Wednesday, June 1, 2011



So there are some things to fill in from the past few days. Yesterday I went to yoga in Bryant Park hosted by lululemon. I went last week on Thursday and fell in love.

I did not know what to expect since it was a different instructor. I did not know how closely matched the routines were going to be or if it would be entirely different. This class had some familiarities but also featured quite a few differences. The class was taught by Derek Beres. He is the founder of Earth Rise yoga and also Earth Rise Sound System. We had music playing as a backdrop for the class and it was an interesting contrast to sounds of the city around us. Another difference was that this class was not taught on the lawn but the patio next to the library.

This is what I saw when I looked directly up during yoga! Can not beat it!

This class was a much more vigorous class than the other day. It also featured some different poses. I do not remember trying a backbend or crow pose during the class on Thursday but they made appearances during the class yesterday. I am not claiming to have been able to do either one of them but they were there. And I did make an attempt so I am happy knowing that at least I tried!

Afterwards, I hung out and took some pictures while reading my book in the park. Such a beautiful day!

Yes, I was hiding in the shade. I am of the very fair complexion type. I got burned on Sunday even though I hid under the umbrella the whole time at the Memorial Day BBQ!!
Once I got home, I rested for a while and then decided to walk to the boyfriend's job and meet him when he got off work. I made it about halfway (20 minutes) before I ran into him walking home. We walked home the rest of the way together. It was a lovely way to spend the evening.

Then it was time for me to spend time stretching out and getting in quality time with my foam roller. It felt so amazing to stretch out and roll out my muscles.

Today I had planned on doing some strength work. However, I am very sore and I have yoga tomorrow too. I am taking a rest day. I started my day off with a breakfast smoothie. I have been reading about the delicious smoothies that Julie makes over at Peanut Butter Fingers and have started to make them myself! So good to start my day off on the right foot.

I took the picture outside on the concrete steps into my apartment. I hope I can do this for the rest of the summer without anyone catching me and thinking I am crazy!!

I put into the smoothie the following:
  • half a scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • a handful of fresh spinach 
  • a handful of frozen fruit from a pack of mixed berry frozen fruit
  • four or five chocolate chips
  • half of a smoothie mix in strawberry bananna flavor
  • skim milk 
It was delicious! I love eating these with a spoon and filling up my nice tall glass with the cold concoction. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

First Yoga Class! And it was Outside!!

So as you know, I have been trying to get in better shape slowly and work on making numerous healthy lifestyle changes. I have heard amazing things about yoga and its numerous benefits. However, being on the budget that I am on lately, it is not something I can run to a studio and do.

Lululemon to the rescue! I have looked at their clothing and lusted after it for a long time. I read that they were hosting free yoga classes in Bryant Park during the summer. I convinced a friend to come along with me since I did not want to be the only one falling down and only getting halfway into the poses.

I loved the class!! It was so nice and relaxing to stretch and be outside with so many other people who wanted to do something good for themselves. We arrived approximately thirty minutes early and set up our mats in the third row. (Lululemon provides mats but we both brought our own because we didn't know how many would be available. It turns out that there are plenty of mats provided!)

The instructor was Matt Giordano. He also teaches at Pure Yoga and gave out free passes after class (I can NOT wait to try Pure Yoga!). He is also a Lululemon ambassador at the Lincoln Square store.

This class was very relaxed. I think he did a great job keeping the pace slow enough for a beginner. I had to look at the people in front of me a couple of times since the class size is so large I could not always see him perfectly. However, I never felt lost during the class. If I was a more experienced practitioner I am sure I would not have needed to check my form against a neighbor.

Being able to focus on doing something so good for me on so many levels in the middle of the best city in the world really gave me a lot to think about. I want to thank Lululemon for offering their free classes. You provided me a chance to engage in an activity that I have realized I love. Additionally, after the class, my knee felt unbelieveably lose and relaxed. It also felt stronger and more flexible than it has in a long time. I also want to thank the team of people who were there helping to organize it. It was such a contrast to put the calm of the yoga practice in an oasis of green with all the skyscrapers and city sounds very much present.

What I was entertained by was the number of people who sat and watched the class. There were tourists taking pictures and a lot of people staring. I normally am very self-conscious when stuff like that occurs since I am still in the beginning of my weight lost journey. However, I felt rather relaxed when I saw it happening. I was doing something good for me and taking steps towards being a healthier individual- there is no shame in that!

