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Fall.Fashion.Fiend

How quickly the female mind moves on from Summer and onto Fall! Oh how I love the fashions of this season. The other day, Mom told me: “I know why you’re so excited summer’s over, because you love accessories!” I thought it was going to be something profound like Oh, I loved going back to school to learn, or Ahh the leaves and beauty of the early sunset and early sunrise, but nope – FALL FASHION PEOPLE.

Although I do have a leaf obsession, with the warm color combinations and Earth tones lining my wardrobe, nothing says creativity like the adornments we get to cuddle up to and wrap around our wrists and shoulders! Here are a few select items I’ll be adding to my lookbook this year – won’t you share yours?

FP Vintage Patterned Bangle, $228

Shakuhachi Buttoned Up In Pleats Skirt, $293

UGG® Jolene Studded Clog, $160

BrandyMelville USA, Nixie Knit $58

BrandyMelville USA, Nixie Knit $58

find these items @: BrandyMelvilleUSA Zappos.com FP Artist’s Studio & eBay.com

That’s right, creativity is fashion. Find it wherever, however, and pair it with whatever. After all, the definition of Fashion has two parts:

a. a popular trend, esp. in styles of dress & ornament or manners of behavior

&

b. a manner of work

So hunt down the ‘look for less’ and enjoy sed form of self-expression.

<3jb

Hot Damn, Summer imu

 

& sometimes less is more.

WORK IT OUT

Let’s get back on the horse! Just because Summer is ovah, doesn’t mean we can’t <<keep it right, keep it tight>>. I’ve found that I think they’re right – combination workouts, switching things up, sticking to a healthy diet – and not just healthy eating but actually putting nutrients, protein, and positive supplements into your bod-ay – are the only way to maintain (or lose if you so desire) while enjoying the heck out of life and the delicious foods of the world!

As a more-than-frequent NYC visitor, I can’t fathom not indulging in the organic ice cream trucks that line the streets of BK, or the savory combinations of aoili and spices designed by Greenpoints’ FiveLeaves, Cafe Bar & Oysters (…and keep in mind, I’m only talking about the decadent flavors of one borough!)

So the result, get on Kanye’s Workout Plan and don’t hold back! I’ve included some of my favorite ways to exercise below & this summer, taught myself to appreciate the natural, yet lumpy :/, texture of Chobani Yogurts. A must to counter Friday’s Falafel and Sunday’s Spaghetti!

Don’t dread the tread, try these instead:

  1. Summer bike rides, vary the intensity and company based on mood
  2. Yoga/Pilates inspired by guru’s Denise Austin and Mariam Windsor, respectively
  3. Follow Women’s Health: Fitness on Twitter & participate in their daily workout tips for some sporadic fun
  4. Buy weights/medicine ball & more at Five Below for easy stretching and lifting, even in front of the tube!

Complement your efforts with a balanced diet of this (BK style: Any way you want it…)

Chobani needs me!

Chobani needs me!

& that

BLAT ala 5Leaves brooklyn, ny

& Voilà!

Easier said than done? I’ll keep you posted!

<3jb

a touch of arugula

a little golden light

a classic craft ale

Oh life’s simple pleasures. Today I enjoyed a few in solitude, and there’s something to be said for the serenity that comes with independently following your heart’s desires and not a set of plans. I spent my day roaming Chelsea Market, driven there by a sample sale but moreso the opportunity to be spontaneous. I woke up excited to start my day, and my metabolism, with a little pilates. I continue to work  my metabolism over an almond/cherry scone + cappuccino from my favorite bakery on the UES of Manhattan, TwoLittleRedHens. Not much of a website, but I’ll tell ya this place is one heck of a bakery. Continued with a little in-house entertainment on the subway, as a man played some indian folk songs by the 8th Avenue bound L train. I sometimes feel badly for enjoying music and not throwing down a buck or two to the talent of this city, but if I did this for everyone asking/needing one in NYC, I fear I’d be one of ‘em!

Anyway, I thank my lucky stars I am not and celebrated over a little retail retreat at the Sample Sale (FreePeople, MichaelKors, RD International, LoveSam) followed by a decadent eggplant medallion from Buon Italia. I walked around for several hours, enjoying NYC’s favorite past time, people watching, and came to the conclusion that I would label The Big Apple as THE BEST CITY to visit, should you have the opportunity. Sure it’s grungy, and smelly, and at times stressful due to the hustle, but since when did life’s most valuable gifts get handed to you? I mea honestly, where else can you get GOOD pizza, on any street corner, at any hour of the night, with any topping. Okay okay, not resonating with you? Let’s talk culture. Once you’ve been to NYC you’ve basically visited the majority of some 196 countries in the world. Through music, food, language, style and religion, you’re exploring these regions and their lifestyles! I just can’t get enough myself. The moral of today, have an affinity for life and exploration, and don’t be afraid to go it alone as they say. Sure it’s fun to share and build memories with others, but sometimes I  enjoy being my own company ;), and there’s nothing like loving the company you keep at that point.

Exposed brick, a little dirty talk :)

beauty, not bound by thee today

from warehouse to whimsical

love the life you live & live the life you love … <3 jb

Put in work…

After a long day’s worth of work, followed by a second job including more work, and then errands which often feel just like work, I’m supposed to workout to make this diet work? What’s wrong with this picture? Oh right, it’s too much work and not enough play! So, in order to ‘spice things up’ I subscribed to Women’s Health Magazine, not only to enjoy some cool articles about recipes and fun health tips, but as a ‘reminder’ on the coffee table when I get home and run to the kitchen salivating over anything I can find. Let’s be honest, we don’t always plan, and always cook light, and always remember to breath in between snacks while we ‘plan’ what will go in that super healthy salad I promised I’d make myself for dinner when I left home this morning at 7am. Whoops. However, today worked! Yes, it was hectic and crazy and routine-like, but the following saved the day!

