Monday, April 30, 2012

Acure Organics Review.

Back in March, I had mentioned that Acure Organics had sent me a cleansing gel to try with a few other products from their line that I had purchased. I didn't want to rush the review, because skin can be finicky, especially when switching to a different regimen. After using these products for six weeks, I am proud to report positive results! As I have normal to oily skin, these were the products suggested for my skin type. If you have a different skin type, you can email Acure's esthetician at regarding products and/or developing a regimen.  

Here is a breakdown of the regimen I used, and my review of each product. All photographs via Acure Organics.

Acure Organics facial cleansing gel superfruit + chlorella growth factor

Ingredients: Organic Curoxidant Blend (Organic Acai Berry, Organic Blackberry, Organic Rosehips, Organic Pomegranate, Organic Calendula officinalis, Organic Chamomile, Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Rooibos, Lauryl Glucoside (vegetable derived), Decyl Glucoside (sugar soap), Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Olive Oil, Organic Chlorella pyrenoidosa (Chlorella Growth Factor), Glucono Delta Lactone (fermented sugar), Potassium Sorbate (food grade preservative), Lemon Essential Oil, Citric Acid

I use this cleansing gel in the morning and in the evening. It has a nice, fruity scent to it, but isn't overpowering. It produces minimal lather, which I like, and doesn't make my skin feel overly dry and it doesn't leave a film on my skin. It also doesn't leave a strong scent lingering on my face, which is a plus. On days when I ran, I would use this on my whole body, because I feel this works really well, and it gentle on skin. Acure Organics donates $1 for each bottle purchased to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Acure Organics brightening facial scrub sea kelp + chlorella growth factor 

Ingredients: Organic Curoxidant™ Blend (Organic Acai Berry, Organic Blackberry, Organic Rosehips, Organic Elderberry, Organic Nettle Leaf, Organic Cranberry, Organic Goji Berry, Organic Raspberry, Organic Pomegranate, Organic Blueberry, Organic Calendula officinalis, Organic Chamomile, Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Yerba Mate, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Emulsifying Wax NF (Vegetable), Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Cocoa Seed Butter, Organic Safflower Seed Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Glyceryl Stearate (vegetable derived), Lauryl Glucoside (vegetable derived), Decyl Glucoside (sugar soap), Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Olive Oil, Organic Chlorella pyrenoidosa (Chlorella Growth Factor), Glucono Delta Lactone (fermented sugar), Potassium Sorbate (food grade preservative), Organic Evening Primrose Oil, Essential oils of Sage, Lavandin, Lemongrass, Spearmint.

I was using this scrub before I began the entire Acure regimen, and I love it. You only need a little bit - squeeze out a pea sized amount, and add a drop of water. The scent is hard to explain. It reminds me of my backyard, which probably only makes sense to me, but this is another product that does not leave a lingering scent on the skin. I use this 2-3 times a week, usually on days that I run. Like my face wash, I will use this on my entire body on running days. I've also used this as a foot scrub, and it works wonders. I've had this bottle for two months, and there is still some left. Acure donates $1 to the BCRF for each bottle purchased.

Acure Organics facial toner rose + red tea

Ingredients: Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Rooibos, Organic Calendula, Organic Chamomile, Organic Witch Hazel, Organic Bulgarian Rose Water (Hydrasol), (NOP Cert. Organic) Glycerin*, Organic Chamomille and Calendula flower Extracts

The last time I used a toner, it was Sea Breeze. It smelled horrible, stung my skin, and dried my face out. This toner is nothing like anything I have used before. I actually enjoy spritzing this on my skin! Every morning, after my face is washed, I spritz this 2-3 times on my face and neck area. It feels fantastic. I let it absorb as I get ready. It smells delicious and reminds me of  a cool herbal tea. It can be used as much as you'd like, but I only use it in the morning, mostly because I never remember to spray it throughout the day. Acure donates $1 to the BCRF for each bottle purchased.

