Fashion Forward Conference Photos

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Fashion Forward Conference in NYC. It was a fantastic event that provided a fountain of information from the latest styles to the most talked about topics in social media. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones.

The conference is the creation of Audrey McClelland (Mom Generations & Getting Gorgeous), Nicole Feliciano (Momtrends) and Vera Sweeney (Lady and the Blog & Getting Gorgeous). Their goal with the Fashion Forward Conference is to connect influential bloggers with fashionable brands, provide informative panels to discuss the latest trends in social media and provide style tips along with a fabulous fashion show. Make sure you follow the #FashForward hashtag on Twitter for a glimpse into the conference day. I will be sharing my event recap in a separate post later this week.

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Weekend Highlights

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This weekend was so beautiful in NYC. A high of 80 degrees was a real treat for late September. If only it could stay this way until November! Yeah right, a girl can dream. This weekend was packed with stuff to do. While I really love all the activities, I really need a free weekend to tackle my home organization project. It will have to be in October. I know this will get done in October is because I’ve joined the Living Well Spending Less Clutter Free challenge. It starts October 1st, so head on over and sign up. Let me know if you are doing it so we can motivate each other. I know I will be grateful come the holiday season. Who doesn’t want a clutter free home just in time for Christmas?!

Back to the weekend fun, I made time to run on Saturday and Sunday. It was very easy to wake up early because it was so warm out. I could not pass up running in the Summer like temperatures. I will have to remember this day on the cold Fall/Winter mornings. I really do not want to stop running when the temperatures drop. My goal is to keep running until the snow comes. Hopefully that is far-far away!

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I must admit Saturday I was a little tired before my run. I would have skipped it because we had to go somewhere at 12:00 Noon and I really wanted to sleep in. My sister motivated me to get up because she was going with or without me. I could rush getting ready if need be. Once I was running I was completely into it. I forgot about the rest of the day and enjoyed getting my workout in. Turns out running in the morning was a great idea because the rest of the day we spent celebrating a friend’s birthday at the Brooklyn Brewery and then dinner at Katch in Astoria. I finally tried the Oktoberfest beer and I really liked it. I’m not a beer drinker in general, but I’ve always heard my friends rave about this beer, so I had to try it. I see why it’s their favorite, so I will definitely have it again. It’s rare for me to find a beer I like.

Sunday I had to go food shopping and then to the mall, so again I was trying to figure out where to fit in the run. I was exhausted from the Saturday events but I had to run since we had a big meal at dinner and some beer. Again we opted to do the run first. This should just be my weekend routine from now on. Everything else can wait! Yesterday was a huge accomplishment for me, I ran for 28 minutes straight. It’s a big deal because I’ve been stuck on Week 8 Day 1 of the c25k app for at least two weeks. I do not move on from a workout until I can complete it without stopping. I reason it by saying this is how I build endurance for running longer. After my run I headed out to do food shopping as usual. However instead of driving to the mall, I opted to walk to the mall closer to me. I walked for almost three hours! I was stopping at different stores during that time but I was enjoying the sunshine and getting in more steps. For the day I walk/ran 11 miles! Crazy! That’s definitely a personal best for me! :)

I’m really proud of getting my runs in during this busy weekend. I decided to celebrate that by signing up for another 5k! It will be next weekend on my old college campus! I can’t wait to go back there. I loved college and the campus has just gotten more beautiful over the years. Can’t wait to run this race with my sister because the location holds a special place our my hearts. :)

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Make sure you are following me on Twitter/Instagram (@pattyaizaga for both!)…tomorrow I am heading to the Fashion Forward Conference in NYC!  So excited because it is my first time attending. I’ve always admired this event because of the awesome topics it covers, an amazing fashion show, and the fabulous hosts who put it all together.

Make sure to follow the #FashForward hashtag for all the day’s events.

 

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Sunset Over Astoria

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Love the pink skies…

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..and another beautiful, no filter iPhone 6 photo!

Scenes From The Weekend

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Another fabulous weekend went by too fast! :)

Friday started off great when on a whim I decided to take a walk to the AT&T store for the new iPhone 6. I never get crazy over a new phone, frankly I was fine getting the phone in another month or two. However this time I had an iPhone 4S, which was at least two and half years old. It was slow and apps kept shutting off on me at any time. The most frustrating was when I was running. I needed a new phone so I figured why not try to get it on release day. I really didn’t think any phones would be available since people in NYC where sleeping outside of stores for days/weeks before the launch. There was nothing to lose so why not check it out.

