Category Archives: Movies

More Down than Up

This weekend had its ups and downs. Friday night we saw Horrible Bosses which was anything but horrible – it was SO FUNNY! Best part of the weekend by far.

Saturday I woke up with a raging headache which calmed down for about an hour with the help of meds and then raged again for the rest of the day. I had to run a few errands and then go into work for a but, but instead of taking a practice exam I sat on my couch for 6 hours before Leo got back to the city. It was miserable. I couldn’t even nap my headache was so bad. Finally the 2nd round of meds started to work and I could be mobile again. Around 8pm, Leo picked me up and we headed to Hill Country Fried Chicken. Holy moly it was good. We were both exhausted, so we spent the rest of the night in – watching various things on Netflix until I had to get to bed before my head exploded again.

Sunday I was determined to take my practice test since my headswelling had made it impossible the day before. My brain was feeling relatively clear, so Leo went off to hit golf balls in the sunshine and I headed to the office to take my exam. It didn’t turn out quite how I would have liked, but I really haven’t studied much lately. Exam retake is in weeks and then I’m done with that thing forever. I will put my head to the books for the next 13 days. The rest of Sunday I was moody and cranky and unfortunately Leo caught the brunt of it. I always act out and say things that aren’t great when I feel like crap. No good excuses for my behavior, hopefully I’ll be better today.

Basically my weekend sucked. It’s ok though – not every day is a good day and I know when I have bad days they will pass. I see my neurologist tomorrow, hopefully she’ll actually pay attention to what I’m saying, read my lengthy headache diary and come up with a solution that actually works. Otherwise I’m changing doctors.

What do you do when things are crappy?

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Filed under Anxiety, Headache, Movies, Recovery

Friday Roundup: Fun, Raw, Sober News

Another Friday has come, HOORAY! We all know my favorite days of the week are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Because, let’s face it, the majority of the fun I have been having lately happens on the weekends.  Tonight Caron and I are going to see Bridesmaids (finally!). That’s right – we are finally seeing it. It got 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should be hilarious. I am envisioning a female version of The Hangover. Let’s hope it holds up to our expectations.

It is extra-special of course since I was Caron’s bridesmaid a few weeks ago and I will be a bridesmaid again in September for my bestfriend from high school! I love weddings so much it’s hard to describe. And being a bridesmaid is not only an honor and a big responsibility it is incredibly fun. Luckily my 2011 bridesmaid dresses are both beautiful, check out those awful pink ones in the movie poster above!

Raw Foods Update: Things are going well. The best part about it is the fruit. Smoothies (sans juice and milk/yogurt) are so good I almost forget I can’t eat candy. Almost. I’ve been working on a raw chocolate bar for the past week or so that is a nice replacement as well. I also learned online today that there is such a thing as Raw Ice Cream!  The best part is that it’s available in NYC – I have to get to one of the stores this weekend to buy it.

I also found a fun restaurant called Pure Food and Wine to try – it’s fully raw, vegan, organic and in Union Square. Just need to get Leo to want to try it with me this weekend. If my proposal fails, they have a small version of the restaurant in Chelsea Market where his favorite Gluten Free restaurant is. I would love to buy a bag of raw macaroons!

Sober News: After almost a year of being in two fellowships I have decided to fully transition from NA to AA. My life has been in AA for a while now and I’ve found it hard to go to AA meetings and do service in AA but have an NA sponsor and do NA stepwork. I was torn for a while because I really identify more as an addict than an alcoholic but the real solution in NYC (for me) is in AA and as much as I like the NA literature better, I knew I couldn’t continue to have one foot in each fellowship. So my plan is to work all twelve steps in AA, continue to do AA service and someday have AA sponsees. I even have an new AA sponsor! I am incredibly grateful that she offered to take me through the steps! I better go buy an AA Big Book…

I will always be grateful to NA, I’ll still call my NA friends and I will still hit up NA meetings every now and then, but I know that if I want to get through my stepwork and be of service to those newcomers who show up at the meetings I go to regularly, I need to be fully in one program. It’s been a long and tough decision making process but I am excited for the journey I am embarking on.