Acure Organics oil control day cream 

Ingredients: Organic Curoxidant Blend (Organic Acai Berry, Organic Blackberry, Organic Rosehips, Organic Elderberry, Organic Nettle Leaf, Organic Cranberry, Organic Goji Berry, Organic Raspberry, Organic Pomegranate, Organic Blueberry), Organic Calendula officinalis, Organic Chamomile, Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Yerba Mate, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Emulsifying Wax NF (Vegetable), Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Cocoa Seed Butter, Organic Safflower Seed Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Glyceryl Stearate SE (vegetable derived), (Vegetable) Glycerin, Organic Sunflower Oil, Infusion of Organic Calendula Officinalis Flower in Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Olive Oil, Glucono Delta Lactone (fermented Sugar), D-Alpha Tocoperyl Acetate (Vitamin E), CoQ10, Organic Chlorella Growth Factor, Organic Evening Primrose Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Essential oils of Sage, Lavandin, Lemongrass,Spearmint. 

I use this moisturizer in the morning, after the toner has absorbed into my skin. Like the face wash, it has a faint fruity scent, and 2 squirts is more than enough for liberal application to the face and décolleté (a fancy term for your neck/neckline/chest area, which has thin skin that often gets neglected). I don't get greasy throughout the day with this, although I did for the first few days when I started using it - like I said earlier, my skin needed to adjust to the new products. The only downfall to this product? No SPF! For each bottle sold, $1 is donated to Bright Pink, and Acure also donates 5% to provide free mammograms to at risk women.

Acure Organics argan oil 
Ingredients: 100% Organic Argania spinosa (argan) oil.

Out of all of the Acure products, this is my absolute favorite. I use this on my face every night after I wash with the cleansing gel, but this has a plethora of uses. I use this thrice weekly as a body moisturizer, I use this in my hair to keep frizzies at bay, a cuticle moisturizer, and bug bite soother. My skin and hair have never looked and felt better, and I attribute it to argan oil. While argan oil might smell a bit different, it reminds me of a faint version of olive oil, but have no fear - the smell goes away. I'm almost done with my bottle, but one ounce over a six week period isn't too bad! For each bottle sold, $1 is donated to Bright Pink, and Acure also donates 5% to provide free mammograms to at risk women.

The Acure Organics products are inexpensive, especially for an organic line ($3.99 - $29.99). If you only buy one product of theirs, I urge you to buy the argan oil. Its only $14.99 a bottle, which is a steal. Josie Maran charges $14 for a 0.5 ounce bottle and John Masters Organics charges $38 for a two ounce bottle. Plus, you will also be helping a worthy cause. Acure also has a hair and body line, which I'm dying to try out. I own their unscented body lotion, which was my first Acure product, but I'd love to sample their other scents.

Do you use natural and/or organic beauty products? Have you tried argan oil before? Any thoughts and feedback are encouraged! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

First 5K = Complete!

On Saturday morning, I woke up a bit after 4a, to head over to my mom's house to get ready for our first 5k. I wanted to make sure I had some caffeine, food and water in me before I ran, so thats why I had a 4a wake up call. We left at 6, and made it to the Bronx Zoo a little after 7. Parking was a breeze, and we milled around outside the start line at the morning festivities. There was face painting, breakfast, and a bunch of participants just hanging out. 

 While we waited for Erich (he drove separately, because he didn't need to be there super early), we got our faces painted. The lady used neon colors, just like my sneakers, so I matched. She went all out, and I definitely stood out. When I saw Erich, I waved to get his attention. He didn't even recognize me!

Me + my mom, shortly before the 5K.

Crazy neon feline makeup!
Me + lover boy!
 I was super nervous about running, so instead of doing the regular 5K, I participated in the Family Run/Walk 5K, because you were able to run at your own pace. I figured that it would be less stressful, because I wouldn't be the last one crossing the line. In reality, I should have done the regular 5K. There were so many people with strollers! I had to sprint past them all in the beginning, which was not the brightest idea, because it threw my pace off for the rest of the race. Something else that surprised me? The hills! Not that show with LC and Heidi, but terrain that I've never tried running on before. They weren't gigantic, but they were big enough to make my legs hurt. I had to stop a few times to rest my legs and regulate my breathing, which I was alright with. At one point, I was jogging behind this girl who just STOPPED running out of nowhere and came to a complete standstill to show her friend something, so I had to think fast and jet from behind her. Thankfully I didn't get in anyone else's path, because that could have been disastrous. I finished the race in 36 minutes, which isn't horrible, but its not fantastic, either. It was a learning experience, for sure. Don't start off too quickly and don't run when strollers are present, ha!

