Monday, August 31, 2009

What's the most random word you know?

One time I was reading a book and the author used the word "rubicund" like twenty times. After the third time, I was like, OK, enough I must look this word up. Here's the definition from Merriam Webster's online dictionary:

  • Main Entry: ru·bi·cund 
  • Pronunciation: \ˈrü-bi-(ˌ)kənd\
  • Function: adjective
  • Etymology: Middle English rubicunde, from Latin rubicundus, from rubēre to be red; akin to Latinrubeus

Right. Rubicund means red. I suppose now that I think about it, it does make quite a bit of sense. Isn't a rhubarb plant red in color? I guess I'm just confused as to why anyone would use the word rubicund instead of red. I've known the meaning of this word for a while now and it hasn't even crossed my mind to use it once, or to even try to. Is that what people do? Do they look  for opportunities to showcase what's in their vocab repertoire? Actually, I admit, I do this on occasion—it helps me remember the meaning of a new word I've learned. But rubicund? I will never understand that one. 

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What random/fancy words do you like to use?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Skinny Bitch Food Diary: Take 1

As you may have noticed, I love talking about food and I'm always curious to know what other people are eating. SO, I've asked all of the skinny bitches I know and love to document one day of eating so the rest of us average folk can get a peek inside the world unknown. 

This is Courtenay, one of my very best friends in the world. Court is blessed with good genes (she would have to stuff her face with Oreos all day just to be a size 4), but I am happy to say that she really works for her svelte shape, too.

This is a pic of Court and I at a Clemson/Georgia Tech football game two years ago. I think we were the only Tiger fans in the entire stadium not wearing orange. Oops.

Here is one day of Court's food diary:

Morning: I woke up hungry and knew I would not last until my normal 10am breakfast, so I ate two pieces of turkey bacon on the way to work. I also indulged (since it is my birthday week) and had a cookie, too.

Breakfast: Once I got to work, I had my usual breakfast: Greek yogurt and Kashi Go Lean cereal. I eat this every morning—not only is it really healthy, but I love it!

Pre-workout: I am lucky in the fact that I can work out on my lunch break. So before I headed to the gym, I had a handful of almonds for a little protein.

Lunch: I usually have a light lunch because my dinner is usually pretty heavy. (Even though I know that's bad!) So, for lunch I had a granny smith apple with natural honey peanut butter, and a grilled chicken salad with Paul Newmans’ Lime Vinaigrette—it' so good, you have to try it!!

Snack: By mid-afternoon, work really slowed down. I'm feeling a little bored, so I know I must avoid heavy snacking and mindless eating. I have two handfuls of cheddar pretzels and a Diet Dr. Pepper.

Dinner: I had a meeting right after work and of course wine is there. Before I know it, I drink 2 glasses and have some bruschetta. I rushed home so I could change before seeing a movie with my hubby and ate a peanut butter and jelly on the way to the theater. At the theater, I devoured handfuls of popcorn. I finished the night with a 14-calorie popsicle because I always have to have a sweet treat every night!

My verdict: Courtenay hit it just right with her healthy choices and indulgences—it's all about balance. Now, I know that I personally probably would not be able to consume this calorie intake on a daily basis and maintain my weight. (Not that it is a lot, I just have an unfortunate metabolism). HOWEVER, I'm sure Court has never done this

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What do you think of Court's food diary? How would it compare to yours?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Photo Shoot Friday: Vacation Edition!

OK, so my original idea for this Photo Shoot Friday was to take pics of people going to work in the morning. I attempted this, but had such a hard time being discreet that after a few nasty looks, I decided to stop. I have not given up on this though—you will see PSF: Work Edition in the near future!

So, I had to take the easy way out and use photos I already had. Here are a few pics from the Mexico trip Luke and I took last summer. I suppose this is fitting since we are in Spain right now!         

We stayed in a resort in Playa Del Carmen. (I'm blanking on the name, but if anyone wants to know I can find out!). It was one of the cheapest places to stay that we looked at, and it was sooo nice. I like that we chose a place with character over a stuffy hotel. With a poolside view like that, I can deal with a leaky faucet and a few cold showers any day!



Here I am getting ready to hit the pool. I laughed when I saw this pic—I kinda look like a Kim Kardashian wannabe! (Wannabe is the operative word.)


Here we are sipping a couple beers after dinner. We looked for other cool couples to wile out with the entire trip, but never found any. It didn't bother us too much though, we made our own fun, and even went clubbing one night!

It was a great vacation! What's the best vacay you've been on to date?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hola from Malaga!

Hey everyone, just checking in to say Hi before I head off for a run by the beach! Last night was a bit more tame for me, but I can´t say the same for the rest of the group. I woke up at 9am this morning to find five guys and one girl (way to represent, Orla!) still awake from the night before, throwing back beers and pumping their fists to Dizzee Rascal blaring on the iPod. It was a hilarious sight--I couldn´t help but to crack open a bottle of San Miguel and join in on the fun. We later found out that we´ve already had two noise complaints--one at 4am and another at 8:30am--Oops!

The guys had their bachelor party last night, and from the sounds of it, I think they closely reenacted scenes from The Hangover. One of the groomsmen got punched in the face and is rockin´a serious purple and blue shiner at the moment. Hmm, I´m not sure how excited the bride will be to see that!

