This weekend I got to visit one of my best blog friends – Coco – for her baby shower. We got her this (apparently very popular with new moms) California Baby Gift Basket (the “Newborn Tote Bag”).
This baby gift basket contains calendula cream, which I recognize from my mom’s use on me and my siblings when we were young. Calendula is a plant (like a marigold flower); the cream is a natural moisturizer free of synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and other potentially harmful chemicals. It’s a great option if you are trying to be more green and natural. My mom would use it for our dry skin and I know you can also use it for diaper rash and minor cuts and scrapes. I’m tempted to try it for myself! Sounds like it would be useful for everyone, not just babies.
I always like visiting Coco. The party was very international (I think bobby and I were the only native English speakers / American-born people there). But I guess that is pretty typical of DC. While I love New York, DC is a much more international city. New York is a melange of cultures, but it’s a melange that has been in the making for hundreds of years. DC has many more people that were born outside the states and work for international organizations. DC’s vibe has more of an impermanence than NY’s (in my opinion).
The food was great. We had delicious homemade empanadas (I’m hoping for a recipe soon), bread and cheese and meat, desserts, probably other things I am forgetting… a great spread in all. Here is a picture of me and beautiful the mom-to-be:
This morning we woke up fairly early (for a Sunday) and ate a simple breakfast (of shower leftovers – yum) with Coco and her husband. He is so caring and attentive. Such a nice family.
Have you been to a baby shower? Have you visited Washington, DC?
Thanks for all the birthday wishes! I did have a very nice day. I was surprised mid-afternoon Thursday by an ice cream cake:
Apparently my coworkers asked Bobby what kind of cake to get, and he said, “if it’s chocolate, dark chocolate; she doesn’t like normal cake, ice cream is better; something with whipped cream.” It is almost scary how well my husband knows me And my coworkers are the best.
I’m not going to keep being cryptic so here is my big news – I’m starting yoga teacher training this coming weekend and it’s going to go for the next 12 weeks (I have 2 weekends off). I’m not quitting my day job or anything, but I have been wanting to do this for a while and I’m so glad I’m getting the chance to now. (Back in California I did 2 weekend sessions of teacher training but did not complete the 200 hour training.) I can’t wait to share my yoga journey here for the next three months.
Since I’m going to be incredibly busy for the rest of the year, Bobby and I came down to NJ this weekend to spend time with my family and high school friends. We had an awesome time. Bobby and I helped out at the Quaker flea market yesterday (Saturday) by cooking hot dogs and hamburgers and taking down a bridge. I got a few goodies as well – some $.50 cent pillow shams, a dish, some fudge, handmade soap, an adorable laundry basket (whites and darks! but I will use it as his and hers because I don’t separate my colors – do you?), a lazy susan, some cool trays for food, and a bath set (lotions,etc…) … all for under $20 I believe.
I actually have a bunch of weekend link love links for you but I’ll post them tomorrow. In the meantime, I want to share three songs I am loving. For the first – I don’t usually like Diddy all the much, but I really like this song (mainly because of Skylar Grey’s voice – she’s not either of the girls in the video though).
Here is a Skylar Grey song:
And here is an Adele song that Bobby got me hooked on a few days ago. This girl is majorly talented, and her voice is like pure honey.
Sometimes I walk along Central Park in the morning before work, and this is what I see.
The view up the east side of Central Park
The view down a side street (72nd or something) from the park
I think I prefer walking to all other exercise. BodyRock was a good experiment, but I only stuck with it about 2 weeks. I just like walking better, and too much intensity is not fun for me. BodyRock is a great workout if you are into that kind of thing though.
What did you do this weekend?
On Friday night I had a dinner party and had people over, yesterday I got a facial and then spent the day with various friends, and today I will probably be spending the day with friends and running some errands. Friends are the best part of living in New York.
Last night we went out to eat with our friends. We were heading up towards K-town (Korea-town = lots of Korean restaurants all along west 32nd street) when someone said, “Hey, let’s go to Live Bait.” Bobby kind of pulled me aside and said, “Hon, I don’t think you will want anything there.” And I said, “I really do eat anything now, you know!” So we went.
I got fried chicken with 2 veggie sides – collard greens and green beans.
The green beans picture is my own from a while ago… here’s that recipe (it’s an Indian dish but it looks like the beans I had last night). The collards picture is mine too – my recipe for collard greens here.
I cannot remember the last time I had fried chicken. Probably 5 years ago?
There is another personal update that I wanted to share:
I am ditching my scale until January 1st.
The scale has not been going up (or down – and I don’t want it to do either of those actions) lately aside from the 2-3 pound range that comes from eating too much salt or being bloated, but I have decided that I cannot base my day’s happiness on a stupid little number anymore. Maybe I won’t ever weigh myself again, but for now I’m giving myself a timeline of two months. When January 1st comes around I will decide if I even need or want it anymore.
I also quit the gym.
Just not for me. I should have known better. I just need daily walks and occasional (gentle) yoga. Oddly enough, when I am *not* working out I find it much easier to maintain my weight.
How was your weekend? Anything exciting or life-change happening for you?
Last night I met up with a good friend from college. I gave him three options and we ended up at Crêpes du Nord down by the World Trade Center. Crêpes du Nord is a French Scandanavian Crêperie and Winebar – the French part is the crêpe and the Scandinavian parts are the “super fresh” ingredients.
One review said, “Expect vibrant implosions of herbs and delicate wisps of flavor, joining together for a cohesive marriage of zest and texture.” I don’t think the crêpes were quite that descriptive, but they were definitely out-of-this-world delicious! They were also incredibly reasonably priced, and it was a great atmosphere for chatting.
