Sunday, March 29, 2009

our saturday of awesomeness.

paul took this at the brooklyn botanic garden in august last year.

yesterday was a blog-worthy day, so here it is in blog-form...

on friday, paul decided that he would train to run the 5k with me. (can i get a huzzah?!) on friday, i received a 40% off reebok outlet coupon. on friday, paul and i made plans to head to the outlet mall in LI on saturday.

on saturday, we woke up, and the sky was grey. we decided to read the paper, eat some grub and then head out to LI. that's when our friend candice called and said that she might want to go outlet shopping with us, but she wouldn't be free until late afternoon. so instead, hubbs and i decided to take a walk to the farmers' market and then do some laundry to wait for our bud.

i don't know what happened in that hour or so that all of this unfolded b/c when we ventured outside on our walk, the clouds parted, and the sun shone. as we walked past the brooklyn botanic garden, we decided to take a stroll through even though it's pretty depressing in the winter since everything's dead. fortunately for us, even though the weather tries to convince us otherwise, spring is upon us. there were many a beautiful flower and budding tree. needless to say, we're both excited to go back frequently in the coming month or so to witness spring in action (always taking claritin beforehand, obviously).

after our jaunt in the garden, we headed to the grand army plaza green market. we picked up some fresh planted herbs to start our herb garden. we picked up a few things for meals throughout the week (beef, bacon, apples, carrots...) and a delicious looking focaccia pizza for lunch. 

i don't know what it is about the green market (or any farmers' market for that matter), but - man - do i love it. for serious. if you're here on a saturday, we can take you; perhaps you'll fall in love too. we should also take you to the botanic garden on saturday b/c it's free before noon, and it's literally a few blocks away.

anyway, back to the day. after our exaggerated and spontaneous stroll, candice called to say that she would not be able to make it, so we hopped in the car and headed to LI. on the way, we had the most delicious ice cream sundaes... we may or may not still be dreaming of them. 

once at the outlet mall, the sky turned grey and the air cold... perfect time to be at an outdoor mall... ha! but at least we had already taken advantage of the spring air and sunshine earlier in the day.

we took our time at the reebok store. so much to choose from and 40% off our entire purchase?! are you kidding me? we both found running shoes, and paul found some pants and shorts (lucky!). then we ventured around the mall. i wanted to go to the gap outlet, and paul needed new everyday sneakers, so we had to look at journeys... 

we literally went on a shopping spree. we found AMAZING deals. at the gap, i got a skirt for 10 bucks... not to mention a pair of capris, a tank top, two tees and a cute cropped jacket (lucky!). and paul? he found the coolest shoes ever at journeys... AND they were on sale. 
we also journeyed into the perry ellis and the banana republic, and i decided right then and there that whenever we needed new work clothes that we would head to the outlet mall in LI b/c we found ridiculous deals (unfortunately for these retailers, we were too exhausted to try on or purchase anything).

the coup de grâce of the day? 

on our way home, we found the in-n-out of the east coast... five guys is delicious. it's not as cheap as our california favorite, and it doesn't take the place of the only fast food restaurant that we would wait in line for almost two hours on opening weekend... but it is delicious, and we will go back (frequently, no doubt).

if you're wondering, the answer is YES. of course i see the humor of living in nyc but driving to suburban long island to shop at an outlet mall full of big chain stores. nyc has amazing shopping, no doubt... but paul and i prefer to spend the majority of our $$$ on eating and traveling, so boutique shopping is pretty much out for us. 

to recap - our life is awesome. nyc is amazing. outlet malls are mecca to sale shoppers. farmers' markets have the best of everything local. our 'hood is da bomb.

oh, and if you're wondering, the answer is NO... we did not do our laundry.

Friday, March 27, 2009

take 3...


so i'm pretty sure that i've attempted 'running' at least twice since i started blogging (can i quit, btw?). 

now, i'm going to be serious about it. 

and by that, i mean that i'm training for a 5k. yes, training to run roughly 3 miles seems pathetic, but you have to start somewhere. i have no desire to ever run a marathon or even a 1/2 marathon, but i like the idea of going on 3 mile jogs... so we'll see where it goes.

here's where i'm getting my structured training.

i'm pretty lazy, so i'll let you know if i can pull this off.

