Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The other weekend when I went to Providence, I tried to keep the photography to a minimum and just stick with the moment. This was nearly impossible, so here are the photos...what can I say: I can't help myself!

this is how I feel every time I am about to head up north to 'lil old Provy.
Malomar half asleep on the ride up. look at his little tongue!
After visiting my best friend Missy, checking out Providence Kickball Opening Day, eating pho, slurping up Dole Whip and visiting my buddy...Malomar and I crashed super hard. The next morning I had brunch with my friend Mitch, and his dog, Malomar's girlfriend Hime at The Garden Grille.
and Malomar got to play with his girlfriend, Hime


8 weeks to a better me: Week Five (Loving Life & Having Fun!)

Before I dive right into week 5, I would like to take a look back at what goals I have set so far and how I have done with those goals.

Week 1:

Goal 1: Create a weekly post regarding Brooklyn. I have not been doing so hot with this one, good reminder to look at this goal again and document the great places I have been and share!
Goal 2: Share a recipe that I use often.
Goal 3: Connect more with other bloggers.

Week 2:

Goal 1: Commit to drinking at least 6, preferably 8 glasses of water throughout the day.
Goal 2: This week I pledge to do core exercises Monday, Wednesday and Friday and to run or skate Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Goal 3: Get 7 hours of sleep a night.

Week 3:

Goal 1: Eat one salad everyday.
Goal 2: Snack on raw nuts and veggies.
Goal 3: Have one raw smoothie every morning.

Week 4:

Goal 1: Me time.
Goal 2: Sign up for a yoga class.
Goal 3: Set the alarm clock a few minutes earlier every day this week.

I am actually surprised that I only have one goal so far that I have let slip by the wayside! I haven't kept up all of the core exercises M,W,F but I also only committed to focusing on that for week 2.

{Other things I have changed}
-Taking the stairs instead of the elevator in my building.
-Riding my bike or walking for any errand within 6 miles.
-Took a 3 day internet break during Memorial Day weekend.

So this week's goals are all about loving life and having fun! Danielle featured guest blogger Lauren from Busy Bee Lauren to speak to having fun and loving life. You can read the post here!

Goal 1: Cut negative things and situations out of my life. I took the first step in this process this weekend, where I sat down and thought about how certain people make me feel and how communication with particular people at this point is a very bad idea and bad for all parties involved. Then I did something about it! Instead of continuing to think that things would change, I stepped up for myself and set boundaries that I feel comfortable with. I already feel an enormous weight lifted off of my shoulders.

Goal 2: Strike up conversations with strangers, or at the very least, say hello! Now that the weather is nicer I have been spending a lot more time outside and wandering around my area. Why not take that a step further and take some time out to ask the little old lady down the block about her garden, or ask a stranger for restaurant suggestions. One thing I find really ridiculous is the ability people have to walk passed one another on an empty street without even a smile. That has to stop people!

Goal 3: Exercise caution in what I chose to read. This is a hard one with the internet and goes along the lines of Goal 1. There is no reason to waste one precious second of my life looking at or reading anything that does not serve the purpose of uplifting, informing, or bettering myself.

{and a bonus goal for this week}

Never drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages a night. I paid the price Sunday morning for this when I was up all night dancing (yes, and indulging) the night before. For this week I will make sure to never have a hangover. The good news is, I am a lightweight now and so 2 drinks is absolutely sufficient! All of the refined sugars in alcohol doesn't work so well with eating all of this raw food...nor does it work well with the amazing, but HOT, weather we have been having lately!

{here's to a positive week!}



Friday, May 27, 2011

Rally for Education Reform

{Here is an excerpt from an article on The Daily Beast covering the rally on Thursday morning.}

New York parents are slamming the civil-rights giant for its role in a turf battle that could put 7,000 eager students out of classrooms. John Avlon on why the group is on the wrong side of history this time.

It was an inspiring sight: a protest rally 3,000 strong in the heart of Harlem. Students, parents, and teachers wielding signs and slogans, all standing up for their right to pursue a quality public-school education.

