Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two for Tuesday

If you've at all been following the news, you know that a hurricane has hit the East Coast.  Fortunately, I am okay - have power, but internet has been shaking.  In honor of the days events, I offer you two photos of NYC in the hurricane.

Water pouring into the 9/11 Memorial -

The corner of my 2nd apartment in NYC (that's right, it's like a river now) -

There are so many more photo's and video's I can share, but rather then depressing everyone, I want to remind you all, that while I am safe and sound, there are millions along the East Coast that aren't.  If you can, consider making a donation to a relief organization (such as The Red Cross) or volunteer if you are in the area.  There is much we can do.

We are NY.  We will rebound and recover.  It's what we do.

Hope where ever you are, you are safe and sound.

Friday, October 26, 2012

New kitchen gear

This past weekend was super productive.  I got the following in: 2 Power 90 workouts, 11.3 mile run, brunch with a friend, the library, 2 trips (yes, 2 - once to purchase and one to return a couple of items) to both Target and Marshall's, a trip to Old Navy, baked muffins and cookies & made dinner on Sunday night.  Phew!  I am exhausted just thinking about it.

I had a lot of pumpkin left over after my pumpkin dip batch, so this weekend was all about pumpkin.  All three recipes involved pumpkin.  I am working on the posts and will try and get them posted this week/weekend.

But my favorite part of this weekend?  It was like Christmas in the Sarah in the City household (i.e. me).  Between all of my trips to Marshall's and Target, I scored some awesome new kitchen gear.  I love kitchen stuff and am running out of room in my kitchen for places to put it!  I can not wait until I have a house and I get to have a full kitchen!  My tiny apartment kitchen leaves a lot to be desired (for example, I had to roll my cookie dough out on the table in my living room!).  I am constantly pinning inspirations for my future kitchen - I'll just need multiple houses for all my ideas!  Fortunately, everything I bought was either on sale or just cheap in general.  And most was needed.  I'll leave you to guess which items of the below list was not needed.

- Dough scraper
- Rolling pin
- (2) leaf shaped cookie cutters
- Fall whoopie pie pan (with leaf and pumpkin shapes)
- OXO 'Be a good cookie' cookie spatula
- Brownie Bowls
- 4 cups measuring bowl/cup (what do we call those?)

If you guess the whoopie pie pan and brownie bowls - you'd be right.  So unnecessary.  But who doesn't want to be able to make brownie bowls whenever they want?

I also (finally) opened up and started to use my new pots and pans.  Why finally?  Long story short, I got these pans back in June as a 5 year thank you gift from my last job.  They are a nice Farberware set and I had been dying for new pots and pans.  My pots are a hand me down from someone and my pans cost like $9.99 at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  But I didn't want to spend the money when I had ones that were fine (even if they didn't match and weren't the best quality).  So when the opportunity came to get some nice new ones for free - that's what I did.  And then...they sat in my living room for 3 months.  What can I say, I've been busy!

Happy [early] Christmas to me!

Book Club Friday: Sweet Valley Confidential

Happy Friday everyone!  And because it's Friday, that means it's time for Book Club!

This week I'm reviewing Sweet Valley Confidential.

From Barnes & Noble:

The Wakefield Twins—and the whole gang from Sweet Valley High—are back!

What terrible secret has torn Jessica and Elizabeth apart?

Ten years after graduation, the Wakefield twins have had a falling out of epic proportions. When Jessica commits a complete and utter betrayal, Elizabeth flees to New York to escape the pain and immerse herself in her lifelong dream of becoming a serious journalist.

Jessica remains in California, dealing with the consequences of her heart-wrenching choices. She’s built a full life for herself but dearly misses her sister. With Elizabeth as her enemy, Sweet Valley is no longer the idyllic town of their youth.

Jessica longs for forgiveness. But Elizabeth, always the “good twin,” can’t forget Jessica’s duplicity—and soon decides the only way to heal her broken heart is to exact sweet, sweet revenge…

My review

I won't lie, reading this book made me feel like a 12 year old again - and I loved it!  Brought back all my old memories of reading the Sweet Valley High books and desperately wanting a twin sister.  And to be blonde. This was definitely a nice easy read - perfect for the beach or a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon (when I read it).  Since this was published some additional short story e-books also came out, which I am looking forward to reading.

