Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is Healthy?

Not all vices have to do with drugs or alcohol.  I've probably tried a form of every diet.  I've low carb'd my way to under eye circles, drastic weight loss, around the clock chills, light headedness and at times a slightly undesirable attitude.  Some may say that those measures are a bit drastic and they're right, but the best thing about mistakes is how much we learn from them.

We all have a different perception of health.  For so long I equated exercise with the way to be "skinny."  Although I will always smile a little bit when someone tells me that I look thin or that my ass is really perky, I know that balancing all the things I love with the love of feeling and looking the way I like is much better than having 7% body fat and a really boring tasteless life.

Removing all the things you love from your diet is a recipe for disaster.   Lifestyle changes are more effective than "diets."  After  a few years of depriving myself of many of the things I love, I've finally discovered that balance is the most effective approach to healthy living.  You can have it all and when you realize that, a bit of relief follows.

Creating healthier versions of the foods you love is probably the best way to begin your journey into a healthier lifestyle.  I've come up with countless healthy recipes that are absolutely delicious.  Don't shun any one food group from your diet.  I'm never going to tell you to never eat a piece of your favorite cake or a bacon cheeseburger again, but just don't do it every day.  Save the less healthy foods you love for when you really want them or need some comfort, distinguishing when that is, is the tricky part.  Deciding to be healthy for -you- is very important and you have to commit to it.  A half hearted effort yields a half hearted or possibly no result, you must be accountable for the choices you're making.

Becoming healthy when you have a very social lifestyle can be a bit more challenging than if you've prepared every meal at home yourself.  Fitness models and competitors don't go out to dinner or for drinks when prepping for a contest.  To each is own and if you have a goal, I say drive right through it.  I love to go out with friends and most of our activities surround food or alcohol, so a lifestyle of that sort doesn't suit me.  Do I drink a lot when I go out? No, not usually, I left this habit in my early twenties for the most part.  Why you ask?  Getting overly sloshed every weekend doesn't look good on anyone first off and secondly it doesn't support my goals for myself.  I can happily have 1 or 2 drinks when out and still have a great time.  If I'm at a day long activity I might have 3 or 4, but this is over the course of a long period of time.  Although I love to loosen up with a glass of wine or two, I don't enjoy being overly drunk, it makes me feel sloppy, ruins the next day and is too calorie dense.  The key is to enjoy the food and drinks you have.  I love the taste of wine.  Wine, cheese, olives, apples, grapes, cured meats and anything else you'd find on a snack plate at one of Napa Valleys vineyards, would probably be my favorite "meal."

I don't eat "low fat" foods.  Have I? Yes, in my more naive years.  Most of them are unsatisfying and laced with extra sugar to make up for the lack of taste that comes with the "fat." Low fat foods are like an terrible one night stand.  You get the urge for something spectacular, try to satisfy it with something mediocre and end up distressed and unsatisfied wondering why you even bothered.  It wasn't worth the raise of "number" or the calories.  Eat what you want.  Eat fat, go easy on sugar.  Don't eat a block of cheese, but cut a few pieces and enjoy them with fruit or another complex carbohydrate, maybe even a piece of bread if thats what you want, just know when you've had enough.  Don't eat low fat cheese and then go right for something else because your still unsatisfied.    Peanut butter has healthy fat, I'm not telling you have it six times a day or eat a jar of it in one sitting but paired with a something light and healthy its an awesome protein rich, satisfying snack.  I love to eat, I pretty much do it all day, making the right choices is what counts.

Drink water.  Water is completely underrated when it comes to being healthy.  It keeps you hydrated which keeps your skin fresh and clear, it muddles out the hunger noise a little and keeps your body working like a well oiled machine.  Staying hydrated I believe also makes me feel more energized, and have less headaches.  Go easy on the caffeine.  Yes, weight loss efforts can be enhanced by having caffeine but it can also be counterproductive.  One to two cups of coffee a day is plenty.  I used to drink a pot of perked espresso coffee every morning and wondered where all of my anxiety came from, it was only until after a few panic attacks that I realized I should cut back.  Too much caffeine will give you anxiety.  Anxiety will not help you lose weight,  it will make you stressed which makes a lot of us eat greasy sugary preservative laden comfort food.  Stop with all of the coffee "because you need it," you don't, go get a green juice or take a B12.

