workout recap | 2.8.15.

Weekly Workout Recap |

Tuesday 2/3 – off

Wednesday 2/4 – 45 minute spin class at Revolve Fitness. This was my second spin class that’s a part of ClassPass. I liked it. It wasn’t extremely challenging, but I was able to push myself to get a decent workout out of it. I’ll probably go back.

Thursday – 2/5 – 60 minute Core Fusion Barre class at Exhale Spa. My first ever barre class! As I mentioned in this post, I really loved this class. I can be a bit of a cardio queen (I genuinely love it) so anything that can get me to do some sort of strength training is a good thing.

Friday 2/6 – off

Saturday 2/7 – 45 minute SoulCycle class. I won’t bore you with my normal swooning over SoulCycle. It’s hands down my favorite class. I can’t wait to go again next week!

Sunday 2/8 – off. I woke up this morning with the intention of going to the gym, but I just wasn’t there mentally. I definitely think there’s value in pushing through that sometimes, but not all the time. I feel like these days we’re so bombarded with “fitspo” messages that tell you to PUSH PUSH PUSH yourself and “better to be sore than sorry,” but I personally think that that can form an unhealthy relationship with exercise.

My point is – I think rest days aren’t just about giving your body a rest, but also (and just as importantly) your mind.


What are your thoughts on rest days? What about the whole “fitspo” trend?

because i love ya {red carpet manicure + speakable giveaway}.

I feel like it’s been a while since I did a great giveaway, and what better time to show some love than around Valentine’s Day?

To show my appreciation for all of your incredible support, I’m giving away prize packages full of my favorite things to two GML followers!

Each prize package includes:

  • Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish Pro Kit (includes light and all prep/tools needed for an at-home gel manicure)
  • 1 RCM French manicure kit OR Gem & Jewels kit
  • 3 RCM nail applique packs
  • 1 RCM glittery french tips pack
  • RCM Nail Glitz
  • RCM Crystal Gems
  • 5 RCM LED gel polishes *
  • 5 RCM nail lacquers *
  • one 14K gold-plated choose joy Speakable necklace

(Each prize package valued at over $300!)
* polish colors will vary

*This is an Instagram contest!*

Here’s how to enter:

1) Follow @girlmeetslife, @RedCarpetManicure, and @SpeakableNYC on Instagram
2) Regram the above image on your own Instagram (using either the Repost App or taking a screen shot of this image)
3) Add caption “I entered to win @girlmeetslife’s #ValentinesDay giveaway! #RCMNailIt #GMLLOVE”

The two winners will be chosen at random on 2/14 at 12pm EST. Open to US residents only, must be 18+ to enter.

Good luck! :)

what i’m loving right now.

barre class
Today I took my first ever barre class. It’s been quite the trendy workout lately and I’ve heard so many girls swear by it, so I figured I’d give it a try. I took the Core Fusion class at Exhale Spa, and honestly I had no idea what to expect. I was hoping it wouldn’t be too dance-y because that’s not really my thing, and thankfully wasn’t. What it WAS, though, was a much more difficult class than I expected (in a good way). I liked that it was very fast-paced, and the instructor Julie was really attentive and motivating. I know I’m gonna feel all sorts of sore tomorrow!

Barre Class

SBTB on Jimmy Fallon
Any human being that has been on Facebook today has probably seen this a million times already, but it’s just so good. So much nostalgia…

the half bun
I’ve seen this hairstyle all over Pinterest lately, and I just think it’s so cute. Granted, this is a totally messy version of it (and hello roots), but you get the idea.

half bun

Bare Minerals
I have a full post (+ a vlog!) coming on these products soon, but I can’t help but share how much I love them. The neutral eye shadow palettes are the perfect shades, and the Complexion Rescue is one of the best makeup products I’ve tried in a long time.

Bare Minerals makeup

everything about these looks
Is it spring yet?

