Posts tagged ‘New York City’

March 19, 2013

Glass Slippers Are So Back

Growing up, my sister and I were all about Disney. Like most little girls, we spun around the house in princess gowns (a Jasmine two-piece pajama set, in my case) dreaming of one day being swept off our feet by a handsome prince to live happily and royally ever after. It’s no wonder everyone drools over William and Kate! We have long been imprinted to believe in the whole fairytale baloney…ugh, the communication sciences major in me digresses. Anywho, on Saturday, Kru and my mom came into the city to relive those previously described childhood fantasies with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Sorry, Disney but this version of the most infamous rags-to-riches story took things up a notch. No longer is the soon-to-be princess painted as a pushover, unaware of her self-worth needing a prince to save her. This gal, Ella, is confident and empowering, ultimately teaching the prince a thing or two about standing up for his beliefs in order to be a powerful, successful leader. He needs her to introduce democracy to the kingdom and spread kindness among the people. You go, girl! Now that’s a message I hope all the cutie patooties in the audience takeaway. 

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With that being said, my only criticism would be that the whole musical harped a bit too much on this notion. Like, I get that they were targeting the tiara-wearing audience members so they had to be overly obvious about things but after a while, it was excessive and borderline obnoxious–especially in the song lyrics, which were, dare I say it, amateur and lame. So yes, I just contradicted myself a bit. I liked the empowerment message but I wish they toned it down a bit, particularly in the music. Get it? Don’t get me wrong, the show as a whole was whimsical, surprisingly funny and spectacularly entertaining. The set design? Spot on with regal architecture and an enchanting wooded forest. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the costumes. Woah. I’m STILL trying to figure out how Cinderella’s dress magically upgraded from tatters to gown mid-spin…twice! Mind. Boggled. I may no longer prance around in “gowns” and faux diamond-encrusted accessories from the mall’s Disney Store, but sitting beside my mom and sister during our matinee the other day brought me back. Watching the wide-eyed kidlings around me made me realize how grateful I am to have been raised to believe in myself, in my future so that I can “be whatever I want to be,” as the cast belted out–with or without some handsome prince. Lucky for me, I’ve got one of those, too.
Who was your favorite princess growing up?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

November 5, 2012

Post-Sandy & 4-Ingredient Cookie Dough Balls

I can’t remember a time I felt as scared or alone as I did just seven days ago. Sandy was making her way toward the city I now call home, leaving a destructive path behind her and I didn’t know what to do or how to prepare. After being in denial for most of Halloween weekend, I had only bought a few bottles of water (peer pressured by the mass chaos I witnessed in Whole Foods). I had made another big batch of pumpkin chili to surprise Mike with and roasted up enough veggies to last me a few days, just in case, but that was it. I figured everyone was blowing this whole “Sandy” schtick out of proportion. As the storm got closer, though, the more severe and real things became. Mike’s flight from Denver was cancelled, my office was closed and I began to panic, feeling stranded on this island with no way out. In a high rise with two bedroom walls being floor-to-ceiling windows, I was petrified beyond belief when the winds started to whip. As my roommate, Russ, and I watched lower Manhattan go dark (pictured below), I felt helpless.

In this big city, it’s so easy to feel small and Sandy made me all too aware of that. I ended up being one of the lucky ones with power and my norm was relatively untouched. I felt incredibly spoiled living in a bubble of luxury as I watched the haunting aftermath images on the news. My heart ached (and still does) for those who have lost their lives, loved ones and homes because of the storm. I can’t even begin to tell you how eerie the city has been but in spite of all the sadness and helplessness, these past few days I have witnessed a glimmer or two of hope. The star-studded relief concerts, the support New York City marathoners provided in Staten Island today…it has all been incredible. Yesterday, I had chills standing in the TKTS line with my visiting running pals, Adam and Mandi, as a flash mob of ING runners came barreling through Time Square with smiles on their faces. The cancelled event wasn’t going to slow them down! Tourists lined the streets, cheering on the group for their dedication and hard work. It is with this spirit that New York and all of the Eastern seaboard, for that matter, will get through this devastating time and rebuild for the better.

 

After a strange week, it was nice to have these familiar faces around for the day. We shopped, ate and saw Mary Poppins, which was absolutely incredible, especially since we scored second row seats! I fell in love with the little Michael Banks (ahem, Bert wasn’t too shabby to look at either…) and suppressed my urge to sing along to the upbeat, whimsical music. Next on my “to see” list: Newsies. In preparation for a long day of venturing, I made nut balls Friday night for my guests. They were a hit as a late afternoon snack and in the wise words of Mandi, “Everything tastes better in ball form.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, doll.

