Sunday, March 29, 2009

Entertaining Myself During March Madness

Basketball, basketball, basketball and more basketball. For the past week, it's all been about basketball. I wouldn't expect anything else since I'm dating an ex division one ball player, but come on, enough! It's finally the final four, and I'm finally over it all.

Don't get me wrong, I love to go to the bar, throw back a few and watch a good game, especially if it's Carolina (my sis is a Tarheel and since the Phoenix didn't make it, the heels are my team by default). And, some of the games I've actually enjoyed -- Pitt/Villanova yesterday and the Michigan State game on Friday. But, I enjoy the last 5 minutes, when it's neck and neck and you have no idea who's gonna take it. I could deal without the other 35 minutes. 

So...on this blizzardy Sunday in Chicago, when I've already been to the gym and the grocery and all there's left to do is watch basketball, I'm finding ways to keep myself busy:

1. READING: I needed a new book to read so my friend brought a few over: The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters and I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb. I loved She's Come Undone by Lamb so I'm hoping this one's just as good. It always takes me about a week to find a new book after I finish a really good one. I just finished The Friday Night Knitting Club and was devastated to find out on the last page that I would no longer be able to spend my train rides with Walker & Daughter. Depressing. The Times nailed it when they said it's "a Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan." The sequel needs to come out stat. I feel like I've been waiting years for the next Jennifer Weiner book.

2. SHOPPING: When bored and everyone in your apartment is watching basketball, online shop. I can't get enough of Victoria Secret online, I just ordered another bathing suit since my monokini's not the best with tan lines (praying that the snow will melt and sunshine will magically appear):

3. COOKING: Tonight my good friend Carrie and I will be making dinner for our boyfriends (college bball teammates who haven't missed one second of March Madness). On the menu: goat cheese and sundried tomato stuffed chicken (a Bethenny Frankel - my fav RHNYC - recipe):

I'll let you all know how it turns out. With reading, shopping, recipe hunting and blogging, I just got myself most of the way through the first half!

Happy Sunday (and March Madness) to all!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


My good friend posted this poem a few months back and I love reading it every now and then, so I decided to re-post. It just makes me feel better. Enjoy.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

FASHION: Tory Burch Affordable Find

I’m in love with the entire Tory Burch line, but most of her purses, shoes and clothes are way out of my price league. But…I am looking for a new beach bag/tote and decided to splurge a little so I checked her site and found this:

Isn’t it the coolest? It’s a foldable tote that wraps up into a patent leather case (that looks like a wallet) with leather logo detail and gold hardware. I couldn’t have been more impressed!

I immediately thought that this would be great for so many things:
-Grocery Store: case in purse, tote for groceries
-Gym: case in purse, tote for dirty, sweaty gym clothes after workout
-Traveling: How often do wonder when packing whether or not you’ll need an extra bag for all the shopping you know you’ll be doing on vacation.

This little contraption is genius, the only thing I’m upset about is not coming up with the idea myself! And, the best part is it’s under $100 – go get yourself one!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FASHION: Wedding Season is Upon Us

I have 5 weddings to go to this summer and I'm only 24, wow. I'm more excited for some (my sisters) than I am for others, but there is one positive - I get to shop for fun summer dresses to wear. I'm thinking this one will be perfect:

It's a Laundry by Shelli Segal Strapless Charmeuse Gown with a jeweled goldtone brooch. It's bright, girly, flowing and I think it's perfect for a day or night wedding. I wouldn't need a lot of jewlery; just a nice pair of earrings and some gold shoes. Now I just need to come up with the $345...

On another note, the Common Threads Gala was a blast last night -- I'll be posting about the event later today. A quick teaser: Tyler Florence is GORGEOUS...way more gorgeous in person than on TV!

