Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stitchfix Review

I decided to order myself a stitch fix for my birthday! It’s always fun to get a box of surprises! You can see other posts on my stitch fixes here and here.

What came this month?

A striped dress with tie sash

IMG_8417

I love anything nautical and I like that this can be worn in spring, summer or fall depending on how you style it! Keep.

Blue textured pants

IMG_8435

I’m sorry that this a pretty bad picture of the actual pants and that my sports bra is showing through my shirt, but you get the idea.  The textured pattern and bright blue color are not me at all.  Although I do think I requested fun pants, since I love my black textured jeans so much!  Frank absolutely loved these. I kept thinking he was joking, but he actually wanted me to wear these all over town.  Ultimately, these are way out of my fashion comfort zone!  Returned!

Black pants with gold ankle zippers and green top

IMG_8423

Again, sorry that this is a terrible photo of the pants.  The best detail, the gold ankle zipper is cut off! I actually loved the zippers and they fit well, but I didn’t think the fabric was really that high quality considering that these were $90.  I also didn’t think they were that flattering. I was pretty on the fence, but ultimately, they were returned!

I also asked for nice tops for evenings out.  This was a cool top, but I didn’t find it terribly flattering, so it was also returned.

Peach, space-dyed cardigan

IMG_8442

While I don’t really need anymore cold weather clothes, I really liked the color of this sweater.  It is also good for the very cold spring weather we are experiencing. It’s something that I can where to work or to weekend brunch and I know that I’ll actually get a lot of wear out of, so it’s a keeper.

Both items minus the $20 style fee came out to about $128.

Ultimately, I decided that this would be my last stitch fix.  I took a look at the items in my wardrobe that I wear the most often, and none of them were stitch fix pieces.  I often keep something just so I don’t lose the $20!  I love the idea of my own personal stylist, but I don’t think I even know what I want to articulate my needs half the time.  Plus, I live in NYC, so it’s not like I am hurting for shopping options.

I think the idea is super clever and clearly it’s been a huge hit, but it’s just not for me!

In other news, this guy turned 9 months today!

IMG_8419

He is such a big boy!

IMG_8414

Week in Austin, Weekend in North Fork

Well, I’m another year older.  The week leading up to my birthday I was in Austin and  I spent the weekend wine tasting in North Fork, so I can’t say getting older is all that bad.

I was in Austin for the SXWSedu conference. It.was.awesome.  I’d never been to Texas, so it was great to check out the capitol city and the conference was so innovative and inspiring. It really raised the bar for all conferences in my future

image3

During my sessions, I got some great food recommendations.  On our list of things to try were: bbq, tex-mex and breakfast tacos.

First up was BBQ.  We went to Micklethwait.  We thought it was a restaurant, but it was actually a food truck.image5

This plate was filled with the most amazing beans and potato salad, brisket and two deliciously fluffy slices of sour dough.  I don’t go crazy for bbq, but this was awesome.

image6

My group also got a dessert sampler of one of each pie!  Cheesepie, pecan pie, chocolate moon pie and peanut butter moon pie. My favorite was the chocolate moon pie!

image7

 

One of the first of many many reception/parties hosted by SX was at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library. It was the coolest place! I loved the replica of the Oval Office! The University of Texas campus was also stunning.

image4

There were lots of skinny margaritas!

 

image8

I wish I had a picture of my tacos, but alas I was so hungry that I forgot to snap a pic!

I saw this at the conference bookstore! Has anyone read it?  It looks interesting.

 

IMG_0100

 

My top 3 recommendations for Austin are:

After four days in Austin, I unpacked, repacked and we headed to North Fork.

We once again stayed at the Fig and Olive.  They are so nice.  This time there was another couple, so we exchanged winery notes over breakfast each morning.

We hit up a bunch of wineries, my favorites of this trip being Bedell, Osprey’s Dominion and Lenz.

IMG_0128

The first night we ate at the Frisky Oyster.

The second night we went to Jedidiah Hawkins. We started with a drink in a speakeasy downstairs.