Alright, I´m going to squeeze in a little exercise before we get our night started. If anyone can help me with the rules for Circle of Death, I´d really appreciate it! Otherwise, I´ll have to make them up!

Adios!

Has anyone ever asked you if you were pregnant when you, um, weren't?

Last year I was at the movies by myself on a Sunday night—my Monday "work blues" ritual. I was so unhappy in my job that I always dreaded going back for another work week, and somehow going to the movies was the only thing that made me feel a little bit better.

So I went to the concession counter and ordered a chicken finger combo (complete with curly fries and a large Diet Coke) and Milk Duds. As you can see, I ate my feelings on Sunday nights. (This was such a bad habit; I am not proud to be admitting this right now.) A greasy chicken finger combo sounds gross to me now (well, the curly fries still sound pretty good!)—I can safely say I'll probably never order one of those again. Anyway, out of nowhere, the girl behind the counter asks, "Are you pregnant? I can't tell." OK, if you're even .5% unsure whether or not someone might have a bun in the oven, DO NOT ASK. I gruffly replied, "No."

I can kinda see why she thought I was pregnant. 1.) I was eating enough food for two, er, three people. 2.) I had on this long, flowy high-waisted American Apparel dress that gives my middle a bit of a bump-like look.


I'm recalling this story because the other day when I was waiting for the bus, I watched a pregnant-looking lady smoke two cigarettes in five minutes. I kept staring at her belly. Does she just have a fat gut or is she pregnant? I couldn't decide. It looked firm like a pregnant belly, but I'm praying for the baby's sake that the lady was just fat and carried her weight in a very unfortunate fashion.

Has anyone ever asked you if you were pregnant when you weren't? Have YOU ever asked someone else?? C'mon, someone's gotta have a funny story to share!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hola Mi Amigos!

I´m having an awesome time in Spain so far! My Spanish is no where nearly as good as I thought it was, and it´s getting to the point where I´m too embarrassed to even try. Oh well, all I really need to know to get by is "Quiero una cerveza, por favor!" (I want a beer, please!) For some reason on vacation I always want to drink beer. I should probably switch over to the SkinnyGirl margaritas, but I don´t know if I will. I´ve been keeping my eating (somewhat) in check so I think I´ll be OK.

There´s 17 of us staying in two adjoining villas, so there is never a dull moment. Someone is always up to no good, and scheming on how to recruit people to join in on their antics. I want to teach these English folk how to play the drinking card game, "Circle of Death" but I can´t remember all the rules. Can anyone help me? Here's what I remember:

Ace: Waterfall
King: Categories
Queen: Questions
Jack:
10:
9: Rhyme
8:
7: Heaven (reach for the sky)
6: Chicks drink
5: Guys drink
4: Give a drink away
3: Person on left drinks
2: Person on right drinks
1:

This is kind of pathetic. I´m in Spain and my biggest concern at the moment is to figure out how to play a drinking game. It´s so fun though--someone help me with the rest!! I woke up this morning in a terrible I-will-never-drink-again state, but obviously that is behind me now and I´m ready to do all again! OK, I´m gonna get out of this Internet cafe and enjoy the beautiful weather. Adios!

What's one food you like that you never thought you would?

I never in a million years thought I would eat tofu, let alone like it, but I do. As you know, I think everything Bethenny Frankel says is the Bible, so when she said that everyone must try her recipe for an Idiot Proof Delicious Tofu Salad Sandwich, I did. Here's the recipe:

-7 ounces of firm tofu, drained and mashed with a fork (Nasoya brand is recommended)
-1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
-1 teaspoon of mayonnaise (low-fat or soy if you prefer)
-3/4 Spike seasoning (salt and pepper can be used as a substitute)

I put the spread over a piece of toasted whole grain bread with a slice of cheese on top. Yum! At first the watery, packaged tofu skeeved me out, but once I mixed all the ingredients together, I had a very appetizing looking sandwich in front of me. I ate this exact same sandwich three times a week for about a month—partly because I really liked it and partly because I was worried the tofu would go bad. Needless to say, I got a little sick of it, but I've recently been craving it again, so I think I'll put these ingredients back on my grocery list.

Logan and I sampled this barbeque tofu salad at Whole Foods last week. It was reallly good. Then we headed for the dessert aisle and tasted Laura's Wholesome Junk Food cookies. Yum!

What are your thoughts on tofu—gross, delicious or indifferent? And what food do you like now that you never thought you would?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The girl who LOST her job is giving you advice on how to land one!

One thing Luke's youngest brother, Robert and I have in common (besides our hilarious wit and obvious good looks) is that we are both on the job hunt. Rob recently graduated from college, and even though my current semi-jobless situation totally sucks right now, I would not want to trade places with him for the world. Rob, I'm not being harsh--let me explain.





When I graduated from college, I was beyond confused. I had no idea what on earth I wanted to do, so I went back home to Kentucky and waited tables to earn a little cash while I figured it out. For the first few months, it was great. I was partying, making good money, going to the pool, traveling (my week in New Orleans during Mardi Gras was the highlight--hi Leah!!!), life was great. But then it stopped being fun. When was I going to grow up and figure my life out? It felt like never. I was beyond depressed.

