New York in 29 Hours

Holy cow what a great weekend! It was so completely exhausting but so incredibly worth it.

Let’s begin the weekend recap by showing off the fabulous items I won from Caroline’s giveaway a couple of weeks ago! I won a pair of new balance shoes which are super comfy and light weight, and a super roomy New Balance tote/gym bag. I still can’t believe I won. Awesome giveaway!

new balance shoesnew balance bag

On Friday morning, Dana and I were off to New York for my cousin Stephanie’s wedding. Our flight was at 6 am which means I was up at 3:30 am. YIKES!  By the time we got to our hotel, hung out with the bride to be and bridesmaids (btw I felt very honored to have been able to hang out with them as they got ready!), grabbed lunch with Dana, and finally got to check into our room, I was pooped. It was only about 3:00 and I knew that if I was going to survive the evening I needed a nap.

I napped, got ready, and was ready to go to the wedding! I realize I didn’t take a full on photo of my dress but in case you were wondering, the dress I went with (I didn’t go with Rent the Runway) was a black cap-sleeved adorable dress from Kohl’s. I felt it flattered my growing body very nicely and I felt pretty in it. I wore a white chunky floral necklace, cream heels, a red clutch, and even sported red lips!

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My drink of choice for the evening was sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice. 🙂

The ceremony and reception were so beautiful. The weather was perfect. The couple was stunning. The view was insane. It was a great wedding!

steph and jeff wedding ny

new york skyline

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Another huge congrats to Steph and Jeff! I am so happy for you both! xoxo

On Saturday we met up with the gang for lunch and then it was time to head to the airport. Back home we went.

I slept super well on Saturday night back in my own glorious tempurpedic bed. I woke up Sunday morning ready and raring to go and in some serious need of physical activity. My body was tired of being cooped up on that plane!

I soaked up the sun and got in a nice long walk.

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I’d have to say this was what you call an epic weekend. New York in 29 hours…done.

How was your weekend?! 

Have you ever taken a trip this quick?

A Surprise from Bethenny Frankel!

Oh my gosh, I’m overwhelmed thinking about writing this post because I have SO much to say and I want to make sure and give you a complete run down of my incredibly amazing weekend. Seriously, this weekend felt like a dream.

To those of you following me on Twitter and Instagram, you probably have some idea of what I was up to these past few days. If you’re not, come and follow me!

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a woman named Meghan who works in Public Relations for the Bethenny TV show. Remember a month ago when I went to Bethenny Frankel’s Calling All My Girls cocktail party? It was the same gal who had contacted me about that party. The email’s subject line was ‘One More Surprise.’

Mind you, I am opening this email on a Wednesday morning before work. I quickly opened the email and read that the surprise was that Bethenny was sending me out to to New York, flying me out, putting me up at the W Hotel in Times Square, sending me to watch a taping of her show, and inviting me to her premiere party!

WHAT?! I emailed Meghan back and asked her if it was for real. She said YES! What do you think? After a crazy day of finding someone to work for me, getting all of the necessary papers over to the Bethenny team, and shuffling a few other things around in my schedule, I was finally able to tell them that I could go! I had a week to get ready for this amazing opportunity! Was this really happening?!

Fast-forward to a week later: Thursday, September 5th.

After a couple of flights, a taxi ride, and some motion sickness, I arrive in style at the W New York Times Square hotel.

W New York Times Square

I have to say I felt a little bit like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when I first arrived at the hotel. I was in comfy jeans and a baggy cardigan from the flight and I felt like everyone else there was dressed to the nine!

The staff at the W made me feel right at home and got me all checked in. I headed up to my room with an envelope in hand; I knew what was inside the envelope and was so excited to open it! As soon as I got into my hotel room (actually room #2 because there was a little bit of a mishap with the first room they gave me—someone was still in the room), I opened it up. Inside was a note from Bethenny welcoming me to NY and thanking me for supporting her through this exciting time in her life. There was a $200 gift card inside too! This is why I say the weekend was a dream…

gift from Bethenny

 

There had to have been at least 50 of us staying at the W on behalf of Bethenny. She is so generous! As I was overwhelmed with this greeting, I was also overwhelmed by the views from my room!

 

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It’s Times Square! Right there!

W Times Square

I probably said “Is this for real?” about a million times while on this trip. After a while of ooing and awwwing over the views, I got myself together and headed out on the town to do some exploring. I had been to Times Square a couple of times prior to this, so it was nice to be able to go out very leisurely and explore versus feeling like I needed to go see everything! 

I made a stop at the M & M store of course and got myself a bag of Peanut Butter M & M’s. This will be in my heaven someday. Of course, calories won’t count in heaven.

