Irish Girl In The City

This past weekend I was invited to attend the season 2 premier of The Grape Dutches of York, a sketch comedy group out of Astoria.  They produce off-centered video shorts that remind you that our culture is pretty whack.  Their videos have been nominated at several film festivals around the county including The Internot Film Festival in NYC and the Winter Film Awards 48 Hour Film Fest where they won Best Screenplay.  Not to mention, my brother is one of the actors!

Before the premier I met up with my friend Hottie who lives in the big city doing a big girl job in like finance or something.  When I arrived at Penn we quickly ran over to Stout where the AC was flowing and so were the cute guys!

hottie liz

We got a traditional dinner at a pub of fish and chips.  She sipped on Hoegaarden and I only ordered what was right to go with fish and chips…Red Stripe!

Then we made our way over to the bar for more drinks and a friendly bartender.  I asked him to make us a shot but nothing straight.  I’m a girl after all…don’t want to grow hair on my chest.  So he said he WOULD make us something straight but not to smell it and just do it as Nike says.  We got the shot and down the hatch.  Nasty…it was blueberry Stoli.

Afterward we made our way towards Galway Pub I actually never told my brother I was coming and surprised when I got there.  I was so happy to be there to support him and what he loves to do.  He introduced me to the whole crew.  They are amazing people who are as passionate as he is and love him too.

group

The Grape Dutches premiered two of their videos; one was about finding Waldo and the other about a muppet in porn.  Both pretty funny if you ask me.  You can check out their stuff on their YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/grapedutchesofyork

After the premier my brother, his girlfriend (my gracious host) and I cabbed it to Astoria where they live.  We ended up at this cool rustic bar called Sweet Afton where they are famous for fried pickles and the pickle back shot.  Never heard of it?  Me either.  It is a shot of whiskey with a shot of pickle juice.  Sounds very weird but I promise it’s good!

kevin liz

Afterward we hit a late night taco truck and called it a night.

I’m very happy that I went to support my brother.  He may not know it because we often bump heads but he’s the coolest. J

kevin dana

Thanks to my awesome host, Dana!

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Help!

help!

In the last couple of months I’ve seen my friends post this on their Facebook status:

Did you know the people that are the strongest are usually the most sensitive? Did you know the people who exhibit the most kindness are the first to get mistreated? Did you know the one who takes care of others all the time are usually the ones who need it the most? Did you know the 3 hardest things to say are I love you, I’m sorry, and Help me. Sometimes just because a person looks happy, you have to look past their smile and see how much pain they may be in. To all my friends who are going through some issues right now–Let’s start an intention avalanche. We all need positive intentions right now. If I don’t see your name, I’ll understand. May I ask my friends wherever you might be, to kindly copy and paste this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. I hope to see this on the walls of all my friends just for moral support. I know some will!! I did it for a friend and you can too.

This really got me thinking about people who are going through a tough time and you don’t even know it.  Maybe their grandmother is ill, are going through a tough breakup, simply having a bad hair day or contemplating suicide because all those things add up and nothing seems to get better.

When I started my workouts I was very unhappy with myself.  I was ashamed of how I looked, what I was eating, lack of exercise and motivation.  The hardest thing I did was reach out for help.  I didn’t want to admit I felt bad about myself but by telling someone I wanted to change brought me to where I am today.

More recently I haven’t been feeling like my smilely, motivated and outgoing self.  I’ve lost the motivation to do positive things for me because it’s so much easier to do nothing.  So, I reached out for help.

Asking for help is one of the most hardest things I’ve ever done because I always wanted to be the strong one.  I wanted to be the one to care for others but I’m learning that it’s ok to be cared for.  It’s ok to cry but I also need to take action.

I’ve got two 5K’s coming up which I am totally unprepared for but since when am I Usain Bolt?!  I also royally f@#ked up my pinkie toe on 4th of July because a chair got in the way and then a few days later rolled on the outide of the same foot.  My health insurance doesn’t kick in ’til Sept. 1 so I’m limping around the office like a bird with an injured wing.

But, who cares!? I’m still going to do these runs with or without the pain because I committed to it and I’m going to finish it dammit!

More importantly, check up on your friends and see how they’re doing.  Be kind to those who are driving slow in the fast lane because maybe they’re mourning the loss of a loved one and are totally oblivious.  Don’t judge people without being in their shoes because some day that will be you.

I want to know if you’ve bee through a rough patch in your life and you asked for help.  What happened when you did?

Being The Peacemaker Is No Fun

simpsons

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to please people, especially my family.  I wanted them to be proud by doing what was expected of me and staying under the radar to not cause problems.  You may recall I had mentioned this in an earlier post (https://changingliz.com/2013/03/24/do-i-have-the-strength-to-go-on/)

Even though this is something I wanted to change through my journey I can’t help but continue to act this way.  I’m not sure if it is good or bad for me but it is who I am.  Wanting the people around me to be happy is part of my character and I am not sorry for that.

