Favorites | On Friday

Friday, August 22, 2014

Honest slogans that are both hilarious and oh so true.

I'm very excited for this restaurant opening.

I just got a curling iron so this chart is perfect!

I'm always looking for ways to be happier, but I don't see myself ever following through on this advice. 

Is it weird to scroll through someone's entire Instagram gallery?  Well, too bad, because I'm obsessed with this one.

Apparently, I eat about 4-5 times the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day.

Sometimes people think it's weird that Dayv and I didn't live together before getting married.  This post sums up why pretty perfectly.

Have a great weekend!

Three things

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Part of the human condition is the innate desire to have certain things*.  Perhaps these are things that make our lives easier, more convenient, help us to thrive, or simply because they improve our quality of life.  With that being said, there is a list of three things that I always come back to desiring.  They definitely fall under the "improve the quality of life" category, but are items that I am particularly passionate about.  Luckily, I think these things are attainable overtime and look forward to the day when I can enjoy them.

My three things:
1| Annual season tickets to the Broadway series at the Kimmel Center.
2| A house filled with my favorite art.
3| A vacation fund.

If you could have three things, what would they be?

*Things, to me, mean tangible items.

Obsessed | The Tracy Anderson Method

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Every so often I receive an email from a reader asking about my exercise routine.  Honestly, I'm always taken back a bit when I'm asked.  I don't frequently reference exercising on the blog, so it's just surprising when someone is curious.  It's kind of flattering, actually. 

My exercise routine has greatly changed over the last 3.5+ years that my blog has existed.  Being active is one of the most important things to me, though, so I always have a regimen in place.  For the first year, I was obsessed with Zumba.  Then I was into hiit training for about 6 months.  Then running and hiit again.  But, for the last 18 months or so, I have been an avid follower of The Tracy Anderson Method.

I'm not exactly sure how I first stumbled upon Tracy Anderson and her Method program.  But once I watched a few YouTube videos, I was hooked.  I love the effortless flow of her sequences, almost like a dance and pilates routine combined.  Each routine has an accompanying number series attached to it (ex: 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, etc.) because you are only supposed to do each one for ten days and then move on to the next one.  The theory behind the Method is that your body quickly adjusts to exercises and therefore you no longer get the full benefit from them.  Instead, your body needs to constantly be shocked with new moves to keep it working at its peak performance and achieving the maximum results (every ten days).  At first it took my body the full ten days to get used to a routine, but now it takes me about three days (although it never gets "easy").  It's pretty extraordinary.

I spent months getting my Method routines from the ones posted on YouTube because they are pretty pricy.  The problem with that solution is the Tracy Anderson videos uploaded on the internet are done so illegally and are regularly taken down due to copyright infringement.  Add to the fact that my internet at home constantly connects and disconnects, and the 30 minute videos would often turn into 45 minutes of me starting and stopping.  Luckily, Gilt had a Tracy Anderson special (which they have every so often), so I was able to purchase Meta and Continuity for a fraction of the regular price.

I'm not sure that the Method is for everyone, but it's definitely my most favorite way to exercise.  It creates an intense mind-body connection which facilitates a positive change in your physique and mental state.  If you love dance, pilates, barre, or just wants to mix up your routine a bit, I definitely encourage you to look into her exercises.  There are always at least some videos available on YouTube.  Don't be fooled into thinking they're goofy or too easy when viewing them, though.  They are very challenging. 

From the Weekend | Golfing

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dayv has been really into golf lately.  About every other week he goes with a friend to our township's park, which includes a nine hole golf course (which you pay $2 extra to go around twice).  His friend was unavailable this weekend, so Dayv asked if I was interested in going with him.  I jumped at the chance even though I haven't played "real golf" in about 15 years, when my dad thought it would be a fun family activity for us to all go golfing together (it wasn't).  

Dayv was really good about giving me advice and I actually hit some really good shots.  But overall, I did pretty atrocious.  It didn't help that the guy at the desk gave me a right handed putter (I'm left handed), but Dayv switched it out the second time around.  As the day went on, more people started to golf and the wait time between each hole greatly increased (the first nine went by really fast), and I started to get tired.  I stopped participating after hole 13 and Dayv was able to use the additional time I wasn't taking to practice.  At the end of the day, I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed spending the time with my husband, but I think I only have the patience (for now) to do nine holes.

Other weekend activities included: Thai dinner, Saturday morning puppy walk, Dead Poet's Society and Hook watching (which included me weeping), turning in part one of my final project for my summer session two class, a little Sunday afternoon shopping with my mom, and watching Divergent (so good!).

Happy Monday!

Favorites | On Friday

Friday, August 15, 2014

Vaute Couture launched their Fall/Winter collection this week!  I'm swooning (especially over the Angela).

Sayward has been dazzling me with posts about her recent family camping trip.  I wish Dayv wasn't afraid of bugs.

There's nothing more magical than a frosted oatmeal cookie.  Or a dozen.

I stumbled upon this cruelty-free vegan mascara and the YouTube video results are amazing!  Have you tried it?

I loved this EcoVeganGal Q and A/discussion with Jason Wrobel.  Definitely worth watching/listening.