Monday, March 23, 2009

FOOD: Not So Healthy Salads, Made Healthy

The nice weather (which is now gone) has left me CRAVING summer BBQ food -- hot dogs, grilled vegetables, fruit salad, pasta salad, etc. The problem is, these delicious summer BBQ foods aren't so good for you. So, yesterday I decided to search for a "healthy" pasta salad recipe. I couldn't find one I loved on the net so I decided to take bits and pieces of what I found and here's what I came up with:

Healthy Vegetable Pasta Salad


1 package of whole wheat pasta
1/2 lb fresh green beans
1 package cherry tomatoes
1 lb fresh cut broccoli
1 small can black olives
1 small can artichoke hearts
1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
Lite vinaigrette (or Italian) dressing

1. Boil the whole wheat pasta for 10 mins (with a dash of salt) and let cool
2. Chop all vegetables and put in large mixing bowl
3. Add pasta to bowl and add cheese
4. Add dressing while tossing

This was so easy and it is SO DELICIOUS! We ate it last night as a side with turkey meatloaf and they surprisingly went very well together. It's lite, healthy and very tasty.

My other half loves egg salad. He begs me to make it all the time (can you tell he's from the south?). I've made it a few times and have actually grown to like it myself. Problem is, it's extremely bad for you (all the cholesterol in the yolk and the mayo) and he loves to eat it on potato bread (which is basically like eating white Wonderbread - no nutritional value). So, when Scoot asked yesterday morning, I was on a mission to find a healthy recipe and I did: I tweaked this recipe a bit:

Healthy Egg Salad

8 eggs
1 cup low fat mayo
1/4 cup stadium mustard
1 celery stalk
Salt and pepper for taste

1. Boil the eggs and let cool
2. Peel the shell of the eggs and put 6 egg whites and two yolks into large mixing bowl; mash egg whites and yolks
3. Add mustard, mayo and chopped celery
4. Mix and serve

Today, we're having egg salad sandwiches on wheat, with a side of veggie pasta salad. I'm very excited for such a delicious and healthy lunch!

Friday, March 20, 2009

FITNESS: The New Craze

On Tuesday night in my Full Body Blast class (which is amazing BTW), the instructor Chris (who only refers to the people in his class as “athletes,” which cracks me up) said something that really stuck with me. He gave Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results and compared it to exercise.

For instance, a person who does the elliptical (which I despise) everyday for 45 minutes, gets off, does 10 dumbbell curls, 10 squats and 2 sets of 50 crunches isn’t getting themselves in any better shape. While they are sustaining and burning calories, the repitiions aren't helping their bodies evolve.

I never do the same workout. Mostly because I’m way too ADD to do the same thing every day, but also because I love trying new things. And, thank god I live in a city where every month there’s a new fitness craze. Enter Bikram, CrossFit and Zumba.

Bikram yoga is practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.5°C) with a humidity of 40%. Classes are guided by specific dialogue including 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Classes last approximately 90 minutes.

I kid you not when I say you’ll never feel better than the way you feel after Bikram. It tests you’re physical and mental strength, releases all the toxins in your body and is truly a spiritual experience. The only problem is it’s a bit pricy. But, none the less, it’s the perfect thing to do once a week (or every couple weeks) and I recommend it to anyone looking for a workout that rejuvenates them.

CrossFit is the new TAE BO, without Billy Blanks. My sister first told me about it a few months back and of course, I had to try it immediately. She directed me to the CrossFit website:, which gives readers and followers daily exercise regimes to follow. Today is a rest day (figures when I write this post it would be), but yesterday’s workout was:

Thursday 090319
Ten rounds for time of:
3 Weighted Pull-ups 45 pounds
5 Strict Pull-ups
7 Kipping Pull-up

Although I haven’t done it daily, there are a few workouts I really like. One in particular is the interval running and squat training. I learned in my college soccer days that interval running is a must. It tests your endurance, boosts your metabolism and brings about the best results. I’ve been doing 20 minutes of 20-second sprint, 5 second rest and it’s definitely hard, but leaves me feeling better than I would after a simple 3 mile jog.

