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A Tale of Two Cities: From Couture to Cookies and Spaghetti Squash

Posted Sep 09 2013 9:17am

Hello from the Hudson Valley! I’m back from NYC and very excited to jump back into the routine of my less exciting, but very fulfilling daily life.

I've missed these pretty skies and mountains!

I’ve missed these pretty skies and mountains!

Every time I go back to NYC, there are small moments that remind me of why I moved there in the first place: the glitz, the glam and the overall “grandness” of NYC can truly make person feel like she can accomplish anything. It’s this giant, beautiful melting pot, and everyone is working their butts off to achieve some sort of dream, whether it’s making millions in investment banking or becoming the next Carrie Bradshaw.

But, inevitably, by the end I am relieved to get back to my lowkey lifestyle in the Hudson Valley. This time around, my experience can probably best be described as “a tale of two cities.” During the day on Friday, I was mingling with the rich and famous at Fashion Week, but by nighttime, I was sitting in Michelle’s apartment eating spaghetti squash pad thai (our favorite), gossiping and watching reality tv. Let’s recap it all.

I started off Friday morning with a run on the track and then quickly dolled myself up for fashion week.

Strike a post: Vogue.

Strike a post: Vogue.

This country girl doesn’t dress up much these days, so it was quite a treat to get glammed up. In case you’re wondering, the dress is from Theory and the shoes are Ivanka Trump. With my most capable looking outfit and a bit of extra eye liner, I felt confident and ready to take on Mercedes Benz Fashion Week!

When I arrived at the Lincoln Center, I was able to go backstage and witness the shear choas that ensues before a fashion show.

The papparazi was waiting for me!

The papparazi was waiting for me!

There were literally 200 people packed into a small room running around and trying to get all of the models ready for the show. At the same time, there was an aura of excitement in the air, and I was very impressed with the fact that it was all controlled chaos. Meanwhile, upfront, there was nothing going on, and there was a quiet feeling of the calm before the storm.

Oh, so, this is a runway!

Oh, so, this is a runway!

While backstage, I noticed a few glamorous people enter the room, and my eyes were immediately drawn to them…

These ladies look familiar...

These ladies look familiar…

It was none other than some of the ladies from my new favorite show: Orange is the New Black! I’m currently obsessed with this show, and it felt surreal to have these women standing in front of me. They were all extremely friendly and certainly didn’t give off that jaded, Hollywood vibe. It was interesting to notice how they really stuck out in a crowd full of beautiful people. Whenever I meet celebrities in person, I’m always struck by how each of them has that “it” factor.

For example, Dascha Polanco (my favorite character on the show) literally lit up the room with her smile. I also chatted with a couple of ladies from the Real World, Road Rules Challenge (Yes, still watch that show).

Oh, hello ladies!!

Oh, hello ladies!!

Diem Brown  couldn’t have been sweeter, and I’m so happy to see her doing well after battling cancer again!

We then took our seats upfront, and at first, I was going to refrain from taking pictures to act like I belonged. But, then, I noticed that everyone was taking pictures, so I decided to hop on the bandwagon.

I have never been to a fashion show before, and I couldn’t believe how quickly that show flew by. My eyes were transfixed on the gorgeous models and the “artwork” on them the entire time.

One word: stunning.

One word: stunning.

Between the drop-dead gorgeous, fierce models, the amazingly intricate clothing and the loud music, I couldn’t help but think, “How did I get here? I am SO living out my Devil Wears Prada fantasy right now.”

Before I knew it, the show was over, and the models paraded on stage for the finale.

Vogue.

Vogue.

I walked around backstage for a bit, explored the vendors upfront and then headed back to the “real world.” Or, at least the real world, NYC style. My adrenaline was pumping, and there was a part of me that wanted to stay there all day! Fashion PR has always intimidated me (remember the show Kell on Earth?), but seeing it in action was very exciting, and there was certainly a small part of me that wanted to jump in and help the PR girls!

As much as I enjoyed playing dress up in the fashion world, I reveled in the act of kicking off my  fancy shoes and walking to my old office to grab salads with a former coworker.

Oh, I've missed you, NYC salads.

Oh, I’ve missed you, NYC salads.

That right there is an arugula + romaine combo with tofu, egg whites, avocado and a whole lotta vegetables and honey mustard dressing. We talked for about an hour, which is unprecedented in the world of NYC PR – we never took hour lunches! It was nice to catch up with an old friend – of all the things I miss about NYC, I think I miss my former coworkers the most.