I'm always told that I have great willpower.  Over the years I've failed miserably many times trying to be on a perfect diet or trying too hard not to be.  My first advice to you, is to relax.  The more you stress about anything, the more of a mountain you create over a mole hill.  I can't even count the amount of times I spent beating myself up over eating something "bad for me" or not exercising for a few days.  I won't lie to you, like anything we are somewhat obsessed with, I still catch myself falling into bad habits once in a while, but I know now how to shake them off.  First and foremost change your thoughts.  No one begins a healthier lifestyle enjoying every moment of it.  I can give you many delicious recipes for healthy foods but you, just like I, are going to want fat and grease once in a while and thats fine.  I can also give you some fun workouts but most of the time you may not want to do them.  I pretend that working out is an appointment I can't miss.  The key is to focus on the great feeling you'll have after a workout instead of the hour you put in actually doing it.  After ten minutes of exercise I usually get out of any rut that made me not want to start because the endorphins start shooting through me.  Exercise is by far underrated when it comes to anti depression medication.  There are days I feel so tired and "blah,"  I get in a workout and then feel like I can take over the world.  Focus on you for an hour a day and sweat it out, you may quite possibly fall in love with it.  I believe in the 80/20 rule.  Eighty percent of the time try to keep what you eat to be "clean" and unprocessed and exercise your body in some way.  Twenty percent of the time relax the diet mindset and treat yourself to what you really want.  When you start basing your food intake on healthy real foods the prepackaged over salted ones will not taste as good, I promise you.  I turn up my nose to anything too greasy, over salted, poorly seasoned or stale.  I'm a dessert lover but if the dessert at hand isn't really awesome, after a bite or two, I'm done with it.  A lot of times when I want something sweet, I opt for fruit (fresh or sometimes dried) and it does the trick, if not maybe dark chocolate but if I need something decadent, I absolutely have it.  If I'm not going to enjoy something, I'm not going to eat it, you know that you've made a kick ass dessert when I've had more than one bite!  If you want a chocolate chip cookie, please eat a real one and not one created from a preservative shit storm.  Make a journal, get an app and remember what you eat, don't "forget" mindless calories because they won't forget to take up residence on your hips.

A healthy balance in life concerns more than what you eat or how much you exercise.  Working too much or overspending and not living within your means can also lead to unwanted anxiety.  If all you do is work and leave no time to recharge or for fun, you're going to eventually burn out.  I don't care how hard your job is or how important it is, schedule a fake doctors appointment if you have to; one of my clients does it to see me for her hair.  Sometimes you need to check out from the stressors of life, if you're not going to let yourself enjoy the fruits of your labor, why kill yourself at work so much?  Too much nosing around in other peoples lives is also no good for your mind or soul, stay in your lane, worry about yourself,  your children and family.  Offering advice to others is always good when it's called for or welcomed but understand that everyones situation is different and people feel differently about different situations.  Over advising someone when you have never experienced what they're going through is just bogus, be a friend, listen and if asked for your opinion give it, but never force your thoughts of how things should be.  Understanding what works for -YOU- is half the battle in trying to figure out many situations in life, this is why I encourage it so much in a healthy lifestyle.  You will get no where fast if you solely try to follow others footstep for footstep, although we may learn a bit here and there, everyones journey is different.  There is no normal, "What's normal to the spider, is chaos to the fly."-Morticia Adams

Friday, December 27, 2013

Go Where The Love Is.

I get a tad frustrated at times when people speak about being mistreated by others but then do nothing about it.  If a friend, mate or coworker is treating you in an undesirable way, you have it in your power to put an end to it.  We teach people what they can get away with in all of our relationships.

I hear so many men and women complain about their significant other or the person they are dating at the moment.  I listen to some stories that lead me to think that the persons mate has little to no respect for them at all.  I don't live in a fairytale land and I know no that no relationship is going to be perfect all the time, but I do know that when I truly care for someone, the way I treat them shows it loud and clear.  Although I'd love to be in a relationship, I would rather wait for a suitable person to come along rather than be with someone that doesn't fulfill me emotionally, there is NO point.  A lot of people don't want to be "alone."  I'd take being alone over being with the wrong person any day of the week.  I feel no reason to be in a relationship in which I'm always arguing with a person or feeling like they don't respect or appreciate me as I do them.

