The Best Things In The World

Date: April 13, 2015 at 5:19 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 45

Hi!

I had some serious writer’s block last week. And the week before that.

I was so sad about the 40 Days program ending. I came out of the program feeling so strong and so much better at yoga.

Teaching Tyler (and his Elsa hair) about Downward Dog. He loved it.

Teaching Tyler (and his Elsa hair) about Downward Dog. He loved it.

Then I was busy, then I was traveling, then I was more busy.

So after 40 days of nonstop yoga, I went 10 days without it. I was sad and a little cranky about that, and then I went back to the studio and it was rough. I was wobbly, I was timid kicking up into handstand and forearm stand, and all the mechanics that had become so well ingrained in my brain and body had fallen by the wayside.

Frustrating, man. My schedule was totally nutty last week, so I’m looking forward to getting back into my yoga groove this week.

Side Plank is hard when you won't let go of your Elsa hair, huh Tyler?

Side Plank is hard when you won’t let go of your Elsa hair, huh Tyler?

Meanwhile, there are some things I’m loving lately, and I want to share them with you.

A baby giraffe was born at the Dallas Zoo. This is so magical. Watch the video. It’s OK if you cry when the little guy stands up. I DID. No just kidding I didn’t. Yes I did.

OMG LOOK.

OMG LOOK. “This is you after having too many mixed drinks in college,” my college roommate said to me today when she sent me this video. My “mixed drink” concoction was actually Franzia in a water bottle.

I loved the “Glee” finale. I have been a diehard “Glee” fan since its premiere in 2009. I love that the show was able to employ so many talented dancers and performers. The show hit a rough patch in the last few seasons, but the final two episodes were perfect-old-school-awesome “Glee.” (Am I the only person who stuck this show out until the end? Please tell me you watched it, too, and that you agree that the finale version of “I Lived” would be an amazing first dance song for Brian and me at our wedding. I played it for him without telling him what it was and upon hearing the first note he goes, “IS THIS ‘GLEE?’ I KNOW THIS IS ‘GLEE.’ IT SOUNDS LIKE ‘GLEE.'” And I was all, “OMG, no, Brian, just listen!” But he was right. And he has not agreed that it would be perfect. We have time, though.)

I got to spend some real quality time with Tyler (my newphew) and Abby (my little niece). Last year, I only made it “home” to New Hampshire one time. That’s just sad.

The basement in New Hampshire. This right here is my childhood. Minus Trivial Pursuit. Too hard.

The basement in New Hampshire. This right here is my childhood. Minus Trivial Pursuit. Too hard. Who wants to play me in the “Saved By The Bell” game? I dare you. I’ve never lost.

So this year I was like, “Mom, I’m comin’ home!” Actually she called me and was like, “Sup girl, Amtrak tickets are cheap for Easter weekend, wanna come to the north land and go tax-free outlet shopping?”

There is a big moose at the Merrimack Outlets! And lots of steep discounts!

There is a big moose at the Merrimack Outlets! And lots of steep discounts!

So that’s what we did.

Jackpot.

Jackpot.

Sneakers_2

Also jackpot.

And we listened to a ton of old mix CDs that she found around the house and told me to “deal with.”

CLASSIC. The first two songs were "Pump It Up" and "Call On Me." Duh.

CLASSIC. The first three songs were “Hollaback Girl,” “Pump It Up,” and “Call On Me.” Duh.

This one's a keeper!

This one’s a keeper!

We were going to do wedding-related projects, like try to build bouquets (because I sure as hell am not paying top dollar for some weeds) and think about decorations (probably just gold glitter everywhere), but instead we mall shopped and outlet shopped and got DQ Blizzards and took Tyler to feed the llamas.

One of the llamas — named Expo — ate the carrots we fed him and then promptly spit them at another llama and got some carrot-spit on my brother. Tyler thought this was fantastic. So did I.

One of the llamas — named Expo — ate the carrots we fed him and then promptly spit them at another llama and got some carrot-spit on my brother. Tyler thought this was fantastic. So did I.