Lululemon- I will most definitely be back quite a few times during the summer for this WONDERFUL experience - thank you from the bottom of my heart for making these classes accessible to everyone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Zagat Food Truck Frenzy!

So I had a ticket for the Zagat Food Truck Frenzy which was origianally scheduled for last Thursday. However, the non-stop rain in the city had them re-schedule it for yesterday. It was unfortunate that it was still rainy and icky. I did not let that deter me thouhgh. I went armed with two friends, my friend Susan and the boyfriend's mom.

They gave you a pass to the event with four little tickets to tear out and pay with at the food trucks. 
The people at Zagat did a great job getting some of the best trucks in the city to participate. The must-try trucks on my list and that of my cohorts included Luke's Lobster Truck, Korilla BBQ truck and Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

The trucks had all preselected either one item or a choice of items for people to sample. At Luke's Lobster the offering was either lobster roll or shrimp roll.

My mini lobster roll!! Isn't it pretty! It was small but full of lobster meat. It was delicious!

Susan chowing down!        

We later heard that they ran out of lobster very quickly at the truck. While waiting on line for the BGICT we heard the people at Luke's Lobsetr say that they had made 300 rolls before running out of lobster. That is a lot of happy tastebuds!

The next stop was Korilla BBQ. The people on this truck had an amazing amount of character and personality! They were a joy to talk to! One made fun of the Boston hat which made me giggle since I am a born and breed NY-er.
I loved the brightly decorated truck!!

The line for Korilla!

And when my beef taco was done I got asked if I wanted them to "chef it up!". I was so excited to see what this entails and loved their enthusiasim that I could not help but say yes. The problem ended up being that it was much more spicy than I would have wanted, however, it was delicious!
This is my beef taco and a pork taco. I do not usually eat pork so the beef was a great option for me. The put kimchi and korilla sauce and made it nice and spicy!

The next truck had my group split up. I went off with the boyfriend's mom in search of spicy chicken tacos and dumplings while Susan went to get pork chops with pork sauce. Her pork chops came from Bian  Dang truck. The spicy chicken taco and dumplings came from Big D's Grub Truck.
Big D's Grub Truck

Susan's pork chop in pork sauce. She ate half of it before I could get my camera near it. Shame! She also drowned it in hot sauce too! She likes the spice!!
Spicy chicken dumplings. The sauce is spicy mayo which was mayo mixed with siriracha. It was delicious and the mayo was just enough to cut the spice down to a manageable level for me.

The spicy chicken taco.

The best part of the day and the part I had been looking forward to for the longest time- Big Gay Ice Cream Truck!! I have been in love with their menu and have never gotten the chance to try it. I was very much looking forward to trying the Salty Pimp but they were not offering it so I tried the Bea Arthur instead (which would have been my second choice anyway).

I will agree with this award after my ice cream!

Bea Arthur - Vanilla soft serve with dulce de leche and rolled in crushed nilla wafers!

I figured if I put up pictures of friends I should put my face up here too!!

 All in all, it was a delicious day of trying new food and finding some new favorites. The boyfriend has been wanting to go to Luke's Lobster for the longest time and after this excursion I confidently told him I would not mind going or spending the money (we budget a lot) after the experience I had with them here. It also makes me look forward to using the Groupon I got for the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck sometime this summer!!

I also want to say that everyone was rather patient as I tried to capture all these pictures! So big thanks!!

Disclosure: I was not given a ticket for free or compensated in any way for the review here. My ticket was procured during the discount pre-sales that were open to anyone in advance.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Exercise in the Park!!

First off, I want to apologize for the lack of photos in this post. The boyfriend rushed me off before I could find the camera and add it to the backpack of fun.

The boyfriend decided that today would be a wonderful day to walk to the large park that we live close to. It is approximately 15 minutes walk away. It was a GORGEOUS day today. I felt so alive walking to the park after the nonstop rain lately. The boyfriend went running around the track there. I am still getting back into my exercise routine again so I went for a more conservative approach. I packed my foam roller and yoga mat with me. I ended up doing a whole lot more than I thought I would though! I did some foam rolling for my leg. I did a lot of stretching for my whole body. I did girly push-ups leaning against a fence that went around the track area. I did jumping jacks, lunges, crunches and repeated the whole process a few times! I did not write down the exact order of things or the repititions that I completed but it felt amazing to be outside and moving! 

 I completly enjoyed the exercising under the sun! It allowed me to get some sunshine and spend time on me.