How’s your weekend looking?

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Filed under Food, Fun, Gluten Free, healthy Living, Movies, Recovery, Studying

Sober Celebrities

Ahh, the beginning of a new week. Well I don’t have much to report on the weekend, except that I saw Arthur  on Friday night with two sober friends who are about to tie the knot, FUN, and the movie was HILARIOUS!

Russell Brand has grown on me over his last few movies. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greeks and now Arthur. I think I pretty much love him now since I know he’s one of us. Don’t worry I’m not breaking his anonymity or anything – he’s very public about it. It all makes sense now too since in FSM he was clean, in Greeks he clearly plays a party animal and in Arthur he’s a drunk who lives like a child and has to figure out how to grow up. I now follow him on The Twitter – @rustyrockets!

I think it’s pretty great when celebrities get sober. It’s great when anyone gets sober. I just can’t imagine all the pressure famous people are under when I feel it’s pretty tough to be a regular member of society. Plus, all the parties and free stuff…I’d be a basketcase if I were a celebrity, that is for sure. I haven’t seen a ton of famous people at NYC meetings, but I also don’t go to the hip meetings downtown. Plenty of my girlfriends see celebs at their homegroups on regular basis. I’m not sure I’d go all star-struck if I saw someone famous at a meeting, though. It would just be another person trying to stay sober one day at a time, like me. I’m not going to lie to you though…my ears would perk up if said celebrity were to share and I might wet my pants if they were to hold my hand during the closing prayer, or you know, look in my general direction.

I’d totally want to hang out with Dr. Drew

There are celebrities who haven’t quite gotten the 12 steps though: LiLo, Charlie Sheen, etc. Some try harder than others and some clearly don’t want the help. It’s not for me to say whether someone is an alcoholic/addict – you can only diagnose yourself. It’s hard to ignore the patterns of others though. The thing about getting sober though, is you can only get help if you really want it. Not if your agent wants it or the judge want it, YOU have to want it. No amount of DUIs or nights in jail are going to make someone stop drinking/using if they have zero desire to do so. 

So until someone has that desire can we all just ignore their shenanigans? Why are we cheering on people who are clearly about to hit rock bottom? Charlie Sheen getting his own tour because he’s a sick and suffering individual? That makes no sense to me and he’s making a mockery of himself.  It’s sad and pathetic if you ask me. I just hope he doesn’t end up dead like the countless other individuals who die from this disease.

If you know someone who acts like a crazypants and ingests controlled substances more than the average Joe… suggest they get to a meeting before they end up dead or on the stage of Radio City Music Hall embarrassing themselves in front of thousands of people. Plus, if I were famous, and a man, I’d want to be more like Russell Brand. He’s married to Katy Perry!

What do you think?

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Filed under Movies, Recovery

S’Mac and Other Things

Happy Monday friends! My weekend was pretty decent, how was yours??

Friday night I stayed late to finish up some work and then took a third practice exam and I did super well! It turns out I am not a Hopeless Harriet afterall. Then, I caught up on Private Practice and Grey’s and then headed to bed. Um, excuse me Prime Time Medical Dramas, please refrain from creating Musical Episodes. The House and Greys musical bombshells were horrendous this season. The problem is, if I don’t finish watching the episode I can’t find out what happens! Note: I do not read about television shows online or elswhere, that doesn’t seem to be the point of television for me. Ha! Just realized you’re reading about TV right now… ok, I’ll stop.

Saturday I had my last class and then our teacher took us out for a “boozey brunch” to celebrate. I love how I always sit silently smiling as the people I’m with gab on about the best clubs and bars to go to in NYC. I never have anything to add, but that’s ok – it helps me practice listening to my peers instead of interrupting – which I do frequently.