I'm going to use myself for an example.  I am a completely loyal, kind hearted, trustworthy woman.  I have the most utter respect for myself and everyone I come into contact with.  I'm caring and nurturing and will be a wonderful wife and mother one day. I go out of my way for people on a daily basis.  I crave a deep loving relationship with someone, not just one that stops at the surface or appears nice from the outside.   Like I said, I have respect for myself, so why would I ever even entertain the thought of dating someone that doesn't have any respect for me?  Why would I even want to date someone that does not see my many qualities or want to invest in me?  I wouldn't, wanna know why?  I wouldn't want to because if someone is too stupid to see me for who I truly am then they are too stupid for me to date.  Spend your time with those who value the person you are.

Whenever I've truly cared for someone, I've handed out second chances like candy on halloween. Life can get in the way and communication can sometimes be completely off. Texting and emails are completely impersonal, calling or meeting is personal.  Keep it personal and you'll most likely have less miscommunication.  Sometimes my responses seem like those of a rancid bitch through a text when in reality I'm just doing 4 things at once.  Things can be misinterpreted so easily when you don't know a person well or even sometimes when you do.  A little effort goes a long way and its never a strenuous effort to take a moment and actually call or spend time together if you are really interested in someone.

I've heard stories from people that beg others to be with them or beat a relationship to death trying to make it work.  Newsflash!  Once you're truly able to communicate your feelings with someone, there shouldn't be so much fighting or a ton of grey areas.  If two people want to be together, little things won't destroy their relationship, they will want their mate happy and they will want them to feel good about being together.

When you're dating someone and they treat you differently than you feel comfortably with, you are best off telling them, unless you are dating a psychic, they may have no clue that there is even anything wrong. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt and give both of you the chance to clear up the situation so that what could have been a great relationship doesn't end over a silly miscommunication.  Yelling is ineffective and unnecessary, talk about it like adults.   On the flip side, some people won't care about how you feel which pretty much means that they don't care much about you either.

Now if you let a situation go on that leaves you feeling badly, you're telling your partner that there's nothing wrong with their behavior towards you, in which case you're then not allowed to get mad at them.  If you do tell them and they disregard your feelings and continue to mistreat you,then you can allow them to continue to do so, or move along without them.  If you stay in a relationship that isn't fulfilling you can only blame yourself.  We all have people that we're crazy about and although it hurts like hell, sometimes the feeling just isn't mutual.  You will never have to beg or force someone to be with you if they want to be with you.

When dating or getting to know someone you should be getting the same treatment you're giving.  Don't completely go out of your way for someone who doesn't give you the time of day, you're playing a losing game if you do.  If someone is skimming the surface with you its usually because they are skimming it with a few others or maybe aren't ready to settle down and put time into building a meaningful relationship with someone.  Not everyone wants a relationship and some people are fine with sexual encounters that mean nothing, sometimes thats just about all they are comfortable with.  Worst case scenario the person you are "seeing" could also already be in a relationship with someone else.  If you encounter someone thats a cheater you may as well just turn around and walk the other way because you've come in contact with a coward.  Real down to earth people with integrity do not cheat, they get out of relationships that aren't right for them.

I'm not going to sit here and get all stereotypical on you because that isn't at all in my nature.  I believe every situation is different and that everyone has different reasons for doing the things they do.  I just want you to open your eyes.  Don't waste yourself and all your many qualities on a man or woman that doesn't see them or want to see them.  The right person for you will never give you continuous excuses, they will instead, give you time, affection, attention and hopefully love.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Love and Cheesecake.

I love dessert and one of my favorites is cheesecake.  There are so many varieties and I enjoy many of them, but not all cheesecakes rate equally.  I prefer the Creme Brûlée option at one of my favorite restaurants, Mario's Tutto Bene.  I'd love to tell you what it is exactly about the taste of this dessert that I love so much, but like the other things that I fall in love with, I can't put my finger on the very ingredient that puts me into the state of automatic cheesecake bliss.  Some things are just too great to put into words.  Let's pretend for a moment that Creme Brûlée cheesecake  is your favorite too.

