Monday, August 30, 2010

Drop it like it's hot

Looking for a way to save money each day?  Consider going green by making coffee at home instead of going out to get it.  People pay an average of $3.50 for coffee out when they could spend around $0.15/cup to make it at home.  You can save over $1,000/year by making coffee at home.  This is crazy town people!

With a seemingly endless variety of coffee makers on the market, invest in one that suits your individual tastes.  You can buy one that brews just one cup at a time, or you can go big and buy that fancy espresso maker you have always wanted.  If flavored coffee drinks are your thing, buy some syrups and/or creamers to add to your coffee.  I am constantly amazed at the many types of creamers that are available right now-anything from Spiced Pumpkin to Irish Cream.  If you like iced coffee, you can absolutely make this at home too.  Get wild and see what happens. 

I guarantee you that you will also save time (and gas) by making coffee at home.  A lot of people have their coffee maker set on a timer, so they don't even have to think about it in the morning.  As a former daily coffee drinker, (I chose to give up all caffeine, yes ALL of it 2.5 years ago due to chronic insomnia) I completely miss and understand the ritual of drinking coffee each morning.  All you have to do is transfer this ritual to your home instead of going out to get coffee.  Imagine getting ready and breathing in the smell of freshly brewed coffee...heaven. 

Don't get me wrong here; I absolutely think you should treat yourself every now and then by going to your favorite coffee shop.  If you are someone who insists on getting coffee out every day, remember the amount of money you could be saving by making it at home.  That trip to Europe or a new fall wardrobe could be in reach if you make this wise choice.  Otherwise, the only trip you might be going on is one that starts with "S" and rhymes with Starbucks. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And the Emmy goes to...

Lea Michele for her stunning navy Oscar de la Renta gown.  The birthday girl looked absolutely stunning.  Her dress, which fit her like a glove, coupled with Lorraine Schwartz jewels made her the best dressed lady of the evening.  Happy Birthday Ms. Michele! You are beyond lovely. 

An honorable mention goes to the talented Jane Krakkowski for her asymmentrical Escada gown.  Apparently, navy was the color du jour. 

Overall, I was fairly disappointed in the red carpet fashions. I hope that future award ceremonies produce more exciting looks.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Working out FAIL

Does anyone else absolutely HATE it when people talk loudly on their cellphones while working out in public?  In my opinion, this is The #1 Gym Offense.  I mean are you really that busy/important that you have to have a full on conversation on your phone while you workout?  A brief, quiet phone call is one thing.  Or, if you are on call and need to have your phone with you at all times that is another thing.  I guarantee you that the average person is not busy/important enough to warrant talking on the phone at the gym.  This is just rude and inconsiderate to the other people who are working out and not bothering others.  Trust me, NO ONE wants to hear you talk about American Idol, your amazing date last night, or how much you hate your boss. 

Of course, I have an example from my personal life.  I went to the gym today around 2:00 PM and could not wait to log some time on the elliptical machine while flipping through the September issue of Harper's Bazaar.  The gym was not very crowded, and I chose a machine two machines down from another woman.  Let's call her Britney.  She was listening to music on her iPhone when a call came in.  Britney answered the call and proceeded to talk quite loudly.  I tried my best to ignore her, but it was next to impossible since she was talking so loud.  *Note to people who talk on the phone at the gym: OTHER PEOPLE CAN HEAR EVERY WORD THAT YOU ARE SAYING.*  I had to keep turning my music up to hear it because all I could hear was every word of her very annoying conversation. 

At first, Britney was talking about some event she was going to and was clearly trying to make plans for a friend to join her.  Then, the conversation became interesting when the person must have asked her what she was doing.  Her is what I heard:

"Oh, I am at the gym on the elliptical right now. 
Oh yeah, I can talk, I like ALWAYS talk on the phone when I am at the gym.  (Great, just my luck.)
Yep, you know I have to keep up my figure to attract younger men.  (HA!)
Yeah, I usually go for the young ones.  I mean, the last guy I dated was like 26. 
People always think I am only like 28.  (Britney appreared to be in her early 30s.)
I like, always get carded, and I love it.  (I think I threw up in my mouth at that point.)
People think my body is so hot, so I have to work really hard to keep it."  (Too bad her face did not match her 'hot' body.)

