Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Version 2
So this post was supposed to happen a long time ago, but due to technical difficulties with my iPhoto, this is way late! But I FINALLY was able to make a trip to the Apple store to get it fixed! So here it is:

In early May, I went with my cousin and roommates to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The whole place was so beautiful; it was a perfect sunny day made for exploring. Brooklyn really has some of the nicest areas, and even living here for a year and a half (woah, can’t believe that!), I’ve only barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer.

There was a cherry blossom area, a Shakespeare area, a fragrance area, an herb area, and so much more. We obviously couldn’t get to every part in the time we had, but what we did see was lovely. I think my favorite parts were the cherry blossoms and the tulips. There were hundreds, if not thousands of gorgeous tulips lined along a patio space with a fountain, all different colors and types. I would love to have that as a backyard…sigh, if only.

If you get a chance to visit the botanical gardens, I definitely recommend it; here are some of my favorite photos from the day!

IMG_4514 (2)IMG_4517IMG_4578IMG_4582IMG_4607IMG_4621IMG_4676IMG_4690 IMG_4683IMG_4718IMG_4723IMG_4743tumblr_inline_n7kuaclwfo1qd2wza1

{Maxi}mum Style

IMG_4475
There are a million reasons why I love spring and summer, but besides the obvious, one of my favorite reasons is because I can finally pull out the spring dresses and maxi skirts! Time to free these legs from the confinement of tights and feel the fresh air.
I wore this dress (hand-me-down from my roommate!) for the first time a couple weeks ago and it had been pleasantly warm, mostly 60s and a couple days in the 70s. So it was perfect for a trial run of the dress. Until now, I forgot how much I missed the comfort of soft, flowy dresses. This one was definitely all of those things! I could seriously wear this outfit every day of my life.

I’ve also been obsessing over my Keds that I bought last year, and only wore a few times because I was afraid of getting them dirty walking around this less-than-clean city. But this year, I’m throwing all caution to the wind and not caring. Yeah, watch out. There’s no stopping me now! #cantstopwontstop wearing the Keds.

(Update on this…I went a little too crazy and wore them to the Brooklyn botanical gardens….and it was all downhill from there after the dust took over and then my incessant scrubbing made the red interior leak through the fabric! {insert cry face emoji here} I’m not a fan of this result and wondering if some bleach will do the trick? Darn you, beautiful white shoes and my resolve to not care!)

…ok, I’m back.

This chambray top has been my go-to lately as well, as it’s the perfect cover up for when it’s just barely too cool for no sleeves but not cold enough for a sweater.

IMG_4466IMG_4482

IMG_4500

What are your favorite styles to wear this spring and summer? I would love to hear in the comments below!
tumblr_inline_n7kuacLwFO1qd2wza

Sunday Summaries

Instagramrecap
Lately, I have been feeling really great about life. Not just the “yeah things are so good!” feeling, but the “grateful that God has me here, I really feel like I’m finding my place in life” type of great!

I’ve made a lot of healthy changes to my routine as of late, and am taking advantage of some great opportunities, and for that, I am so thankful. The gradually warming weather doesn’t hurt either!

This is the reason for my unintentional two-week hiatus on my blog. Things have been super busy, and I honestly think it was much-needed time that has helped me bond with this city in new and amazing ways. But I’m back and am determined to bring you some new and interesting posts!

So let me tell you about the things I’ve been up to that make me so scarce.

1. Kickboxing: yes I know I’ve already told you about this one (I’m sorry, I can’t help it! I will rep it forever and ever), so I won’t bore you with it again. (Basically, I’m just extremely happy with the results I’m seeing from a workout that I actually ENJOY…say what? Yes. It’s SO fun!) Head over to my previous post about it here if you want to know more!

2. Healthy eating: portion control (but not calorie counting) and eating foods that are nutritious for my body instead of empty calories. I’ve developed a habit out of it and now don’t even really want to eat anything unhealthy most days (not that I don’t reward myself with the occasional cheat meal/day; I’ve got that Ben n’ Jerry’s Late Night Dough just waiting for me in the freezer after this kickboxing 30 Day April Abs Challenge I’m doing is over with!)

