Five Things from the Long Weekend

Happy Monday! The sun is shining and the temperature is supposed to reach a mild 70 degrees today in Brooklyn. Our plan for the day is to stay local, exploring and doing some shopping before relaxing this evening with leftovers and Manchester By the Sea.

Washington Square ParkI thought it’d be fun to share a few of the things we did with my parents over the past few days during their visit. As you guys know, my parents visit us in New York at least 2 to 3 times per year so we tend to relax together and just enjoy versus trying to hit museums and tourist spots that they’ve seen multiple times. Since it was my dad’s birthday weekend, we chose a few restaurants that we knew he’d love so he could enjoy his favorite cuisine.

  1. Birthday dinner at Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown for their famous soup dumplings. If you’re local or visiting and love Chinese food, Joe’s Shanghai’s Chinatown location is a great option for authentic, reasonably priced Chinese food. Unlike many places in Chinatown, they offer an English menu so you aren’t clueless. We loved that the restaurant was filled with locals versus a line of tourists. Soup dumplings
  2. A long, cold walk through Gramercy, Union Square, West Village, NoHo, SoHo and Tribeca. Even though the sun was shining and the sky was blue, the weather in NYC yesterday was deceptively frigid due to the strong wind gusts. We bundled up and enjoyed a long walk through some areas my parents are less familiar with while perusing shops and enjoying the sights, such as Washington Square Park. 
  3. Delicious Italian dinner at Gran Morsi in Tribeca. Our friends Mike and Liz introduced us to Gran Morsi earlier this year and since then I’ve been dreaming about their delicious meatballs and the cast iron Eggplant Parmesan.  My parents loved the relaxed yet chic atmosphere and the service and food were just as good as we remembered.  Ashley bump
  4. A very successful shopping experience at Seraphine Maternity. As you guys know, I haven’t purchased many maternity items thus far, instead relying on a few hand me downs and a few key items. Now that Spring is coming and I’ve also popped quite significantly over the past two weeks, my mom and I agreed that it was time to go shopping. The experience shopping in the Seraphine SoHo location was incredible. The staff was very friendly and helpful while their seasonal sale allowed me to walk out with seven pieces, 3 dresses, 3 tops, 1 sweater and one pair of panty hose, without breaking the bank. I couldn’t believe that two of my favorite items were under $60! I was able to find two dresses (this one and this one) which will be perfect for my Savannah and NYC showers. 
  5. Two nights of delicious cooking and baking with Mom and Bo. After two nights of eating out we decided to spend Saturday and Sunday nights cooking in and relaxing together. We were all craving meat so we opted for a traditional steakhouse dinner on Saturday night followed by a slow-cooked pot roast on Sunday night. Since my mom and I enjoy baking together so much, we spent both nights baking delicious treats including this delicious German Chocolate cake.  Even though my dad doesn’t cook, it was still fun to have everyone in the kitchen relaxing together.



A Sweaty Start to Valentines Day

orange theory valentines day workout

Happy Valentine’s Day friends! Most years I roll my eyes at this commercial holiday that has become focused more on chocolates, flowers and gifts than just taking time to be thankful for loved ones. However, this year, I woke up this morning bursting with happiness.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been reminded multiple times that I am blessed with an incredible support group of friends, co-workers and family members both near and far.  So regardless of your status this Valentine’s Day, I hope you can take a moment to be thankful for yourself and those people in your life you hold dear.  I took a few minutes earlier today to thank each of my team members for their support by gifting them $5 on Venmo for a coffee or sweet treat. It isn’t much but sometimes the smallest, unexpected gestures are the most rewarding.

This morning Bo and I kicked off Valentine’s Day at Orangetheory Park Slope with a grueling Valentine’s Day themed partner workout led by Coach Corey. One of my favorite coaches, his playlist is always amazing and he did a great job motivating the class today as well as providing prenatal adjustments. This morning’s partner workout included an endurance hill and speed treadmill station, rowing and squat thrust station and a strength station that was packed with squats, chest flies and tricep extensions. By the time the clock hit 7:45, Bo and I were both dripping in sweat. Speaking of Orangetheory workouts, did you guys know that every Orangetheory location across the US does the same workout each day? My mind was blown when I discovered this the other day. How fun is that?!