After brunch I came home and watched Away We Go with Jim from the Office. CUTE movie! Plus Alexi Murdoch dominates the soundtrack and that makes my heart sing.

Jim from The Office

Saturday night I met Leo at S’MAC down in the East Village. It’s a restaurant that only serves Mac ‘n Cheese. I was in love. It’s a pretty hole in the wall type place and you have to do some serious table stalking to get a seat. The best part about S’MAC is that you can ask for the gluten free version of any of their dishes. This made my gluten-intolerant boy very happy. We both chose the Buffalo Chicken S’mac and it was delicious. It’s like baked Mac n’ Cheese and Buffalo Chicken Dip all in one bowl. Spiiicy.

Source

We then proceeded to enjoy the nice weather and walked around for a bit and then ended up at 16 Handles. It’s like Pink Berry but a million times better. You walk in and there are 16 different flavors of low-fat / non-fat soft serve ice cream / frozen yogurt. You can put whatever kinds you want in your bowl and then you get to pile on all the toppings you want yourself! I got a variety of flavors of froyo and piled on mochi, butterfinger and caramel sauce. Mmmm it was awesome. Sorry no pictures – we ate as we wandered back down to Leo’s apartment.

Sunday was filled with studying for both of us and a class at Spring St with the amazing Tanya at Physique (for me).

That brings me to Monday…I just got out of a 6 hour work meeting, so apologies for the late post! Do you want to know the only benefit of my day so far? This:

The deli right near my office sells it and it’s incredibly hard to get anywhere else in NYC! Believe me, I’ve looked. I lived on this stuff my last few years in college and the Vanilla just makes it taste like a zero calorie dessert! I bought two today.

I’m chairing a meeting tonight and am currently without a speaker, so you want to qualify tonight, let me know!!

How was your weekend?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gluten Free, Love, Movies, Physique57, Studying, TV

Celebration, Customized Chocolate and Celiacs

Anyone got a case of the Mondays? I think NYC weather does. It was pouring rain as I walked to work this morning and then blizzarding during my 9:30am meeting. How does the temperature just drop 10 degrees in an hour? I am in protest of such flagrant changes.

Rather than focus on Monday, how about that weekend?!?!

Saturday I had class and then celebrated with some friends at Caron’s Bridal Brunch at a Bistro on the east side! It was a nice intimate gathering and the food was delicious! The Maid of Honor and I made customized chocolate bars as secret party favors. I really wish I could show you pictures because the bars turned out fabulous. Anonymity strikes again! Here are a few shots of other wedding bars from the Chocomize website so you can picture it:

Since I can’t include a picture of the ones we made, I’ll describe them instead. We started out with dark chocolate, had Chocomize create an edible image on the chocolate using one of C’s professional engagement photos and then imbedded in the dark chocolate are 23 karat gold flakes. The chocolate was encased in a ivory box (pictured above) and I ordered pre-made stick-on navy blue bows from a DIY wedding invitation site to stick on the front.

The label on the back read something humorous alluding to the gold in the chocolate as well as the gorgeous rock on Caron’s finger. Overall the bars were well-received! I couldn’t believe the MoH and I were able to keep them a secret for so long. I cannot wait for the wedding, it’s going to be beautiful.

Saturday night Leo and I went to a gluten free Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side: Sambuca (W 72nd and CPW). I found it on a google search last week and made us reservations. Leo is a celiac so we try a lot of gluten free restaurants around the city so he can eat things other than plain meat. To be supportive, I will order gluten free as well so that he can eat what I don’t finish. Our favorite gluten free chinese restaurant is Lili’s 57 and we order from there at least once a week! Most restaurants will have a regular menu and a gluten free menu – we have yet to go to a place that only has gluten free.

When I arrived at Sambuca, Leo was at the bar having a Red Bridge (one of the only gluten free beers on the market) and some gluten free bread. He was in heaven. Although he doesn’t particularly like the taste of Red Bridge, he always likes when a bar has it because he feels supported in his battle with celiacs. We’ve found Red Bridge at Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium too – you just have to search for the International Pubs. Remember, Leo isn’t an alcoholic like me. His drinking only bothers me if he’s drunk. I don’t mind if he has 1 or 2 drinks in front of me but it took me a few years to get used to this.