At that point, I had had enough.  To avoid coming to physical blows and getting arrested for striking someone, I got off my machine and chose a machine SEVEN machines down from Britney.  However, even with my music turned up AND the new distance between us, I could still hear every word of her very candid conversation. 

What is the moral of the story you ask?  If you absolutely MUST answer a call while at the gym, either talk quietly and make it brief, or excuse yourself like you would do in any public place.  Let's have manners people.  I don't know about you, but I love leaving my phone in the car and not having to worry about it while I work out.  Also, do not EVER answer your phone during a yoga class.  If you forget to turn your phone on silent (shame on you), the least you can do is to just let it ring or silence it.  Every few months, someone answers their phone during yoga, and they get death glares from every single person in the class...worst of all from me. 

The other gym offenses and/or grievances I have are as follows:

1) Talking on the phone
2) Wearing denim, khakis, etc-you clearly can afford a gym membership, can you not afford a pair of gym shorts/pants?
3) Carrying around a gallon of water, protein shake, etc-really, do you need to drink that much?
4) Coming into a class extremely late (as in more than 10 minutes)-people come into my yoga class at least 20 minutes late all the time-FAIL!
5) Blatantly staring at girls while they work out-at least be less obvious guys

All of that being said, I am glad people are working out and being active.  Let's just try to mind our manners while we do so.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Change maker

Today is Women's Equality Day, and it is extra special because this year marks the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment's ratification to allow women the right to vote.  So go vote people! 

Those of you who know me on a personal level know that I am extremely passionate about this issue.  If you don't like something, then change it.  If you don't like how our current administration runs, do something about it.  If you feel like your voice is not being heard, speak louder. 

This applies not just to women but to everyone who can legally vote.  I feel incredibly blessed to live in a country where the voting system is fair (note that I said fair, not perfect).  Having spent a lot of time abroad, I know that this is not always the case in other countries where people technically cast their vote, but it doesn't necessarily count for anything.  In other countries, the simple act of voting can be quite dangerous if you don't vote the way certain people want you to.  Can you imagine living in fear because of your political beliefs? 

One of the many great things about our country is that you can have any type of opinion you want along with the freedom to express it.  Wow...people all across the world can and do die for this right that we so often take for granted.  I often remember one day in college when a large group of post-September 11th anti-war protesters stormed the streets of downtown Athens.  I got into a very heated discussion with one of them who was quite angry and violent despite his messages of "peace."  I later told my brother (he is a Lieutenant in the Navy) about it, and he said this: "While I don't agree with what he says, I choose to be in the military, so he has the right to say express his opinion."  This has really stuck with me over the years. 

Regardless of your political belief system, go out and vote.  This is your very basic right to exercise, so do it.  Especially if you have very strong and open opinions, make your voice heard by voting.  You can take it one step further by writing letters, lobbying for a particular issue, or even running for office.  The freedom is yours, and the responsibility rests on your shoulders. 

Instead of complaining about things all the time, let's do something to change them.  Be a change maker-we CAN change the world, but it starts with you and me.  All you can do is try, so try now and try hard.  Fight for what you want to change and don't take no for an answer.  At the end of the day, if you still don't like how things run here, then move to another country-I really don't want to listen to you complain anymore without doing anything about it. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to my mom!

I was unable to do this yesterday,
so I want to wish my beautiful mom a very Happy Birthday. 
I love you and hope you had a great day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Preach on sister!

"I'm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want.

If that makes me a bitch, okay."


Monday, August 16, 2010


"Every time you wear sweatpants in public, a single guy leaves New York."
(spotted on

This is perfection. 