Juice Press Fireball
I’ve been a huge fan of Juice Press for a while, so I was really excited when they surprised me with some samples of their Fireball + Mother Earth juice. I had never tried the Fireball, and let me tell you…this stuff is not for the faint of heart. It is SPICY. It definitely will wake you up in the morning, and I’ve heard it can work wonders (immunity booster? Don’t mind if I do).

Juice Press

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Toasted Walnuts
Sometimes I like to get a little fancy pants with my lunch. But don’t let the looks of this fool you – it took just about 10 minutes to make! I used store bought sweet potato gnocchi (from Whole Foods) and added some brown butter and toasted walnuts. Comfort food at its finest.

sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter + walnuts

What Pinterest-inspired looks/trends are you loving right now?
Have you tried a barre class?

life: more than the counterfeit.

Like most people, I love life’s pleasures. I even get particularly excited about the simple things like a good meal, an entertaining movie, intriguing conversation, and just observing the world around me.

As you can imagine, New York City is pretty much the mecca for enjoying life’s pleasures. You can do anything and everything here. You can be entertained in every which way imaginable. You can try every possible cuisine on just about any street corner. You can cross paths with people of all different walks of life. You can bump into the love of your life on the subway – one of hundreds of trains that run in an underground world, beneath the most prominent city on earth.

It’s quite the life here, to say the least.

It’s easy to get caught up in all of that. It’s especially easy when you hear over and over that New York City is THEE City. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. The city of excess. The city that doesn’t sleep.

Every so often, though (and more often lately), when I lie down to fall asleep at night, I sense the longing in my heart…in my soul…for so much more. It’s a longing I know has always been there, but it’s been so strongly masked by all of the STUFF going on around me. I can’t help but think that that’s something most New Yorkers experience, and probably everyone no matter where you live.

With that, I’ve had to come to a pretty tough realization recently, and it’s that a lot of what I strive for and chase after in life isn’t actually the real deal. So much of what I desire is based on what our society and culture has told me to desire. And so I chase these things seeking fulfillment, only to find over and over and over again that they left me feeling even more empty than before.

The thing is, I always THINK I’m going after the right things. They’re things that make me feel good…make me feel alive (for a moment, at least). So where’s the problem?

The problem is that it’s so easy to fall for the counterfeit versions of what I truly want – what I truly desire.


Counterfeit love that actually slowly breaks the heart
Counterfeit high that is never fully satisfied
Counterfeit success that is primarily self-gratifying
Counterfeit friendships that result in more loneliness than before

The counterfeit “perfect life” that makes us even harder on ourselves because we think we have it all, yet we still feel empty inside

Some people can accept the counterfeit version of life without even realizing it, and they may even have an exciting, entertaining life at that. That was me for a really long time, and it’s still easy to get caught up in it.

But there’s something in my heart that knows there’s something more – something bigger and more valuable.

Love that doesn’t just feel good, but makes us better people and gives us glimpses of the love of God
A high that comes not from drugs or alcohol, but from supernatural peace and joy unspeakable
Success that is measured by how it helps others
Friendships that are selfless and uplifting; people you can truly “do life” with
A life that may not be perfect, but it fulfills the soul 

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it’s bad to like or do things simply for the sake of enjoyment/pleasure. I LOVE life and try to have fun every single day. But I think every once in a while it’s good to do a heart check – to realize the WHY behind our desires and what we put our energy toward.

Because at the end of the day, I’m realizing that a life overflowing with counterfeit pleasures doesn’t even come close to the fulfillment of a life with purpose.

 related posts:

life is not DIY
you are more
on knowing your identity
life: unfiltered
how to stay on course
the thing about striving
why I don’t do Christianity


eats: valentine’s day cake batter cupcakes.

January is always a tough month. It’s cold, you have to go back to a normal routine after the holidays, but worst of all…there are no themes to be celebrated.

February would be a similar situation if it weren’t for the oh so wonderful holiday of Valentine’s Day. I’m that girl who loves Valentine’s Day, whether I have a special someone to share it with or not! But I love just about any reason to embrace (cheesy) themes, if we’re being honest…

Valentine's Day Cake Batter Cupcakes ||

Even if you don’t like Valentine’s Day, you can at least use it as an excuse to treat yourself. So whether you want to make a little something sweet for your guy, your friends, or yourself (I won’t judge), these cute heart-shaped Valentine’s Day Cake Batter Cupcakes are a perfect little gift.