We ordered a chicken dish, spinach ravioli, pesto pasta and a caesar salad to share. The pesto dish and chicken dish were very good. The ravioli was not as good – the rice pasta that they used was just a bit too…chewy for me. You always have to discount a dish that’s made gluten free, but I wouldn’t order it again. For dessert we had gluten free chocolate cake and it was to die for! I highly recommend Sambuca for anyone who isn’t eating wheat anymore.

In related news, The Dakota was on right near Sambuca and when I win the lottery I am determined to live here:

After the movie I used my LivingSocial Fandango.com gift certificate ($9 for two tickets instead of face value $28)so we could go see Take Me Home Tonight

We had to go to a theater in the Flat Iron district which we never go to because the movie has been out for a while and not a lot of theaters are hosting it anymore. The movie was pretty hilarious and I give it too thumbs up minus Barry’s blatant use of white powder throughout the bulk of the film. It’s remindes me of a slightly updated version of Can’t Hardly Wait which was Leo’s all-time favorite movie in high school. Plus it stars Topher Grace from That 70’s Show and he’s awesome.

Sunday morning we both studied for our respective financial exams and then he went to hit balls at Chelsea Piers when I went to Physique’s Spring St Studio for my weekly class. I have always taken classes at their midtown studio but since I was in Soho at Leo’s apartment I switched my class to Spring St. The Spring St studio is much bigger than 57th Street and it has more showers! I was impressed. On top of that, Tanya was my instructor (she founded Physique) so I had a great class!

We watched basketball for the rest of the day and Leo made tacos with Fresh Direct groceries for dinner. Overall this weekend was pretty stellar.

What cool Bridal Shower gifts have you given/received?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gluten Free, Movies

Weekend Warrior

Friday night I headed to see the new blockbuster Red Riding Hood with Caron and her fiance. For some reason we didn’t get seats right away. Instead we chose to wait in the snack line for 20 minutes probably because I was getting a FREE SODA! I’m a Movie Watcher Rewards member with movietickets.com so Caron and I no longer pay the $1 fee to buy tickets online. Another benefit to this is that when you reach a certain number of movie tickets purchased you get free stuff. 20 movie tickets later, I got a free soda. Score! We got into the theater relatively late and had to sit in the second row. Oh well. It wasn’t sitting in the second row that bothered us, it was the fact that there was a rude, obnoxious drunk dude sitting right in front of us. He kept a ridiculously loud stream of banter going throughout the movie. I’m not a publicly cruel person but towards the end of the flick I was getting really fed up and I had the following scenario playing through my head:

I yell extremely loudly, “Shut the *beep* up!” at this ridiculous man. He turns around, figures out who yelled at him and stands up looking angry. One of the chicks sitting next to me (who thinks this guy is funny) punches me in the face. Then Caron’s FI punches the dude in the face and a brawl continues until all of us are escorted out of the theater. The scenario then leads to me covering my black eye up with makeup on Monday morning and explaining to everyone at work that I’m not regularly beaten. Oh, and we also miss the end of the movie and get banned from the theater

Due to my detailed imagination, I did not yell at this man. I really really wanted to though. Note: DO NOT BE OBNOXIOUS IN MOVIE THEATERS. No one gives a crap what you think about the movie DURING the movie.

Quick movie review: it was good – just as I suspected: “Twilight focused on werewolves.” 

Saturday I headed off to class, then took my weekly Physique57. Physique was more awesome than usually because before we started a newbie goes to the instructor (Sarah M.), “Aren’t you in the DVDs?” And Sarah M. is in the DVDs, so I felt like I was being taught by a celebrity. Also, I didn’t have to stop as much as usual during the thigh work which was exciting. I’m taking an Intermediate level class next week, so I hope I can keep up!

