ponies

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On New Year’s day (after I slept until noon), I got Ariel to snap some photos of my ponies & I. I love these three goofballs so much, and I don’t have too many photos of us together and I am usually the ones taking the photos! I have to say the photo of Pearl (dark brown) & I is my absolute fave.

Just for fun, here’s one more that made me laugh really hard. Lucy is the biggest doofus in the world.

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Have a great Wednesday!!

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holiday playlist!

Happy Tuesday!

It happened. Last week I broke out the Christmas music, and now I cannot. stop. listening. It’s an addiction and I’m listening to every possible holiday playlist I can get my hands on. I can take or leave gift guides, but if a blogger posts a Christmas playlist you can be damn sure I’ll listen to it. Annie posted her playlist a few weeks ago, and ever since then I knew I wanted to put together this playlist for you guys with some of my absolute favorites. There is a lot of upbeat stuff, because that’s just what I prefer. If I’m being honest, unless I am listening to a playlist on Spotify, I just have Idina Menzel’s holiday album on repeat. Last year it was Michael Buble’s (obsessed with White Christmas ft. Shania Twain, obvs. ), the year before that it was Glee.

Anyway, I’ll stop yammering and get to the music.

So, spill. What’s your absolute favorite Christmas album/ song?!

Also, if anyone is interested in exchanging Christmas cards with me leave me a comment/email!!! I looooooove getting/giving Christmas cards, so I thought why not include my online friends?!

NYC : the full recap

It was in the middle of summer that Ariel & I decided that we could, should and WOULD be going to New York this fall. We spent an unbelievable amount of time trying to decide when the perfect time to go would be. We researched when the most tourists would be around (October & Thanksgiving week on – DUH. ), when the Christmas decorations would be up, when the weather wouldn’t be too warm, etc. etc. I think that it’s safe to say, as evidenced from the photos below, that we picked the perfect week to go. It was chilly, but not freezing. The leaves on the trees in the park were still intact and were beyond beautiful. There were tourists (like ourselves) but not too many. Except in Times Square, which was avoided as much as possible as soon as we figured that shit out.

Vacation recaps are so difficult. I’d love to write out every meticulous detail, and share every photo we took, but I think that would be just a bit much, no? I tried to narrow it down as much as possible so as to save you guys from boredom. You’re Welcome!

ps: If you missed part one & two, you’d best see those first! 

We spent a lot of time in Central Park. Atleast 5 hours walking everywhere in that beautiful place. While I liked the rushing people and the noise of the actual city, the park was really, really nice. Aside from the occasional smell of vomit, but what can you expect when you’re in NYC?
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Can we just.. take a moment to look at that?! Freakin’ amazing. 

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I learned very quickly that you don’t really have to do much planning in order to see things in NYC. Just throw on comfortable boots, a scarf, and head outside. Walk a few blocks and you are most likely to end up seeing something you’ve seen on TV, or on blogs, or in movies…Just EXPLORE! And that is exactly what we did.

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We loved the Museum of Natural History, the NY Public Library was absolutely insane ( I’m oddly such a geek for stunning architecture!), Rockefeller Plaza was amazing ( soooo wish the tree was lit!), Grand Central Station was smaller than we expected (?!) , I liked the Central Park Zoo, as long as I don’t think too hard about the animals stuck in a concrete jungle.

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I fell even more in love with Seth Meyers when we went to a taping of Late Night. We got front row, and were about two feet from him when he came over to talk to producers during commercial breaks. He’s adorable & hilarious. The top of 30 Rock was incredible. It’s surprisingly quiet up there, the noise of the city is muffled, and I spent a lot of time just standing there & staring like an idiot. It was an awesome moment, and we went both in the daytime & at night, just because.

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The Lion King on Broadway was incredible. The music and costumes were stunning, and I was surprised how closely it followed the movie. The Lion King has been Ariel’s favorite since she was a kid, and I’m soooo happy that she got to see it live. If/Then was my absolute favorite though. I honestly had no idea what the storyline of the play was going into it, I only bought tickets because I’d be damned if I was going to New York and didn’t see Idina Menzel on Broadway, but the plot of the play was moving, funny, heartbreaking, and thought provoking. The entire cast was spectacular, and I’m still amazed that a voice like that can come out of such a little person like Idina. I may or may not be plotting how I can get back to NYC asap and see as many shows as possible – I’ve loved theatre for so long, now I’ve got the bug and it’s all I want to do! I’ve had a lot of people ask me what my favorite part of my trip was, and I’d say the plays were my absolute favorite part.