Valentine's Day Cake Batter Cupcakes ||

inspired by my original Cake Batter Blondies
yields 10-12 cupcakes


1 box yellow cake mix (I always use Betty Crocker)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 – 1/2 cup milk *
1/4 cup red & pink sprinkles
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
frosting of choice (strawberry is fun because it’s pink!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake pan with cupcake liners + nonstick spray.

Place cake mix in a large bowl, set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and oil.

Add wet mixture to the cake mix and combine as much as possible, then add the milk.

* Add as little milk as possible to just get the batter to come together. You want it to be THICK – almost like a cookie dough.

Mix in the sprinkles and white chocolate chips.

Place batter in lined cupcake pan, 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or just until the tops turn golden. **

Let cool for 20-30 minutes, then add the frosting. Decorate with sprinkles of your choice!

** Don’t be tempted to over-bake!!! That will result in a drier cakelike texture, not the ooey-gooeyness we’re going for!

Valentine's Day Cake Batter Cupcakes ||

You can use a regular cupcake pan/liners, but I couldn’t help but go for the heart-shaped look. I found these reusable silicone ones at Michael’s.

Valentine's Day Cake Batter Cupcakes ||

Valentine's Day Cake Batter Cupcakes ||

Valentine's Day Cake Batter Cupcakes ||

Valentine's Day Cake Batter Cupcakes ||

Valentine's Day Cake Batter Cupcakes ||

Valentine's Day Cake Batter Cupcakes ||

{photos by Sam Ruby}


Do you like Valentine’s Day? Any special plans this year? :)

workout recap | 2.2.15.

Weekly Workout Recap |

I’m probably going to hate myself for doing this.

BUT. Oh well.

Long story short – I want to start recording my workouts here on GML. I’m am the classic GO GO GO 100% for 2 months then don’t even look at my sneakers for 2 months kind of person. So I need the accountability.

Don’t get me wrong – if there are weeks (or even months) where I don’t exercise at all, I’m perfectly okay with that. But I like the idea of recording how my workouts make me feel (especially after tracking my Whole30 experience. I liked that).

So rewind to last week…

Sunday & Monday 1/25 – 1/26 – off

Tuesday 1/27 – 40 minutes Stair Master at the gym. I wasn’t planning on exercising this day, which made it all the better of a workout. The Stair Master is my favorite cardio machine – it never fails to make me a sweaty mess. I do intervals of speed and skipping steps (and avoid holding onto the machine as much as possible).

Wednesday 1/28 – 1 hour class at New York Pilates. I just posted about that here.

Thursday 1/29 – 20 minutes on the Stair Master, same routine as usual. I was going to workout in the morning but decided sleep was more important (for the most part, it always is), so I squeezed this in during lunch.

Friday 1/30 – 45 minut Cyc class. I recently started getting into spin, so I was excited to see that there were so many spin options on ClassPass. Cyc was the first one I tried, and it was great! The studio is in David Barton Gym, which is an experience in itself (seriously, it feel like you’re in a nightclub. And the locker room was heavenly). I hate to compare Cyc to SoulCycle but, it’s kind of hard not to. They’re pretty similar, but both great workouts. Cyc definitely kicked my butt – super high intensity, great use of weights, decent music.

Saturday 1/31 – 1 hour Vinyasa class at Y7 Yoga (their Soho studio). I really liked this yoga class. I’ll be honest – yoga isn’t really my thing (or so I thought). I tend to get bored, and I like to sweat, but not in a Bikram Yoga sort of way. This Vinyasa class was a perfect balance – it was warm but not too hot (so I got to sweat), challenging but not overly so, and restorative all at the same time. I also liked that the studio was extremely dark, I enjoyed the choice of music, and the instructor (Dina) was great too.

