31 March 2014

Marching on Out

 Woah- News Flash: Today is the last day of March, in case you hadn't checked your calendar. A lot has happened to me this month- a lot of good things, not any bad things- that I can think of... The blog is growing, I am very excited for that- and I have been able to save some money, start a decent work-out plan and am staying on top of my fitness more. I was able to spend time with my mom and sister, one of my best friend's got engaged- I had some fun adventures with my friends, I explored part of Brooklyn, helped create some business for my business. All in all- not too shabby.

My no-cab goal/challenge has been pretty successful- I haven't done a great job of actually keeping track of how  much money I would have saved but I've only taken a cab once or twice to get home late at night and to carry some heavy things. I've haven't taken a cab once to pick-up the kids, which has not only helped my wallet but also given me some more exercise.

I'm really enjoying my new fitbit- with it I've been a lot better at drinking water every day- and I really like the calorie/weight-watching food portion of it. If you are looking for a way to keep track of your fitness, water, sleep, calorie in-take- I would definitely recommend this.

I spent a lot of this weekend relaxing, and hanging out with the cats- they missed me last weekend... I'm finally caught up with The Walking Dead (omg, why do I have to wait until October for it to be back on!!)
Rainy Weekend Blues....
But... I got to use my new corgi umbrella!

Happy Sunday!
I feel like April is going to be a successful month in all things- work, the business, the blog. I'm keeping my same goals to incorporate more fitness into my life, stop taking cabs, try and limit my shopping. I'm excited the weather is getting warmer- I just bought a bunch of cute new dresses from Loft and Gap and am ready to wear them!

I hope everyone had a great March as well, and here is to a fantastic April!


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also joining a fun harry potter link-up with The Grits Blog and Thoroughly Modern- check out some of the cool Harry Potter stuff!
Harry Potter Link UP!

30 March 2014

Sunday Social

A new link-up here, for my lazy Sunday- a Sunday Social! This weeks questions are..

 What is your ideal way to relax: Sitting on the couch watching tv or a movie and enjoying a glass of wine

Where is your favorite place to be: in  a lounge chair on the beach with a book in hand

Who do you consider your biggest role model: my mother and my two sisters

What does your life look like in 3 years? Living in NYC/Philly and helping grow and run our supper successful babysitting service, Sitter Select, with my family.

If you could go back and change one decision what would it be? Turning down a date or two in high-school and college- who knows where those relationships could have gone...

What is your biggest accomplishment in life thus far? Graduating from college and moving to NYC, where I am able to care and support for myself as well as opening a business with my family!

Sunday Social 

Happy to link-up this week- hope everyone is having a fantastic Sunday!  

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28 March 2014

Birchbox

Impromptu post because I just got a notification from Birchbox saying my photo was picked for this weeks Shop and Tell Awards. Go to www.facebook.com/birchbox and "like" my photo to help me win. Thanks everyone!!

get down with the get down


Friday..ahh.. you are back again- and I am oh so thankful!It's been a long crazy week- filled with a lot of shenanigans and heavy lifting . Boo! I'm a very much looking forward to doing nothing this weekend- I love visiting my sister, but when you go out of town for the weekend it sometimes doesn't really feel like a break, anyone else feel like this?

I'm excited to get a much need massage tomorrow, which will hopefully help some of these sore muscles- between starting these kick-my-ass yoga DVDs plus emptying out my bosses second apartment (yes, second), I am in need of some relaxation. I plan to watch a lot of tv and drink a bottle or two of wine : )

Exciting things happened this week nevertheless- and I'm joining the Five On Friday Link-Up with Christina, April, Natasha, and  Darci   to share them

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

1) I got an awesome $13.39 kindle book credit on amazon- oh yeah, new books!



2) The Sprinkles 24-Hr Cupcake ATM (yes 24 hours a day) finally opened here on  Tuesday!! I have yet to stop by but believe me I will
3) I then saw Suri Cruise in a store on the UES (Upper East Side)- totally random, as every celeb encounter tends to be, but she seemed like a happy normal little girl. She was with some friends, wasn't acting like a brat- unfortunately no Katie or Tom in sight...
Suri Cruise, in case you forgot what she looks like- we were in the same room!
4) I received my new Kate Spade purse in the mail! I blogged about this yesterday (check it out!)- but my computer was being wonky so I couldn't post any pictures. Here it is!

5)  And has anyone else watched this video? It's been making me laugh all week...

And of course I'm spreading my love of music with Whitney's #backthatazzup Friday. Have a great weekend!!


Hunter by Pharrell Williams on Grooveshark
(I'm on Pharrell kick, sue me)
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27 March 2014

My Newest Obsession

Thanks to Nicole over at A Dash of Gold- I've discovered a new love, the Kate Spade Cobble Hill Little Minka purse.


When I first saw it on her blog - I thought "I must have this!"- and so the search began...

I tried the normal stops first, the Kate Spade website, Nordstroms, Bloomingdales but the retail price of the purse is $378- not horrible in the world of designer but not a price I was currently willing to spend.

and then I discovered that the purse has, and does come in a multitude of colors.



