Our First Backyard Party

Happy Sunday friends!


We just finished this delicious breakfast, complete with maple bacon and our favorite healthy”ish” buttermilk waffle recipe!  Since we were going non-stop yesterday, our goal for today is to relax after we catch up on some work. For me, that means spending a few hours working and blogging before lying down on the couch with a book.

After a six mile run, Bo and I spent the rest of the day working in our backyard. After six weekends of hard work, our porch, patio and yard are finally complete! We celebrated the occasion last night with a backyard barbecue.


We picked up a bar cart, throw pillows and an accent pillow from World Market to complete our sun room. Meanwhile in our backyard we have planted flowers, shrubs, trees, herbs and grass that have transformed the yard. Russell and Bo built the patio using leftover bricks and pavers that we found in the yard when we moved in and the small patio set was on clearance at Home Depot over Memorial Day weekend! A few strands of white lights and citronella candles made the yard a perfect spot for a party, especially on a nice, cool Summer evening like last night.




Since our goal is to host regular backyard barbecues we experimented with a potluck style party. Having this type of party helped minimize the costs and effort required while also allowing friends to share their favorite drinks, appetizers, side dishes or desserts. The only thing Bo and I provided was the backyard, burgers, sausages and pasta salad!






It was a wonderful evening and hopefully the first of many parties this Summer.

Hope you guys have a wonderful and relaxing Sunday.

What did you do this weekend? 


Friday Favorites – June 17th, 2016

Happy Friday guys! I don’t know about you all but this week left me completely exhausted and counting down the seconds to the weekend. I’ve been working into the evening each day this week trying to catch up on work and still, somehow, I feel behind. Anyone else ever feel this way? During crazy weeks like this I do my best to ensure I get my workout done bright and early, keep a to-do list neat me at all times and do my best to make sure I reach for water more than I reach for coffee. There is nothing worse that caffeine highs and lows when I’m trying to be productive.

Now, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.fhitting room pic

Pic courtesy of Theodora

  • The Summer weather has me loving OUTDOOR WORKOUTS! This week I had the opportunity to join Fhitting Room and Brookfield Place Lululemon for a fun, sweaty workout as part of the Healthy on the Hudson workout series. Theodora, Ashley and I agreed that the sunshine, turf, water views and fresh air helped the tough workout fly by faster than normal!
  • Speaking of Summer workouts, the team at Well+Good published their round-up of NYC Summer workouts yesterday and I seriously want to do as many of these as possible!
  • As you guys know, I’ve been experimenting with a more natural skin care routine over the past few months. After meeting Indie Lee during the Wellthily Montauk weekend and hearing the story behind her products, I knew I wanted to try them for myself. When I ran out of my current toner I replaced it with the Indie Lee Co Q10 TonerAfter just one week of use I am hooked and tempted to buy more products from her line. This skin balancing toner is free of the harsh chemicals which typically dry my face out and instead soothes my face and leaves it feeling refreshed. I love using it after workouts as the aloe and chamomile naturally help reduce the post-workout redness.
  • If you’re a fan of flank steak, these eight marinades will take it to the next level. I whipped up the balsamic-rosemary marinade on Wednesday night using herbs from our garden and it really left our steak tender and flavorful even though it only marinaded for an hour.
  • After reading about Anne’s Canadian adventures, we were inspired to plan a Summer vacation in Western Canada. This August, Bo and I will spending ten days exploring Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise and other areas. We haven’t finalized the itinerary but we have two of our hotels and our flights booked!
  • Over the past year I’ve had three close friends struggle with miscarriages. I was so moved by Julia’s brave post about her personal experience with miscarriage that I sent it to a few of my close friends as well as emailing her personally. While I haven’t experienced this personally, I do believe that it is one of the unspoken struggles couples face more often than we realize. I especially appreciated her tips for those of us that are friends, so that we can best support those who need us during this difficult time.
  • I’ve fallen back into my iced coffee habit this week, enjoying iced coffees from two of my favorite spots,  Blue Bottle and Little Collinsearlier this week. What is your favorite iced coffee?
  • We are hosting a Summer BBQ tomorrow night in our backyard, complete with white lights, hamburgers and music.  We are making life a bit easier on us by inviting our friends to bring appetizers, side dishes and dessert while we are going to provide burgers and pasta salad. Now, how to choose from just one of these mouth-watering pasta salad recipes? Do you have a favorite?