Liza had moved to New York and when I went to visit, I knew this is where I needed to be. I went back to Kentucky and started applying for all types of entertainment-related jobs and internships in NYC. I scored a paid internship at a cool indie music PR company called Shore Fire Media, and a month later I was on a plane to start my new life in The Big Apple.

I loved my internship and ended up getting another one at a teeny bopper mag (where I later got my first real job). Before I got that first job though, I went through another phase of being really down. So when Robert talked to me about his frustrations on landing a job, I could more than relate. Here is the main piece of advice I gave him:

Network, network, network. This is key, especially living in a big city like New York and London where the competition is really tough. Something I've done very consistently for the last five years (even when I had a FT job) is to send random emails to editors asking if they had ten minutes to meet me for an "informational interview." Some people never respond, some people say they are too busy, but there is the occasional person that will say yes. Having face time is so valuable because you can really let your personality shine in a way no one will ever get to see over an email. Plus, if you hit it off, the person might offer to introduce you to collegues or other friends in the same industry--that domino effect has happened to me quit a bit because I'm constantly putting myself out there, and it has helped a lot.

Use these opportunities wisely--ask questions and impress the person with your own ideas and knowledge on your favorite subjects. One time I met with an editor at Shape magazine, and by the end of our chat, she had assigned me to write a story based on one of the ideas I pitched her. That was almost two years ago, and it's still one of my very best and most impressive articles to date.

I know everyone has probably heard this advice before, but not enough people actually follow it. It does take effort and a lot of persistence. If you're passionate about what you're doing and work hard (I mean really hard), you won't fail. The best things in life are usually the hardest to obtain, but once you get there it is the greatest feeling. I need to remind myself of that more often. Geeze, I'm really getting all cliche up in this piece--sorry!

Does anyone else have any job advice for me and Robert?? We could use it! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who was your childhood idol?

I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger and I was beyond obsessed with Summer Sanders. (She was an Olympic swimmer who won an insane number of medals for anyone who may not know). I wanted to be just like her. Well, that didn't happen. I didn't go to Stanford for college like she did (I seriously thought I would until I got old enough to realize my SAT scores wouldn't cut it, not even close), and I certainly do not have a case full of Olympic medals just chillin' in my apartment. But aside from her amazing talent, I loved her because she just seemed like a nice person.

Well, last winter Jenn and I attended a PUMA fashion event that Summer was going to be hosting. I was so. freaking. excited. But then I got nervous. What if she isn't nice at all? What if she's nothing like the person I created her to be in my head all those years? Then I started talking myself out of even trying to meet her. Ohh, look, she's busy talking to so many people, there's no way I can interrupt. But when I mentioned my childhood obsession to the publicist for PUMA, she said, "Oh, I'll bring her right over!" And she did. She took Summer away from the swarm of people she was talking to to meet ME.

As soon and Summer said hi I just started rambling about how much I loooved her. (I had had a few glasses of wine by this point, naturally). I joked about not being smart enough to get into Stanford, and she laughed and said, "Oh believe me, I really wasn't either!"


We chatted for a solid ten minutes, and Summer lived up to all my expectations and more. She was so nice and really cool, too. She told me that she isn't in the pool nearly as much as she'd like to be these days, but enjoys running and yoga (hey, me too!). And look at her arms. Aren't they perfection? She said they got so sculpted by toting around her tot all day long. Now, normally I hate when celebrities say things like "I stay in shape by chasing my kid around on the playground," but Summer could have said she worshipped Satan at that moment and I wouldn't have batted an eyelash.

It really is amazing to meet one of your idols. Luke actually met one of his last year when we were in Paris—Steve Merchant (the genius behind the British Office). We were at dinner when Steve walked by our table to go to the restroom. Luke turned to me and said, "OK, Ellen, get the camera ready. When he comes out of the restroom, I am going to ask if he will get a picture with me. You cannot f**k this up. Please do not f**k this up," in a very serious (/scary) tone.

Steve was really cool and agreed to get a quick picture taken. As soon as I took the picture and looked at it, my face froze in horror. It was blurry. Holy shit, holy shit, Luke's going to kill me! Thankfully, Steve said, "Hey, let's get another one just in case." My second attempt was much better. Thank you Steve Merchant for saving my life.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I had a lot of fun recalling those memories though. What about you: Who are your idols? What would you do if you ever got to meet them? Or have you already?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What six words describe you best?

I saw this cute piece of artwork in Union Square the other day and just loved it!



I asked the artist what he called it and he um, didn't know. Little did he know I was going to give it a shout on my blog. (Get to work on those marketing skills, dude!) This would be an adorable present to give a friend. I love presents that just make you feel good, and this is one of them. Did you notice the "fabulous" tag at the top right—love it!

If you had to describe yourself in six words, what would they be? For myself, I'd say: Kind, funny (kinda, sorta), sensitive, loyal, thoughtful and fab.u.lous! ;)









Late night munchies: Take 2

Last night Luke's mom had a party at her house in St. Albans, an adorable town 20 minutes outside of London.



Here's Luke with his mom and two younger brothers Joe and Robert. What a good lookin' family! We all had a great time eating, drinking and catching up. I can report that I made it through the night unscathed, with no embarrassing moments. (The dress I wore was quite short so I wore a pair of shorts underneath. I was a bit paranoid still!)


