Friday Favorites [& a Giveaway!]

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m hoping to get back into regular blogging again. I’ve been in a bit of a cooking slump – I’ve been preparing meals, but haven’t been creating anything particularly noteworthy but I have high hopes that’ll change soon. Plus, now that I’m back to running I’ll hopefully be able to talk about that more, too! That being said, let’s kick off my attempt at getting back to blogging with some of my current favorite things. I also have a giveaway for you at the bottom of this post!

Kate Spade Saturday + New Balance Collaboration Cross Training Sneakers

When I saw these badboys on Instagram, I knew I had to have them. I run in New Balance 1400s (I currently have three pairs of v1’s stocked in my closet and ready to go) and I absolutely love Kate Spade. Since becoming a runner, I never really spent time to buy myself sneakers other than ones I planned to run in – I’d usually just use older running sneakers when cross training or needing to throw on a pair to go outside for something quick.


Now that I’m trying to be better about cross training (hello Refine) I knew I should have a solid pair of sneakers to wear – not just a pair of old running shoes (that are developing holes in the upper). They had quite a few different prints to choose from, and while I was first drawn to the floral print as well as the all-over stripes, I eventually settled on a pair of black 810’s with stripes on the soles. I figured they were still fun, but in an unassuming kind of way. I’ve worn them twice now since getting them on Tuesday and I absolutely love them. They manage to be both lightweight and supportive, and I love the funky soles!


Hindsight is a new TV show on VH1, and I’m obsessed with it. As soon as I saw the previews for it I was excited to watch, and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. It’s based on a woman that grew up in the 90’s and is suddenly transported back in time right before her second wedding. She’s given the opportunity to live her life again knowing what she does about the future.


Getting to relive some of the trends and things that were “cool” when I was growing up is so much fun. And it makes me really glad most 90’s fashions are no longer a thing.

Good Eats in Rochester, NY

This past weekend I had a chance to visit my sister in Rochester, NY thanks to a flash sale from JetBlue for $32 each way tickets. Everyone always says that I’m such a great cook and so creative, but my little sister is seriously impressive. You name, it she can make it… and a lot of times without a recipe! So in addition to her awesome cooking, we made sure to get some good eats out too, because Rochester has a really impressive food scene!

Sticky Icky Plate, Breathe Smoothie, Pasta w. asparagus & mushrooms, and Gouda grilled cheese w. tomato soup!
Sticky Icky Plate, Breathe Smoothie, Pasta w. asparagus & mushrooms, and Gouda grilled cheese w. tomato soup!

When I first visited my sister in Rochester back in 2011, we went to Sticky Lips BBQ. Even though I’m a vegetarian, their fried pickles and vegetarian Sticky Icky Plate were two of my favorites, so I insisted on going back this visit. My sister also discovered a new yoga studio not too far from her apartment that in addition to yoga classes, they have an awesome boutique and juice bar. While my sister doesn’t practice yoga, she does enjoy smoothies and juices, so she took me there for breakfast on Sunday before the Super Bowl. I got a smoothie with peanut butter, dates, bananas, and almond milk, and it was SO delicious. I just wish there was a cute little yoga studio like that near me!

Yoga Challenges

Quite a few people I follow on Instagram are really into yoga and do challenges frequently. So when I saw one for arm balances in January I figured I’d give it a try. I quickly realized that there were a lot of poses that seemed pretty impossible to me that I just couldn’t do. But there were also a lot of poses that seemed pretty impossible to me that I could do!


I’m trying to get better at having a more well-rounded approach to my fitness and running (hello Refine Method), so doing yoga at least once a week has been on my to-do list. The challenges have helped me try things I wouldn’t normally try, and it’s an extra opportunity to practice patience (which I am not so great at) and perseverance. I definitely want to keep working on my yoga – I know that it’ll help me get my core stronger, which I’m constantly reminded is so important.

SEPO Sauce

I’ll be the first to admit that I love condiments. I’m always looking for something to use as a dip or spread – and I’m not ashamed of it! You can usually find me spreading dijon mustard on my sandwiches, hot sauce on my pizza, dunking my french fries into BBQ sauce, and more. So when I was contacted and asked if I’d be interested in giving SEPO Sauce a try and doing a giveaway with it, I couldn’t resist. The sauce is creamy with a hint of garlic and horseradish, and it reminded me a lot of Caesar dressing, only better. I’ve used it on a bunch of different sandwiches (grilled cheese, egg and avocado, etc.), as a dip for french fries, as well as with salad. My jar is almost empty… and I want more!


Luckily, I have a jar to give to one of you! All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me something you’re loving lately. I’ll randomly pick a winner by Tuesday 2/10 at 9pm EST!

Update: The giveway is closed! Thanks to the winner of the SEPO Sauce is commenter #7 – EMG!


A Collegiate Weekend

This past weekend, I took a trip up to The University of Rochester with my mom and dad to visit my younger sister, who is a sophomore at the university for their Meloria weekend. Even though this is her second year, it was my first trip up and I was excited to see her – I haven’t seen her since the summer! I was also excited knowing there was some delicious food to be eaten – including BBQ and a trip to the original Wegmans.

First up was a trip to one of the university’s cafeterias that had ready to eat cookie dough! We needed a snack before dinner having been in the car for 6 hours, so it was just what I needed. I opted for the rocky road version, and it was awesome.

During my sister’s rendition of a campus tour, we of course had to stop at the full-sized Starbucks they have on campus. The University of Scranton had a Starbucks added to their new cafeteria my senior year, but it wasn’t much more than a countertop in the quick service section. At The University of Rochester, though, it’s a fully operating store which blew my mind. My sister’s boyfriend works there, and they operate regular (late) store hours as well, which I think is genius for a college campus. I also got my first glimpse of the trenta – I love coffee, but I don’t think I could drink that much!

Dinner on Friday night was at Benucci’s which my parents and sister had been to before. Go to Parks near Rochester, NY for a stroll after a nice meal. I had a really hard time deciding on what to get, but I ultimately went with their spicy penne vodka, and of course shared some fried calamari appetizer with the table. The pasta was delicious – it was at the perfect spice level for me, which was nice and spicy.

Saturday started early with a trip to the hotel’s gym, and unfortunately my run ended sooner than I had originally anticipated. The gym was 80 degrees (I wish I was exaggerating, but I checked the locked up thermostat) so I could only muster up 5 miles. Of course, when I was done it felt like I ran at least double that. We then headed to the university, first stopping at Starbucks (I scored a free sample of their pumpkin white mocha – yum!) and then continuing on to watch Bill Clinton deliver the keynote address.
Having heard only delicious things about Rochester’s BBQ, so we decided to check out Sticky Lips BBQ for lunch. Adam Richman’s Man vs. Food actually visited there and took on the atomic challenge, so we knew it had to be good. While no one at our table attempted the challenge, we all got a ton of food. I decided to go with the veggie sticky icky plate, because I’m not a big fan of ribs, pork, etc. It was so delicious. It had french fries, black beans, macaroni salad, and was smothered with vegetable etouffe and of course came with a slab of cornbread. I tackled about half, and saved the other half for dinner.

Our final stop of the day was the original Wegmans, where I discovered Maine Root’s Pumpkin Pie Soda!
 Despite the 6 hour trip, it was great to spend the weekend with my parents (who celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on Sunday – wow!), and get to see my sister and her boyfriend. The next time we’ll all be reunited is Thanksgiving, which we’ll be hosting for the third year in a row. This weekend reaffirmed my beliefs that my love and obsession with food is thanks to my family. The four of us have food on the brain, all the time.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway – you have until Thursday at 9pm EDT!