Speaking of the next-door llamas. There are eight of them now, and one of them is named Ali and was born in May. Are you kidding me? Twinsies!

TYLER LOVES TO RUN. I could not be more proud. Except that he is faster than me.

TYLER LOVES TO RUN. I could not be more proud. Except that he is faster than me.

Anyway, Tyler turns three next month, and Abby just sits around looking at everyone and smiling. She has no idea what’s going on but she loves it. And Tyler continues to be obsessed with wearing “Elsa hair,” and insists on having “Elsa hair” on his head at all time. He fashions his Elsa hair out of sweatshirts, scarves, pom-poms, dish towels, anything he can find, really. And he likes to give me Elsa hair (a side braid, but you knew that), too. We are best friends and have everything in common.

Elsa hair: Who wore it better? (He did. I know.)

Elsa hair: Who wore it better? (He did. I know.)

Celine is back! Her Vegas show was out of commission for a while because you know, her husband Rene was having lots of serious health issues. But now she’s back in business and now I really think Brian and I should get married in Vegas before and/or after seeing her live. Or maybe we could get married at her show. LOOKING INTO IT. And if you haven’t watched it, here is Ariana Grande as Celine Dion. It’s gold.

I wear HOKA ONE ONE running shoes now. I know, who am I?! I have been a beloved Brooks girl since I started running. But recently they were not feeling so awesome. The PureFlows have a somewhat tapered toe box and I have sort of wide feet, so I had perma-blister-calluses on the outside of my baby toes and my big toes. (Whenever I ask Brian to give me a foot massage, which is twice a day every day, he freaks out and refuses because he says my feet “feel like elephant ass.” To which I ask, “How many elephant asses have you massaged, Brian?” Sick.)

I have always been interested in HOKA shoes because West Coast Emily is obsessed and preaches about them tirelessly. And if they’re good enough to keep her running for 100 miles at a time (yup), they must be good enough for my 40ish-mile weeks, right?

I've never been one to care what my shoes look like and what colors they are...but these are pretty sweet.

I’ve never been one to care what my shoes look like and what colors they are…but these are pretty sweet.

Right.

I am hooked. They don’t feel big or clunky or platform-y. Instead, I feel like I’m running on clouds. Super light clouds. Not thick enough for Care Bears to live in. Plus, the wider toe box feels so much better for my foot shape.

Now as always — and I say this as both someone who is moderately educated about running and someone who spent time working at a running store — shoes are super personal for runners. That’s the beauty of getting fitted and going through a foot analysis to find out if you’re a neutral runner or an over-pronator or any other variation on running foot-strike types. I am a neutral runner, and I am digging my HOKA ONE ONE Cliftons.

Check out those bright shoes down below!

Check out those bright shoes down below!

All that being said, I am proud and excited to have signed on as a HOKA ONE ONE ambassador! I’ve never been a product ambassador for anything before (except I am an unofficial legwarmer ambassador, self-appointed) so you can trust that this is a brand I really truly love and believe in. I’m not going to be doing crazy sponsored posts or anything different from what you usually read here. But I will tell you when cool stuff is happening (HOKA sponsors a bunch of races) or when new products are being released that you may want to know about. (I will receive occasional HOKA ONE ONE shoes as part of my ambassador-ship. If I get any other cool free stuff, like a miniature pony, I will let you know.)

I spent my week on Broadway. I still freelance quite a bit for my old company, and I’m writing a big Broadway feature for Dance Spirit. That means I saw all the new dancey musicals last week.

I know ALL the moves from ALL the High School Musicals. And yet no one asked ME to perform onstage.

I know ALL the moves from ALL the High School Musicals. And yet no one asked ME to perform onstage.

I thought Megan Fairchild was adorable in On The Town, adored Vanessa Hudgens’s outfits in Gigi (but didn’t love the show itself — I kept wanting her to break into “We’re All in This Together” from High School Musical), am full-on obsessed with Something Rotton (this season’s must-see show, I do declare!), got to see my old friend Mia Michaels at Finding Neverland (and cried not because the show is sad — which it is — but because I love Matthew Morrison’s voice so much), and was very sleepy during An American in Paris, but the dancing is divine.

