Friday, July 25, 2014

71 Questions With Me!

I didn't think I could love Blake Lively more until Vogue posted their "73 Questions with Blake Lively" video on YouTube this week. 
 
 
She loves baking, hot chocolate, and Paris...I don't know how we aren't besties already.  My favorite part of the video might be the fact that she casually refers to "my husband" like she isn't married to one of the hottest men to ever walk the face of the planet... #NBD
 
Don't we make a nice pair?
 
I wanted to do this post after Vogue asked SJP 73 questions, but I never got around to it.  I couldn't pass it up this time, so here are 71 questions (I took two irrelevant ones out of the mix) answered by yours truly:
 
1.  How are you feeling these days?  Life is good!
2.  What's the best thing to happen to you this year?  I moved to Manhattan!
3.  What's the best thing that happened to you this month?  My blog hit 1 million views!
4.  What's the best thing that's happened to you today?  I woke up with Lily cuddled next to me in the cutest position.
5.  What's the best thing ever?  Chocolate or nature.  I guess nature since it doesn't make you fat.
6.  What's your favorite season? Fall.
7.  Favorite holiday? I love all holidays!
8.  What's your best Halloween costume?  My favorite Halloween costume is probably the Wilson costume I made out of paper mache because I designed and created it from scratch.
 
 
9.  Would you ever live anywhere besides the East Coast?  Totally.
10.  Which Sex and the City character do you identify with most?  Charlotte.
11.  Do you like surprises?  Yes, but I'll try to find out what the surprise is because I need to know everything!
12.  What's the biggest surprise you've ever had?  One time in middle school I had a slumber party at my friend Caroline's house, and her mother told me that my dad was there to pick me up the following morning.  I told her that was impossible since he didn't live in Atlanta, but he surprised me!
13.  What's a surprise that made you cry?  When my dad passed away.
14.  What's the best surprise you've planned for someone?  I love planning birthday surprises!  Birthdays are my favorite!
15.  What's your favorite plot twist?  I hate the movie, but it had a pretty surprising ending.  Off the top of my head, I'm going to have to say Saw.
16.  If you could do a flash mob, where would it be?  Grand Central Station.
17.  Do you like cupcakes?  Not as much as I adore them!
18.  Do you usually bake cupcakes?  Cookies and brownies are easier.
19.  Do you want to decorate some cupcakes?  Can I eat them after?
20.  How often do you bake?  I've been on an ice cream kick this summer, so I don't bake as often as I used to.
21.  What's your favorite dessert?  Anything chocolate.
22.  Is there a dessert you don't like?  They are few and far between.
23.  Cake or pie? Cake.
24.  What's your favorite bakery?  I'd have to say Crumbs because not only are their cupcakes huge, but they also have "cupcake milkshakes" where they blend a cupcake with ice and milk.  I haven't had one, but just the thought of it is enough to die and go to heaven, no?!  Sadly, they are shutting down, so I don't know if this will ever become a reality for me...
25.  What's the coolest thing about Canada?  The Canadian Rockies! Bucket List #71!
26.  What's your favorite food?  Pasta and chocolate would have to duke it out for the number one spot.
27.  What's your least favorite food?  Umm, bugs?!
28.  What's your favorite condiment?  Hershey's syrup.
29.  It's brunch.  What do you eat?  Chocolate chip pancakes.
30.  It's 4am on a Saturday night.  What do you eat?  McDonald's fries and a chocolate milk shake.
31.  You're stuck on an island.  You can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it.  What would you eat?  This is already my life as I live on the island of Manhattan and I will never get tired of eating macaroni and cheese.
32.  Favorite color?  Pink.
33.  Least favorite color?  Brown.
34.  What kind of lipgloss do you use?  Sadly, I can't remember the last time I used lipgloss.  I've been rocking my glossy lipstick from Bite Beauty Lip Lab in SoHo.  (Look out for a blog post soon!)
35.  What color dress did you wear to your prom?  Junior year my dress was coral, and senior year my dress was blue.
36.  Blow dry or air dry?  Air dry.
37.  Would you ever cut your hair short?  All the time. I grow it out.  Cut it.  Grow it out.  Cut it.  Repeat.
38.  Who's your fashion icon?  Kate Middleton.
39.  What's three things in your purse that you cannot live without?  My phone. Lip balm. Debit card.
40.  Favorite superhero?  Batman.
41.  Who's your favorite painter? Monet.
42.  Who's a person you'd love to have coffee with?  Emma Watson.
43.  Who's an historical figure you'd love to have coffee with?  Mark Twain.
44.  How do you like your coffee?  I prefer hot chocolate, but I've been trying to get into more mature beverages...if I must!
45.  What do you usually order at Starbucks?  Green tea or an iced skinny caramel macchiato when I'm trying to act like an adult, but my heart belongs to peppermint hot chocolates, morning buns, and marshmallow dream bars.
46.  Who's the last person you texted?  My friend, Karen.
47.  Who's the last person you tweeted? James Franco.
48.  iPhone or Android?  iPhone.
49.  Vine or YouTube?  YouTube.
50.  Twitter or Instagram?  Instagram.
51.  Who should everyone be following right now?  Me! - @PopFitLife on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
52.  Carpet or wooden floors for a pre-war, one bedroom apartment?  Hardwood floors are gorgeous!
53.  Have you had anything stolen from you?  Not that I can recall...
54.  Favorite country to visit?  Sweden.
55.  Last country you visited?  France.
56.  Country you wish to visit?  The other 192 countries I haven't visited yet...they are on my list!
57.  What was your first pet?  Two cats.
58.  What was your first pet's name?  Gumdrop and Ebony.
59.  Favorite Disney animal?  Rhino, the hamster from Bolt.
60.  Kittens or puppies?  Puppies.
61.  What's your spirit animal?  Britney Spears circa 2000.
62.  What are you doing tomorrow?  I'm taking a barre class at Pure Yoga and then heading to work.
63.  What are you most excited about in life right now?  Future possibilities, football season, and sleeping.
64.  What's your favorite movie?  I will never be able to pick just one, but I will say I'm very excited for the 50 Shades of Grey movie trailer that was released yesterday.  As if we all needed another reason to be counting down the days until my birthday next year...
65.  Movie you laughed the hardest through?  40 Year Old Virgin.
66.  If you could sing a duet with someone who would it be?  Justin Timberlake. Or I could just stare at him instead.  That's cool too..
67.  If your life was a song, what would the title be?  Sadly, "If You're Happy and You Know It..." is already taken...
68.  A book you read because everyone else was reading it?  Any young adult fiction series.
69.  Best gift you've ever received?  Any gift of travel.
70.  Last gift you gave a friend?  An Alex and Ani bracelet.
71.  One last question.  Did you forget something?  I've been told I have the memory of an elephant, so that's highly unlikely. 
 
