ah-mazing blog City Life Eats. V asked me to write a post on something I'm looking forward to in Fall, and naturally, I insisted on doing one on fall trends. I hope you like it!! And merci beaucoup to Valerie for featuring moi!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fall 2010 Mix

I'm obsessed with making seasonal mixed CD's for my friends, and what better season than the Fall? This playlist is a mix of old and new, pop-y and melancholy, over-the-top and severely underrated. I hope you enjoy it!

Also, you should definitely check out the video for track #1 (also currently my ringtone). It's pretty rad (although perhaps not suitable for work?). Apparently it was a little too much for YouTube b/c they pulled it from their site. I find that ridiculous considering the crap on there, but whatevs!

Carolyn's Fall 2010 Mix

1. HEALTH - USA Boys
2. Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
3. Shontelle - Impossible
4. Band of Horses - Neighbor
5. Massive Attack - Paradise Circus
6. Sia - My Love
7. Shearwater - The Snow Leopard
8. Florence and the Machine - Heavy in Your Arms
9. Zero 7 - In the Waiting Line
10. Sarah Mclachlan - Don't Give Up On Us
11. Simon and Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy in NY
12. Jennifer Paige - Crush
13. Cee Lo Green - F**k You! (You should watch this video so you can sing along with the lyrics... they're kind of amazing.)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thx & Le Weekend

{image: Smitten Kitchen}

Thanks for letting me vent, y'all... I needed it! And double thanks to my readers who pointed out this hilarious and scarily accurate article from The Onion. I'm glad it's not just me!! I'm still completely over NYC, but fun weekend plans, dreams of Fall, and my trip to Cali next week are keeping my spirits high. (Also - I cranked up the A/C in my room and happily shivered whilst reading my stack of September issues and slurping spicy hot Korean ramen noodle soup soooo the hot & humid weather didn't bother me!)

On that note, TGIF, oui? I'm writing this at 3:35 AM on Saturday morning. No, not because I had a wild and crazy night out, but because my sleeping schedule is still entirely off. One day I can wake up at 9 AM if I need to, the next noon. Makes no sense! I need to pick up some more melatonin. Cup of chamomile w/ lemon & honey + one tablet of melatonin seems to work for my insomnia.

Luckily I have no reason to wake up too early tomorrow. My plans include hitting the gym, picking up some storage containers at The Container Store (duh), and getting ready for evening festivities, including a fun partay at my friend David's and a night out on the town. On Monday, my friend Steph and I are throwing a huge brunch on her patio (weather's supposed to be nice for once!), and the menu includes yummies like spinach and cheese strata, biscuits and homemade strawberry jam, cherry cornmeal upside down cake, and oodles of bubbly & OJ. I can't wait!

What're you up to this weekend?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Hate NY

Y'all, I'm not gonna lie, it's been a challenging week. And I'm really, really hating NY right now and really, really wishing I lived in boring but easy and happy suburbia right now. Indulge me for a bit and allow me to vent, yes? Thanks.

I'm sick of sweating the minute I step outside. I'm sick of not being able to wear cute clothes or my hair down or accessories b/c I know, I KNOW, that I'll end up a hot, sweaty, stinky mess. The 90+ degree temperatures have arrived, and let's be honest, even when it was "only" in the 80's, the humidity here is so ridiculous that I sweat anyway. I'm over it. I want highs of 60's. Hell, I'd even settle for highs in the 30's right now (although I really, really need to do some shopping first).

I'm SO sick of the miserable people who work in the service industry here. Anyone from your local Duane Reade cashier to the hostess at Pipa (who was a ginormous bitch. I don't like using that word, but she was. She WAS.) to the completely and totally inept customer service people working at Time Warner New York... I can't stand any of you. I realize you're miserable and hate your lives, but MUST you be so awful? (I will, however, say that I've never had a less than pleasant experience with the cashiers at my Trader Joe's, so THANK YOU! Whole Foods? You're another story...)

I'm sick of people here in general.

I am really sick of how expensive everything is. It's just... ugh. I can't leave the house without money FLYING out of my wallet. Guess what, NYC? You're not worth it sometimes.

I'm sick of my little room and overstuffed closet. Yes, I have a darling little room and more than decent NY closet space. But. I used to have shoe shelves and a ginormous walk-in closet, and well, I miss them.

I'm sick of having to walk everywhere. The idea of living in a walkable city was one of the most appealing aspects of NYC. But now? I'm over it. And you know what, taxis suck - the drivers are insane and I almost puke every time I get in one. And normally I'd be a huge fan of the subway, but they're like mini saunas in the summer AND they're getting more expensive. (Because, ya know, this city isn't expensive enough. Adding insult to injury... ugh.) I miss my car. (Thank goodness it's now my sister's car so I will be driving it in about a week.)

I'm sick of being so far away. I want to see my Mom damn it. I want to hug her and kiss her and eat her delicious food and sleep in her bed. And I don't want to wait until Thanksgiving to do so.

I'm sick of not being able to wear my heels here unless I want my feet to die. Due to a combination of uneven sidewalks, and well, having to walk everywhere, my killer heels are doing little more than collecting dust.

I'm sick of living in a house whose filth I'm not entirely responsible for. While I adore my roomies and we had a super fun wine & tapas dinner last night, I don't love cleaning up after them. So much so that I've pretty much given up on the kitchen floor. People who wear shoes inside their homes are guaranteed disgusting floors, that's all I'm sayin!

Honestly, I could go on and on, but I don't think you want to hear it (and I don't think it's healthy). I'm holding onto the fact that in one week, I will be in California, in Ma Soeur's beautiful San Jose home, soaking in a ginormous bath tub with all kinds of LUSH goodness, cuddling with my darling Lola bear (who, btw, my sis and bro-in-law have started calling Lola Ebola...), cooking in her gourmet and meticulously clean kitchen, driving my car, visiting Tarjay on a daily basis and enjoying cool evenings (and even some lows in the 30's when we go to Tahoe!).

Hope your week/life's been better than mine lately. ;) Love you!!

 
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