I SPY: Game On

Jan 30, 2015

Are you a smoothie lover?  Then here is a 30 day green smoothie challenge.  I'm putting my kids and I on this!   They already have a smoothie for breakfast everyday, so they shouldn't put up a fuss.  This challenge and these recipes will help mix it up and give us a new daily surprise.  More innovative ways for me to hide goodies in my children's power packed breakfast.  I'm PSYCHED!

Citrus Beet Cleanser

Coconut Peach 

Healing Cranberry Cleanser

Pineapple Mojito

Don't those green smoothies look totally YUMMY?  Thanks to my health coach friend Tracy from Bon Health for recommending http://simplegreensmoothies.com on Facebook.

February 1st is this Sunday.  Great time to start?  HINT.  Get your game on!  While your shopping for Superbowl Sunday guilty pleasures, you can also shop for green goodness smoothie ingredients to balance out your day.  Rev up your Vitamix or any blender.  My kids are going to be screaming 'Oh Kale yeah!'  Or so I like to believe they will!  HA.

I SPY: Henry Date #3

Jan 29, 2015

Wondering what Henry my old friend is up to?  My eldest son thought about him when we were riding out the snow storm!  How THOUGHTFUL.  I've got to give Henry a call to see how he faired.  I did see him last week though.  He was well and had a good Christmas spent in Rhode Island with his niece and family.

I visited Henry last Friday just before the mini snow storm we had on Saturday.  Glad I did, because even though it wasn't a major storm and we all still got out and about just fine, the road conditions and side walk were not the best for a man like Henry to be attempting to set foot on.  Even I wiped out on black ice on the sidewalk walking Eddy.  OUCH.  Nice big black and blue bruise I got!  HA.

When I saw Henry I brought him over a good hearty meal.  He mentioned before he was hoping that I gave him rice the last time, because thats his FAVORITE.  Oops I didn't!  Felt bad I gave him pasta the last visit, so this time I made up for it.  I made him his and my lil' guys favorite RICE, beef short ribs, corn and broccoli.  Dessert we gave him flax seed cholesterol free muffins with walnuts and craisins hand made by my kids.  We're addicted to them!  Had to share the sweetness and also give him a healthier alternative to dessert or breakfast to balance out that cholesterol heavy meal.

On Friday I also took Henry out shopping to prep for what we thought was going to be a BIG snow day.  Another over hyped storm by the media!  We made a stop at the supermarket.  He's very independent, so not use to being baby sat and clearly said when we walked through the doors 'I'll meet you back here in one hour. '  Off he went…with his shopping list and his wad of coupons.  Reminds me of my Grandparents!

As we were driving home he asked if we could stop by his paper store to grab some reading material which was along the way.  He showed me the way and I realized this mans mind is still REALLY clear.  Not just because he was having visual images to work from.  But from talking more to Henry he was giving me directions off the top of his head to his Doctor, and what exit, which traffic light to turn right and left at, etc.  I can't even do that!  HA. I believe that these days our minds have become so LAZY with our navigators and smart phones.  I don't even remember telephone numbers, addresses, or road names anymore!  How horrible is that?

When we got back to his I helped him carry his groceries up the stairs to his house and put everything away.  We chatted a bit, and on the way out I couldn't help but notice this photo he gave me permission to snap.  It's stuck in my head.

Thats Henry and his late wife Alice!  He said this was in the 50's when he came back from the Korean war.  The photo is not that clear but do you see how dashing he looks?  With the pipe!  HA.  Loved the way they dressed back then.  So Smart!  Henry chuckled at my over enthusiasm, then started reminiscing about Alice.  At the end he said…'I still pine for her.  After all we met right out of high school'.  GULP.  My heart was bleeding!  BOO.  Thats true love.  Another stab is their wedding anniversary is Valentines Day.  Awww….

Besides that last downer, Henry and I had a lovely date and I'm HAPPY that I was able to give him some good company, and pre-stock his fridge before our snowy week.  Next date will be at Barnes and Noble.  That's where he's dying to go!

I SPY: Out Like A Lamb

Jan 28, 2015

How many babies in the North East area do you think will be named Juno this month?  I bet a bunch, after our so called SNOWPOCALYPSE!  I'm not sure I would name my child after a storm though.  That's karma right there if they've got a feisty personality!  However I do think Juno is a cute name.  What about you?

So our NYC stay-cation is over.  BOO.  Juno didn't hang around long enough to do the damage we were sitting on eggshells about!  C'mon girlfriend we were so-o-o ready for an EPIC snowstorm!  HA.  If she had continued to cause trouble all day yesterday as predicted then we would have been rewarded with another snow day... but also may have lost power.  We're better off that Juno went out like a lamb, and decided to move North to cause more havoc to those poor folks up in New England. We thankfully got LUCKY this time, and dodged the bullet.  

The travel ban in NYC was lifted at 8am on Tuesday, the sun came out, a few businesses started opening up before lunch time and the city started coming alive again.  That's the spirit of NYC!  Gave us reason to go out and have our last round of fun before heading home.

My lil' guy requested to go again and visit his new friends Peter Regli SNOW MONSTERS.  They are really cool, and I just found out they were installed three days ago.  Brand new!  The sculptures are up till March 13, 2015.  If your around go view it outside the Flatiron building on 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue.  You can't miss it!

Here are other photos from our day of lazing around, grabbing designer coffee, making snow angels, fresh paw prints and snowball fights with a perfect back drop.  Yes, that is the Empire State Building in the background of the last photo!  PRETTY when the snow is fresh and clean, huh?

But at the end of the day the snow turned into slush and got really DIRTY.  Yuck!  Now I remember why I use to hate it when it snowed in the city, and how gross your shoes got.  Good ending to get me to return to greener and cleaner pastures - the burbs!  HA.

I SPY: Survival Skills

Jan 27, 2015

Have you been following the SNOWPOCALYPSE thats hit the North East?  A.K.A. winter storm Juno.  Well she's been showing us who's the boss for the last 24 hours!  It has been snowing bucket fulls here in NY.  About 2 - 4 inches of snow falling per hour.  Thats rapid speed guys!  We usually only receive 2 - 4 inches of snow in a days worth not in an HOUR.  This girl is FIERCE!  Total white out conditions because not only is there big snow flakes falling, but we have also been experiencing high winds.  No wonder were in a state of emergency, and they're considering this a possible record breaking blizzard in history!

When I heard the words RECORD BREAKING and had Con Edison our electric company calling me to sign up for automated text messages to report and keep up with the power outages in our area, I immediately took that as a sign that this blizzard wasn't going to be wimpy!

After Hurricane Sandy in 2012 everyone does take warnings more seriously now and naturally have become hyper-sensitive.  You saw what that Hurricane did to us and how it crippled us for weeks right?  Our house didn't have power for 10 days, and we ended up evacuating to Texas because we were disabled for so long.  This time I wanted to jet off to MIAMI, but I couldn't get everyone organized fast enough to catch a flight out before airports closed!

So we instead followed our usual game plan - move to the city.  My safety net.  Yes I'm a city BRAT!
We bailed and skipped town yesterday at lunch time to head into the city, before the snow started to really fall hard.  Rode out the storm last night safe and sound in a room with a view!  SWEET.

We brought a suitcase of food with us from home!  HA.  As double precaution also went yesterday to Eataly to buy more snacks.  Like we really need it?  PARANOID!  Eataly was surprisingly a ghost town as were the city streets.  LOVED it though.  Normally your elbow to elbow and fighting for space.  Also no queue to buy the best Prime Rib sandwich ever.  Thats the first!  HEAVEN.

2nd stop the Lego store.  Each kid got a big lego set.  Best ENTERTAINMENT for a snow day, and for saving Mama's sanity!  Mega important survival skill.  HA.

Then we discovered a new installation by Peter Regli of 12 Snowmen in the plaza outside the Flatiron building.  From far they look like real snowmen.  Very surreal in the snow.  But they're life-size snowmen sculptures made from marble.  Very cool, huh?  I wouldn't mind having one for my backyard!

Walked back through the park, with a mini snow ball fight to burn out the last of my two monkeys energy before the long lock up.

I heart NYC.  Walking through the park and fresh snow was so PRETTY and brought back so many memories.  I remember hating this weather when I lived in the city.  It was mentally challenging.  But since I don't have to deal with this city everyday anymore it's a TREAT to walk dog, and kids, with snow flying in our face. The kids were bundled up and had no complaints.  Not sure if Eddy liked it though.  But now we know what he would look like if he was white!  HA.

EXHILARATING day.  Did more then I expected, because as you can see the snow wasn't that treacherous when we were out and about.  But after sun down yesterday it started to get BAD.  Glad that we were able to be active for most of the day.  Sure beats staying at home in the burbs, worrying constantly, and having to shovel our way out of an igloo!

During our lock up we've been glued to the TV having a weather channel marathon.  What NY-er hasn't been following the news to a T?  We're estimated to be hit by about 2 feet of snow by the end of today.  WOW.  They say the blizzard should be out of here tonight, and if so then it's time we head back home to reality.  The after math in the burbs is what I worry about most.  How much damage, down trees, power lines (since they're all above ground in our town), and the big question…HAVE WE LOST POWER?  If so then the adventures with Mama continue!  Stay tuned.

I SPY: Pays To Be Young

Jan 26, 2015

How was your weekend?  We woke up on Saturday morning to about 5 inches of snow.  PRETTY.  But honestly I was disappointed and wish we got more!  I was expecting to be snowed in the whole day.  Wanted good reason to not get out of my PJ's, chill, eat and be absolutely lazy.  No chance of that!  HA.  Our start to the day was only delayed by a couple of hours.

Once we got shoveled out, kids wanted to hit the park with friends to go sledding, followed by everyone coming back to ours and turning the house upside down.  FUN, but the next morning I woke up aching.  A sore reminder that I'm not that young anymore to be rolling down hills!  OUCH.

As the saying goes...Be careful of what you ask for right?  The next two days looks like a FRIGHT fest for us NY-er's.  Record breaking blizzard warning expected.  Definitely going to be locked up indoors.  We're ready!  Our fridge is still stocked to the max from last Saturday.  We were so excited to have a real 1st snow day, we got so well prepared for Saturday, but barely made a dent in our food supply over the weekend.  So all is good as long as we don't loose power.  If I don't post on the blog tomorrow then you know we're in TROUBLE.  Fingers crossed we ride out this storm safe and smoothly.  Worst case scenario we move into a hotel!  HA.

I SPY: Purse Purge

Jan 23, 2015

Got shoulder and neck ache?  I recently saw a Orthopedic.  Nothing major, just mainly to get a prescription for weekly 'medical' massages that my insurance pays for! *WINK* Clever, huh?  HA.  More importantly the Dr. has explained that my chronic neck and shoulder tightness is partially due to all the crap I carry around unnecessarily in my handbag.  It's so-o-o TRUE.

Do you tote around similar stuff in your purse?  This is what I start out with on a good day and by the end of the day more junk ends up in there, sometimes with kid's electronic devices, gym clothes, small purchases, etc.  Lets just say I know how to pack a bag - to the brim!  HA.  I basically carry the whole house around with me daily, including the kids stuff (sketch books, crayons, snacks) and dogs stuff (treats and collapsible water bowl).  WHY? Because I'm always rushing out the door, and for so many years have been use to my diaper bag always being packed, ready to tackle any problem on the road.  Not necessary anymore.  Especially now that the kids are older, in school and half the time not even with me, and neither is Eddy!

Got to change bad habits.  I've been advised to have 2 bags pre-packed at all times and ready to go.  My tote bag when I have the kids and dog in tow, and a sling bag when I'm out on my own.  I've been able to minimize what I carry in a tiny sling bag to the bare essentials: cash, credit cards, ID, keys, phone, gum and a chapstick.  That's all I can squeeze in.  AMAZING I can survive the whole day with so little!  You can to!

I've got to admit in the past week from carrying less my shoulder and neck tension has become less throbbing at the end of the day.  My previous bag did weigh about 10 pounds.  Actually probably double that!  HA.  Obviously other bad daily habits such as the computer, poor posture, and not stretching still contributes to that areas problem.  But this is step #1.  Baby steps.  Try it.  Go PURGE your bag and feel the difference!

I SPY: Copy Cat

Jan 22, 2015

Are you on the hunt for jeans?  If you were a good girl like me and donated to the denim drive I posted about then you deserve replacements.  If you didn't, you still have time!  JCrew's denim drive is on till the end of this month.

I swapped out my old pair for credit towards these boyfriend jeans from JCrew.  I'm digging the slim leg, and that wide turned up cuff.  How about you?

Photo Credit: Jcrew.com

Photo Credit: ae.com
Then Amber Interiors raved about these jeggings recently in her post.  Had to be a copy cat and try them!  Just received them and yup they're winners, especially for that price point!  Beware - I read the reviews and everyone said they run small.  So I'm glad I went up one size.  You should do the same.

Fancy any of these?  High rised flares are another big style now.  So are ankle zippers.  I've got the flares from the past, but no jeans with zips.  Thats what I need - a good grey washed jean with ankle zippers.  Then I'll be set!

I SPY: Team Chaise

Jan 21, 2015

Ever had to miss your work out class because something unplanned came up?  Plenty of times!  Well for those days you and I can now compensate at home with Chaise Fitness ReinventYOU video series.  Scroll all the way to the bottom of that link and you will see the four videos.  Each 15 minute interval works out a different area of the body.  It's free now for people to test out till the end of this month only.  Easy because besides the resistance band, no other props are needed, and would also be a great travel work out when away.  Packing a resistance band takes up no space, so no excuses!  I'm one to talk.  HA.

Photo Credit: www.chaisefitness.com

Heard of this?  I'm a fan of Chaise Fitness.  I discovered their studio last spring and I LOVE their method.  It's a mix of pilates, ballet, and cardio, including the bungee cords that really have strengthened my weak upper body.  It's not super hard core, but enough to work up a sweat, get toned, lengthened and feel great walking out.

If your in NYC go try a class.  Even better sign up for a class with either Lauren or her daughter Rachel, the co-founders.  The mother and daughter duo are full of energy and have a great vibe, not to mention great fashion sense!  In the videos they've down played they're wardrobe.  But otherwise they're typically seen head to toe in their creative, colorful, fun printed assembles, which always gets me admiring them even more.  May I add that Lauren is in her 50's, or as she says, close to 60!  WOW.  Do you see how amazing she looks?  That's inspiration and motivation right there to get chaise-ing.

I SPY: Tag It

Jan 20, 2015

Does your pooch wear jewelry?  My BFF found pretty gold plated bronze dog tags designed by Kelly Wearstler.  She sent me the link and asked if Eddy had one?  My reply - Does he really need one?  I could wear it though!  HA.

Photo Credit: Kellywearstler.com

I wasn't joking!  I have a silver coin edge dog tag from Tiffany & Co that I've worn for years and LOVE.  I've also bought it as a newborn baby gift with name, DOB, weight, blood type engraved on it.  I gave it to my nephew, and his dad (my lil' bro) has ended up wearing it!  CUTE.

My other standard necklaces worn daily is a small disk with each initial of my boys, and I've been saying in the last year that I should add Eddy (my 3rd child) to my bunch of neck candy.  This would work!

Photo Credit: Kelly Wearstler

Do you like jewelry?  Valentines Day is less then a month away.  HINT.  Would this be something you would want to drop a suggestion for?  Either engrave you or your kids personal details on the tag.  Or even a sweet message engraved would be a nice surprise.  It's a fun, meaningful gift, and something you will wear.  Or at least I would.  Whatever it is you wish for….REMEMBER it's always safer and wiser to guide your man and show him what you would like, rather then leave him to his own creativity.  You know what I mean?  YES!  So -o -o get hinting!

I SPY: Cracking Eggs

Jan 19, 2015

What you folks in the USA doing today with the kids not in school?  If you took off to some sunny and warm destination then ugh...I'm ENVIOUS!  We're homebound.  But making the most of it, and since it's Martin Luther King Jr. day I've planned to raise awareness with the kids to emphasize EQUALITY and get them cracking eggs.  I pray there's not a rotten one in the batch!

It's a reminder to everyone that:

#1 Even though we are different colors on the outside we are the same on the inside.
#2 Don't judge a book by it's cover.
#3 Treat others the way you wish to be treated.

Plain and simple, right?  Unfortunately not so for many.  Kudos to Dr King for making the efforts to make the change in history.  This past weekend I watched the movie Selma.  Have you seen it?  Great movie about MLK that got my waterworks churning.  Walking out of the theater I just kept thinking how sad and we MUST teach our children right.  We can't change the past, but we sure can learn from it and not repeat it.  We have progressed, but still have ways to go before making Martin Luther King's dream of equality truly come true.  PREACH and be a good example to our young and innocent.  It starts with you.  All of US.

I SPY: A Prettier Fall

Jan 16, 2015

Where can you find a good looking yoga mat?  I need one!  It's silly that every week when I go to my yoga class for the past few months I rent a mat.  It's only $2, but thinking about it I could of already bought myself my own!  Since this is one of my New Year's resolutions to do a yoga class at least 1x a week and to stretch daily it's time I invest in a mat.  But I want a pretty one.  Something I can have laid out in my kitchen 24/7 that will work with my home decor, so when I'm walking by or nooking my boys school lunch in the microwave I can be holding a pose for 2 minutes at the same time!  Thats how I multi task. *WINK*

Photo Credit: http://vagabond-goods.com

To my surprise there are many stylish yoga mats on the market!  Honestly I thought my battle was going to be do I stay safe and get a solid black mat or pick one of the yummy pop color mats I've seen around.  Not expecting to see so many patterns that I LOVE.  Now this is going to make my life difficult deciding which one to get.  Hmmm….Too many fab choices.

Photo Credit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/YETIYOGA

Photo Credit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/YETIYOGA

Photo Credit:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/YETIYOGA

Photo Credit: http://vagabond-goods.com

Photo Credit: http://vagabond-goods.com

Photo Credit: http://vagabond-goods.com

Photo Credit: http://us.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/28394104.jsp#/

Photo Credit: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/28394104.jsp
They're gorgeous aren't they?  The beauty of the designs may inspire me to get my butt on that mat more often.  Definitely will make a prettier fall when I loose my balance.  HA.  I'll have to ponder over the weekend to narrow in on one.  Then come catch me stretching and meditating in my kitchen!  OHM.  Have a lovely weekend!

I SPY: Going Nude

Jan 15, 2015

What do you call this kind of manicure?  Black French?  Check out my new manicure, and tell me if you can think of a better name for it!

Yay or Nay?  Taking votes!  I think this is going to be my new standard manicure.  For many years I use to be a classic French mani gal with white tips.  Then about 5 years ago I went into my Red phase.  But at the beginning of Fall remember my post when I was on the hunt to adopt a new nail color?  Well since then I've been trying a new color every time I went for a manicure.  They were all nice.  But not LOVE at first sight.  This though... does it for me!  Automatic YAY.

It's quite a drastic change when your use to bright red nails.  I feel bare with no color on my nails.  But a good and clean change.  Maybe it's influenced by my mood these days.  Hey!  I'm one day away from completing my detox program and feel so proud of myself and CLEAN.  Pat, Pat!  HA.  I was suppose to stop the 10 day program yesterday, but I have to confess I did cheat over the weekend at Korean BBQ.  How can't you?  I blame my boys for insisting on eating there!  The guilt struck me after and to compensate for my down fall I did a extra 2 days of the detox.  So it's all balanced out!

Anyways back to my nails!  I used 2 coats of Essie color: Ador - A - Ball as my base.  Then if you want a little edge add a thin black line, or even a metallic gold or silver would be cool too.  You'll have to experiment to see what works with your skin tone.  I leave you with some NUDE nail inspiration from Pinterest.  Go PLAY.

I SPY: Oh Snap

Jan 14, 2015

When at a sporting event do you ever face the dilemma if you should be taking videos or photos?  I try to do both on one device - my handy iPhone.  But it screws me up!  Instead of getting a good photo or awesome video footage I'm in the wrong mode every time.  I'm either not quick enough to capture a action shot or wishing I'd been in video mode to capture the stellar moment on video when my son did that head shot at soccer last weekend.

Got the same issue?  Problem solved!  I've discovered the Snap Still app.  HOORAY.

Photo Credit: isoetc.com

This little creation has just giving me one less headache from multi tasking!  Now I will ONLY take video at sport games, and can go back anytime and snap a still shot from footage if I need a photo.  Try it out.  Best way to get great action snap shots of your kids or have proof you did a flip on your snowboard.  We can make that look intentionally cool, of course!  HA.

I SPY: Art Freebies

Jan 13, 2015

Who doesn't like freebies?  I was walking through Barnes & Nobles over the weekend and my eye was caught by this magazine HI - FRUCTOSE.

Ever heard of it?  Well if not that makes two of us!  What struck me was the artist Margaret Keane's work of art on the front cover, and I grabbed it to read about the hype around her new movie BIG EYES that Amy Adams just won an award for at the Golden Globes.  I'm drawn to this artist because my Mom is a avid fan of Margaret Keane so I'm familiar with her works.

But when I began flipping through the magazine I got side tracked by a pull out booklet of Gary Taxali works.  A Canadian artist who's known for his comical twist.

14 full page prints of his works on heavy paper stock.  NICE.  His work is a mix of pop art, cartoon illustrations and typography with a vintage feel.  LOVE.  Do you remember I'm looking for artwork to put in my kids bathroom?  Well this just did the trick to complete my project of a mix match of prints found on Etsy, random postcards I've collected and Taxali's seven prints.  Ta Da!

Do you have blank walls that need to be filled?  Think…bathroom, kitchen, kids playroom, study, etc?  This idea might be for you!  You can grab your copy at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or a major book store near you.  USD 7.95.  Small price to pay for some artwork to hang!  Besides it's also a good read. They feature other unique artists I found interesting like sculptor Kris Kuksi, and their magazine is all color, printed on high quality paper.  It feels like your flipping through a coffee table book.

Hi - Fructose is a quarterly distribution, so I'm curious to know if every quarter they include a insert like Gary Taxali?  If so then I could very well be changing out the artwork in the kids bathroom every quarter.  Would be fun, give them a new artist to learn about and a nice CHEAP change!  I look forward to find out whats in store for me in next quarters issue.

I SPY: Golden Globes 2015

Jan 12, 2015

Did you watch the Golden Globes?  I rarely watch TV only if it's worthy.  And that it usually is…for the red carpet FASHION.

The trending 'new' color LIMONCELLO.  It was a nice pop of color that looked fresh amongst all the safe black, red, silver and white gowns.

Naomi Watts & Liev Schreiber - Source: AP

Judd Apatow & Leslie Mann - Source: Getty Images
Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan Tatum - Source: Getty Images
Also spotted a lot of SKIN!  Many white peek a boo dresses that looked hot on Kate Hudson and J. Lo.  But not figure flattering on Rosamund Pike.  Her dress did not hug her well!

Kate Hudson - Source: AP

Rosamund Pike - Source: Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez - Source: Getty Images

Asymmetrical one shoulder gowns were also seen plenty.  The way I would've swayed.  It's classy with a twist that you can't go wrong with.

Heidi Klum - Source: Getty Images

Amy Adams - Source: AP
Julia Louis Dreyfus - Source: AP

Then you have the thumbs down.  Julianna's dress length was totally WRONG, and so was Kerry Washington's along with the style and color that looked like a old school prom dress.

Julianna Margulies - Source: Getty Images

Kerry Washington - Source: Getty Images

Were these any of your favorite celebs dolled up?  I honestly can't say I was head over heels of any.  DISAPPOINTED.  If I had to pick one I would choose Naomi Watts.  But mainly I loved her Bvlgari snake choker.  That made her look.  That snake choker is a statement piece that would make ANY look!

Hope to get better fashion at the Oscars next month.  Till then I've got some serious movie catching up to do.  Embarrassed to say I haven't seen any of the movies who won awards!  How about you?  Bring on A snow day so I have reason to be a couch potato!  Just one will do!
i * SPY CANDY. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.