Feel free to answer these questions yourself, and tag me in them.  Bonus points if you make a video!
 
Stay fit and fabulous,
 
A
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Restaurant Review: Tavern on the Green


Cozy. Elegant. Delicious. Enchanted. These are all words I would use to describe my dining experience at the recently re-opened Tavern on the Green in Central Park.  I've been reading fairly negative reviews about the restaurant recently saying everything from the servers look like deer in headlights to the meals were cold, but that was not the experience my mom and I had at all.  We were totally won over by everything from the moment we walked through the door.

 
The main entrance and bar are very beautiful and cozy.  Everything is made of dark wood, so it has an elegant cottage feel to it.  It is completely different than the main dining area which is mostly made of sleek marble and glass.  The entire outer wall is made of glass giving guests a perfect few of Central Park.  Trust me, this is one magical view at twilight.  I wish my photos did this restaurant some justice, but you will just have to take my word for it and try it out yourself!

 
 
My mom ordered the seasonal greens...
 
 
...and this pasta dish which doesn't seem to be on the menu anymore. #sorryboutit
 
 
I ordered local sea scallops with citrus butter, fried shallots, and capers.
 
 
My favorite part of my meal was this side dish of creamy white grits.  My dad would disown me for saying this, but these are the best grits I've ever tasted in my life - on either side of the Mason-Dixon Line!
 
 
Picking a dessert is always one of life's toughest choices, but we ended up going with the berry shortcake with a buttermilk biscuit and lavender.  We don't regret that decision one bit!
 
 
To top off our amazing evening, we got to view the most gorgeous sunset on our walk back home.  It puts Manhattenhenge sunsets to shame, no?!
 