Mia and me!

Mia and me!

Here are some things I have written lately!

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 8.53.36 PM

An ode to running with my dear friend Abbe, who ran a marathon PR this weekend!

Should probably stop wearing that tank top so much... (I was also wearing it when Brian and I got engaged.)

Should probably stop wearing that tank top so much… (I was also wearing it when Brian and I got engaged.)

I’m writing a weekly column for Shape about training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. It’s fun.

The scab on my nose is gone. Sometimes I decide I’m definitely getting a zit, so I pick and pick and pick and pick at it until I’ve made myself bleed and it scabs and there was never a zit. Anyway, I did that last week, and now the huge scab is gone. Hooray!

I tried to take a picture of my nose scab for my mom. While on the train. It didn't really work. But now you get to see it, too!

I tried to take a picture of my nose scab for my mom. While on the train. It didn’t really work. But now you get to see it, too!

I feel happy. Things are good. I am healthy. I am not permanently stressed out like I used to be. I’m not cold anymore. I’m nicer to people. I’m a better public transportation passenger. The 40 Days program kind of ended up revolutionizing my life more than I expected. I’m glad I know what equanimity means.

I had a really crappy run last week, but this was the sky, so I decided not to complain.

I had a really crappy run last week, but this was the view, so I decided not to complain.

The water fountains are back on in Central Park.

I was embarrassed taking this photo. But I did it anyway. FOR YOU.

I was embarrassed taking this photo. But I did it anyway. FOR YOU.

It’s officially spring.

AND WITH THAT, I’D LOVE TO KNOW (WE HAVEN’T PLAYED THIS GAME IN A WHILE): What’s the best thing in your world right now? Is it chocolate chip pancakes?

45 Responses to "The Best Things In The World"

ooo your hoka’s are also VERY bright and pretty!

the best thing in my world right now might be that i tried lyon’s den for the first time and it actually may be helping my ankle injury!! i think the hot helps?!!

I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WENT WITHOUT ME!!! When can we take class together? I AM SERIOUS.

Since you’re currently wedding planning too, I’ll share – my favorite thing in the world right now is that I booked all the super important wedding stuff and now I just spend all my free time gluing pieces of paper together and calling them “invitation prototypes” and it’s soooo fun and unproductive.

Yay! Congrats on getting the big stuff done! (Now come be my personal wedding planner? YAY THANKS!)

YES, I am going to start my own wedding planning company where we will just order you massive amounts of burlap, lace, mason jars, and chalkboard paint, and dump it in a barn. EVERY WEDDING = PLANNED.

ugh. hokas, plural not possessive. i feel like you get my feelings on making this kind of mistake.

FORGIVEN.

I thought I was the last person on earth (okay that is in our age range) to have religiously watched Glee all these years. And you are right, the last two episodes made up for those rough patches for sure. And tell Brian, I vote yes on the first dance song. (Because my vote clearly weighs a lot.)

I relayed your vote to Brian. I think he is convinced now!

What is your job now- full time freelancing? If so would love to hear how you do it/how you got started.

YES! I will post about it eventually. I got too caught up in my yoga obsession to want to talk about anything else, but it’s going great and would be happy to share more!

I love your Hokas! I’ve been wanting to try them, but I keep getting hurt so I keep putting it off. I read your blog all the time, but I felt super compelled to comment today because TYLER. He is so adorable and I loved his Elsa hair so much. That’s awesome that you were able to head home for a bit. 🙂

Tyler is the best thing in the world. I’m so obsessed. I will let him know that you, too, love his Elsa hair.

Have you heard the podcast Go Bayside? A comedian has a friend over, they watch an episode of Saved by the Bell and dissect it. It’s so funny and so amazing!

This sounds so amazing and directly up my alley. Thanks for sharing!!