Was anyone else a Sweet Valley High fan?  And before that - the Babysitters Club (can we get an adult version of that series?)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Two for Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone!  It's a gorgeous fall day in NYC today.  Hope wherever you are the weather is just as nice!

I discovered this TV lineup over the weekend on MTV2 - Saved by the Bell!  I miss SBTB being on TBS in the mornings - I used to watch it while getting ready.  Now I get to watch it on Saturday afternoons.  Awesome.

I bought this spatula this past weekend as part of a kitchen gear extravaganza of new stuff (more on that later).  My favorite part of this spatula is that 50% of the proceeds of each one sold will go to pediatric cancer research as part of OXO's partnership with Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Not only is it adorable, but it's for a good cause.  Get your own here

Monday, October 22, 2012

Power 90: Week 2 Recap

So this was week 2 of Power 90 and I have to say it went pretty well.  Getting up before work is getting easier and it's been so nice to be done when i am done work.

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Sculpt
Wednesday, Friday, Sunday: Cardio + Abs
Saturday: 11.3 mile run

Still need to work on this.  Definitely not as controlled as I should be, but trying to take it one day at a time.  Also, with Halloween coming there is candy all over my office and I have no self control.

Thoughts for week 2?
Not sure when this video was recorded, but the music is starting to get on my nerves.  Given the music (and the outfits they were) my guess is sometime in the late 90s.  Fortunately, they have an option for no music and I have been playing my own music (which is so much better!).

Well, on to week 3!  Here we go.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Dip

So I had a post all written for this...and then somehow the whole thing got deleted!  Ugh.  Sometimes I think the machines are out to get us.  Won't be long before they take over the world.  (ok, technology rant over).

Anyways...back to the original purpose for this post.  Today, I'm joining a link up about 'All Things Pumpkin'!  My kind of link up.  I have already looked through the current posts and have a ton of new pumpkin recipes to try.  Thanks for hosting Steph's Bite by Bite and Part Time Housewife!

This is one of my favorite pumpkin recipe and a go to one during fall.  I got this recipe from my friend Angela who probably got it from somewhere else, so thanks to whoever did create this one!

Pumpkin Dip
Courtesy of Angela, courtesy of someone else (most likely)

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use just under 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup, plus 1 large spoonful pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Assorted dipping items (I like apples and graham crackers)

1. Mix cream cheese, brown sugar and pumpkin together with an electric mixer until well blended
2. Add in maple syrup and cinnamon and mix until blended and smooth
3. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving
4.  Enjoy!  And try not to eat it all in 1 sitting (it'll be hard)

And that's it!  Couldn't be simpler.  And as someone who has made this many times - below are a couple of pointers that will help make this as delicious as possible:

- Make sure your cream cheese is really softened.  It makes all the difference in the consistency of the dip
- Use real maple syrup, not the kind that you buy in the grocery store that comes in a bottle shaped like a woman.  I'm just saying... that's not real maple syrup.  Splurge on some good stuff.  It's worth it.

What's your favorite pumpkin recipe?

Part Time House Wife

Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Club Friday: The Passage

I read this book a while ago, but as Book 2 in the trilogy was released this week, I thought it was time for a review of the first one.

According to bn.com:
An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

My Review
I loved this book.  Yes, (small spoiler alert), it has vampires in it, but this is not a True Blood/Twilight vampires can be good tale.  This is a 'it could kinda happen, holy cr*p' kind of a tale.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I started it, but once I did I could not put it down.  Two nights in a row I was up until 2am reading and then for another 30 minutes while I convinced myself it was a book and no one would be coming to get me while I slept.

I know this review was kind of vague, but I don't want to give away any spoilers!  I am waiting to get Book 2 from the library and can't wait to dig in.

Anyone else read The Passage?  Thoughts for book 2?  Hit the comments!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wanderlust Wednesday: St. Petersburg, Russia

The book I am reading right now takes place in Russia during the end of the Romanov monarchy.  It's making me want to take a trip to Russia!  It's definitely a country I want to visit and hope to some day (soon).

In honor of this - today's wanderlust takes us to St. Petersburg.  Anyone ever been?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Power 90: Week 1 Recap

In case you missed my multiple posts last week (where I declared 1 thing and then immediately changed my mind), I am embarking on a new fitness routine - Power 90.  It's by the creator of P90X, but less intense and more manageable (in my opinion).  With the first week down, thought I'd do a quick recap of how it is going.