Normally on vacation, I loosen up on the eating as soon as I get to the airport; however, I made a vow to myself that I would be more mindful on what I'm putting into my mouth this trip. I was doing well until about 2am this morning. After several glasses of wine, I attacked this delicious banoffee pie. I had two big pieces! (Mind you, I had already had a piece earlier in the night). In all honesty, I was sober enough to realize that I didn't actually want to stuff my face with pie, but I did it anyway. Have you ever had banoffee pie though? It is so good. Next time you have company over, impress them by making this wonderful English dessert. Here's how.

I'm having total eater's remorse this morning, but I'm not going to let it derail me for the rest of my trip. I'm off for a run in Verulamium Park to burn off a few of those calories, and then we're going to meet up with Luke's dad and his side of the family for a "muck about." (We're going to a park to play soccer, er, football and other various games. Should be fun!)

The only thing making me feel slightly better about my late night pie eating session is that I didn't do this.

Did anyone else pig out on pizza or Doritos last night? Anyone? Anyone? Don't leave me hanging here!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm alive...

But just barely. Instead of sleeping on my flight over to London, I thought it would be more fun to play countless games of Tetris and watch I Love You Man. I'm smart like that. I've slept for about an hour in the last 30 hours. I was so excited to be here that I went out exploring instead of taking a nap. I think a nap is in order though if I want to enjoy my night! I'm going to try to get some cool pics up later. But until then...



"Cheers, mates!" :)

Have you ever totally embarrassed yourself in front of your boyfriend's family?

I have. Oh you KNOW I have. Right now I'm in London spending some time with Luke's family, and it made me think about the last time I was here. We were at Luke's grandparents for a cookout and I wore this Calypso dress.


I thought this was a nice choice for a family function—not too trendy, but just stylish enough. I was in the backyard talking to Luke's uncles and grandfather when a huge gush of wind came and blew my dress up to my ears. Up. to. my. EARS. Even as I tried to hold the dress down, it was fighting to fly back up. I jumped behind Luke as the men just stared at me with their jaws on the floor. It was sooo embarrassing. I tried to play it off by saying, "I guess this is the perfect time for a beer!" It took me a good 30 minutes to get over the fact that Luke's grandfather saw my undies. They weren't even cute undies, but maybe it would have been more embarrassing if I had been rockin' a lacy thong? I don't know. 

I need to make a better impression on Luke's family this time around. Especially his grandfather. I can never ever understand what is coming out of his mouth—his Irish accent is so thick. Whenever he talks I'm always like, "What, I'm sorry, what did you say?" "Huh?" Or, I just keep my mouth shut, and smile like an idiot. 

Say a prayer that I survive the day without any embarrassing moments! Can anyone else feel my pain? Any embarrasssing moments to share today??



Luke's grandfather has seen me in my panties. Or, my knickers, depending on where you live. 

Friday, August 21, 2009

Viva Espana!

Well guys, I'm heading off to the airport! Luke and I will be in London for a few days visiting his family, and then we're off to Spain for a week! Don't worry though, I have new daily posts already set for the next ten days, and if I do happen to have any internet access, I'll fill you in on my travels. I have a feeling there won't be a lack of funny stories to share!



I feel OK about my packing. I usually go waaay overboard, but I kept it in check this time. Kinda.

Luke has asked me twenty times today already if I have packed my passport. When we first met, not only had I not ever been out of the country, but I didn't even own a passport! 

Adios readers! Don't forget about me while I'm gone—I'd still love to have your comments. Comments MAKE my day :)

Does anyone else have any fun trips planned before summer is officially over??

Ellen: 1, Tasti-D-Lite: 0

As I rushed around Duane Reade today picking up travel size bottles of Salon Selectives and enough magazines to keep me occupied during an 8-hour flight, I got a major sweet tooth. Major. At the checkout counter, I bought a pack of Trident gum in hopes that it would curb my craving. So I popped two pieces in mouth, but of course I still wasn't satisfied. Tasti-D-Lite is only a block away I thought. So I walked to TD with a plan to get just a teeny tiny cup of chocolate and vanilla swirl.

I walked into the store and surveyed the flavors of the day. Ohh, Coffee Toffee my favorite. And then it happened. I walked out of the store...EMPTY HANDED!!! (I'll just picture each one of you chanting my name and putting up your hand for a high five right now!) I must say, it felt pretty good saying no to TD—for once

Hopefully the next time I get the late night munchies, I'll remember this moment. Tell me, what's your favorite flavor of ice cream or frozen yogurt?

Photo Shoot Friday!

Morning FnF readers! I need your help—stat! When I was packing last night, I just couldn't decide which dress to wear to the wedding in Spain. I tried on these four dresses. 

I really like this dress, and it feels very Spain to me, but maybe it would be better to save for going out at night??

I love this Catherine Malandrino dress. (Vanessa Minnillo has it too. I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing??) It was so hot in my apartment last night that I was just too sticky to try it on, so this pic is from a wedding a few years ago. The eyelet halter neck gives the dress a Spain vibe as well, no?

This is Liza's dress that she got at a Vera Wang sample sale a couple years ago. It's pretty awesome. I couldn't even zip it up last year, so I'm thinking maybe I should wear it for that reason alone. Plus, I love dresses with pockets!