Crossing the finish line.
After the run was over we hung out for a little bit, then headed home. I showered and took a nap, then headed out for girls night with Liz and Irene. Liz and I said months ago that we were going to pig out the night after the race, and we did! We headed over to KB's Burger Shack for our feast. We split bacon cheeseburger skins and I ordered a breakfast burger (a burger topped with bacon, cheese and an egg) with Texas fries, which had cheese and jalapeños. I only ate my fries and 1/4 of my burger, because I was stuffed. I brought the rest home for the boy.
Sharing bacon cheeseburger skins - sharing is caring!
Beyond delicious. 
Fancy pants artwork on our paper tablecloth.
After I got home from dinner, I realized we were out of kitty litter, so we ran up to the grocery store. While I was there, I checked to see if they had Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Therapy, because I had been craving it for a week. Finally, I found it! I had some when I came home, then passed out. I slept for ten hours, and woke up feeling refreshed. 

Best ice cream I've had in ages - worth every calorie!
Now that my first 5K is out of the way, I am looking forward to my next one. My friend, Tara, mentioned a lock 5K this June, which I want to run in. Plus,  The Color Run in August. Once I can manage a time under 30 minutes, I will start training for a 10K!

Friday, April 27, 2012

In Less Than Twelve Hours..

.. I will be in the midst of my first 5K. I have been anxious all day. I've had to force myself to eat and drink water, and my stomach has been in cahoots since Wednesday. I know, its just a 5K, but I am not a fan of the unknown.

Last night, I decided that I would be in bed by 9p tonight, but thats not happening. Its nearly 9p now. I still have to get my race clothes ready and pack a change of clothes. Oh, and I still haven't eaten dinner. I have a feeling I'm only going to get a few hours of sleep, but I made sure I got extra hours in during the week. Erich is working tonight, so I will probably wait until he comes home to fall asleep. Whenever I'm anxious, he rubs my back until I fall asleep. I definitely need that tonight.

In order to get some coffee and a small breakfast in before the race, I plan on waking up at 4:30a. I want to give myself ample time to digest my banana and soy latte, because I've heard horror stories of runners having to go to the bathroom mid run. I don't want that happening to me!

I'm procrastinating, as per usual. Next time you hear from me, I will have a report of how the race went. If you don't mind, please send positive vibes in my direction tonight and tomorrow morning. I'm gonna need it!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Sapphire Bee has Arrived!

Yesterday, I came home to a package from my friend Brittany, who owns The Sapphire Bee. Brittany makes killer custom jewelry, and she sent over a few pieces made to fit my style. I was super stoked to see all of the goodies she sent my way!

Custom accessories from The Sapphire Bee!

 I love this bobby pin. Its an antique brass pin with a gorgeous rose. The pin is super sturdy, which is great for my unruly mane!

 I usually don't wear earrings, because these are awesome. I tried them on once I got home and wore them until I went to bed. They're lightweight, which is always a plus when it comes to earrings.

I'm in love with this ring. Golden cherry blossoms mounted on an adjustable (and flexible) setting. I really love the setting for this ring. You can see the back of it in the shot of the rose earrings. I tried it on all of my fingers. Its too big for my pinky, but it fits on the rest of my fingers! 

This flower cameo is an exclusive design for short girl, long island. This will not be for sale at The Sapphire Bee. This piece was carved out of grey resin and hand painted by Brittany. It was set on an antiqued silver setting, and adorned with eight red Swarovski crystals. It hangs from a 24" silver link chain, and the pictures do this piece no justice. I can't wait to wear this out tonight!