IMG_0132

For some reason, my main course photo was deleted by wordpress, so we’ll skip to dessert.  It was a vanilla lemon parfait.  Custardy, curdy, light and refreshing.

IMG_0136

Our final day of tasting we hit up four wineries and the fabulous new outpost of the Greenport Harbor Brewery.  It was a great day, rain and all.

We saw these geese marking down the fields, it was there kind of weather.

IMG_0131

We left pretty early on Sunday morning, but not before yet another fabulous breakfast made by Lisa!

It began with coconut chocolate chip bread (unpictured) and was followed by roasted pears with walnuts, cinnamon and vanilla yogurt.

IMG_0137

The main course was grilled cheese stuffed with peppers, onions and bacon and finished with a fried egg on top.  Pure food heaven.

IMG_0139

We caught the Jitney back to Manhattan to have a late lunch with my parents at the new(ish) Park Avenue Winter.

IMG_0145

Workout Playlist (Barry’s Tribute Edition)

Various-Artists-Workout-Music-300x300

Is there anything better than a workout class with great music?  Personally, I don’t think so.

I often wish I had access to the instructor amazing collection of remixes.  Does anyone know where to access this?  Throughout my month at Barry’s, the music was consistently amazing.   Thank you Niv! Below are some of my favorite tunes from the month. A  lot of the songs have a club feel, which reminds me of being in Ibiza. 

Lately I’ve been struggling to find new music beyond what’s on the top 40 list, so I’m super excited about this playlist. I hope you enjoy it too!

Barry’s Tribute Workout Playlist

FourFive Seconds-Rihanna, Kayne, Paul McCartney

Heroes–Alesso

Love Me Like  You Do-Ellie Goulding  (here’s a remix version)

Blame–Calvin Harris

Uptown Funk-Mark Ronson

I Need Your Love-Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris

Prayer in C–Robin Schulz and Lily Wood

Rather Be –Clean Bandit

Clique- Kanye and Jay-Z

GDFR–Flo Rider (remix version) <–This was one of my favs! I love sprinting to it!

Outside–Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris

Hanging Tree-James Newton Howard Featuring Jennifer Lawerence (Rebel Remix)

 

Barry’s Academy Week 2 and 3 Recap

I can’t believe I only have 3 classes left in the Barry’s Bootcamp Academy!  In case you missed it, I signed up for the February academy, which entails taking a Barry’s Bootcamp class every weekday of the month at the same time each day. Here’s the week 1 recap.

Week 2 was actually pretty great. I felt strong and I could really push myself on the sprints.  I really liked Niv, who has taught almost all of my classes so far. He has an impressive arsenal of techno remixes.  I liked feeling absolutely spent at the end of each segment.  There were a couple downsides, 1.) getting up in the morning didn’t get any easier and #2 is that I haven’t seen any real results.

Week 3.  This was a tough week. My body was just tired.  Even jogging hurt and by the end of each running segment. I also developed  a shooting pain in my foot.  I kind of felt like I was falling apart, but at least the classes had a lot of variety.  I was able to recover from the nagging pain in my foot with a combination of compression and icing.   It was still hard to get up and walk through -2 degree weather each morning, but we did it. Probably what I like best about Barry’s besides the intensity of the workouts, is that each class is different, which kept me motivated.

Frank also recreated a Barry’s shake at home and has been making it each morning.  Here’s his recipe for an adapted orange creamsicle shake:

  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 cup ice

blend /vitamix all ingredients for 1 HUGE shake.

photo-10

I’ll see ya in a few for the final recap!

 

Valentine’s Day Weekend

I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend! Despite the frigid temperatures, we had a fabulous weekend.

It all kicked off on Friday with a girls only  fondue night!

We had chocolate and cheese fondue and plenty of dipping options.

IMG_8369 IMG_8373 IMG_8374Plus, lots of vino. Needless to say, it was a fun night.

On Valentine’s Day, Frank and I had a full day planned.

