Tuesday, June 14, 2016

on sadness

it's been a really tough few weeks here. i don't mean personally, but i do mean personally. with all the things currently happening in america, it's hard to not feel like there's a weight sitting on my shoulders. that we're not doing enough. that things are bleak.

it feels all too much. with everything that's happening in regard to sexual assault and brock turner and people denying that rape culture exists, my heart is so heavy. it feels so futile to try to champion the end of rape culture when i write something like this on facebook:

"Rape culture is real and it's present and if you refuse to acknowledge it, you're perpetuating it. I shouldn't constantly be on high alert with my keys prepared like a dagger when I walk around at night. I shouldn't have had to take self-defense classes as an 18-year-old if men weren't also being educated on how to NOT sexually assault their peers. The answer isn't addressing binge drinking on campuses (that's something different entirely). It's about teaching our youth to respect women and treat them as human beings at ALL times."

and someone (a woman!) comments back that they don't agree that rape culture is a thing. mostly because they don't understand, but my GOD it pains my soul. and it leaves me wondering, what's the point? why do i spend the time trying to educate people if they don't want to see the truth?

and then more senseless gun crimes. to big senseless gun crimes. to the biggest mass shooting in US history. and yet, i see all over my facebook feed and twitter timeline that we don't have a gun control problem in this country. that it's this and it's that and let's blame this person and that person and HOW ABOUT WE ALL JUST TAKE SOME BLAME. some blame that we've allowed ourselves to continue living in a culture that allows so much hate. that allows easy access to firearms. that keeps its activism to a few facebook statuses and tweets asking for prayers.

it's enough to just break a girl. it wasn't that long ago that i wrote this post, and everything i said then stands now. let's stop praying for it to end, and actually doing something. call someone. write someone. do something nice for someone. anything.

i'm tired of being sad. and i hope you are too. and i hope together we do something to end this sadness.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

spin less, R/DE more

so i've felt like a little bit of a fraud for a while now. i keep sharing all these things i like to do in boston and i work for two local businesses, but i was constantly going to a spin studio that was a big franchise and not tied to anything boston. i felt like such a liar! a phony! and i liked so many studios in boston, but i never felt super connected to any of them. but that changed recently when i discovered b/spoke studios. walking into b/spoke and taking classes felt like going home.
so when the studio put out a call looking for ambassadors, i threw my hat in the ring because i figured it was worth a shot. and much to my surprise, they liked me enough to offer me a spot! i'm super jazzed to be among the first brand ambassadors for b/spoke!

what does all this mean? well first and foremost, it means a cool discount for you. if you're new to the studio, or haven't visited in a while, drop GUESTOFBYER as a discount code and you'll get 25% off your class. and i'm hoping to do a lot of cool events, which i'll obviously keep you all in the loop about. first and foremost? bones 'n beats on sunday, june 12! book a ride, and a portion of the proceeds will go toward save a dog, inc. added bonus! you'll get to meet some nice pups!

i'm super excited to represent such an amazing company and share so much of it with you all!

Monday, June 6, 2016

race recap: newport 10 miler 2016

last year was my first year tackling a 10-mile race, and this year i came back with a plan. guys. i think i've found my new favorite distance and race.

i love newport, rhode island. it's such a beautiful place, with so much to do, and it's beautiful to run through. this year, i trained a lot smarter for my run. i worked on strength training and speed work. i think running another distance race just six weeks after running the marathon was a little dumb, but also it forced me not to turn into a total sloth.

sunday was foggy and humid, with temps in the low 60s. the temperature was great, but the humidity was tough. i felt sticky at the start, but chilly from the breeze. but hey, i'll take it over super hot temps. this year they introduced waves, which was great because i could seed myself higher and not spend the first few miles zipping in and out of everyone.

i had been running my training runs around a 9-minute mile, so i was aiming for somewhere between a 1:30 and a 1:35 finish. i went out a little conservatively, but held steady around a 9:10-minute mile for the first few miles. i slipped around the middle of the race thanks to some tough hills and a very very long stretch of just flat (though right by the mansions so that was a nice distraction).