Saturday night Leo and I planned to cook dinner and then attend two birthday parties for our respective friends together.  I picked up some chicken, salad and frozen fries at Whole Foods (which is SO busy at 5pm on a Saturday, remind me never to go back at that time).

The fries were ok, but sort of lacked flavor. The best part about dinner (and all of our Whole Foods dinners) was the salad. I think it’s a Mediterranean salad but basically it has lettuce, craisins, goat cheese, walnuts and a delicious vinaigrette dressing. I should have taken a picture! Just go check out the pre-made salads section and buy it – YUM. Leo and I just refer to it as The Salad, as if there is only one salad you can buy at WF.

As we enjoyed our healthy dinner, we watched Freakonomics (on live Netflix). Leo had read the book and we both wanted to see the movie. They did a study in the book about how your name (and its popularity in different social classes) can predict what kind of success you’ll have in life. Leo’s real name is in the list of “low income household” names and I frequently joke with him about the irony of this. Also, there is a study in the book (and movie) that shows how legalizing abortion caused crime rates to decline beginning in the 1980s. Basically because the number of unwanted births declined, a lower number of babies grew up in troubled family situations and therefore a lower number of babies grew up to be criminals. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to be political here, but the trends are hard to ignore.

We didn’t end up going to either party Saturday night but it wasn’t just because we were being lazy. We actually got into a heated debate about today’s public school system and the focus on going to college. He argued (from a Bloomberg article) that an electrician (non-college educated) will make more money over a lifetime than a teacher (college educated) and therefore, we should not force kids to go to college if they could be more successful doing something other than going to college. Leo was arguing that we push too hard for kids to graduate high school and go to college when maybe we should be focusing on preparing high school students for the real world in case they don’t go to college, since he argues not all people are meant to attend college. I was arguing that you can’t separate out the kids who will go to college from the ones who just might not cut it – that you have to believe everyone can work hard enough to go if they want to, that everyone is teachable and should be given the same opportunity. His electrician/teacher scenario might be true, but I don’t think the goal of attending college is always about future earnings. I also know that there are higher paying careers for college graduates than teaching. That lead us to another debate in which teachers should get paid more than they currently do (we agreed on that point).

We ended up agreeing to disagree. There were holes in both of are arguments but I think we were able to get through the debate without offending each others opinions. By the time we came to this conclusion it was pretty late and we were both tired and decided to stay in. We tend to get into these heated debates on subjects in which neither of us are experts. Therefore we never have a ton of evidence to support ourselves but we continue to debate the topics and nobody “wins.” Not sure why we do this, but we do.

After a delicious Sunday brunch at Felix we walked around Soho for a bit then came home and watched Varsity Blues. Yay James Van Der Beek! Then he went to hit balls at Chelsea Piers and I elected to stay and take a 2-hour nap because for some reason I was super tired and cranky. Daylight savings much? I want my hour back please!

When I woke up he was back from golfing with gluten-free pizza crusts in hand. His roommate made us pizza dinner and we all watched Slap Shot on Netflix. It’s a hilarious movie circa 1977 about a dysfunctional ice hockey team. Please watch it. And finally, despite lying around most of the day, I was able to pass out the minute my head hit the pillow at 10pm.

Do you ever get into heated debates about subjects you aren’t super familiar with?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Movies, TV

It’s Friggin’ Friday!

So this morning’s post was pretty serious – minus the comic relief someecards I had to put in there so you’d keep reading. In fact, this whole week of blogging has been pretty serious. Oh my goodness this girl has so many problems! Don’t worry friends, I didn’t forget how to have fun or how to write about having fun. Do you want to know what I actually think about on Fridays? THE WEEKEND! It’s so close I can taste it…

This weekend I actually have minimal plans. I know, Clarissa not having plans? That’s just crazy talk. Actually, tonight I am going with Caron and her FI to see Red Riding Hood.

