Currently: June 2016

Breakneck Ridge, New York

Reading: I just started Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey for this new season of community groups!

Wearing: I’m in shorts and an old t-shirt from when my high school won the football state championships in 2012. It’s Sunday morning and I haven’t quite got my day started yet!

Buying: I finally picked out prescription sunglasses from Warby Parker, and they should be in the mail this week! That was my only major purchase in May. Looking forward, I’ll be booking flights to Texas this month for August, and I have my eyes on a pair of white Ked-style sneakers for summer.

Listening to: Nothing at the moment! Just the hum of my fan. (Didn’t even have to change that answer from May!)

Eating: I haven’t eaten yet today but I’m planning on chicken teriyaki with rice for lunch, followed by an afternoon of grazing on junk food at church.

Watching: Last night I rented Brooklyn from Amazon, after plowing through the book earlier in the week. I liked it! I was skeptical when it felt like it was 75% of the way through the book plot in the first half hour, but it all came together and it was definitely fun to see the words come to life.

Planning: Not much big stuff – little summer adventures here and there, and a potential weekend trip to DC (my DC friends were going to come here, but they just got a puppy!)

Excited for: All of the summer adventures! A big group is heading to the Yankee game tomorrow, and in general I’m excited for rooftop bars and picnics  and loooooong days.

Hoping: A lot of my hopes lately have come true (!) and I’m finding it hard to think of ways for life to be any better!

Books read: 21/52- ON TRACK

Trips taken: 6/12 – Thanks to a little getaway this month for reminding me of the spirit of this challenge, which is having adventures even if I only have a day to spare!

How last month’s challenge went: Horrifically bad.

This month’s challenge: One hour of screen-free time every day. So far so good!

And how is YOUR June going?

Celebrating my birthday at the Bacon and Beer Classic

When you ask me to name my favorite things, it’s no surprise that food and alcohol immediately spring to mind. I’ve been a big fan of bacon since I was a kid, and a big fan of beer since I was… 21. And not a day sooner!

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So I knew it wasn’t a coincidence that the absolutely genius Bacon and Beer Classic was swinging through New York City the weekend of my 26th birthday. Even better, it was being held at Citi Field, the only one of the two MLB stadiums in New York I had yet to visit. Best of all? My friend Jason won VIP tickets, and since we share a birthday (I’m two hours older, and don’t let him tell you otherwise), we decided to trek out to Queens to celebrate in the very best possible way.

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All night long we sampled different beers in our very own souvenir glasses, and stuffed ourselves with not only different kinds of bacon (huge fan of jalapeno bacon here, by the way), but also bacon-related treats. My favorite? The bacon marshmallow from 240 Sweet! Happy Hour on a stick indeed.

Bacon marshmallows from 240 Sweet at the Bacon and Beer Classic

The best part of the evening, though, had to be that our VIP tickets granted us field access. When we felt like we needed a break from all the drinking (or the crowds on the concourse), we’d head down, chill in the dugout, and do a lap around the bases. I’m not a Mets fan, but I am a baseball fan, and this experience was worth it in and of itself.

Citi FieldHanging out in the dougout at Citi Field

Also, isn’t my outfit amazing?! Mom and Dad sent the Viva La Brunch tank for my birthday, and the vest is from Grandma and Grandpa – without even trying, they managed to send perfectly coordinated gifts! It’s already my go-to outfit; the tank made an encore appearance at my neighborhood party the next night.

Mashed potatoes with bacon at Citi Field for the Bacon and Beer Classic

Cheers to more adventures like this at 26!

The Bacon and Beer Classic travels to different cities and sets up in major sports venues, with just Seattle still to come this year. If you want to go in Seattle or in the future, I’d really really recommend splurging for the VIP tickets. We got in an hour early and there were NO lines – by the time we left two and a half hours later, people were waiting 20 minutes just for samples. Plus, come on – field access!

A week in Phoenix, Arizona

Every time I visit Phoenix I feel a bit like I’m being pulled in a hundred different directions: I want to catch up with friends and family, and meet everyone’s new dog/cat/baby (that was a new one this time around!) and visit all of my favorite haunts while checking out the hottest new places. Last week’s trip was complicated by the fact that I also wanted to hit up some spring-training baseball games – in fact, it’s the whole reason I planned my vacation for March.

Miraculously, though, I always seem to pack it all in and return to New York feeling refreshed and accomplished. Here’s a little peek at what I got up to during my homecoming.