Brittany did an amazing job with the pieces she designed for me - these definitely fit my style.   Want a few more reasons to love Brittany? In June, she is releasing a collection of White Ribbon Cameos, to help bring awareness to Lung Cancer. Her mom, a non-smoker, is a Lung Cancer survivor. Every dollar earned from the White Ribbon line will be donated to the Lung Cancer Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to Lung Cancer screening. When this collection is released, I will definitely be supporting her efforts!

Brittany is also giving back to the readers of short girl, long island. From now until May 11, readers can get 15% off at The Sapphire Bee, using the coupon code SGLI15. The items in her store range from $6.95 to $24.95. Her Vintage Bird Cameo collection will be released at the end of this month, which I'm really excited about. If you want to get creative, Brittany also does custom orders. Email her at - the coupon code is valid for custom orders, but you must mention the coupon code when you email her. 

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Five Things.

I love the weekends. Erich and I get to spend quality time together, there is no rush to be anywhere, and I don't have to worry about setting an alarm (which is one of my favorite things in the world). The weather was nice on Saturday, but it poured on Sunday. I had two photo shoots with my friends, Avalon and Brett, on Sunday. Our original plans to shoot had to be altered, but we will just do that for the next one. The first part was done at the beach (where I froze in a short sleeved shirt, with a mesh back), but the second one was indoors, which was actually pretty fun. Here are some bits and pieces from my weekend that made it a bit sweeter.

01. Drive
A week or so ago, I finally watched Drive. I've been wanting to watch it for months, but haven't gotten around to renting it. The film was fantastic. I don't want to give away any of the plot/storyline, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen the film. This film reaffirmed my longtime crush on Ryan Gosling. I've had a crush on the Gos since his MMC days, and he is like a fine wine - he only gets better with age. The soundtrack to the film is spectacular, so we snagged a copy from Amazon, for under $10. I feel like such a badass when I drive around, blaring the soundtrack. My favorite track is "Under Your Spell," by Desire.

 02. Marley's Mellow Mood
A handful of friends have raved about these relaxation beverages, but I hadn't seen it in stores until last week. When I spotted the bottles, I snagged the green tea with honey. Besides those two ingredients (the tea is decaf), the tea has a relaxation blend, comprised of Valerian Root, Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, Rose Hips, Chamomile, and Melatonin. I drank 3/4 of the bottle in one sitting, and I definitely noticed a difference in my demeanor. I was pretty stressed earlier in the day, and this definitely helped me wind down. It also tastes delicious, which was a plus. 

03. I'm Running a 5K!
I still can't believe i'm doing this. I haven't ran since high school, so this was a pretty big feat for me. The 5K is only four days away. I'm a bit nervous, but i'm sure I will do well. If you would like to donate to my fundraising, you can do so here. This weekend, my shirt and bib arrived. 

 04. Record Store Day
As of 2007, the third Saturday of April has been dubbed Record Store Day. Independent record stores come together with musicians to celebrate music. Special releases are created for this special day, and many indie stores host in-store performances. When I heard about this a few years ago, I was stoked. The only independent record store is Looney Tunes, which is about twenty minutes away from me. I didn't go there on Record Store Day, because Erich and I relaxed at home. I did dig out my copy of High Fidelity, and am rereading it for the umpteenth time. 

05. KB's Burger Shack
On Saturday night, Erich and I decided to lay low. We've been meaning to try KB's Burger Shack, a local burger joint a couple towns over. We didn't feel like being social butterflies, so we ordered our food to go. We got there early, so I went in to check out the scenery. A live jazz quartet was playing in the front of the restaurant, and the place was packed. I chatted the hostess, Kathy, and she was super nice. I was informed that the night before, one of their bartenders daughters was killed in a car crash with her father. They are holding a benefit on Thursday, May 3, at 6pm. If you are on Long Island and are free that night, please make an appearance and help the family out. There is at suggested donation of $25, which includes food and entertainment. For more information, check out the Facebook event. Below is a picture of my dinner - the Santa Fe burger. It was topped with avocado slices and caramelized onions in a balsamic garlic chipotle reduction, and served on an english muffin. The burger was cooked just how I like it (my medium rare burgers are almost always overcooked - especially on takeout orders), and the fries are some of the best i've ever had before! I can't wait to try their milkshakes - my friend, Sam, said they're delicious. We have already decided that this is our dinner the night after the 5K!