Imagine you're at a convention of all the best cheesecakes in the world.  Upon walking around, you see it, with an imaginary light glowing down on it, your favorite Creme Brûlée cheesecake, that always gets better with every bite.  Even if  it's been months since you've last enjoyed this dessert, you can always remember quite distinctively, the taste.  As you walk closer, you notice that the pieces of this cake are dissapearing and just as you approach the sample table, the last one is gone!  You are instantaneously disappointed, but a small bit relieved when the representative of the company tells you that they may be bringing more out.  Being that now you have to wait for your favorite cake to come out, you decide to walk around and sample the others.  All of these cakes are raved about by many different people, and some of them are rated high and even more expensive than your favorite.  You taste and taste and find some of these Cheesecakes to be quite good.  The thought then crosses your mind that there maybe one comparable, or even better than the one that you've been raving about for so long.  You also think that maybe you were so used to that one cheesecake that you'd forgotten that they made so many other varieties of this dessert.  Now, you're confused about which cake to purchase because you have to pick only one to be delivered every month for the next year.  Finally, now with many choices at hand, you walk back on over to The Creme Brûlée table.

This can go a few different ways.  Either you taste your original favorite cake and know instantly that you were right all along and that it's always going to be your favorite.  You may decide that what used to be your favorite variety of this dessert, is not as good as you remember and decide that now you prefer the peanut butter option.  There is also the chance that you decide to still take home your original favorite, but realize a little more with each month, that when you get the delivery and break the box open, that indeed you kind of wish you'd ordered the peanut butter cake instead, but were too scared to take the chance and commit to something completely new.

As you can probably tell, I'm talking about more than cheesecake here.  This scenario can be used in dating or in other situations in life.  If, at the moment for some reason someone or something that you can't seem to get enough of is unavailable to you, its not a bad idea to explore your options.  You may be stuck on one person for a long period of time, but sometimes seeing who else is out there, can change your idea of a suitable mate.  Although you may come to the conclusion that you do prefer your original choice of person you will never be left wondering, what if?  Also, if you're presented with a more suitable date along the way,  don't be afraid to try them out.  I personally believe that I usually know exactly what I want, but we can all surprise ourselves from time to time.  Keep your options open, if by chance life runs out of Creme Brûlée cheesecake at the moment.   Maybe something about the Macadamia Nut flavor will intrigue your taste buds in a whole different way, but even if it doesn't, you'll be able to know for sure that there is only one type of cheesecake, that to you, makes dessert worth the calories.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's time to go Insane!!!

I purchased the Insanity DVD set about 6 months before actually opening it.  I did one or two of the workouts previously while borrowing a friends set and just wasn't feeling it.  For about three years I've been working out in my house.  I like to exercise alone, or with someone that is really interested in getting results.  During workouts I put my iPod on the dock and zone out.  Fussing around is not on my agenda,  If all you wan't to do is chit chat, let's just go have coffee after instead, capeesh?

We've always had a treadmill and over the years accumulated a Smith Machine, Bosu, Kettle Bells, weights, bands a bench and many other pieces of exercise equipment.  I used to work out in a gym, where at first I was a "cardio queen" that would kick-box, or stay on the elliptical for an hour while reading a magazine.  I graduated into the 20 minute weight circuit and knew zero about what I was doing, hired a trainer, switched gyms, worked out with friends, took spin class and then finally started exercising in my house.  Over the years, I've also tried countless workout DVD's, which I always got sick of.  I later started running outside or on my treadmill and hired a new trainer, who'd come to my house once every other week to teach me a bit about weights.

