Park Slope Tourists

June 28, 2009

My parents came into town today for a visit, they will be here until Wednesday and we are very excited!  We spent the day exploring my ‘hood and everyone had a great time.  I will say in advance that there were a lot of indulgences!  It is way too late, once again, so this is a pretty cursory review.

I started my morning off right with this fellow –

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A small green juice from a spot on Flatbrush.  I had them add carrot to this and it was very, very tasty.

My parents, being islanders and all, were very excited to hit up Target so that was our first stop.  While we were there we got “brunch” at Buffalo Wild Wings (no, this was obviously not a spot we needed to show off, but my mom and dad couldn’t eat on the plane and food was a necessity).  I got the naked tenders.

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They came with blue cheese, honey bbq, and potato wedges.

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I ate 3 out of 4 pieces of chicken and gobbled up the fries.  I love that NY menus post calories, there is no way I would have guessed that what I ate had only about 350calories.

From there we hit up the farmers market at Prospect Park.

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 My parents loved it here!  We bought macaroons to munch while we walked around,

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and the four of us split a strawberry cider.

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Next up, we went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

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We had a great time walking around.  The coolest exhibit was called “Wicked Plants,” and it showcased plants that are psychotropic, deadly, or illegal.  It was a lot of fun.

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After that we headed to my apartment so my parents could check the place out (they are staying in a hotel, it works for my girlfriends to stay in one room with us, but my mom and dad wanted space!).  I was very happy to share a big sampling of Newman’s Own Organics with them – they were very excited about it 🙂

For dinner we wanted to stay local so we went to Perch, a fun spot on 5th.

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We did a lot of sharing so my portions are not very clear, but you can assume I had more than my fair share!  They brought homemade bagel chips to the table as soon as we sat down.

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I ordered a Bloody Mary to drink.

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I’ve only had this at brunch but I feel like they can rock it at dinner, I love the spiciness.

We split the beer and cheese fondue wolaver’s organic brown ale, sharp cheddar

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It came with bread chunks and apple slices and was absolute perfection!

We also split the most amazing salad I’ve ever had.

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It was Waldorf inspired and had apples, buttermilk dressing, candied nuts and grapes.

I felt the need to extend the cheesiness to my entree (not a good idea) and I ordered the mac and cheese blend of grueyere, cheddar, blue cheese, and green onions.

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It was good but cheese followed by cheese was just too much for me, I only ate about 1/3.  I shared some big bites of everyone’s sandwiches too.

I ralied in time for dessert and ordered the maple ginger bread pudding.

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It wasn’t all that good, it was much more like a loaf of bread then a pudding, but I was pretty buzzed and self-control flew out the window.  I ate about 1/2 and gave myself a tummy ache.

A and I walked my parents back to their hotel and then made a treck (1.5miles) to the movie theatres.  I don’t know what was worse, the fact that Transformers sucked so badly or that I polished off this medium popcorn without any help from A.

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Yuck, all around.

And, once again, it is time for a late late bedtime.  Hasta!

What bad movies have you seen lately?


Done and Drogging!

June 27, 2009

Hola chicas y chicos!  I realize this is a twofer post, but it is also a midnight wasted post, so it will be a quickie.

Thursday was pretty un-monumental.  I ate a KIND Bar as my train breakfast.

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KIND Bars always make me happy.

The school day was a little weird, the kids were getting so tired of doing nothing.  A lot of people were watching a movie in Mr. S’s room and my girls class came in and was like “we cleaned up and played that game (Scattegories) in Ms. Wax’s room, can we do that again?!?”  Midway through the day we ended up going to an Anti-Violence Parade.  It was totally non-related to violence or the lack of violence but there was food and performances.  I couldn’t eat the burgers and hot dogs but one of my students bought me an (unphotographed) icee that made me pretty happy 🙂

For my non-mammal-on-the-grill lunch I came inside and ate this Asian-Style Potstickers Lean Cuisine.

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I’ve decided that I only like frozen “diet” meals when they are Asian inspired.

The rest of the day was pretty random.  A went out with his co-workers and I hung out at home and vegged.  I ate some snacks but never officially did dinner.  I had 3 of these.

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And 1C of KashiHeart to Heart Blueberry with vanilla hempmilk.

