Life

Thursday Thoughts #2

Happy Thursday, friends!

The weekend is so close, I can almost taste it! Just like every Thursday, I’m here with my random mess of thoughts. This weekend we don’t have too much going on so I’m looking forward to just relaxing in my city or maybe going out to Brian’s parents house in Eastern Long Island (aka wine country)!

ONE

I’m still reminiscing about our amazing time at my brother’s beautiful wedding. It was beachside and we had a wonderful day! I’m so excited that now I have TWO sisters-in-law. Since I grew up with only a brother, it makes me so happy that these two amazing girls are part of my sister squad. Joslyn looked beautiful and John-Paul looked so happy. I love them BOTH so much!

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Selfies at the rehearsal dinner.
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Ahh – they just looked so happy all day!

TWO

I bought an anklet on my honeymoon (a 20$ one at a booth at the Maui aquarium haha) and I’ve been wearing it with EVERYTHING. I hadn’t thought about anklets since the early 2000’s but I’m super into them for my summer look! Things on my wrists tend to bother me, so I’m not usually wearing bracelets or watches, but I like the idea of wearing an anklet as an additional accessory. Not sure if anklets are “in” right now but I don’t really care. Mine has a tiny silver turtle and I think it’s adorable. 

THREE

I have been thinking a lot recently about getting a new tattoo. I have three already and i absolutely love them all. I have some vague ideas about what I want and there happens to be a highly rated tattoo parlor very close to our apartment, so the next step is meeting with an artist. I’m thinking I want just blacks and grays for this one , but stay tuned for exactly what it turns out to be!

FOUR

Need to know – who else is watching Alone Together on Freeform? I laugh out loud at least twice an episode. I don’t think it’s a realistic depiction of 20-something life, but it’s really amusing, has short episodes, and is fun to just throw on an episode or two before bed.

FIVE

Forgot to mention this before, but I set up an Instagram page that you can follow for updates, too! @lifewith_laurenb

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, friends! Drop me a line at lifewithlaurenb@gmail.com or shoot me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

❤ LB

 

NYC

Rooftop Cinema in NYC

Hey friends!

I hope you’re all having a great day so far! So, one of the things I wanted to do when starting this blog was to get out and explore NYC a bit more. I live in Queens and work in lower Manhattan, so I get around, but the day-to-day really doesn’t afford me a lot of time to explore. Add that to the fact that lately, it seems like every weekend we have a wedding related event, and we just don’t see as much of our amazing city as we could. Womp womp.

BUT a few weeks ago, my friend Sara asked me if Brian and I wanted to join her and her fiance Jerry for a rooftop movie, complete with food, cocktails, and unlimited popcorn. We couldn’t say no, and it was a perfect opportunity to do something we had never done before.

We met up with Sara and Jerry at about 6pm on Saturday night. We went up to the third floor of the Embassy Suites to their Skylawn for what they call Rooftop Cinema Club. We checked in at the box office and grabbed a table to get some real food and a few drinks before they opened the movie seating on their “lawn.” The food menu was fairly limited for me as a pescatarian, but I found a salad with shrimp, and everyone else got sliders. We ordered a few rounds of drinks, the guys played a game of giant Jenga, and Sara and I protected our drinks from the impending crash.

When they opened the lawn, we scoped out some great seats, collected our headphones and popcorn and got settled. I have to say I wasn’t expecting that the audience would use headphones and I was a bit worried that the sound wouldn’t match the video perfectly (so annoying!) or that it wouldn’t be loud enough, but as soon as the movie started I was totally sucked in. We saw “The Greatest Showman” which I was already a big fan of, so I lip-synched along to all of the songs while Brian filmed embarrassing videos of me.

Friends, it was so much fun! Rooftop Cinema Club runs about once a week (I’m not sure what they do if it’s a rainy day) and I’m already looking at what movies are coming up so we can go again! We had an absolutely beautiful night to sit outside and watch a movie with our pals. We always have such a good time with Sara and Jerry and I hope that we get to go on more city adventures with them, soon! Have you tried a rooftop movie? Is there another in NYC we should try? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email at lifewithlaurenb@gmail.com!

❤ LB

Life

Our Wedding: A Timeline – Part 1

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!

I’m excited to share this post with all of you. I’m totally in a wedding moment after this weekend (More to come on my brother’s beautiful wedding in a future post!) so I’m really excited to share with you a look back on my own wedding about three months ago.

