A Day in the Life: Kelly

Kelly

Kelly
Age: 26
Current City:  Upper East Side, NYC
Job:  High School Literature and Writing teacher for students diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD, and Aspergers
Fave food: “So many.  Kale, Brie, and everything bagels, to name a few.”
Favorite Book: “Right now, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera and J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories are at the top of my list – I can’t resist a twisted love story!”
Drink of Choice: “Black coffee in the morning and the afternoon, a sassy Cabernet or Malbec in the evening.”
Beauty Secret: “I’ve recently become obsessed with Elixirs and Hydrolats – I bring them to work – a quick spray in the afternoon makes all the difference.  Caudalie Elixir is my favorite.  Also, I’ve been mixing face serums with my face cream – I find that the combination absorbs into my skin more effectively.”
Ideal date: “Love dates.  But, I’m a 75-year old woman at heart, so I have to admit that my favorite date is at home, with a bottle of win, a Rom-com (if it’s my turn to pick) and food made by my favorite in-house chef, my 75 year-old companion.” – let me clarify he is not actually 75!
Favorite NYC Spots: “Although I’ve worked in the city for 5 years, I still feel new to all the kitschy-cool spots NYC has to offer – however, I’m forever in love with Grounded, The Blind Tiger, Westville, Extra Virgin, Candle 79, Caravan of Dreams, Doma, Taim, Union Square Farmer’s Market, The Strand and Pippin(“for browsing”)”

A DAY IN KELLY’S LIFE

6:35am – Wake up, jump in shower; Products: Caudalie Exfoliating Face Scrub, Caudalie foaming cleanser, Dr. Hauschka’s cream cleanser (“to bring some moisture back to the face”), L’Occtaine’s Verbena Shower Gel, “I recently treated myself to Kiehl’s Argan Conditioner—it helps to tame my unruly mane.”

6:45am – Jump out of shower, use SkinCeuticals conditioning toner, Onurth’s Neroli or Rose Hydrolat, Avene light moisturizing cream with a few drops of Onurth’s face serum (or Caudalie face serum), and Avene eye cream; For make-up, Laura Mercier’s mineral powder, NARS’ Blush in Orgasm or Maui, and Maybelline Great Lash Mascara.

6:50am – Dress; “I have yet to perfect the professional teacher look, though I’ve improved over the years (my students confronted me about my white New Balance sneaks, boot-cut jeans, and tiny teal backpack (that donned my initials, obviously) during my first year—such outfits aren’t cut out for the big city, apparently). I try to match jeans and cords of all colors with boots—some days call for a button down, others an oversized t or sweater, and others a blazer (I try to save the blazers for all-business Mondays or serious test-taking days).” – I love this!  Talk about teacher chic.

7:00am – “Attempt to make a quick breakfast—most days it’s toast with avocado. If I’m feeling brave, I’ll try to whip up a smoothie—if I’m running late, it’s a croissant at Petite Abeille, though I’m trying to cut those out in 2013…not going to happen.”

7:10am – “Out the door to try and catch a 7:20ish train!”

7:30am/7:40 – “Arrive at school. Make any last minute changes to lesson plans and necessary photocopies that I didn’t make the day before.”

8:00am – “My first and second period class arrives and prepares for an exciting day of high school!”

8:15am – “Start teaching my 9th graders! We’re reading The Hobbit, so early morning is spent in middle earth!”

9:45am – “Classes change: My first class of 11th and 12th graders arrive, so excited, as usual.”

11:15am-1:25pm – Lunch/prep periods; “I usually use this time to meet with students about papers/outstanding assignments/to prepare for the rest of the week. Since all of my classes are reading different novels, I never feel like I’m caught up. Most days I bring lunch to avoid going out, but I usually take a couple of minutes to grab a coffee across the street— my new favorite spots include Haven and The Commons in Chelsea.”

1:30pm – “My final class—11th and 12th graders—arrive, also very excited. We’re currently reading Kafka’s The Metamorphosis so everyone has been buggin’.”

3:00pm – Dismissed!

3:00pm-5:00pm – “I tutor two different students right after school for one-hour sessions—usually for the SATs or homework help.”

5:00pm-6:30pm – Prepare for the next day, grade papers and tests, catch up on e-mails, update student folders

6:30ish – Teacher dismissed!

7:00pm-9:30pm – Eat, drink, and watch an HBO/Showtime series show; “Dinner is simple—usually a salad, some cooked vegetable, always some cheese, and, if I’m in an over-achieving mood, a pasta/rice dish. Wine is always present. I’m a big fan of Breaking Bad (AMC!), Workaholics, Girls (Jan 13th!), and Homeland—the Wire instigated the series obsession—I blame Omar Little.”

9:30pm-11:30pm: “Shower, read, and work on lesson plans/grading. My routine at night is nearly identical to the morning, with the exception (very recently) of the Clarisonic, which Santa brought this year. Every few nights I also try to use Dr. Dennis Gross’s Daily face peels—though, these are pricey, so I don’t always have them in stock. I’m liberal with the eye cream at night.” – You’re a smart woman, Kel.

12:00am: Lights out.