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I bought this Living Harvest Hemp Milk after hearing blogger raves but I wasn’t all that impressed, it was a little too sweet for my liking.

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I also made a 3T serving of paperbag popcorn.

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Now Friday, however, is when the fun started!  Today was finally, officially, my last day of teaching.  It was a little bittersweet because as excited as I am about going back to school and starting a new profession it’s odd to think about not teaching any more.  I had said most of my goodbyes to students earlier in the week so I didn’t have to shed too many tears about that.

{I will say, I shed some tears right now: I wrote a mega post that somehow got erased and my rewrite will be nowhere near as insightful}

I didn’t eat any breakfast but I was very excited to eat my last lunch from the pizza spot across the street from the school.

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Goodbye East New York food!

The kids were dismissed at 10:30 and then things got a bit ridiculous.  We got called in to a staff meeting for which the entire purpose was to scream at the teachers.  Our principal got back the results of a DOE survey on which she and the school got very poor scores – she was pissed.  She screamed at us for more than an hour.  In addition to several other things, she said that even though we usually get out early on the last day she was holding us until 3 as punishment.

After she left some older staff members continued to scream for another hour.  Some of the things that were said were just shocking – there was so much anger and inappropriateness.  The newer teachers were shocked, Ms. N actually left the room and Mr. H said he felt like he was going to throw up.  One of the issues is that the school got very poor ratings on school safety and the screamers were beyond aggressive in saying that people were wrong.  There main points were a) things are a lot better than they used to be; and b) the kids aren’t “that bad” and it is pathetic that adults would feel unsafe.  I’m going to address those points really quickly.

A) It doesn’t matter if things are better, if they are not ok they are not ok.  You can not and should not lower your standards just because there has been a slight improvement.  I get that the kids used to light the bulletin boards on fire, that was a problem.  However, the lack of flaming bulletin boards does not a safe school make.  At least 2 times a week at least 5 students would come to school in the middle of the day, stoned as hell, and wander the hallways messing with other students.  That is unacceptable.

B) In spite of my experiences (for example: a male student getting an inch from my face and screaming that he would f*cking kill me.  Or another student bashing my face into a wall) I do NOT feel unsafe.  When it comes down to it, I am an adult and they are children.  However, when I filled out the survey I wasn’t thinking about my safety, I was thinking about student safety (funny, I thought that’s what we all were worried about?!).  It is not safe that in our middle school we have many 16year oldsrunning around and terrorizing 12year olds.  Bullying is unacceptable and it is rampant in our school.

Anywho, Moving on to happier things!  Both administrators gave me a hug and told me I did a great job and my principal told me I have a job waiting for me whenever I want it.  And after that we got wasted 🙂 Ms. M organized an escape celebration for me and I couldn’t be more grateful.  A group of us that were close went to Franklin Park Bar in Prospect Heights.

I started with a Franklin lemonade, which was delish.

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And then I made people do a round of Knob Creek shots.

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And then I did another shot (alongside a too sweet mojito that I handed off after 1sip).

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And then I had a pear cider.

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And another.

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And I also had a final shot that I was definitely not able to photograph.  I had a great time but I was definitely only semi-functional at that point and I very much appreciate Ms. M for driving.  I managed to get a pic of part of our group.

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I love (some of) my coworkers!

Afterwards a smaller group of us headed to a diner in my ‘hood because every one wanted shakes and burgers.  I got a black and white milkshake.

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It was good but A showed up and drank most of it.  I also got a turkey burger.

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The fries were for Ms. N, I didn’t have any, and I had about half of the burger with A.

After my coworkers split A and I went down to 5thAvenue to meet up with my friend Lana (from Williamsburg).  Her bf was dj’ing and we went to watch.  I had a great time catching up, but definitely didn’t do any more drinking!  Apparently Lana has been reading my blog, so that is exciting – Hi Lan!

Afterwards A and I did a long walk home and stopped in at a grocery store.  I picked up my favorite frozen food ever.

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This veggie pad thai seriously rocks so hard, it is fantastic.

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And now it is beyond time for bed.  It was a great, great day, I feel very blessed.  I am also excited because my parents are coming into town for a visit tomorrow, see ya then!

What was your favorite job to quit?  How did the last day go?