The thing about travelling is that once you do it, it’s all you think about. Ever since I got back, all I can think about is where I’m going to go to next. I will be back to New York for sure, hopefully sooner rather than later. You can only experience a city for the first  time once, and I think I made my first time count.  I’ll stop with the photos & rambling now, kudos to you if you actually read all this & looked at all the photos!

Till next time, NYC.

Love you.

that time I ate the entire city of new york

I love food.

Guess what place has a lot of really good food?

New York City.

I don’t have a lot of options for restaurants or cafes in my hometown. Seriously, the nearest Starbucks is 3 hours away. Of course, we have like 6 different fast food restaurants, but only 2 or 3 really good (read: non fast food) restaurants. So you should be able to see why I was really, really excited for the food in New York. And it did not disappoint. I’m pretty sure I ate maybe 3 servings of vegetables the entire 6 days we were there. I was a-okay with that. Past Jenna would have NOT been okay with that, but present Jenna totally is.

Because I really love food.

We tried to experience as many of the types of food New York is famous for as possible. I didn’t realize until the end of the trip that we actually had only went to ONE sit down restaurant, where we ordered a giant pizza. We also had dollar slices of pizza at 11pm after seeing The Lion King on Broadway. Truth: I kinda like the dollar pizza better.

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On our three hour drive home from the airport, Ariel and I made a list of everything we had eaten while we were there. It was an epic list, and I kind of regret not taking photos of everything we ate. The day I went back to work my boss told me I looked “tinier” than when I went to NYC. I actually told her it was all thanks to my pizza, croissant & milkshake diet. She laughed – but I was telling the truth. I worked out in our hotel room twice while we were in NYC – if you wanna call doing some planks & squats while Ariel showered “working out”. It was very, very freeing to really not give a fuck about working out or eating healthy food. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. We walked so much every day that we were always starving come meal time.  I wanted to take advantage of the everything New York had to offer, and I’m glad I did. Sometimes you have to sacrifice health in order to just enjoy life. My advice to those wanting to stay “healthy” on vacation is to just say FUCK IT, walk everywhere instead of taking public transport, and eat ALL the food.

So we did what we do best, we ate ALL the food.

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sweet potato & black bean chili with quinoa/kale baked potato from Two Tablespoons

(I forget where we got the macaroons..somewhere in Bryant Park!)

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Ariel’s apple turnover & americano from Tisserie 

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My nutella croissant (O.M.G) & americano from Tisserie

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We picked up a red velvet cupcake (meh, it was ok) & a pumkin cheesecake (OMG SO GOOD) from Magnolia Bakery

(thanks for the suggestion, Kaitlin!)

 

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Roasted chesnut doughnut from Doughnut Plant

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Shroom’ Burger from Shake Shack

You MUST get a milkshake with your burger. And fries. MUST.

We walked 20 minutes in the pouring rain for Shake Shack and it was totally worth it.

 

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New Orleans Cold Brew iced coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee

This was LIFE CHANGING. I have been dreaming of this coffee since we had it.

We are ordering coffee beans from Blue Bottle ASAP.

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Vanilla & Blackberry Jam filled doughnut ( YES, PLEASE!)  from Doughnut Plant 

We also had 16 Handles frozen yogurt (so many options!), aforementioned pizza, coffee & bagels from Blue Dog Cafe right behind our hotel (highly recommend!), bagels from Ess-A-Bagel ( a religious experience. Cinnamon raisin bagel with chocolate chip cream cheese – holy crap!), Chipotle ( which we LOVE and there are none ANYWHERE near where we live.), and pastries from the deli/bakery down the street.

I realized we kind of missed a whole other thing by skipping sit down, fancy restaurants.

Next time, for sure.

For now? Please send me doughnut plant doughtnuts & bluebottle iced coffee, THANKS.

Favorite place to eat in NYC? Which city was your favorite, food wise?! 

that time i went to new york city

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Oof.

