Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 is a year I'll always love.




I've heard my several people say, "2012 just needs to be over already. This has been a horrible year." To which I think, "Really? This year has been legen... wait for it... dary!" It was in 2011 that I latched onto Auntie Mame's line, "Life is a banquet and most people are starving themselves to death. Live! Live! Live!" And I have tried to live by that mantra since. 2012 is the year I was determined to accomplish many of my goals that have been years in the waiting.
2012 is the year that...


I made it to New York City. Cross that one off the bucketlist.


I saw Newsies on Broadway. Bucketlist? Check. 


I received my Bachelor's Degree. Cross that one off the bucketlist.



I graduated from the rivalry school (University of Utah), while working in the athletics department, and never converted. (Loyal, strong and true, wear the white and blue!)



I traveled Europe. Cross that one off the bucketlist. 
I finally heard someone say, "Gazuntite!" in Germany. By a German. Win.



I made a quilt. Look at this homemaker go!

I moved to Los Angeles.

I KICKED MY GOAL WEIGHT IN 'DA FACE!!! Cross that one off the bucketlist.


I can say I successfully completed and will continue to achieve my 2012 resolutions.
 2012 is the year I accomplished many goals, and I plan to do the same in 2013. This was a great year, and I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me the courage and strength to get through it. Life isn't always easy, but I'd rather look at life with the eyes of an optimistic fool than a pessimistic genius.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kicking my goal weight in the FACE!


Yo-yo dieter. That's me. I once went on a 3-month vegan diet for 6 days. Half way through this year, I had realized that no matter how I eat or exercise, nothing is changing unless I dedicate myself to it. Unless I really strive to make an effort and change, I'll remain the same. Anyone who knows me well knows that I've struggled with weight loss for a long time. Never managing to tackle it. I came close to my goal weight in 2008. I was 4 lbs away, and I honestly have no idea what happened. Two years ago I made a bet with my sister to get to my goal weight by a certain date or I had to attend BYU-Idaho. (And there was no way this girl was going to attend BYU-I.) Did I make it? No. Did I go to BYU-I? H-no. No matter how much I didn't want to go to BYU-I (and clearly wasn't going to even if I lost the bet). I didn't make my goal because others were expecting me to... rather than setting expectations and reporting to myself.

I've never made it. "One day..." is the horrible thought of procrastination that enters my mind all TOO often. One day? That one day is today. Because 2012 will always be remembered as the year I FINALLY kicked my goal weight in the face.

I've tried MANY diets, you name it, I've done it. But the science of losing weight is all-too simple for the average person to just accept. Diets are filled with too many empty and unrealistic promises. What's the secret formula, the one that every single diet entails but it's really just too simple to tell you?

BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU TAKE IN.

It's that simple.

I got the "Lose It" app and recorded what I ate, EVERY. DAY. I chose the "Lose It" app because it had this awesome feature where I could just scan the barcode of a food and it would automatically enter in the calories of what I'm about to eat. I recorded my eating habits for 2 weeks alone, and was beyond surprised at the result. I ate from 1800-2000 calories a day. Somedays including exercise, some not. But I realized that I remained the same because...


If the calories you consume equates to the amount of calories you burn in a day, you are maintaining your weight. This is perfect if you've reached your weight loss goal. Not so perfect if you're trying to lose weight.

My diet plan suggested that I consume 1,208 calories a day to lose 2 lbs per week and reach my goal weight by a certain date. I didn't realize how much food I would be cutting out of my diet (hello, coming from 1800-2000 calories a day?!), and I had to get used to it. I wasn't starving myself, but I definitely had to adjust to this new amount of calories that I was going to be taking in... PERMANENTLY. Losing weight isn't a temporary option. You shouldn't just lose it, you should get rid of it. Forever. Gone. Never coming back. And in order for that to happen, the calorie intake vs calorie burn is crucial in maintaining the weight you want.

It's NOT EASY. I was light-headed for the first month, and still do get lightheaded sometimes. Somedays I want to just give up and give in, and throw all my hard work away. Those days happen, and I had to learn to forgive myself and move on the VERY NEXT DAY, not waiting until Monday to start a clean slate. That's not how a lifestyle is changed.

