OHNY 2014

Hey all,

This post is a little late, but late is better than never.

Last weekend was Open House New York, an annual event that:

 “promotes a greater appreciation of the city’s built environment;                                 broadens public awareness by exposing diverse audiences to distinctive                       examples of architecture, engineering and design; educates and                                 inspires discussion of issues of excellence in design, planning and                               preservation; and showcases outstanding new work as well as                                     structures of historic merit.”

-OHNY website

We had planned to visit a few sites but work got in the way. We did however, make it to Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT), which is not usually open to the public, and it was a great tour, learned so much!!

BAT was designed by Cass Gilbert, same guy as the Woolworth building, you can see the similarities in the buildings here.

Can you see the old radiator here? I believe this is the part of BAT they plan to renovate and make available as industrial space in the next few years.

And the view from the pier that brought in so many items through Brooklyn Army Terminal, looking rather ominous in the overcast sky.

-Nicole

Workouts for the week

Sunday-Rest after a very long hike on Saturday

Monday-40 min barre and cardio

Tuesday-Hiit

Wednesday-Spin, haven’t done that in forever!

Thursday-Barre and cardio

Friday-Hiit and cardio

Saturday-off/walk/clean

I’ve had some rather low intensity weeks and with a hike at Table Mountain planned for South Africa I realized I need to make sure my endurance is up.

Ryan’s Birthday Weekend

We celebrated Ryan’s 28th birthday this weekend by going for a hike and enjoying the fall foliage.

We left the city Friday night with a few friends.  On the way to Bear Mountain we stopped by Ambulance Brew House, a dining gem off of the palisades highway.

We ordered a few flights to take a few different items.  My favorite was easily the headless horseman pumpkin.

To eat I had the artichoke and red pepper wrap, Ryan a mixture of tacos.

And the boys, took a few photos to get them both facing me :).

Saturday we went for quite the hike. Not incredibly challenging but rather long. The scenery was amazing and since we weren’t in a rush to return home we took our time and didn’t necessarily stick to a particular trail-not that we let ourselves get lost. By 3pm we made sure we were on our way home.

First, best sight of the day, a turkey in a tree!  I didn’t know they could fly!!

FYI most photos here were by Ryan, check him and his work over at time in moments.

Oddest site of the day, this sign!

The above sign should have been posted about 1 mile before because we heard the guns and had to speculate where they were coming from…I was thinking West Point at first, but realized we were too far away.

Most surprising part of the hike-coming across the remains of Doodletown. The signs were mysterious and far from informative. We had no idea what this Doodletown was or what happened to it, one day there was a community and then by the 1950s it was abandoned. A google search filled in the blanks, but while on the trail we came up with creative ways that described the town’s demise.

After we got back I cooked up a birthday dinner of lemon garlic chicken, purple cauliflower made two ways, and roasted peppers.

Birthday cake was a brownie funfetti cake.  Decadent but so good! Recipe found here.

Waking up in Bear Mountain.

Relaxing Sunday morning before heading to last birthday weekend activity.

Wine making class! Class 1-destemming the grapes.

Pushing down the grapes in the must (freshly pressed juice with skins and seeds still in tub).  Back next week.

Hope you had a great weekend,

Nicole

Fitbit or Jawbone Up

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I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to test out and wear both the fitbit and jawbone up.  The former via Ryan who received the activity/sleep monitor from his job as part of a get moving challenge.  I received the jawbone up about a year ago (so not the most recent version) through a mentor to test for a research study I was developing. Below I will outline the pros and cons of both.

Fitbit 

Pros:

-It comes in several colors and the tracking device can be moved to different bands.  Tory Burch even designs for fitbit providing bracelets and necklaces.  They’re pretty darn cute, but I don’t know how practical they would be in the gym.

-The app updates via bluetooth so the device doesn’t need to be hooked up to a computer or phone

-The device buzzes when you reach daily step goal

-The device can monitor sleep quality/quantity (although this is on a very basic level and based on movement)

Cons:

-Still rather bulky for me and apart from Tory Burch options, not that fashionable

-I’m not a fan of the tapping means to switch the device from active monitoring to sleep. For example I was clapping earlier today and it switched into sleep mode. The device is sensitive to the wrong things!