I watch every episode of the Real Housewives series from Orange County to New Jersey.  Every week there is a fight between friends or between family and I’ve started to identify with the NJ family fights.  Not because it’s geographically close to home but all families go through their ups and downs; including mine.  Caroline Manzo once said that her family is as “thick as thieves” but is it always that way and does this make my family f*&ked up? (http://www.eonline.com/news/123124/n-j-housewives-caroline-we-are-not-the-sopranos)

My friend has been going through a difficult time with her family who isn’t speaking to each other.  It has expanded to affect everyone in the family at this point when it started out between two people.  She is somewhat neutral to the situation and has attempted to extend the olive branch two times to reconcile the family.  So far, nothing has changed but only seems to get worse.  I’m afraid this is stressing her out which is not healthy.

I’m unsure of the best advice here but, like me, it’s important for her to focus on her own wellbeing and stop trying to be the peacemaker.  Unfortunately we can’t control people’s actions and reactions but we can control ourselves.

Have you ever wanted to fix something but were afraid to interfere?  How did you handle it and what was the outcome?

Don’t Worry About A Thing

This past 4th of July was the best yet.  I was one of the lucky people whose company closed on the 4th and 5th so I was able to enjoy the moment without thinking about work.  It’s always hard for me to enjoy myself fully because I’m always thinking about what I have to do the next day and I don’t want to get out of hand.  Fortunately this weekend taught me to live!

On the 4th my parents had a great party with lots of tanning, swimming and food.  The next 2 days was a recovery to again lay by the pool and relax.  Saturday night I was invited to a jewelry party of Chloe + Isabel products and it was great!  The hosts did a great job and I bought a cute necklace as well (see below). The best part about it is that I can wear it as three necklaces or one!

necklace

I was also happy to spend the night with my good friend Chelsea…

chelsea

Afterward we went to Asbury Park for some cocktails.  I think I had more than some because I never made it to the family breakfast the next morning….woops.  I did end up trying some oyster shooters at the raw bar which was deelish!  Oysters aren’t my thing but they go down really easy with some spicy bloody mary.

raw bar

I didn’t have any plans for Sunday but out of the blue I got a text from my friend Mike who invited me up to Sea Bright for the day.  Normally I wouldn’t go because it’s pretty far to enjoy myself without thinking about prepping for work but I’m on vacation, right?!  So I threw caution to the wind and went and ended up having a great day!  First we stopped at Woody’s in Sea Bright for lunch and then the Ocean Place Tiki Bar in Long Branch.  It was a perfect afternoon of catching up with friends to end the short staycation.

tiki bar

I’m sure you’ve caught on by now that I look at everything as a lesson.  This weekend I learned to not worry so much and to enjoy myself more.  I’m also reminded about the important people in my life who love and care about me no matter what.  ❤ you….

After this busy weekend, even Reilly was pooped!

reilly

As I was writing this blog Bob Marley’s song came to mind which summed it up perfectly:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mACqcZZwG0k

“Don’t worry about a thing,’Cause every little thing  gonna be all right.

Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing,’Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”
Rise  up this mornin’,

Smiled with the  risin’ sun,

Three little  birds Perch by my doorstep

Singin’ sweet songs Of melodies pure and true

Sayin’,  (“This is my message to you-ou-ou:”)

Singin’:  “Don’t worry ’bout a thing,’Cause  every little thing gonna be all right.”

Finding Peace

peace

I have committed to interval running on the boardwalk a few times a week for about 30 minutes. I am building up to two 5Ks I have signed up for in August: Sea Girt and Bradley Beach. I am pretty psyched to do them with a few friends and can’t wait to cross the finish line.

Last night as I was on the boards doing the usual and came across so many awesome people. These people are on the same path of health and fitness that I am. Most of them smiled at me as I passed as a sign to keep going. I felt at peace with myself and what I want to do for my mind and body.

A few years ago I had an anxiety issue due to a job I was in that I loathed. I would get up every morning, get ready for work, go out to walk the dog and I couldn’t breathe. I started to panic and it was so hard to pull myself out.

I went to my regular doctor who suggested some anti-anxiety meds but it was impossible to take in the morning because I wasn’t allowed to “operate heavy machinery” aka my car. The meds caused drowsiness and I wasn’t about to miss work and dig an even deeper hole.

I can remember my earliest panic attacks while I was in 4th grade. Because my brother had been going through his depression problems I always felt like something was wrong at home and I had to be there. I would start to feel sick to my stomach and go to the nurse so I could go home. Who knew back then what I had?

Fast forward to 2011, I started to see a therapist who taught me how to manage the anxiety without the help of medication. We tried breathing techniques which worked and then I got myself into yoga. This seemed to work but more importantly I quit my job and moved on.

In the last few weeks I’ve started getting anxiety again. Not for any particular reason and certainly not my new job but running and yoga are helping tremendously. I want to avoid any medication if I can.

After running last night I tried a new 90-minute yoga class called “candlelight yoga”. There were no candles. I can only assume the name because it was in the evening? Either way, I felt better than I have in a long time. I am so looking forward to running and yogaing again this week!

Lastly, Happy 4th of July to you all!! I’ll be taking a break until next week. Enjoy!

liz