I hate counting calories. This was me. Stubborn calorie-hater. I realized that in order for things to work out in life, I need to make sacrifices and adjustments. Why would I expect my body to change if I wasn't willing to make any lifestyle changes myself? Question: Do you like counting points? Because counting points is really just another way of counting calories. Don't like calories or points, then yeah, maybe those pre-packaged foods that make you want to keel over and die rather than eating them is a better diet plan for you.

I really don't think this budget is enough food for me. My thoughts exactly. I hate to be blunt, but I will repeat it again. I wanted to lose weight. Therefore, calories out > calories in. If I ever wanted to eat more (or just ate more because, well, I wasn't keeping control of myself) (hey, I'm human... don't act like you haven't done it yourself!), I had to work for it. Morning or night, I was either on the treadmill running the extra mile or surfing a little while longer just to burn the extra calories needed to eat that birthday cake or late-night chocolate craving.

I count all my calories and what I exercise, but no matter what, I'm at a plateau. Listen, I'm not going to sugar coat anything. There's no other answer: You're burning just as many calories as you're eating. Whatever you're doing, if you're trying to lose weight, you're miscalculating what you're eating and how much you're exercising. The ONLY answer to being at a plateau when trying to lose is that you're calculating wrong. Suck it up princess. Truth hurts.

I hate dieting, I can't eat what I want. Sure you can. You just have to eat less throughout the day and be cool with that. If you want to eat more each day, you better be willing to work extra for it. And by work, I mean work out. Seriously. Knees to chest.

A new diet?? I must try it. What do you enjoy eating? Do you really think that you can go the rest of your life without eating it again? Why on earth would you want to torture yourself in eliminating sugar, carbs or fat from your diet? I feel awful for those who have to do it for health reasons, I have family members that can't eat gluten. But what is baffling to me is the people who choose not to eat these foods because, "they're not good for you." Well Einstein, if you really wanted to analyze it, I could probably find out something about each food that isn't good for you. Unless you have a disease, these foods are NOT killing you. Stop driving everyone around you crazy with your theories on food. Because really, when you talk about it, all anyone wants to do it smack you upside the head as they eat their bread basket. You want to be super granola healthy? Balance, don't eliminate.

This commercial really hit home. Willpower, it's all about willpower and keeping your eyes on the prize.


If you're struggling to lose weight, and have been for sometime. I know EXACTLY what you're going through. The frustrations, the disappointing pictures and clothing sizes, it really takes a toll emotionally. I've had a weight goal for YEARS that I never achieved. I came close, and always put it off for later, but it wasn't until I dedicated myself to succeed, and gave myself no other option, that I achieved it. And trust me, once you get going, you see the pounds fall off and the clothes get looser, it becomes easier and OH SO WORTH IT.



*This post is probably no new information to the average dieter. I'm writing this to record the success for myself and share with those who know me and my struggle for weight loss over the years. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Kim & Kelsy dot blogspot dot com



Flashback to Interlaken, in the Summer of 2012. A New Yorker working inside a little shop on main street started hitting on us.

"Your names are Kim and Kelsy? You guys should like... have a blog or something."

Needless to say, he wanted to hang out with us cool cats. But we read each other's mind. "We've seen 'Taken'. We know how this ends."


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chapter 24: Leaving Utah, the Finale

It was 2008, I had just gotten out of a messy breakup and had lost all hope for man. Not mankind. Man. I had transferred from BYU to UVU for culinary school, then dropped out of culinary school, realizing that I wasn't ready to give up quality family time (nights, weekends and holidays) for a job. I had moved back to California from living in Utah for 2 years and prepared to serve a mission. I had written a letter to myself vowing that I would never return to live in Utah again, that I was crazy if I thought I was going to, and that I would stay in California after my mission.

I don't remember how soon, I think it was within the first week or two that I was serving in the Missionary Training Center that I had realized that I would probably be returning to Utah. I had made, what I didn't realize then, a great friend in my district named Hunt. Well, her first name is Kim, but for over 2 years I had the habit of calling her by her last name. Anyways, while she served in her chuchie mission of Oakland California, doing her personal and companionship studies on the beach, I was in Paraguay dripping with sweat and convincing myself to eat endless amounts of pasta, bread, and mystery meat. We remained semi-frequent pen-pals and concluded that we would room together in Provo once we both returned. Yes, after all the promises I made to myself I would never return... I returned.

