Favorite Things From August

Oh man, August went by WAY too fast. I know most people love the fall and sweater weather but me… I’m sitting over here weeping because I love cute sun dresses and birkenstocks so so much. Something about summer just makes me the happiest.

Enough sappiness… it’s still like 90 degrees here in New York so summer ain’t quite over yet :)

Amazing things from-2

Fashion I’m Loving

End of summer clothing

I’m feeling the pressure to wear all my cute outfits before it’s jeans weather once again. Apparently I can’t stop shopping for summer clothes though and I bought this AMAZING romper / harem pants ensemble from Abercrombie last week. Judge all you want but EVERY time I wear something from Abercrombie I get a ton of compliments. It’s all about finding stuff that fits great, right?

I’ve also become a huge fan of outfits that are as comfortable as workout clothes but a teensy bit dressed up. This romper felt like I was wearing pajamas yet still warranted me compliments from my boss about how cute it was. Winning outfit right there.

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This tank from look human

Special thanks to my bff David for letting me know this exists. I’m kind of loving all their hilarious workout tanks

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Rent the Runway

rent the runway

I swear I have no connection or affiliation with Rent the Runway, I just really really love their service.

I’m hardcore crushing on this Nicole Miller dress from Rent the Runway that I wore for a family wedding in Long Island. Instead of picking out a dress in shop with a stylist like last time, I ordered from the website based on reviews and had it delivered to the store  While dress didn’t fit perfectly, it still looked really amazing and I felt classy yet stunning.

If you’re thinking of renting a dress I highly recommend reading the reviews beforehand to see what people with a similar body type/ size say about it. The website can be a tiny bit overwhelming because there are SO many choices. Once I started weeding through reviews I fell in love with this dress, gah that pattern is so damn pretty.

My biggest concern was that it would be too long based on reviews– I’m only 5’2″. I was happy that the dress hit a tiny bit above the knee instead of way below it.

I also recommend ordering the dress in 2 sizes just to be safe (it’s no extra cost). Each designer is going to have their own fit and sizing range. I was honestly surprised that the smaller size ended up fitting me much much better based on reviews. Glad I didn’t order a size up for this particular dress.

Just a warning, when I went to go pick up the dress Thursday before the wedding, the Flatiron store was seriously crazy. It was like every 20 something year old going to a wedding that weekend was there. I was also in a sort of grouchy mood since I had just had a medical procedure done (steroid injection to my eyelid. Ouch.) and waiting about an hour for an empty fitting room in a stuffy store wasn’t my ideal evening. Despite the craziness, I’m happy I tried it on since if there were any major problems with the dress I would’ve been able to swap for another dress.

Besides the crowded store, my whole Rent the Runway experience both times has been pretty flawless. My rental dresses never look old or worn, the delivery has been prompt and I’ve had the option to get it delivered via Uber both times.

Officially a Rent the Runway convert… and now I’m kind of sad that wedding season is over for me.

Foods I’m Loving

Literally everything from the by chef Chloe menu. This adorable vegan restaurant opened at the end of July and I’ve been there easily three times a week ever since. Usually I’ll order the same thing at all restaurants whereas at Chloe’s I feel really compelled to try out the entire menus. So far my absolute favorites are the pesto meatball sub and mac & cheese. Drool.

by chef chloe
pictured: avo toast, burger, caesar salad and artichoke dip. All amazing and vegan.

Workouts I’m loving

Soul Cycle- Soul Survivor

Okay, loving on Soul Cycle isn’t anything new. I don’t got all that often because it’s mad expensive so when I do it feels like such a treat. Since I wasn’t running last week I decided to go all out on Sunday and take their hour long class. 15 extra minutes and no extra cost. Still doesn’t exactly justify the hefty price tag, but hey I felt like a got a little bit more bang (er sweat) for my buck.