I am really excited for this week. I finally have a bit of free time, so I can finally get a few blog posts in, Erich and I have a few afternoon dates planned, and the 5K is finally here! I should be working on a few papers, but I'll save them for Sunday. I just need some time to relax and enjoy my surroundings.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Iced Coffee!

Last week, I finally ordered PB2, a powdered peanut butter that I've had my eye on for nearly two years. I had an Amazon gift card itching to be used, so I figured I'd buy some healthy snacks. I snagged both the regular PB2 and the Chocolate version. 

I decided to try PB2 because when I consume peanut butter, its always more than one serving. Seeing as its pretty high in fat and sugar, I haven't had it in ages. In a nutshell (no pun intended), PB2 is low-fat peanut butter that you make as you need. Since I got the jars last week, I've used the chocolate peanut butter the most, but they're both equally delicious. I've had it at least twice per day, with apples or just eaten out of a dish. For 45 calories per serving, you can't really go wrong. 

Last night, I had an epiphany. As I noshed on my post run snack (two small granny smith apples and a serving of Chocolate PB2), my inner fat child needed a second serving to finish with my apple. After I finished my apple, I had most of the PB2 left in the bowl. As I took a sip of my iced coffee, to wash the peanut butter down, I realized that these two beauties would make a killer combo! So, after experimenting last night, here is my recipe. Its healthier than using sugary syrups, which are empty calories. The PB2 adds some nutritional value to your iced coffee.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Iced Coffee
2 tbsp Chocolate Peanut Butter PB2, mixed with 1 tbsp room temperature water
12 ounces iced coffee with your choice of milk (whatever coffee to milk ratio you prefer, just have 12 ounces of both liquids)

Or, if you are too lazy to make your own iced coffee...

A16 ounce iced coffee from your local coffee shop will work - the ice takes up a decent portion of the cup, which is why I am telling you to go for the 16 ounce drink.

Step 1:
In a bowl, combine the PB2 and water. Stir until there are no lumps. 

Step 2:
Combine iced coffee, milk, and ice. Give a quick stir. If you bought your iced coffee, step two was done for you by a precious barista - make sure you tip them and say thank you!

Step 3:
Pour PB2 into iced coffee and stir.

Step 4:
Drink, and thank the heavens for my inner fat child creating this delicious concoction.

If you feel that this isn't sweet enough, then mix some more PB2 with water, then add it to your iced coffee. I'm going to make a drink with the plain PB2 tonight. I'm sure it will be delicious!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Five Things.

This past weekend was pretty amazing. The weather was fantastic, and I got to spend some quality time with Erich, which was really nice. Here are some bits and pieces that were top notch.

01. Flavored Water
Elisabeth, over at The Happy Yoga Mom posted a photo on Instagram earlier in the week, showcasing some delicious cucumber water. I decided to make some portable flavored ones - lemon and cucumber. Definitely a refreshing treat, especially after a run!

02. The Beatles
For those who know me well, they know I love The Beatles. I wrote my undergrad senior thesis on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, I have a yellow submarine tattooed on me, and my cat, Penny, is named after Penny Lane (and Penny from LOST). If that's not love, then I don't know what is. Over the last fifteen years, I have frequented many thrift stores. The records are always one of the first places I check. Never was there a Beatles find. Until Saturday. Erich and I ventured to Saver's, because we were curious as to what they would have. I found Rubber Soul and Revolver, which are two of my top five Beatles albums (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road, and The Beatles are the other three). Now, I was expecting there to be a steep price tag on these babies, as they were in decent condition - only the jackets had some wear. When the girl rang me up, my total was $4.23. In the words of Ice Cube, "it was a good day."