That's when I began rooming with these crazy cats. On the left is Amanda, Hunt's sister, and we have Hunt in the middle. It wouldn't be too long before I got these girls drinking diet coke like it was going out of style. I had great roommates, I was living in a beautiful condo in Provo, but something was missing. This would be my third year in total living in Provo, and as much I as have enjoyed my stay there... I felt it would be soon for my time to leave. I've always wanted to live in Salt Lake at some point, and felt like this was the opportune moment to do so. Where would I go to school? ... Where every BYU fan dreads to go. The University of Utah.  

I don't have a picture of just the four of us, but let me point out the AWESOME girls that had posted a room available online that I moved in with. Top row, third (Val) and fifth (Ali) from the right, and bottom row, first on the left (Jessie). I honestly couldn't have asked for better roommates. One more thing I also promised myself, I would never share a room again after my mission. Well, for some reason I made an exception for this apartment and I am SO GLAD that I did because I got to meet and live with such AMAZING girls. All returned missionaries, all so much fun to be around. It was seriously such a great blessing to move in with complete strangers and have them be that awesome. The Lord was looking out for all of us!
Now, even though I moved to Salt Lake, I couldn't lose contact with my old roommates in Provo. One day, on a stake activity going White Water Rafting, I decided that in order to appreciate nature more, I was going to go sky diving. (Hey the guy giving the devotional said we needed to appreciate nature more...) I had never had felt the need to go, but this Friday I felt it and Monday I had rounded up Amanda from Provo to come with me skydiving in Tooele the summer of 2011. What a spontaneous and fun thing for us to do! People dream about doing this... and we just did it. It was on my flight from NYC to Virginia that I was going to take Auntie Mame's words and put them into action, "Life is a banquet and most people are starving themselves to death. Live! Live! Live!" Once I decided I wanted to skydive, I made it happen. This set the stage for the upcoming year I was to be in Utah. Nothing was going to stop me from doing what I wanted to do.

At the end of the summer, everyone had moved out of the apartment (they had lived there for a while...) and I moved in right next door. Since then, I had been blessed to have more awesome roommates. The Lord really looked out for me my second time around in Utah.

I had the opportunity to leave Utah this past winter and spend it in D.C. Though the opportunity was once in a lifetime, I decided to turn it down because (and I couldn't believe that I was saying this) I felt, believed, and wanted to stay in Utah my last semester of college. And the Lord blessed me with a very tame winter for being obedient (at least, this is what I'd like to believe!) And what a great semester it was.


It comes as a shock to many that such a huge BYU fan would be working with the Utah Athletics Marketing Department. I also worked on campus as a security officer in the main campus library (yeah, a 5' 2" security guard.) I had people betting against me, literally. I made bets with people that by the time I graduated, I would still be a BYU fan, while they bet against my ability to restrain my baptism by fire. I did it, I graduated a loyal and true fan to the Y. But I really did enjoy my time working for the marketing department for University of Utah athletics and the Marriott Library. I made some really good friends. The people there were so great, so friendly and I learned so much from them. Working on the inside gave me a completely different perspective of people at the U. There are definitely two types, but that's another story. I do not regret the decision I made to not move to DC just because I learned so much and made so many amazing friends.



Moral of the long blog post (which, in reality, if you made it this far you are just amazing), I don't regret my decision to move back to Utah one bit. My second time around was much better than the first (though, I still had a GREAT times my freshman year at BYU). It's like you're driving on a road in an unknown territory with a map your drew yourself. You have a desired destination, but your map just isn't getting you there. Your GPS is trying to direct you another direction, but you don't want to follow the GPS. You've already drew your map with a shortcut and are on your way. But the dang australian GPS voice (hey, you're the one that set her to have an australian accent) keeps telling you to turn around. You finally give in, reluctantly, only to find that not only did the GPS take you to your desired destination, but showed you some really great places to eat, places to shop and unreal views along the way.

The Lord knows what he's doing when he gives promptings that may or may not be aligned with the desires of our hearts. The question is, are we going to allow him to take the wheel?

Friday, June 1, 2012

What having a BMW means


Before you mark me with urban dictionary's third definition of a "BMW Douche", please, read on....

I talked with friend about her deadbeat ex. She told me about his unemployment, staying at home playing videos games while she was playing the role of both parents and the breadwinner. She told me how much more over-protective he was of his BMW than her. I asked how he could afford a BMW, if he was just sitting at home playing video games all day. Easy: unemployment checks.

