Monday, June 27, 2016

Natural Response

It's amazing that one word can literally mean so much in the sense of emotion. Grief is a natural response to loss. Wikipedia defines it as " Grief is a multifaceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed."

The loss of my mother was 6 years ago and today I am still plagued with major grief and am having an extremely hard time moving forward. You never move on because it will always be with you. You learn to cope. Crying is a "normal" response as well as talking about the loss; however if forced it can be more dangerous then helpful. I cry often. I try to cry in the comfort of my home by myself and some would say that could be harmful; however I will tell you I sometimes find it very therapeutic. I also talk about my mother often and have been told by a therapist that I am a memorialist; committed to preserving the memory of my mom. One way I constantly do this is every year in the Jewish religion we light a Yahrzeit Candle. On Friday night I will attend services at my local synagogue where I am a member.

On the second half of this year, I plan to really work on moving forward from my grief. I want to be able to control my emotions. I want to be able to enjoy life and know that my mother would be proud of me. She would be happy to see me doing so well after a rough few years.

So why am I sharing this...because when someone wants to talk, be there to listen. Don't force someone to speak about loss and grief, but be accessible. I am really blessed to have friends and family who allow me to lean on them.

Tonight I remember you mom. Your bright red hair. Your outgoing, bubbly attitude. Your freckled face. Your contagious smile.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Broadway Bites at Urbanspace

Last night I headed into New York City for my Johnson & Wales Alumni Summer Social which was being held at Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar in Midtown. I took the train into Penn Station and arrived with about an hour and a half to walk my way over and take in the city. It had been a while so I was excited to spend some uninterrupted time wondering though my favorite city. If you follow me on Snapchat (tracysayswhat) you will see my adventure of last night!

As I made my way through Herald Square near Macy's I stumbled across the Broadway Bites at Greeley Square.

"Broadway Bites pops-up in the Summer and Fall at Greeley Square, showcasing a diverse mix of chefs, artisans, and baristas. You'll find a mix of original concepts from experienced chefs, as well as talented up-and-coming entrepreneurs bringing their new concepts to the markets for the first time." 

From June 3rd-July 17th they are open daily from 11am to 9pm. The patio area is filled with seating and you can even sit at the bar of their counter. With so many options to choose from and so little time I can't wait to go back and have already mentioned it to friends and family. 

How cute is this sign! 
 Many offered alcoholic options as well as fountain drinks which is good for families with small children. It was packed with kids running around!

Sat at the counter and enjoyed a glass of Rose and a Nutella/Banana Crepe
I seriously wanted to try every place. I would recommend going with a group of people ordering an array from different places and sharing. What could be better then spending time eating and drinking in the middle of New York City.

It was great to connect with fellow Johnson & Wales Alumni and meet new people. Zaref the owner of Ayza was extremely nice and I would go back in a heartbeat. Who doesn't love Wine and Chocolate?


Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Happy Tuesday!

Did you know that today is #InternationalYogaDay? Let's be honest, the one main reason I knew is because I have been working as a receptionist/social media coordinator at a local yoga studio in Central New Jersey.

I am the first to admit that I am far from flexible and my coordination and balance is extremely poor. When you start something that usually is the case. You work to build that and continue to grow everyday. In the past month I can tell you I have grown and in honor of International Yoga Day I am going to share a few tips that have helped me.

1) It's Your Practice - The first time I heard that I let it go in one ear and out the other, but as I took more and more classes I realized it didn't matter who else was in the room. You get what you want out of each and every class, only if you believe that. In the beginning it was hard because I would look around and think, I don't belong here. When I started to believe it I saw such a difference. Make the best of your practice!

2) Modifications - I don't quit. I don't steer off course. If I am assigned a project I complete it. What I learned about modifications are they are necessary so you don't hurt yourself, they are not excuses to do an easier pose. Every instructor I've had informed me how important modifications are and how they can help you down the road. "I don't want down the road, I want right now" is the wrong attitude to have in yoga.

3) Breathe - Did you know you could transform your practice with better breathing techniques. There a few different ones. I learned this in my first class; when bending forward exhale and when lifting or opening chest inhale. For many that my be common sense, but again I was a true beginner when I took this job.

4) Relaxation/Meditation - It is key for me as a beginner to balance my postures with relaxation and meditation. Most instructors include this in their class; however if they don't be sure to add it your practice. That full sense of well-being is a combination of physical yoga and mental centering.

5) Practice Journal - This is just something I am going to start doing in July. I think this will help me to see my growth not only visually but also down on paper.

If you practice yoga, what are some of your tips?


Monday, June 20, 2016

Let's Talk....Weekend Fun + Food

Staying out way past midnight for many 29 year old's is completely normal. For me, I am more of a grandma and in bed by 11 most nights even on the weekends. I require plenty of sleep to be human the next day. This weekend was anything but that; however I had such a great weekend I don't care I'm running on coffee to stay awake today. 

Friday I worked in the morning and then spent the afternoon meeting my friends 9 month old nephew. What a cutie pie he is. That age is so interesting to me. We spent a good hour playing "peek-a-boo" and I am not sure who had more fun, him or I. After close to 3 hours of playtime is was time to get ready to head into New York City for dinner/drinks for my monthly dinner with my best friend and her mom. The conversation is always great just like the meals. 