I was extremely bored with my workout and needed to try something new to switch it up.  One Monday, I opened my Insanity package and did the "Fit Test," this was a workout in itself!  The next day Plyometric Circuit, then Cardio Conditioning on Wednesday, Thursday Recovery (which is pretty much yoga with some deep muscle movement), Pure Cardio Friday and Plyo again Saturday.  There's a lot of "Interval Training" in Insanity.  Interval Training is when you push to your maximum limit for 1-3 minutes, recover for a small amount of time and then repeat the sequence.  This way of training is very effective for burning fat and it really rev's up the metabolism!  The Insanity workout schedule switches  every week and all of the workouts are approximately 40 minutes or so in the first month.  This is a plan someone needs to be mentally prepared for, it is by no means easy and one should follow as close as they can to get the best results.  There is something about Shaun T. (the trainer and face of Insanity, seen below) that makes me wan't to go faster and push hard through the workouts.  I actually may have a crush on him at this point, It's too bad he's taken and very uninterested in women.  Anyway, after the first week I was addicted. I didn't veer from the scheduled workout calendar, even though it differed from what I was comfortable with.  "A recovery day in the middle of the week?"  I hated the "Recovery" workout because it was very easy in comparison to the others and I hated that I was supposed to rest on Sundays.  I was also scared that I would lose any muscle mass that I already had from previous weight lifting, boy was I wrong!  Although Insanity does not require weights, using your own body weight is quite effective on its own!  I realized that the Insanity workout schedule is perfectly planned.  I found that the "Rest" or "Recovery" days came when I needed them.   It was hard for me to hand over the reins of my workout schedule to Shaun T. but I'm glad I did.

After the first three weeks I started to see noticeable changes in my body.  I was pumped for the workouts and while they didn't necessarily get easier, I felt stronger.  After the first month there is a recovery week.  Cardio Core and Balance on tap for the full week.  This is a lighter workout than all the others but it still gets your heart rate up!   During this week I was bored and started to get nervous for the second month.  I was told by other people who tried Insanity, that each workout is about 50 or 60 minutes long and so much harder.

Month two rolled around and by that Wednesday I was relieved.  Although the new workouts were more taxing, i found them to be a bit more fun.  They didn't feel that much longer and the calorie burn  was higher which is a plus!  I loved feeling energized again after the workouts, as I did in month one before the recovery week.  By the end of the program I felt like a champion.  I was so excited to have finished but more excited to start again!  As hard as Insanity is, I absolutely love it.  As much as I thought that I would never be a "workout DVD" person, I am.  Shaun T. is my hero.  I think he may even be able to see me through my T.V. and is now biting off of my style,  because we even wear the same yoga pants!

I love the Insanity workout so much that I opted for another round!  I may even do it a third time!  Never, did I think that I would even finish a full week on the program, yet want to do it again! I guess I should have sent away for the t-shirt after all!  If you are bored with your workout or feel like it just isn't working anymore, you really need to try Insanity.  Pop It in the DVD player, put on your Polar heart rate monitor, lace up a pair of cool colored cross training sneakers (i swear bright colors give me more energy) and push play!  Most importantly, don't forget to DIG DEEP and by the end of the workout, like I always do, you'll feel like the guy in this video when you're done!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Googa My Mooga.

It is almost time for one of my favorite events of the year!  The Great Googa Mooga is a outdoor  music festival.  Picture a park full of tents run by NYC's hottest restaurants , craft beers, specialty liquors shaken into amazing cocktails and even a few wine stations too!  Googa Mooga takes place Prospect Park in Brooklyn, on a weekend in mid May.  Our group of friends had a blast last year and can't wait to go back ever since!

Being outside on a sunny day is great for the mind body and soul.  Picnic tables and lawn chairs full of people in casual summer attire, music, food and drinks all make the atmosphere relaxed and so much fun.  I am actually smiling now just thinking about it!  If you don't have a ticket yet for this year, you'd better act quick, they are selling out like hotcakes!

Last year the day of Googa Mooga a group of us met at the Cupping Room Cafe in SoHo.  We had a low key brunch and then headed on the train to Brooklyn.  Prospect Park was a bit of a walk from the last subway stop but I never complain at the thought of a little extra exercise.  When we arrived at the park we noticed the "valet bike parking" which I've never seen before, but got a great kick out of.  After walking around and taking in the scene, we wandered through the tents and grabbed a fancy beer from one.  Later we sat at a  long picnic table on the perimeter of the scene and the laughs and fun became endless, I also got a little crazy with the picture taking!  I would love to talk to you about the food at GM but I'm not really sure if I ate anything to be honest,  possibly a slice of pizza.  I was full from the meal we had earlier, I was too busy having fun and didn't wanna miss out on anything while standing in a line for an hour.