This pic doesn't really do the dress justice. I think I need a different bra or something because it's looking a little funky up top. It's really cool though, and I love the ruffle collar!

Which dress should I wear to the wedding? Help me, help me! I'm leaving for the airport in eight hours!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Are you ready for this? I got a mani/pedi today!!!

It would have been pretty sweet to have waited until my 100th day anniversary (today is my 90th) without a mani/pedi, but since I am leaving for Spain tomorrow and don't want to embarrass Luke in front of his friends with my gnarly nails and foot calluses, I gave in. 

 I go to Jin Nails on the Upper East Side. The closer I came toward that sign that says "NAIL" (not sure why there's no S on the end, but whateves), the happier I got. 


I thought the sign outside was funny. Inflation's a bitch, isn't it? The mani/pedi special went from $22 to $25 to now $26.50. I'm not complaining though—it's still a pretty good deal. 

I've stayed loyal to Jin for the past two years, but when I walked in, everyone gave me a hard time by saying "Ohhh, she must have been going somewhere else to get her nails done all this time!" I love the women that work there—they are so cute and fun. I was lucky enough to get my favorite girl, Vivaldi. Sometimes she gives me mini tutorials in Spanish—I want to be fluent one day! Anyyyway, after much thought on what color of polish to choose, I went with Essie's Jelly Apple, one of my favorites.

Vivaldi must have felt sorry for me because she gave me a hot stone foot message for FREE. I was in heaven! Whattaya think? Not bad, right? Well I guess anything is better than this. Eek!

What are your favorite nail polish colors? When do you switch over from the summer to fall shades??

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pizza or veggies: Which one would you choose?

I know the answer to this question seems obvious, but believe it or not, there are lots of people in the world that would pick the veggies over the pizza. (I wish I was one of them!)

 This was my dinner last night. Not very nutritious, huh? The other day I was talking to a relative (Hi Katie!) that told me that her 3 and 4-year-old daughters love eating vegetables right from her garden. They crave it. That just amazed me. My cravings, as you know, typically come in the form of ice cream and pizza. And I'm pretty sure at 4-years-old, I wouldn't be craving anything from a garden unless Pringles were dangling from the branches. I've read that you can "train" your palate to want different foods. Even though I've incorporated more veggies into my diet on a regular basis, I'm pretty sure 9 times out of 10, I would choose the pizza. I hate that. On the bright side, this greasy indulgence has me wanting a healthy lunch today. I think I'll finish up the chicken and broccoli I bought last week.

I'm not going to let myself feel too guilty about grabbing a slice last night. After all, this was the last time I had one.

What about you: would you go for the veggies or pizza?

What am I, your laundry bitch?

This morning Luke asked me, "Hey, can you drop off and pick up my laundry and dry cleaning today? I'm just so busy this week..." Right, and I am kicking up my heels, popping caramels in my mouth while I watch Oprah and reality TV all day for hours on end. (Confession: yesterday I did watch one episode of Brooke Knows Best, and I do occasionally tune in to Dr. Phil.)




I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but this laundry bag is heavy. The longer I stare at it, the less guilty I feel for sneaking (ok, stealing) $10 in change from Luke's coin jar every week for my bus fares. Conveniently, his dry cleaning place is open from 9am-6pm. Luke is usually at work by 7:30/8am and home at 8pm or later. Hmmm...looks like someone will be making the long 40-minute trek from her Upper East Side apartment to the Lower East Side tomorrow to pick up some dry cleaning! Awesome!

It gets better. Later this morning I got an email from Liza saying:

I realize you have a lot going on, but could you pick up my laundry and dry cleaning? I left the yellow slips on the coffee table. I would be forever grateful! Let me know.

I must say, I do appreciate Liza's passive-aggressive approach over Luke's direct one. But don't think for a second that you have me fooled, Liza. "I realize you have a lot going on.." Right there, she's easing me into her question by showing empathy. And then ending with "forever grateful" reinforces her appreciation and makes it sound as if this is the very last favor she will everrrr ever ever ask of me again. Please, I know these tricks. I invented these tricks.

Right, I get it. Everyone assumes I have the time to do these "little" favors here and there because I don't have a full-time job and an office to go to every day. But just in case there are skeptics out there that wonder what the heck I am doing all day long, I will tell you.

This morning I woke up at 6:15am and completed the following before noon:

-Scoured job websites for new postings
-Applied to three jobs and wrote three different cover letters (cover letters suuuuck!)
-Dropped off Luke's laundry and dry cleaning
-Wrote two blogs
-Sent out five follow-up emails to editors
-Did my 30-minute Physique57 video
-Ran across the Williamsburg bridge and back

Maybe it doesn't seem like quite so much now that I'm looking at it. All I know is, I've been non-stop since I woke up this morning. I'm actually working harder now than I did when I was working full-time. I can now say that I truly understand Rick Ross when he said, "Everyday I'm hustlin'." Rick, I am HUSTLIN' yo. The only difference is, I don't have 20 mill in the bank with ice dripping from my wrists.

Ok, this is the moment where I stop throwing a pity party and remind myself of this.

But does anyone out there feel for me just a little? Can you relate??