Surprised? Don't be. People who receive unemployment checks can spend it on anything they desire. Will they have money to spend on more important things? ... Doubt it. That's what they have you in a relationship for.

Now, take the mercedes family. Good friends of mine who own a mercedes. This car belonged to a stable and healthy family, with a husband and wife that worked together as a team to put food on the table and for their family to succeed.

The difference between exhibit A, the deadbeat ex and exhibit B, the mercedes family is the mercedes family could actually afford a life along with the mercedes, not just the mercedes and the mercedes alone.

I admire those who make money, and don't feel the need to flaunt it. Don't get me wrong, buying these cars is not a bad thing (if you really truly can afford it.) I'm not condemning expensive things at all, please don't misunderstand me. I do condemn it if you can't afford it and neglect more important responsibilities in life to get it. I know a few people who could easily afford these cars, or nicer, and continue to drive a little ford focus.

Anywho, if any of you think someone of your particular interest has status by owning a beemer, think twice. Anyone can buy a BMW.

Chris's attempt to get approval from Suze Orman.  Why do you think Suze made the decision that she did? What's the difference between you and Chris? If you're considering buying or dating someone with a BMW, does this make you reconsider your assets?

I'm no Mad Men fan, but Jon Hamm puts out a good video blog for teenage girls who ask him questions. And while I'm not distinctly specifying my audience (cough young girls cough), (oh wait, did I just do that?) I mind as well shoot this video out while I'm on my, "girls, stop being ridiculously shallow" blog post... 


Saturday, May 12, 2012

What pinterest has taught me




There are some fantastic things about pinterest. Let me correct myself. There are a TON of FABULOUS things pinterest has taught me... here are some of the best tips that I love and will continually use. 

1. Soak your razor in olive oil when not in use. I'm cheap. I use the cheap razors sold in multi-hundred packs from wal-mart. These awesomely cheap razors create hideously gross red bumps on my legs... so much for shaving. THEREFORE, in order to save my legs from cheap razor burns, I soak my razor in olive oil. Granted, it makes for an eye-sore in the bathroom. I'm sure pinterest will come up with a way to secretly disguise this in the bathroom or shower sometime soon. OH OH OH I have an idea! Superglue a soda cup to the side of the shower, with a lid and the razor where the straw is supposed to go so that no water dilutes the oil! OK, it could use some smoothing around the edges. I'm telling you, it's going to be big.

2. Pudding jell-o in your cookies. Ever have the issue where you make AWESOME cookies with DELICIOUS cookie dough (and don't care about that salmonella risk because it is just THAT good) and the next day, oh the next day... the cookies are hard. When I went to culinary school (don't ask me to make you anything, I've forgotten how to do it all) it was OK when cookies got hard, because we ended up using all our baking scraps for "rum balls", basically cake balls but with other baking scraps and rum added to it. (Personally I don't think the rum was really necessary in the first place, and if that wasn't enough to make me not eat them, we made them look like rats.) Pudding jell-o solves all your issues with cookies getting hard. Vanilla pudding for chocolate chip cookies, chocolate pudding for chocolate chocolate cookies... and vwala! They stay nice and soft. It's sure to work, it's Kelsy-proof! 

3. Music in a mug. Let's be honest. I find myself carrying my laptop all over my apartment with me streaming shows on netflix while I get ready in the morning or cook something in the kitchen. While I can't use this trick to get a louder sound for my laptop (hint: other creative pinterest users should make a pin about how to get laptop sounds louder without having to carry speakers everywhere...), this works awesome for when I want to listen to music. Simply, stick your music device in a glass. WABAM!! Instant speakers. Don't ask me how, physics, gravity, e=mc2 or something like that makes it that way.

4. Organizing purses with shower rings. I honestly had a pile of bags until I discovered this pin. I used the same purse over and over because I couldn't stand the thought of going through the mysterious mix of shoes and bags pile in the corner of my closet. Ever since I used shower rings to hang my bags on, I feel like my life (and legs, if I have been soaking the razor in olive oil) has been touched by an angel! 

5. Honey & Lemon Juice for sore throat. This may not be new to anyone, but for me, a girl who was raised on nasty cough syrup or cough drops in order to get rid of a sore throat- this was a Thanksgiving miracle! I have an issue, when I drink too much water, my throat gets very sore. So, I mix lemon juice and honey, put it in the microwave, give it a stir and it is the most delicious cough remedy known to mankind! AND IT WORKS! It makes my throat feel bomb.com. Not only to mention... I feel kind of cool drinking something else other than hot chocolate from a mug since coffee and tea are not part of my daily routine. Tricky tricky...