Michelle says: April 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm

I love Hoka one one Clifton’s! I have 2 pair and love the cloud like feeling too! I have always been a brooks girl too and still have several pairs but I rotate in my hoka’s! I also love Mia Michaels!! How do u know her? She is brilliant and I miss her on So u think u can dance!

I used to be editor in chief of Dance Spirit magazine, so I would interview and write about Mia quite a bit. She was on one of our covers while I was EIC, so I got to know her well at the photo shoot and while interviewing her for the story. She is just beyond. Such an amazing, admirable woman.

I switched to Hokas last year and haven’t looked back! They’re AMAZEing!!!

Catherine says: April 14, 2015 at 12:46 am

I am super curious about these Hoka shoes. I’ve been wearing Brooks since I started running a few years ago, but have also tried Asics. =\

I definitely encourage you to try them on! Obviously there’s no “one size fits all” for shoes, but they really do feel different from other shoes I’ve worn. If you’re into big-time cushioning, you may like them.

Congrats! Everyone I know seem to be onto One One (love the way it rolls off my tongue!). How are they working out for you? I’m more a minimalist gal, so not sure if I’ll ever venture into One One.

I love them! And I’m surprised I like them as much as I do. I ran in Brooks PureFlows before and LOVED them for a long time. They’re fairly minimal (though a bit too narrow for my foot shape), so I wasn’t sure I’d be into the maximal design of the HOKAs. But the cushioning is awesome and they don’t feel like platform-style shoes.

Yay, I just got my Hoka one one Cliftons! I am loving that today I get to try them out! Oh, thanks for the idea. I will make chocochip banana pancakes for dinner after my run tonight!

WHAT TIME SHOULD I ARRIVE FOR PANCAKES TONIGHT?

Hokas! I want to try them, but I over pronate and all of the Hoka models are described as neutral. A running store guy suggested the Conquests as being somewhat stable…any suggestions?

YES, I would also say to check out the Conquests. I haven’t worn them myself because I’m a neutral runner, but those are supposed to be the model that provide the most stability. Best bet: Go try them on at your local running store!

I am really craving pancakes too!
I just had an amazing weekend in Baltimore and DC. Went to see the cherry blossoms and a Baltimore Orioles baseball game and pretty much enjoyed the quality time with my boyfriend.

I’m going to DC next weekend! I hope you saved some cherry blossoms for me!

I loved the last two episodes of Glee too! I too have watched the show from day 1, and though it’s felt kinda like a chore to watch it for the past year or two, I’m glad I stuck it out. Also, you and I now have the exact same running shoes. I was super stoked about the new crazy colors, since my first pair of Cliftons were white and blue; not exciting. I’m coming to NYC this weekend to see American in Paris and Something Rotten, and I couldn’t be more excited!!! p.s. Can I come over sometime and play Mall Madness?

I love everything about this comment. What time do you want to come over to sing all the Something Rotton songs while playing Mall Madness? PLEASE CONFIRM.

Can we please go see Something Rotten again cause it was the funniest thing I’ve EVER SEEN???!! The only thing that would make it better would be a pre-show game of Mall Madness. I’m happy to do either of these activities at a moment’s notice.

Glad you’re back! The best things in the world for me right now are enjoying the spring weather here in Jersey (FINALLY) and the Yankees being worse than the Phillies this year so far… and that’s saying something.

So, my bff tells me that I resemble a newborn baby calf when drunk so there’s that. Ariana as Celine is amazing. And I am seeing a big spike in Hoka wearing and am officially intrigued and may need to try a pair on.

Biggest thing in my world is I have started Remicade and am better, so so so much better. Hoping it continues to punch crohns in the face 🙂

But mostly yay for spring! Spring makes me happy (even if it is still a bit rainy and semi chilly and windy as f in NYC but I will take it)

HAHAHAHA. Let’s drink Franzia together and act like baby animals! And YAY, seriously huge massive life-changing YAY for Remicade working its magic. I am SO happy for you! <3

Glad to hear things are going well for you! Love that your CD said “Drinking Fun” 😉 I was watching Glee for awhile, but I didn’t keep up with it. Maybe I should just jump ahead to the finale!