Our wedding was a much awaited (hello, girl who had been planning her wedding since she was 13!), spectacular day full of fun, SO many laughs, and a ton of love from our friends and family. I want to write about it now, since it was so recent and I can still capture the feelings of the day. We got married on May 19th, 2018 after a 19 month engagement at the stunning Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead, NY. I can’t say enough good things about our vendors (who I’ll link at the bottom of my last wedding post) – they did an incredible job bringing our vision to life. All photos by my bridesmaids and the amazing Keith and Alexis of Anchor & Lace Photography!

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Rehearsed and ready!

6:00am – Good morning! I’m an early riser and woke up on my own at 6:00am despite knowing that it was going to be a LONG day. I started streaming the Royal Wedding immediately (obv). I had been sleeping in a room with two of my besties, Kim, who I dubbed my “best gal,” and Bree, who did an amazing reading at the ceremony. I took a quick shower, we relaxed, checked our social media pages and gathered up our stuff to head to Brian’s family’s house. It was finally our wedding day!

9:00am – COFFEE (and presents!). My bestie, and maid of honor, Nikko bought me an adorable picture frame to celebrate my wedding day, and my oldest friend Allyson gifted me an Armenian evil eye to pin on my dress to ward off bad spirits. Her card was beautiful and ended with an old, Armenian saying, “May you grow old on one pillow.” Cue the first tears of the day!

10:00 – 2:00 – Getting beautiful and even more excited! My cousin (who flew in from LA) came to my wedding as more than just a guest. She came as Makeup Artist Extraordinaire! Seriously, she is insanely talented and after having danced for 14 years with tons of stage makeup, she is the ONLY person to ever put fake eyelashes on me that I could. not. feel. A miracle! Our hairstylists had everyone looking so beautiful, too. I wanted my girls to look like gardeny princesses and they all truly did. We popped a couple bottles of champagne, danced to Jay Sean’s “Down” and Will Smith’s “Miami” (where I had my EPIC bachelorette party – but that’s a subject for another post), and had the absolute best time being together.

I kept thinking to myself that I needed to commit this whole day to memory, but luckily my girls were documenting everything to our shared photo album and I got to just soak in the time together with my best friends and family.

During this time, the guys were enjoying themselves, getting ready, and chatting over a few beers.

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2:00-3:30 – We took some pictures of the girls together in our getting ready outfits, complete with flower crowns and I showed everyone my dress live and in person for the first time. 

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When it came time to put on my shoes (I had decided last minute to go with my original “reception shoes” for the whole day because the weather was biblical rain the whole day), I discovered that the bottom of my feet were BLACK from walking around the house barefoot all day. AND I was already in my dress. Enter a frenzy of my best friends scrubbing the bottom of my gross feet with makeup wipes in floor length dresses and full hair and makeup while I try not to kick them accidentally. Once the shoes were on, and I was recovered from my hysterical laughter at the ticklish-ness of my feet, we were out the door and into the trolley to the venue!

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Check back for part two of the wedding day! It’s almost time to say, “I do!”

❤ LB

Life

Thursday Thoughts #1

Hey everyone!

I thought that I’d create a weekly feature on Life with Lauren B. to share a bit with all of you about what’s been going on, what I’ve been thinking about, working on, or just random things that have been on my mind lately. The number and topic will vary each week, of course, but I’m hoping to connect with all of you through this blog so if you have advice, share the same weird thought or habit, or have a question, reach out to me in the comments or email me at lifewithlaurenb@gmail.com!

ONE

I’m sure a lot of you are going to agree with me on this one, but I am seriously STILL so obsessed with the reboot of Queer Eye on Netflix! If you haven’t watched, it is so heartwarming, upbeat, and just tons of fun to watch. I’ve of course watched all the episodes, but now I’m beginning to think that the Fab 5 should be filming constantly just so there can be a perpetual feed of new episodes in my life. Quick episodes, happy topics, personal improvement, and the Fab 5 make this an easy show to throw on while I’m on the treadmill, cooking dinner, or just want to destress from a crazy day. LOVE!