We  relaxed in the morning and watched some of our favorite food network shows.  Then I got a manicure before we met up to head to Dos Caminos for an amazing cooking class. I had gotten an email about a Valentine’s Day cooking class that included breakfast, unlimited cocktails, a cooking class with Ivy Stark, a four course lunch and a copy of the Dos Caminos Tacos cookbook. It was all for less than the cost of dinner for two,  so I signed Frank and I up.

We nibbled on some breakfast and had some delicious coffee before we were seated for the class.  Ivy Stark is the executive chef for all Dos Caminos and she was funny, talented and very witty.  She recently was featured in Well and Good, as she is on a mission to show people that mexican food can be healthy.

IMG_8377

From the second we sat down, the drinks were flowing, margaritas, sangria, tequila shots, it didn’t stop!  Frank and I did our best to pace ourselves, but the one thing that was totally worth it was the Mexican hot chocolate with chocolate tequila and passion fruit marshmallows.

IMG_8378

IMG_8380

It was just insane.

We learned how to make blue cheese and fig  cheese empanadas, spiced rubbed filet minion with arbol chile sauce, chocolate mousse and mojito de limon tea.  Chef Ivy and Chef David were a great pair and answered all kinds of cooking questions.

IMG_8381

Then it was time for a four course lunch!

IMG_8382 IMG_8384 IMG_8386

IMG_8388

We actually left before dessert was served  because we had a big dinner planned for the evening.

Can you guess where we went for Valentine’s Day?

image-6

Dinner, dancing, old school New York?

If you guessed the Rainbow Room, you are right!  It recently reopened and it was a really fun way to have a very classic New York Valentine’s Day.  The live band was great and there were some amazing dancers on the floor.

The dinner menu was a nod to Rainbow Room classics with a modern twist.

We had a wide assortment of canapés and breads to start, that I forgot to photograph.

I asked for an alternative to the appetizer options and they suggested an endive salad, which was nice and light.

IMG_8389

Frank got the  amish chicken salad, which wasn’t what we expected, but was interesting.

IMG_8390

The seafood course was a delicious and perfectly prepared scallop.  I never order scallops because they are usually overcooked, but these were perfection.

IMG_8394

For my entree, I had the dover sole with crab tortellini.  Again, nice and light.

IMG_8396

To finish, we shared the baked alaska, which I had never had–so retro. It was our favorite course of the night.  Do you see the igloo?

IMG_8397

We had a great night.

IMG_8398

They gave us (well, me) a rose and some chocolates and a few petite fours to finish of the evening.

IMG_8401 IMG_8402

It was a perfect day from start to finish.

On Sunday, we hung out with our furry Valentine.  Petty’s rigorous workout schedule included some yoga.

image-6 copy 2

He also enjoyed some time cuddled up on the couch.

image-6 copy

On Sunday, we had brunch with friends at Norma’s, which happens to be participating in restaurant week!

A weekend filled with my favorite people and my favorite puppy, I couldn’t ask for anything more!

 

Barry’s Bootcamp Academy Week 1 Recap

I can’t believe I’m already looking back at my first week of Barry’s Bootcamp Academy.  5/20 classes in February are done!

If I had to sum up my thoughts on the week in one sentence it would be: it could have been worse.

Prior to starting week 1 I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle 2, let alone 5, back to back Barry’s Bootcamp classes in a row. I’d never taken more than 2 classes a week and I’d never taken 2 classes on consecutive days.  I thought I’d be wrecked by the third day. My main and worst fear was that I’d be injured the first week and have to throw away the rest of the month and a ton of money.

Fortunately, none of that happened.  I made it through all five classes with the expected and appropriate amount of soreness.  A bit of icing was all I really needed to keep  myself together week 1.

The nice thing about Barry’s is that each day of the work week focuses on different muscle groups. Monday is abs and arms.  Tuesday is legs and glutes. Wednesday is arms, abs and chest.  Thursday is hard core abs and Friday is full body.