After the festival we all got on a train back to Brooklyn to venture to a bar or two.  While en route we had a small pull-up competition that would probably be frowned upon by any employees of the subway.  I was a little disappointed at my performance but demand a rematch this year.  I've been doing the Insanity workout and it includes many push-ups which are vital to creating a strong back, I'm hoping for at least a "half."  Cheers to Fran for winning by the way!  After being at the bar for a small moment we all realized we were a bit tired and done for the day so we headed back to the car in SoHo and then headed home.

I believe that this year Googa is going to be run a bit more efficiently.  They gave away tickets last year to many people but this year for a free ticket you had to win a raffle.  One of my friends made the point that this was probably in order to control lines and be a bit more prepared for the crowds, last year they actually ran out of beer.  If you've read my blog before you know that I love "brunch" but I wouldn't advise anyone to go before this festival, there is so much to taste and enjoy there, you will want to make the most of it!

I am so excited that in a few weeks I get to experience Googa Mooga again!  I love a relaxing day outside, maybe even a bit more than a night at a swanky restaurant.  Always keep in mind, when planning any gathering the most important factor is the company you bring along with you, so make sure to bring the fun people.  I'm not sure I can do much better in that department!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My favorite day of the week.

Sunday is my favorite day of the week, it's typically a day tucked away for fun and relaxation with friends or family.  It's on top of my list of favorite things!  It's also nice to take a day of pleasure after a long stressful week full of chores and the routine schedule.

Sundays are also a great day for doing brunch and I really love a great brunch!  My first brunch experience was quite memorable.  I went one Sunday with my friends Ant and Tina.  At the time I really didn't understand the concept of "brunch" because it was a bit new and NJ hadn't caught up to the NYC day-party scene.  We started at Balthazar and managed to get a table.  It's a well known restaurant in NYC located on Spring St, which is nearly impossible to get in on Sundays.  There we each had a delicious ratatouille omelet while we imbibed on a Billini (or two) before we made our way over to the Cupping Room Cafe.

The three of us sat at the bar as the Mimosas started flowing.  We heard the music pulsating from next door at Via Dei Mille (which is now closed) and just had to go over.  People were dancing on every table and even on the bar, this was one of the best parties I have ever been to in my life.  Because of the rainy day Tina and I both had on flat boots and all three of us had on comfortable outfits no where fit for a club. The girls here were dressed for a night out on the town and the men were all in suits, we didn't even care what we were wearing and before I knew it Tina was up on the bar dancing in her rain boots!  This day/night experience will go down in the books for sure.

Later on Jersey caught on, as usual.  The rest of my friends had never experienced "brunch" this way, so of course, like any other experience I've had and loved, I HAD to share it with them!  My birthday party that year was held at the W in Hoboken upstairs in the  Chandelier Room.  Just like the previous day-party it was a blast but we were all prepared and dressed appropriately for this one!  The next year we calmed it down a bit and hit Gemma, a great restaurant in the Bowery Park Hotel followed by a leisurely or not so leisurely afternoon inside the Standard Biergarten, still very fun but less dancing.

My friend Phil and I went to The Standard Grill a few weeks ago.  We ordered a Chopped Vegetable Salad, Charred Spanish Octopus with Sweet Potato and Chiles (one of my favorite things) and the fluffiest Omelet ever I have ever seen in my life.  Each of us ordered "Standard 69" cocktail, which was a mix of raspberry puree, gin, fresh lemon and champagne.  This cocktail was delicious but too heavy for my taste, I took two sips, handed mine over to Phil and asked the waiter for a Patron and seltzer with lime.

 The High Line is a park built on a historic freight rail line that is elevated about the streets on the West Side of Manhattan and I've been dying to see it ever since it was first built.  I have been to the Meat Packing District many times but always seem to miss the time of day when it's open.  The best times to see The High Line are in the Spring or Summer and I probably should have waited!  We both got a great laugh at the fact that the attraction I would not stop talking about was completely flower-less and the grass appeared to be more like hay.  Afterwards we headed to Fig and Olive. Here I had a Cucumber Cosmo and Phil had a Dirty Martini, both perfectly made.  We also shared a cheese plate and olives, laughs and stories about lame men and women that we've each encountered. This was a  subdue and fabulous day.