-I feel like it’s not as sensitive as other devices I have used in the past, that said I have not run an official experiment to test this hypothesis

As for the Jawbone, I blogged about this device about  a year ago.

Pros (apart from the ones mentioned in the link above):

-I love the button option to switch from sleep to active mode

-Cheaper than the fitbit

-Bluetooth option available but it’s more $$

Cons:

-Not interchangeable, the color you get is the color you have

But that’s it! I much prefer the jawbone.

So much to say!

I have so much I want to blog about, but right now I just want to share things I’m loving over the internets-it’s been sometime since I’ve done one of these post!

Loving these possible options for birthday cakes for Ryan’s birthday next week.

This cocoa dumplings with bourbon maple sauce.

I think this drunken cake might be the winner.

Also liking the idea of a trifle, so many options, not enough stomach ;).

Or just for a fall dessert.

Catch ya later,

Nicole

A Low Key Weekend

I feel like I’ve been running non-stop and while I had planned to work this weekend, my mind had other plans and said, “shut it down!”. So I kept it incredibly low key, did lots of baking, and spent some time with friends.

Saturday night Ryan and I had a couple of friends over for a pumpkin beer tasting and tried to make headway on our puzzle.

The tasting ended up being:

1. Shipyard-My favorite of the bunch. It was a light beer, cinnamon sugar on the nose, light but apparent pumpkin taste.

2. Pumpkin IPA (I forget where this was from, we got it on draft)-more like a pale ale, the pumpkin rounded off the hops very well.

3. Pumkin Shandy from Traveler-another win from this producer!, cinnamon sugar, light pumpkin, and lemon zest all blended perfectly.

4. Redhook Port-My least favorite with no pumpkin taste, the coffee chocolate of the port overpowers any possible pumpkin.

5. Dogfish Head-another favorite, a richer beer than shipyard.

6. Magic Hat-A little sweet for my liking, but still pretty decent. Pumpkin taste to finish/at the back of the tongue, as in it doesn’t immediately hit you.

On Sunday I did some baking, tried to prep some food for the week, and canned!

The baking-pumpkin apple bread.

The canning-Grape Jelly, Quince Butter (made with quince fruit), and Applesauce.

Sunday evening we also visited a local food fair and tried a few different items which ended up being dinner.

Sticky Fingers’ Chicken Fingers

And risotto balls from Arancini Bros. We also had a soft pretzel (unpictured).

Last but not least I took Ryan by Central Perk (the Friends coffee place-I probably don’t have to mention that to most). They made a duplicate coffee shop for the 20th anniversary of Friends.

We didn’t go in because the line was crazy long, like around multiple blocks. But I’m happy with the outside.

Okay gotta finish cooking and then bed!

Later,

Nicole

Another Zumba inspired workout!

The 3rd week in a row with a new workout, and I think this one might just be my favorite. Lower body is the target both in the zumba songs and in the workouts in between.  Enjoy!

Warm up:

5 burpees

10 jump squats

15 weighted squats

15 sumo weighted squats

10 jump squats

5 burpees

You’ll have fun with this one!!

10 side lunges to the left with weights

20 walking lunges weight weights

20 curtsy lunges alternating legs

10 side lunges to the right

Cool down! and have a great weekend :).

Random Things

1. I tried to do a juice cleanse last week after an extravagant weekend, oh my gosh was it hard! First of all, I picked the wrong day to start. I was running behavior all day and while I brought all my juices with me and kept them on ice, I didn’t have time to drink anything but a sip from 11am-3:30 pm. Not a good idea.  I had the worst headache which I’m sure was a combination of dehydration, hunger, and sugar withdraw.

Day 2 wasn’t much better although I was able to more evenly pace my drinks out.  After the crazy headache on day #2 and an early bedtime, I gave in and ate on day 3.

Despite the awful headaches, I am glad I made it two days using Jus by Julie. My sweet tooth is like non existent.  I am more easily satisfied after a meal. And I just feel so much better. The juices were also delicious! And unlike many other cleanses Jus by Julie includes fiber and protein, a win win. I’m actually ordering some more to just drink because they are so good.