Cheeseburger at In-N-Out, Phoenix, Arizona

As soon as I climbed into my brother’s car at the airport, I announced that I was hungry for an In-N-Out cheeseburger. Nevermind that it was 10 a.m., next thing I knew we were stuffing our faces, surrounded by baseball fans and hungover frat boys. Who knew greasy burgers were so popular on Sunday mornings?!

Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium, Arizona

I made it to three baseball games during the week, thanks to my awesome parents who joined me on this trip and footed some little things like game tickets and a hotel room 😉 First up was my beloved Texas Rangers, who put on a hilarious comedy of errors in an entertaining, if disappointing, loss.

View of downtown Phoenix, Arizona

This was the view from our hotel room and encompassed everything I love about Phoenix and Arizona: The mountains, the palm trees, the blue skies.

Pug

I spent much of National Puppy Day curled up on my best friend’s couch with her pugs, Jak and Sheena. This one here is Jak – Sheena wasn’t quite as fond of the camera (or me, to be honest).

Mac and Cheese at Lux, downtown Phoenix, Arizona

Lux is my favorite coffee shop in Phoenix and has been for years – I used to spend entire days there, going from coffee to mac and cheese to cocktails, curling up with a book or working on school projects or catching up with friends. A return trip seemed necessary, and although they’ve raised their prices, Lux will always have a special spot in my heart.

Street art mural in downtown Phoenix, Arizona

My brother declared that I wouldn’t even recognize downtown Phoenix, the neighborhood I called home for six years. While that wasn’t quite the case, I was surprised at all of the street art and local restaurants that have popped up in the fifteen months since my last visit. Dare I say it feels like San Francisco?! Just a little warmer and a lot less crowded!

Sunset over downtown Phoenix, Arizona

Of course what I miss most about the Arizona landscape is the beautiful sunsets. They’re just not the same on the east coast! I actually got up in the middle of happy hour to take this picture – shoutout to patient and understanding friends!

All in all, a successful trip – my fifth of 2016! You can read about my past Phoenix adventures here.

A Red Sox game at Fenway Park

Fact that could get me eaten alive here in NYC: I’m a Red Sox fan. My grandfather is from Boston, so we kids were raised to cheer for the Sox and (perhaps more importantly) against the Yankees. So when I went to Boston, I knew that hitting up a game at Fenway Park was a priority – I even chose my travel dates to correspond with some home games against the Orioles.

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I knew that Fenway would be cool. It’s the oldest ballpark in America, having opened in 1912. (I watched the centennial celebration 3 years ago and might have been super emotional about it). Honestly though, I was blown away. Though it’s obviously been renovated over the years, Fenway truly retains a vintage feel. I may as well have been at a game back in the early years.

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Other favorite things about the park: Part of the ticketed area is outside, so the bars and shops on that street are ticket-holders only. My seat (grandstand 8!) was in the shade. SAM ADAMS SUMMER ALE ON TAP.

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Things that could have been better: the Red Sox. Seriously terrible this season. Guess I’ll just have to go back and see them win sometime!

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My week in Instagrams: Boston edition

I’m back from what turned out to be an incredibly rejuvenating four days in Boston, Massachusetts! While I sort out my thoughts and edit the 200+ photos I took over the coming days, here are the Instagrams I posted while I was gone – they turned out to form a great overview of my trip.

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As soon as I stepped out of the South Station bus terminal, I knew I would fall in love with Boston. The blue skies and perfect weather (which lasted my entire stay) certainly helped, but I suspect this city would have charmed me regardless.

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On day 1 I walked the entirety of the Freedom Trail, and then some (let’s just say if I spot a waterfront I will go out of my way to explore it). This shot is from the Charlestown Bridge during golden hour, and it makes me want to jump in a sailboat and forget all my worries!

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On day 2 I finally achieved a lifelong bucket-list item: A Red Sox game in Fenway Park! I’m a Red Sox fan, but any baseball fan would appreciate the oldest park in America – it opened in 1912 and retains much of that vintage feel.

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Another golden hour shot because Boston is just so photogenic! I was basically obsessed with the weather, the architecture and taking photos throughout my stay.

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On day 3 I finally made my way to the top of the Prudential Tower! I’m so thankful for better weather than my visit to the World Trade Center a few weeks ago – I could see all of Boston and then some.

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Finally on day 4 before hopping back on the Megabus, I ventured out to Cambridge to visit Harvard University. It was pretty cool to explore the campus and the surrounding area – just being there made me feel a little bit smarter!

I’ll be posting more in-depth content on my Boston trip over the coming weeks, but in the meantime you can follow me on Instagram here!