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Margaritaville

Last year when Luke and I were in Mexico, I drank margaritas like nobody's business. I know that the sugar in just one drink is probably two days worth of what your sugar intake should be, but sometimes you gotta live in the moment! That being said, I came back to New York with a few extra pounds and tighter fitting jeans. Not cool.

Now that Luke and I are gearing up for our Spain trip (leaving Friday, woohoo!), I'm already thinking about the kinds of alcohol I will be consuming and how many calories each drink will set me back. I'll most likely be drinking wine and beer, which normally wouldn't be so bad. But this isn't going to be a normal, relaxing vacation. It's going to closely resemble my 2000 Spring Break in Panama City (minus the gross guys in skin-tight V-neck tees). We will be drinking a lot.


We're going to Malaga, Spain for Luke's friend, Jonathan's wedding—he's a groomsman. There's a group of about twenty of us that are staying in two villas. I absolutely love Luke's friends—they are a wild bunch, and every time I am with them, I am equally as wild. SO my plan of attack to cut calories on my beverage consumption is to bring this piece of paper with me on my trip:


This, of course, is Bethenny Frankel's recipe for a Skinnygirl Margarita. I copied it out of her book Naturally Thin. It's approximately 100 calories per serving—not bad for a liquor drink! (As you may already know, this is not the first time I've written about Bethenny, and it won't be the last!)

What do you think, will the bartenders in Spain be down for making me my own special, low-cal cocktail? What's your favorite drink to have on vacation?

Birthday Recap

Even though I had very limited funds to do anything extravagant for Luke's birthday, it was a total success! (He said it was his best one yet, but I don't know about that.)

We started the night by going to a private performance by a new Capitol recording artist, Priscilla Renea. I admit, I was lured to the event by the promise of free alcohol and food, and I'm so glad I went. Priscilla was amazing and so cute too! See for yourself: 

                                       video           

My apologies for the poor video quality and for cutting it off way too early. I had a hard time recording it over a girl's head that kept getting in my view, and then my camera ran out of memory! Anyway, I'd say Priscilla is a mix of Lauryn Hill, Regina Spektor and Erykah Badu all rolled into one. I loved her voice and how relatable her songs were. Later in the night she busted out her guitar—Luke was just as impressed as I was!

Next we headed to an Italian restaurant called Pepe Giallo for dinner. We sat in the back garden area—it was so cool! 

The atmosphere was low-key, and the food was good and cheap—just how I like it! While we sipped/chugged (jk!) our wine—white for me, red for Luke—we shared a simple, but yummy caesar salad. I don't remember the last time I had one!


I ordered the lemon chicken and broccoli for my entree and Luke got the pesto ravioli. Both were delish! 
 
 If I had to be nit-picky, I'd say my dish was a bit on the oily side. I need to start telling waiters to ask the chefs to go light on the oil. (Is that super-annoying??)


This wasn't one of those ravioli dishes where you finished still feeling hungry, wishing you had gotten something else. It was just right. We were actually quite full, but of course we made room for dessert! Here's Luke with a slice of flour-less chocolate birthday cake. Now you see it...

 
...and now you don't!

We left one bite to make us feel like we had at least a little self-control, but there wasn't much willpower or control happening in this situation—it was SO good. Question for you health experts (Rain, you reading?): What exactly does flour-less cake mean? It sounds healthy, but from the taste of this one, I don't think that's the case! I would just look it up, but I'm feeling lazy at the moment ;)


Oh and here is a pic of me in my new shoes. Aren't they hot? The heels are pretty high, but they actually weren't too hard to walk in. I love them!

 Last night was one of those moments when I looked around and thought, I love this city. New York's energy makes the simplest things so much fun. What a great night!

Tell me: What city do you live in? And what do you love most about it?

I just joined Twitter. Now what?

OK, I did it. I joined Twitter. I said this day would never come, although secretly in the back of my mind I knew it would. But now what? How many times should I "tweet" and WHAT on earth should I tweet about? (Like, does anyone really care that my ass is so sore from doing my Physique 57 video yesterday that I am walking with a weird limp?) Is the quantity of tweets more important than the quality or vice versa?

And, how do I get followers? Is this the same thing as requesting friends on Facebook?  I promise I'm not feigning ignorance in an attempt to be cute or funny. I need help! 

In case anyone missed the reason why I was so reluctant to join Twitter in the first place, read it here. Please oh please no one talk smack about me again!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I've decided, New York City wants me to be fat.

Everything in New York seems to be on wheels these days. Ice cream trucks, coffee trucks, taco trucks, dumpling trucks, and now...CUPCAKE TRUCKS. Ok, so who's the asshole that came up with this crazy (/genius) invention?


I need someone to blame this on, so Mayor Bloomberg, this one's on YOU. (Do you want to be re-elected?) Yes, it's fantastic that McDonald's has a calorie count of everything on their menu, but now it's easier than ever to just pop a cupcake (or five) into your mouth. Sweet.



After studying this menu for a couple minutes, I can proudly report that I did not buy one single cupcake. It wasn't easy being a bystander as other people excitedly placed their Red Velvet and Cookie Dough cupcake orders. And then I had to listen to a girl claim, "Ohhh, this is SO good. Oh my gosh...oh. my. gosh." (um, maybe she was simultaneously having an orgasm?) as she licked every last drop of icing off her fingertips.