Biggest thing in my life would be getting ready for my first Boston on Monday. Of course I’ve been obsessed with it since December, but it’s finally here now!!

Aaaah so so so exciting!!! GOOD LUCK on Monday! Have the race of your dreams <3

Two things (neither directly related to your question):

1) SAVED BY THE BELL BOARDGAME! Can we play? I’m serious….like, really serious…

2) YOU MET MIA MICHAELS?!?!?!?! AND I WAS THERE AND COULD HAVE MET MIA!?!? I’m sad for this missed opportunity but so happy for you because I heart her so much.

That is all 🙂

1. YUP. Post-Boston SBBT match? I’ll bring it to NP!
2. I wish I had known you were there! For many reasons. But I abbbbsolutely would have intro’d you. Next time!

Dude, one of my friends at work also signed with Hoka and also wears Cliftons. THAT’S TWO RUNNERS I TRUST. I’ve been a Brooks girl for years, but you two may have just pushed me to try something new…even for my teeny tiny mileage needs. I wonder if they are awesome enough that I can lose the spendy inserts?

I have two best things, depending on the time of day:

Before and through sunrise: ROWING. I started with my team last June; this is my second race season and my first sprint season, and I love every dang minute of it…sometimes not until after that minute is over, but still. (I really only run to cross-train, but I’m still due for new shoes soon.)

After sunrise: My almost-2-year-old is totally committed to speaking in sentences, and watching him put words together is the BEST.

LET’S ALL WEAR HOKAS AND RUN TOGETHER!

1. STOP PICKING! Email me 😉
2. I switched to Hokas in October, and couldn’t find them (My Brian likes to hide my shoes….well, put them away, but never in the same spot twice) so I ran in some old Nikes and OMG I hated every step! Hokas for life.
3. There should be a ceremony to turn on the water fountains.

Yes to the hokas. I’m in love with mine.

One of the best things in my life at the moment is the book Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore. My skin has been awful for about 6 months, maybe longer, and since I read it and took on some of her recommendations, it’s much better. It makes me SO very happy.

I’m also incredibly happy that Game of Thrones is back on TV. Dragons. All the dragons.

Katrina in Seattle says: April 17, 2015 at 3:15 pm

I stuck through Glee from start to finish and this season was PERFECT! There were definitely some years where I didn’t love the music choices, but this year I felt like everything was straight from Katrina’s iPod. well played, Glee.

I danced with Mob the World in Seattle for every Glee Flash Mob – I’m sad there will be no mob made from this year’s music because there was so much awesomeness to choose from!

Have you seen them? Enjoy!

2010: https://youtu.be/g5PyIVVKoWU
2011: https://youtu.be/ftt9wCYH4o0
2012: https://youtu.be/nZqsVk4XYKk (If you only watch one….watch this one!)
2013: https://youtu.be/eudiEp5H0eY
2014:https://youtu.be/qH3TRPlZGiw (a “best of” montage)

Here’s the picture I posted on the day of the finale:

https://instagram.com/p/0d-h1lsRLS/

(And here’s a picture of the sock puppets my friends and I made – inspired by the dance for “Let’s Have a Kiki” https://instagram.com/p/ZzKmqSMRPl/ My sock puppet is a crazy ballerina named Blaire. )

If we ever meet, we’ll have to have a long chat about Glee, dance, and Broadway….oh, and maybe running. I’m a new runner – my first race is in 22 days! 🙂

The best thing in the world RIGHT NOW is that I just got lunch for free…and there’s so much of it, it will definitely also be dinner too!

Abbe Baker fka Abbe Lew says: April 20, 2015 at 5:01 pm

I HAVE FINALLY CAUGHT UP ON YOUR BLOG AND THAT IS THE BEST THING RIGHT NOW. Kbye.

What writer’s block? This was a long one but a very good read. So much to be thankful for. I stopped yoga for a couple of weeks and it took work to get back into the groove. But glad you’re back in the sweet spot.
Amy