Beam Green

June 25, 2009

It is much much too late so this will be a quick post (I am sorry it’s been so sporadic lately!).  This morning for breakfast I had a Cashew Cookie Lara Bar on the train.

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This flavor was only ok.  It doesn’t even come close to pb cookie!

For lunch I packed a Jazz Apple and a lowfat strawberry yogurt.

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The yogurt was Wallaby.

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It was pretty tasty, and I liked the chunks of strawberry, but it was too thin for my liking.  I also ate a serving of Doctor Kracker Cherry Seminola Crisps.

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Today was a ridiculous “school” day.  We were told point blank not to teach this week and babysitting is getting pretty boring.  I did manage to clean/close up my entire room today though, so that’s done.  I brought in Newman-O’s to bribe my kids into cleaning.

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I enjoy these, but stuck to one cookie.  They taste like Oreos but have a deeper flavor, like the cookie is dark instead of milk chocolate.  I’ve also been carrying this tin of mints around this week and it’s been rocking my socks, they have the perfect amount of cool mintiness.

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Plus, my nickname for A is Ice Bear so the tin alone makes me smile.

After a lazy hazy school day things got very busy after school.  I rushed home right at 3 for a dentist appointment.  My mouth is in good shape but I do need to make flossing more of a priority.  Next up was a trip to Dashing Diva; my eyebrows were so out of control I didn’t even want to attempt to deal with them!  I also got my nails done.

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Bright purple to celebrate a fast-approaching summer!  My final event was Beam Green in Manhattan.  I stopped and got a pizza toastie for the train ride up.

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This is basically just a pizza sandwich style – sourdough, marinara, mozzarella.

I am saving my thoughts on the event for tomorrow, but for now I’ll mention that I had a green juice and it was delicious.

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A met me at the Subway when I got home (at 11!) and we made a quick stop and I picked up dinner.

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I ate about half of this Vegan Chicken Lo Mein for a 300calorie serving.

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And now I need to shower and collapse into bed.  Tomorrow will be better, I swear!


False Starts and Street Fairs

June 22, 2009

I took such a long weekend it’s hard to believe I have to go back to school tomorrow!  Today was a great day to end the fun though.  Somehow this morning I managed to convince A to go to a 9:30am spin class with me at Crunch.  I wanted to be well energized so I ate a spoon of TJ’s Sun Butter,

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and a Sugar Free Red Bull before I left the house.

Things seemed good, we signed up for seats at the front desk and I went to the locker room while A went to claim our bikes.  When a woman told him she had my bike # he (politely) made her go back downstairs to check.  At this point I came in, along with 20 other people.  To make a long story short – we signed up on the wrong sheet.  Not only did we make the woman recheck, there were no bikes at all and we had to slink out of the full room feeling like assholes.  We felt so silly we didn’t even do a secondary workout, just went home!  I felt bad about missing the work out but as I write this post my legs are still on fire from Physique57 so I guess it’s actually a good thing 🙂

After the comedy club yesterday and the gym todayI thought I was doomed but somehow I did manage to make it to brunch today on time and intact!  I met up with a small group of blogger at Jane in Soho.

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The restaurant was adorable and it was great getting to catch up.  I ate a tiny chunk of bread with fruit butter.

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And since a cocktail came with brunch I tried the Bloody Mary.  [for which I have no picture]  It was spicy!  You could see the chunks of horseradish in it, possibly the best one of these I’ve had.

The menu looked fantastic and I had a hard time choosing.  There were several Benedict variations that all looked good.  I ended up with the Benedict Johnny.

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Poached eggs, maple chicken sausage, corn pancakes, roasted tomato hollandaise.  It came with hash browns and I ordered the sauce on the side.

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Delish!  Poached eggs are my favorite and these were very well done.  When I quit eating red meat, sausage was one of the few things I missed and this chicken sausage tasted exactly like what I remember from my childhood!  I left half of the bread and the potatoes but demolished the rest.

Once I split with the girls I headed to the next fun activity – a Park Slope Street Fair!  I’ve been excited about this for weeks and the experience did not disapoint.  A and I bought some foodie mini magnets.

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And we each got a fun t-shirt.

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We saw some live performances.