Thanks Kelly!  You are hilarious.  I am so inspired by you and I love the honesty!  11th and 12th graders?  You must have the patience of a Saint!   And just another amazing teacher shaping the future!  In other news, my eyes are opened to so many new products!  I thought I was the product junkie!  I love seeing how varied everyone’s days are.  Keep rockin’ those white New Balances girlfriend!

How is everyone’s weeks going?

XOXO

Resolution Revolution

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Is it me or do you feel like New Years couldn’t have come soon enough this year?  After Hurricane Sandy hit, I felt like the holidays rolled in before I could say “turkey” (worst joke ever) and the next thing I knew I was falling down a slippery slope of holiday “cheer” and healthy eating was replaced with hibernation.  New Years is a great holiday in my mind because it gives everyone a clean slate, a fresh and positive outlook on the year ahead and the motivation you need to start the year off right.  With a New Year, you are able to get back into your usual groove after the holiday festivities take any self-control and balance away from you.  Personally, I don’t think you necessarily have to make any strict “resolutions”(i.e. don’t watch TV or eat mac n’ cheese ever again) because I think the likelihood of sticking to them are slim.  Like diets, I just don’t believe in them.  A perfect example is the gym right after New Years…then fast forward three weeks later when everyone’s forgotten what a resolution is and you have your pick of the litter on treadmills once again.  I could barely squeeze into my yoga class the other night because of the influx of resolution-ites, and I will tell you there was nothing zen about that experience!

However, I do think it is a great time to reevaluate things and look at the big picture.  How can I be a better friend? Sister? Girlfriend? Daughter? Co-worker? Blogger?!  And think about what you are grateful for and what you want to change.  I always strive to self-improve, but it’s not easy!  So overall, I would like work towards doing so in 2013.

Next up, I would like to develop good/healthy habits and get rid of bad/unhealthy habits.  I like routine but sometimes forcing myself to break away from the day-to-day ends up leading to something enlightening!  I mean, this is a terrible example, but even something as simple as switching from eating cereal for breakfast to eating oatmeal for breakfast can be liberating!  Heck, I made the switch a couple of months ago and I feel great! (PS – there are several studies about cereal leading to weight gain and is not as nutritious as you may think…lots of hidden ingredients…dundundunn)  I once heard that if you want to break a habit, don’t do it (or do it differently) three times in a row and you will be over it.  For example, if you have dessert every night after dinner and you want to break the habit, hold off for three nights and the craving will go away.  That’s not to say you won’t ever want dessert again, but it will help with the need to have something sweet every night.  Coming from someone who eats ice-cream way more than the average human, I have tried this tactic and it works!  Now I only have ice-cream if I am really in the mood (once a week…or so…my roomie may say otherwise).  Give it a whirl!

Another thing I am aiming for in 2013 is better balance.  Balancing work, friends, family, boyfriend, exercise, eating healthy and all the in between is so tough!  I beat myself up when I feel like I am lacking in one area and over compensating in another, but in reality, it’s inevitable!  Nobody is perfect!  But being more aware and making a better effort to keep everything in check is at least a step in the right direction.

My last (but not least) goal is to step outside of my comfort zone: try a new workout class, challenge myself more, do something different in my free time outside of my usual routine (Maybe READ instead of watch TV at night – what a novel idea!), invest in the stock market instead of earning 0.000000000001% in my savings account, meet new people, volunteer – the possibilities are endless!  My first (semi-weak) attempt at this was signing up for a triathlon!  The bf and I are taking the plunge on June 30th and I am so nervous/excited/anxious for it!  (I have used too many puns in this post) I’ve run several races but never a triathlon.  The thought of swimming in the icy cold June ocean for 1/2 a mile and then jumping on a bike for 10 miles and then running a 5k with rubbery legs, gives me the chills, but I can’t wait for the feeling once I cross that finish line!

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So I’m curious, what are your goals/resolutions/dreams for the new year?!  Do you typically make specific resolutions or follow my vague path/attempt at bettering yourself (and hopefully others in the process)?

HAPPY 2013 everyone!

XOXO

(photos via Pinterest)

Livin’ Laguna Vida

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Happy New Year ladies & gents!  Boy do I have a lot to tell you all from my week long Cali hiatus.   Hmm… how do I begin?

Twas’ the night before Christmas…when I found myself sitting on the floor of the Lincoln, Nebraska airport eating pizza by myself.  Yes, I know you’re all jealous and wish that’s how your Christmas eve was spent, but let me tell you, not everyone can be so lucky.  Long story short, my 8:30am direct flight to LAX ended up being a 24 hour journey from hell, most of which was spent in a tiny one gate airport in Lincoln, Nebraska, after our plane made an emergency landing due to smoke in the cockpit.  Thank goodness we were all safe, but I must say, I don’t see myself flying on United anytime soon.  Myself and 219 others all trapped in a tiny airport with zero explanation as to what was going on or if/when we would ever get out of Lincoln, Nebraska in time for Christmas, didn’t leave the most lasting impression.  One positive I did get out of it was how amazing the group as a whole was.  I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been entertaining a 5 year old in an airport for 9 hours or how frustrating it must have been to those who missed connections.  But in general, everyone remained calm and tried to laugh at the situation as best they could.  One of the most memorable experiences of the day was when a local Nebraska native departed one of the two planes flying into the airport that day and saw all 220 of us sitting at the gate and out of the goodness of her heart, had about 40 pizzas sent for all of us.  I mean talk about a stand up citizen!  I guarantee she made headline news in Lincoln on Christmas day.  And I also guarantee she is going straight to heaven.  While I am not looking for a pity party, spending Christmas eve by yourself sitting on the floor in an airport surrounded by strangers eating (much appreciated) donated cardboard pizza was one of the most surreal experiences I have had to date.  And I managed to only have one breakdown… (thank you to those who had to deal with me during that breakdown).