03. Summerish Attire
With the warm weather upon us, I was thrilled to wear sandals and a tank top, without being chilly. I painted my nails in an array of Essie colors (peach daiquiri, action, mesmerized, and navigate her, all on top of a coat of marshmallow - I wanted the colors to pop) while Erich was in class. I dug out my summer clothes, donned my Chandler the Robot necklace, and broke in my new K. Jacques Triton Sandals.

04. More Water
I am the worst when it comes to drinking enough water. Give me iced soy lattes and I can down those in no time. Water, not so much. I snagged some Borba packets from Walgreens a year or so ago, and picked some up on my last visit. They come in a variety of flavors, and have zero calories. I try not to drink sucralose, but every once in awhile, I'll have some.

05. Transatlanticism
Ahhh, Death Cab For Cutie. I loved them a great deal back in the early 2000s. Transatlanticism is my favorite album by the band. I can listen to the album from start to finish, and not have the urge to change it. This album reminds me of traveling with friends, seeing various bands and frequenting some choice diners. It also reminds me of The O.C. - that Seth Cohen had my nerdy little heart for sure. Adam Brody will never be able to top that role, as cheesy as that sounds. 

I'm looking forward to another fantastic week. Only twelve days until I run my first 5K, and I am definitely nervous. I need to get some harder training in before the big day. I'm confident I will do well, though!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chobani Giveaway Winner.

The winner of the Chobani Giveaway is burmmy77. Congratulations! Please contact me within the next 72 hours regarding your prize.

Friday, April 13, 2012

For My Fellow Fashion Bloggers - Oasap Fashion.

I found a killer store the other day -  Oasap! They carry women’s fashion apparel, for a reasonable price. The best perk of all? The Fashion Hunter Program.  You can get freebies in exchange for a post on your blog. I was approved this week, after a blogger friend had reffered me. Plus, if you join through this invite and are approved to be Oasap Fashion Hunter, I’ll get an $8 credit. When you get your friends to sign up for the program, you'll get $8 per person. You get at least $15 when you sign up as a credit, so if you add five friends to that, you have $55 to spend. Plus, you get 20% off your first purchase. What are you waiting for? Join Oasap!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Finally, a Fashion Photo Post.

This week, my friend Avalon and I went adventuring. We went to the Sayville docks, the Blue Point Duck Pond, and the picnic area at Corey beach. She's an aspiring photographer, so she graciously took some shots for me. 
Trying to keep warm - it was cold and windy on the docks! 
My hair had a mind of its own that day, haha.
Close-up of my favorite ring!
Chatting while Avalon got a few shots.
Lita Paint - one of my favorite pairs of JCs that I own.
After leaving the dock, we headed to the Duck Pond.
We didn't see ducks, but we got chased by geese!
My tattoo,  for my three wonderful Italian grandparents.
A close-up of my Hello Cavities tee.
Shirt: Hello Cavities, $25
Cardigan: thrifted
Leggings: Victoria's Secret, $29.50
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell, $179
Ring: MerCurios, custom order.
Bow: Hello Cavities, $7
Sunglasses: Dior Couture, prices vary.

Even though we froze at the dock and were chased by geese at the pond, we had a great time. We met up with Avalon's boyfriend, Brett, at Corey Beach. I used to be his boss, to Brett had a blast telling me which ways to pose/move. We ended the afternoon with lunch at Sweet Mandarin. It was a fun afternoon adventure - I can't wait til our next one!

Monday, April 9, 2012

25% off at DJPremium - Ends Tomorrow!

When I shop, I always use a coupon code. Why pay full price if you don't have to? One shop I've been into lately is DJPremium. They carry an assortment of quality designers for both men and women. Until tomorrow night, the site is offering 25% off all items in stock. Here are a few items that I love on the site. All prices listed are before the 25% discount, so keep that in mind!

Rebecca Minkoff Neon Straw Diamond Tote, $195
MINKPINK Scorpio Rising Mini Dress, $114
7 For All Mankind Cropped Skinny in Neon, $169
Dolce Vita Mini Cheetah Oxford, $79
Chaser Grateful Dead Dancing Skeleton Destroyed Tee, $42

Diesel Parisina Tights, $32
Mateo Bijoux Monkey Wrench Ring, $50

I only listed a handful of items. Take one word of advice from me: check their clearance. So many awesome pieces, at up to 70% off. Put your tax return to good use. Buy some of your Spring/Summer pieces now. I keep staring at those Neon 7FAM. They might be mine by the end of the evening!