M & M

I also bought a huge salad from down the street of my hotel. Before heading back to my room I made one last stop at Forever 21 and just about lost my cool because of how crazy busy it was. So. many. people. everywhere.

salad

 

It was time for me to relax. After I ate dinner and some chocolates, I made my way to the hotel gym. I didn’t have the right shoes with me, just my Privo’s, but I still managed to crank out some weights and some walking on the treadmill.

After my cool and easy workout, I went back to my room and got cozy. Like real cozy. I showered and snuggled up in the fancy white robe.

Melanie relaxing W Times Square

I gawked at the nighttime views, read a magazine, painted my nails, and relished the moment.

 

W Times Square

 

A girl could get used to this!

After a terrible night of sleep and looking at my clock every hour on the hour, I was up and at em’ at 5:30 am. I scarfed down a make shift breakfast: an apple with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter.

melanie w times square

 

After a short panic attack about a stain on my shirt, it was time to go to the taping of Bethenny’s show!

melanie w hotel times square

 

The shuttle picked us up at the hotel at 7:30 am to bring us over to the show. Btw I was on my own at this point (Dana was meeting me in NY later in the morning), but I met some amazing people! The group I hung out with all weekend was the Minnesota group (you’re right—we are kind of a cliquey state). It was comforting to be with them! Minnesota nice isn’t a lie. I love these girls (and guys!).

Bethenny Show with Kristy Bethenny show with MN gals

 

Once we finally got into the set of the show the staff got us all hyped up by playing dance music, talking with us, and giving us countdowns to Bethenny’s appearance. Her set is ADORABLE. I can’t wait for you all to see it!

After what seemed like an eternity, it was time for her to make her way to the stage. We all went crazy when she finally arrived! The show was taped from 10 am-12 pm. I can’t divulge any info about the show I saw but I can tell you that it will be on September 16th on Fox 9 at 3 pm and that it is a lot of fun! I don’t think you will be able to see me at all because I was on the very left side (if you’re looking from the stage) but look for me just in case! It was a blast being there. There was such an incredibly supportive and fun energy in the room!

Bethenny is hysterical. She is witty, genuine, and is so so much fun. She has no limits to what she will say or do. I highly recommend you check out her show!

Guess what?! The premiere of her show is TODAY!

premiere bethenny

 

Set your DVR to Fox 9 at 3 pm everyone. Nick Cannon will be on and apparently he teaches Bethenny how to dance (okay, how to twerk). I’m sure it will be highly entertaining. You know I’ll be watching it!!

It’s weird that I’m getting all jittery and excited again as I relive the moments of the weekend in this post. I have SO Much more to share but in order to keep this post from becoming novel length, I am going to have to split it into two separate posts. Can you handle it?! There is more coming your way tomorrow. A lot more. Dana will arrive in NY, we explore the city together, and attend a jaw-dropping cocktail party!!

Bright Lights, Lots of Sights, Tasty Delights

Andddd we’re back! New York was such a good time. I want to fill you in on the trip but don’t want to bore with all of the details, so I will do my best to condense without missing anything important! Less talkie, more photos.

Starting with the food.

Arctic Char over artichoke hearts, potatoes, carrots, and peas at Kellari Taverna. This was my first time eating Arctic Char and I enjoyed it. It was a more mild version of salmon.

Cinnamon Honey Oatmeal with bananas from our hotel, The Hilton in the Fashion District. We were pretty happy with our hotel. We liked staying in the fashion district because it was far enough away from the hustle and bustle where we felt like we could get away and relax, yet close enough that we could walk to our destinations and be in the middle of it all when we wanted to be.

Salad Bar from a whole foods deli down the street from our hotel. I loved the asparagus! They had some sort of Asian-inspired peanut sesame and I’m hoping to try and recreate these at home.

Caramel Macchiato from Roastown Coffee (with skim milk). Sinfully delicious.

Lazzara’s Hawaiian Pizza–which is said to have the best thin crust pizza in the fashion district. It was truly delicious.

Food not pictured: 1 lb bag of Rold Gold pretzels, numerous free apples, Peanut Butter Cookie LARABAR, and breakfast and lunch on the plane. On the flight home I had a pretty good grilled chicken salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Not bad for airplane food!

And the great company and some of the sights….

My cousin Steph and her boyfriend, Jeff at Kellari’s for dinner. Thank you for meeting us for dinner, we had a great time!

In the middle of Times Square.

 I caught myself singing many New York inspired songs throughout the weekend. “These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you, now you’re in New York,” “It’s up to you New York, NEWWWWw YOOOrrrk,” “I’m in the city, trick,” and many more. Dana did his fair share of it too, you couldn’t really help it. It definitely is a whole different world out there.

The 9/11 Memorial Site. It is still a work in progress but is very beautiful so far.

Central Park.

 Rockefeller Center Skating Rink.

At the top of Rockefeller center at night. Beautiful views!