6 days of workouts alternating between a strength workout and cardio/abs, with 1 rest day

I am proud to say I have completed all 6 days!  Originally, I had planned to do all 6 in a row with today (Monday) as my rest day.  But since I had a wedding Saturday night and was hurting yesterday, ended up taking yesterday off and doing the last 1 today.

Still definitely need to eat better, but I tried to eat better this week.  I did pretty good until Sunday when my massive hangover required lots of junk food.  Oops

One week in and I have to admit I do feel better already.  I just don't have that gross feeling anymore so that is good.  The first couple of days of getting up early to do it before work were tough, but it did get easier.

Overall a pretty good week.  I did also do a 6.5 mile run on Saturday since I am still in training.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Travel List Challenge

Earlier this week I read about the travel list challenge over on A Home Away From Home and was immediately started wondering how many places I have been to.  The places I have visited are in bolded in blue.  

In case you haven't seen it, The Travel List Challenge has 100 "must-see" destinations from around the world.  

Here we go....

1) Alamo

San Antonio, Texas

2) Alhambra
Granada, Spain

3) Andros Island

4) Angel Falls

5) Angkor Wat
Angkor, Cambodia

6) Atlantic City Boardwalk
Atlantic City, New Jersey

7) Ayers Rock

8) Big Ben
London, England

9) Bora Bora

10) British Museum
London, England

11) Canals of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

12) Cathedral of Seville
Seville, Spain

13) Cave of Crystals

14) Christ the Redeemer
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

15) Cinque Terre National Park

16) Colosseum
Rome, Italy

17) Crater Lake National Park
Oregon, USA

18) Dead Sea

19) Death Valley National Park

20) Devil's Tower

21) Dome of the Rock
Jerusalem, Israel

22) Easter Island Statues

23) Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh, Scotland

24) Eiffel Tower
Paris, France

25) Empire State Building
New York City, NY

26) Forbidden City
Beijing, China

27) French Quarter
New Orleans, Louisiana

28) Galapagos Islands

29) Gateway Arch
St. Louis, Missouri

30) Gettysburg Battlefield

31) Glacier Bay Basin

32) Glacier National Park

33) Glowworm Cave
New Zealand

34) Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, California

35) Grand Canal
Venice, Italy

36) Grand Canyon

37) Grand Mosque in Mecca
Saudi Arabia

38) Great Barrier Reef

39) Great Mosque of Cordoba
Cordoba, Spain

40) Great Wall of China

41) Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey

42) Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

43) Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, California

44) Iguazu Falls
Argentina & Brazil

45) Kiyomizu-dera
Kyoto, Japan

46) Kremlin
Moscow, Russia

47) Lake Titicaca

48) Las Ramblas
Barcelona, Spain

49) Las Vegas Strip
LasVegas, Nevada

50) Leaning Tower of Pisa

51) Louvre Museum
Paris, France

52) Macchu Picchu

53) Matterhorn

54) Mayan Pyramids of Chichen Itza
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

55) Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, NY

56) Mount Everest

57) Mount Fuji

58) Mount Kilimanjaro

59) Mount Rushmore
South Dakota

60) Napa Valley

61) Ngorongoro Crater

62) Niagara Falls
New York

63) Notre Dame Cathedral
Paris, France

64) Pacific Rim National Park
British Columbia, Canada

65) Pebble Beaches of Nice
Nice, France

66) Petra

67) Petronas Twin Towers
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

68) Portland Head Lighthouse
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

69) Puerta Del Sol
Madrid, Spain

70) Pyramids of Giza

71) Redwood National Park

72) Rock of Gibraltar

73) Rocky Mountain National Park

74) Ruins of Athens
Athens, Greece

75) Ruins of Pompeii
Pompeii, Italy

76) Sagrada Familia
Barcelona, Spain

77) Willis Tower (formerly Sears Town)
Chicago, Illinois

78) Sedlec Ossuary
Czech Republic

79) Sistine Chapel
Vatican City, Italy

80) Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC

81) Space Needle
Seattle, Washington

82) St. Peter's Basilica
Vatican City, Italy

83) Statue of Liberty
New York

84) Stonehenge

85) Sydney Opera House
Sydney, Australia

86) Taj Mahal
Agra, India

87) Temple of the Golden Pavilion
Kyoto, Japan

88) Teotihuacan

89) Tian Tan Buddha
Hong Kong, China

90) Times Square
New York City, NY

91) Varanasi
Uttar Pradesh, India

92) Victoria Falls

93) Wailing Wall
Jerusalem, Israel

94) Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida

95) Washington Monument
Washington, D.C.