Sunday 2/1 – 45 minute SoulCycle class. I’m so biased. This was totally the highlight of my workout week…and maybe even of my week in general. I’ve only been to about 5 SoulCycle classes so far, but thankful I have Rachel guide me to the best instructors (she’s a SoulCycle aficionado, to say that least ;)). So yesterday I went with her to Charlee‘s class at the Tribeca studio, and it was so. freaking. good. I never thought that such a crazy hard workout could be one of the most fun experiences ever at the same time.

I think the reason I like SoulCycle so much is because I’m just a sucker for the SOUL side of it. I’m a heart person through and through, so if I can connect heart-wise to a workout, I’m 100% in it.

Monday 2/2 – might as well include today because I just got home from the gym. I did some arm and butt exercises at home, then I went to the gym and did 40 minutes on the Arc machine. I actually never use that machine, but it was pretty kick-ass. I pumped the resistance up like crazy and could tell it was a great butt workout. Because glutes.


So there you have it! Completely TMI about my exercise life ;) Let me know if this is something you guys enjoy…?

What’s your absolute favorite form of exercise?


it is well | 2.2.15.

it is well ||


I don’t know about you, but this time of year I always find myself getting into a bit of a funk. The winter (after the holidays) can just be a very gloomy time without much to be excited about.

Thankfully, I’ve kept that usual rut at bay this year, and I wanted to share with you how I’ve been actively doing so. That’s the key word, really – actively.


Sounds easier said than done, right? Well that’s why reading the Bible is so important – it gives us the tools we need to choose those things. What we need to remember, though, that choosing those things goes hand in hand with surrendering to God. Pulled from me previous post, Choose Joy

So the next time you’re feeling down…actively choose joy.

“Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” John 16:24

When you’re feeling worrisome…choose to trust.

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26

Stressed out? Choose peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Struggling with unbelief? Choose hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Instead of living with a sense of fear and dread…choose expectancy.

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

(Also worth noting if you do happen to find yourself in a funk right now – here are some of my tips for getting out of a rut.)



When I stumbled upon this Ice Cube Facial beauty tip on The Skinny Confidential the other day, I knew I had to try it. I’ve used ice packs in the past to decrease eye/face puffiness, so I was pretty confident I’d like the results.

(Not to mention any beauty hack that doesn’t require a dime spent is a good one in my book.)

So yesterday I decided to give it a try. It was about 30 minutes after my spin class and my face was still a bit red/puffy from working out. I did the “facial” by dunking my face in the ice water a few times for about a total of 20 seconds (I’m a huge baby and can’t hold my breath).

The results? Well, after I stopped giggling at myself for the fact that I was dunking my face in ice water…I noticed an instant change in my face. My whole face – especially under my eyes – felt much less puffy, the redness reduced, and CRAZY refreshed. And it seemed to last throughout the day, too!

It may sound crazy…and it’s not super comfortable…but I definitely suggest giving an Ice Cube Facial a shot.

Er, dunk.

ice cube facial

Do you too find yourself in a funk this time of year?
Ever try an ice cube facial? (Let me know if you do!) :)



life lately | 1.31.15.

Happy Saturday!

Before I go on – I’ve been meaning to say thank you so much for your responses to my acupuncture post. It’s not easy for me to be so open like that, so it meant a lot to read all of your support + learn that I helped shed some light on acupuncture for you.

Anyway, it’s been quite a good week over in this life I’ve met. Here are some highlights of life lately.


1) I joined ClassPass! ClassPass is basically an “open relationship” with exercise (ha), which is really great for my schedule/lifestyle. For $99/month you get unlimited classes at a ton of top NYC fitness studios and gyms without having to get a full membership.

I’ve taken three classes so far – Pilates, Cyc, and a yoga class at Y7 this morning.

My favorite so far has been New York Pilates. I absolutely LOVED it. It was my first Pilates class using a reformer, and I enjoyed it so much. I must admit that I don’t love strength training (no matter how much I try to lift weights, I just…hate it), but I genuinely loved using the reformer. It worked muscles I didn’t even know I had! And it was just so chill – I didn’t even break a sweat. We’ll save that for the spin classes ;)

2) You probably heard that the supposed record-breaking blizzard Juno fell flat. What was supposed to be 20-30 inches was a measly 8 in NYC. It was awkward.