I've got it in the bag

A great way to go green AND save some green is to bring your lunch to work.  Why pay $5-$15 for lunch each day when you can pay much less and eat healthy at the same time?  Plus, you are saving gas by not leaving the office to go get lunch.  My general lunch rule is that I am allowed to eat lunch out once day/week.  I see it as a special treat to do so. 

I cringe when I see people bring their lunch in plastic grocery store bags.  Why do this when there are tons of cute, reusable lunch bags on the market?  The one pictured is very cute and functional.  Go to to order it online.  However, you can get lunch bags at Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, etc.  I have an adorable striped one from Target that I love.  My former coworker Will used to refer to it as my "lunch purse."  Make sure to use reusable containers and cutlery.  Bon appetit!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Giant Panda Nursery

(photos courtesy of
Yesterday, I watched a fascinating documentary on GPB called Giant Panda Nursery.  Established in 1982, the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda is located in the Wolong Nature Reserve.  All of the world's giant pandas live in this part of Western China.  Their population continues to decrease as the human population in China grows. 

The center's employees have worked tirelessly to protect this species from extinction by building habitats for them and implementing a unique breeding program.  The US-China Environmental Fund helps to support the center along with donations from the San Diego Zoo and other organizations across the world.  The future of the this species depends on restoring their natural habitat since giant pandas need healthy forests and massive quantities of bamboo to survive. 

Visitors can spend the night at the Panda Hotel-how exciting!  I would love to do ao and see all of this in person.  The center (and others like it, although this one is the largest) hopes to save the giant panda before it is too late. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What the text?

Since when did texting (just texting) become appropriate instead of picking up the phone to ask someone out or get to know them better? If you have graduated from high school, you need to pick up the phone and CALL someone when you like them. Don't get me wrong, texting has it's place for sure...I love texting. However, if you are trying to get to know someone better, you need to talk to them on the phone. Call me old fashioned, but I truly think this is what you should do.

I think that people tend to hide behind text messages. Think back to the last time you had to tell someone something slightly uncomfortable...did you tell them over the phone/in person or via text/email? I'm not judging people, just asking. I guess I feel that if you are trying to impress someone and show them who you really are, why text someone when you can call them? Sure, send a few ice breaking texts at first. Then rip off the band aid and call them. You just might like talking to them over the phone, and I guarantee you they will be impressed that you did so. Plus, most people don't bite over the phone, so you should be safe. Cowboy up and pick up the phone now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The real green party

As the fall approaches, many of us will be hosting and/or attending countless events including bridal showers, engagement parties, and of course tailgating parties.  Make sure to go green by not throwing away your leftover party items.  I co-hosted a bridal shower for a friend this weekend with another friend who travels for her job.  She left for 2 weeks yesterday, so I took all of the perishable items home with me.  I mean, why waste perfectly good food, wine, and flowers right? 

Another great way to go green at your wedding is to designate a person/group of people who will donate any leftover food, drinks, and flower arrangements to a homeless shelter, nursing home, and/or hospital.  It kills me to know that perfectly good food gets thrown away ALL the time at events when someone else would be more than happy to eat your leftover filet and crab cakes.  You paid for it, so why let it go to waste?  Brighten some one's day with the beautiful flowers from your wedding.  Let's pay it forward people. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

DVD swap

Instead of buying every new movie that comes out, why not go green and do a DVD swap with your friends?  When a movie comes out on DVD that you and your friends all want to buy, pick one person to buy it, and then pass the movie around.  How often do you really watch your DVDs anyways?  I know that some movies are all-time favorites, so you should definitely buy the ones you can't live without.  But, if it's a movie that you will probably only watch again once or twice, start swapping now.  This will save you and your friends money and is much more environmentally friendly. 

A DVD swap works really well with TV shows since I think most people are less likely to watch an entire series of a TV show over and over again.  Unless you are me...Gossip Girl and Sex and the City are on permanent rotation in my DVD player.  Swaps also work well with books, magazines, and CDs.  Happy swapping!