I’ve been sitting here for atleast 30 minutes trying to think of how I can possibly manage to even begin to recap my trip to New York. Words are really hard, guys. Sometimes I feel like I feel things too much. I realize that sounds totally ridiculous but let me give you some perspective. The above photo is almost identical to the one that I have had as my iPad cover photo for the past two years. I didn’t realize it until I started to go through my photos, but then I realized holy fuck, I went to New York. I’ve been dreaming of this place for so long, I have a poster of the skyline in my room, and the aforementioned iPad cover photo, and now I have seen it with my own eyes. Holy fuck. 

I know that people travel all the time. People travel to much more exotic/cultural/exciting/whatever places than New York. I know that it’s no big deal to most people. However, it’s a big deal to me. While I am one of  those people who tends to dream pretty big, one of those people who aims high, who sets extraordinary standards, there is a very large part of me who constantly tells me that I will never get to do the things I want to do. I’ve wanted to go to New York for a very, very long time. I really, truly started to believe I would never make it there. A lot of it had to do with coming from my small town. I see it everyday, people who live their entire lives here, never leaving. People don’t travel, they don’t go on adventures, they most certainly don’t have blogs. They graduate from high school (or not), get a job (or not), get married (or not), have kids (always), and live out their lives here. I was convinced that I was stuck here, destined to be like everyone else in this town, never able to see the world. And let me tell you, that scared the shit out of me.

Thus, as we sat in a cab from JFK and headed into the city, as I saw all the giant buildings, the crowds of people, all the landmarks I had seen on TV/movies/ read about, I was overcome with a sense of relief mixed with utter happiness and gratitude. I felt free. Free from that little voice telling me that I will be forever stuck in my hometown, that I didn’t deserve to see the world. See? I feel too much.

New York was everything I dreamed of and more. It is completely different than anything I have ever known. I love how outrageously fast people walk, I love Central Park, I love the feeling that everyone had a sense of purpose, I love the constant activity, the busyness of it. I loved 30 Rock, the endless food options, the sense that you could never be bored there. I loved watching Broadway plays, the theatre nerd inside me died the moment Idina walked out onstage.

Times Square was the worst. I hated the tourists who didn’t walk fast enough. I hated seeing the carriage horses in Central Park. I could do without the piles of garbage on the sidewalks, and the occasional fragrance of vomit that wafted through the city. I hated how the drivers seem to think that honking their horn makes traffic move any faster ( hint: IT DOESN’T ).

New York is flawed, like everything else in this world. It makes me love it more.

I’m just realizing now that this isn’t a recap at all. It’s more of me trying to give you some insight as to why I was so excited to go. Why I’m so over the top ecstatic about it. Why I’m having trouble writing about everything. Just trust me when I say it was amazing, and when I finally un-jumble my thoughts, I’ll let you in on what exactly we did there. Also, photos. I’ve got a shit ton of them.

What’s your favorite place to travel to? 

currently – novemeber 10th, 2014.

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Hey guys! First off, thank you for your sweet comments on my last post. They mean the world to me! I’ve seen this questionnaire thing around blogland for awhile now, and I thought it would be a good way to catch y’all up on whats happening over here before I peace out for another week. Maybe someday I’ll get back to regular blogging. But for now..

 