Even though only two days are officially arms days, there is still way more arm work than I would ever do on my own and sometimes it seems like everyday is arms day, you get through it. I will say that I can rarely do even the lightest of the recommended weight range and I often have to drop down further. When I try to take the weights they recommend, I typically can only do 30% of the workout.  I’m one part wimp and they are one part insane!

Goals for Week 1:

  • Don’t drink alcohol Mon-Thurs.: Fail. I had a glass of wine at the cocktail hour on Tuesday.
  • Finish Week 1: check

I was starving pretty much the whole week, so I ended up gaining weight. I’m hoping at least a bit of that is muscle–see notes about heavy weights above.

Goals for Week 2:

  • Don’t Drink Alcohol Mon-Thurs.
  • Finish Week 2
  • Less snacking in general, but definitely less snacking on crap.
  • Make more dinners at home
  • Increase sprints by .5 MPH

Just one overall observation was that I had 4 different instructors week 1, which was great. I loved the music in each and every class.  It basically made it all worth it.

Valentine Gift Guide for Him

I used to have a hard time buying gifts for guys.  However, I now find it pretty easy to pick out a gift for Frank.   We tend to celebrate small and big events alike and Valentine’s Day is no exception.  If you are looking for last minute gifts for him, here are a few ideas…

A Slim Wallet 

vv

This one from Vineyard Vines is perfect for a night out because he  can tuck in just the essentials and lose the bulk of a traditional wallet. It’s like a clutch for dudes. $58

Buffalo Nickel Cufflinks

782F_AS-SHOWN

Cufflinks are one of my go to gifts.  These Buffalo Nickel pair is really fun.  $98 from Brooks Brothers, but I think etsy has them too.

Tom Tom Multi Sport Cardio Watch

 

 

tt

If you’ve got a bit more to spend, this sports watch has a built in heart rate monitor (no annoying chest strap!), GPS and can track cadence and altitude. $299. Tom Tom is offering 20% off 12:01AM from 2/12 – 2/14 using code  20% off the MS Cardio.

Personalized Golf Markers

Brass-Hat-Web00

 

Golf anything works for Frank. But I really like these brushed brass magnetic golf markers customized with initials. $17 for two.

Cocktail Making Kit

WIN-WARE-Boston-Cocktail-Shaker-Gift-Set-Box

This kit will help him make a bar worthy cocktail at home. Shaken or stirred? $39.99

HOMEMADE IDEAS

Valentine’s Day is a great time to make something truly from the heart.

Love Letters

letter

A thoughtful love letter is perhaps the best gift around, and Feb. 14th is a good reason to finally write one to your love. Check out Rachel’s article, Tips for Writing an Amazing Love Letter, to help you get started.

Why You’re Awesome

awesome

 

If you need a bit more of a guide, this book is funny, romantic and charming all in one. You fill it out madlibs style with a sweet thought on every page. $10 Urban Outfitters.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

straw

In high school one of my girlfriends had a chocolate making and cookie making Valentine’s Day pre-party every year.  A bunch of girls would get together and make tons of sweets and then deliver them to our crushes/boyfriends/friends.  This year, I’m reviving the tradition by having a girl’s night fondue party.  While we’ll be eating a lot of chocolate covered goodness ourselves, we’ll also be making some for our Valentine’s.

Those are my suggestions.  What are yours?

If you’re looking for something for a lady, you can check out my holiday gift guide for sporty ideas.

 

Day in the Life

February is off to a good start.  Honestly, February feels more like the start of the year to me than January did.  I thought a Day in the Life post would be appropriate, as February has been sort of a new beginning for me. Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

6:20am-Alarm goes off.  I let Pettitte out of his kennel and take him out for a quick bathroom break.

6:30am-I put on the work out clothes that I laid out the night before and throw my hair in a ponytail.

6:33am–I play with Pettitte and kind of laze around a bit and prepare Pettitte’s kong filled with peanut butter and blue buffalo.

6:45: Frank seems to be ready to go, so I put on an extra layer of pants and a sweatshirt, my jacket, hat and scarf.