Check out that moon. Dana and I were the only ones who seemed to be in awe over it which was strange because it was spectacular.

We thought it was neat knowing that while we were on top of the Rockefeller Center building, the SNL cast was getting ready to tape in the NBC studio which is inside the Rockefeller. Jonah Hill was going to be hosting! We asked the concierge man if there were by ANY chance last-minute tickets but of course, no such luck. Maybe next time.

And of course, we had to end with our usual “airport” shot. I was extremely tired and combatting a bit of stomach issues, but other than that I was okay!

Now that’s what I call short and sweet. I spared showing you all ninety some photos from the weekend. You’re welcome. 🙂 I had an amazing weekend and it was so great to spend quality time with the hubby.

We are very glad to be home and were greeted with a happy doggie and gorgeous weather here in MN. As soon as we got home we opened up the house to start letting out some of the stuffy winter air. We ran some errands, stocked our fridge full of fruits and veggies, and I headed out for a walk around the neighborhood.

Now I should go tend to the inevitable unpacking. I don’t know which I dislike more, packing or unpacking. Also, I have some chicken breasts working in the crock pot so that we will have it to add to meals this week.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Happy daylight savings time!

A Peek At Our First Night

Hello from New York!

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It was so great meeting up with Steph and Jeff last night. Here is a sneak peek of our night!

We went to a nice greek restaurant called Kellari. I got the Arctic Char and it was awesome.

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I actually utilized the hotel gym this morning and got a three mile run in. “Bikini bikini bikini” was the thought what got me out of the comfy bed this morning. I’m glad I went as I always am. Never do I regret a workout.

We are off to go explore more of the Big Apple! Catch you later!

Two N.Y.’s

I have landed in my mystery destination! Okay, a mystery to some. 🙂

Let’s here it for NEW YORK! Dana and I have a little get-a-way weekend planned in NY and it begins right now.

We don’t have a ton planned for the weekend, and we did this intentionally. We decided we wanted a low key weekend and we would “fly by the seat of our pants” when it comes to what we will do while we’re here.

Tonight however, we do have plans. We are meeting my cousin Stephanie, and her boyfriend, Jeff for a nice greek dinner. I am thrilled that it worked out for us to get together with them on such short notice. It will be so good to see them.

The only other time I was in New York was when I traveled with my cousin Betsy and our friend Ellen. We stayed with Steph, which was an absolute blast and especially helpful considering the three of us were broke college students. We all look like babies in this photo. I want to say this was about 5 years ago?

I can’t believe it’s been that long already. I am very excited to be back.

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The other day I whipped up this beautiful egg white omelette.

If you will remember, I sprinkled some nutritional yeast over the top. Let’s talk about that. Nutritional yeast is fairly new to me. I guess I did hear of it a while back, but didn’t look into it much. I was flipping through Women’s Health Magazine recently and I stumbled upon it again. I have been meaning to try some and this was the nudge I needed. The description I read mentioned it having a cheesy flavor that resembles parmesan cheese. Sounds wonderful right?

But first, What is this stuff?

Nutritional yeast (aka Nooch), is a deactivated yeast. Unlike the active yeast you use in breads, this type will not rise (so don’t try and bake a loaf of bread with it). The product comes in a flake form or a powdered form. It is very popular among vegans as it is plant-based and is packed with protein although it can fit into a carnivore’s diet as well. The flavor does resemble that of parmesan cheese. It is commonly used as a substitute for parmesan.

Nutrition Quick Facts (per 2 tablespoons)

Finding accurate nutrition facts became a frustrating task seeing that each source I viewed was slightly different. With that being said, I will give you a range of data from what I found.

  • Protein: 8-9 grams!
  • Calories: 60-80 calories
  • Fat: approximately 1 gram
  • Fiber: 4-5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 5-7 grams
  • Rich in B vitamins including B12 which is a common nutrient deficiency in vegan and vegetarian diets. B12 is most commonly found in meat.

I am only beginning to learn all of the wonderful health benefits of this new superfood.

How can you use it?

Sprinkle it on:

  • hot popcorn
  • steamed broccoli
  • omelets
  • scrambled eggs
  • pasta
  • salads
  • cook into soups

So far I have only used it on cooked rutabaga and on an egg-white omelet. I am loving this stuff. It looks like powdered gold. I have been becoming more aware of my protein intake lately. I generally don’t eat much meat at home (minus this past week) but do try and get my protein in other ways: greek yogurt, peanut butter, eggs, beans, cheese, whey protein, and now, nutritional yeast!

That’s the cliff notes version of it at least.
How ironic that the two topics in this post, nutritional yeast and New York, share the same initials. Neat, right? 😉 I am a huge nerd.

Alright, I need to go explore this city that we know don’t sleep. Right, all of you Big Willie fans? Gotta get jiggy wit it.

Have a wonderful Friday friends!