The secret to getting an iPhone on release day is to go to the AT&T at 10:00 AM, while everyone else is working. I walked into the store and there were only three people ahead of me. They only had the gold iPhone 6, which was exactly what I wanted! :)

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The set-up was super easy. Thank you Apple! I had no issues transferring from my old phone. What I love most about my new iPhone is the larger screen size, how slim and light the phone is and the camera. It takes beautiful pictures. The rest of the photos for this post were taken with my iPhone 6 and have not been enhanced in any way. Also every single app is easier to use on the larger screen. I love my new iPhone! It was worth cheating on my budget to get it. ;)

Saturday was an eventful day! My sister and I ran our second 5k of the Summer at Randall’s Island. This is the same place where I ran my very first 5k back in 2010. I remember this area being full of hills. It was a challenge back then and now. Usually we run on the outskirts of a park which is fairly flat with one challenging hill. This race was a reminder that I need to incorporate more hills on my runs. I was fine for the first mile but for the second mile my left foot was getting pins and needles. I had no idea why and I had to walk more than I expected to. More than I had in all my runs this summer. I don’t really know what that was about so I will have to ask my running friends if they’ve had something similar happen. Either way I am proud to say my finish time was 41:11, which is a personal record for me. My July 5k time was 45:30. So excited! My sister also had a PR of 36:00, she’s fast! I am so proud of her! :)

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Sunday was a family and friends day! :) We drove into the city to see my dear friend, Lisann perform in the play, I Like to Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is a Mango. She was AMAZING! Her performance had me feeling all range of emotions. I was so happy for her because she was living her dream. My sister and I both mentioned how much Lisann was glowing, both on stage and when we spoke to her afterwards. You can truly see she was meant to be on stage. I am so proud of you my friend! I know how hard you have worked to pursue your dream. If you are in NYC, you should definitely check out this play. The storyline was very interesting and the entire cast fantastic. The play runs through September 27th.

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We ended our day in the city with dinner close to home…very close actually, the restaurant is located up the block from my mom’s house. Indulgent but delicious! :)

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I am so thankful for such a good weekend! :)

A Two Week Lesson

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What earned me all these Weight Watchers bravos?

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This lesson:

After Labor Day I weighed in at my meeting and I was up 1.6 lbs. My first gain since being back on program. I was not happy but I was also not surprised. In the past, this is where I usually go into deep denial. “I don’t know why this happened? I knew it. This program doesn’t work!” This way of thinking has always worked against me. I believe this nonsense and I stop following the program and going to meetings. Oh no, not this time. I’ve been waiting for you…my first gain. I knew it was coming. During the meeting, I was going back through the week before. Here is what happened:

  • I was on vacation and out of my daily routine
  • There was the drive-thru lunch at Wendy’s with Mom after running errands
  • Oh yeah, ordering Chinese food when we got home from the beach
  • Since we were all home for the weekend, we made rice with dinner for the first time in months. Rice is one of my trigger foods, so I had more than a serving.
  • Late night pizza on another night
  • McDonald’s breakfast on Sunday…because we hadn’t done that in over a year
  • Ice cream at the beach
  • Too many 100 calories snacks
  • But I ran two miles each day we went to the beach

Once I was honest with myself, I accepted my 1.6 lb gain. I never do all those things in one week. My sister and I were talking about this and we both realized we reverted back to old behaviors…all in one week. We lost our minds! I’ll never be able to explain exactly why but I’m sure it was tied to the “I’m on vacation mentality”. So I owned my gain and I did not let it affect my next week. I wrote everything I did on the week’s tracker. My motivating phrase became: “You can have all your favorite foods, just not in one week.” This allowed me to get into a place of gratitude. I was REALLY grateful the gain was only 1.6 and not more! Thank goodness for running and being active all week.

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The next challenge I set for myself was figuring out how long it would take me to lose those 1.6 lbs. You know it never comes off as quickly as it goes on. The week after I lost 0.2 lbs. Yikes, it was like doing penance (Catholic school girl here) and I needed another week to work it off and think about my choices. So I kept doing what I normally do: menu plan, meal prep, run, extra strength workout at home, walk more, track meals, and switched from Simply Filling to PointsPlus. Yesterday I lost 1.4 lbs and learned a very valuable lesson.

