Hello, and Happy Friday!
I had the biggest smile on my face while I was compiling things to share in this edition of faves. It feels amazing to be back here chatting with you! I really did miss it, and I am remembering all of the things I loved about blogging in the process. Short videos on social are cool, but this is really where we get to the nitty gritty. Right? Writing will always be where my heart is, and I’m so glad you’re here today.
Just in case you’re newer to the page, I started Friday Favorites as a weekly series round-up back in 2013. (Can we talk about how that was a DECADE AGO?! Whoa.) It’s a list of things I’ve been loving throughout the week that deserve a feature, along with things I think you would like, too. You can expect to find the latest product obsessions, city outings, quick tips, short workout shares, recipes and more.
I’m not committing to a weekly post just yet, but I am aiming to regularly check in and share as much as I can. To my surprise, these favorite round-ups were the number one requested post from you in my email inbox this week, so I’ll definitely include them in the roster. They’re pretty fun to create, and I feel like this is what we would talk about if we were on a catch-up call or coffee date. (Cheers to more coffee talk posts, too!)
It would be impossible to go back from the last favorites post I published, so let’s jump in and pick up from the past week or so. Scott has been working overseas since Monday, so here’s a look at a handful of outings and highlights since the weekend … we’ve been pretty busy!
Latest Friday Favorites Round-Up
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Longtime readers might remember a post around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, as it’s a must-see in the springtime in New York City. Here’s a look back at our first visit when Skyler was just a few months old! Skyler and I were featured in one of their running ads in 2020 (that was exciting!), and we continue to visit sometime between April and May year after year. It’s *that* beautiful!
It’s the ideal weeks to pay the cherry blossom trails a visit, and this trip included a few new-to-us exhibits like the indoor conservatories. I especially loved the tropical and desert pavilions, and Skyler asked us to read just about every sign along the way. It’s a great learning opportunity and a wonderful outing for the family all around.
Special shout out to our friends who joined us this time! It was so cute to see these two explore and gaze at everything with wide eyes.
The garden is open every day but Monday, and you have to purchase tickets in advance or at the doors. The dining areas are back open, but fully booked during peak hours. We had a good lunch outside at the cafe, just be prepared to spend a little more than you’d like for a sandwich. The Mediterranean Grain Bowl, however, was well worth the spend.
Picnics aren’t encouraged (outside food is a no-no), but you are allowed to roll out a blanket and sit on the lawn of Cherry Esplanade. There are live dance and music performances all around the gardens throughout the day, and I always wish I had more time to just sit and chill here every time we come!
I guess we’ll just have to pay another visit soon. I 10/10 recommend that you add this one to your list the next time you’re in the the city around April and May. It would be the perfect break from the traffic horns, yellow cabs and tall buildings, and is just another reason why I make all of my friends experience Brooklyn on their visits.
- celebrating my 38th birthday
You might already know that I celebrated a birthday on Tuesday! I turned 38 this year and reflected a bit on social. We knew Scott would be traveling during my actual birthday, so we made a point to schedule a much-needed date night in the city on Saturday. We’ve had opportunities to see two incredible shows On Broadway lately; MJ and Hadestown. I would see both again, but MJ is another level of entertainment and one I would highly recommend to you! That said, as much as I love seeing shows on date nights, I just wanted to sit and eat a nice dinner, grab a drink at a swanky cocktail bar without having to rush around from the two (or more) hours of showtime in between.
I wasn’t sure where we had plans to dine, but we got off of the subway and walked over to reservations Scott made at Ilili in the Flatiron District. He said he got the recommendation from a man on his flight back to NYC who “looked like he knew great restaurants” sitting in first class. Ha. Well, he was right, as this Lebanese Mediterranean Food was top notch.
You can simply order several small plates for a full meal or go for a few of them and share an entrée. (That’s what we did, and you must order the Veal Pancakes and Brussels Sprouts.) Everything was delicious, and our evening ended with a walk down to Mace for cocktails in the West Village. Definitely make a reservation for both spots unless you want to stand in a lounge area, but the cocktails were worth it, nonetheless. So, so good all around!
- this salad dressing on monster salads
If you know me at all, you know that I love making monster salads, starting with some type of salad kit and adding a ton of vegetables and proteins. I used to just drizzle the dressing the kits came with, but now opt for more vinaigrettes or making my own with EVOO, vinegar and a squeeze of lemon.