But the target of their anger was unexpected: the NAACP...

In a role reversal, the esteemed civil-rights organization—which helped secure equal access to education a half-century ago in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education—is now decidedly on the wrong side of history...

This past Friday, the New York chapter of the NAACP filed a lawsuit with the United Federation of Teachers to stop the expansion of 19 charter schools across the City of New York.

Here is a video from the rally Thursday morning.

“I cannot look her in the eye, as a parent, and tell her, ‘Well, the problem is that this group of people that Mommy told you about during Black History Month, that did all those great things a long time ago—they want to stop you from doing great things.”

Sunday, May 22, 2011

8 weeks to a better me: Week Four (Loving Yourself)

It's funny, I feel that I have slowly been integrating this self-love concept into my life! I just posted recently about accepting your quirks and "flaws" as a wonderful part of who you are. Lately I have been writing out things that make me happy on one of my dresser drawers so that when I wake up, I see those joyful things in my life right away. Mostly, I have been focused on what good things there are about me...sans anyone else making me feel good about myself!

Thank you Danielle and Kaelah for the self-love posts, and the prompt to set some goals for this week.

Goal 1: Me time. Take one evening this week to soak in the tub with lots of bubbles and tea (or wine!) and a good book and shut the whole world out, just be alone with my thoughts and some candles nearby.

Goal 2: Sign up for a yoga class. I have been doing yoga on my own now for a while, but I would like to also be in a class setting and push myself even more. The more time I spend working on my body and loving what it can do the better I feel about me!

Goal 3: Set the alarm clock a few minutes earlier every day this week. With the extra time I will soak up some extra rays of sun in the park with Malomar, ride my bike around the loop quickly before heading off to work, or just get to work a few minutes early. As much as I love sleep, when I am not rushing to work, putting on my makeup at a stop light, or throwing an outfit together last minute I am truly loving myself by putting my best foot forward and starting off the day relaxed and prepared.

You can join in on the goal setting here!


Sunday's Song

{Something lately has gotten me really nostalgic.}

I have been listening to a lot of music that I used to listen to a LONNNG time ago in the morning on the way to work. I've been singing along to Propaghadhi, The Get Up Kids, Crass and Beastie Boys driving down Malcolm X at 7am. I remember all of those mornings, piling into one of my friend's crappy cars, windows down to push the smoke out (I know I know) speeding down windy farm roads...taking long cuts on the way to school. We were prolonging those moments before the bell rang and we had to sit for hours on end in classes, unable to scream along at the top of our lungs to music that made us feel alive a little rebellious...a little bit like we weren't teenage kids living in Lancaster Pennsylvania.

This song came on yesterday on my way to Providence and a wave of joy washed over me. I couldn't stop smiling as I was singing along again, top of my lungs..."S-S-S-Someone's gonna ask you what it's all about. Stick around nostalgia won't let you down...."

happy sunday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday V.11

I almost forgot that today was Thursday...but now it makes a lot of sense. There were a lot of ups and downs to the day today, and this part of my night has ended with a bang. I am happy that I still have a nighttime walk to go on and some painting to do to end the night on a high note!

I am thankful for...
Noticing the small details, taking the time to really take in my surroundings.

I am thankful for...
Trudging around in my peter pan shoes. I actually found these brand new on the side of the road. Rhode Island rules for treasure hunting...so many people just get rid of amazing things that are perfectly fine for no reason! NYC is like that too actually.

Also, my pup after a long muddy walk. He hates getting a bath so much and always looks crazy distraught when he gets wet. Maybe he gets upset because he looks so weird when he's wet, but man do I love that little look of embarrassment on his face!

I am thankful for...
Being able to laugh at myself and at ridiculous situations. I think that laughter is the main component to a healthy day! It is one thing that certainly gets me through my day.

Take a moment, especially if you have had a hard day, to think of the things that went well. What small moments in your day did you find particularly satisfying? The smell of an orange as you pulled back the peel? A good laugh with friends? A smile from a stranger on the street?

What makes you thankful today?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Smoothie and Family Eating Update!