There are also CrossFit studios popping up in big cities. I just found this one in Chicago: I’m going to give it a shot and report back at a later date.

Zumba is something offered at my gym (Lincoln Park Athletic Club) that a friend told me about. Zumba fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy to follow moves to create a dynamic fitness program that helps you achieve long term benefits.

1. I love salsa dancing and 2. I love long term benefits so I’m in! The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. I haven’t it tried it yet (because it’s only offered Friday nights at 6:30 WTF?), but Kristin and I are going to give it a shot tonight!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

S&S: The New Edition

I've decided that this blog needs a purpose, or a theme rather. When I started this a few months back, I just wanted to write about whatever popped into my head. I had no idea where this blog would go. But now, I've decided that I'd like to have a theme, or a few themes to focus on. Enter: Fashion, Food and Fitness (kinda lame, I know, but I liked "the three F's").

Everyone that knows me well, knows that these three F's incapsulate my very favorite things in life AND you all also know that I can speak to all three subjects very easily. 
  1. I've always been an athlete (played Division 1 soccer) and love running, biking, Bikram and any type of workout. 
  2. Although I no longer do Fashion PR, that's where I started and I have a very weak spot for clothes and all types of fashion. 
  3. And last but not least, FOOD. I've always been able to eat a ton (thank god) and love food. I love trying new restaurants, eating different types of food and more recently I've gotten very into cooking. 
So...welcome to the new S&S. I'll rotate topics, but still include my random thoughts/nuances. I figure I can lump my posts about reality TV (RHOC) into Fashion and can talk about my annoyances whenever I damn well please. 

Here's to hoping you enjoy what's ahead as much as I know I will!


Monday, March 16, 2009


We can finally see the light in the Windy City. We've had three nice (sunny) days in the middle of March and the beautiful weather is predicted to last throughout the rest of the week. Hallelujah!

The city is filled with people that have been cooped up all year. That's the funny thing about Chicago. Those who call this wonderful city home chose to live in a place where Winter takes its course for the majority of the year, but when nice weather hits, Chicagoans are out. You'd think we have a city full of outdoorsmen (and women). Funny that we all chose to just deal with (and painfully accept) the long winter. 

There are a few things I get the itch for once this weather hits (can you blame me?):

1. Running by the lake

Come January 1, I'm over the treadmill. Absolutely 100% done with staring at a wall and running at a set pace. I can't deal. Tonight, I came home from work, changed and took off. It felt so good. I feel like I released twice as many endorphins -- the jogging path was packed with people running, roller blading and biking. It was amazing and much needed after the way work has been in recent months. I can't wait for a repeat tomorrow night. 

2. Grilling

I think everything tastes better on the grill -- grilled vegetables, burgers (turkey now for me), fish, chicken, everything. We finally cracked and bought a grill last year on the fourth of July and I can't wait to fire that bad boy up tomorrow night. I'm already thawing out the salmon in the fridge. One of my favorite things to throw on the grill is Whole Foods already made burgers. There's a turkey chipotle burger that's absolutely delicious -- lean turkey meat grounded with red, orange and yellow peppers, scallions, onions and chipotle seasoning. It's the best. Trust me and go pick a few up. You'll love 'em.

3. Spring Fashions

I know a new season's upon us when I want a new bag. Sure enough, last week at Nordstrom, I fell in love with this Rebecca Minkoff:

This bag is perfect -- light gray with neon green lining. Long strap for comfort, short for cute. I have to have it. Problem is it's over $500. My goal is to have it by June -- a few dinners in, packing the lunch during the week, skimping on the number cabs I take -- and voila, a 25th birthday present for myself! Hurry up June 6th.