6:48: I show Pettitte the peanut butter kong and he sprints for his kennel. I tuck him in with the kong and a toy and he enjoys breakfast as we slip out the door. We’ve found giving him breakfast in the kennel has totally ended any crying when we leave.

School-for-the-Dogs-0541

6:50am-We walk to Barry’s bootcamp in the 15 degree weather. Brrr.  But we are signed up for the academy, so we have 18 more early morning walks to enjoy before the month is out.

7:00AM: We arrive at Barry’s and brave the crazy locker rooms to drop off our belongings and switch from boots to sneakers.

7:10am: Class starts. It’s legs and flutes day and I start on the floor.  I generally think that all the barry’s trainers are fantastic, unfortunately, this might be the one that got away. The strength moves are way overcomplicated and he never makes it near my end of the room to check form. Fortunately, the running segment is much better.  We have another set of strength and running and we are done. Since we are running overtime, almost everyone has skipped stretching, but I know I’m going to need every stretch I can get if I am going to make it through the academy.

8:15am: I head home.

8:25am: I give Pettitte breakfast part two in his tricky treat ball. He enjoys this while I take a 2 minute shower and throw dry shampoo in my hair.

8:35am I get dressed and do my make up, which consists only of moisturizer, powder and mascara.

8:45am: I read a few emails and play with pettitte for a few more minutes.

8:55am: I put Pettitte in his kennel and head to work.

9:00am: I’m at work.  This is the beauty of basically no commute. I work quickly to finish up a few things before my morning meetings start.

9:30am I dig into the yogurt and cereal I packed for breakfast.

image_1

9:50am  I send one last email and head to my chair meeting which is followed by a committee meeting.

11:40am Meetings are over, so I head to my downtown office.  I have two different offices–note the different colors of the desks.  I generally try to work in one or the other each day, but that rarely works out. At least I get exercise.

12:00pm: Work, work work.

1:30pm: Lunch arrives from Fresh and Co. I love Fresh and Co.  I think they have a lot more variety in ingredients than chopt–for example, they have daiya vegan cheese, brussel sprouts, and all kinds of yumminess.  Their seasonal salads are always fabulous too. I’d eat there everyday if it wasn’t so expensive! $16 later, my lunch: The Sante Fe Salad, chicken, onions, tomatoes, kale, cheese, corn and avocado. Plus, the low fat tex mex dressing that is so nice and spicy.

image

2:00PM A marathon of meetings starts and doesn’t end until 4:45pm.

4:45-5:20pm: I finish up a few things, but don’t even make a dent. Fortunately or unfortunately, I work until 11pm on Wednesdays, so I’ll have plenty of time to get caught up tomorrow.

5:25pm: Greet and walk Pettitte.  He has to do a whole long wag, stretch and hide under the coffee table routine before he’ll go for a walk and he will NOT be rushed.

5:45pm-6:00pm: Back from the walk. I feed Petty in his treat ball. The best trainer advice I got was to never feed a puppy in a bowl.  The ball method gives him some extra exercise. I play with Petty/try to keep him from  chewing up absolutely everything in the house. 7 months is a  very challenging age.

image_4

6:00pm-6:30pm: I hop in the shower, do my make up and get dressed–while still trying to keep the beagle in check.

6:30pm: I hop in a cab to the Princeton Club where I am meeting Frank for an Emory in Your City Alumni Event.  It’s a cocktail reception and lecture about how a dog’s brain works.  The ride is slow, so I open feedly and read Meghann’s post on the WDW 44 Challenge while I sit in traffic.  I  enjoy the post so much that I actually don’t even mind until I finish the post and look at the meter.

7:00pm-8:30pm: I enjoy a few too many passed appetizers and a small glass of wine at the cocktail reception. The lecture is fascinating, if you are into dogs, I suggest you check out the book How Dogs Love Us. 

8:30-9:45pm: Frank and I walk to Ammos Estario for some dinner. We share the  greek salad and zucchini fritters. I also have a few bites of Frank’s fish. Too bad I don’t have a picture of the salad because it was stunning.

image_2

We hop on the subway and our home by 10pm, just in time for Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce–LOVE.