96) White Cliffs of Dover
Dover, England

97) White House
Washington, D.C.

98) Winchester Cathedral
Hampshire, England

99) Yosemite National Park

100) Zion National Park

Turns out I have only been to 18 of the places!  Makes me want to jump on a plane and visit some more.  Guess just more to visit in Wanderlust Wednesdays.  

How many have you been to?  Hit the comments and let me know.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Club Friday: The Peach Keeper

Happy Friday everyone!  And because it's Friday that means it's time for another Book Club Friday.  This week I'm sharing The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen.

From Barnes and Noble:
It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather and once the finest home in Walls of Water, North Carolina—has stood for years as a monument to misfortune and scandal. Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite Paxton Osgood—has restored the house to its former glory, with plans to turn it into a top-flight inn. But when a skeleton is found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, long-kept secrets come to light, accompanied by a spate of strange occurrences throughout the town. Thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the passions and betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover the truths that have transcended time to touch the hearts of the living.

I had never read anything from this author before (although now I will!), so I had no expectations going into this.  It wasn't super long and was a good book for my trip to Dallas last weekend.  I really enjoyed the book.  I liked the characters and thought the plot was enjoyable.  When the book ended, I actually wished it had kept going because I wanted to know what happened to the characters.  Always a good sign in my opinion!

Anyone else read The Peach Keeper or any other books by Sarah Addison Allen?  Which one should I pick up next?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mini Monkey Bread

A couple of Friday's ago was my friend Melissa's birthday.  Her birthday fell on a Friday and since she had a long run on Saturday morning, she didn't really want to do anything Friday night (understandable!).  So instead, our friend Nadia organized a surprise brunch to be waiting for her when she came back.

There wasn't much noticed (I think we planned it in 2 days!), but Nadia put together a fabulous spread.  In addition to the typical breakfast foods (scrambled eggs, sausage patties, bacon, turkey bacon and latkes), Nadia made (from scratch!) brown butter cupcakes with a caramel icing - and bacon bits on top.  Amazing!
we put together a great spread, huh?
We also had 2 kinds of mimosa's and of course, coffee to wake everyone up.  It had been a long time since we'd all gotten together and it was a wonderful morning/afternoon of catching up.  Must do it again soon!

My contribution to the day was Mini Monkey Bread.  I love Monkey Bread - it's one of my favorite things to bring to brunches.  It's been a Christmas morning staple since the first time I made it at the first Pajama Christmas (yes, it's a thing in my family.  And no, it does not mean staying in our PJ's all day.  Maybe I'll explain sometime around Christmas).

It makes a ton though, so when it's not a large group, it's easy to overdo it on the Monkey Bread.  I knew there'd be a ton of other food at the birthday brunch so wanted to scale back the quantity.  I kinda just made these adjustments on my own!

The Mini Monkey Breads turned out delicious.  Everyone enjoyed them and I call them a success!  Plan on implementing this version at Christmas too.

Mini Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread Portion
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/4 cup melted butter, plus some extra (non-melted) butter

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tbsp milk

Muffin tin

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, set aside
3. Cut the biscuits into 4 pieces
4. Toss the cut biscuit pieces in the cinnamon sugar
5. Using the non-melted butter, coat the inside of the muffin cups with the butter (could also use Pam for this step, but butter is so much better!)
6. Drop tiny pieces of butter into the bottom of each muffin cup (no science here, just whatever amount looks right)
7.  Distribute the cinnamon sugar coated biscuit pieces in the muffin cups.  I used 6-7 pieces per cup
8.  Drizzle the melted butter over each cup (you probably won't use all of it)
9.  Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar (there will be some leftover, but I can't figure out how to cut down the mixture)
10. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

While baking, make cream cheese frosting -
1.  Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until well blended
2.  Slowly mix in milk until frosting is at desired consistency
Once the monkey bread is ready, flip onto serving tray and top with desired amount of frosting!

Below are some additional photo's to make you drool.