While on the subject of fashion, I usually put together a seasonal kit for the BD's (a few of them need a little help in this department -- not naming names!), but with S&S now in action, I think I'll take it to the blog.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Recent Annoyances

I've been thinking for a long time that I should dedicate a post to things that annoy me. So many times a day I'm annoyed. And, most of the time, I think I have genuine reason to be annoyed. And, usually, when I tell people why I'm annoyed they agree and are annoyed themselves. Well, here it is:

1. People who stand on the moving walkway. We flew to Vegas last week and were rushing to catch our flight Thursday night when we got stopped on the MOVING walkway. A family just enjoying the ride and beautiful scenery at O'Hare. The word moving was included in the name for a reason -- it's meant to speed up the process, not slow you down. How lazy can you be?
2. Adults that cut in line. Some people never learn -- regardless their age -- that it's not OK to cut in line. My gym is insanely packed from 6 - 7pm. So Packed that I often have to wait in line to get on the treadmill (I know, join a new gym right)...anyway, there I am, finally second in line and bam someone gets off a treadmill on the opposite side of the room and the cutter (trying to play dumb and act like the treadmill line doesn't exist) hops on without ever looking in our direction. Come on.
3. While I'm on the subject of my gym and the treadmill line, another annoyance comes to mind: people who walk on the treadmill. I know, I should be happy people are getting exercise...I shouldn't judge what type of exercise, as long as they're doing it...some people have knee problems, blah, blah, blah. I don't care, it's a waste of a treadmill. Walk around your building, walk around a mall, but don't take a treadmill away from someone who's going to actually get a workout in. 
4. Yellow candy. Don't get me wrong, yellow is my favorite color, but why do they make yellow candy? No one ever likes the yellow. Yellow laffy taffy, yellow starbust, yellow skittles, it's always the worst flavor -- the one everybody picks last. They should spend the time making more pink, green and purples, yellow isn't cutting it.
5. Girls that wear heels on the train. You are not a Chicagoan if you wear heels on the train. No Midwest girl, who commutes to work everyday, wears heels. It's just not comfortable. The L involves stairs and standing and the stops aren't on every corner so there's usually a good amount of walking's just not worth it. Every time I see a girl on the train in heels, I think why are you doing that to yourself...just put them on when you get there.
6. People who stand in the front row, without front row potential. In the Bikram studio, you're not supposed to stand in the front row if you aren't well practiced and haven't been going for a long time. It's a known fact (usually announced by the teachers) but people ignore the rule all the time. I feel like this rule applies across the board for all fitness classes. If you don't know what you're doing, don't stand in the front. You're making an idiot out of yourself and doing a disservice to the people behind you who are actually trying to learn.
7. Uneven eyebrows. I've been going to the same place to get my eyebrows waxed for the past two years. And, I love my girl Kim...BUT, there's been a few times where she's stripped just a little too much, leaving me uneven. There is nothing more annoying then looking in the mirror at uneven eyebrows -- it makes me feel off center, like my whole equilibrium's off.
8. Cab drivers who AREN'T in a rush. I feel like that's why you take a cab...why you tip them...why you even pay them. They're supposed to get you where you need to go and do it fast. If I get in cab who's stopping at yellow lights, it really pisses me off. If a cabby isn't swearing in his first language, beeping his horn and throwing up his hands, all while talking into his blue tooth, there's something wrong. 
9. Meals that don't come with sides. I was brought up to believe that every main dish includes two sides: a starch and a vegetable. If I order a steak that's $40 and it's "extra" to get a baked potato or asparagus, I think it's absurd. If you're going to fork out that much on a meal, the sides should be included. 
10. The sales women in most clothing stores. When I walk into a store, I look around and I pick everything up that I want to try on. When I go into the fitting room, I have already looked around the entire store and have selected the items that I like. When I begin to try on my selections and the sales woman throws over a shirt saying "I saw you were trying on the black skirt so I brought you this shirt because they go great together," I find it a bit offensive -- I looked around the store, I picked what I want and I don't need you to match outfits for me. Just let me try on my clothes in peace without you knocking on the door every 5 minutes. 

Wow, I feel like I could go on forever. Maybe this will become a weekly post -- the things that annoyed S&S this week....