Yes. 5. I believe there are only 5 out of the 6 handy dandy tricks I have tried on pinterest that I am currently recommending. Let's be honest, I've made more food from pinterest than I have used some of these awesome tricks. But I mainly posted this because my legs feel FANTASTIC! So I thought I'd throw in a few others. I am bound to use all my other handy dandy pins... someday. Until then... KEEP ON PINNING!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

All for a piece of paper


Commencement
Melissa and I decided last minute to go to commencement, where the President of Disney and Pixar Animation was speaking. To be honest, we were SO bored. The only thing that was entertaining was trying to figure out what all the colors, robes and hats meant of all the faculty members. It was an hour and a half of awards to old people. The speaker wasn't fantastic, but it was fun to hear to hear some stories about Disney/Pixar, but even then there weren't too many I was impressed by. Hard to please? Not really. I mean, I got a kick out of riding TRAX to commencement!


The Story Behind the Announcement
BAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Ok, so let's talk about this for a sec, shall we? Technically I had been in school for only 4 years, and I did 3 semesters of summer classes in between (they really help you get to where you need to be when you're behind! I highly recommend taking school during the summer.) I had the opportunity of interning at Scripps Encinitas, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly the Salt Lake Art Center) and with the Utah Athletics Marketing Department. I attended BYU, UVU (culinary school) (don't ask me to make you anything, my family can attest the fact that I've forgotten everything) (I mean, I dropped out... come on!) and finally the U of U (they let me graduate before I could hit every school in Utah.) 


Melissa
Melissa and I met Fall semester when I had walked into the third class of PR Cases and Campaigns and joined her group to put on a campaign for a PR Group. We instantly became friends.  Our professor will never know how big of an impact her class was on us. And it was not because of the content of the course...


The Lei
Does my lei look like fake money to you? Well, you're right. It's not really "real" money... it's BETTER than real money! It's made of Disney dollars. When asked after the graduation ceremony where I was going, you bet your buttons I responded with, "I'm going to DISNEYLAND!!"

The Convocation
Let's be honest, the second convocation ceremony wasn't much better than the first. Everyone around us was on their iphone. They had Orson Scott Card in attendance for an honorary degree, and they didn't even have him speak! The man is hanging out with Indiana Jones, and who did we have speak? ... I don't even know. Kory and I had a fantastic texting session and game of Draw Something going on throughout the ceremony... until her phone battery died. 


Josh Rios
This is my friend Josh Rios. I met Josh Rios my freshman year at BYU, when we were both taking classes at the Salt Lake Center (another AWESOME and equally encouraged idea- look into it!) We became instant friends once we found out we grew up 15 minutes away from each other. Josh Rios is from Escondido, CA, and we had some similar friends. At graduation, Josh said, "In a million years I never thought I'd be graduating from the U. In 2 million years I never thought I'd be graduating with YOU!" I saw Josh Rios for the first time in years walking into one of my classes last summer at the U. He became my mentor, and showed me that there was a quicker way to graduation day than I had originally planned. 
Disney Dollars for the Rios Family! 

The Family
You know someone really loves you if they come to your graduation ceremony. Let's be honest, there could be things that get more boring. But, still, this is a close second. After commencement in the morning, I realized the most entertaining graduating ceremony would include a flash mob dance... and I wish I thought of it months ago to spice things up a bit. 

My parents flew out from San Diego, and my sister and her family flew out from Dallas to watch the 3 seconds of my name over the microphone, walking to receive a diploma cover and shake a mans hand that I don't even know.  Not to mention, this all happening at THE U. A BYU family now has a U graduate and they showed up for my graduation. Now that, my friends, is true cariño. 




So what does a U of U graduate to do once school is over? 


Take this movie trailer, minus all the life-time friend lovey-doveyness, and do exactly this: become jobless, move back home to San Diego, search for jobs, probably hit up an entry-level job until I land something more secure, and fall in love with my parents new hot Brazilian neighbor. Besides, if I'm going to be jobless, why not be jobless in paradise?


Announcement created by:


Sunday, April 8, 2012

What is it about IN-N-OUT?