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And I got a coconut bubble tea.

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I abandoned the tea halfway through in favor of splitting a Brooklyn Summer Ale with A.

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So fun!  There was so much food that I was glad I had already eaten, it would have been impossible to choose!  The fair ran from 14th – Flatbrush so it was a nice long stroll.

Afterwards A and I extended the walk and explored the outer edges of our ‘hood a bit.  At some point we split a Cappachino Cooler from Baskin Robbins.

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We only bought this because we had to buy something (A had to use the bathroom) and this had the least amount of calories (210) but it was actually pretty tasty.

After some errands and blog tasks (I have a surprise later this week!) we made a quick dinner.  We made a grown up kiddie meal spin with this stuff.

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We added 1C of collard greens to the mac during the last few minutes of cooking.  My bowl.

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Looking back on the day I consumed way too many liquid calories (especailly for not drinking much booze), which is why I was still hungry after dinner.  Which is also why I got suckered in by a small (unphotographed) bag of popcorn when I went to the movies with A. 

It is an interesting school day tomorrow, I will see you all then!


I’m That Into Him

June 20, 2009

I had a really fun evening, it an unexpected sort of way.  First on the agenda was finishing up my business with a grocery trip.  A was busy so I finished out my Physique57 workout from this morning hauling 2 heavy bags back to the house!  On the way home I stopped for a fresh juice.

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I got a small veggie blend – Apple, carrot, spinach, kale, celery, bok choy, parsley, lemon, cucumber, and ginger.

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Delish, this was my favorite of all the juices I’ve tried!

A had an eye appointment at 5:15 so we threw together a quick meal.

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A cooked the pasta (Rising Moon Organics Wild Chanterelle Mushroom Ravioli) and the broccoli/cauliflower together.

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Then I topped my portion with a serving of TJ’s marinara sauce.

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So tasty!  I like pasta cooked al dente and this had the perfect amount of chew to it.

The plan for the evening was to head to Manhattan to see a friend of a friend at a comedy club.  We got a late start because of A’s appointment and the rain but we were feeling good.  I even relaxed with a book waiting for the train.

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Well apparently I was too relaxed because I followed A right onto a train headed the wrong direction!  Once we realized our mistake (on the moving train!) it was too late to make it to the show.  I was sad, but it was easy to get over once A suggested Wendy’s and a movie!  We split chicken nuggets and fries, my portion –

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and watched “He’s Just Not That Into You.”  A had never seen it and he loved it – it is the perfect mix of touching and comedy.  I snacked on some new Lindt Mini Truffles while I watched.

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I had one of each flavor – cappuchino, nougat, caramel.

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I have some fun planned for tomorrow so I’m trying to make it an early bedtime but we’ll see how that goes.  Sleep tight!

What silly things have you done for a crush?  As you know I married my high school sweetheart, A and I have dated since my senior year (his jr year) in high school.  When we first met it was very casual – he thought I was hot and I wanted him to drive me around in his car!  Well as I spent some time around him I developed a crush.  A ran cross country so I thought “what better way to spend time with him than join cross country too?”  Good idea, except, I was already a cheerleader.  I somehow worked it with both of the coaches that I did cheer practice M, W, F and running T, R.  So I ran 2 days a week, which meant while everyone else was training and getting better I was basically maintaining.  Which meant I started off pretty strong but by the time the first meet rolled around……….I came in dead last and then puked!  The things we do for love!


Numero Uno

June 20, 2009

I am in much better spirits 🙂  We finally made some (basic) choices, which I will be sharing with readers by the end of this week.  Plus I saw Year One this afternoon which made me laugh.  Andthen I got to catch up with an old college friend.

J and I worked at the on-campus bar together at University of Miami.  She is in law school here in NY which means she is as busy as I am and we never see each other!  It is almost summer now so we managed a double date at South Street Seaport.  I was wicked thirsty on the train so I slammed a lemonade as soon as I reached the Seaport.

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Then I met up with A, who had been out drinking with school friends, and finally we met up with J and her boyfriend.  Some of the restaurants at the Seaport are a bit iffy so we ended up at Unos.  I was pretty much stuffed still from movie popcorn so I made a light dinner choice.