3. Hillsong NYC: church and my relationship with God has always been the #1 priority for me. Yes, there’s times when I feel like I’m struggling or not making it a priority like I should. But it’s a big part of who I am and I wouldn’t be me without God in my life; it’s the one thing I always come back to in the end, the one thing that I know will stay the same despite everything else that is constantly changing. So I am involved with Hillsong NYC as both a Venue Design team member, and since a month ago, a co-leader of my Connect group! (a bunch of awesome girls who meet a few times a month to hang out, encourage each other and talk about God) I am so blessed to have these opportunities, and have met some pretty great people through them.

4. Beauty/Fashion: I’ve been trying out some awesome products through subscription services like Ipsy, FabFitFun, and ALOHA. I am loving the variety of products I am receiving, and will share them with you in an upcoming post! I also just made a pretty drastic hair change, which I feel automatically gives me more confidence. Not mad…more on that soon too!

In conclusion, all of these things have come together to create a happy, healthier me, and I am loving living life and learning/experiencing new things every day. I am very happy with where I am in my life, and with choosing to “choose joy” in every situation.

I’m looking forward to some creating some fresh posts, but for now enjoy this little recap of the last couple weeks in instagram photos!

Instagramrecap1. Overnight oats breakfast bowl with greek yogurt, bananas, cranberries, coconut, & peanut butter + a heart in my coffee.
2. Sunny and 70s obviously called for a dress…and I realized how much I missed dresses. I can’t wait for consistently warm weather to always wear them!
3. My April Ipsy Glam bag! Bohemian = perfection.
4. Got me some new purple gloves at our kickboxing studio and obviously needed to take some glamour shots for their Facebook page. NBD.
5. My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
6. The best egg sandwich I have ever eaten is at Cookshop in Chelsea. Go get it. Melanie and I are planning to eat our way through their menu, so be prepared for that to be documented…
7. First time visiting the High Line, a beautiful park on a historic freight rail line over Manhattan in Chelsea.
8. Boyfriend jeans + cold toes on a day I thought would be warmer. But hey, at least I was fashionable.
9. Pottery painting with some girls from my HillsongNYC Venue Design team!

{follow me on instagram: faithlindsey_rmtc for more!}
tumblr_inline_n7kuacLwFO1qd2wza

Comfortable Casual

IMG_4254
Spring has finally arrived (and decided to stay! I think…) in the city of New York! Today it showed its beautiful blue-skied face with sun rays and all. It’s amazing how much of a mood-changer a little sun can be. After going to my kickboxing class this morning, I ventured down to the Union Square Farmers Market (one of my favorite places to be in this weather!) to pick up some fresh food for the week, and some pretty pink daisies to put on my bedroom windowsill. Not an extensively busy day, but a great one nonetheless, due to the weather!
Earlier this week we had a couple decent days as well, so here’s what I wore. I had just purchased these great Favorite T’s from American Eagle and they are just so soft and comfy. I paired one of them with my PacSun boyfriend jeans I’ve had since college. I seriously love them and always come back to them when the weather is appropriate. If there was ever a jean that got my full approval, it would be boyfriend jeans. It is so hard to find the perfect fitting pair of jeans, but these, they just feel like sweatpants…what more could you want in a jean?IMG_4254IMG_4327IMG_4354These converse are my new favorites, I saw them on DSW.com and just had to have them. It was a whole process before buying them though, because they are technically men’s, and the smallest size was still a little large on me, but in the end I just bought some inserts and wa-la! They fit! I guess I’m just unintentionally adding some of that menswear-inspired style into my wardrobe.
IMG_4337And of course, bright lipstick because who can live without it? Especially now that spring is here, I’m all about that color.