Have a great weekend friends and I’ll check in later this weekend with pictures from our party! 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!



NYRR Mini 10K 2016 Recap


Yesterday I ran the NYRR Mini 10k for the fifth time in six years (20152013, 2012, and 2011 recaps) . Other than the NYC Marathon this is actually my favorite NYRR race. Running with thousands of other women is inspiring and there are more spectators and cheering squads than normal which provides an amazing atmosphere! I always see so many familiar faces either running or cheering!

Katie and I shared a cab from Brooklyn yesterday morning which was a brilliant way to sleep in a few extra minutes and avoid any weekend transportation stress.

cab to race

At 7:30 AM we met Jenna and Zoe at the Columbus statue in Columbus Circle in order to chat and hang out before the race began at 8 AM. The weather was sunny but cooler than normal, a refreshing change versus the heat and humidity we experienced most years.

ashley and jenna

pre race

At 7:55 we walked towards the corral to join the 8,832 other women running the race. The crowds and corrals seemed more manageable than years past, possibly due to the fact that the race didn’t sell out this year.

starting lineWhile we each did our own dynamic stretches, Zoe and I aligned on a race plan. Katie and Jenna were both racing the 10k but Zoe and I both hoped to treat it as a diagnostic race. Due to my hamstring and foot injury, it’d been almost six weeks since I’d run a distance longer than a 5k.  Zoe on the other hand rocked a few half marathons back to back and is dealing with a nagging calf pain.  We went into the race with three goals:

  • Run by feel
  • Finish under 60 minutes
  • Run the entire time

At 8:02, just minutes after the start, we crossed the starting line together. We each put in one headphone so we could get energy and motivation from our music but still talk.  After running this course so many times, I told Zoe that it was one of the more challenging routes but the first mile would be a nice, gradual uphill as we head up Central Park West before we turn into the park and start climbing Harlem Hill.

course map

I didn’t want to stress myself out by wearing a Garmin so instead I wore my Timex watch and just started the timer, allowing me to get an official time but also not seeing or hearing the ding and mile pace after each mile. I reminded my body a few times, especially in the first mile, that this was not a PR race. My body isn’t in PR shape and the goal was to understand my base.

I tried to entertain Zoe and take her mind off the hills once we entered the park, taking a few selfies and pictures. It seemed to work as we were all smiles through these middle miles.  ashley zoe selfie

mid race
By mile 5 I could tell that Zoe was ready to be finished and not feeling terrific. I did my best to keep her within a few steps of me so I could keep pushing her through the finish line. While it wasn’t an easy race for either of us, I crossed the finish line proud of my effort and for sticking with the race plan. I now know that my base is a 9:37 mile as we finished in 59:40. We definitely earned the pink and black medals the volunteers put around our necks after we crossed the finish line!

ashley zoe post

I love that we both accidentally color coordinated with both the medals and the carnations they gave us!  I’m wearing my Brooks Chaser 5″ running shorts and the Brooks Steady Short Sleeve, both of which I’m loving right now! Brooks sent me these to try and I have been wearing each of these non-stop. As I mentioned on Instagram earlier this week, the shorts have a nice, wide thigh opening that doesn’t chafe and the comfortable waistband also has two pockets for keys, money and fuel! The v-neck top is perfect when you want a bit more coverage than a tank and wicks moisture while keeping you 30% cooler than other fabrics!

Yesterday’s race serves as a great starting place for the rest of my training this summer in advance of the Rock’N’Roll Montreal Half and the Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn Half this Fall.  Is it frustrating that last year’s pace was almost 30 seconds faster per mile? Sure, but it’s the reality of the situation right now and I know that I’ll start seeing 8:xx sooner versus later with SMART training this Summer.