Best Month Ever

It’s so easy to get caught up in what’s wrong, and when I do that, I write a post like this sad December one. When a polar vortex is hitting New York and I have the option to work from home, it’s easy to get stuck in my four walls. That’s not a good place for me.

But January changed everything. Maybe it was the week I spent in Hawaii. Or the fact that Seattleites have descended upon New York for the Super Bowl. Or the tons of good buddy time I’ve gotten. Or that I’ve been working out because I want to — not because I feel like I need Hawaii abs. Or because I’ve been very consciously eating better.

But I’m happy.

Pinch-me, is-this-really-my-life happy. My Seattle friend Tara likes to remind me to take the time to do things that I need to do. (I need to remind her the same.) For me, that means getting out of my apartment, going to yoga class, drinking green tea, listening to music and seeing friends. I did all those things in bulk this month, and I can’t wipe the smile off my face. I’m feeling much more like myself.

Despite two rounds of the polar vortex, I make an effort to take walks & take pics. This is FiDi.
Despite two rounds of the polar vortex, I make an effort to take walks & take pics. This is FiDi.
Someone put their fully decorated tree on the street. It's been there about a month now. Makes me laugh every time I walk by.
Someone put their fully decorated tree on the street. It’s been there about a month now. Makes me laugh every time I walk by.
I was so happy to be in Seattle for the Seahawks' Division Championship game. The city was bathed in blue & highlighter green.
I was so happy to be in Seattle for the Seahawks’ Division Championship game. The city was bathed in blue & highlighter green. #GoHawks
Tara gives Penny a high-five while mama Heather looks on. Love me some buddy time.
Tara gives Penny a high-five while mama Heather looks on. Love me some buddy time.
Brunch with my girls at Pike Place.
Brunch with my girls at Pike Place.
This was my backyard for six glorious days on Oahu.
This was my backyard for six glorious days on Oahu.
Ohana means family, and these two will always be my family now.
Ohana means family, and these two will always be my family now.
I've had so much fun carrying this flag around NYC.
I’ve had so much fun carrying this flag around NYC.
I went to Puppy Bowl Experience! Puppies!
I went to Puppy Bowl Experience! Puppies!
Giant slide in Times Square = Awesomeness!
Giant slide in Times Square = Awesomeness!
It's been two weeks of trash talking, but we still love each other.
It’s been two weeks of trash talking, but we still love each other.

No vacation from exercise

Workout Wednesday is colliding with Hawaii Week on the Living Life Big blog!

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I’m all about being active on vacation without it making it feel like work. Hikes to lookout spots, walking through major cities and paddleboarding through turquoise water are some of my favorites.

Hawaii would be a fantastic place for a weight-loss camp. The food is so fresh, light and healthy. My friends and I started our days with protein-packed scrambled eggs with veggies tossed in most mornings to power our activities. We noshed on shrimp, fish tacos, sushi, fruit and salads later. We didn’t snack a whole lot because we were so busy running around and getting distracted by gorgeous sights that we forgot about eating. We didn’t crave heavy comfort foods, but we did indulge in mai tais and ice cream.

Hawaii also has endless fitness activities. Even hauling gear on uneven sand or rocks to the beach was a workout. We also rented boards and kayaks, snorkeled with fish, took a hula lesson, splashed around our backyard pool, hiked a crater and practiced yoga poses on the dock. We followed my friend Nicole’s lead and practiced yoga everywhere.

I declare Operation Aloha a huge success.

My friends are your friends

That time Tara, Navani and I had drinks in Brooklyn.
That time Tara, Navani and I had drinks in Brooklyn.

Years ago, I had a gathering of friends from different circles. One of my girlfriends paid me a great compliment when she said, “You have awesome friends.”

It made me feel like I was doing something right. I really do have fantastic friends, and it makes me straight-up giddy when they adore one another. I love making connections.

I put my New York friend Navani in touch with my Seattle friend Tara last year. When Tara came to visit, the two of them were like old pals. They didn’t even miss me the evening I had Spanish class and ditched them.

Tara and James also became friends during her visit.

In Hawaii, James and Navani met my good pal Chris from Seattle. One afternoon, I went looking for the guys and they were so engaged in sports talk, I don’t think they noticed I was there.

That time friendship words collided in Hawaii.
That time friendship words collided in Hawaii. (This was taken just before we left for the airport — otherwise jeans and socks were not worn.)

Once again, I did it right. I have the best taste in friends. And they prove it over and over and over.

Want more photos of our trip? Find them here.