Oh, I do love cupcakes. Cupcakes come in a close second to ice cream, but I hardly ever eat them. If you're ever in the city, do not get stuck in a tourist trap and go to Magnolia Bakery just because you saw Miranda noshing on one from there in a Sex and the City episode. Yes, the cupcakes are good (I mean, can cupcakes really be bad?), but the icing is too sugary in my opinion, and there are better places. If you want a just a classic, super-moist cupcake with yummy icing, head over to Two Little Red Hens. If you want a really tasty cupcake with a variety of fun flavors (think Snickers, Oreo, Key Lime Pie, Mudpie, M&M, Coconut) try Crumbs. They are heavenly!


Does anyone love cupcakes as much as I do? What's your favorite flavor?

It's Luke's birthday and I'm the one getting presents!!!

Yesterday when I was at Luke's apartment, I saw this tucked away in a corner:

 He went to ZARA without me?! was my first thought. "Get anything good?" I asked in an unconvincing upbeat tone. "Yeah, just a shirt—take a look and let me know what you think," he said. As I opened the bag,  my eyes turned into saucers, my heart started beating faster...I was staring down at this:


It's the shoes. The shoes I told you about on Saturday that I absolutely must have this fall, but mostly likely wouldn't be able to get. Can you believe it? Today is Luke's birthday and I'm the one getting presents. I seriously almost started crying as I was staring at the shoes and thinking about the dinky $25.99 present I got him. The next time I have a full on meltdown because I haven't had a manicure in 90 days (but who's counting?), or can't go shopping with my friends, please, someone slap me across the face and remind me of this moment. Slap me hard.

Unfortunately, I just don't have the money to buy him anything else for his birthday. So in an attempt to start his day off a little more special than usual, I pulled my groceries together and made him this for breakfast:



I know it doesn't look like anything special, but Luke usually gets a large fruit salad every day for breakfast, so at least this was something different. (Plus, fruit leaves you hungry an hour after you eat it—he really should have a heartier breakfast anyway!) This is half of a toasted whole wheat bagel with scrambled eggs (one egg white, one regular) and nonfat cheddar cheese. Add a little pepper and you have a tasty, healthy and easy breakfast! I don't normally love nonfat cheese, but for some reason when it's a little melted, it tastes so much better. 

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to celebrating Luke's birthday tonight. I think I'll wear my new shoes. Hmm, now I just need to figure out what to wear them with!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Hollywood Workout

I'm getting ready to do my Physique57 workout video. It's probably one of the hardest workouts I have ever done, and it never gets easier no matter how many times I do it! Supermodels like Christy Turlington go to Physique57 classes in NYC on the regular, and Kelly Ripa lives for it. I've heard she does it at least four times a week—um, have you seen her bikini body? The workout is great for sculpting and lengthening your muscles, which is exactly what I need. There's one set of moves for your inner thighs that is done with a playground ball—it's so hard, you'll want to throw your DVD player against the wall and smash it into tiny pieces 30 seconds in. It hurts. But, it's worth it. My friend Erin is a Physique57 instructor and her body is sick (she's the cute blonde in the video on the left!)—perfectly sculpted arms, rock hard abs, insanely perky ass—if she wasn't so darn nice, I'd totally hate her. (JK, Erin!)

After the video, I'm going for a run across the Williamsburg bridge. A few months ago, Luke passed Joshua Jackson (aka "Pacey" from Dawson's Creek) on the bridge, and he swears he gave him a little head nod. I was so jealous. I've been keeping my eyes peeled every time I run it, but no Pacey sightings yet!
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What awesome workouts have you been doing this summer? Please share—I need to start mixing mine up a bit more!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What fall fashions are you coveting?

So even though I didn't get anything off my wish list this summer, it's not stopping me from making a new list for the fall. Here it is:

-A navy blazer (goes with everything, always looks chic)
-A fitted denim jacket
-A button-down denim shirt (find out exactly how to wear denim from Liza's shoot in the October issue of Women's Health!)
-Calf-high motorcycle boots
-These ZARA shoes:


OK, so these shoes aren't exactly a necessity, but I kind of love them. They have a Rihanna-esque feel, no? Oh, I also want a pair of thick-rimmed glasses. The whole nerdy-chic look is very in right now. I'm not sure if I can pull it off though. My friend got an awesome pair at Aldo, but of course when I went to get them they were totally sold out. Hmm, maybe Claire's will have a similar style?? (I haven't been in that store since I was 12, but you never know!) 

What's on your fall fashion wish list? If you're not sure yet, get some ideas from this fall fashion slideshow feature I did for Ellegirl.com here!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Photo Shoot Friday

Hey hey! Just got back from my Union Square/ birthday shopping excursion with Logan. We got some pretty cool pics—check 'em out:

This bunny was being filmed as it harassed that girl sitting at the table. It was kind of stupid—didn't even make me chuckle. I have no idea what was going on, but I didn't stick around to find out. 

This girl has mad hula hoop skills. I mean, hula hooping around your calf while standing on one leg? She also did it around her neck, and at one point was bouncing the hula hoop off her back. It was sweet!