Basically, it’s like the Twilight series but with werewolves. I can hear you getting excited already. You’re already on Fandango buying your tickets. And deciding Milk Duds vs. Sour Patch Kids. Popcorn – buttered or plain?

Seriously though, the movie looks good and I love whatshername. Oh yeah, Amanda Seyfried. Mama Mia!

The rest of the weekend should be pretty regular. Three-hour class (fractions, percents and decimals, oh my!) and Physique on Saturday. Possibly going up to Greenwich on Saturday night with Leo. The other option is a childhood friend’s birthday party on the East Side. I’m not sure I like crossing 5th Avenue and heading into the darkside East Side, but I’ll do it for cake. Sunday I need to do laundry but perhaps a trip to a museum? I also need to take my next practice exam. We shall see.

Did I mention Avril Lavigne’s new album, Goodbye Lullaby has been playing on repeat on the iTouch this week? Remember Sk8er Boi? Love her. Download the songs “What the Hell” and “Smile” if you can today.

Friday Confession: I’ve decided not to look at my Facebook newsfeed anymore. Why is everyone I know getting engaged? Literally six friends shared some version of amazing life-news this week. Makes me want to cry. Oh wait, I already did last night. Does that make me a bad person? Probably. I’m happy for everyone, I promise. I always just desperately want what I don’t have.

On a less self-centered note: My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the Tsunami / Earthquake. 

What are you up to this weekend?

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Filed under Exercise, Fun, Love, Movies, Music

Bring Lunch to Work Challenge Review

For anyone who read yesterday’s post – I had a dilemma about enjoying a free lunch at work today vs. packing my own lunch for Day 5. I picked the easy way out. Are you surprised?? But really, who would turn down a free lunch that looks like this:

Ok, in full disclosure: it doesn’t look all that appetizing. But the grilled chicken and rice is healthy and the pizza with the cheese already half-way off the bread…I just wanted it (plus caesar dressing for dippin’!)

For those of you who are just joining me in this lunch challenge conversation, you can read about the details in previous posts on the links to upper left:

Observations:

1. The cost of buying the groceries ($40.50) is relatively close the actual amount I would spend on 5 days worth of lunchs ($50 or $60) if I ate out. The catch here is that I actually ate some of these lunch groceries for dinner. Granted, I was only home for dinner on Night 2 (I made a Grilled Cheese and Pesto Deli Flat-wich. Yums!) since I had a board meeting on Night 1 and I had dinner at work on Night 3 and Night4. Yay 14 hour work days… However, if I had been home for dinner I most likely could have made lunch groceries also work for the majority of my dinners.

2. A cheaper way to buy lunch for a week is to buy supplies for the same lunch everyday. I could have just bought the Deli Flats (8 pack) without buying the wraps and croutons for a salad. I never ended up making a salad anyway. But having the same thing for lunch everyday could get boring.

3. Bringing these home-made lunches cost me 5-15 minutes max of my getting “ready time” in the morning. So worth it.

4. All the lunches I packed were much healthier than what I usually eat for lunch at a take-away place around work.

5. The first day I was left feeling hungry after the lunch I packed, so I packed slightly heftier lunches for the last few days. I think my body also needed to adjust from eating an unknown amount of calories to 300-400.

Conclusions:

1. Bringing lunch to work saves overall amount of money spent on food (dinner and lunch) during the week.

2. Packing my own lunch means eating relatively healthier.

3. Packing lunch in the morning does not waste a significant amount of time.

4. I am a fan.

Weekend Plans in case you need some fun ideas: It has been busy as all heck this week at work so I am looking forward to two days off! Tonight going to see The Roomate with C and L (yay for evil Blair Waldorf!). Saturday is class and Physique. Saturday night I’m heading to a meeting and catching up with a great friend who saved my life while I was in recovery in London three years ago! He helped me celebrate my first year and I am forever grateful! Sunday is Brunch with Leo and a hopefully a trip to the PB&J exhibit!