With my subscription to Women’s Health (best deal EVER btw!) I got a 40 minutes workout DVD with yet another weightloss ‘gimic’ on the cover - Lose 15 lbs in 6 weeks - woohoo where do I sign?! I have to say, skeptical I am, but exhausted I am as well after what felt like THE BEST IN-HOME WORKOUT of my day. A former soccer player, I have had my share of workouts. I recently also signed up with a personal trainer, to learn more about my body (postures, bad habits, implications on my health) but to also learn about the effectiveness of a workout. Often times I would mindlessly hit the elliptical for an hour because I could get lost in Wheel of Fortune, Chopped, or Law & Order and be done in just 2 episodes! However, this was not ‘working’ for me. I didn’t see the results I wanted, I complained about how I go to the gym allll the time and never see any results, which only makes you ‘eat what you want’ because you think you’ve earned it when in fact, you could be working out LESS and being more EFFECTIVE with each workout. That being said a combination of muscle training and cardio (30 min ea) back to back, a couple times per week has been doing the trick! Lately though, I’ve fallen into that rut where you begin to feel good, you cut yourself some slack, life picks up and workouts fall lower in the priority list and you catch yourself before you fall off the horse! So today I woke up and did pilates to begin my day feeling fresh and revived, THank you Mari! but I wasn’t done yet. I came home after a long day of the above variations of ‘work’ feeling like I needed yet still, a good, hearty, sweaty workout. I picked up the dvd from Women’s Health and sure enough that combination of muscle work and cardio. Often times I don’t get a good sweat in with dvd’s or workouts at home and it’s a quick fix until I can actually go to the gym, but today was different! I felt great, it was challenging and new, and the routine itself didn’t leave me feeling ‘strong’ and not lean as my toning tapes tend to do!

Therefore, overlooking the long-winded outcome: get in the workouts at home! It is almost always better than nothing, you feel free and great to start or end your day, and heck you get to shower right away so John Frieda doesn’t use me for one of his frizzy hair commercials the next time he sees me at the grocery store post-workout. Get after it girls, bathing suit season is closer than we know!



Start w/ Barbara’s Prison Workout:

Push-ups, 3 sets of 10

Tricep Dips, 3 sets of 10

Sit-ups, 3 sets of 10

Bicup curls, 3 sets of 10

Hold Plank, 3 minutes straight

Hindu squats, 25-50 in repetition

It’ll change your life!

<3 jb

celebrating life

I disagree with Biggie Smalls when he says

Birthdays was the worst days, now we sip champagne when we thirstay

Yes, I absolutely sipped champagne on my birthday thanks to loved ones and friends, but no way are they the worst! A birthday is such a special day, regardless of my chores/errands/happenings before the celebration. They make me smile, they give that extra glow that makes work ‘fun’ and dinner plans just that much more exciting and who doesn’t love looking forward to cake & wishes? I must say, for those who know me, it doesn’t have to be confetti and fireworks, although that’d be the icing on the cake if you will, for me to have the BEST birth-day/weekend/week & these day month, ever. :) So, thanks to mom for blessing the world 24 years ago, & I am greatful for all who celebrated and wished me well on my special day! Everyone deserves it.

Enough about me, and more about my recommendations for birthday dinner and fun! My first recommendation is short: #1, the city. Just go! People watching, delicious food, entertainment for any age and vibe you crave on your special day. I chose the following and could not have been happier: #2 Pulino’s, [Soho] absolutely to die for. If you like brick oven pizza, among other Italian delicacies, you have to try this place! The service, the timing, the offerings, all delectable! Also, they are open basically ALL the time so for brunch, or late night munchies, they never seem to disappoint. We tried basically one of each pie, among appies and desert and my compliments to the chef on the kale/squash pizza and s’mores sundae specifically. Mmm mmm mm!

Oh Happy Birthday indeed.

<3jb

sweet romance, 2.14.2012

So I’m sorry for the delayed inspiration, but I can’t help but share the love, pun intended? This valentine’s I tried to combine enjoyable craft and baking therapy, with the elements of sweetness and surprise to give my loved ones a little something special. At least with my delay, I can tell you it was a success, and this idea is indeed a cost-effective and fun way to sweeten up anyone’s V-day!

So the roommate and I made our own little valentines, with homemade envelopes, messy confetti that annoys and hopeful embarrasses everyone when received at work ;), but ultimately wins over anyone with a big heart! So, on that note here is the WHOLE WHEAT sugar cookie recipe and craft directions! Thank you to TheFrugalGirls!

Ingredients You’ll Need:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp. fat free milk
1 tbsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 egg
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups 100% whole wheat flour
These 2 ingredients are for rolling the cookies in:

2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl combine the first 6 ingredients until blended well. In another bowl combine the next 5 ingredient (sift). Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, until blended completely.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Place parchment paper on cookie sheets, and place cookie balls 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly.
Bake 8 – 10 minutes, until light golden brown. (cookies will be soft in center).
Yield 2-3 dozen.

..& just a note, I am sure you, like me, have a lot of friends and a sweet tooth to boot, but do not double the recipe, trust me there is plenty here!


Whilst the cookies bake, grab some card paper, red ribbon, heart confetti and decorations of your choosing and go to town! Making an envelope is somewhat of an origami skill i acquired through trial and error the with the lives of many trees, so I suggest purchasing! I also used some brown paper bags for a classic look, so have fun with it!

<3 happy love day.

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