i forgot a whole lot of the course, which was a blessing and a curse. it was nice to revisit the scenery and see the water and all the mansions. but i also forgot about a series of hills in the last two miles soooo that was great. but i still managed to run my fastest two miles right at the end, and cruised over the finish line at 1:31:49.
a few notes on this time. 1) i felt really strong, and that was a pretty amazing feeling. when i crossed the finish line, i didn't feel like i needed to curl up in a ball and die. 2) i never thought i had this sort of time in me. i've always been such a slow runner, and finishing a race in the top third of my gender and age group is prettttty cool. 3) i was super excited to rep the awesome boston spin studio b/spoke throughout the weekend.

i've got some more stuff to share about b/spoke tomorrow though! but in short: great race, awesome time, amazing weekend.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

things to do in boston: lululemon's yogathon

did you know june 5 is national cancer survivor's day? i'm so so lucky to know so many beautiful survivors, and it's so amazing that there's a whole day devoted to celebrating them. and if you happen to be looking for something to do this weekend, why not do something good for people and your body all at the same time?

the beautiful lululemon at the street (duh my favorite place ever) is hosting a 12-hour yogathon this sunday in honor of this amazing day. to register, all you'll need to do is make a donation of any amount to bodhi & mind yoga, which offers free one-on-one yoga and meditation practice to women battling breast cancer, and triyoga boston, a non-profit organization offering therapeutic yoga classes. they've set up an eventbrite page to make donating easy!

the best part? you can go to as many classes as you want throughout the day! so if you want to hit up hip hop yoga at noon, get some brunch and shop around, then you can still do a vinyasa flow later in the afternoon. if i weren't going to be down in newport running the 10-miler, i'd be here.

here's the full list of classes (i can't recommend a class with jess ray or cara gilman enough! they're both amazing):

Brahmi Gold-Bernstein and Lorrie Jacobsohn​ ​(TriYoga Boston)
​Yoga for Cancer​
8:00am-9:30am
This class will help increase mental focus, release stress, reduce fatigue, improve sleep and mood, and leave you feeling rejuvenated​. ​It is appropriate for those in treatment or recovery, caregivers, yoga teachers and yoga therapists.

Jess Ray (YogaWorks) 
9:00am-9:50am
​This class blends movement with music to create a unique experience. The innovative sequencing is designed to build strength and flexibility.

Dawn Keighley (Coolidge Corner Yoga) 
​Yoga for All!
10:00am-10:50a
​This class is appropriate for all ages. Explore your inner child while the teachers offer community building activities, yoga games, and a sweet song meditation.​ ​

DJ Arnold (Bodhi & Mind Yoga) 
11:00am-11:50am
​This floor-based, slow-flow class​ is​ designed for students of all levels. Whether you are new to yoga or a seasoned practitioner, this mindful flow will provide an opportunity to explore new facets of your practice.

Meghan Rozanski (YogaWorks)
​Hip Hop Yoga
12:00pm-12:50pm
​This class is an energizing, sweaty flow enhanced by the beats of artists like ​BeyoncĂ©, Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake​.​

Lauren Sozio (Core Power Yoga)
1:00pm-1:50pm
​This class combines vinyasa flow and Bikram postures t​o​ build strength and endurance, and work your body from the inside out.

Johnathon Holmes (Coolidge Corner Yoga) 
2:00pm-2:50pm
​This class combines creative sequencing, precise alignment and a little sweat​. Y​​ou'll leave this class with an alert mind and an open heart.

​Tracy Affonso (Bodhi & Mind Yoga, Stil Studio​,​ ​+​ Waltham Yoga) 
​Vinyasa Flow​
3:00pm-3:50p​m
​This class is a heat-building vinyasa flow that will leave you feeling balanced, peaceful, and content.

Leslie Doyle (YogaWorks) 
4:00pm-4:50pm
​This class features a challenging and creative vinyasa sequence to help calm the mind and create some space in the body​ for energy and restoration.