Day 2 of Week 3 (8 weeks to a better me) and I woke up early enough to make myself a raw morning smoothie again...this one containing a bunch of frozen blackberries, yum!

2 frozen diced bananas
2 cups almond milk
1 handful blackberries

You can also add a tbsp of tahini or almond butter to make it a little creamy and add some protein if you like.

Add all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.

{and a family healthy eating update!}

This is SO exciting! My father, after reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, has decided to eat about half of his meals vegetarian! He told me that last week, 7 out of 12 of his meals were vegetarian, and some were even vegan! If you are wondering where the number 12 comes from, he actually never eats breakfast and doesn't eat 3 meals a day. We will have to tackle that another time, right now I am so excited that he is making this positive change in his diet, and even more happy that he was open to informing himself and read the book with an open mind and heart!

It is super rainy outside, and as I am sending out this quick update on my break...from outside I just heard a kid scream "Robert just ate a worm!"


Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Manhattan Bites!

{I am really excited to introduce a new feature on my blog!}

This new feature is inspired by 8 Weeks to a Better Me, Week One which was a challenge to name 3 things you would do to be a better blogger. Something I am really interested in is exploring my new city using one of my favorite past-times...eating! For one of my week one challenges, I committed to blogging about this experience...it only took me a few weeks to figure out exactly what I was going to do and start exploring places, but better late than never!

I will be checking out new places, or sharing places that I already love with you via Brooklyn Bites and Manhattan Bites blog posts!

There are so many amazing places to eat in NYC and I used to travel up here from PA and down here from CT, Boston and Providence just to partake in the yummy vegan options this city has to offer.

On Sunday, I met my sister and her hubby in the Village to eat brunch at Atlas Cafe, a super yummy cozy joint that I am sure I will end up featuring here. After brunch, we sought out a vegan ice cream place my sister's friend had hyped up to her.

After visiting we realized that this place was hyped for good reason!

We checked out Stogo on East 10th St. b/w 2nd and 3rd Avenue.

After sampling a few of the different selections, anywhere from a soy based salted caramel pecan ice cream to a coconut based vanilla chocolate chip, it was a tough decision! I usually don't prefer the taste of coconut based ice creams, but their coconut based ice creams actually tasted fresh. I was told that the ice creams are made with a base of young coconut...in this case the ingredients really shine through. I usually steer clear from coconut ice creams and I was sold!
After much deliberation we decided on...what better than...a Chocolate Chip Cookie Mexican Chocolate ice cream sandwich! This Mexican Chocolate ice cream is not for the faint of heart, it has a serious kick to it!
I am definitely heading back here! I even got a frequent buyer punch card, yay!


8 weeks to a better me: Week Three (Healthy Eating)

{OHHH! This one is right up my alley!}

I definitely think of myself as a healthy eater, (orthorexics unite!) of course I like sweets but I am aware and make sure that I eat them in moderation (okay, usually!) I have been slowly moving to more raw food so that I can tackle one of my Summer Goals for this year (eat one week on, one week off raw foods).

Check out the guest post on Sometimes Sweet from Tracy over at Shutterbean (and thanks Danielle for recommending her site, I can't wait to look through all of the recipes!).

Tracy recommends three things on the eat healthy tip: drink water, always have healthy snacks for on the go, and eat one salad everyday. Okay...so I already am fighting the water battle, and pretty much winning...but I need to keep that one a part of my everyday routine, so thanks for the reminder!

In terms of healthy snacks on the go...I am pretty good with this as well. I always have fruit or larabars with me when I head into work or head out anywhere, so as to curb my cravings for getting random vegan cupcakes or wings on the way home from work. This works like magic!

Salad once a day? I can hop on that rule! It's a good time for me to eat more greens anyway as more and more are showing up at the farmer's markets lately.

So without further ado:

My goals also bring me closer to my raw diet...

1. Eat one salad everyday
2. Snack on raw nuts and veggies
3. Have one raw smoothie every morning

I had already thought up these rules last night and made a raw smoothie this morning, so I am off to a good start!
3 cups frozen diced banana
2 cups almond milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsps agave
1 tsp sea salt

Add all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.