I always like to venture to new places and put a spin on things.  I enjoy new experiences and sharing them with my friends.  This year for my birthday a couple of us are going to take a Trapeze class on Chelsea Piers in NYC, following I'm sure we'll find a great spot for a casual brunch.  I used to view fun as getting decked out on a Saturday night and heading to a club or lounge in heels so high I could probably suffer a nose bleed, drinking too much vodka and staying out until sunrise.  Although I can't say I've seen my last party brunch, currently, I'd rather have a nice meal and a glass of wine in the afternoon and then go for a walk around the city or check out a movie on the projector screen at The Highline.

Brunch can come in the form of eggs at the corner diner or a full on drink and dance fest at a hot NYC restaurant.  Although I may have had a different opinion a few years ago, shots of Patron and bottomless glasses of Proseco aren't really my weekend scene these days and I don't need to stand on a table to have fun anymore.  Now, my favorite kind of brunch takes place on a Sunday at around 1 o'clock in a great setting (either NYC or somewhere on or near a large body of water).  Sharing different plates of delicious food, with good friends, along with a lot of laughs and a Mimosa, Bloody Mary or a special cocktail that is crafted at the hands of a A+ Mixologist, completely rocks let alone my Sunday, but my world.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Simply Exciting.

Going along with the crowd is thought to be a "safe" route by many, though it's not always the correct one.  Its easier to take the path of many others, because if by chance, the outcome isn't as desired, you won't suffer through it alone.  Going your own way and trying something different than others will sometimes lead you to the finest outcome.  For example, you may get completely sick of your career and want to try to turn a favorite hobby of yours into one, go for it!  Don't exist in your life, live, enjoy and plow right through it, it is yours after all.

As my friend was in Milan for business, he came across a artist from a tiny town.  The man has no T.V or internet or any idea that other opportunities lie out there for him.  We then wandered through the thoughts of whether or not its better to be ignorant to all of life's possibilities but learn to appreciate and just stick to one thing, or to have a clear a view of your potential and keep waiting for what you want.

 I seem to always enjoy an scenic route in many situations in life and I don't mind getting lost while there either.  There is so much to see in the world, why keep your setting so small or all of your days so planned?  Some people believe in ultimate simplicity, they are happy with a simple job in a small town, having the same bottle of beer every weekend at the same bar and not much diversion from that.  A life of this sort to many is enjoyable and they have little need for much more excitement.  I on the other hand, fear ever having a life of that sort, I love new things too much to be stuck in a rut of monotony.

There are many things I love that are simple. One of the reasons I love Country music so much is that every song is usually about love in some form or having a good time with friends.  Never will you hear Brad Paisley sing about the new Rolex on his wrist.  Always coming across satisfaction so easily doesn't sound so bad at all.

The most important things are pretty simple, family, friends and health, everything else is just sprinkles on the ice cream sundae of life.  Sometimes I for a second I wish that I didn't require so much entertainment and have such a high level of expectations for myself, because then satisfaction would come much more readily right?  I then quickly realize that I'm just not that person.   I love to keep my world open to new people, foods and adventures and take opportunities presented to me to the max.  On the other hand,  I am most positively sure that whenever the day comes that I have a baby, I know that I'll be so in love and awe that the last thing on my mind will be jumping from place to place, I will want to savor the moment.

Variety is the spice of life.  I've often pondered the thought of there being one perfect career for me, but have come to the conclusion that there isn't, I portray interest in many different things and want to cultivate them all.  I take something from everything I do, places I go or people I meet.  I love that the artist devotes so much of himself to his work and that alone seems to keep him happy but i feel that he is missing out on so much.  A happy medium of fully enjoying the little things and living life to the fullest, is the most attractive state of mind to me.  Being able to be happy with less, but also opening yourself up to always welcome more of what life has to offer, will bring one the best of both worlds.

There are times in life when its great to live lavishly,run forward without abandon, get lost, take a lot of risks and live like its your last day on earth.  There are also times when its nice to sit back in your favorite spot on your couch, in your most comfortable sweats, with a bowl of popcorn, a glass of wine and the people you love. I myself, don't feel i have to choose between excitement and simplicity, because each day I can "put on different shoes."  So like I say while shopping for a new pair of heels," I'll take both. "