Ready to go into the over - look at the melted butter and cinnamon sugar goodness
Right out of the oven
When flipped out of pan with buttery deliciousness
Frosting waiting to be applied

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wanderlust Wednesday: Amsterdam

Today's Wanderlust brings us to Amsterdam.  I have never been, but definitely hope to go soon.  It seems like a beautiful city (love the architecture and canals) and a fun time.  Plus, I bet it's spectacular in fall.

Anyone ever been to Amsterdam?  Tell me your favorite thing to do there in the comments!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

can i issue a retraction?

So, yesterday I made a statement that I was going to get back on track and that I was going to do P90X.  It was kind of a spur of the moment idea.  I had the video's and figured it would be a great idea.  I hadn't actually read anything that was involved yet (oops).  All I did was google the workout schedule so I would know which one I was supposed to do on Day 1.

Once I got home and actually read the instructional book that came with it, that I realized I may have over committed.  Each workout is at least 1 hour.  With the crazy hours I have been working, I am not sure I'd have the time every day.  In addition, they require more equipment then I currently own.  I'd need a pull up bar and more weights (I currently have 1 set of 3 pound weights).  Another part of the reason to do this is my gym membership is up and I am hoping to put off renewing until after the holidays so I can balance my budget for the season.  Spending money on a pull up bar and more weights just isn't feasible right now.

So, after reading all of this, I kinda figured I would still do it, but would have to make adjustments when I was missing equipment.  So last night I did Core Synergistics.  Or maybe I should say - tried to do Core Synergistics.  Let me just say, this was not made to do in a tiny apartment.  Most of the moves I couldn't do because I didn't have the space.

I know these sound like excuses (and they are) but I need to be realistic.  If I can only do 1/2 of the moves, is it worth it?  Probably not.

Once I realized that it was going to be pretty tough for me to do the program, I decided not to do it and to do something else instead.  Last spring I had purchased Power 90, another program by Tony Horton (yes, I am a direct marketers dream).  I did do it for awhile last year.  It's definitely less intense and the workouts are shorter and more manageable   They don't require me to buy any equipment and I know I can do them in my apartment.

So, today is Day 1 of Power 90.  I have read the instructional booklet and know what I am getting myself into (this time).  I'll try and do weekly recaps (when I remember) so I can track my progress.

PS - I am aware that I could have just removed or updated the old post to reflect the new workout plan, but I wanted to be honest with myself about why I am not doing it

Two for Tuesday

Time for another Two for Tuesday.

I just saw this show for the first time last week while flipping through channels.  It was (unfortunately) the season finale, but how, oh how did I miss this show.  It's basically a ridiculous game of musical chairs.  Here is the official description from the CW: "Hosted by actor/comedian Jamie Kennedy ("The Ghost Whisperer") and actress/television host Jessi Cruickshank ("MTV Live"), OH SIT! is a fun, high-stakes, high-octane musical chairs competition, in which 12 thrill-seeking daredevils race head to head through five physically demanding, obstacle course-style eliminations as they each compete to claim a chair, to the sounds of a live band. At the end of the hour, only one contestant will be left sitting triumphant to seize the cash prize. Adding to the fun, Tanika Ray ("Extra") will be in the trenches with the contestants both on and off the track and will add color commentary from the sidelines as the action unfolds."
The commentary was hilarious - I wish I had caught it earlier in the summer.  It reminded me of that show "I survived a Japanese Game Show" that was on years ago.

Found my new go to nail color for Fall - Butter London's All Hail the Queen.  I purchased it in a set of 3 from coterie.com a Gilt like beauty website.  It's a perfect color for Fall with a hint of shimmer.  It seems to be pretty durable too - painted my nails twice with it so far and they each lasted at least 5 days.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Getting back on track...

Happy Monday everyone!  I am back from my wedding in Dallas and man, was it a good time.  I'll post more details later this week (along with my wedding in SF, some recipes I've been making, a running update and about 100 other things I want to blog about).

The weekend was filled with family, good food and a crazy celebration!  We had some true 'tex-mex' while down there and it makes me want more!  Unfortunately, NYC is not really known for their great Mexican (I mean, there are some good Mexican restaurants but nothing that holds a candle to the food we ate there).  But overindulging all weekend has left me feeling not so hot today.  As I've said before, this summer wasn't my healthiest (at the time I was mainly concerned for how it would effect my marathon) and while my marathon went very well, I am still feeling really....gross.  There is no other word for how I feel.