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TWO

Lately, I’ve been working on getting back into the swing of things fitness-wise after a recent injury. I sprained my ankle and sustained some ligament damage in the process while at Crossfit one day (a TOTAL freak accident, my coaches are super careful about making sure everyone in class is using proper form and using the equipment safely). I’m about a month and a half out from that injury and with the heat, post-injury fear, and being so busy this summer, it’s been difficult to be excited about working out each day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still out there doing my workouts, but I just don’t feel like I’ve been “crushing it” the way I normally do. Like I said, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies.

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THREE

The past two weeks or so I’ve been experimenting with some meal prepping! I do not consider myself a true “meal prepper” it’s just the way things have worked out recently and I’ve really enjoyed it! I’ve been spending an hour or two on Sundays prepping some things for both lunches and dinners for the week. Most recently, I’ve been super into making a big batch of quinoa and then using it to make two different types of cold quinoa salads for mine and Brian’s lunches. I like more savory quinoa salads and Brian likes sweeter versions, so we’ve been having his and hers lunches recently. I’ve also been making an effort to chop and store romaine lettuce and veggies so I can throw together a dinner salad with the same ease as using bagged lettuces or salad kits. What are your meal prepping tips?

FOUR

I’m feeling super pumped today because TOMORROW my little brother gets married! Brian and I are both in the wedding party and I am so excited to walk down the aisle with him again to celebrate more people joining our family! Congratulations, John-Paul and Joslyn!IMG_9529.JPG

FIVE

Since this blog is so new, I’d love to hear from you! How did you stumble this little corner of the internet and what types of posts would you like to see featured? More on fitness? Food? Wedding? NYC adventures? Book lists and reviews? Let me know in the comments or send me an email!

❤ LB

Fitness

Arriving at my love of fitness

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! I thought today I would blog about my fitness journey. This is a long one but bear with me as I add to this story in the future!

To those who haven’t known me for my whole life, or even most of it, it may come as a surprise that I was not always a fitness enthusiast. In fact, I hated gym class, was only a rec counselor at my summer camp to get a tan, and generally maintained an unhealthy lifestyle for many years. With the exception of competitive dance, which was a huge part of my life for 14 years (I started when I was 4 and dance was my “extracurricular activity” until I graduated high school), I was pretty sedentary and did not explore all the fitness options that are out there. Occasionally my friend Allyson and I would put on our soffee shorts (remember soffee shorts? Full disclosure: I still have several pairs) and sports bras and run around my neighborhood, but that was about it.

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That’s me in dark pink with pigtails 🙂

When I got to college, the first time that I did not have 20+ hours per week of intense dance classes and rehearsals, I was a little lost. Plus, let’s get real, unsupervised college eating is the MOST fun. I danced in a student run club a couple of times a week, and while the dancers were talented, the pressure for me to join them at “mixers” with fraternities just wasn’t my style, so I only danced for three semesters. I would occasionally hit the gym to get on the elliptical for 30 minutes, but that was about it. Couple that with my love of Chinese food, penny beers (yes, one beer cost one penny), and tons of iced coffee with cream and extra sugar and the college weight gain was real.

I saw graduate school as a chance to really reinvent myself, be confident, learn a lot, and gain tons of independence. I was living in my first apartment, got a kitten, and was ready to make some self-improvements. I registered for my first half marathon in February of 2012. I downloaded a training schedule from the internet and got to work. My cross training at the time was mainly the stationary bike or the elliptical, and I incorporated almost no strength training, whatsoever. I loved my first half marathon so much that I decided to complete the Cape Cod Half Marathon Trilogy for the year. I completed one race in May, and another in October. They were slow. They were difficult. But I was proud.

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Brian and I at a Tough Mudder. I cried the whole time and my dad beat both of us.

Since graduate school I have tried many new things in the workout world, from memberships at gyms, to yoga, pilates, HIIT, kickboxing and more. There was even a while when I wasn’t working out at all because I was in my car commuting for 3+ hours a day. Then, I started at my current job at a school in Manhattan – and reduced my daily commute by half. I was pumped to have time to exercise, but didn’t know where to start. So, I did what any totally sane, not crazy at all person would do: I registered for my first full marathon. Again, I downloaded a training schedule from the all-knowing Google and I stuck with it. I completed my first marathon in November of 2016 and I totally caught the bug. There is just something about the commitment that long distance running takes that I really love. I couldn’t skip workouts. I couldn’t eat junk. I couldn’t half-ass it or I could get hurt, or not finish. I started following running blogs, runner’s Instagram pages (one of whom is now my amazing, supportive, running coach), and picking the brain of my coworker, who just so happens to be an ultramarathoner. I completed my second full marathon in May of 2017 and my third exactly 13 days before my wedding in May of 2018.