Thursday, March 5, 2009


We're on our way to SIN CITY tonight, jealous? I can't wait to soak up some sun, hit the craps table, eat lots of good food, see a show, shop and do whatever it is I WANT TO DO ALL WEEKEND!

I'm taking the Mac so I can blog...if I feel like it...which I probably won't. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Healthy and Delicious

As most of you reading this know, in the past year or so I've gotten very into cooking. And, when I cook, I usually try to be healthy -- I only cook with lean meats...I use a lot of 99% lean turkey meat (thanks Jennie-O) and I've even recently given up red meat completely. It's only been about a month...we'll see how long I can last (I'm a little nervous about seeing an In-N-Out Burger in Vegas this weekend), but I'm really trying!

Anyway, I got to do some FUN spokesperson research today for one of my clients (whom I will never discuss) on our very own Bethenny Frankel from Real Housewives of NYC. Sidenote: Why does she spell her name like that? It was really annoying to type all day and seeing a constant red line underneath her name drove me bonkers, seriously. Anyway, after reading her blog and stalking her web site, I came across her list of recipes.

Don't they look delicious?! Here's a list of all the things I want to try:

The SkinnyGirl™ Margarita (obviously, although I don't know if my friends will let me drink Tequila again, long story)
Low Fat Fudge Chocolate Chip Muffins
Goat Cheese Sundried Tomato Chicken Breasts (one of my favorites)
Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms (I was recently told that mushrooms are the only other natural source of Vitamin D, besides sunlight. Soooo, naturally, I'm eating them whenever I can)
Roasted Spicy Broccoli (love, love, love spicy)
Comfort Turkey Meatloaf
Healthy Rainbow Shrimp Pasta
Ultra healthy Mexican chili (I already make something very similar)
Mexican Turkey Burger

So now, while I'm watching RHONYC, I can make all of Bethenny's famous, healthy recipes. I'll let you know how they turn out!

More to come,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Very Thankful

I'm feeling very thankful on this snowy, Sunday afternoon. Mom just left, which leaves me sad and a bit worried (I hate that she has to drive back to Cleveland in this snowstorm), but we couldn't have had a better weekend.

We spent Friday evening shopping on Michigan Avenue and sipping wine and delicious french onion soup at Bistro 110. Then we woke up early Saturday morning and went to Bikram. For being in her fifties, my mom is very fit. She lasted the entire 90 minute class and did every pose -- a few of my friends in their twenties didn't even make it through the entire class. Mom was so good that the teacher came up to us after class and commented on how well she did. I was proud. We then got pedicures, had a delicious lunch and went to the Apple store where I got the best 25th birthday present ever -- my MacBook. Blogosphere, say allow to my new love. New love, meet the blogosphere.

I'm so blessed to have parents that support my dreams (even if their far reaching at times), love me unconditionally no matter what i've done and whom have always put the needs and wants of my sister and I before their own. I remember going through a really difficult breakup and hearing my mom cry on the phone because she felt the pain that I was feeling. I remember my dad flying to Tennessee and then driving hours just to watch my 90 minute soccer game. I may not always tell them enough or show them enough, but I am so thankful and feel that I do have the world's best mom and dad.

Sad the weekend is over, but also looking forward to the return of Scoot -- he went home to Maryland to also have a "Mom's weekend." Happy birthday to momma P. :) It's nice when you're in a relationship to get a little break every now and then to miss one another. It's only been a few days, but I can't wait to see him.

Sunday's are usually rough, especially with the way my work has been, but I couldn't be more excited about my short week -- we're headed to VEGAS on Thursday. I checked the weather report this morning for Vegas and it says high 60's, which isn't ideal, but as long as there's sunshine, i'll be happy.

Not to get to "red" on everyone (my roommate's a constant pollyanna), but take a minute or two today and be thankful for everything you have. Times are hard, but if you have family, friends and people who love you unconditionally, that's really all you need, right?