Outfit deets:
tee: American Eagle Favorite V-neck
boyfriend jeans: PacSun
sneakers: Converse from DSW.com
necklaces: Speakable & BaubleBar
lipstick: Sugarplum from Forever21
tumblr_inline_n7kuacLwFO1qd2wza

Trend Savvy: Fitness

IMG_3233
I’m a little late with this post, I apologize! Life has been crazy busy lately, what with church events and family visiting, but here it is: my final post for the trend series I’ve been doing!
Last but not least is the ever-so-enticing category of fitness.
I’m really only going to focus on one trend in this category, because it’s the biggest one and really all that matters. This year, the ACSM’s (American College of Sports Medicine) fitness poll revealed that the highest ranked workout trend is bodyweight training!
I have always been a huge promoter of working out on your own with minimal equipment. Yes, I do find myself at times falling into a habit of going to the gym and using the treadmill (only if I have no other choice because it’s actually the worst) or elliptical along with some free weights and a few mat exercises. But I always get in a rut this way and have to pull myself out of it by switching up my routine every once in a while.
At the end of the day, I see the most results from consistent bodyweight workouts. I love the Nike Training Club App, which has tons of these you can do on your own or with a friend. {Check out my previous post here about my favorite ways to workout that are either free or cheap!} However, I have to say that my favorite way to workout as of late is easily kickboxing! I mentioned before that I had purchased this Groupon for classes at ilovekickboxing.com with my roommate and cousin, so I have been going for about 6 weeks now. It is the most fun workout I have ever done; yes, it’s hard…but no pain, no gain, right?
l
The class starts off with a warmup consisting of all those bodyweight exercises that are so popular right now: jogging, squats, pushups, burpees, etc. (in their original form as well as multiple variations). Then it moves onto stretching and of course doing lots of fun work punching and kicking the bags! In just six short weeks (I started out going 2x/week for two weeks, but then amped it up to 3x/week after that; I just can’t stay away!), I have lost 5 lbs and dropped one jean size! I am also seeing muscles defined in my arms and abs that I haven’t before.

The best part about kickboxing is that I actually want to be there. Going to the gym to workout alone is so boring. Although sometimes it’s nice to have some solo time to workout, it is always a struggle to drag myself to a gym to workout. I don’t ever really want to go. I just force myself to. I much prefer participating in a class with a bunch of other people who also want to kick butt! Punching and kicking things is a great way to relieve stress too; it’s so fun after a long day of work (even though I do love my job!).
IMG_3233
The days I go to class are my favorite days of the week now! And because ilovekickboxing.com is a fitness studio (yes, you do have to be a member to come back after your promotion is up), you often see the same people and it is motivational to see others following through with their fitness goals as well! Since the first day, the instructors and members there have become like a fitness family that keeps me on track with my own goals. I am so happy I found ilovekickboxing.com!

In conclusion, I will say this: unless you absolutely love working out alone, I 100% recommend finding a class to participate in! The group atmosphere is motivating and fun, and will help you stick to your fitness goals. It obviously doesn’t have to be kickboxing (although I do recommend it, and ilovekickboxing.com has locations all over the USA!); try spinning, dancing, crossfit, etc. There are so many options! In the words of some famous fitness brand: just do it. You won’t regret it. But most importantly, have fun!
IMG_7692

Trend Savvy: Clean Eating

Untitled-1
This is the second post in my trend series! {check out my first post on fashion here}
Today we’re talking food.
Now that I have your attention, (because let’s be honest, you know you just perked up when you saw that word. But no judgements here…) let’s get to it!
For the past month, I have been doing my best to change my eating style. I’m at a place in my life where I’m finally feeling settled in this big city and want to start making real lifestyle improvements that will stick. So clean eating has been a priority. As a result, I feel less sluggish and more energized. Combined with a consistent workout routine, I feel better than I ever have before and I am so happy about it!
That being said, there are always new trends in healthy eating popping up here and there and everywhere. One day something is healthy and the next day it’s not. It can be confusing sometimes. But lately a lot of really great trends have been emerging; I found a few highlighted in this article that are not necessarily brand new, but have been gaining massive popularity as of late, so I’ll share them with you now, along with a few ways/recipes to try them out!
1. Diet food is out, real food is in