So of course, I switched my searching directions to eBay. There I hit the motherload- almost every color was available in some form. The price range dropped to $190-215, much more reasonable in my opinion. I bid, I watched- I chewed on my nails in anticipation... and I won!

I'm super excited that it came in the mail finally and I will probably be ridiculous and buy another one at some point in the future. Or one of the Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon totes that everyone and their mother has... Look ma, I'm a grown-up now! 


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26 March 2014

FitBit


Last week and this past weekend I went on a bit of a healthy living scheme- not that I ate healthy or anything but I really did some research on ways I can improve my health and my fitness. Before I started this new job, I ran 3-5 times a week- usually before work because I had a lot of time (I didn't go into work until 11:30 or 1 most days). But with this new job, I have to be at work at 7:30 am and starting this summer it may be even earlier. This makes it pretty hard to be motivated to work-out. And on top of that, I get hunger at early hours of the day. When you eat breakfast at 6:45/7 around 9:30/10 you are ready for lunch- ugh.

For awhile last year from spring to the end of summer I had a Jawbone UP band. It was similar to the fitbit- it recorded the steps I took, how I slept at night, I could log in how much water I drank, the calories I ate. That, and along with running, I was doing pretty well in the health/fitness department. I wasn't at the best shape of my life but I felt good about myself and noticed a difference in my clothes. Despite the label of being waterproof though- the UP band quit on my twice! I went ahead and replaced it the first time, but after the second time I just didn't think it was worth it anymore.
look at all these classy colors...

Fast forward to several vacations and the lack of running and unfortunately I'm feeling not as great as I once did- I am really set on trying to find a way to work in more exercise during the workday and get back into some better shape. So I bought a FitBit Flex. Just like the UP band, it tracks my steps each day, my sleeping habits, and it has a way to let me log in water, food or any other important items- you can even set-up a weight loss plan with it.. I also really like that it is wireless and can sync with both  my iphone and my computer.The band is priced pretty well too- you can check out the site here- $99 for the band I bought, plus free shipping. The UP band is now the same and nike fuel band, which is also comparable, is more expensive.

I'm on Day 2 1/2 of the band now - and so far so good, it updates itself frequently and whenever you open the app, which I like. I also set-up the weight-loss part and have been trying my best to log my calories in. You have to tap it to make the sleep part work- which has taking some getting used to, and they don't really give you instructions in the box- everything I need to know I've had to look at online. A little weird, but no serious complaints yet! 

Besides buying the band I went ahead and invested into some yoga DVDs. I really like doing yoga but haven't been great about going consistently. I thought with the DVDs it would be easier to pop one in at work and just bring my mat and leave it, instead of finding a good class time, having to travel there and back and so on. Once June rolls around I have to start marathon training for November and I also like doing yoga run I'm done with a run- I tried to pick some good videos via amazon so I will let you all know how they are! I also just read this great article about incorporating yoga at the end of your hike while doing the Appalachian Trail. You know walk all day, do some yoga and then pass out. If I do the DVDs long enough hopefully the routines will be stuck in my brain for some time.


Does anyone else have a fitbit? Let's be friends- my email address is rjlee2009@gmail.com. I'm hoping all these things will help me get back into a better routine- I know once I actually start going I will be a lot happier!
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25 March 2014

Hummus and Kale Tabbouleh

If I haven't mentioned it before- I'm mentioning it now, I'm Jewish - born and raised. I had my Bat Mitzvah and have done the Birthright Trip to Israel. Hummus and Tabbouleh are in my blood.Funny enough though, I never even attempted to make either until a few months ago.

But once you make your own, you never go back. First off- it's so much easier than I even expected it to be. Second- it's delicious, and you can make all the fun variations just like you see in the store. It takes 20-30 mins to make both dishes and you then have some great snacks or dinner for the week. Add some pita bread and boom- you're golden.

I always start with making the tabbouleh first- just because you have to cook the bulgur.

Kale Tabbouleh

Ingredients:

 2/3 Cup fine bulgur
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tsps ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp sea salt, more as needed
1/2 evoo, more as needed
1 bunch of kale, stems removed, leaves finely chopped (approx 5 Cups)
2 lg ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup torn mint leaves
1/2 cup diced radishes
black pepper as needed














Directions:
1. Cook bulgur according to package instructions. cool.
2. In  a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, shallot, cumin and salt. Whisk in olive oil.
3. In a large bowl, toss together bulgur, kale, tomatoes, mint, and radish. Toss in dressing. Season with pepper and more salt if you like, and drizzle with additional oil is desired.








Just like that




Hummus
 (I always double mine- and if you don't have a food processor, try it in the blender and let me know how it goes!)
Ingredients:
1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini (I find this on the same aisle as peanut butter)
half of a large garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 -1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2-3 tbsp water
dash of paprika for serving


Directions:
1. In a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minutes- scrap sides of bowl then process for another 30 seconds- 1 min.