UPDATE - since angy has agreed to train with me (what a sister), we're taking this somewhat seriously by choosing our runs NOW. so i will participate in the Melissa Fund Sun Run to benefit melanoma research. fyi - i despise cancer of all types, so this works for me. i better start running; may 16th is going to come quickly!

btw - i have no good stories lately... or at least my stories aren't inspiring any hilarious writings. oh, and i've been busy. my apologies. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

c'mon zeus - cut me some slack!

it's snowing. it's march 20th. it's spring.

this is a sad, sad start to spring. 

oh, mighty zeus - god of weather, why do you smite me?

----------------------------------------
on a funnier note, yesterday i was at a hospital (no worries, it's aaalll good), and there was a huge bin with a sign on it - "soiled linens."

soiled linens?! 

omg, i was cracking up. why does that sound so much more disgusting than "dirty laundry" or "used gowns?"

seriously, SOILED! hahahaha! i hope they put mine in a different bin since i didn't soil it.

oh, i slay me (with my mighty sword*)

*if you haven't heard about mikey's sleep talking at a sleepover with paul, i feel sad for you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

paul vs steph - whose sense of humor wins?

so i have a funny story. the problem is that paul doesn't find it nearly as funny at all... and i don't find it all that funny, really. just mildly funny, so he thinks it's straight un-funny.

i will share anyway and let you decide on the fate of the story (funny or not funny). i tried calling tbs, since they know funny, but it turns out that that campaign was for marketing purposes only. apparently, they don't really know funny, so you can't actually call them to find out what's funny (or not).

when we were in dublin many moons ago (aka december 2007), there was a screen print artist selling some of his work on the side of the street. normally we don't stop for such tom-foolery, but this guy had screen prints of old album covers and concert posters of rad bands. we stopped, and after much debate, we decided on two (even though we were pretty poor at that moment), and it started raining... such is life in dublin.

fast forward to february 2008 when we moved to brooklyn. we had the prints ready to be framed, but our laziness got the better of us. fast forward to two weeks ago when we were at ikea. we found a frame that would work for both prints... and the frames were only $30. (in case you don't know, custom framing is super expensive). we realized at ikea that the mattes were the wrong white, as our prints are bright white, and the mattes were off-white. 

when we got the frames home, paul tested it out, and sure enough - the frames would be perfect, but we definitely needed to get new mattes cut b/c the ones we had looked almost yellow compared to the prints.

fast forward to this past weekend. paul took some measurements (one print is larger than the other) and called around. over the phone, the clerk quoted each matte at $30ish. we headed to the frame shop, and the clerk showed us the bright white matte, and we were satisfied... 15 minutes later, we walked out of the shop with two different-sized mattes and $92 poorer. somehow the price went up by 16 dollars per matte b/c the material that was in-stock was more expensive (or at least that's what hubbs & i surmised)

when we got home, paul quickly unwrapped our new mattes and immediately noticed that both mattes were cut to the same size. bummer, but it doesn't really matter b/c the size will work for both. after a few more seconds, he realized the fatal blow... the $92 mattes (the ones that we paid more for than the prints & the frames combined) were the exact same color as the ikea mattes.

ha. we're a couple of geniuses. 

for the record - i don't think they look 1/2 bad.
p.s. if tbs did really know funny, they would be say that this is clearly funny.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

funniest thing ever...

okay, so maybe this is just the funniest work-related thing ever... the 'oh snap' flow chart is closely trailing in second.

thanks melissa!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

proof.

proof that i have a scanner.
--------------------------------

this one is proof that i've always had a killer sense of style. 
cool socks and a harley*? check.

this one is proof that i did not win the eyebrow lottery. 
seriously, what are those things? (and what's up with the H U G E pupils?)

this one is proof that angy and i should've listened to our parents when they told us to dress up for the all family photo. adam ant and atlanta braves t-shirts do not scream 'family photo.' 
(it also proves that i was once a-buck-five. who cares if i was only 15?!)

this one is proof that i've always been gorgeous... duh!