We found ourselves at Sangria 46, " a place to savor the flavors, the music, and the warmth of Spanish and Latin American cultures." We didn't realize there was an outdoor patio when we made the reservation, so unfortunately we didn't get to sit outdoors but our table was fine. Next time I would make a reservation for the patio if the night is suppose to be nice. To start, we ordered a pitcher of "Sexy" Sangria. I didn't get a photo but it was filled with champagne, brandy, triple sec, mango and strawberries. We split 3 appetizers and each ordered an entree. 

Pescado en Salsa Margarita- Fillet of Sole sauteed in vermouth cream sauce with shrimp, calamari, and scallops over rice

Champignones Mixto - Cremini & Portobello Mushrooms sauteed with leeks in demi-glace, wine & Spanish Paprika

Txangurro- Basque style crab meat in Puff Pastry 
Everything was delicious. We all enjoyed being able to get different meals and sharing. Feeling good we were off to Ellen's Stardust Diner, home of the singing waitstaff. Many have went on to being on Broadway shows or becoming famous! We dessert in mind we knew we were once again going to share our 3 different choices. I will leave you with this......mouthwatering. 

The Girl Scout

Whoppie Pies

Chubby Checker 

After a great night in the city and getting home at 1:45am it was time to crash and get to work at 8am. Saturday night it was off to Tre Pizza in Freehold, NJ. Two Italian Mojito's and some "JSwipe" I was exhausted and home around 12:30. 

Sunday being Father's Day we left the day up to dad, who had us going to the beach, then decided NYC, but instead we landed up in Westfield, NJ. What a cute little town. We walked around before heading to downtown New Brunswick, NJ for dinner at Tacoria. Originally we were going to order and take it too the park; however they have an open patio that happened to be open during construction so we ate there instead. Everything from this Mexican Street Kitchen was amazing. Let's just talk about the "Golden Avocado," meaning Fried Avocado.
Overall my weekend was filled with amazing food, great company and plenty of fun. 

How was your weekend? 


Sunday, June 12, 2016

"....It matters only that you love"

Just like what the great John Lennon said. After hearing about the horrible shooting that took place in Orlando, FL this morning I automatically thought of the words by John Lennon. 

I learned a lesson early on from my mother, that the most important thing in life is to love. She loved her husband. She loved her children. She loved her family. She loved her friends. She loved everything. The one thing in life she didn't love is the one thing that took her life, Cancer. She stressed the importance of saying "I love you" everyday. When I was younger it didn't phase me. Today I make sure to say it as often as I can to everyone. She used to tell me I could love anyone even if they were "Pink with purple polka dots" to which I would say no one looks like that. Her point though was simple: "Lets love each other instead of hating one another."

I may disagree with people. I may have different views. I will never "Hate" someone because that is what my mother instilled in me. You have the right to argue your point. You have the right to disagree and state that in public. You also have the right to hate, however I will never hate. 

So as you reflect on today's events remember: "It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you LOVE."

You can take action and make a difference today. There are so many ways to give back and we all have the power to make a difference in one person's life. 


Friday, June 3, 2016

What's Your Excuse?

Happy Friday!

Even with a short week it felt longer then usual. Tomorrow is 6 years since my mother lost her battle with cancer and passed away. We remember her as a spunky red head, a vibrant outgoing yenta, a fighter, and most importantly as a mother, daughter, wife, sister and friend. She has made an impact on so many people in her short 50 years here on earth. I on the other hand feel like I have made more excuses in the past 29 years and especially since she passed. It's time for a change, one that I will stick with. They won't happen over night, but if I take it slow and one step at a time I believe I can throw aways all the excuses and work on myself to be a better person, like the person my mother raised me to be. 

Maybe it's the emotions of tomorrow or just the overall feeling of being drained while reading Ali's post "No Excuses- Play Like A Champion" I lost it and cried. Random emotions mean breakthroughs sometimes. Here is to hoping between the blog post and watching Strong last night I can actually stop with the excuses and start living fully! 

So here are my goals, excuses, and changes:

Goal: Cook more healthy meals. ( Worked with nutritionist last year to get stomach under control and it worked. Learned foods my body will accept. Lost 30 pounds, gained 24 back)
Excuses: Again, working a part time gig while job searching and attempting to pay bills just feels like enough I don't want to spend money or time in the kitchen.
Changes: Found easy and healthy recipes my mom clipped but never made. Going to make them for "her." Make grocery list and plan meals. 

Goal: Exercise routine that lasts more then 2 weeks. Find what I enjoy and stick with it. 
Excuses: There is no good excuse other then I am lazy. When I am not working part time at the yoga studio I am applying for jobs. ( Sitting in Starbucks, browsing the internet, submitting app here and there and just being lazy) It's time to stop feeling sorry for myself and motivate myself. I am only as strong and motivated as I believe I am. 
Changes: Where gym clothes to work and go straight to gym after work on days that I open. On days that I close I will go to the gym in the morning. ( Working on waking up same time each day)

Goals: Strengthen friendships. 
Excuses: A legit excuse is not having the money to go out and actually get into the city. However there are plenty of activities we can do with little money. Texting isn't the same as face to face conversations. The phone works both ways yet I always seem to be the one making the first move.
Changes: Stop "ghosting" and work on texting/calling twice a month out of town friends. Saying yes to more invitations. 

 These are just a few excuses I am going to start working on. So I ask you........