I’ve recently been loving Cindy’s Kitchen brand of dressings, and you can find them in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods and similar grocery stores. I am all about the natural ingredients! Just be mindful of your pour, as the fats tend to run high, as most oil-based dressings do. (But still, yay for healthy fats.)
- brand meet-up + a rooftop grilling event
It was not my typical Thursday yesterday, as Skyler was home with me by Noon to get ready for a babysitter to come over and spend the day with him while I attended a meetup and an event in the city. First up, (and I did not snap any photos, although the snack spread was beautiful) was a quick commute up to Williamsburg to meet my friends from NOW Foods who were in town for an event. We met at the hotel they were staying at and chatted for a few hours before they left for dinner. It’s always a great time, catching up and talking in person instead of exclusively in emails or on social media. Thank you so much for treating me and hope to see you again soon!
Next, I took an Uber into Midtown for a product launch party with Kamado Joe’s.
They debuted their first-ever fully-digital ceramic grill and it made me seriously miss the suburbs as grilling was a bit part of my childhood outdoor experiences. I was invited by a friend who works for their marketing company and ran into a few other bloggers, including Gina from Skinnytaste — her recipes are amazing if you’ve never given them a try!
It was a chill but fun event on the third floor rooftop, complete with a live DJ, an array of flatbreads, meats, potatoes and specialty cocktails that paired perfectly.
I have zero business looking to buy a grill for our apartment in Brooklyn, as we don’t have access to any outdoor space and haven’t grilled since we moved to NYC. (Reading that just made me really sad! *sigh*) That said, you better believe that a grill will be one of the first purchases we make for our home one day, possibly in Jersey. It’s a non-negotiable for me! And, if you’re a bit nervous to light a traditional coal-fire grill, you’d love the design and capabilities of this one. It’s very fancy and fabulous.
Thanks for a great night out and killer gift bag my husband will most certainly enjoy when he gets back in town!
- summer time skincare routines
You can read more about what I do to protect my skin along with some skincare practices in the first blog post below, but for now, it’s worth mentioning that my skincare routine does change a bit from season to season. I aim to hydrate and focus on extra moisturizing and protecting in the winter months and tend to exfoliate and help control oily patches and clear pores in the summer. It’s the time of year I start adding in this gentle facial scrub into my cleansing step every other night or so, and it comes from Beautycounter’s Countercontrol line which is targeted for anyone with breakout-prone or oily skin.
(lol to Skyler’s “cheeeeeese” face – he always tries to jump in if he seems me taking a photo!)
I keep this one in my shower and use it at night to wash my face or even do a double-cleanse with my cleansing oil.
If you have never ordered from Beautycounter before, you can use the new-client code CLEANFORALL20. You can subscribe to my clean beauty newsletter for info like this on the regular, and if you haven’t joined my private clean beauty Facebook group, do so here. I’d love to have you!
In case you missed it …
» 10 Tips For Your Best Skin This Summer
Sun protection and skin care tips I would have started decades ago if I knew better. And, BONUS, making these habits something you instill every day will also help your skin look its best and clearest. You can absolutely work towards the skin you’ve been dreaming of having by taking your skin care and protection seriously.
Fitness from the archives …
Try this twenty-minute HIIT-style workout for a quick cardio & strength circuit challenge. No equipment needed, and exercise breakdowns and a demo video is included!
Nutrition/Food from the archives …
This is a colorful and customizable recipe with a Southern flare! All you need is a roundup of your favorite vegetables, a few spices, a big skillet, and about thirty minutes to throw it together. Skip the meat or beef it up with add-ins … the possibilities are endless.
Okay friends, I think that just about does it for today. I need to get out the door and grab Skyler from school!
It was so great to check in with you, and thank you again for clicking over to read the latest on Life In Leggings today. Just a reminder, you can keep up with our adventures on Instagram in between the posts here. I now have a personal page as well, and it’s been fun to share different content on both pages. I hope you have a great weekend!
*Disclaimer: I am a Beautycounter consultant and love what I do with the company. By using the links provided in this post to order products, you are supporting my business. I truly appreciate you. Always.
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