My actions have consequences and it cost me two weeks of hard work to undo the careless choices made while in vacation mode mentality. I will think twice about repeating those behaviors in the future. In the past, any sort of gain would really derail me. I could watch it happen and I did nothing to change it. Not this time. I made myself a promise – I would be on the program for a full year to really get the most out of it and learn about my behaviors. I do not break promises in general. I won’t break a promise I made to myself. I truly value this lesson because it will serve me for many more instances to come.

Yes, I’d call this a personal breakthrough! The real win is not losing the weight but gaining this lesson. :)

 

Light in Two Photos

Sunlight

As the season changes from Summer to Fall, I become so sensitive to light. The lack of light that is and I notice it everywhere. On Monday I posted this photo on instagram.

I was walking home after work and the sun was setting a lot earlier than usual. I must admit noticing this thing change made me a little sad.

This morning on my walk to the train it was the complete opposite. The sun was rising over the same building. It looked so beautiful against the blue sky and the green trees below. I just had to snap a picture.

It’s the transition season. I must appreciate the contrast of the two photos and embrace the change into Fall. :) I love this picture because just looking at it makes me happy and reminds me to be grateful for the little things that put a smile on your face.

Sunlight

 

Running Thoughts

Thoughts On

I am a runner again! :) In late Spring I decided to run a 5k. I had not run a race in over a year and I wanted to get back to it. Setting a goal to run a race is the best motivator for me to get out there and run. My next 5k  is this coming Saturday and I am so excited. I am a slow runner but I do hope to improve my time with this race. Frankly it’s not about the time, it’s about completing my goal to run a race. I do not care if I am the last one to cross the finish line. I want to run and enjoy it. I am even more excited to be running this race with my sister. She’s a lot faster, so she is always in front of me and keeps me motivated to keep going.

We did a hysterical 5k race on Jan 1st 2013. I say hysterical because I was freezing and I stopped running midway, which was a mistake. My sister kept saying that I’d be warmer (and finished) if I just run. We burst out laughing debating this. :) I was too cold and between the laughing and the cold wind I could barely breathe. It was a great experience but I don’t think I will do that again. I was just too cold. I prefer our Summer 5k races. The last one we did together was in July and it was HOT! I can run better in the heat for some reason. This Fall/Winter I am determined to build up my resistance to cold weather running. Tips, anyone? Please share in the comments.

I also could run more during the week but my schedule sometimes makes it difficult. Ever since my work schedule changed to start at 8 AM instead of 9 AM, it has taken away my chance to run before work. I am not too keen on running at night in a park or in the neighborhood. Maybe if I do it with a friend, so we will see. I have learned to make the most of the weekend runs and running on my days off. #wycwyc. Running on the weekends has been a ritual of mine for 4 months now and I do not plan on stopping. I do wish that we lived in a part of the country where it is warmer year round but I will make do and run outside until the first blizzard hits us. Let’s hope that is a far, far away event. I am not a member of a gym so the treadmill is not an option. I may consider the extra expense but I’m not sure yet. I enjoy running because it is not only a good workout, it is my time. I get to be alone with my thoughts and it gives me time to work things out mentally as well. There are times when I am annoyed by some little problem, I let it go, focus on running, and somehow after the run the solution is right in front of me. It’s pretty amazing what exercise can do for you physically and mentally. I will have to remember this when I feel “too cold” to run! :)

Are you a runner? What is your favorite part about running?

 

 

 

 

We Remember September 11th

September 11th

Thirteen years after 9/11, my heart is still very heavy on this day. I have written my 9/11 story in the past. I will most likely go read it again today. As long as I live I will never forget the events of September 11th.

Today I share pictures from the Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. A beautiful tribute to all the lives lost on this day. I was lucky enough to visit the park over the Summer with my family. We felt so much peace as we recalled the sadness of 9/11. In a way it felt like we were paying our respects to all who were lost.

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September 11th

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The eagle represents our country, our city and all Americans. The eagle’s wings are open and ready to take flight while firmly grasping an iron piece of the World Trade Center. It symbolizes the strength of this country, New Yorkers, and all Americans.

We will never forget.

Drawings on the Wall

DC Comics

From my tour of the DC Comics offices last month. This is what you see when you get off the elevator at one of their floors.

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