*for the record - i do not condone the use of motorcycles... even though harleys are SO cool!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

i've fallen... and i'm up!


yesterday, i took a tumble.

i was walking from the office to the living room... yeah, all 30 feet... when suddenly my foot grabbed the cuff on my cotton capris pants (if you believe it's spring, then it will be spring) and sent me floundering through the air (i am not quite steady enough to go 'flying' through the air).

in the 4 seconds before i landed face first on the wood floor, a couple of things went through my mind:
  1. my face is going to smash into the filing cabinet. that is going to hurt. 
  2. my cell phone is sitting on top of the filing cabinet. when i am incapacitated on the ground, i will not be able to reach it, and no one will know of my demise. i will simply have to scream, "i've fallen, and i can't get up!" through our concrete walls, and hopefully someone will hear me.
  3. i am a dang fool. only a dang fool could be so foolish as to trip over his/her pants... and what's really sad is that this has happened numerous times.
then i hit the floor... and it hurt. i tried to stand up immediately, but my body wasn't having it, so i plopped back down hoping that i didn't seriously injure myself. i stayed on the ground for a few seconds, and while i was there, a few things ran through my mind:
  1. ouch!
  2. okay, i can bend my knee. phew, it's not broken.
  3. hmm, my pinky toe never bends, but it hurts... how can i tell if it's broken? my mom always said that if you can bend it, then it's not broken... but my pinky toe doesn't bend! ahhhh! what now, mom?
  4. what'd i do to my elbow and thumb?
  5. where'd those two cuts come from?
fortunately, within a minute, i was up 'walking it off,' and my pinky toe went from tomato-red to steffa-red. my elbow hurt for a while, and i'm still wondering how in the heck my finger was cut, but i'm a-okay. 

it's funny b/c i always get annoyed when ppl say to me, "be careful!" and my mom, my sister and my paul say those words to me often... but it's annoying b/c i AM careful. i swear it. when i walk, i do not watch my feet; that is true. but that is b/c i'm looking the world in the face. walking with your head down means your depressed, and i am not, so there's just nothing i can do about not looking at my feet when i walk. so really, it's not my fault that i trip a lot. and as for running into the corners of walls, well, that's gotta be an equilibrium problem or something... so no matter how 'careful' i try to be, i will always hit a corner. 

this time, though, those annoying words - be careful - really ran through my mind, as this time, i really could've prevented my tumble. to make it through life as reckless as i am, i need one of two things:
  1. a personal assistant / caregiver / body guard
  2. a life call emergency response system where i can just push the button and speak into the air... then help will be sent immediately.
either way, this is obviously a medical need, so my insurance should pick up the tab, right?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

the long, long, long walk

my shoe on the brooklyn bridge. 
two things that never get old - converse & the brooklyn bridge.

8 miles we walked on saturday. 

8 miles in t-shirts with our hoodies tied around our waists.

8 miles of 65ish degree weather.

8 miles in converse, and my feet couldn't be happier.

hightlights:
  • the brooklyn flea market. you.should.be.jealous. if you visit, maybe we'll take you there. the most amazing artists/designers, food vendors, antiques... amazing, no doubt. raw chocolate. raw - no sugar, no dairy, just delicious cacao. fantastic prints. i-want-it-all jewelry and t-shirts. i-lust-for-them cupcakes. you.should.be.jealous.
  • the brooklyn bridge. enough said.
  • green markets. yes, plural. i love locally-grown produce! literally - l.o.v.e.
  • walking from our front door to downtown manhattan. (all my life, i thought that walking to the superpumper was grand... little did i know!)
all of that and still 2 miles to go. after our long day of walking, i took a (way too long) nap, and it was glorious - just as naps should be. eventually we needed dinner... so we went to leave the apartment...

and we were locked in. 

seriously, we were locked inside of the apartment. who even knew that was possible?* well, it is, and we were... and that killed about 30 minutes, since our super had to come free us.

so by the time we arrived at the fancy pizza place that we had planned on dining at, they had a minimum 1 hour wait. we both said, "uhm, i think not" and headed out to park slope where there's a plethora of restaurant options. after a bit of walking, we found playa, a latin bistro with loud latin music blaring from the speakers and huge palm tree murals on the walls. we both love all things latin, so it was a natural soon-to-be fave... or so we thought.

they sat us right away. we ordered within 15 minutes. it took 1 hour to receive our food. 1 hour. to top it off, the waitress apologized 50 minutes in... wherein she also told us that her family was sitting next to us, and they were so worried about us getting our food. honestly, we were discussing what could possibly be taking so long, but we weren't loud or belligerent... when she told us that, we both heard, "better keep your mouths shut!" but seriously, 1 hour... and we're the ones made to feel badly about it?! ha. 

the coup de grâce? the food = 'eh. needless to say, we won't be heading back to playa anytime soon.** next time, we'll wait the hour at franny's for our fancy pizza. but at least we have a story! 

... and at least we added an additional 2 miles to our 6 mile saturday walk in the amazing pre-spring weather! and at least we live in the coolest place ever!*** and at least we have the coolest lives ever! and at least we live by the brooklyn flea market where i can drown my playa-created sorrows in delicious mini-cupcakes and raw chocolate!

*okay, we all know that pdaddy probably already knew!
**and by that, i mean the restaurant, playa. obviously, we will head to the actual playa once it's warm-warm again... not just fluke-warm.
***don't feel bad, spain... you're tied, of course!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

it's a sunshine day!

did you know that paul and i miss alicante everyday? 

i did a bit of driving today... 
oh wait, that pretty much happens every day.

but today, it was 45 degrees out. i had the air temp in my car down to 75, and i had to remove my coat b/c i was sweating with the heat on - even at 75... which means that the sun was shining.

can i get a hoo-ah?

back to the sun. it was beating down on me all day. it was amazing. i wore sunglasses and basked in the rays from the driver's seat. i rolled down my window to feel the crisp, spring air... then i rolled it back up b/c my eyes have been irritated ever since the notion of spring, but i enjoyed the cool air. it took me back to summer - sitting on the beach, baking in the sun, enjoying every slight breeze (except the breezes that are actually wind gusts that cause the sand to zoom towards my face at 50mph)

remember how between sunday & monday, nyc received a whopping 6 - 12 inches of snow? i think we got around 8 or so inches in our 'hood... which made it VERY difficult to free my car from the mounds and mounds surrounding and covering it... but that's another story.

so i had to stop at the grocery store on the way home... i actually walked outside without a coat on. it was amazing. the air was cool, but it definitely wasn't cold. it took me back to when my dad lived in the midwest. he would come visit angy and me in az over christmas, and he would wear t-shirts and flip flops while we covered ourselves in layers upon layers b/c we were freezing in the 65 degree weather. now, i'm that guy... thinking 45 degrees is warm! ... but it is, i tell you ... as long as the sun is shining.

and did i mention that the sun is shining? well, was shining, anyway... it's a little late for the sun now, but it was shining. in the dead of winter, i realized that the sun has cold days. in the dead of winter, the sun is not warm in cold places. the sun merely shines for light, but it's too far away and sleeps far too often to actually heat anything. then a couple of weeks ago, a miraculous thing happened, the sun felt warm again... and paul and i rejoiced in the warmth of the sun.

it's supposed to hit 67 degrees this weekend? 
oh, sweet warmth... how i've missed you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

eat food.

so paul's reading in defense of food right now... and while it's he who's reading it, i hear all about it b/c when hubbs is excited about something, he tells me.

and he is soooooo stoked about this book. remember a couple months ago when we went on the south beach diet? remember how i only lasted a pathetic 5 days? remember how paul lasted for a long time and actually lost quite a bit of weight and has actually kept it off?*

well, when we were in LV, my great friend, greg rampage usa**, told us how he detests diets... and we both adamantly agreed with him (though you wouldn't believe us considering we were dieting just weeks prior). well, grusa had recently become a gym-goer and has lost a bit of weight himself (way to go, dude). paul and i just aren't good at going to the gym; i blame paul's work hours (b/c i am far too lazy and hate the gym far too much to go solo). but rampage was telling us how he had a few training sessions, and his trainer tried to get him to go on a diet of sorts (eat this, not that). rampage is an honest dude (one of my fave things about him), so he told the trainer that he wasn't about to stop eating what he likes... to which the trainer said the most illuminating thing ever...

every time you eat, eat 25% less than you normally would.

so grusa started that plan and found that surprisingly he was still full when he finished eating. well, as soon as paul and i heard that genius tidbit, we started on the same thing... and i'll say that we've gotten way better at portion control. thanks g-reg.

well, now paul's reading this book, and i'm loving it. the goal of the book is to prove that the only dietary change ppl need to make is to eat FOOD. yes, food. i've always believed this, but i never knew that there was evidence to back it up. the book basically says that everyone eats 'food substitutes.' soooooo true. everything processed. everything imitation.

speaking of imitation. pollan describes how the gov't used to require imitation foods to say "imitation" on packaging... well, that went away in lieu of requiring nutritional and ingredient listing on packaging, which is a sham i tell you. so the best part of this? low-carb pasta... he explains, "would anyone buy imitation pasta?" the obvious answer is 'no, of course not,' but labeling it low-carb makes it seem like a good option... well, most pasta is made of flour, egg, salt and water... in moderation, carbs are good for you. in moderation, eggs are good for you. in moderation water and salt are good for you.

in excess, anything is bad for you... even water. sooooo what is the effect of eating processed and imitation foods in excess like most of us do? 

well, i've more than jumped on the bandwagon for eating real foods. our grocery shopping trip this week involved all real food (except for breakfast cereal, but i'm addicted, so sue me). and so far this week, paul made a loaf of bread; i made beef stew and homemade tomato soup. tonight? homemade macaroni and cheese... we'll see how that one goes; i've always been a 'blue box, please' kind of girl.***

in summary, eat more real foods. oh, and keep active b/c that's the only real defense to gaining weight (b/c this book proves that a high fat diet does not equate to fattiness - oh, i just shattered your universe).

*which was quite a fete considering at different points in time, we had 2 ice cream cakes, 7 ice cream sammies and a batch of my famous chocolate/pb chip cookies in the house... yummm!
**greg rampage usa, rampage, grusa, g-reg - all the same person. he's tall - the photo is proof.
***most things that i make come from quite possibly the best gift ever - my better homes & gardens cookbook - thanks mom!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

the meaning of life?

me on our last euro trip - dublin

travel.

yes, i believe that travel is the meaning of life. why? i don't know. i'm not even sure the idea makes sense to be honest, but i love to travel, and i want to devote my lifetime to traveling with my dear hubbsalot... plus, i needed an awesome title, and that one came to mind... so clearly it must be true.

speaking of travel. you may not have heard - AIR INDIA SUCKS. seriously, we were supposed to go to london in july with our besties, m&m. plane tickets were purchased; hotels were booked; plans were coming together - romeo & juliet at the globe, guard harassment, an abbey road photo - yes, we had plans... until air india decided to cancel their trips between newark and london. BLIMEY, i say!  unfortunately, the ticket prices went from too much (which is what we paid) to too-too much, and in our right minds, we just could not pay too-too much to go to london when it is as close as los angeles.

sooooo. we had to change our plans. after tons of debate... we came down to a list of locations and cheap ticket prices for memorial day weekend. (btw - all of these trips would cost less than our tickets to phoenix for christmas.)
  • london $429
  • paris $404
  • rome $391
  • brussels $387
  • lisbon $379
  • san jose, costa rica $300
  • mexico city $318
truthfully, there were an additional ten or so locations on the list, but these were our most favorite options. it was a tough decision to say the least. we took it down to our top four locations (mine - london, paris, san jose, mx city & paul's - paris, san jose, mx city, lisbon)... then it was quickly narrowed to mexico city and paris... if price were the only factor, mexico city would've won hands down, but paris is paris.

so we're going to paris! and man, am i excited. i've already begun practicing my french - "baguette," "huoh huoh huoh huoh," "ça va." i am planning to ride a bike around the city with a little scarf tied around my neck and a basket on the back of the bike holding my fresh baguettes and cheese... 

if you're not quite jealous enough... we were also able to lock down our trip to honolulu for aiko's wedding. we were able to get one ticket for free and pay far less than imagined for the second ticket... and the flight is non-stop. 

tickets to paris 
+
tickets to honolulu
_____________
price of our cancelled london tickets

maybe it was fate. maybe it was luck... i don't know, but whatever it is, i'm excited for our trips. while i'm saddened about the lack of a besties reunion in london, my head will be softened by pillows made of french cheese and baguettes, so i'll be okay.

and if that isn't enough... drum roll, please. 

after 10 years, hubbs will finally see my hometown! that's right - we're heading to lincoln for independence day weekend. those tickets still have to be purchased, but i'm watching the fares, and i assure you that i'll have tickets within the next two weeks.

so to summarize, travel really is the meaning of life... or something.