Also – if you want something awesome to read after being disatisfied with my subpar post today (it hasn’t been the greatest of days emotionally for me so far), check out Tracey’s Thursday post. Hands down the best blog post I’ve read!

Did you learn anything new this week?

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Filed under Food, Fun, Movies, Recovery

Weekend Wrap / Lunch Challenge Prep

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was great! Friday night Caron and I saw Hall Pass – without the significants of course, don’t want to give them any funny ideas…. the movie was funny, but I wouldn’t give it two thumbs up. Owen Wilson’s character was lacking something. There were definitely some scenes that I couldn’t BELIEVE were actually happening…if you see it, watch for the whirlpool scene, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Saturday morning was an early one with an 8am Physique class. Then I had my three-hour getting smarter class, my final therapy sesh and then I got my hair done which was long overdue. Look Ma, no roots! You know it’s time to go to the salon when your significant asks you, “Hey, why is your hair two different colors?” Thanks hun…

Date night with L on Saturday did not go exactly as planned but we ended up ordering chinese food and watching Due Date on Demand. We’ve both seen it but it’s so funny we wanted to watch it again! Two thumbs up for sure, so SEE IT. Sunday morning we got up early and decided to go get some more stuffed french toast! This time – we took the advice of some friends and tried Eatery’s version instead of traveling all the way to Hoboken. It was equally delicious and so much closer to home! On honor of the Oscars, we took advantage of the pre-12pm $6 movie ticket price and went to see The Fighter after breakfast. It was pretty good, I love Marky Mark and all, but I have to say it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. (yay, Christian Bale won an Oscar! Wait…he’s not American? What is with the accent?)

Also, did I mention that it was GORGEOUS weather outside? After the movie we walked around Central Park for a while and enjoyed the sunshine. The ponds are still quite frozen. Here’s a picture of The Boathouse:

I can’t wait for the weather to get much prettier!! When we left the park we ended up on W81st Street and decided to make a trip to the Natural History Museum which was just a few blocks away. I’d never been there before, so I was excited. The tickets were a whopping $16 each, which sucked. And to make it worse, we realized after purchasing them that no one was going to check our tickets! Ugh. Oh well, supporting a non-profit educational facility is a decent thing to do. We had a good time, but I was tired from so much walking. What is the best part of the museum in my opinion? The gift shop! We stopped in so I could get my nephews some presents – a dinosaur, stuffed penguin and penguin cup. One loves dinosaurs and the other one is a penguin fanatic. The dinosaur actually walks with the help of some battery power, cool! I can’t wait to ship them off this week! After the Museum, we got some tasty pizza at Patsy’s, stopped in at a few clothing stores and didn’t buy anything, and then had a lazy afternoon at home with the kitties. Got Pita Grill for dinner, yum!

And now for the real focus of this post:

Bring My Lunch to Work Weeklong Challenge preparation!!

Since I was busy doing other things this weekend I left the grocery shopping until Sunday night – go figure. I was too lazy to go all the way to Whole Foods so I settled for the normal grocery store two blocks from my apartment. I also didn’t make a list before I went, so forgive me if I didn’t take your suggestions from Friday! My goal was to try to stay under $50 and get enough food for five lunches. Let’s see how I did…

Proteins:

Turkey, Pre-cooked Chicken, Monterey Jack Cheese

Carbs:

Croutons, Deli Flats (for sandwiches), Wraps!

Veggies:

Romaine Lettuce and Carrots/Celery

Tasty Spreads:

Reduced Fat Pesto, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

And last but not least… DESSERT:

Reese’s Cereal and Strawberry Fruit Roll-ups!

