Pretty Perfect

I realize this is not a fashion or style blog. If you want that, you need to visit my sisters. (links to the right) 
I've been in the market for some new work pants for a while now and one day, like a light bulb flickering on in my head, I remembered how well Gap pants fit me. I'm a long-time Gap girl, having worked there all through undergrad and off-and-on post grad (for a total of about 5 years, though not consecutively and never got my 5 year pin).
So I got online and browsed around. Saw these on sale and ran down to my local retailer to try them on. Perfect. As always. Except they were still full price in the store. So I bought them online. And used a coupon. And got both colors for the price of one. Way to shop Chari-o!  

It's Scantastic!

I know that's post title is super cheesy, but words cannot express how amazing I think my new friend is. Meet myfitnesspal.

As part of the countdown to our 3rd Annual Winter Beach Retreat, I decided that I need to do something about a little something extra which has crept up very sneakily on my body. I haven't gained any weight since moving here, but I know that I have traded lbs of muscle for lbs of something a bit squishier. I can with absolute assurance blame it on the city winter blues. My commute has gone from 30 minutes--2 miles of speed walking and standing up in a metro car trying to keep my balance + lots of long escalators that people actually walk and sometime run up and down (in DC) to 1 hour--three blocks of walking and just a few stairs and a whole lot of sitting in a subway car (in NY). Another interesting difference is the lifestyle of the NY gym rat--er mouse?... Hello, on Saturdays our gym doesn't even open until 8am. The only classes that are available before work (at any of the locations) are spin classes (kill me now) and they don't really start early enough to give me time to get ready before I start my workday SOOO super early at 9am (can you sense my sarcasm?). It's just a nite owl town.  I sincerely and devotedly miss my morning yoga classes at Sport Club LA in DC and their fantastic facilities with full-service shower/steam room/sauna/complimentary hair care products and razors/towel service and getting to watch the Today Show while blow drying my hair. But, oh, enough complaining.

I have something to be excited about!

Don't worry, this is not my home screen. I only wish I could eat 2100 calories a day and still reach my goals. But this is, none-the-less, the home screen. When you start your "membership" (this is a free ap, btw), it asks your age, weight, height and target weight. Then it gives you the number of calories you should consume to reach that goal. I didn't like the number it gave me, so I upped it to 1400. Still in the "fat burning" range, but not "starvation."

Every calorie you burn with exercise gives you another calorie you can eat! I love it! And, I'll tell you what, this has given me more motivation to be more active.
I'll do 12 jumping jacks for the chance to eat another bite of bread for sure!

 You have a daily diary where you can enter in the food you eat and the exercise you participate in. MANY foods are already in there. I've been able to enter in my intake very easily but either finding the exact food or something very similar. And for those times you can't find if or don't want to spend time looking, the ap has a fancy schmancy scan-the-bar-code feature (see the last image). I am learning so much about calories. I've never ever "counted calories" before. I never had to worry about it or wonder if I should substitute the french fries for a salad with my bacon cheeseburger. But I've also never ever been this sedentary.

Myfitnesspal is the best workout buddy I've ever had. Not only does she track everything I eat and do, she does it without judgement. Calories, sodium, sugars, etc...all tracked.

Here's the scantastic part...see that little barcode icon with a line through going across it to the right of the search box? You click that to scan your food and it brings up all the nutritional info.
You can save your foods to make look up even easier. You can also add your own recipes, one ingredient at a time, and tell the program how many servings it makes.  I can't say enought about this ap! It's revolutionizing my life. I love it.

head down south

I'm counting down to our 3rd Annual Winter Beach Retreat (3rd as a couple, the Captain's--I don't know--like 25th?? Getting to a beach at least once a winter is a pretty big deal).

This year we will be trying out the Domincan Republic. The Captain found an AMAHAZING deal on, and we couldn't pass it up. We'll be staying at an all-inclusive (my first time) and soaking in the sweet sunshine.

In honor of the countdown, I put this little guy together. Have you heard Mocky's birds of a feather ditty? It's pretty catchy. Check it out downtown. After you download my gift to you, that is.

Me love you long weekends

Oh the luxury of the long weekend! Bless you Abraham Lincoln for being born and becoming our sixteenth president and for having a holiday made to celebrate it all (and George Washington too).

The Captain's former roommate and long-time buddy came up with another friend from DC to celebrate his own birthday in the big apple. It's always fun to have an excuse to do things we wouldn't normally, like take in a random broadway show and get dessert at Max Brenner at midnight. (the trains are so notoriously unpredictable and infrequent after midnight that we never stay out late for fear of it taking way too long to get home.)

So, here's to a fun day in the city with friends and to having an extra day to recover!

 Start it off right with some pizza...this time from Di Fara's (another ultra-famous pizza joint in Brooklyn on Avenue J). I will say that the pizza was a hit as was the owner-slash-pizza chef. BUT in all honesty, I like Grimaldi's better! What can I say? I guess I'm a Grimaldi's girl.  This one does get my vote for looks though. It's a very good looking pie. And what about that fresh basil that he snips off the bunch with scissors as you watch? Oh, and he also takes the pizza's from the oven with his bare hands. No joke. 
This was the pepperoni and cheese. yum!

After pizza, we went back to our apartment for the over-night bag drop off and purchased four discount tickets to "Sister Act" on the live stage. Very entertaining! I'll give it a 3.5* (docked for a bit of irreverence and a whole lotta breaking the 4th commandment).

