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happy weekendmama mia, what a week. i’m on the cusp of a lot of big changes, and they’re scaring the shit out of me. thankfully, my wednesday night brought the solace of an evening birthday soul cycle ride (see my sweaty picture with instructor isabel here) with all of my favorite ladies that helped me work out my anxiety. speaking of soul, their spotify account is killing it lately, and i’m finding so many jams that i can’t wait to tap it back to in their 2014 breakout stars playlist. specifically, this one. i just want to bob my head so hard to that song.

i spent most of my other nights working late and/or relaxing at home with the best footwarmer ever. it’s been pretty damn cold here (though not as bad as in chicago and canada, i hear), so i’ve been bundling up, big time. thank goodness for my anthro snood. best $68 i’ve spent in a while, i tell you.

this weekend, i’ll be celebrating my birthday on saturday night, then waking up (relatively) early on sunday morning to stretch it out at bar method and go to brunch with my friend lisa. tomorrow’s supposed to be rainy and gross, but i’ve got a mani/pedi/massage gift certificate to my favorite salon, pastel, from my parents that is burning a hole in my pocket. birthday nails here i come! beyond that, tomorrow will be spent hibernating, catching up on my reading list, and making #1 on the list below.

 things that tickled my fancy this week:

* DIY vitamin c citrus facial mist. can’t wait to make this!

* jennifer lawrence’s first appearance in W, a TBT worth looking at.

* i can’t get enough of this album, by john newman

* martha stewart’s beauty regimen is insane (and fascinating). no wonder she looks so good at 72. i see an into the gloss feature in her future. how amazing would that be? paging emily weiss!

* rethinking the branding and design of starbucks stores. a really interesting read. i still believe very few places make as good of a chai as my neighborhood starbs, but i love the idea of more locally-relevant concept-style stores.

* nymag’s 2013 reasons to love new york. a good read on days when i’m feeling like breaking up with my city.

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c6120d988442a300b66f9321d79b23e0oh goodness, friday, i am so glad you are here. is it just me, or was this the longest week ever? i feel like i’ve been living my life in double time lately, and i don’t think things are going to slow down until we hit the holidays. my weeks have been such a whirlwind that i’ve been laying low on the weekends. it seems like the only way to preserve my sanity. tonight, i’m going to treat myself to a mani/pedi after work, then take my freshly painted toesies to trader joe’s, where i’ll pick up the fixings for the mini dinner party i’m hosting tomorrow night. i’m planning on making an old classic from the silver palate (hello, 80s!) cookbook, chicken marbella. something about prunes, capers and brown sugar all cooked up with chicken just screams cozy to me. i’m pairing it with a big arugula salad with shaved parmesan and balsamic, wild brown rice, and peanut butter white chocolate chip cookies. oh, and a cheese plate to start (inspired by this recent post on domaine). there’s really nothing i love more than a long, lazy dinner (okay, maybe not lazy, i have trouble keeping my OCD in check and not clearing plates before people are ready) with friends, multiple bottles of wine, and lots of yummy fall candles lit around us. saturday night perfection, in my book.

besides that, i’m taking a level 2 bar method class with one of my favorite teachers, robyn, who recently left new york for california. she’s back for the weekend, and is teaching a reunion class of sorts. i’m going to be so sore, but i can’t wait to see her. after that, i’m headed to get my hair done uptown, then back home to put the chicken in the oven. sunday will be brunch at the smith, then errands in the east village. a perfect relaxing weekend to prep me for the week ahead (which involves my very first business trip to raleigh, of all places, for a video shoot!).

what do you have planned for the weekend?