Growing up in California, IN-N-OUT is an icon. A lot of people just don't understand why people who love IN-N-OUT the way they do, and this is just to help explain it a little bit.

I worked at IN-N-OUT for 2 years in high school, and not once have I got sick of eating there.  Time and time again, when asked where they would like to eat, Californians have more often than not responded with the following, "Let's go to IN-N-OUT!"

It's no surprise to see famous people come into IN-N-OUT frequently and that it has also made appearances on TV shows such as, "The O.C." During my time at IN-N-OUT, I was able to see Shawn White, Phil Mickelson, Tony Hawk, Esther Snyder, and we also made the burger for President George W. Bush once!

Why is this so? How is it that one food chain can have such a big meaning within a culture? It's the place we went on Saturday for lunch, it's the place we went after my sisters bridal shower, and after my other sisters wedding ceremony. I had to work one Christmas Eve (we were only open until 9pm) and some of my family members came in wearing santa hats, singing songs, and surprised me while I working. Yes, it has even been Christmas Eve dinner... for a number of years.



It's where we went after stake dances to get a late-night bite, it's where we stopped to get food on road trips and it's where we went when school got out early (or maybe we ditched a period to go there for lunch.) For me, it's my late night eatery. Anytime after any event at night, my immediate thoughts are, "let's go to IN-N-OUT!"

In 2007, I was living in Provo going to school. Chadders had just opened in American Fork. Chadders was the new "IN-N-OUT of Utah", since IN-N-OUT hadn't made it here yet. The news covered the opening of the store, the line was over an hour long when it first opened. Everything about this place copied IN-N-OUT, I noticed it all from the big safety pins, to the way they wrapped their burger, to the "chadder style" to the wallpaper. What happened? IN-N-OUT saw their market in Utah, sued the company, and then came to Utah to make me happy.

I grew up going to IN-N-OUT, it's kind of like "the hop." We have a sense of loyalty to this place for always being loyal to us. It's not just another "fast food" chain. We pride ourselves that it's West Coat made, it's fresh, that it's always a great experience going to IN-N-OUT, and that it just brings pure happiness and joy.

IN-N-OUT Fun Facts
-In-N-Out is not a franchised company.
-In-N-Out has scriptures on all of their bags, trays, and wrappers.
-In-N-Out used can takes requests from 3x3's to 8x8's. Before 2006, you could order a 100x100 (100 patties, 100 cheese), but because of quality issues, they made a policy that 8x8 is the most they would do for one burger (since they time the patties by rows and slap down 8 patties in a row on the grill).
-If you drive thru the drive thru without ordering at the speaker, you're considered a "home run".
-In-N-Out is family owned and operated since the beginning of the company. Harry and Esther Snyder created the company (and I met her once in the drive-thru, and have her receipt with her autograph!)
-In-N-Out does have a secret menu consisting of:
Protein Style: Whichever burger you want, wrapped in lettuce vs. a bun.
Veggie Burger: Same burger, just no meat.
Grilled cheese: Burger, no meat, with cheese.
Flying Dutchman: Two pattys, seperated, both with cheese on top. You can request this with grilled onions (and I like eating the sauce with it as well!)
Animal Style: Get this on any burger and you'll get grilled onions, extra sauce, pickles, and mustard is grilled onto the patty.
Animal Style: Get this on your fries and they'll come with cheese, sauce and grilled onions on top. Delish!


Friday, March 23, 2012

When in New York...

Flashback to May of last year when I created this post. I promised myself I would follow Auntie Mames advice, "LIVE LIVE LIVE" and get myself to New York. I bought a NY keychain at the time (it broke last semester) and a postcard to put up on my wall to remind me of the dream. Well my friends, I made it happen.
For the past week after being home from New York, I have been struggling to find time to write in my journal about all my experiences and fun times. I have a very full and busy schedule, and that didn't change when I went to New York... no break for me! But here I am, finding time to blog about it. Maybe I'll just copy and paste this post into my journal.

I went with Anna (a friend from school), Ryan (a friend from Sam's Club), and Jocelyn (a friend from home.) I had issues packing, because I brought a LOT of jackets. So, once I got to the airport and my luggage was 57 lbs, I had to do some repacking. We were talking about while getting on the plane, and began talking with the two girls in front of us. They were fun, and we found out that we were on the same flight both there and back, and exchanged numbers to hang out sometime in the week. Their names are Lauren and Tierra, and you will be seeing pictures of them in the blog.