These White Walls.

Music is part of my daily routine. Whether i'm driving, running, or surfing the web, I need a solid soundtrack. This weekend, I came across the band, Swear and Shake. The band hails from Brooklyn, which isn't too far from my stomping grounds. They've been around since 2010 -  how have I not heard them before? I must be living under a rock, or I need to get out more. Probably a bit of both.

Singer/songwriters Kari Spieler and Adam McHeffey have a magnetic chemistry and complement each other well. The two both play guitar, and McHeffey also contributes on banjo and piano. The band comes full circle with bassist Shaun Savage (who I swear I know from the Long Island music scene - or maybe he just has a familiar face; either is possible) and percussionist Tom Elefante.

The song I chose to share is "These White Walls." If you enjoy what you heard/saw, head over to Swear and Shake to check out more tunes and to check tour dates.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Can Eat Bread Again!

So, I survived 40 days of Lent with no bread. The closest thing I had to bread was a doughnut and falafel chips.

Now, was it easy? Believe it or not, it was. I will admit, when faced with homemade Irish Soda Bread, I was tempted to have a nibble, but I refrained. When my boyfriend's mom picked up fresh loaves of bread from the bakery, I wanted to eat the heel of the bread (the end pieces that are super crusty and delicious), but I walked away. I found plenty of other treats to eat, like whole grains, almonds and frozen yogurt.

That might sound boring, but I have a newfound love for quinoa, barley, wheat berries and rice. Good foods that fill my belly. I also noticed that my stomach wasn't bothering me as much. Maybe bread is the culprit behind some of my stomach woes.

Tonight, when we go out to dinner for Easter (happy Easter and Passover!), I will most definitely eat a slice (or three) of a bread. Hopefully it tastes just as fantastic as I remembered!

Back to Nature.

The weather this weekend was beautiful, and I took full advantage of the sunny skies. Late Saturday morning, as my significant other slept, I decided to walk to the local organic market, to pick up a few snacks for the week. It was a bit windy at times, but the sun was shining brightly, so it was a nice balance. 

For the first part of my walk, I was listening to HEARTSREVOLUTION, because I needed some upbeat tunes. Halfway through my walk, I decided to shut my music off. I felt as if I were cheating myself from my surroundings. I realized that there are at least three neighbors that have horses, that I had no clue about. How'd I know? My nose told me, if you catch my drift. 

I passed lots of neighbors running, taking a walk, and taking their four-legged friends for a walk. I met the cutest Italian Greyhound en route. His owner walked out of a driveway, about four houses ahead of me, and this little guy kept turning around to look at me. Finally, they turned around and we eventually crossed paths. When we met, he was so eager to meet me! I knelt down, took my sunglasses off, and got onto his level. He came over and gave me the cutest little kisses. That alone made my afternoon. I said goodbye to my new friend and his owner, and walked the few blocks to the store. 

I grabbed a few items, including Miss Amy's Blue Point Mustard (made with Blue Point Oatmeal Stout), and chatted with the lady working at the store. I love shopping at the local businesses in my area - everyone is so nice, and takes time to have a nice conversation. 

As I was walking back home, I decided to check out a barn sale. I had seen the sign when I was walking to the store, but had passed. I figured it was worth a shot to see what was there. I was hoping for some vintage clothing finds or vinyl, but no such luck. Mostly furniture and dishes. I did, however, find a few yards of lace. For $2, it was a steal. I'd much rather give the money to my neighbors than a chain store!

The walk home was a bit nicer, because the wind finally died down. A block away from the house, I pulled out my iPhone, to get a few shots of the gorgeous foliage. This picture does it no justice - its absolutely breathtaking when you are within arms reach, watching the branches sway in the breeze.

I am so stoked that the warm weather has been more consistent. I can't wait to spend the Summer traipsing across the island. Long Island summers are the best!