Nathan's birthday wishes included pizza, a show and lots of sweet things to eat. I think we hit all three right on the noggin. I suggested Max Brenner to Melanie, so we made a reservation (the earliest was 11:45pm). When we told Nate what we'd done, he about jumped out of his skin and exclaimed, "That's where I wanted to go!" I guess he'd seen a blip on the TeeVee and bookmarked the website on his computer (come on Nate, haven't you heard of Pinterest??) 

This is the fruity tutty sugar waffle that Nate and Melanie shared. How cute is the little beaker filled with chocolate ganache? 
The Captain ordered the Italian "thick" hot chocolate in dark. Oh wow. I took two divine sips. 

I had the Orange Smoothie. Orange, mango, passion fruit, honey, and yogurt on ice. 

And then Nate got the ice cream popsicle bar for dessert ;). 

A good time was had by all! 

Every Little Thing

We watched "I Am Legend" the other night for my first time (Tim had seen it already). Great flick. It, of course, reminded me of how much I enjoy the lyrical genius of Mr. Marley. AND inspired me to create this. One of these days, I'll take the time to get set up so you can download PDF files here, but for now, if you like, feel free to click on the image and print for your personal use. Happy Saturday!

ps, it's snowing here today, how about where you are?

UPDATE: you can download the PDF by clicking on the button below!

Free Fonts

I'm a sucker for free anything, but when it comes to fonts, I'm a double sucker. I'm obsessed with checking the "new fonts" on a couple different sites and downloading anything that I think I might someday want to use. Of course for personal use only, but there is the rare occasion that a free fontier has given permission for commercial use as well, so I tuck those away for the future life when I will have more time to freelance again. Here are a few of my favorites from the past few weeks and a lovely link where you can find them for your own free font enjoyment!
I don't know what it is about this font, but I just love it. It's an all caps font and reminds me of Marvel comics, I think. Shown here with a slight drop shadow. download from fontspace

What can I say? I love calligraphy and I'll blame my grandmother who took calligraphy in her early grandma years, and always writes with beautiful penmanship AND every card or letter is beautifully scripted.  download from fontspace.

mmm...clean and warm, just like fresh laundry. Me gusta!

When I first saw the name of this font, it reminded me of my little sister's monthly blogograms to her babies. love them! The font itself reminds me of their purpose to savor your babies at every stage. love them up. download from

I also downloaded a ton of web ding, ding-a-ling fonts that I have already saved as vector images to get decorative with. Even if you don't have illustrator software to convert these gems, they are still fun to use in word processing documents. just type them in a text box for easy placement. 

The Ghost of Valentines Past

I was going through past entries on my blog, reminiscing, when I came across this one from four years ago. Oh the blessed and/or cursed day. I'm not very romantic, so I've never really understood the hullabaloo.

But, when I was single, any Holiday was just another excuse to throw a party. So that's what we did. I must say, the invite turned out quite nice. A little bit like her introduction at the pre-superbowl press conference, or so I read here... (if you choose to follow the link, scroll down to 2:04pm)

The Month of Love

In this gritty city finding frill is a little like looking in a "where's waldo" picture book. If you look really closely, that striped red tunic and tuke will glare right at you. Bless these urban artists and their creations for bringing a little bit of romance to the concrete jungle.

While, my creations may not be worthy of sidewalk art or wall murals, I like to do my part to celebrate the month of love. This year, I decided to get crafty with ric rac and ribbon and make some placemats. Frilly and functional. Again, I don't have enough photos for a full tutorial (and apologies for the iphone photos), but I found this one the other day (which I didn't use, but why reinvent the wheel when there is already a fabulous step-by-step out there?)

After pre-washing my material, 3 yards of heavy red canvas that I picked up at one of the many fabric stores in the Fashion District, and the ric-rac from my favorite (Daytonna Trimming). I used a store-bought placemat as a pattern and cut out 16 rectangles for 8 placemats, traced a bowl on the corners with tailor's chalk and then cut them into curves for added femininity. Each placemat got it's own hand-stiched, lovey-dovey message. (I also used the tailor's chalk to write the messages and pictures before I attempted to embroider.)

I didn't knot the thread so that it would lay flat, but I was worried that over time after washing the stiches might get loose. I ironed a little bit of interfacing to the back of each message to *hopefully* fix this. At least it gave me some peace of mind. Then I pinned the ric-rac between the front and the back (right sides together) and stiched around the edges, leaving about a 5 inch gap open to pull the right sides out. But don't turn it until you've notched the the seam allowance on the curves. It lays some much better if you do. And it's easier to top stiched.

Top stiching. I ran out of heavy duty red thread mid-way through. PS Fabric is my go to for this product at $1.80 a spool, so I had to wait (they aren't open on Saturdays) until after the weekend to restock and finish.

I rather like how they turned out and our table looks festive, like a handmade valentine.

Bon Chandeleur!

N'oublie pas des crepes aujourd'hui.

February second is not just for groundhogs. It's for tossing crepes too! Tossing them over your shoulder into a cupboard while holding something of value in each hand and leaving it there all year...all in the name of good luck. It has to be the first crepe, which is fine by me--it never really turns out right anyway.


(Yes, that is our Christmas tree stand on top of our kitched cabinet. Don't judge. We live in NYC.)