#AllyBrookeInBrooklyn

You guys! My sister came to visit! And as you might expect, we had the most glorious week ever. It wasn’t her first trip to NYC – just her first since I moved here – so we were able to skip some of the touristy stuff, spend the majority of the week in Brooklyn, and just generally have an amazing time.

Here’s a  little review – and my first-ever video!

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We greeted her, of course, with a proper NYC summer picnic in Prospect Park, and unintentionally ended up looking like a Trader Joe’s ad.

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Naturally, we soaked in as many free views of the city as possible. We started out Sunday at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and ended up on the 6th floor of Burlington Coat Factory in Union Square. The sky was that blue pretty much all week.

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If ‘views’ was one theme of this trip, ‘food’ was another, equally important one. Ally has been dying to go to Big Gay Ice Cream since I first Instagram’ed it months ago, and I was happy to oblige!

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Oh yes, more views. On Wednesday – Ally’s nineteenth birthday – we saw Lion King on Broadway (thanks Mom and Dad!) and then I bought us tickets to the Top of the Rock. I’d been once before, seven years ago, and have been dying to go up again ever since. It was Ally’s first venture up and she loved it so much we stayed two and a half hours to catch this glorious sunset!

Finally, here’s a little video I made of our adventures!

#AllyBrookeInBrooklyn from Leigh Anne Zinsmeister on Vimeo.

Thanks for visiting, Ally!

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Currently…

Hey friends! I had plans for blog posts this week… and then that real-life thing got a little nuts and I work-work-worked a lot more than usual, both job-work and church-work. I barely even Instagrammed, although I continued to take my daily lunch breaks in the park – gotta avoid that burnout!

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So today, on the summer solstice, I bring you my first Currently post in quite a while! Let’s catch up a bit. I’d like to promise more exciting posts this week, but I’m just not sure if I’ll have the time – I’m working straight through Tuesday and then heading to BOSTON for the first time! So there are definitely posts to look forward to in the not-so-distant future.

Reading… Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod, because I’ll read anything with Paris in the title
Watching… Private Practice, again. Inside Amy Schumer. Sherlock, now, thanks to friends making me watch the first episode last night.
Trying… to get some work done despite the bleak, bleak weather outside my window
Cooking… Let’s see, I made sweet potato and kale hash a couple times recently, and went on a bit of a Polish kick with pierogies, sausage and sauerkraut, although all I did was heat them up.
Eating… Nothing at the moment, and today will be filled with Trader Joe’s salads on my lunch break and before church. Cheap and delicious.
Drinking… Water & coffee – I feel like this answer never changes
Calling… My father later. Remember to call yours too!

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Texting… It’s 10 a.m. on a Sunday, so all of my friends are sound asleep.
Tweeting… mostly complaints about the weather. STOP RAINING, NYC.
Going… to Boston this week, finally!
Loving… the fact that a TON of my friends recently moved to my neighborhood, so going out on the weekends is way less of a pain.
Thinking… about how little sleep I got last night & will get for the rest of the week.
Listening (to)… Nothing at the moment, but the ’90s throwback playlist has been my commuting soundtrack all week long.
Celebrating… SUNDAY! It’s my favorite day of the week, even when I’m in the office. And it’s a short workweek for me!
Starting… to nail down plans for my vacation without planning out TOO much. And yes I wait until the last minute – because I prefer to be spontaneous once I’m there.

Have a great week!

My Week in Instagrams: 6/14/15

Hello, friends, and happy summer! I know it’s officially still a week away, but this was the first week that truly, consistently felt like summertime. There was brunching and reading outside and walks along the river. I could not be happier to be spending another summer in New York City!

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The week started off on an amazing note: Brunch in Williamsburg with my cousin Kelly! I’m so so glad that we’re close now as adults.

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Tuesdays are sure to be my favorite afternoons this summer, as I look for new ways to explore the city in between work and community group. Obsessed with hanging out outside with a good book!

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On Thursday I ventured downtown for a meeting at my church’s office. Downtown Manhattan gets a bad rap for being mostly tall buildings, but you really just need to know where to look: Like outside City Hall!