 

Ingredients
(made 7 medium balls)
1/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
10 large dates, pits removed
Dash of vanilla extract

The nut/dried fruit concept is nothing new (remember my Mocha Coffee Protein Balls and Apricot Almond LARABARs?) but something about this combination just plain rocked. Seriously, I thought I was eating cookie dough batter. In a food processor, pulse everything together until thoroughly chopped and mixed. Roll into balls and refrigerate. That’s it! Sweet, gooey but with a crunch that will keep you energized between meals. Yeah…you need to make these. They will be a staple snack of mine from now on for cubicle munchies!

Pumpkin Turkey Chili recipe to come! Blame it on Mike…he took his Nikon (which he so graciously lets me borrow for blogging purposes) and has been traveling the past two weeks. I swear it’s worth the hype.
Have you witnessed a glimmer of hope after super storm Sandy?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

April 13, 2012

Fitspiration Friday

At this time in two days I will have completed my first half-marthon. The journey hasn’t been easy. Early alarms could have easily been snoozed, the dreadful commute from school to New York City ever week could have easily prevented me from sticking to my routine but all in all, I powered through it. My diet has never been cleaner, my legs are stronger than ever and I have honestly never been as proud of myself. This race has come at a pivotal moment in my life, as I can hear Pomp and Circumstance play faintly in the distance and prepare to conclude this chapter to start anew. Besides the incredibly supportive and encouraging individuals I have in my life, I’ve had a few mantras that have catapulted me forward in pursuit of my goal. Here are some words that helped me get my butt in gear 

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go.” Patti Sue Plummer
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it.” Oprah Winfrey
“Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’ The answer is usually: ‘Yes.'” Paul Tergat
“The most powerful lesson you can learn in running? You’re capable of much more than you think.” Runners World
“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.” Arthur Blank
“He who conquers others is strong, he who conquers himself is mighty.” Lao Tsu
“Failure’s not an option. It’s a step.” Nike
“Run hard, be strong, think big!” Percy Cerutty
“I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality and the last part with your heart.” Mike Fanelli
“Anything is possible, but you have to believe and you have to fight.” Lance Armstrong 

Tomorrow afternoon Amanda will be headed into the city so we can go to the Health & Wellness Expo and check in. I have to pick up a new running top (I’ve had my eyes set on this) and finally invest in a SPIbelt, too, along the way. Come on, I have to LOOK the part, too, right? Walking around will be a nice way to loosen up and a lot of stretching will be a must. Amanda and I already have a big, protein-powered dinner planned alongside an early bedtime, of course. I can’t wait and still get get over the fact that this weekend is already here! So surreal. T-minus 2 days. Let’s do this thing!
Any last minute half-marathon tips? How about fitspiring beats for my race playlist? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

February 14, 2011

Wicked Weekend Wrap-Up

This Valentine’s Day weekend was absolutely fabulous, minus the fact I’m battling a bad head cold. I went home Friday afternoon, hung out with my family and went to my sister’s hockey game after making a delicious vegetable/tofu stir-fry over pasta for dinner. It was an exciting game against our biggest rival, tied 0-0 going into the last period! I can definitely see myself being a crazy hockey mom someday…I was cheering loudly as my dad hit the boards with his fist in outrage at every unfavorable call. It was fun, even though the nail-biter ended with a loss. The Lady Skating Tigers outplayed the darn Indians the entire game, which made the L a lot worse. Anyway, it was great to be home and see my family.

Picture courtesy of my Blackberry

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early for the Big Apple. For my birthday/Christmas, Mike got me Wicked tickets and planned a day in the city for us. It was a wonderful day, excluding my sneezing, scratchy throat and throbbing headache. We grabbed a quick lunch at 30 Rock, Mike’s old and future stomping grounds, before briskly making our way over to Broadway. The show was absolutely incredible. The music, costumes, set, etc., were out of this world! I’d see it again. And again. I’m pretty sure Mike liked it a lot, too, as much as a guy likes musicals…

Loving my new boots!

After the show, we walked a bit, eventually catching a cab when we got too cold down to Chelsea Market. We had some time before our dinner reservation so shopped a bit. How cool is the Anthropologie store front!?

Picture courtesy of my Blackberry

For dinner we went to Pastis, a cute French bistro in the meatpacking district that offers moderately priced, upscale cuisine. We sat at a romantic table for two in the corner and split a bottle of San Pelligrino (Mike snorted when I wanted sparkling water over a bottle of wine and then ordered a beer for masculinity purposes). I ordered the Seared Organic Salmon with Lentils, Frisée & Mushrooms in Mustard Sauce, Mike got the Cheeseburger, surprise, surprise. He is such an adventurous eater…The food was incredible, the dining area was upbeat and lively. All in all, fabulous meal. We concluded our night by stopping in the Brass Monkey for a drink. I ordered a cosmo for Sex & The City’s sake. It was strong but delish. We headed back home shortly after, exhausted from our fantastic day. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sprinkled with Lots of Love,
Lauren