Beauty Stuff I’m Loving

Dramatics Salon, NYC

I hacked off some serious inches from my hair this month. I’m a weirdo and like to keep my hair long in the summer because my favorite quick and lazy hair style is a side braid which requires long hair. When I realized how absolutely dead my hair looked blow dried straight I knew I desperately needed my first haircut in 6+ months. I couldn’t go to my usual hairdresser in Westchester until mid-September so decided to take my chances here in the city. Yup, I’ve lived in the city for 7+ years and still go home to get my hair cut.

After reading a million Yelp reviews and google searching for moderately priced salons, I settled on Dramatics NYC on 6th Avenue and 10th Street. It’s really convenient to my apartment and also not crazy expensive compared to most other salons in the city.

I let stylist Gauge work his magic which also meant cut off a bunch of inches bringing my hair from super long to “collar bone length”.

At first I was really freaked out by all the hair that was gone. Now that I know how to style it, I’m LOVING the new ‘do. Definitely a better look than my long, stringy hair

Awkward selfie sent to my mama.

Beach Bomb hair cream by AG Hair Care

I easily asked Gauge a million and one questions about hair care while he was cutting my locks. I honestly don’t put much effort into my hair most days since I’m usual showering in the morning, post-workout and in a rush. After also showing me how to curl my hair with an iron (yup, don’t even know how to do that) he also recommended this hair cream for days when I don’t have time to do anything post shower.

This stuff has been great, it smells awesome, leaves my hair vaguely curly but not crunchy.

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What I’m Reading

Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen

enchanted august

I started Enchanted August at the end of last month. While the book is a bit fluffy, as all good summer reads are, I enjoyed this cute story about 4 unlikely friends ending up in a cottage in Maine together because they needed a summer “away from it all”. Perfect beach read… or in my case usually a Washington Square Park read…

The Underwriting by Michelle Miller

I’ve gotten in the habit of ditching books if I’m not loving them before page 100. My librarian mama does the same so I don’t feel too bad about it. I ended up ditching what I started after Enchanted August for The Underwriting which I’m LOVING so far. Each chapter is from a different character’s perspective and it’s all about the drama going on with the people who are bringing a start-up public. Having worked in the start-up environment I kind of love that stuff and it’s a mixture of slightly nerdy and juicy gossip. Looking forward to relaxing and reading a ton over the holiday weekend.

michelle miller

Highlights from the month

nyc pool
Spending every weekend in the pool. It’s AMAZING after a long run.

Reuniting with some birthright friends from near and far. Crazy how it’s been a year since my trip.

Cheering for the Mets even though I’m a Yankees fan. I can’t believe it took this long for me to go to a baseball game. Nothing better than outdoor sports, popcorn and beer on a hot day :)

Phew, that’s all I got for ya! Happy September. Here’s too hoping the warm sticks around for a bit longer.


Previous favorite round-ups

Ask a Trainer: How Do I Get Fit, Fast?

how do I get fit fast

The first questions I get asked when someone finds out I’m certified as a personal trainer? How do I get fit fast? 

Wow. That’s a loaded questions. I could go on a million tangents about the definition of fit and dissect what it really means. Like, am I even fit? While I’m not quite sure what constitutes someone as being fit, I think what people are usually getting at is that they have no idea where to start, but know they should be doing something in the fitness category whether it’s to feel healthier, look good, loose weight or benefit from the endorphin rush.

My biggest piece of advice? Just get started. 

I’m not belittling how overwhelming this can be. It wasn’t long ago I was the clueless girl sticking to the elliptical at the NYU gym because I had no idea what to do in the weight room and treated that hour long cardio session as punishment for eating mac and cheese for dinner, again. It was something, though, and led me to eventually join a gym, take a few mat pilates classes and realize group fitness is the bomb dot com.

I find that people spend SO much time thinking about working out more so than actually working out. Instead of lacing up sneakers and going to the gym, you end up spending your time and energy finding the perfect workout plan and thinking about whether or not it will work and thinking about joining a gym or whether you’ll like that yoga class.

Yes, some workout plans are more effective than others. But something, something, even if it’s not the most effective / best / hardest workout is so so much better than doing nothing.