10:00-11:30pm: We watch Girlfriend’s Guide and play with Pettitte.  I feel bad he hasn’t gotten much attention today, so I book him a spot in day care for Friday and confirm his mid-day dog walkers for the next three months.

11:30pm: Brush teeth, remove makeup and go to bed.

Fitness Lover’s Gift Guide

We are down to the wire, but if you are looking for last minute gifts, here are gift ideas at every price point for the fitness lover in your life (or yourself).

Under $25

eos-lip-balm

Eos Lip Balms are just the best! They are great for preventing chapping on those winter runs.  $4.99–available at any drugstore

rw

Runner’s World Subscription.  The gift that keeps on giving–I look forward to seeing this in my mailbox each month, although it’s probably time to go for the iPad subscription at this point. $12

choosingraw-interview

Choosing Raw Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat. A beautifully written book inspired by the beautifully written blog.  I love this book because it is so much more than recipes; it helps you make practical, achievable, healthful changes no matter what your relationship with food. $13

SONY DSC

Gift Certificate to Liquiteria, Hu Kitchen or any local health food spot.  Perfect for post-workout recovery.

Under $50

16483384

C9 Printed Leggings: These come in all kinds of fun colors and prints and they are under $30! I’ve been wearing mine nonstop. It’s a good way test out the print trend at an affordable price point.

15744713

C9 Space Dye Pullover This is another great Target find! It’s cozy and cute.  It’s really warm, so you can wear it in lieu of a jacket for most of the winter.

Srrt58qa_400x400

Gift Cards to Their (Your) Favorite Studio.  May I suggest Refine, Uplift, Barry’s Bootcamp, Soul Cycle, Flywheel, Mile High Run Club and City Row? $30-35

Under $100

IMG_2997__95177.1405427346.1280.1280

Erica Sarah race necklace. On my list every year.  They are the perfect combination of inspiration, victory and elegance. Around $50

tights

Athleta Triangular Be Free Tight Pricey, but Athleta has had the most gorgeous printed tights this year.  I want them all. Bonus, they have a wide range of size options! $74

2687752-p-MULTIVIEW

New Balance Wind Blocker Half Zip Let’s face it, wind is what really makes cold weather running tough.  This top will help stop wind in its tracks so you can journey on.  Plus, I love the side detail along the neckline. $99

Under $175

Finally, some splurges!

shoppingThe Soda Stream Revolution Starter Pack.  We got this as a wedding gift and it’s the best! I love that it has four different fizz settings, so if you are more of a Pelligrino than a Canada Dry, you are all set. As someone who is not a water enthusiast, this thing keeps me hydrated. Bed, Bath and Beyond usually has them, so snag one with a 20% off coupon! $174

clear nbfreshfoam980fem600x600

New Balance Fresh Foams. My favorite new shoe of the year!  I use these for running as well as pretty much all my workout classes. Plus, they are super light if you are lugging them around pre or post workout. $110

LW9G34S_016384_1

Lululemon Weekend Warrior Bag I’m going to admit that I’ve never owned any Lululemon workout bag, but I’ve always wanted one!  I can never justify the price, but as workout bags go, you can’t find many with better style and function. No matter how much schlepping you have to do, this bag has you covered with room for your laptop, yoga mat and water bottle, plus wet/dry compartments for swim gear, dirty shoes and sweaty apparel. $148

Winter Workout Playlist 2014

It’s time for a playlist.  I have to say the end of Gossip Girl has left a serious void in my life where fun indie music finds used to be.  However, I’m liking the sort of throwback vibe of a lot of the songs on this list.  Here are some songs to help your work up a sweat as the temperature drops.Various-Artists-Workout-Music-300x300

Ghost-Ella Henderson
Animal-Maroon 5
Uptown Funk-Mark Ronson
Bang Bang-Jessie J
Habits-Tove Lo
Cool Kids-Echosmith
Shake it Out-Taylor Swift
Lips are Movin‘-Meghan Trainor

Also, don’t forget to enter my New Balance Giveaway!