Ok, so I realize I didn’t purchase the most creative ingredients. I have really been craving a Turkey, Bacon, and Pesto on Ciabatta. But my tiny grocery store didn’t have any inexpensive, easy-to-cook bacon so I decided to skip that part. Also – no Ciabatta to be found, so I went for the Deli Flats instead (only 100 calories, fun!). The veggie category is also lacking in substance but the produce wasn’t Whole Foods quality or reasonably priced. I was full from dinner when I went shopping, so it was hard to find anything all that appetizing in the moment. But looks like there will be a mix of wraps, sandwiches and perhaps a salad this week. I also decided against purchasing a salty side since I couldn’t find Cheddar Goldfish at the store and I remembered we have Wheat Thins at work! What did the total come to? $40.50. I’m under my budget but not by much. Hope I can make it work!

The biggest disappointment of the Challenge Prep is that I could not find a reuseable lunch bag! I went to CVS and Walgreens and couldn’t find anything but travel makeup bags…boo. It’s not exactly Back to School time, so it makes sense. I’ll have to use a grocery bag for tomorrow until I can find something fun to use for the rest of the week. That’s what I get for waiting until Sunday night to do my shopping!

To summarize, this weekend was filled with sober fun: Movies, Yummy NYC food, Walking in Central Park, Trip to a Museum, Exercise and Lunch Challenge Prep.

What can’t you leave the grocery store without?

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President’s Day Weekend Part II

On Sunday afternoon we headed to The Running Company at the Time Warner Center to get Leo some new running shoes. He finally admitted running in soccer shoes is really not the way to go. Yay, I was right!! They have a great shoe-fitting process where you can watch yourself on video running on a treadmill. He found the perfect kicks and after purchasing them we headed up to Pure Yoga West to meet up with Caron and her soon-to-be-husband for a double date night. She found an online ad for a free class so we all took advantage of it!

We got a tour of the beautiful yoga facilities (truly immaculate and the bamboo floors were gorgeous). The class we took was Relaxation yoga. It was packed, but we got four prime spots and started to relax. I’ve only done yoga a handful of times because it is incredibly difficult for me to quiet my mind when I’m remaining still. I’m also not flexible.

The one-hour relaxation yoga basically included 6-7 different poses held for 8-10 minutes each. The lights in the room were dim. We used props such as support blocks, blankets and bolsters. During each pose I came close to falling asleep but my mind was still wandering off to a million places. I didn’t sweat. I didn’t feel any pain. It was nice. Even the boys enjoyed themselves! I liked it but I’ll stick with free yoga classes as they pop up until I get really into it.

Namaste.

After the class we rushed over to the Lincoln Center movie theater to see Just Go with It. The new Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston movie! We arrived mid-previews so we had to sit in the second row. We were starving so we loaded up on unhealthy snacks and settled in to enjoy the flick. Let me tell you, I was skeptical about the movie when we bought the tickets earlier in the week, but it was HILARIOUS!

I won’t give away any details about the movie, but Just Trust Me – it was good. I was laughing out loud for the majority of the movie and so was Leo (who is usually harder to please in terms of rom-coms). All four of us had a great time at Pure Yoga and were extremely pleased with how good the movie was. And then we enjoyed a leisurely walk back to our neighborhood. It was a great Double Date night! [Trying new things and laughing a lot – it’s just good for the soul]

NO WORK ON MONDAY!! (Thanks GW for being born and all) Leo and I got up early, had some pancakes from Route 66 and headed to the 11:10am showing of Sanctum! Apparently if you see a movie in NYC before 12pm it’s $6-7 off the normal price! That is a steal, ladies and gentlemen. The movie was in the IMAX 3-D theater down at the 42nd street AMC. It was terrifying and amazing all at the same time. I highly recommend it! Although… 99.9% of the movie is filmed under the earth’s surface and when we took the subway uptown to Whole Foods afterwards…I was terrified less than pleased about being underground.

To finish off the day we cooked a delicious, yet spicy gluten-free stirfry dinner and then I headed off to Physique57. PHEW! Sorry about the long and busy post…I promise to try and stick to one topic at a time from now on (I’m still figuring out blog etiquette – tips are welcome!!)

What do you do on double dates or group nights with friends? What movies have you seen lately?

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