2. Add the olive oil, garlic, cumin, and salt to tahini/lemon juice mixture. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and process for another 30 seconds.

3. Rinse chickpeas well with water. Add half to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1-2 minutes or until mixture is thick and quite smooth.

4. If the hummus is too thick- turn food processor on and slowly add 2-3 tbsp of water until it is the consistency you would like.

5. Scrape hummus out of the bowl and top with olive oil and paprika if you like- then enjoy!


 As usual I'm doing the great Recipe Swap link-up with Kate and Emily. Check out what everyone else made this week and Enjoy!!



Martinis & Bikinis
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24 March 2014

Weekends- that's how I roll

Weekends truly are the best- they would be even nicer if they lasted all week- oh wait, that's a vacation... Due to leaving work early on Thursday and taking Friday off I was able to experience a weekend longer than normal- even so much of it was working. It was still nice though- I did all of that work with my sister, who I hadn't seen since November- it was great to hang out , finally give her her holiday gifts... The usual. We did some shopping after the Amtrak train attacked my jeans and ripped them and then nicely enough I was able to go too happy hour with her and a friend- I honestly don't remember the last time I did a 5'o clock happy hour.

Back to leaving work early on Friday- my mom was in town this weekend to babysit my nephew but before my other sister flew away we went and saw a show on Thursday night, Pippin. I knew the show had own best revival at the Tony's last year but didn't really know what it was about. So I asked my sister who had previously seen it- the conversation went a bit like this- first via text

Mom to M: Bek wants to know what it's about
M: omg it's hilarious- the acrobatics are amazing
Mom: but what is it about
M: the grandma is so funny! You guys will love it

Hmm- so I then call her. "Can you tell me an actually plot line here?" Her response- "there's a dog in it!" Finally I get a two second synopsis- something about a circus and king and son running away.

Needless to say- the acrobatics were amazing, the grandma was super funny, and there was a dog in it. Having seen it now myself- I'm not sure I could still tell you the plot. Haha!

Table sitting at UPenn was nice- we found a few new sitters , but the Inspired Family Conference on Saturday was amazing. We talked to lots of wonderful families, met some beautiful babies and were really able to get our business out there. I think great things are in store for us!

Sunday we went to breakfast at Federal Doughnuts which was amazeballs- some of the best doughnuts I have ever had. I ate a hot vanilla lavender doughnut and a fancy chocolate sea salt. And  I would have ate many many more had I the time or stomach capacity.

After doughnuts we went to a wedding/bridal show (my sister is getting married in October) out in NJ- this trip was mainly for the food- my sister and her fiance went last year and said the food was amazing, but this year was a bit of a let down- womp womp. This just led us to go eat more food- over at The Jughandle Inn which is a semi-famous bar that was down the street from the wedding place and well known for their wings (they've been featured on "The View" and "The Food Network"). I must say- the wings were pretty good, not as spicy as I would have expected a medium sauce to be- but still delicious.

I ended Sunday by introducing my sister and her fiance to Frozen- neither had seen it so it was an exciting adventure! I bought Frozen and Catching Fire last week- so we watched that one too. Then I got back on the train and went home to NYC- I had a wonderful weekend catching up with my sister and eating a ridiculous amount of food. 

And congratulations to Kait over at Kait Makes a Run for It for winning my giveaway!
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21 March 2014

Phila-Phila-delphia!

I took a day off from work! Oh my goodness- I know- it's amazing, I don't think I've had a day off since the beginning of the year. wow. Even so, it's not technically a day off off- I'm headed to Philadelphia to work and promote the babysitting business I am part-owner of.

*Reminder- I own a wonderful babysitting service with my sister and mother, it's ran out of Philadelphia, called Sitter Select*

Anyways- if you are in the Philadelphia area- we are table sitting today at the University of Pennsylvania. And handing out chocolate. If you are still in the area tomorrow we are participating in the Inspired Family conference being held at Temple University. This is a wonderful conference that is hosting many excellent family businesses in the Philadelphia area as well as many insightful workshops and talks about raising children of all ages. Be sure to check out their website for more information and tickets, even if you can't make it this year- you should stop by next years as well!

I'm a big fan of Philadelphia- mostly because my sister lives there, but the city also has some excellent restaurants and I adore the history!

If you have never been- it should for sure be on your travel list. My mother, sisters and I took a long-weekend vacation a few years, and since then one of my sisters has moved there. Here are some flashback pics from our  trip- which I just figured out was almost 4 years ago! Crazy how time flies...



Ghost Hunting!
the Liberty Bell


Reading Terminal Market- one of the  best places in Philly
I hope everyone is having a great Friday and has an even better weekend! And thank you to Whitney over at I Wore Yoga Pants for one of the best link-ups of the week- #backthatazzup


Troublemaker (feat. Flo Rida) by Olly Murs on Grooveshark

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and as a reminder- Sunday is the last day for the giveaway- don't forget to enter!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway