Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Courageous or crazy?

A Cup of Jo recently posted this outrageous documentary clip feauturing a group of French guys “skylining.” Blogger Joanna Goddard describes skylining as “a new European sport that combines tightrope walking, slacklining and base jumping.” Basically it’s insane. Or is it? At least these guys have parachutes. 

Meet American “free solo” climber Alex Honnold. Honnold scales the world’s tallest mountain walls without ropes, harnesses or any safety gear whatsoever. With just his hands and feet he ascends incredibly steep rock faces, in record-breaking times. Just for fun. (He has said there are “many reasons” for free solo-ing, one being that it’s “cool.”) Honnold is quirky, accomplished and, to me,  incomprehensible. But, to each his own...


Friday, October 28, 2011


I recently popped into Dylan’s Candy Bar to pick up a few Halloween treats. We most likely won't have any trick-or-treaters, but we have got to get into the holiday spirit! I’m opting not to dress up as a promiscuous anything this year. But I am filling the apartment with pumpkin muffins and sweets. So really I’m going as “domestic goddess.” Some pics...

Mini chocolate pumpkins:

Our Reese's Pieces Halloween stash, JUST IN CASE some kid makes his way up to the 5th floor of our mostly young-professionals Gramercy apartment building:

The gumball bathtub at Dylan’s Candy Bar (I couldn’t bring it home, but I want to share it with you… I mean, how awesome?!):


P.S. Doesn’t Halloween make you think of Mean Girls?

Watch this hilarious Mean Girls/Halloween clip.

P.P.S. Need a holiday gift to bring along to a Halloween or Thanksgiving celebration? Shop at Dylan’s Candy Bar! Oh the selection… Like a kid in a candy shop….

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spot on

The Fashion Spot is a self-described “Fashion-centric online community that covers designers, photographers, models, fashion careers, and trend spotting.”

So it’s no surprise that The Fashion Spot recently covered fashion trends in yoga-wear. Now that yoga has become Americanized and, well, fashionable, it’s only natural that fashion trends are emerging from the mat.

Julie Bensman, my good friend and Editor-at-Large of The Fashion Spot (she also reigns as Entertainment Editor for Niche Media) recently reported on looking "Downright Chic in Downward Dog” and she turned to yours truly for yoga expert info. Of course I recommend you read this article.


P.S. I love Bensman’s top picks, especially the Jade Pink Mat (proceeds go to a breast cancer charity).

Here are a few of my favorite yogi pieces:

These leggings are comfortable, flattering and practical for yoga. Period.

Yes I wear (small) mens tanks for yoga. They’re just fitted enough and supremely comfy (they’re tagless after all!) And they’re 5 for just $18.50… 

This was given to me as a gift, and it is the gift that keeps on giving! Prior to using this mat strap I was that girl on the sidewalk, on the subway, in the restaurant, awkwardly holding an always-unraveling, obtrusive mat. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

The One

A couple of years ago my boyfriend and I stumbled upon One Girl Cookies in Brooklyn. We were strolling around The Heights and One Girl Cookies had the cutest storefront sign. And we’re very receptive to anything “cookies.” But we actually ended up getting these delicious looking whoopie pies instead. They’re described as a mix between cookie and cake. And these little hamburger-looking sweets are scrumptious! Our go-to flavor is pumpkin, perfect for fall. One Girl Cookies (dangerously) delivers all over. I’ve given whoopie pies as gifts and the recipients have always been delighted.


P.S. Check out the heart-warming story behind One Girl Cookies.

image via onegirlcookies.com 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Street fighter

Yesterday a middle-aged man accosted me on the street. He wasn’t homeless. In fact he wore an L.L. Bean backpack, a pair of eyeglasses, and a relatively put-together outfit. He was, however, losing his shit. Excuse my language, but he was in a bad place. Literally and figuratively. He didn’t have an umbrella and he was somehow managing to text while walking in the windstorm. Let me remind you about the torrential downpour + winds yesterday in NYC: I was nearly lifted into the air like Mary Poppins! And my dinky H&M “fashion” umbrella got so twisted and useless I had to put it to rest in the sidewalk garbage can, all while being rained on and yelled at. In the middle of a near-tornado.

I had passed the mean man on the sidewalk. He was going west and I was going east. And boy was he the Wicked Witch of the West! I’m still not sure why, but he didn’t approve of my walking on his right side (AKA WRONG side). After passing him, he roared, “I MEAN YOU COULD’VE WALKED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF ME!!!!!” What the H E double L does that mean? Was he not an ambi-turner? Why would it matter? We were both walking straight! Me, straight to the garbage can i.e. resting place of my poor umbrella; he to the loony bin? I was so taken aback all I could say was “whoa.”

As I walked home in the pouring, windy rain with no umbrella I felt kind of hurt. (I get sensitive when someone yells at me!) But then I just felt sad for him. What could’ve possibly spurred him to rage at me in the middle of the street? Did someone just break up with him over text? I hadn’t engaged his temper tantrum. I wouldn’t have even known how to respond… “You got up on the wrong side of the bed mister!!! I don’t care which side I pass you on! Mean, mean man!” Ultimately I just felt compassion for him. I don’t excuse his behavior toward me. But I do sincerely hope he finds happiness and doesn’t act like such an a-hole going forward. I hope he was walking west to a yoga class.


P.S. Joanna Goddard (God love her!) of A Cup of Jo just posted this article as her first pick for an “Articles Club” she’s starting. Get it? Like a Book Club. I think it’s genius! The article is essentially about finding, and maintaining, one’s happiness. It’s also about a broken marriage, and one woman’s unique approach to fixing it. One tip: don’t acknowledge another person’s (your partner’s, your kid’s, your passerby’s) temper tantrum…

Monday, October 17, 2011

The City

My Grandma Elly lived in New York City her whole adult life. She used to say, “When you walk out your door, you’re somewhere.” She didn’t have to travel far to get to her favorite restaurants, shows and shops. And she thrived in the city that doesn’t sleep. She was a night owl, not a morning person (just like me!) I too love NYC, but there are moments when I crave space and suburbia. And unlike Elly, her son (AKA my Dad) hates Manhattan. ("There’s too much traffic and not enough golf.")

How do you feel about NYC?


P.S. This clip of “nice” New Yorkers gave me goose bumps.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Happy Friday!
3 things to be happy about…

It’s a dog’s life: adorable video, featured on Rockstar Diaries
Dog & baby, with music by The Black Keys

Home decor inspiration: unique “vase” with fuschia bouquet, presented by Cupcakes and Cashmere
Flowers in a vintage mint julep cup

That’s what she said
Awesome quotes I found on Pinterest


P.S. That's what she said 
Music video

picture via http://taza-and-husband.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Hunt

Time Out New York just released its “Find Your Perfect Apartment” issue. Of course there’s no perfect apartment in NYC, especially in the West Village (our personal favorite area and also the most sought-after neighborhood by everyone we know or know of, including Natalie Portman, Brooke Shields, Blake Lively, SJP, etc.) In fact Time Out doesn’t even feature a West Village spot in its story. The mag couldn’t find “the one” in the West Vill.

But we did! After hunting for two tiring weeks, Justin and I finally found an apartment that’s perfect for us, despite its imperfections (like the building’s slightly mildew-smelling elevator and lime-green elevator doors). But really we are just thrilled to have an elevator at all! If you know New York real estate – prime West Village real estate to be exact – you know elevators are hard to come by. And a few seconds of dankness in-transit is a small price to pay for a relatively low-rent large one-bed in the heart of the West Village. Our new gut-renovated apartment is situated on a tree-lined street in a lovely, quiet neighborhood that is just minutes away from the best restaurants, bars, shops, gyms, bike paths, etc. Do I sound like StreetEasy? That’s not surprising considering the amount of time I’ve spent reading apartment descriptions in the last couple of weeks.

StreetEasy is a great tool for apartment hunting and I highly recommend it. Its images are, for the most part, accurate depictions of its listed apartments (unlike craigslist). And the brokers listed on StreetEasy are – in our experience – truthful. Yesterday I loitered around our new building and harassed the tenants, confirming with our new neighbors that mice will not be a problem, nor will the building’s surrounding construction projects. No rodents and no loud noise? Sounds perfect enough.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Case of the Mondays

I was nearly knocked over while waiting in line at CVS earlier today. I said sorry. She, the assaulter, said nothing. Rather than roll my eyes or make a bitchy comment under my breath, I practiced compassion and let her off the hook. Who knows? Maybe she was headed for the Tampax aisle. Or maybe she just had a case of the Mondays.

Speaking of having the blues, here’s an article on crying in public. Have you ever cried in public? I have. I remember a specific instance years ago, when I was slaving away at a Devil Wears Prada job. I had a meltdown on the sidewalk, oh so discreetly in the middle of Times Square. I had probably just gotten screamed at for getting my boss a triple-espresso-café-latte-NON-FAT-milk-with-3-and-a-half-splendas instead of a quadruple-espresso-café-latte-NON-FAT-milk-with-3-and-a-half-splendas. Oops.

Here’s a yogic tip on BEATING the blues: inversions. “Inversions—any pose that gets your heart or feet above your head—have an amazing capacity to enliven your body, mind, and spirit,” says Stan Woodman, yoga teacher trainer and co-owner of Kaia Yoga in Greenwich, CT (whole living mag, Oct 2011). All yoga experts I’ve encountered say the same thing: going upside down makes you happy. So why not put your legs up against the wall? (Or do a headstand, handstand, etc.)

Happy head-standing!


(pic via gaiamlife)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hebrew school

Today is Rosh Hashanah, which means “head of the year” or “new year” in Judaism. It also means we Jews can leave work early and eat apples and honey. Here are some other awesome looking Rosh recipes: 


P.S. This Rosh Hashanah parody, performed by Aish (a bunch of Yeshiva students) is worth watching…

P.P.S. A funny Rosh Hashanah card 

(pics via Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times, epicurious.com, marthastewart.com)

(card via someecards)

MTK: the beginning

We went to Montauk a few weeks ago – my first time out to “the end.” It was lovely, and I highly recommend going in September, especially like now when it’s 75 degrees out.

Itinerary highlights:

Literally a backyard, but much cooler than your childhood stomping grounds… There are candles (in ball jars, nonetheless!) lighting the walkway to the bar/restaurant area from the hotel lobby, lights strewn among the low-hanging trees and a fire pit. The ambiance is all-around perfect.

Go for a spin
We rented bikes from the Montauk Bike Shop and first rode to Ditch Plains, legendary MTK surfer beach. It was a very laid-back and serene scene. Next we rode to the uber trendy Surf Lodge and had drinks overlooking a peaceful Fort Pond. Last we biked to Duryea’s for lobster rolls (and clam chowder and sweet corn). We sat outside on the “Lobster Deck.” It was awesome! 
*If you do go to Duryea’s, bring cash (they don’t accept credit cards) and time your visit so you can sit outside (there’s very little room inside the joint). 

Bonfire on the beach
We (i.e. my boyfriend and his brother) made a fire on the beach. (It’s actually legal!) We made smores, drank beer and listened to music. 
*TIP FOR PLAYING MUSIC ON YOUR PHONE: Put the phone in a cup, and the music gets louder…


(MTK pic via http://www.southedison.com/about-us)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sex, religion & politics

(the 3 things you’re not supposed to talk about)

But I just read a book that blew my mind: Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss, M.D.

If you’re open to reincarnation (that’s right, I said it) or if you just like learning about lots of different ideals and ways of life and philosophies (like me!) you should read this book… What stood out are the messages coming from “the masters” of loving-kindness, balance and karma. (Call it what you’d like. The book calls it “paying debts.”)

Many Lives essentially told me to be compassionate and to meditate. (Which The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali also advises.) Hmmm. Something to think, and talk, about.


P.S. I’ve been asked to elaborate on the storyline of Many Lives, and I’d be happy to!

In a nutshell:
Dr. Brian Weiss was an established and prominent psychiatrist living and practicing in Miami, Florida after graduating from Columbia University and Yale Medical School (NBD). He had been using “traditional” techniques on his patients, such as psychotherapy and occasionally prescribing medicine. He considered himself a true scientist. Then Catherine came to see him. She was extremely anxious, had many phobias and was prone to panic attacks. After 18 months of using conventional means of therapy on Catherine, Weiss still couldn’t help her to overcome her symptoms. In a last-ditch effort to help Catherine, Weiss tried hypnosis. “Hypnosis is an excellent tool to help a patient remember long-forgotten incidents,” Weiss said. He expected Catherine to bring up memories from her childhood, which she did. She also relayed information from many other lifetimes and from “master spirits.” And she wasn’t lying. She was able to give Dr. Weiss information from his late father and deceased baby son, information she was not privy to outside of hypnosis. And throughout her hypnosis sessions, Catherine was healed of her own issues. It was really a win-win situation; it just required a change of approach and a revolutionized way of thinking… 

P.P.S This is me in a nutshell! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

First day of Fall

We welcomed the first signs of fall last weekend with a visit to a cornfield & pumpkin patch out on Long Island. Although it may feel muggy and warm here in NYC today, it is officially the first day of autumn.

Happy pumpkin picking!


P.S. We went here, which was lovely. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Word up Wednesday: Book Review

Book review: The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster 


If you read The Phantom Tollbooth as a kid, or if your mama read it to you when you were a mere babe, read it again. Protagonist Milo, along with Tock the dog and the ever-entertaining Humbug, make up the motley little crew trying to save – get this – Rhyme and Reason. The ‘good’ characters are lovable and the ‘bad’ quite comical. Author Norton Juster takes the reader from the Land of Expectations to the Word Market in Dictionopolis and beyond. Juster’s lessons are timeless and communicated through an incredibly creative and enjoyable storyline. In fact, I dog-eared many of The Phantom Tollbooth’s pages for easy access to awesome passages like the below:

“I think we’re lost,” panted the Humbug, collapsing into a large berrybush.
“Nonsense!” shouted Alec from the high branch on which he sat.
“Do you know where we are?” asked Milo.
“Certainly,” he replied, “we’re right here on this very spot. Besides, being lost is never a matter of not knowing where you are; it’s a matter of not knowing where you aren’t—and I don’t care at all about where I’m not.”
(Chapter 10: A Colorful Symphony)


P.S. If you too are a book nerd and have reading recommendations, please do comment and provide any/all suggestions.

P.P.S. Check out this awesome yoga dork site I found… 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fear factor

Fear was a big theme for me throughout my yoga teacher training program. Fear that I wasn’t “advanced” enough, fear that I’d never get up into a handstand. And quite frankly, this fear situation was holding me back… So I decided to leave fear behind upon graduating the course. Of course I still get scared, but now I use my freaky thoughts to my advantage. And quite coincidentally (God?) Martha Beck recently wrote an inspiring article on how to harness fear (and get what you want) in the October 2011 issue of O, the Oprah Magazine. Check it out. Can you relate?

My response to Beck’s instructions:
I want to write a book
but I’m afraid I won’t be "good enough" and/or I’ll embarrass myself & my family (sorry in advance guys!)

Then again, I was scared to start blogging. And how awesome is po(i)sed?!

Good luck steering through your fear.


P.S. More on fear… 
“Clinging to bodily life” (or fear of death) is the fifth of Patanjali’s kleshas, or obstacles. Deal with the kleshas, and you will be good-to-go! In his translation of the Yoga Sutras, Sri Swami Satchidananda provides an enjoyable commentary on fear of death and attachment to the body:

“Some people have old, old cars, say a ’43 Dodge. Even if you offer them the latest model Dodge they wouldn’t want it. You may even say, ‘Your car is no good anymore. You are blocking the road by driving it at ten miles an hour when everybody else is going fifty-five. You need to get a new one.’ The motor vehicles department may even take it away by force and throw it in a junkyard, but the owner will sit by it, crying and lamenting. Attachment to the body is like attachment to that car.” (Sutra 2:9)

Curious about the first four? They are:
(Sutra 2:3)

P.P.S. Just for fun: Nicole 4 Eva

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dress code

Hasn’t Facebook put a damper on rewearing outfits? 

Before Facebook, no one knew when I rewore the same top & bottom every single Saturday night… Now I have to be more creative with my mixing and matching. And special events? Forget about it. Wear the same dress to two weddings and that is clearly the only dress you own. Jennifer Aniston was recently quoted saying that she’ll wear her favorite bikini until it falls apart. People were actually giving her a hard time for being spotted in the same bathing suit over and over every summer! I still sport a suit from freshman year of college… But poor celebs… their outfits have been scrutinized since the invention of paparazzi in La Dolce Vita. At least stars get pampered with SWAG. For all of us mortals, here are a few tips for keepin’ it fresh despite Facebook photos surfacing…

Rent the runway
Rent a designer dress for 90% off retail prices.

Accent with different accessories
We’ve all seen the magazine feature with celebs rewearing one piece, but with different accessories. Bring a dress from day to night, or from weekend to weekend, just by tweaking your handbag, shoes, jewelry, hairdo, etc.
Curb Chain Bracelet Set, Forever 21, $3.80

Beg, borrow, (don't) steal
I recently lent a dress to a friend for a wedding. We roll in different circles, and I’m sure we look different in the sheath anyway. You don’t have to be roomies in college to share clothes. You just have to schlep across town. Totally worth it.

Shop at inexpensive stores
It may sound obvious, but many people – myself included – are intimidated by the mobs at Forever 21, H&M, and other low-priced retailers. Try to sneak out to these stores at lunchtime or during other off-times. When I've sucked it up and dealt with the crowds (and over-stimulation) at these places, I’ve found gems! And of course shopping online is always an option.

Striped ¾ Sleeve Dress, Forever 21, $11.50

Happy shopping! (Or renting or borrowing)


Friday, September 16, 2011

Hooray for the Hamptons

I’m headed to the Hamptons this weekend, so I’m inspired to share an article in Hamptons Magazine about a movie that takes place in the Hamptons... written by the lovely Julie Bensman

P.S. Check out this awesome photo from the feature's shoot, produced by Bensman as well. 

(Photo via hamptons-magazine.com by DAVE LIEBERMAN)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yoga deal of the day & workshop roundup

$29 for a month of unlimited yoga at ISHTA in NYC… sounds too good to be true!
ISHTA has been recommended by my teachers Chrissy Carter and Anna Dioguardi (who currently teaches there). I’m looking forward to experiencing a new studio and learning from a whole new set of classes. See you on the mat.

Anatomy of Asana: Scapular Stability & Inversions, taught by Chrissy Carter
October 2nd, 1pm-6pm at YogaWorks (my alma mater)
I’m dying to go to this workshop. Chrissy is an amazing teacher and has really helped me to improve my own inversion practice. Although she won’t admit it, she’s an anatomy expert and always knows which specific alignment instructions each individual body needs.

Sunday Night Budh Circle at Om Factory in NYC
Looking for like-minded people to meet up with and share a lovely yogic experience? My friend, and experienced yoga practitioner and teacher, is hosting a Sunday night healing circle, which fuses the benefits of yoga with meditation & energy healing.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Word up Wednesday: Sutra

I’m currently procrastinating working on my yoga teacher training take-home test… Procrastinating, I just read in Psychology Today, qualifies as self-sabotage. Which is quite ironic, considering I’m in the middle of writing an exam answer about The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, about 200 aphorisms on how NOT to self-sabotage…

Sutra: Literally means “thread”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are phrases once said by sage Patanjali Maharishi that explain how to do yoga, be mindful, find clarity, etc.

“Within the space of these 200 short Sutras, the entire science of Yoga is clearly delineated: its aim, the necessary practices, the obstacles you may meet along the path, their removal, and precise descriptions of the results that will be obtained from such practices.” - Sri Swami Satchidananda

In other words, Patanjali really lays it out for us, via a list of lessons no longer than 140 characters each... Like philosophical tweets.


Books we’re embarrassed to read

“We’re heading to the shore… we'll be the gays in the short shorts with the gigantic cooler, pretending to read The New Yorker while Us Weekly sits inside it...” – My friend Danny

Do you ever read particular magazines or books in secret? I’m a big fan of a few books that are considered “self-help.” They’re so inspiring! But I was definitely a little too embarrassed to pull out Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny on the subway when I was reading it a couple of years ago… Now I’m more secure. Who gives a s#*t what I’m reading?! As a yogi I know better than to identify my self-worth with outside objects and opinions. And I feel perfectly O.K. sharing that I’m always working to improve myself, learn more, and feel happy. 

My “embarrassing” book recommendations:

Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny by Martha Beck
Beck is wicked smart, super witty, and really knows how to relate to people (she is, after all, a life coach). Steering by Starlight is an enjoyable, helpful read if you’re looking for some direction (in any area of your life). *Of course, ultimately the direction comes from within… You’ll see. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
This should be required reading of all American adults. Covey provides tools for improving oneself and for working well with others.

Happiness Is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life by Sylvia Boorstein
This book is Buddhist-based but relatable no matter what your religious/philosophical beliefs are. Boorstein is clear, concise and straightforward. She explains how to deal with day-to-day grievances and larger-scale tragedies, all with wisdom and a sense of humor.

Happy reading!


P.S. Remember that episode of SATC when Charlotte peruses the self-help section of the bookstore? She picks up Starting Over, Yet Again, but is too embarrassed to buy it… In public at least. She scurries over to the travel section, and then later purchases Starting Over from amazon.com.

And a very special thanks to Jacki! My lovely, brilliant friend and source of all media info.

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