These past 2 weeks post marathon have been very unhealthy and gym-free.  And yes, a break was needed post marathon, but it's time to get back on track.  I am hoping that by getting back into a workout schedule and healthy eating habits, I will fill better all around.  Top it off that my 30th birthday is approaching in a little more then 3 months (more on that subject later) and I want to look my best for it.

Basically all of the above brings me to the real reason of this post.  Today is Day 1 of my P90X challenge.  Yep, I'm going to do it.  I bought the set a couple of years ago when it first became big (nothing I like more then joining the bandwagon), but I never truly followed it.  I would do video's here and there.  But this time - I am going to do it.

I am doing the Lean Schedule (there are 3: Classic, Doubles and Lean) since the Lean one is the least intense.  And I am fully admitting right now that I will have to make alterations to the schedule because I still have to run.  But I am going to do it to the best of my ability.

Because I know I work best when I set little goals - I am going to break it into 3 sections.  Right now, I just want to get through weeks 1-4 and then we'll see how I feel and go from there.

Today's workout is Core Synergistics.  Going to do it tonight when I get home.

I am hoping by blogging about it, it will keep me honest and more likely to do it.

Anyone done P90X?  How'd it go for you?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Celeb Sighting (an old one, but still a good one)

I am off to another wedding this weekend (this time in Dallas) and have been crazy trying to get work done and run all my errands since I am losing the weekend (for errand running that is).

My cousin is getting married and I am super excited to see everyone!  I think I've talked about it before, but I super close with my family and am definitely looking forward to a weekend of family time!

Last night while I was running errands in the East Village, it occurred to me that I have never shared my best (and personal favorite) celeb sighting.  I think I should really call it more of a "run in" because that's what happened.  I literally ran into Ryan Gosling.  Yes, Ryan Gosling.  Of The Notebook and Mickey Mouse Club fame (notice the movie/show I choose to go with?).

The run in occurred back in April of 2011.  I was on my way to brunch with some friends in the East Village. I was walking down 3rd Avenue while at the same time, checking my phone for the exact cross streets.  I crossed 12th St (I was walking south on 3rd) and after crossing and getting back on the sidewalk (still looking at my phone) I ran into someone walking west on 12th (getting ready to cross 3rd Ave).  Without even thinking, I quickly start apologizing because I literally just ran into the person (thank god neither of us was carrying coffee or we'd have been in trouble.  While I keep blabbing on an apology, he says "No worries, it happens".

It's at this point I realize the person I just sidewalk attacked is Ryan Gosling (holding a ukulele, btw).  It must have been pretty clear that I realized who he was because I just stopped talking and starred at him.  He isn't even phased, repeats "no worries" and continues across 3rd Ave.

Recovering slightly, I immediately open the camera app on my phone to talk a picture.  Kind of hard when you don't want to be too obvious and trying to take it across a busy street.  It's not the best picture and I am pretty sure no one besides me would know it was Ryan Gosling.  But trust me - it is.  And he is just as attractive in person as he is on camera.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wanderlust Wednesday: Munich

This weekend marks the end of the legendary Oktoberfest in Munich so let's travel there in this week's Wanderlust Wednesday!  I have always wanted to go to Oktoberfest and it is pretty high on my list of places to visit (actually, all of Germany is).  I am actually 25% German and for some strange reason, seem to identify more with my German roots then other nationalities (it's tied with my Irish roots).

My grandfather (the German one) has always been interested in learning more of our lineage and did a lot of work on our German family tree back in the 80's (yes, before the internet, he used to have to write letters to historians to research things).  The end result?  We can trace one line all the way back to the 1790's!  We also have a pretty decent sized binder detailing our entire lineage (including the research letters!).  I personally am fascinated by ancestry and want to do research on the Irish side next!

Anyone ever done any heritage or lineage research?  Is ancestry.com the best way to go?

Off to Munich!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Two for Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Hope your week is starting out well.  Another busy one for me and I'm off again this weekend for another wedding!

Everything Maple!  When we were in Montreal there was maple everywhere.  And not the crappy processed kind - the good kind.  I love maple syrup so I may have been in heaven.  This was my treat post marathon: maple gelato and maple candies.  Yum!

Oh Fall.  You are my favorite season.  And one of my favorite parts - Starbucks Pumpkin Spice lattes.  They are just quintessentially fall to me.  I love them.  Now, I totally want one.