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Way Back When…

Weekly Sandwich Showcase

As the weather warms up and summer approaches (eventually…), most of us naturally start leaning towards lighter meals. Some of us are still hoping to shed those extra winter layers (and pounds), and good breakfast choices can make all the difference between success and struggle.

Weekly Sandwich Showcase - Bfast Turkey & Egg

I personally love the combination of eggs, deli meat, and avocado…always avocado. This sandwich is the ideal mix of protein, carbs, and fats to keep me fueled all day. I find that filling up on the first meal of the day naturally encourages my body to crave lighter foods as the day progresses and comes to a close.

Sandwich Anatomy- Bfast Turkey & Egg

Breakfast sandwiches…try one tomorrow and thank me later.

♥ Irina

How To Meet People in a New City

This post has been a long time in the making. If you’ve been following along long enough you’re probably aware of my big move from Chicago to NYC last June. It was a true leap of faith in all senses, especially because I knew all of three people in the city and wasn’t close to any of them. I’ve never been the type of person whose days revolve around a social calendar, but after a few months of conquering the city solo I started to feel lonely without close friendships.

I felt lost and misguided for the first six months after my move, so when 2014 rolled around I knew I wanted to focus on building my life here in New York. Last month, March 1st to be exact, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make strides towards what I truly wanted needed. And guess what…it worked! Frankly, I’m shocked at how quickly my efforts paid off but I’m grateful for the wonderful friends I’ve made these past two months.

Here are the tips I’ve compiled that significantly helped me meet people in this new-to-me city. Feel free to add on and share your own secrets!

How to Meet People

1.) Give yourself time to adjust, but go at your own paceEveryone has different levels of comfort, so allow yourself proper time to first feel comfortable in the new city. Being uncomfortable with your surroundings definitely reflects in all your actions. You will be closed off and too reserved, and people you meet will pick up on this. Upon first moving, take time to get to know your new city. Go exploring, figure out areas that you feel happiest in, and don’t fear doing all this alone! There is no pressure or set timeframe to make friends, so take all the days/weeks/months you need but don’t fall fully back into a comfort zone. Patience is critical!

2.) Join local groups and communitiesCommon interests are the best foundation for any relationship. Use the internet to find safe events/groups, and don’t be afraid to attend solo! I can tell you from personal experience that you absolutely will not be the only one attending without a sidekick. The true saving grace for me was joining Meetup.com and attending events. It’s very popular, safe, easy to navigate, and is full of options (cooking classes, book clubs, running groups, etc). It was through a female-only meet-up event that I met two of my closest friends here. Be fearless, but more importantly be smart when choosing and attending events. Safety first, always.

3.) Say “yes” moreThis is such a simple yet extremely powerful concept. Take advantage of all meet-ups and invites that come your way, as long as your gut instinct isn’t raising any red flags (remember, safety first!). It sounds counterintuitive but this isn’t the time to be overly picky, especially when it comes time to making new friends. Make it a serious habit to always get someone’s contact information (with appropriate details to remember who they are) and stay in touch! Time will tell who you do and don’t mesh well with, so give everyone a chance at first. In the end just be smart when meeting up with people you recently met, and always trust your intuition.

4.) Leave your comfort zoneIt can be mentally challenging for many to spend time with new people at events, but it’s very important to get accustomed to this feeling. You obviously won’t meet anyone by hiding out at home. During the first few months of life in the new location your mantra should be to put on a brave face and just do it (whatever “it” may be). Go out alone, attend events solo (seriously), and seek out social opportunities…you’ll grow braver and gain confidence. It will change and mature you for the better.

5.) Don’t push yourself too hard, and don’t be too tough on yourselfAfter a life-changing event like a relocation to a new city, the key is to not overwhelm yourself with added pressures. Work on your social goals at a comfortable pace with just enough uncomfortableness mixed in to avoid ruts. Nothing is worse than burning yourself out too quickly and then having to waste precious time hiding out to recover (especially if you’re an introvert). More importantly, you don’t want to end up hating your new hometown due to anxiety. Take your time and be gentle on yourself (see #1). And finally, don’t you dare let yourself feel guilty about staying in to recuperate when needed!

6.) Focus on making friends first (and dating later)Being far away from family and friends, nothing is more important than establishing a solid support network. Friends can ease a broken heart, improve a crappy day, and cure loneliness. By all means start dating all you want but make a heavier effort to build lasting friendships. Boys (or girls) come and go, but friends are forever. I can’t imagine having to go through a dating-inflicted heartbreak without having friends nearby to comfort me.

7.) Maintain new friendships - Friendships, especially new ones, are about mutual efforts from all parties involved. One-sided friendships always sizzle away quickly, so take extra strides to actually spend time with those you meet. Much like with relationships, only time will tell whether a friendship is worth developing and pursuing. Agree to lunch dates and shopping adventures, respond to texts and phone calls, and initiate invitations!