The best part was the treat the boyfriend and I made afterwards. We both wanted ice cream (especially since there was an ice cream truck parked outside the track- that is just WRONG!). We decided to make smoothies. We had the instant smoothie pack so that went into the blender. We also added Splenda, frozen pineapples, frozen mixed berry medley, ice, lactaid (he is lactose intolerant) and some oats!

It was delicious! But our blender was not happy about it. It was extra-thick so I ate it with a spoon! It was almost just like ice cream! Plus we had decided to make them a little hefty since we are going out tonight and I do not want anything heavy at dinner before we head out later.

I promise there will be a repeat of exercise in the park shortly and I will make sure to pack the camera and shoot away to share with you!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ninth Ave Food Fair

So last Saturday was the Ninth Ave International Food Festival. I went with a friend and the boyfriend. It was a wonderful time out. I love street fair food and this had a great variety. And since I was with friends the best part was splitting it amongst ourselves so we could try more things. One of the first things we tried was a BBQ pork sandwich. We saw a stop roasting a pig on a spit (not an everyday sight in this city) and thought it would be worth trying. I am not a big pork fan and I have to say this was delicious. This was followed by some ribs and some Kobe beef sliders. I have had Kobe beef once before and this was much more delicious than I remembered it. I was rather upset at the tiny size of it but it was okay as it was a perfect bite. The best food of the day was surprisingly a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The boyfriend wanted this the second he saw it and I wasn't going to veto something he was so excited about. It was surprisingly delicious.

The street fair spanned Ninth Ave from 42nd St to 57th Street. We ended up walking its entire length once from 42nd to 55th (just me and the boyfriend) and than walked down to 42nd to meet up with the friend and than walked the whole thing again. It was a LOT of walking and moving about. It felt so good to be out and about in  the warmer weather and enjoying all the sights and sounds.  My knee held up wonderfully (little sore but nothing a rest break and a part of a cupcake couldn't fix).

The day ended with Mexican food with the boyfriend's mom! She is such a great cook!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

So last night I decided to cook something that was a little outside my comfort zone. It was outside my cooking comfort zone not my that-looks-yummy comfort level.

I adapted the recipe I found at . The recipe is this one specifically,

I made a few changes. I had no bacon so I skipped that part. I also used shredded mozzarella cheese instead of feta cheese. I also added in some grated Parmesan cheese. I also covered the tops and bottoms of the chicken breasts with a mix of bread crumbs, garlic, black pepper, basil, oregano and white pepper. I also drizzled the bottom of the pan with olive oil and also drizzled the tops of the breaded breasts with it as well. The leftover mixture I had I just placed on the tops of the breasts. I also only used three breasts. And I did not measure out the ingredients so it was all just eyeballed.

The chicken breasts after they had been cut. I cut through them being careful to not cut all  the way through so there would be a pocket to stuff.

This is the spinach, mozzarella cheese and mayo mixture before it got stuffed into the chicken breasts.

Here are the chicken breasts after they had been dredged into the breadcrumb/seasoning mixture, stuffed and laid in the pan.

Here is the chicken breasts topped with the spinach and cheese mixture. Yes that is olive oil from 7-11. We had just moved in and needed some and there is no grocery store near our apartment.

That is the finished product. Yes, I know there should be three breasts there but I got ahead of myself in my excitement to try this new dish.

The verdict seemed to be it was very yummy!! This is something that I never would have thought of attempting to make just a few months ago.

Yes I know the pictures need some improvement. There is very little natural light in my apartment and the rainy weather yesterday did not help the situation at all.

Getting Back on Track

So it has been a little bit over two weeks of living with the Man. I have to say it is an interesting adjustment. So far it has been a lot of making the apartment feel like a home and working on getting used to each other's schedules. This has not been a huge shock since the Man and I had three day weekends together at my old apartment for practically the past year.

However, there are a few things I have noticed. The first is that since I am home all day, I can be all excited and want his attention when he comes home from work. This does not always work out to the best. So we are working on that. I am making a daily schedule so I can have a consistent laid out day ahead of me and accomplish a lot. That way I am getting out of the apartment and being active. It will make me less likely to want to be in his face.

I am also hopeful a set schedule will increase the productivity levels greatly. I hope to be able to get back into a full day schedule of job hunting, exercising and reviewing for a return to school. Oh and add in the standard domestic chores that typically fall to the stay-at-home partner.

It has been a pretty great time so far. And the apartment is great. Once it is settled I will post some pics.