This poor guy was not the best violinist in the world. Not by a long shot. I totally believe in paying it forward; I should have given him a dollar. However, the other week I gave these guys a dollar when I was passing by Union Square:


This is a bluegrass band called Larry and His Flask. They were REALLY good. A huge crowded surrounded them in a matter of minutes. My general rule for tossing someone a buck or a couple quarters is that they really have to move me in some way. If I gave every bum in New York a dollar every time they asked for it, I would be even more broke than I already am. 

Meet Logan. He is my good friend and Chief Creative Advisor. He designed the FnF logo, so you know he's a genius. Like me, Logan recently got fired, but he's just as fabulous as ever. We've spent a few Fridays together recently, which is really nice because I hardly have any human contact at all during the day. I'm usually stuck in my little apartment, glued to my computer! Logan and I shopped around SoHo for Luke's birthday present. I took this pic of him in one of his favorite stores, Uniqlo. It's a great place to get quality basics at very affordable prices. If you're ever in NYC, I strongly recommend checking it out—last year I got two pairs of skinny jeans for $50! The next project Logan is helping me with is giving Luke's apartment a makeover. He has impeccable taste (just see for yourself at his blog: atalldrink.blogspot.com ), so I can't wait to see what he will do!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the pics! Have a great weekend—any fun plans in store??

Accessorizing

Last night I went to an Alex and Ani preview party to check out their new fall accessories. The event was so cool—we got to make our own bracelets! I'm so not a crafty person, so I was a bit overwhelmed with all the choices and how to get started, but once I got going I couldn't stop!

Jenn and Tiffany studied all the bracelets for about 60 seconds and then chose exactly what they wanted. They are so in touch with their personal style. Me? I just picked everything I thought was cool and threw it all together.

Here's the final product. Pretty cool, right? And don't you love Tiffany's neon orange watch? It's by ToyWatch—Luke got me a gray one for my birthday last year! Oh, and of course this post wouldn't be complete if I didn't show you a pic of the food.


This brown rice sushi was delish! There was also veggies and hummus, cheese and crackers, fruit and chips and guac. I love that there were so many healthy options. I wanted to take more pics, but I was worried I'd get weird looks from the PR girls if I took more pics of the food than the pretty jewelry on display!

Later we went to a French restaurant called Odeon. I had consumed quite a bit of sushi at the party, so I drank the rest of my meal and snuck bites off of Jenn and Tiff's plates. Over dinner we had a long, important discussion on what we were going to be for Halloween. We do not take this holiday lightly. We came up with a great idea, but you'll have to wait until October to see what it is!

Anyway, I'm off for a run in Central Park, and then I'm meeting my friend Logan in Union Square. The plan is to get some fun pics for "Photo Shoot Friday" and buy Luke a birthday present. Any suggestions on what I should get him???

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grocery Trip

Ok, so I promise my blog hasn't been taken hostage by some weirdo who only wants to post pictures of broccoli and write about trips to the grocery store. However, you all know how excited I was to buy groceries today, so I thought I'd share. 



I had $50 to spend, so I had to make my selections very carefully. I got:
-Fruit: Cherries, 3 apples, grapes
-Veggies: 5 peppers, 1 onion, broccoli (more broccoli!), green beans, 1 sweet potato
-Other: Chicken breasts, 6 eggs, skim milk, Fiber One honey clusters cereal

What I wanted to get but couldn't:
-ICE CREAM
-Grated cheddar cheese
-Pepper (seasoned veggies, who needs 'em?)
-Arugula
-Cherry tomatoes

And it wouldn't be fair if I failed to mention that I broke down and got this little treat later in the afternoon:
Grande. Skim. Latte. My three favorite (well, almost favorite) words in the world. I think a study needs to be done on how Starbucks is an instant mood booster. Are endorphins released when you step foot inside? I wouldn't doubt it.

Anyway, I'm off to meet Jenn and Tiffany for a fashion event and then dinner. Hope I don't run into any of the usual suspects. I'm so not in the mood!

Pay Day

Every day around 1:30pm I walk down the four flights of stairs to my mailbox with as much anticipation as a five year-old on Christmas morning. Will today be the day I get a paycheck in the mail? Nothing about freelancing is predictable—the check could come early, or two weeks late—it comes when it comes and it's usually not at the times I need it most. But yesterday, instead of opening a mailbox full of bills and Crate and Barrel catalogs, I had a mailbox full of bills, Crate and Barrell catalogs AND a paycheck! 


Before I even finished opening the envelope, I had already made a mental list of all the things I would now be able to do:

-Buy Luke a birthday present (something in the form of a nice dinner and a gift, instead of an "IOU" booklet that promises back rubs and home cooked meals) 
-Get a haircut
-Take my dirty clothes to the laundry (Phew, I'm on my last pair of granny panties!)
-Buy groceries
-Pick up meds at the pharmacy
-Pay the cable bill

If I have anything left over I might:

-*Gasp* get a mani/pedi
-Go back and buy that $40 American Apparel shirt dress I put back on the rack the other week (or a few new basic tees)
-Buy a straw fedora (I've been wanting one all summer, and I need it for my vacation next week!)

As much as I hate being broke, it's kind of nice that I can appreciate things like groceries and manicures so much more than I used to. I cannot WAIT to hit up the grocery store today! What do you spend your money on when you have a little extra cash?