Post-lunch, I was craving something sweet, so I stopped by Insomnia Cookies to fulfill the urge.

Cookies please!

Cookies please!

They were fresh out of the oven, warm, gooey and delicious!

After an exciting night on the town Thursday night , Michelle and I were ready to spend a night inside just catching up and relaxing. We made a veggie packed dinner and caught up on anything and everything in our lives. There is nothing that makes me happier than cooking spaghetti squash with my BFF – we just work so well together and the kitchen and usually like the same types of food.

From the kitchen of Jamie and Michelle!

From the kitchen of Jamie and Michelle!

If you were a fly in the wall in this kitchen, you’d likely be shocked at the amount of laughter and how there is absolutely never any silence. We cooked up some roast veggies (green beans, tomatoes, mushrooms with oil, salt, pepper; roast at 425 for 20 minutes) and our old-time favorite: spaghetti squash pad thai. For this dish, we simply cook up some spaghetti squash and chicken. Then, we combine it in a pan with green onions, some veggies and pad thai sauce. So. so. delicious.

The rest of the night was filled with girl talk and Bravo tv. Quite a departure from the activities earlier in the day, but somehow, I enjoyed this time even more!

We woke up Saturday morning bright and early to attend a class that Michelle has been talking about for weeks: Physique 57 . In a nut shell, it’s a class that uses isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches to help women create long, lean muscles. I’ve touched on venturing out of my fitness comfort zone  before on the SHLB, and I knew this class would take me way out of that zone.

Luckily, I had a lot of friends to help me through it. Love exercise girl dates!

Strength in numbers!

Strength in numbers!

It’s a lot easier to tackle an intimidating fitness class with lots of friends who will laugh with you, rather than at you :-) . The class reminded me very much of a Core Fusion Barre class that I took in Boston last month (still need to write about it). There were lots of small repetitive movements on both the barre and floor, and when done correctly, you could just feel your muscles strengthening and lengthening. My favorite part by far was the first part of the class when we used weights.

Another unique part of Physique is these balls.

Another unique part of Physique is these balls.

Ultimately, through my fitness adventures lately, I’ve realized that I’ll never be the yoga/pilates type. I prefer exercises or classes that involve bursts of energy and quick circuits, rather than slow, gradual movements. That doesn’t mean I don’t see the value in classes like Physique 57, and i will definitely continue to attend these types of classes once in a while to challenge myself both physically and mentally. One thing that I DID notice was that my foot, which has been hurting me a lot lately, felt much better after the extensive stretching that we did in class. It was a reminder to me that I need to build in more stretching time to my workout routine!

Since the class was in Soho, I knew we would be right near a place that I have been wanting to visit ever since it opened: The Chobani Soho Yogurt Bar!

At long last, Chobani!

At long last, Chobani!

Michelle was in a hurry to make a 12:30 sailing date, so I practically begged her to go. Once we got inside, though, she was almost as excited as me. We were practically overwhelmed with the delicious options of yogurt combinations to choose from!

How do we choose?!

How do we choose?!

We eventually settled upon Blueberry + Power, Mango + Avocado and Watermelon + Feta. Each combination featured a wide array of fresh herbs and ingredients, and it was fun to watch the yogurt “chefs” put them together. As soon as our creations were complete, we hopped in a cab home, so that Michelle could get ready.

Let's dig in!

Let’s dig in!

I think it’s pretty cool that Chobani is so committed to being environmentally friendly that every order (whether in store or take home) is served in a glass container. The creations themselves were almost too pretty to eat, but we were pretty hungry!

Can we actually eat these?

Can we actually eat these?

I tasted them all, but I think my favorite was my order: Mango + Avocado

I am going to gobble you up!

I am going to gobble you up!

Mangos, avocados, olive oil, jalapeño, lime juice and cilantro combined to evoke the flavor of a savory Mexican dish. I often substitute Chobani for sour cream, so I knew that I would enjoy this dish.

I can’t wait to head back to the store again and try one of their seasonal creations! It was the perfect way to end my NYC adventures. And, also a reminder, that although the glitz and glam of the big city is enticing, ultimately, it’s the little things, like cooking with my best friend and eating at the Chobani yogurt bar, that really make me the happiest in NYC.

Off for my favorite part of the morning: a run with this handsome fella! Hope your week is getting off to a great start!

Stop typing and take me outside!

Stop typing and take me outside!

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