2. Now on the complete end of the spectrum, I’m obsessed with all of the Oreo flavors. With my sweet tooth under control I’ve been able to try just a couple and feel so satisfied and enjoy each. Root Beer is easily my favorite!

3. Rent the Runway opened a storefront, I may never buy a dress again!

4. Thoughts on clothing for Mei for the wedding?

5. Finally workouts.  I have not been to the gym in forever, it’s been all home workouts. Hoping to make it on Friday after I give a presentation!

Sunday-Upperbody and zumba

Monday-4 mi walk

Tuesday-OFF

Wednesday-40 min barre

Thursday-lowerbody and zumba

Friday-60 min cardio, back and shoulders

Saturday-60 min cardio, biceps and triceps

Later,

Nicole

3rd Annual Long Island Weekend-The Food

Or at least a lot of it and fun at the house.

The Menu:

Thursday Cocktail Party-Cheese and Crackers, Charcuterie, Nuts, Olives, Champagne, Ginger Peach Sangria

Dinner-Grilled Corn and Avocado Shrimp Salad, Grilled Ratatouille, Garlic and Rosemary Grilled Chicken, Market Fish, Red and White Wine

Dessert-Hazelnut Cake with Mint Chocolate Pudding

Friday Brunch-Apple Coffee Cake, Grilled Fruit Salad, Yogurt, Granola, Frittata du Jour

The frittata was made with leftover fish from dinner, sauteed bell peppers, carrots, and locally grown celery-I mention that it was locally grown because it was much darker and sweeter than the kind you usually find in the grocery store. The fish went over well with all-I assumed some would find it gross but it was the first to go.

Cocktail Party-Hummus, Vegetables Nues, Crackers, Guacamole, and Gummy Bear Sangria

Dinner-Fall Squash Farro Salad, Grilled Ratatouille, Smushed Potatoes, Salmon Kebabs, Grilled Steak du Jour, Red and White Wine

Dessert-S’mores by the fire

Fire in the making!

and keeping Mei warm

Saturday Brunch-Yogurt & Granola, Fruit du Jour, Whipped Ricotta,Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

Saturday fun at the house:

This water was freezing, but most made the plunge.  I realized I left my swimsuit at the apartment in NYC.

And after all the fun, more food :).

Dinner-Grilled Veggie Pizza, Salad du Jour, Linguine with Clams

Dessert-Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches: Red Velvet w/ Cream Cheese Ice cream, Chocolate w/ Plum Ice Cream, and Snickerdoodle w/ Apple Bourbon Ice Cream

I am stuffed until next year!!

3rd Annual Long Island Weekend-The Tastings

Last weekend we headed to Long Island for what is becoming an annual tradition. We headed to Southampton this year with a bunch of friends and took advantage of the warm weather while it last, as well as the fire pit, and the grill.

Over the weekend we also visited a couple of wineries-Duck Walk and Wolffer Wineries, along with Blue Point Brewery, and Long Island Spirits.

A little bubbly to start The Grand tasting at Wolfeer. This brut was made in the méthode champenoise, and just my kind of sparkling with a hint of butter and not too sweet, but at $54 a bottle it was not in my price range.

A little cheese to go with the wine.

Next up, Duck Walk. The grounds weren’t nearly as pretty as Wolffer, but they had one of my favorite white wines on the island.  I think we all ended up buying a bottle of South Hampton White.

 

The next day we went to the Blue Point Brewery for their 1pm tour. And apparently the first round of drinks are on the house so Ryan and I had a chance to taste 8 different beers (3 tastings each plus 2 others small pours from the bartender). Nothing really spoke to me. After taking a sip of each we mixed the white IPA with the Blueberry beer, it was actually my favorite (don’t judge ;)).

And last but not least the distillery, which was probably the least educational of the visits and the most expensive of all the tastings (well Blue Point was free!). But our group made the most of it and shared a couple of tastings, so about a sip of each.

Next up the food and the house.

Later,

Nicole

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