Still made for a pretty city, though.

NYC winter

3) I FINALLY got around to trying the new Quest S’mores bar. I hadn’t been eating Quest bars for a few months because I just got really sick of them, but…you guys. The S’mores one is ridiculously good.

Quest bar S'mores

4) You may have seen me share this piece of artwork on Instagram. My friend Andrea made it – how beautiful is this?! You can’t really tell from the photo, but the texture/paint actually comes off the canvas 3D-style (ha, I clearly don’t know art terms). If you’re interested in seeing more of her work, you can check it out here.


5) Last night Sydney and I had a nice little dinner date at Hudson Clearwater (one of my favorite spots – definitely recommend it!) followed by some bar hopping in the West Village. It was ridiculously freezing out, but we ended up having such a fun night!

6) After yoga class this morning Monica and I had brunch at Two Hands. I had seen it all over Instagram, and it definitely lived up to the hype. It’s a cute little cafe tucked away on Mott Street.

Two Hands NYC

We got almond milk lattes and split the acai bowl and avocado toast.

Yes, us girls love splitting meals. It’s a scientific fact.

Avocado Toast, Acai Bowl, Almond Milk Latte from Two Hands NYC

And now I’m here relaxing for a bit + catching up on some work! Gotta love that balance of a fun/productive weekend, right? ;)


What’s been a highlight of your week?


style: winter uniform.

You know the stereotype that New Yorkers wear all black, all the time?

Well, it’s true. For this New Yorker, at least.

Especially in the wintertime, wearing black on black on black isn’t just for looking chic – it’s also just ridiculously convenient.

all black | gracie gordon |

choose joy engraved necklace ||

Daniel Wellington men's watch + arm candy

But then, if you want to stand out (which I usually do), all you need is a simple pop of color thrown in there. Be it a handbag, your shoes, or my favorite way – a beanie.

all black + pop of pink || gracie gordon ||

all black + pop of pink || gracie gordon ||

pop of pink || gracie gordon ||

all black + pop of pink || gracie gordon ||

The whole look:

coat – Via Spiga
beanie – American Apparel 
shoes – Express
tights – H&M
watch – Daniel Wellington (men’s Classic St Andrews)
rings – Forever 21
sunglasses – Sunscape

necklace – Speakable

{photos by Sam Ruby}


Are you a fan of wearing all black? What’s your “winter uniform”?

wellness: my experience with acupuncture.


Hey friends!

So this is a post I’ve been wanting to share for a while, but I was hesitant to “go there.” So many of you asked for it, though, so here it is.

If you’re not into women’s medical/hormonal issues – AKA probably if you’re a guy –  the exit is to the left ;)

My experience with acupuncture has been one that really surprised me and I’m so excited about the results, so I wanted to share it as information you might want to consider if you’ve had similar issues.

Cliff notes version: I started getting acupuncture about 3 months ago to help me (naturally) regain my period, and it worked.

*angels singing*

Now for the long version.

Never once in my life did I have a regular cycle, and by that I mean I very rarely got periods. When I was about 15 a doctor gave me the “easy solution” of putting me on the pill.


I really believe that going on an oral contraceptive that young screwed up my body even worse, and it made it even more difficult to get to the root of the issue.

So for the next 10+ years, I was in a cycle of going off and on dozens of different types of the birth control pill. I hated being on it, so I would go off in hopes of getting my period naturally, and it never happened.

I saw so many different doctors, and was tested for everything under the sun. PCOS, early menopause (eek), thyroid issues*, etc. I tried gaining weight, various different ways of eating and exercise…everything.

* I did have thyroid issues in high school, but my levels have been normal since then. 

The good news was I didn’t have any of those things, but the bad news was I still wasn’t getting my period on my own. Pretty much all of the doctors agreed that I had generalized amenorrhea, and that the best solution is to just continue taking the birth control pill.