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Soup and salad.  Soup was vegetable – Carrots, celery, corn, beans, onions, spinach, red bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini in a low fat vegetarian broth (135calories).

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And the salad was the Gorgonzola Walnut Side Salad – Mixed lettuces, tomato, red onion, cucumber, honey glazed walnuts, Gorgonzola, croutons and low fat blueberry pomegranate vinaigrette (280calories).

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I ate about 2/3 of the soup and salad.  Even though I didn’t clean my plate I did manage to snag a few bites of A’s brownie sundae dessert.

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Yums!  I frickin love living in NY so much – having the calories posted on the menus takes away all of my ordering anxiety.  There are times when I really don’t care between two options and the idea that one of them could potentially have 1,000 more calories when I don’t even prefer it freaks me out.

We got done with dinner around 10:30 and A and headed home because I need to be up early tomorrow for my 2nd foray into Physique57.  Sweet dreams all!

Does your town post nutritional stats?  What do you think about the practice? 

I am generally unsure about things that put an emphasis on calories.  The amount of young girls who are concerned about weight (and additionally engaging in unhealthy practices) is staggering.  If I hear some one commenting about calories when I am eating I feel deeply uncomfortable.  However, I strongly support posting nutritional stats.  While I have slight reservations that this practice may deprive some young girls typical childhood experiences (“A corn dog at a ball game with dad has how many calories?!  No thanks!”) I think that starting a dialogue is a good thing.  And on the flip side there are times when I am surprised by how low the number is, rather than high.  Just as it’s good for people to be aware of excess, I am glad people eating too little have the information in front of them rather than (over)estimating.

Additionally, (thankfully or sadly?) people who are too concerned about calorie counts are the minority in American society.  People complain about parents who don’t bother to have the sex talk with their children, what about the trans fat talk?  Or the calcium talk?  Or for my children, the why we don’t eat candy for breakfast and lunch talk.  Putting nutritional information right on the menu opens up a opportunity for communication.

Finally, as an informed adult I appreciate my ability to be armed with all of the facts when I make a food choice in NYC.  Even as someone who is concerned with health, cooks, reads articles, etc I am often surprised by how much I over/underestimate the calories in restaurant meals.  While it is not feasible to ask Mom and Pop spots to call in a team of analysts, chain restaurants are employing nutritionists anyways, why not make their knowledge public for the good of the consumer?


“School”

June 16, 2009

It is a late, late night.  I was at school for more than 12hours today – eeek!  I will try to keep this brief, I am long long overdue for cuddling with A.

For train breakfast I went with pb cookie bar version 2.0 –

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Luna Bars are good, but this flavor is better in Lara Bars.

“School” (lets add some “”””””””””s) was ridiculous today.  There was not 1 single teaching period.  1-3 were used for predictive testing.  4-5 were graduation practice.  6 was lunch.  7-8 were for handing out yearbooks/caps & gowns.  The super fun part was that 4-8 I was in the library with all the kids who will NOT be graduating – good times.

Lunch went the museli route again.

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Nonfat Plain Fage, 1/4C oats, 1/4C unsweetened dried blueberries, 1t triple berry preserves.  I love using leftover salsa jars as my to-go containers.

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I also packed an apple to munch.

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After “school” there was an awards ceremony from 6-8 so I stayed there.  I walked 8 blocks (through the serious ghetto) with 2 kids to pick up the balloons for decorations.  Picture the whitest girl you know walking through the yard of a housing project carring 25 shiny balloons.  Oh yeah.

While I decorated I snacked on a serving of Doctor Kracker Cherry Seminola Crips with 4 figs.

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And around 5 Mr. B and Ms. M and I knew we needed to have a quick escape so we headed to a nearby diner for dinner.  The options were typical diner food and therefore dinner was lame.

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I ate about 3/4 each of the chicken fingers and the fries.

I had a good time at the awards ceremony, it was fun to see some of the kids all dressed up.  I presented a set of awards but mostly I sat in the audience clapping loudly.  I shared these Sour Patch Kids with a coworker.

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I didn’t get home until after 9 and then A and I had a loooong conversation – I have very interesting news that I will hopefully be sharing by the end of the week.  While I typed this blog post I ate three (a serving) strawberry chocolates.

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And it’s bedtime.  Sweet dreams!