8.) Be 100% yourselfAvoid building relationships based on a fake version of who you truly are. This doesn’t mean you should stop striving to be a better version of you. Just make sure to show strangers your true persona so both of you won’t waste time working on a friendship built on lies. Share your interests and passions with integrity and authentic bonds will follow suit. Honesty is key! People catch on to frauds quickly anyway…

I’ve always been fairly social despite my introverted nature, but moving to a new location with basically zero friendships was something I had never encountered. It took me months (8.5 to be exact) before I felt confident and comfortable enough to start focusing on my social life. To each their own!

I hope these tips help those who find themselves in a similar situation. You’ll grow in ways you never thought possible and gain confidence in the process. After all, plunging into the unknown is the best way to expose the true person you are below all those outer layers.

What are some of your tips to meet people? Share!

♥ Irina

Frames From The Weekend 4/11/2014 – 4/13/2014

I’m about to be one of those people who keep talking about the weather, but oh the weather! Spring has been showing off all weekend and New York is alive yet again.

FFTW Spring

These past few days were the perfect mix of relaxing, exploring the city, and enjoying the nightlife. Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Friday

{Friday: After a delicious breakfast of french toast, I spent the morning working in the downtown office. The rest of the day wasn’t too eventful – I finally received my iHerb order, snacked on chocolate-banana softserve, and eventually decided to stay in and catch up on sleep in place of going out all night. It took a while to convince myself to do this (#FOMO) but my body thanked me for the wise decision.}

Saturday

{Saturday morning: What a day! I slept in, had a decadent breakfast, and went for a 4-mile run around Central Park. My shin splints have been driving me crazy lately so I decided to experiment with my cadence by running to a metronome. Believe me when I say that it was a truly eye-opening experience. I realized how low my cadence was and learned what a 170-180 cadence truly feels like. I set the metronome to 85 (170 steps per minute) and proceeded to run a pain-free 4 miles. It was incredible! More on this in a future post. Afterwards, my friend and I met up for a long stroll all around Central Park and the Upper West Side. It was so beautiful outside and the entire city was taking full advantage of Spring’s gift. My poor poor feet though…the 3-4 mile walk definitely took its toll!}

Saturday

{Saturday afternoon/night: My friend and I walked all the way to T.J. Maxx on the UWS after our long walk through the park. I purchased a bunch of random items including cute sandals, the most comfortable running top ever, and adorable hair ties. I met up with my lovely lady in the evening and we went out in West Village (as usual) until the wee hours of the night (morning?). Saturday was true perfection.}

Sunday

{Sunday: I spent much of the morning sitting and reading on the couch until finally convincing myself to actually step outside and enjoy the phenomenal weather. I made my way to a local bookstore (a true hidden gem!), Crawford Doyle, where I purchased ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running‘ by Haruki Murakami. After a delicious late lunch (see next frame for details), I went to one of the most challenging yoga classes yet. I went with the flow, challenged myself with complex poses, and felt more flexible than ever. Why can’t all classes feel this way?}

food

{Food: * I made this tasty “bread” and have been eating it all weekend * soft-boiled egg success! * chocolate chia pudding with yogurt, bananas, and mangoes * some fun new purchases – Choco Mint Wink ice cream and “healthy” jelly beans * plantain pancakes for breakfast and/or lunch…I can’t remember which * }

I’m still partially in shock that mid-April is upon us. I’m making the most of this month but there are a few items I still need to conquer on my list.

Have you ever ran with a metronome? Do you pay extra attention to your running cadence?

What foods are you currently enjoying?

♥ Irina

Loving Lately, Makeup Edition (4/11/2014)

Hi there! Happy weekend, it’s about time! With the coming of spring, my makeup choices naturally shift towards lighter colors and a “less is more” mentality. I wanted to share some of my new beauty staples this season in hopes of adding some spring inspiration to your lives as well!

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint

Tarte Lip Tint

Tarte is easily one of my favorite makeup brands. Their products are natural and free of harsh chemicals, and quality is not sacrificed! I bought this lip tint on a whim a few weeks ago and have been using it daily ever since. Think of this lip tint as the gorgeous love child of lipstick and lip liner.

Tarte Lip Tint

Spring inspired me to choose a light pink color called ‘Hope’ – it adds the perfect amount of color without overwhelming your face. I’ve worn this lip tint solo and even occasionally use it as a base for darker colors or gloss.

Clinique Healing Concealer

Concealer

My sister gave me this concealer, along with a handful of praises for it, as a holiday gift in January. While most other concealers simply hide acne, this concealer has medication in it that helps heal the acne while simultaneously hiding it from the world. It’s a two-for-one special!

Concealer

It takes a bit of time to get accustomed to applying the liquid, but the pointed tip helps make the entire process effortless. And this little tube goes a long way! All you need is a tiny dab of liquid to complete the job.

What makeup products are you loving lately?

♥ Irina