But how?

… Lace up your sneakers, put in your headphones + a great playlist and just go.

… Find online free classes to get you started

… Join a gym that will work for you

… Enlist a friend to keep you accountable and go to classes or the gym with you.

So yeah, my answer to the FAQ “how do I get fit fast”? Stop thinking and just start doing :)

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Marathon Training Week 8: Not Running

week eight

Yup, I didn’t run AT ALL this week.

During my 13 mile run last week my body felt tired. My legs felt heavy and I seriously struggled with the miles. During that strugglefest of a run I decided why not give myself the whole week off of running. I would still workout, of course, and strategically plan out my workouts to compliment my training while still giving myself a week off of literally pounding the pavement.

It’s no surprised that I loved taking this past week off of running. In addition to my usual classes at Uplift, i.am.you and Exceed, I also treated myself to spin classes at Revolve and Soul Cycle plus a cardio dance class at 305. My friend made fun of my that I considered going to Soul Cycle a treat. Hey, I write a fitness blog, I kind of love working out :)  For the first time since I started training I woke up excited to work out. I’ve already talked about how running isn’t necessarily my first choice of exercise. It probably never will be, I love group fitness for a lot of reasons. Dancing my heart out at 305 this past week made me so happy and gave me such an energy rush before 8AM. There’s nothing like it and I don’t get that same kind of endorphin high from logging miles.

I’m still understandably sore from working out, but my legs at least feel more well rested than they usually do. I’m really really hoping that come Tuesday when I run again, my legs will be grateful for the week off.

This week marks two months ’til the NYC Marathon (and like 1.5 months until my half marathon in San Francisco!). Time to get back to it.

This Week’s Plan:

MONDAY: 1 hour workout at Exceed (HIIT) 
7 mile run
WEDNESDAY: yoga + trapeze
THURSDAY: High 45 at Mile High Run Club (roughly 4 miles)
FRIDAY: Uplift- Strength
SATURDAY: 14 mile run

Facing My Fears

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Tonight I caught my uprise at trapeze for the first time in 4+ years. Please refer to link to know what the hell I’m talking about :)

At one point in time, maybe in spring of 2011 or so, I used to catch this trick consistently. I loved this trick. It’s somewhat challenging and requires a bit of strength– both mental and physical. If you psyche yourself out too much, you’ll overthink it and fall off the bar. I perfected it, caught it a bunch of times and moved on.

Between then and now I built up this trick so much in my mind that I became scared of it. It’s hard to explain what about the trick is scary, I think it’s because it’s SO different from other sensations when you’re flying. Getting up on that bar is a bit freaky.

Trapeze doesn’t scare me, at this rate I feel super comfortable climbing the ladder and hanging out on board before my turn. I find it trapeze to be therapeutic and calming, truthfully. This trick though? Makes my heart race just thinking about it.

The first time I attempted the trick again I was a hot mess and my body was shaking from fear the entire time. Even though I failed miserably, my instructors encouraged me to keep at it. After all, I used to catch this trick when I was 20. I like to think I’m a bit stronger now and a better flyer, therefore I should be able to do an uprise.

So it’s become my new trick I’m working on these days. Every single time I jumped from the board and attempted an uprise, my heart was absolutely racing.

Today it clicked. My body remembered what to do, and my brain didn’t get in the way. I got into the position smoothly for the first time in years. I’m pretty sure the first words out of my mouth were “holy shit” when I hit the net. It happened. I had begun to conquer the fear.

Every day I end up doing something that scares me. I’m often times forced out of my awkward and introverted shell. My old job cold calling used to secretly terrify me because it forced me to be so far out of my comfort zone.

So why am I telling you this? Catching that uprise made me realize that it’s good to feel a little bit of fear. I like to think it keeps us alive and safe. Just don’t let fears hold you back. I convinced myself I couldn’t do an uprise simply because I was afraid of it. Yes, you’ll be uncomfortable, maybe even a little shaky, but you’ll survive.