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I would supplement my running at a local gym with sessions on the elliptical or stationary bike, and the occasional weightlifting session with Brian. Then, one morning in the summer of 2017 at 4:45am, Brian and I showed up at our gym to find a sign on the door that it was closed. Just like that. #NYC I had my running, of course, but it was hot, humid, and I generally wasn’t loving it. We did some research on local gyms, and, having heard a lot about Crossfit, decided to head over for a trial class. WE LOVED IT! Our first class (something I’ll always remember) was 100 American kettlebell swings for time. I used the tiniest weight they had and I still felt like a total badass.

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Bear crawling at Crossfit in Harry Potter leggings 🙂

Brian and I went to our foundations classes together at our box to learn all of the basics and then jumped into 5:45am classes, which I’ve stuck with ever since. It’s funny to me to think back on my first few weeks at Crossfit, watching other people and copying what they were doing because I didn’t know the names of the moves, to now confidently using all of the equipment in the gym. With Crossfit, I saw results more significantly than I ever have before. And I don’t mean weight loss. I mean my muscles are actually toned, I’m stronger (in the most literal sense of the word and in the more figurative sense), and I’m a faster runner.

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Kipping for a chest-to-bar pullup while my friend Gabrielle counts my reps.

Basically, with the combination of long distance running, and the variety and community that Crossfit provides (plus the opportunity to see my handsome husband on a rowing machine on the reg #dibs), I’ve truly found a routine that works for me that I love and I haven’t looked back. Now, don’t get me wrong, am I always jumping out of bed in the morning fired up to lift heavy weights at 5:45am? Heck, no. But I am committed to what makes me feel good, even when, in the moment, it may be a pain to do it. There are so many things to use as excuses these days: work, family commitments, weddings, the financial cost of belonging to a good gym, etc., but I know that in the end I won’t regret spending my time, energy, and cash on my own health. What is your favorite workout and how do you stay motivated? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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❤ LB

Photos by my mom, my husband, and @antlucicphotography

Life

29 Goals for My 29th Year!

Hey friends!

Random Monday post coming at ya! I thought I would do a quick post today to talk about my birthday that was just this past Tuesday. I turned 29 and I’m super excited to be where I am in life at age 29. I have a steady job, an amazing husband, I’m healthy, I have amazing friends and family, and I am just loving life! On Tuesday, I got up and went to my regular 5:45am Crossfit class for a birthday workout, then headed to work as usual. I left work early (since I can – it’s summer and there are no kiddos around!), came home, grabbed a snack and then went out for a run. It was a difficult run, which was discouraging, but since it was my birthday, I reminded myself that I’m grateful to be able to go out for a run – even when it’s tough. Then my husband and I went out to dinner and ice cream!

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Photo cred to my bestie Allyson from my bridal shower – I was this excited for the whole day on my bday!

When I went to bed that night I was thinking about what I can do to make sure that 29 is my best year yet and I started brainstorming some things to do this year. Not all of them are “goals,” some are just things I want to make sure I do (or do more of) this year and I thought it would be helpful to jot them down and publish them on the internet to hold me accountable. Here are the things I’m sure will make my 29th year great!