 
Stay fit and fabulous,
 
A
 
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favories 7/18

photo credit
Usually, I focus on about 5 things that I'm loving for my Friday Favorites post.  This week - it's all about the little things in life:

orange sunsets
the first sip of an iced skinny caramel macchiato - it's basically milk and caramel sauce...
the last sip of an iced skinny caramel macchiato - it's basically espresso and melted ice water
the ending of the Divergent series
the Once soundtrack
running around the Jackie Onassis reservoir 
my sister's jokes - she told me her favorite exercise was a mix between a lunge and a crunch aka "lunch"
cuddling with my furbaby, Lily
girls night out
getting dressed up - especially since I live in workout gear
The Landmark Forum - I completed it this weekend. It's life changing. Do it!
"middle school girl" style crushes at 27 years old
celebrity sightings - I worked out with Vanessa Hudgens this week!
when someone referred to me "New Yorker"
hula hoops
Blue Diamond almond/coconut milk mix - I've finally discovered my milk substitute that I can actually drink!
friends coming to visit - I can't wait to play tour guide 
 
What are you loving this week?  Let me know in the comments below.
 
Stay fit and fabulous,
 
A
 
Please follow me on Twitter and "like" my blog on Facebook if you enjoy what you read.  Thanks!
 
 
 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Restaurant Review: Cafe Lalo

Two weeks ago, I had a much needed visit from my mom!  I had not seen her since February, so the reunion was long overdue.  She ended up staying with me in my Upper West Side apartment, and she enjoyed acting like a local visiting museums, the farmer's market, and the 359749867 Starbucks on my block.  
 
 
Her flight got in around 8pm on Thursday, so naturally she wanted to have a night on the town in the City That Never Sleeps.  But this gal also never sleeps, so I compromised with a late night venture to Café Lalo.  I picked Café Lalo for multiple reasons - 1) I discovered it on New Year's Eve and immediately thought "What is that magical place lit up with thousands of twinkle lights?!  I must dine here." and then jotted it down on my List Of Restaurants I Must Dine At list, 2) It's in walking distance of my apartment, 3) It's the restaurant featured in one of my all time favorite movies, You've Got Mail.  My mom probably doesn't remember this scene, but she understands my deep appreciation for all things related to the entertainment industry and has accompanied me on numerous unusual adventures to fulfill my pop culture needs.  She just goes with...as she did on Thursday evening.
 
 
Café Lalo had quite the crowd outside of it for 9pm on a Thursday.  I was nervous we would have to wait (Beauty sleep waits for nobody. Hello!?), but surprisingly, we were seated immediately.  As you walk through the doors you are transported to an early-1900's café in Paris (you must pronounce it "pair-ee", of course!).  It is equal parts adorable and sophisticated.  I couldn't love it more unless our visit took place on a gorgeous fall day and the cafe's windows were open, but I digress...

 
I ordered a fresh strawberry lemonade, the mozzarella/pesto/tomato sandwich, and chocolate Oreo cheesecake.  Drool away, PopFitLifers.  Drool away...

 
 
 
My mom's coffee...it's like regular coffee - only cuter!
 
I definitely recommend visiting Café Lalo on W. 83rd Street (between Amsterdam and Broadway) especially if you are searching for the perfect First Date spot, a charming brunch place to catch up with an old friend, or a quaint setting to debate which is more fabulous - the scrumptious Café Lalo cheesecake you are currently devouring or your amazing life. 
 
Stay fit and fabulous,
 
A
 
Please follow me on Twitter and "like" my blog on Facebook if you enjoy what you read.  Thanks!
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Is It Too Late to Join The Circus?

One of my roles at my job is the "Director of Thoughtfulness" which means I get to celebrate my co-workers goals and accomplishments as well as keep up company morale.  It's basically the best position ever!  We've all been going above and beyond recently, so I wanted to plan a team sweat sesh since everyone deserved a little evening of fun together.  I randomly came across Westchester Circus Arts in Tarrytown, NY.  WCA has classes, which range from Circus Boot Camp to Trapeze, for all ages.  I wanted us to get our trapeze on since I had a blast during my previous trapeze experience, but we learned aerial silks skills (say that five times fast!) instead which turned out to be ah-mazing!  Check out the photos below:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Since I was a little girl, I've always loved climbing, swinging, and flipping upside down.  Why I haven't quit life to join the circus yet is beyond me!  Until that day comes, I'm enjoying trying fun workouts.  I currently have my eye on City Row, which will probably be the next new sweat sesh I attempt.  What workouts are you loving these days?  Let me know in the comments below!
 