Ashley and Bo 100 pound journey

Workout dates are something that Bo and I are trying to prioritize in our schedule between now and June when Baby Girl Diamond arrives.  As many of you know, we both enjoy sweating together as it provides us with time before our busy days to connect, workout and enjoy each other’s company.  When we started dating fourteen years ago, fitness was not a priority, as you can tell from the above picture. Since we’ve been together we’ve lost a combined weight of one hundred pounds, much of which can be attributed to our healthier and more active lifestyle. I’m so thankful that these days Bo and I equally enjoy working out and staying active together. In fact, it’s become such a part of our routine that I often take it for granted until I read posts like this.  Since running is something that I enjoy more than him, most of our workout dates revolve around workouts we enjoy equally such as high intensity interval training at Orangetheory or Fhitting Room, spin classes at FlyWheel or swimming at the YMCA.

This evening we will continue to enjoy Valentine’s Day together by cooking one of our favorite dishes together, sesame encrusted tuna, and relax with a movie.

Hope you guys have a great day!


January Favorites

January Favorites

Happy Sunday! I hope you all have enjoyed a wonderful weekend. Do you have plans to watch the Super Bowl? Since Bo and I are both from Georgia, we have hopes that the Atlanta Falcons will Rise Up and win tonight. Unfortunately, we just realized that since we got rid of cable this month, we don’t know how we can watch the game at home. Any tips? If your football knowledge is less than stellar, give this article a glance before you watch the game tonight.

Since I didn’t have a chance to share my weekly favorites with you this month, I decided to share a round-up of the things I loved during January. Now, let’s dive into this edition of favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught or that I found myself loving this month.

  • Orangetheory – Since the new Park Slope studio opened in January, Bo and I have loved working out together at Orange Theory one to two times per week. As I mentioned previously, their coaches have been terrific in helping me make adjustments as needed due to the pregnancy and I love that each coach truly creates a motivating and supportive environment. The 60-minute classes fly by and so far I’ve really enjoyed the longer treadmill sets intermixed with the rowing and strength portion. The high intensity interval training has complemented my YMCA routine as well as the more gentle barre and pilates workouts I’m taking.
  • Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser – The past month my face has become victim to the cold, windy weather and dry air. While I’m still using my favorite oil cleanser in the evening to remove my makeup, I’m using this sensitive, mositurizing cleanser in the morning and in the evening, following the oil cleanser. If you’re looking for an economical, natural skin care line, Acure can be found at Walmart, Target and Whole Foods and is a great way to transition your routine and experiment with different items.
  • I’ve been using this rich, hydrating, natural face moisturizer a few nights per week after exfoliating and have noticed a visible difference in my face. My makeup went on smoother and my skin feels healthier after just a few uses.
  • Even though my parents have been to New York many times over the years, it’s always fun to plan a few special activities during their visits. This month our plans include indulging in safe to eat cookie dough creations, high tea at The Plaza and spending time at our favorite NYC museum in between some maternity and nursery shopping.
  • While Bo and I both enjoy duck, I often find many of the recipes to be overly rich or complicated. Thanks to Serious Eats Dinner Tonight section, we enjoyed a simple and flavorful duck dish last night. We made a perfect winter meal by pairing the fig duck with homemade mashed sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.
  • If the winter air has your hair screaming for help, I highly recommend Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Creme. I’ve been using it for the past six weeks as a styling cream before blow drying my hair and see and feel a noticeable difference. My hair is softer, smoother and has less frizz throughout the day.
  • Burrito Bowls – I’ve been craving Mexican food this week so after seeing Nicole’s burrito bowl tutorial post I did some research and ended up buying the ingredients to make a hybrid recipe this week including inspiration from Nicole, Damn Delicious and Ambitious Kitchen.
  • Looking for a few new running blogs or just some inspiration to get off the couch? I find Amanda’s posts to always be informative, but this round-up of running blogs was especially helpful for someone looking to update their blog and Instagram feed.
  • Julia’s idea to sip this green smoothie as an afternoon snack inspired me to buy the ingredients today and try whipping it up when I’m working from home this week. I love that the recipe includes a few items I’d never think to put in a green smoothie like collagen and sunflower seeds!
  • Since receiving this under eye concealer in last month’s Birchbox, I’ve used it daily and recently ordered the full-size version. It doesn’t crease, goes on easily and helps give me that well-rested look we all crave.

What is a recipe, product or post you loved in Janaury? 

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!