MAKING : So. Many. Lists. I’ve got two days until I fly to NYC which means my entire life revolves around finishing the shit on all my lists.
COOKING : All the kale, eggs, and salsa. I refuse to buy groceries before I travel, thus meaning I’m getting done to the bare essentials here.
DRINKING : Vanilla Americano from my faaaave local cafe. There are 6 baristas that work there and they all know my coffee order. #predictable
READING : Yes, Please. Obviously. It’s damn good you guys. I’m actually planning on doing a post on the last few books I’ve read. Eventually.
WANTING : to sleep forever. Im so, so excited for NYC but I know I’m going to be hella sleep deprived. People say “you can sleep when you’re dead” but I’m a firm believer in sleeping as much as possible while I’m alive. #partyanimal
LOOKING : For a way to add three more hours to each day. Think of all the shit you could get done in those three hours!
PLAYING : 30 Rock on Netflix. Last year I got to season 5 and then lost US Netflix for awhile so I decided I might as well start from the beginning again cause WHY NOT?
WASTING : Time. I should be packing. Oops.
WISHING : I could sleep in tomorrow.
ENJOYING : being on vacation. I haven’t taken more than 4 days off since March, so yes, I think a vacation was due.
WAITING : FOR WEDNESDAY TO COME. Tired of hearing me talk about NYC yet? Sorry not sorry.
LIKING : 1989. Still on repeat.
WONDERING : if it will snow while we are in NYC. Praying to sweet baby Jesus it doesn’t. The thing that scares me most about flying is having my flight cancelled and being stranded.
LOVING : Yes, Please. Surprise parties. Morning walks. Evening rides on my pony.
HOPING : Ariel and I have seats together on the plane.
MARVELLING : THAT IM GOING TO NYC IN TWO DAYS.
NEEDING : a physics tutor. For realz.
SMELLING : the pumpkin pie candle I have burning. I’m not over the pumpkin yet.
WEARING : beanies, ankle boots & my leather jacket. I’m so obsessed with my jacket. I also really love beanies.
FOLLOWING : Matt Bellassai on Twitter. He is HILARIOUS.
NOTICING : how so many of my fave bloggers have placed out. I MISS READING ABOUT YOUR LIVES, PEOPLE.
KNOWING : I have so much schoolwork to do. Halp.
THINKING : this has taken waaaay longer than I anticipated. I need to sleep. ( it’s 10:08pm)
FEELING : my back hurts from laying weirdly on my bed while typing this on my iPad. I hate writing blog posts on my iPad but I needed my computer to watch 30 Rock. #firstworldproblems
BOOKMARKING : I’m really into fashion bloggers all of a sudden. It’s weird.
OPENING : too many tabs. I got to a point where my iPad wouldn’t let me open any more. I have problems.
GIGGLING : Yes, Please. 30 Rock. All the cute animal vines that Ariel sends me on a daily basis. This is why she is my best friend.

And that’s it! I doubt I’ll be back here before I leave for NYC, and I definitely won’t be here while I’m in New York, so I’ll see you guys next week? I’ll be posting on Instagram and Twitter so feel free to follow me there my friends 🙂

thinking out loud thursday #17

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Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday to you all! Putting this up a little later than usual – but better late than never right?!

1. Officially 13 days until I leave for New York. I am so beyond excited it’s unreal. Ariel and I spent a couple hours on Saturday making a list of things we want to do, and most importantly, places we want to eat. I am so excited to eat ALL the food you guys. Aaaand I am super excited to meet a blog friend in real life for the first time! I have a meet up with Kaitlin planned and I cannot wait!
2. Yes, I, like every other person in the world, has had 1989 on repeat since Monday. I’m really loving the change to pop, to be honest, and I’m loving the whole “I have no interest in boys, I’d rather focus on my girlfriends and career right now” thing she’s got going on. I can relate, TSwizzle, I can relate. My favorite songs off the album (I love them all actually) would have to be Blank Space, Clean, and Wonderland.
3. I’m super excited to celebrate Halloween for the first time in a couple years. Last year I was in Florida, so I didn’t get to dress up and that makes me sad. This year I really wanted to be a witch from Hocus Pocus ( The SJP one, obvs), but lack of time to put together a costume eliminated that one. Ariel and I are going simple and being glow stick ladies. The part we are going to is a blacklight party, so we had to have something white or neon/glowing. I’m making Halloween themed cookies tomorrow and I am oddly excited about it. I just love holiday related crap.
4. It has rained for seven days straight here. SEVEN DAYS. I think I’ve seen the sun for a total of an hour over the past week. This weather is the WORST and it needs to STOP. It’s also fluctuating between muggy/humid and freezing cold. It’s totally ruining the end of fall for me. I hope to Jesus the weather is good in New York while we are there.
5. I went to a group fitness class the other week for the first time in literally forever. I can’t even remember the last time I did a group fitness class, and I looooved it. I plan on going whenever my schedule allows me. However, the BEST part about the whole thing was getting to snuggle my friends Chow puppy beforehand. Isn’t she the CUTEST?!