Anyhow… once I finally woke up in Laguna on Christmas morning, I instantly forced myself to erase all memory of the prior 24 hours and here are some of the highlights from my week…

The Montage Hotel

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This is actually what I envision heaven to be like… we spent a few days at the Spa Montage and I kid you not arrived at 8am and left at 8pm.  If anyone plans to go to Laguna, this is a MUST see.  It is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever been in.  Not only are the views spectacular, but the staff and service are unmatched.   If you want to be treated like a king and feel the best you can possibly ever feel…this is your jam.  On our last day, New Years Eve, I started the day with a total body conditioning class, ran a couple of miles, swam 30 laps, ordered a smoothie at the pool, ventured to the hot tub, went back to my chair and read, got back in the pool, ordered lunch, drank a beer, went for a walk on the beach, biked for 20 minutes, hung out in the sauna and steam room for a while, got a facial, read a magazine by the fire, went to 5pm sunset yoga, showered, had a glass of wine at the lobby bar and then went to dinner with my family.  I mean, I honestly can’t think of a better day, can you?

Balboa Island

We stumbled upon this little gem haphazardly and boy were we pleasantly surprised!  I have never heard one word, “Balboa”, used more times in one day, and my dad even ended the day wearing a Balboa t-shirt, just to prove his love.  We were heading on a Griswold-esque road trip to see Newport Beach and decided to take the car ferry to make the trip all the more exciting.  As we crossed the bridge into the town where the ferry departed, Balboa Island, it was as if we had crossed the Sagamore bridge into Cape Cod with palm trees.  The quaint little streets and amazing but unpretentious houses had so much character, it was if they were pulled right out of a story book.  While we still hesitantly managed to get on the ferry across to Newport, it didn’t take us long until we turned right back around and came back to Balboa Island.  While the tiny town could use a few more restaurants and bars, it is definitely worth a pit stop if you’re in the area.  Sidenote: the “famous frozen banana” is not all it’s cracked up to be…and I have intentionally excluded the photos from that experience.

YogaWorks Laguna

As I have mentioned before, I am a total yogi convert and when I heard they had my beloved YogaWorks in Laguna I HAD to try it!  It was the exact same feel as the NYC locations and it made me feel instantly right at home and relaxed.

The Deck Bar

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Coolest bar in Laguna!  Hands down!  This chic little surf bar is literally right on the beach and we stumbled upon it when we were walking the beach one sunny afternoon… go figure.  The decor is more South Beach than rustic, but has that laid back SoCal surfer vibe that you can’t help but love.  The drinks are made with fresh fruit and absolutely delicious.  There are fire heat lamps and cute white lights strung throughout the outdoor space, with surfboard tables and fun music.  I felt like I was in Hawaii for a hot minute!

Sapphire Grill

We spent New Years eve dinner here and the food was absolutely delish!  There was an amazing outdoor seating area with a big firepit and heat lamps that kept us warm on the chilly night.  The food was not Mexican for a change, but more of an upscale American menu.  It was definitely the best meal we had in Laguna and the atmosphere was perfect for a nicer dinner out with the fam!  I would highly recommend this place if you’re in Laguna and want something different!

Zinc Cafe

Zinc Cafe is how I picture a SoCal cafe.  Healthy, al-fresco dining, with beautiful people and a relaxed atmosphere.  I made several coffee pit stops at this place and am dying to go back for lunch next time I’m in the ‘hood.

Shopping

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My mom and I spent a full day checking out the stores in Laguna while the guys golfed.  We walked up and down the main strip and although there were plenty of touristy stores, what stuck out to me most were the home stores.  While I didn’t take pictures of all of my faves, Seaside Interiors was definitely a highlight.  It was totally my aesthetic and I wanted to just pick up and live inside of the store.  The owner explained to me that the shop was started by her and her daughter who have an interior design business and have expanded to do custom furniture as well.  Sounds like a dream to me!  Definitely worth checking out if you’re into that sort of thing.  In terms of clothing stores, I was particularly impressed with Isla, they had the cutest stuff at really good prices.  I managed to pickup a few great finds – a pair of black shorts with “leather” detail and an olive green sheer button down with black “leather” shoulders and collar – obsessed!

And there you have it!  A very Cali Christmas.  No sightings of LC, Stephen or Lo, but I will hope for the best next time around…

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HAPPY 2013!  It’s going to be a GREAT year!

XOXO