  1. Keep working out consistently – I’ll get into this in another post but it really is key!
  2. Try at least 3 new workout classes.
  3. Get a tattoo.
  4. Stretch and foam roll more.
  5. Make more home cooked meals.
  6. Add new recipes to my “can make without looking at a recipe” repertoire.
  7. Get my health and ancestry results from 23 and Me.
  8. Blog consistently. 2-3x/week.
  9. Read for pleasure during the school year. This is so hard, but I really enjoy reading and find that I do so much less from September-June.
  10. Put my phone away when I’m with friends and family. Gah! Why is this SO hard for me!? It’s mostly Google when I’m with others, but I need to let it go when I can’t think of that actors name!
  11. Host a dinner party. A real one, with place settings and a menu we make from scratch.
  12. Learn some basic ASL.
  13. Go to more “well” visits at the doctors/dentist/dermatologist/gyno.
  14. Get more comfortable saying “no” when I don’t want to do things. There’s no need to make excuses for not coming to someone’s birthday party. Just “No, thanks,” has to be enough. We’re adults.
  15. Take more photos! Especially using my “real” camera.
  16. Save money.
  17. Do more outdoor activities with friends and family. Hiking in particular. But not biking. Fun fact: I HATE biking.
  18. PR in the half-marathon.
  19. Find and stick to a consistent skincare routine (would LOVE suggestions!).
  20. Get a really good haircut. Chop chop!
  21. Go on a girls trip.
  22. Bake a really good loaf of bread.
  23. Learn more about wine.
  24. Go to a concert.
  25. Invest more time in my relationships with friends and family.
  26. Stop “venting” at work so much.
  27. Obviously, going along with my intentions for this blog I want to visit more restaurants, museums, and fun things in NYC.
  28. Get a dog!
  29. Say YES more often!

Do you all have any big plans for this year?

Have a great week everyone!

 

❤ LB

Life

Hi! I’m Lauren B.

Hi! I’m Lauren B. But not one of the approximately one zillion Lauren B’s from the Bachelor franchise. I’m a newlywed (as of 5/19/18) living in NYC. I’m a loud, outgoing girl and I’m here to chat with you all about, well, everything! I am starting this blog on my 29th birthday as a way to connect with people from all over the country and the world, and just have fun! I’m a speech language pathologist by day and a girl of many – quite varied – interests by night…and sometimes early in the morning. Here are seven things you should know about me:

  1. I am 28 years old and have been living in NYC for 4 years. I love living in the city, but I often feel like I don’t experience all that I could. Part of my goal for this blog is to get out and explore the city more, really play tourist, and let you all know the very best (or worst) it has to offer.
  2. I have the best husband in the world. I know, total cliche, but he is! His name is Brian and we met through a mutual friend, have been together for 5 ½ years and have so much fun doing life together. We love all things Disney, love to travel, eat good food (and not so good food), spend time with our friends and family, and have been to about a million weddings together. #dancepartnersforlife33434818_10156502078063993_614149850535034880_o
  3. I have very unusual (so I’m told) taste in books. I love to read, and will read almost anything that’s recommended to me, but I have a particular looove for YA fiction. I share a birthday with Harry Potter (the REAL HP, not Daniel Radcliffe) and consider it the best of the best. Of course, I love the #classics like Twilight, The Hunger Games series, and the Divergent series – although, let’s all be honest with ourselves, Allegiant was a tragedy – but I also love exploring new titles. I’m currently loving the Arcana Chronicles series by Kresley Cole and just finished The True Reign series by Jennifer Anne Davis. I also love historical fiction and chick lit. Stay tuned for some book reviews. And don’t worry, they won’t all be YA!
  4. I love fitness! I am not a fitness professional by any stretch of the imagination, but while I was in graduate school I overhauled my health and fitness routine, and I’m always searching for new and fun ways to get a workout in. I’ve tried it all. Right now, I consider myself a distance runner, Crossfitter, and everyday cardio lover.
  5. I’m really into Mount Everest. Like really, really, really into it. My poor friends have had to listen to me lecture them about Sherpa rights, endlessly analyze summit strategies of people I’ve never met, and watch documentaries about this beautiful mountain.
  6. I have been a pescatarian for the past 6 years. I made the choice while I was in graduate school because a friend of mine was vegetarian and was often over my apartment for meals. I tried for a month and never looked back. #givemeallthesaladsandsushi I’m always looking for simple, easy, meals that please even true meat eaters, because my husband is like #givemeallthechickenwings Chips and salsa are my life, but I’m hoping to add to my favorite recipes by exploring even more as I work on this blog. 
  7. I had three ancestors on the Mayflower, and I think that’s neat. I love looking at family trees and doing research on my ancestry. I’ve heard great things about 23 and Me and definitely want to give it a try. Stay tuned.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is “Welcome!” Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I’m so glad you’re here! To start off, I’m going to be posting new content on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, so be sure to check back! I can’t wait to explore all sorts of new things, hear from all of you (for real, I need book recommendations, recipes, and your favorite workouts!), and basically let you in on lifewithlaurenb. LB_0236bw-XL.jpg

❤ LB

(photo by Anchor and Lace Photography)