Also, I want to give a HUGE shout out to Hilary at Westchester Circus Arts for coordinating and instructing a great evening for us on Sunday!  Thank you!
 
Stay fit and fabulous,
 
A
 
Please follow me on Twitter and "like" my blog on Facebook if you enjoy what you read.  Thanks!
 
 
 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Race Recap: Tuxedo NY Spartan Sprint

About a month ago, Maxim Magazine contacted me to let me know that I was one of the two grand prize winners of their Spartan Race Sweepstakes.  I was really excited, yet nervous, to participate in the Spartan Race with editors and other staff from the magazine.  I was looking forward to the rare experience!

 
The month of May flew by, and soon I was walking up to the start line of this year's Spartan Race at Tuxedo Ridge Ski Resort in New York.  Unfortunately, no one from Maxim Magazine showed up, but thankfully another cool chick won the contest as well!  Diana has done multiple Spartan races before, and she even participated in Saturday's race! Did I mention she's pretty much a badass?  It was a blast getting to run with her.

 
This year's course was completely different from the one I completed last year at the same location - beginning with the Start line.  This time we had to climb a wall just to get into the starting corral.  Then, once the whistle blew, we followed the course straight up the mountain.  The Spartan Race wasn't messing around this year!
 
Obstacles included multiple walls (including an inverted one), a tire run, a cargo net climb, a log carry, barbed wire, a spear throw, fire, and more!  Surprisingly, my hardest obstacle is always the  monkey bars.  Though I lived on the monkey bars as a child, I wasn't able to complete them during my first Spartan Race last year, and it forever haunts my obstacle course dreams.  This year, the monkey bars were uneven adding a greater challenge.  Though I still wasn't able to make it all the way across, I got further than I did during previous Spartan Races!


My greatest accomplishment during this race was, by far, the rope climb.  I've been able to get at least halfway up during my two previous Spartan Races, but it has always frustrated me because I get so close yet can't ring the bell.  My friend, Joe, is a CrossFit coach, and he showed me the J-hook technique for rope climbing.  While I still used the rope's knots, I was able to use the J-hook technique between knots to help me reach the top.  People even came up to me after commenting on how well I got up the rope, which completely made my day! #beastmodeactivated


My only complaint about this race is that they ran out of small Finisher shirts at the end even though they ask for participants' shirt sizes at registration.  This is a rookie mistake in the world of racing in my opinion!  Having said that, I still love Spartan Races and would enjoy doing another one.  I'm thinking the one at Fenway Park or a Super Spartan to work toward my Spartan Trifecta.  Thoughts?


I'm not registered for any more races in 2014, but I'd love to try a new race or a new distance this year.  If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments below!
 
Stay fit and fabulous,
 
A
 
Please follow me on Twitter and "like" my blog on Facebook if you enjoy what you read.  Thanks!

 
 
 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bucket List #165: Experience Manhattanhenge.

Manhattanhenge at W.56th Street
Last summer, my friend told me to add Manhattanhenge to my Bucket List.  I'd never heard of Manhattanhenge, so I had to do a little research to make sure it was BL worthy.  Twice a year, the sun aligns perfectly with the Manhattan grid line creating a beautiful glow along every cross street of the city.  It's a great opportunity for gorgeous sunset photos of Manhattan, but it's also just a neat experience to take part in!  People stand, cameras ready, in the streets of New York City waiting on the clock and crosswalk signals.  It's kind of a big deal... Even my girl, Sarah Jessica Parker, waited anxiously for it!
 
I missed Manhattanhenge last year due to gross weather (although it actually cleared up in time).  As I made my way home after work Friday evening, I almost gave up on witnessing Manhattanhenge again due to rain and stormy clouds during the commute, but I'm so glad my friend encouraged me not to!  We drove straight to West 57th street to park (certain streets have better views) and ran to the nearest intersection by 8:18PM.  While I didn't get any extremely spectacular photos (maybe an iPhone doesn't cut it for those?), I was able to experience one gorgeous sunset and the feeling of having experienced something stunning and rare.
 
Sad you missed Manhattenhenge last week?  No worries!  It happens again in July!  Check out the dates and times below, and mark your calendars!:
 
Friday, June 11 at 8:24PM
Saturday, June 12 at 8:25PM
 
Stay fit and fabulous,
 
A
 
Please follow me on Twitter and "like" my blog on Facebook if you enjoy what you read.  Thanks!