Fast forward to about 5 months ago, when I decided I had had enough. I was determined to get to the root of the issue and heal my body.

I saw my new lady doctor at Columbia University Medical Center here in NYC (and she’s great), and she understood me wanting to go off the pill again and trying to regulate my body naturally. She advised that I give it no longer than 3 months to go without a period, and so the countdown begun.

Getting acupuncture was something I would talk about with my mom here and there, but it just seemed like such a drastic thing to do. Not to mention I thought I didn’t “believe” in that sort of thing. But I was at the end of my rope, so I wanted to look into every possible option.

My mom is the queen of researching the best of the best doctors, so she got to work. She ended up finding Dr. Jingduan Yang – founder of Tao Integrative Medicine and  director of the Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture program at the Jefferson Mryna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine. Long story short – the guy was the best in his field, and he happened to have offices near my parents’ house and in NYC.

Meanwhile I was doing my own research on acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, and the concepts actually made a lot of sense to me. It wasn’t the “magical/voodoo” stuff I once thought. Chinese Medicine is a science just like Western Medicine is.

In a nutshell, Chinese Medicine looks at the body as a whole and seeks to get to the root of the problem, rather than just fixing symptoms. What’s cool is that Dr. Yang combines Chinese Medicine *with* the best of Western Medicine, so it kind of all made more sense to me.

In October 2014 I had my first appointment with Dr. Yang. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was even a bit nervous. But after a consultation with him and my first acupuncture treatment, the nerves went away and I got excited that something may finally work.

At this point I had not had a period in over 3 months, so time was technically up for me. I was getting the acupuncture treatments every 1-2 weeks for about a month and a half. I was losing hope and becoming more and more skeptical about the acupuncture. I was scared that I was wasting my money and energy.

But then…it happened. I GOT MY PERIOD!!!

I don’t think anyone has ever been so happy for it to be that time of the month, haha. It was literally the first time I got my period on my own since I was a teenager. I was ecstatic.

It actually brought up a lot of emotions because – I didn’t realize it but – in the back of my mind I was always afraid I wouldn’t be able to have children. I never let myself face that fear, but there was such a sense of relief when my body finally started working the way it’s supposed to.

I continued getting the treatments to keep my body on the right track, and as I write this post today I have gotten THREE regular periods consistently each month.

I’m going to continue getting treatments for another few months, less and less frequently. I’m also making sure to implement other healthy habits like eating well, stress-reducing techniques, and taking Chinese herbal supplements prescribed by Dr. Yang.

Now I’m even working for Dr. Yang doing his social media! (but please note that that’s *NOT* why I’m writing this post. This is not part of my job description, nor am I being compensated).

So to wrap things up, I personally am a huge proponent of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. If it’s something you think you might be interested in, I highly suggest researching it and learning as much as you can, as well as researching the best doctors (and I don’t mean on Groupon). 

There are a handful of articles/videos on the Tao Integrative Medicine website, and this recent radio interview Dr. Yang did explains a lot about what Chinese Medicine actually is.

A couple of more points that I’m thinking you might be curious about:

  • No, acupuncture is not painful, but it can be a tad uncomfortable for a brief moment depending on where the needle is being put. That’s a good sign, though, as it means it’s hitting the right spot!
  • It isn’t cheap. For me the expense was worth it for my longterm health, and thankfully my health insurance did help cover a portion of it.
  • Depending on what you’re getting acupuncture for, you’ll more than likely need more than one treatment. One acupuncture session is not a quick fix!
  • A common opinion is that acupuncture works because of the placebo effect, but many studies have proven otherwise. For me – even if it was the placebo effect – it still worked.
  • Acupuncture can be used for a lot of different things, from physical pain to psychological issues and many things in between.

Please note that I am NOT a medical expert, and this is just my own experience/opinions. Please seek a medical professional before making any changes to your health routine.


What are your thoughts on acupuncture? Have you ever tried it, or would you consider it?