All those crazy fads and diets that tell you that you can lose weight in a few days or by eating less or fake “healthy” foods are a thing of the past. Or at least it’s catching on that they should be. Eating real food with real nutrients is the way to go; it will keep you full longer, give you energy, and make you feel better in the long run.
My go-to quick healthy meals:
Chicken breast with cooked frozen veggies & quinoa
Turkey burger in a whole wheat Smart Pocket with kale, avocado, + a bit of low-fat dressing
Scrambled eggs with spinach/mushrooms/onion topped with avocado
2.High-carb goes low-carb
Yes, bread and pasta is amazingly delicious, but moderation is important. In order to make this transition easier, many lower-carb recipes are topping the popular Pinterest boards. They still taste amazing, but will leave you with less guilt and more to be proud of.
My favorite low-carb alternatives:
Zuchinni Fritters
(I haven’t actually tried this recipe, but I love these fritters and I’m going to have to try it soon!)
f2f447d22c562769d854130f5b450a72
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
f7042271f4d600986330016bdcb27708
3 Ingredient Pancakes
(I posted about this recipe a couple months ago, but the recipe is from A Spicy Perspective)
IMG_2508
3.Bring on the snacks

Snacking is super important when you are eating healthy. If you just try to eat small portions of low-calorie foods at mealtimes, you may not have energy for the other parts of the day. In the morning especially, I try to have breakfast, a mid-morning snack, and then lunch. I don’t always get to a mid-afternoon snack if work is busy, but when I do it always helps with concentration and energy levels, as well as keeping me from stuffing my face when I get home at late hours of the night. Protein and nutrient rich snacks are smart choices that will keep you satisfied throughout the day.
My favorite healthy snacks:
Trader Joe’s Go Raw Trek Mix
Rawxies
Apple or banana with almond butter or Earth Balance Peanut Butter
That’s It fruit bars
4. Thoughtfully sourced ingredients
Healthy and organic food has been praised for some time now, but since then we have dug even deeper to discover exactly how the growing and production of this food effects the earth and those working to produce it. It’s a whole ordeal, and for good reason.
logo
Check out Fair Trade USA to find out more about how they are supporting these standards. (I did a research paper in college on their work with the cotton industry; it was interesting, and their reach is clearly much broader than just cotton!)
5. Unusual produce makes a debut

We all love our basic well-known healthy foods. You know…carrots, apples, kale, avocado, the usual. But nowadays people are getting crazy with this stuff and finding new produce that has wacky names as well as health benefits. Some examples are the Pummelo, Kumquat, Pitaya (or Dragon fruit), and Romanesco.

For more examples of strange fruits and vegetables, pop over to one of these articles:
10 Weird Fruits and Vegetables from Around the World
13 Weird Fruits and Vegetables: Exotic Produce

And check out these recipes if you want to join in on the obscure-name craze:
Pitaya Breakfast Bowl
IMG_9629-4Blood Orange & Pummelo Marmelade
mld103941_0109_marmelades_vertKumquat Oatmeal Bread
kumquat-bread3Romanesco Cauliflower Mash (another one for that low-carb list!)
RomanescoCauliflowerMash_3Hopefully this inspires you to adopt some clean eating habits in your everyday routine! I cannot stress how much better you will feel in the end. And with these tips and recipes, it doesn’t have to be stressful; you can have fun with it and experiment with new flavors!
It’s a win-win-win situation.

Who doesn’t love winning?

Crazy people, that’s who.

So don’t be crazy.

{Unless it’s crazy healthy…then you have permission}

😉
tumblr_inline_n7kuacLwFO1qd2wza

Throwback Threads.

throwbackthreads
Well…just when we thought Spring was here, the weather goes and throws us a fast one in the form of a snowball. Tomorrow there is a winter weather advisory; thirty-eight degrees and 100% chance of snow. Nice. I guess I should not be surprised though; I have lived in this state my whole life and know by now what to expect. I just don’t like it. But after tomorrow it seems like it’s going to look up again, hopefully for good!

But for now, its technically still Throwback Thursday so I thought I’d post a couple outfits that I wore a while ago that didn’t get posted. Warmer-feeling outfits that can be worn in tomorrow’s weather.

IMG_3282

IMG_3293
IMG_3306
top: Jack by BB Dakota from Revolve Clothing
jeans: 7 for all Mankind
boots: Clarks
necklace: Charlotte Russe

IMG_2983

IMG_3002
IMG_3010
flannel: Charlotte Russe
skater skirt: Forever 21
tights: Uniqlo heat-tech
ankle boots: Target
bracelets: vintage

I liked them at the time, but I hope I won’t have to wear these warm outfits for much longer. I’m dying for 60s and sunshine; my skin misses fresh air!

tumblr_inline_n7kuacLwFO1qd2wza