Leah Croteau (Inner Strength, Healthworks​,​ ​+​ Prana) 
5:00pm-5:50pm
​This class features a power​-​flow set to music that'll move you from the outside-in​.​

Brittney Burgess (Black Crow Yoga​ +​ Lexington Power Yoga) 
​Baptiste Yoga
​6:00pm-6:50pm
​This ​energetic, playful, and powerful class is designed to awaken your mind and body​ and discover what is possible within every breath​​.​

Cara Gilman (YogaWorks + JP Centre Yoga)
​All-Levels Vinyasa​
7:00pm-7:50pm
This all levels vinyasa class is set to live music and will allow you to foster a deeper connection within yourself and the incredible community around you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

i made a cookbook (sort of)

so i've been a little busy lately. that actually is the understatement of the century, but whatever. many months ago, i told my team it might be kind of really cool if we made a cookbook. but not a regular cookbook. a blogger cookbook. with submitted recipes and blogger highlights and beautiful photos. ALL THE THINGS.
so my team was like "cool, go ahead," and i was like, "hahahahaha how?" and well i bumbled around but i figured it out and it's HERE! my team helped me so much, and without them there wouldn't be a book. i'm so lucky to work with an incredible group who is willing to put up with me and my crazy ideas. i'm so excited and humbled and AHHHHH! thanks for putting up with me and my radio silence and everything.

i'd be eternally grateful if you visited and downloaded and helped me spread the word. you guys are the best.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

doughnut cake: a recipe post

we have this tradition at work. my friend austin used to make people cakes for their birthday, and after he left i assumed the cake-making role. my coworkers responded to an email thread with their favorite kinds of cake and we got all sorts of responses. including doughnuts.

challenge accepted. i got these giant doughnut pans and set to making a giant doughnut birthday cake.

doughnut cake

cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/3 cups milk
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten

chocolate glaze:

5 T unsalted butter
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water

1. have all the ingredients (except the hot water) at room temperature. position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°. grease and flour both halves of a giant doughnut cake pan.

2. to make the cake, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. in a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. set aside.

3. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour. beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, tapping the pans on the countertop to eliminate any air bubbles. spread the batter up the sides of each pan so the sides are higher than the center, this way the center doesn't dome too much. bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. transfer the pans to a wire rack and let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

6. set the rack over the cakes, invert the pans onto the rack and lift off the pans. let the cakes cool completely, at least 2 hours, before assembling and decorating.

7. to assemble, return both halves of the cooled cake to the pans. level the cakes by using a serrated knife to gently saw off the part of each half that rose above the edge of the pan; eat the scraps. remove the cakes from the pans. place one cake half, cut side up, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet; place the other half, cut side down, on top.

8. to make the chocolate glaze, fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. in the top pan of the double boiler, combine the butter and chocolate chips and heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water until combined. pour the glaze over the cake all at once in one layer and immediately decorate with colored sprinkles. the glaze starts to set pretty quickly, so you want to be speedy with your sprinkles! let the glaze set for 15 minutes before slicing and serving the cake.

10/10 will bake again and again and again.

Friday, May 20, 2016

links lately

what a doozy of a week. i've been working on a big project at work, and i can't wait to share it with you all next week! so excuse my radio silence while i work, sleep, work and sleep some more.
+ lots of people have asked! the dress i wore on my birthday is from who what wear for target! i also have my eye on this dress from them. my shoes and bag are both from madewell.

+ j.crew is having a killer sale lately. i picked up these jeans, this shirt, this sweater and this blazer (but in navy polka dots) for a steal.

+ i've had this smithsonian magazine story about "america's auschwitz" pocketed for weeks, and i'm hoping to actually get through it this weekend.

+ if you're looking for something to do this weekend, i highly recommend thirst boston. it looks like it'll be amazing!

+ have you gotten your tickets to boston calling? will i see you there? will we be dancing on our own to robyn? let me know.

+ my friend showed me this honest meditation and i just about died laughing. but it did help me relax (and crack a smile after a particularly rough day)!

enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend! get outside! do something fun!