I got the Vegetarian Ratatouille Crêpe ($8) – a savory crêpe made with organic buckwheat flour and wheat flour. It was stuffed with ratatouille vegetables (squash, mushrooms, herbs, spinach, etc…) and the most amazing ricotta. I adore ricotta. (I even eat it for dessert.) The crêpe was topped with ricotta as well. I told myself I wouldn’t eat it all but then I did.
Chris got the signature crêpe, the Crêpe du Nord ($10) – it was the some whole wheat crêpe batter but it was filled with scrambled egg and “dill crême” (?); topped with smoked salmon.
Roundup time! I had an awesome birthday week, and I am so happy to bring you some of my favorites on this beautiful morning I don’t know why I’m in such a fantastic mood (yes I do), but I am, and I’m rolling with it.
Highlights of My Week
I got to meet up with my good friend Gaby not once, but twice! She came with us to Souen on my birthday and then she introduced me to Good Health Cafe (also macrobiotic) on the Upper East Side last night. Too bad she is leaving soon. Gaby is doing 30 Days of Yoga with me.
Did you know high fructose corn syrup has a new name? Not happy about this.
I am off to convince Bobby to go to brunch with me… At Souen. Do you think he’ll go for a third time this week? Can I use the excuse that it’s still my birthday week? I’m going to. I will be back tomorrow with my Project Food Blog post.
What are your favorites from the week and what are you doing this weekend?
Yesterday morning I hopped on the bus to DC to meet up with Coco. I’m on the bus back now (Sunday night). We had a lot of fun; I got to hang out with Coco and her husband (!). Next time Bobby will come along with me and we will go hiking and pick apples. It’s fun doing things with other married people.
Being spontaneous and being with a good friend is a great way to break out of a normal routine. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my daily regimen that I forget to stop and do something different. A weekend getaway is great for that.
A Perfect Blogger Saturday
On Saturday we walked a lot (5-6 miles). We had a yummy Malaysian lunch, we walked through Georgetown, we saw Eat, Pray, Love, and we ended the night with Vietnamese food. This is one dish from lunch (a noodly salad). I would have taken more pictures but I was too wrapped up in hanging out and good conversation!
A Blogger Inspired Sunday Breakfast
This morning we (we = Coco) made HEAB’s coconut pancakes. They were awesome. Unfortunately my stomach has been acting weird and bloaty all weekend so I wasn’t very hungry, but I did have a decent amount of these, plus some cherries. Coco said she changed the recipe slightly, but I don’t know the modifications. You will have to ask her.
We walked off breakfast by strolling through the touristy part of DC near the Whitehouse. Coco had gone running there this morning too before I woke up! (Maybe it wasn’t there… somewhere around there though. She is starting to taper for her half-marathon this weekend.) Think we did around 6 miles of walking. Walking = best way to exercise (in my opinion).
A Say Yes to Salad Lunch
Lunch was green and compost-friendly at Sweet Green (salad of romaine, edamame, cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, and sauteed mushrooms with some yummy creamy dressing). Our salads came with the best bread ever, which we both finished. Sweet Green was great – everything is labeled if it’s vegan, you can compost everything (even that “plastic” cup), and the food was delicious and satisfied my salad craving. I can never get enough salad. Ever.
I am now finished with my dinner (Whole Foods prepared food) and dessert (apple and a Chinese candy from Coco) because this bus’s internet is so slow and it has taken me over an hour to write this. I guess that’s why it’s free because I would not pay for this.
I am off to sleep, or read my magazine (Women’s Health), or do some pondering. This weekend was so fun! I’m in a great mood and I can’t wait to continue my great mood this week. Upcoming…
Skincare (this is your last chance to ask me any specific questions! So far I am going to chat mainly about oily skin, but I am open to answering more – please comment below)
Yoga guest post
(not necessarily in that order!)
What did you do this weekend? Do you have plans for Labor Day tomorrow?
I’m hoping to meet up with some more friends and spend some quality time with my husband (who I missed very much while I was in DC). Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder.
Thanks for all the comments on my last post re: weight. Sounds like a lot of us wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds, and it can definitely be a struggle. It’s nice to have company.
Having a community and a base of friends to support you is really important. I was reading Coco’s post a few minutes ago and she talked about how her best friends are the ones from her childhood. I think this is true for me too. As I get older it seems like friendships get more and more superficial. I was in California for almost 2 years and I didn’t make a single lasting friendship. In college I did make friends, but we’ve all drifted.
Healthy Living Update
Walks… I got in my 2-mile walk to work, and actually got in an extra ~1 mile at lunch. We met up with Bobby’s parents for lunch at Whole Foods in Union Square. Last night we got together with his family again (cousins too) up by Columbia. Greek food is good.
No walk this morning, but I got ~1 mile at lunch and then maybe 2 after work (Chinatown).
I met up with Bobby and his family for lunch again – this time at Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay’s restaurant. This was the best meal I’ve had in a really long time. I opted for the “Smoked Lamb Cobb Salad” (with Avocado, Tomato, Maytag Blue Cheese, Eggs, Bacon + Buttermilk Dressing)…
I substituted shrimp instead of lamb and nixed the blue cheese. It was awesome. The egg and avocado really made this dish. The shrimp seasonings were to die for. Bobby got a “Pressed Roasted Pork Sandwich”, Tina got the “Shrimp + Roasted Garlic Corn Tamale” (I think this was the best order), mom got “Smoked Shrimp Tacos” (a Bobby Flay classic), and dad got another classic, the “Mesa Burger”. We all shared the deliciously spiced fries.
Before the meal they brought out the bread basket – I tried the cornbread, which was half blue and half yellow.