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6. Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please, came out on Tuesday, and I’m kind of regretting pre-ordering it on Amazon because I’m apparently not going to receive it until November 4th and I’m kinda not okay with it. If this article is any indication, it’s going to exceed my expectations.
7. I’m currently reading Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso and Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. I’d recommend both. I’ve actually taken the time to write down quite a few excerpts from Girl Boss, it’s that good. And Lena is just hilarious, candid, and just plain weird. It’s lovely and refreshing.
8. Let’s talk TV. Scandal is just starting to get crazy. It hasn’t been really crazy this season I’ve found, until last episode. Shit is starting to get cray. I’m looking forward to Mellie starting to get her shit together. I know her son died and all, but I need more from her storyline aside from cereal eating and bathrobes and Uggs. I’m still loving How To Get Away With Murder, I like how the story is starting to unfold and becoming easier to follow. I think it’s one of those shows that needs awhile to really get it’s feet under it. Grey’s is good. It makes me sad though. The episode from two weeks ago, the one with Merediths mother, was by far my favorite episode from the last few seasons. It reminded me of the old Grey’s, and I loved that. I’m starting to catch up on this season of Parenthood, and I’ve bawled both times. That show KILLS me. Which is saying a lot because I don’t usually cry. The Good Wife is by FAR the best show I’m watching right now. It’s just so, so good. The writing, acting, editing, just everything about it is spectacular. It’s the show I pay the most attention to minute details in, I just want to absorb everything.
9. This. X10.

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10. There is a new Marcel The Shell. If you don’t know what that is, I’m not sure we can be friends. Be a dear and watch the first one. Makes me smile!

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And with that, I leave you with the following question: WHAT ARE YOU DRESSING UP AS FOR HALLOWEEN?

I truly believe you are never too old to dress up.

Happy Scandal Thursday everyone!

sometimes you just gotta live

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Oh hi there!

I could make up some kind of excuse as to why I fell off the face of the blogging earth. However, I’m going to follow some of my own advice and not apologize. Sometimes you gotta step back. Sometimes life steps in and demands to be lived, instead of merely being documented here on the internet, ya know? However, blogging is my one creative outlet, and I’ve missed it dearly over the last couple weeks. I also really miss my blogging friends. I feel very disconnected from all you beautiful people when I don’t blog, which may sound silly, but this is the Internet Age after all.

So here I am, with nothing in particular to say. It’s funny, most of my time spent at work is spent thinking of things I could turn into a blog post. I have hundreds of ideas in my head, and not a single spare minute to actually create them. First world problems much?!  I will say during the past couple weeks of absence I have spent an obnoxious amount of time thinking how much I despise my blog layout. At the same time, I don’t exactly want to pay three hundred bucks for a pretty new design, nor do I have the time to learn how to code it myself. Again, with the first world problems, I KNOW. I’ll get my shit together someday, maybe. I’ve been messing around with fonts a lot, creating a new header for myself.  Gotta start somewhere right?

Was there a point to this blog post? Not really. Other than to say HI, I’M BACK, YOU STILL LOVE ME RIGHT?!

Please, please, catch me up on all your lives please. Also, I am all ears for any blog design advice. I’ll be back tomorrow for Thinking Out Loud Thursday. As if this post wasn’t rambly enough for you!

XO

PS: I’m on bloglovin’ ! I’ve actually been there for a long while, but I’m kinda dumb and forgot to actually link my blog there!

a letter to my future self

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Dear Future Jenna,

This letter is coming to you from Jenna of 10 years ago. 10 years is a really long time, and with so many variables, so many possible curveballs that life could throw you, so it was nearly impossible for me to write to you. I could tell you that I hope you’ve settled down with a nice husband, in a nice house, in a nice neighbourhood, with a nice kid or two. I could tell you that it’s my greatest wish for you to have a good paying job that allows you some financial freedom. However, in my opinion, all that really matters to me is that you’re happy.  I hope you’ve stuck true to yourself, and what you believe in. I hope you’ve become that strong, independent woman you’ve always aspired to be. I hope you love your job, and I hope it challenges and inspires you to be better, to be more. I hope you haven’t given up on your dreams, and I hope you’ve made the time to travel this world. I hope you’ve made the effort to maintain your friendships, because they are SO worth it. I hope you’ve been able to let go of fear and anxiety, and just lived your damn life to the fullest.

Sure, a nice husband, in a nice house, in a nice neighbourhood, with a nice kid or two would be exactly that: nice. But if that’s not what you decided you wanted, then I’m more than happy for you. Strive to live a happy and fulfilled life babe, cause’ that’s really all that matters.

Love you,

Your Younger Self

Helene in Between Blogtober