The first thing we did in New York was go to get rush tickets to How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, starring Nick Jonas. We were SO cold! Ryan and I had flown in that morning, we dropped off our luggage, met up with Anna who had flown in the day before, and went straight there. My toesies almost fell off, and I realized, once again, that mom is always right. It IS cold in New York! While in line, we were joking about how we were getting "rush" tickets. Ryan had no clue what rush tickets are, and thought it was a band. When the guy came out to tell us all in line what was going on, Ryan asked who he was, and we told him it was the new lead guitarist of the band. We thought we were all joking around, but Ryan was serious. He had no clue what we were waiting in line for, and thought it was to see a band called rush.

The play was awesome. It was the second Broadway play I've seen (flashback to Wicked in LA, 2008, with my parents, Aunt Linda and cousin Sally). I thoroughly enjoyed it, and we had third row seats!

Our hotel was just a half a block away from times square, perfect location! We were in times square every day.


Saturday night, we decided to venture out to the oh so famous Serendipity for some frozen hot chocolate. Now, I was told that the wait would be long, but that I was going to wait for this frozen hot chocolate, no matter how long the wait was. And it was SO worth it! This was by far my most favorite dessert the entire trip. SO DELICIOUS. And, we definitely came back here again for seconds later on in the week.

 Now let's talk about Max Brenner, the chocolate man. We went here for brunch, and they served chocolate with everything. We had two different kinds of omletes, and they were served with sides of both milk and white chocolate. We also ordered the "chocolate syringe" and that is definitely what you see, the bottom of the photo. We went back here again later on in the week, it was much busier then and it was SO GOOD.

What to do in New York, while on vacation, on a Sunday? We went to the MET, and this museum was HUGE. We didn't get to see all of it before the museum closed. It was very interesting.

 Monday we went to lunch at Grimaldi's pizza in Brooklyn, which I thought was delightful. On our way, we met up found our airport friends in times square and dragged them along with us. Since we were tourists, and we had no idea where we were going, we made friends with a Jewish man on the subway named Solomon, that led us the way there. Then we walked the Brooklyn bridge into lower Manhattan. That was actually very fun! The skyline was so fun to see.
This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. From left to right, Anna, Tierra, Ryan, Me and Lauren.
We headed over to the World Trade Center site after the bridge, and it was just so surreal. 10 years ago, I wouldn't have pictured where I was that day. I couldn't believe that I was where it had all happened. The most meaningful part of the memorial was the survivor tree. It was recovered a month after the attacks under all the rubble, the last living thing there. I'm really glad they kept it for the great symbolism that it shares.
Let's take a walk down wall street, shall we?
These were the most expensive chocolates I've ever purchased in my life. On wall street. It was fun seeing all those suits walking up and down the street... SUIT UP! I have said it before and I will say it time and time again, men look ridiculously handsome in suits.
Later that night we took a subway, and it was about 10:30 or so, and we had the car to ourselves. So, what did we do? What you obviously do when you have a subway car to yourself... jump and dance around! It was like we were kids or something...
We went to the inspirational bar for "How I Met Your Mother" and order nachos. Why? Because there is an episode when everyone at the bar is communicating telepathically about how to get Ted to bleach his hair, Ted on the other hand, thinks that they're all telepathically communicating about what to eat... and then he orders, you guessed it, nachos. You have to see it to understand the humor... the show is so funny!

Tuesday morning, and breakfast at Tiffany's on 5th is where we were. We quite possibly had the best cheapest breakfast ever.
Later we went shopping on canal street. OK people, I've heard stories, but it was just such a funny experience to be a part of. When I got up from the subway, a little asian woman starts saying, "Tiffany, Prada, Gucci..." and all these high-end names. I'm like, "Tiffanys?" She said, "follow me." I followed her for about two blocks, as she talked on her phone, coordinating the heist. We walked around a corner and someone handed another woman a backpack and she started pulling out all that she had. The purses they had on lamenated pages, and you would tell them what you wanted and they'd go bring it to you. All of them had bluetooths in their ears, and when Ryan wanted a watch, they walked with him somewhere else. And sometimes there was a man who was just walking around and pulled out what we wanted in his pocket and walked away. Another time they ran into the restaurant to get the goods. Some stores had perfumes like Chanel, and would make a quick phone call and someone would run into the store with the product in a brown bag. It was all QUITE the experience!