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Friday brought me back to Williamsburg for my friend Samantha’s birthday dinner – and a stunning sunset at McCarren Park. It was supposed to thunderstorm all day and I couldn’t be more thrilled we didn’t even get a drop of rain.

IMG_4408Finally, last night I came home after work to binge some television (I’m rewatching Private Practice) and cook a healthy-ish breakfast-for-dinner (and then sleep for 10 hours, which was unplanned but incredible). Recipe for the above sweet potato kale hash can be found here. I used more sweet potato, less kale, because obviously.

As for the week ahead, it looks to be a replica of this one – and I can’t wait to repeat it all summer long! What’s your standard summer day look like?

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My week in Instagrams: 4/12/15

Well, sort of. This week was pretty boring IRL – night shifts, crummy weather – until last night so I’ve been posting mostly throwbacks. So today I present to you the most random collection of photos possibly ever.

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Last Sunday, of course, was Easter. I posted this throwback after last week’s post went live: Easter 1997, featuring my sister and I in matching bunny dresses made by our ever-talented mother.

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For some reason, my Panera rewards card was loaded with one free coffee for every day in the month of April. Obviously I have been taking advantage of that by getting a large iced, every single day. The math works out to 7.5 free gallons of coffee by the end of the month, if you were wondering.

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She is Free is getting closer and closer – it’s officially NEXT WEEK! One of the sponsors is The Giving Keys, so this image was floating around my friend circle as we all hoped to win these necklaces.

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For #ThrowbackThursday, I went back to this image from Santa Monica in 2013. Ironically, California is one of the things I miss the most about Arizona: All of my favorite beaches and many of my favorite friends were only a 6-hour drive or 1-hour flight away! I was also nostalgic and missing the warmer weather – by Thursday it had been cold and gray in NYC for days.

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Friday was National Siblings Day, although when you’re a #ZinsKid (as we call ourselves), every day feels like siblings day. This gem, from Mother’s Day 2012, is one of my favorites. We only all get together about once a year, and I think here you can see how much fun we always have in each others’ presence. Bonus appearance by #ZinsDog, who may as well be the fourth sibling.

IMG_3808 FINALLY yesterday the weather cleared, giving way to blue skies, 60-degree temperatures, and the sweet glorious return of Smorgasburg. I think you can see the joy in my face. Tacos? NYC? Roommate bonding time? Perfect weekend.

And now, I’m off to church, a Monday off, and one last work week before my Birthday Week staycation. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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Cleveland is cool

Last month, when New York was still a frozen tundra and I was dreaming of tropical getaways, I boarded a plane to one of my favorite places in the world: Cleveland, Ohio.

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I know. Cleveland?! In the winter?! Cleveland isn’t even considered a popular destination when the weather is nice, let alone in March when it’s buried in snow. But my mom and sister were there on an extended trip, so my cousin and I (she lives in Atlanta) decided to fly out at the same time and make it a girls’ weekend.

So why do I love Cleveland so much? Well, it is one of my many “homes,” having been born there to two parents who lived in Cleveland for decades. I have a lot of extended family in the area and make my way back every  couple years. But even if not for these connections, I think Cleveland is awesome.

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It’s stunning, for starters. I’m a city girl through and through, but come on: Look at all of that SPACE! Look at the TREES! You can actually watch the sun set without peering around buildings. And this is my aunt’s yard in the suburbs, not the countryside. And all of that snow, completely untouched even though it’d been around for days. Anyone who’s spent an hour in NYC during the winter knows that this would be ugly slush in the Big Apple.

IMG_3597Here’s something that surprises a lot of people: Cleveland has a fabulous museum scene, and not just the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I try to visit a new museum every time I’m around and I’ve yet to be disappointed. This trip, we went to the Cleveland Museum of Art – which is free! – and had so much fun exploring the new addition. Check out all of the natural light!

Of course, having my family around made the trip pretty fantastic as well. One of our first stops (after a stop at Bob Evans so I could devour all the breakfast foods) was the grocery store, where we stocked up on junk food. Yup, five ladies consumed all of this garbage over the course of two and a half days.

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And of course, it wouldn’t have been the same without these girls – and our very own Grumpy Cat, Scully.

Yep – Cleveland is awesome.