The strange thing is, I usually only have a clementine and water in the morning, and then a larabar around 9 am or so. This morning I had a really tasty smoothie and it somehow made me hungrier! Oh well, I am going to stick with this rule because it incorporates more fruits and more raw food into my diet!

Thanks Danielle and Tracy for the inspiration!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

a soggy walk

it felt so wonderful to walk through the park with temperate air and raindrops easing down over our heads...it helps to know that right across the street there is a swan gliding across the water, ducks chasing each other and plants swaying in the breeze.
but sometimes, the sprinkling of drops turns unexpectedly into downpour....at which time it is helpful to know that right across the street there are trees to take shelter under, mud to sink your shoes into, and a dog that gives kisses on the nose in payment for protective from the rain.

Sunday's Song

so there is this guy...

If your Sunday is anything like this guy's life...I think we both know that you are doing something right!


Saturday, May 14, 2011


One thing that I like about where I live is that so many people use public transit, bike or walk to where they need to go. When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, I would often bike covered bridge to covered bridge or walk to my friend's houses. We did, however, sort of live in the middle of nowhere so walking to get a coffee was unheard of, walking to the grocery store or to boutiques was just impossible.

This morning, after doing Derby Fit...which by the way was really fun and a great workout! (My quads got their monies worth)...I took Malomar for a long walk to do errands. Not only can I easily walk to a cafe, my optometrist, and to many local grocery stores...I can walk through a wooded area in the park to get to all of these places. NYC isn't all so bad!

Hope your weekend is filled with sun and long walks too!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thankful Thursday V.10

I am thankful for:


Reading in the park.

Visitors from Providence and brunch with mimosas!
Text message hugs from friends.
Raw lunches (spinach, avocado, lemon salad, clementine).

And thanks to this inspiring blog post, I increased my handstand time last night by 20 more seconds by repeating the mantra, "I am strong, I am strong."

I am strong.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vegan Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

{I LOVE pancakes}

...yet I always used to feel terrible after eating them. Perhaps it was all of the buttermilk and fat in the pancakes, or the fact that I can scarf down way too many at a time.

Solution: make your own vegan pancakes! Want to up the ante? Make them with fresh fruit!

These are super scrumptious and happen to not make you feel like you just ate a bunch-o-pancakes after eating them! WIN!

This is a family recipe for Vegan Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes:

Warning, this makes 20 pancakes: We often cut this recipe in half.

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup soy milk or almond milk
2 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pumpkin

from 1 small pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins are great for this. Roast the pumpkin for 1 hour at 350 degrees
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)

First prepare the pumpkin pulp: Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half and clean out seeds (and roast these bad boys up!) Place pumpkin face down on cooking sheet and cook for about an hour. Scoop up pumpkin pulp and set aside to cool. You can also freeze the pulp to use in other recipes (soups, ice cream, curries, cookies etc!)

Using a food processor, blend the pumpkin until relatively smooth.

We roasted a couple of different variety of pumpkins at once, look at the difference in color!

In a large mixing bowl combine:
Soy milk and vinegar let it sit for 5 minutes so it can curdle.
Stir together pumpkin spices, water and milk.
Add remaining ingredients and stir until just moist.
Let sit 5 minutes to rise and then slightly stir again.
Let sit five more minutes...then prepare.

Your mixture should be pretty smooth.

Put a small amount of olive oil onto a medium hot skillet, make sure skillet is heated thoroughly before adding batter. If you make pancakes often you know that the first pancake or two is usually an absolutely bust. Don't get discouraged!

Heat pancake without touching it until the middle has a good amount of bubbles and the bottom starts to set up.

Like this!

Flip pancake over and heat remaining side for a few minutes until that side sets up.

Flip one more time for good measure and allow to warm for about 30 seconds before transferring to a plate.


I like to eat them as is, but you can always slap some earth balance or maple syrup on them!

You can use the left over pumpkin pulp for ice cream, pies or soups! More pumpkin recipes to come!