 Ryan may or may not have fallen asleep every single time we sat down.

If you know me, you know of my passionate hate for bros. This t-shirt was an epic win for me.
Our hotel was right around the corner from a fire station. We heard the sirens throughout the night, and I was curious as to why they were leaving so often. Anna and I walked by them one night (after seeing Mary Poppins - really not that great of a broadway show - and going to a jazz club) and I decided to ask them. They responded with, "it's this thing called fire..." We later we out and brought them donuts, and asked them to make the sirens extra loud for us that night, knowing we were going to be woken up no matter what. Sure enough, 5am, we heard a siren extra louder than any other night, we knew it was for us!
Winner of best cheesecake in New York goes to.... Carnegie Deli. Ok, now let's discuss this. Carnegie Deli, as a deli, is a tourist trap. The sandwiches really aren't that fantastic, but you go for the experience. Their sandwiches are GINORMOUS, but what really is the most delightful part of it all was the cheesecake... it was pure ambrosia. Topped Juniors plain cheesecake. I have had people call me crazy, but it's true. Future advice: go to the deli, not for the deli, but the cheesecake.
Wednesday, Jocelyn flew in. We went ice skating at rockefellar center. It was like, another dream come true! I was falling all over the place. Afterwards, we had another trip to Serendipity.
The plaza hotel... one of the many things I remember from watching home alone 2 as a child!
So, the main reason of my trip to New York. My favorite movie of all time made it to Broadway, Newsies. We were there for the first preview night. It was AWESOME! They changed the storyline up a bit, but all of our favorite songs and dancing was still in it. I absolutely loved it. It's only on Broadway for three months, and when I found that out, that's when I knew I had to get to New York and I wasn't going to wait any longer.
Many summers growing up, I woke up and watched the today show. I had to get to the today show. My friends didn't necessarily want to go, so I went by myself and saw good old Al Roker and Matt Lauer!
After I saw the today show, I took a subway to battery park and waited in line for an HOUR to get on a boat to see the statue of liberty. My friends didn't want to go to this either, so I had no problem going by myself. When I got to the island, I literally ran off, ran to take a picture, and ran back to the boat before it left again.
We went to the infamous FAO Schwarz (another home alone 2 location) and played on the big piano. Kathy Roskelley would be so proud!
I've never been to a NBA game until this year. I've been going to lots of Jazz games, and we couldn't miss the opportunity to go to a Knicks game with all of this "Linsanity" going on! First time at Madison Square Garden, the place was huge, and very spacious (as opposed to energy solutions arena...)
And, oh here we are. St. Paticks day in front of the St. Patricks Cathedral. It's insane how much New York goes all out for this day. Everyone, everyone is in green. There was a huge parade going up 5th avenue, and I had never seen more fireman in my entire life. It was seriously like 10 minutes of fireman walking in the parade, and then something else would walk back, and 10 more minutes of firemen. Families were watching the parade, and then you had your drunk teenagers walking around being ridiculous hiding their alcohol. That night we saw more of the older crowd going out to bars- and there is seriously an irish pub on every block. All the bars were packed, it was crazy!
We did so many other things like radio city music hall, carnegie hall, lion king, top of the rock, nbc studio tour, the moma, phantom of the opera, had some amazing chicken and waffles in harlem, central park, etc. I left New York without any regrets, I did all I went to do. I fulfilled my lifelong dream, and didn't wait around for anyone to do it for me. I did it myself, and I had great friends that decided to come in on the fun. We had a lot of fun, and made lots of memories. One of my favorite sayings from the week is, "When you're in New York, BE IN NEW YORK!" Reminding us to not let this fun time just slip us by, to remind us to not have any regrets and to take complete advantage of where we are. I often said that to my friends while they were distracted by some text or news, and they reminded me of that when I was involved in emails from my internship.

We're only into the third month of the year, and I've surprised myself beyond belief with the things I have accomplished and what lies in my future. It's amazing how much I've grown and continue to learn from everything I experience. I have been completing my new year resolutions, and will continue to do so by living, being spontaneous and fulfilling some of my life long dreams.

Nothing will ever get done without any effort. That's why I'm making a special effort this year to make things happen. This is a GREAT year.