I  did a fun little interview about "quitting" television.  What are your thoughts?

On a solemn note, I want to send out caring thoughts and energy to the lives that were impacted this week by the untimely death of Robin Williams.  I was quite sad and cried a little when I first heard the news.  He was such an important part of my childhood and gift to the world.  I distinctly remember watching Mork and Mindy, Fern Gully, Hook, Aladdin, Dead Poet's Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, and What Dreams May Come as a child and can honestly say that they greatly impacted my view of life.  One of my all-time favorite memories is going to the theater with my dad to see Hook and looking over at him towards the end of the movie to see a tear rolling down his cheek.  It's the little things in life that make it so magical.  What are your favorite Robin Williams movies?

"You'll have bad times, but it'll wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to."

So many questions this Friday!  Have a great weekend.

Quick and easy 7-layer vegan sandwich

Thursday, August 14, 2014

In my never ending quest to create quick, easy, healthful, and husband-approved meals, this sandwich was born.  Dayv always talks about how much he misses big sandwiches, specifically of the club or Wawa variety.  Since those are obviously not options at this point, I wanted to create a sandwich with just as much flavor, texture, and abundance of ingredients, minus the animals and gluten.

I remembered Angela had posted a layered vegetable sandwich recently and looked over the recipe for inspiration.  I added Dayv's favorite sandwich elements ("It's not a sandwich unless there's pickles!") and hoped he would enjoy it.  Luckily, it was a definite winner.

Dayv lovingly refers to this sandwich as "an ALT with shit all over it".  I think it's quite a hilarious and appropriate title.  But for the sake of keeping things simple and self explanatory over here, I chose a name that was more easily understood. 

I love this sandwich because it is so simple to put together (literally 5 minutes!), is super healthy, and has an abundance of tastes and textures.  It's got quite a bite and will leave you feeling satisfied and no longer yearning for a Wawa sandwich.  At least I hope.

Quick and easy 7-layer vegan sandwich
inspired and adapted from Oh She Glows
serves one
2 pieces of bread, toasted (I used Scharr's)
4-5 tbsp hummus
3-4 thin slices of avocado
sea salt
1 thin slice of tomato
1 thin slice of vegan mozzarella-style cheese (I used Teese)
4-5 pickle slices (I used the bread and butter variety)
romaine lettuce

Generously spread hummus on both pieces of toasted bread.  Layer avocado on the bottom, lightly sprinkle with salt, then continue to layer tomato, cheese, pickles and romaine lettuce.  Top with the other piece of toasted bread.  Enjoy!

Date Night | 09

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On Friday, Dayv and I had a magical date night.  We had a dinner reservation at Vedge and tickets to see The Book of Mormon (one of my Christmas presents).  It was the ultimate combination of all the things we love and enjoy most in life- amazingly prepared vegan food, clever and hilarious comedy, musicals, and skepticism.  In one word, it was perfect.

Dinner at Vedge was amazing, as usual.  This is what we ordered:

For the table | U-peel lupini beans, Green olives with fennel and preserved lemon, Zucchini "verde caliente" pickles
The Vedge bar | Smoked carrots with white bean puree (x2)
From the kitchen | Fresh hearts of palm with saffron and baby corn succotash, Braciole of smoked eggplant and cauliflower, italian salsa verde, and cured olive puree
The dirt list | Fingerling fries, Brussels sprouts
Dessert | Trio of ice creams (dark chocolate, peanut butter and jelly)

My favorite dishes were: u-peel lupini beans and green olives (both perfectly spicy and I never peel the beans), the braciole (I had no idea what I was eating but it was so good), and the brussels sprouts (they should make this into a gigantic salad, in my opinion).

Dayv's favorite dishes were: the smoked carrots (which he said reminded him of hot dogs!), the fingerling fries (always on his must-have list), and the ice creams.  According to Dayv, the chocolate ice cream was the best ice cream he's ever eaten in his entire life.  That's quite the statement!  I asked the waiter about the ice cream base and it's made from soy milk.

Towards the end of the dinner, Dayv pointed out the fact that we were the first to arrive, yet the two tables on either side of us were done dinner and left before I was finished eating.  I got a little irritated and said, "I'm sorry.  I just really want to enjoy my $100 dinner."  He responded, "No, it's ok.  I like that you eat slow.  You eat like a dainty little lady."  I thought it was one of the cutest things he's ever said.  He also pointed Rich out to me.  I still have to get my picture taken with him.

After our dinner was over, Dayv and I walked our full bellies over to the Forrest Theater and greatly enjoyed The Book of Mormon.  We actually saw the show a couple of years ago on Broadway.  I was curious how my opinion of the show would change with time and after listening to the soundtrack a countless number of times.  It was just as amazing, if not better, than when we saw it originally.  I've seen many Broadway shows and I can confidently say this one is my favorite.  Everything- from the plot, to the music, to the characters, is all brilliant.  Add to the fact that Robert Lopez co-wrote the music (who also wrote the music for Avenue Q and Frozen!), and you know it's just a complete masterpiece.

Vedge Restaurant | Philadelphia
The Forrest Theater | Philadelphia
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