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 –

HPIM3511

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.

HPIM3513

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

HPIM3512

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.

HPIM3518

HPIM3519

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

HPIM3515

and the four of us split a strawberry cider.

HPIM3517

Next up, we went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

HPIM3532

HPIM3522

HPIM3524

HPIM3527

HPIM3528

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.

HPIM3529

HPIM3530

 HPIM3531

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.

HPIM3535

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.

HPIM3536

I ordered a Bloody Mary to drink.

HPIM3540

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

HPIM3541 

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

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

HPIM3542

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.

 HPIM3543

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.

 HPIM3545

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.

HPIM3547

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.

HPIM3494

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.

HPIM3491

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.

HPIM3497

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

HPIM3496

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.

HPIM3495

I also made a 3T serving of paperbag popcorn.

HPIM3498

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.

HPIM3499

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.

HPIM3500

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

HPIM3501

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

HPIM3502

And then I had a pear cider.

HPIM3503

And another.

HPIM3505

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.

 HPIM3504

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.

HPIM3507

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

 HPIM3506

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.

HPIM3508

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

HPIM3509

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.

HPIM3486

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.

HPIM3480

The yogurt was Wallaby.

HPIM3481

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.

HPIM3472

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.

HPIM3487

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.

HPIM3471

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.

HPIM3488

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.

HPIM3489

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.

HPIM3490

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

HPIM3492

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

HPIM3493

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


“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 –

HPIM3416

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.

HPIM3411

HPIM3413

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.

HPIM3414

I also packed an apple to munch.

HPIM3412

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.

HPIM3415

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.

HPIM3417

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.

HPIM3421

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.

HPIM3420

And it’s bedtime.  Sweet dreams!


Newman’s Own Organics Rocks My Socks

June 15, 2009

There are so many things to be excited about in this post I don’t even know where to begin!  My train breakfast was a favorite,

HPIM3406

Peanut Butter Cookie is my favorite Lara flavor by far.

School was easy today – I taught 2 periods, had 2 periods of graduation rehearsal, and then had a half day.  We had a quick labeling assignment to do and then I had the afternoon to start cleaning my classroom.  I gave Mr. H 99% of my stuff so I’m glad all the chart paper I slaved over will not be going to waste.

For lunch I went the trail mix route.

HPIM3386

I call this Peanut Better Trail Mix.  1/4C each peanuts, dried blueberries, and pb m&m’s for a filling 570 serving.

HPIM3387

This was bigger calorie-wise and smaller volume-wise than what I usually pack but I ended up feeling in good full-ness and enjoyment.  I also had a baggie of green grapes.

HPIM3388

 The school provided lunch, which I obviously skipped, but I did eat a slice of unphotographed cheese cake.

I left for home promptly at 3o’clock and got slammed with a migraine before I even made it in the front door.  I almost missed my fun activity but thank goodness medicine and a nap kicked in on time.  This didn’t hurt to perk me up either.

HPIM3407

When I saw fellow Brooklyn bloggers getting Newman’s Own Organics boxes (complete with fancy mints I’d never seen before) a while back I was quite jealous.  Several people recommended that I ask for my own and I decided to plead wildlynicely request my own sample.  Sally more than generously agreed and I expected a small sampling.  Holy frick.

HPIM3408

Re-dic-u-lous amount of food.  A and I were deeply struck by the generousity.  Expect to be seeing a ton of Newman’s Organic Own products in my posts for the next 10 years 🙂

I floated on a cloud of thankfulness and happy thoughts to my next activity – another fitness first, this time with Vani.  We did a 45 minute spin class at Crunch.  This was my 1stish try at spinning and I sucked but I also loved it.  My history?  My mommy loves to spin but I’ve always been a bit scared of it.  

The one time I did go to a class with her I was the youngest person in the room by at least 20years and the worst by at least 50 gasps per minute!  I did my best to keep up but about 5 minutes in my foot slid out of the strap and my knee slammed into the handle.  What’s worse than getting your butt kicked by the last generation?  Having to leave early, bloody! 

This time I still sucked, but I made it through the entire class, all limbs intact.  Sadly, we have no more gym membership as of July 1st but I am going to try to attend a few gym classes over the next two weeks.

After class Vani and I walked down to 7th Avenue for some fresh juice.  I got carrot-papaya-apple.

HPIM3409

This was the perfect pick me up.  Plus it filled me up and basically became dinner.  I did have about 1/4 of A’s tuna salad sub when I got home.

HPIM3410

And A spent the rest of our evening doing some serious discussing.  There is a LOT going on right now with plans for next year and I got some very interesting news today.  Hopefully by the end of the week I should be able to give you guys some updates.

Now it’s much too late and I’ve got to hurry to bed, night!

Have you ever tried spinning?  What’d you think?


Sunday, Sunny Sunday

June 14, 2009

Well, things have certainly gone much more smoothly since my last post!  It’s been a fabulous weekend and I still have a block of Sunday night left 🙂

After my post yesterday A and I headed to the movies.  I packed some good snacks,

HPIM3379

 HPIM3380

the rest of my TJ’s unsweetened dried pineapple and a baggie of green grapes, but also supplemented with movie candy,

HPIM3381

Shockers.  The movie was good but not great – Ryan Reynold and Sandra Bullock were amazing as usual but the storyline was pretty flat.

After the movie A and I knew we were a little hungry but couldn’t decide on what.  We had to pick up Father’s Day cards so we stopped at Barnes and Nobel and got small pb cookie dough ices along the way.

HPIM3382

I gave half of mine to A and then we ended up wandering more than 2miles to Flatbrush!  By the time we made it to dinner at Mangowe were mega hungry!  I ordered steamed veggie dumplings as my appetizer.

 HPIM3383

These were wonderful, very chewy.  The veggies had a nice meaty taste and the sauce had a little kick to it.  I only at half because I was super excited about my meal – See U Noodles!  Broad rice noodles are my absolute favorite, which means you’ve seen them before which is good because I randomly have no picture.

We headed home after dinner and I’d like to say it was time for bed but for some reason it seemed appropriateto me to spend more than an hour watching Royal Pains on Hulu.

Late bedtime aside, I was more than ready to get up for my adventure this morning!  I packed up a bag and headed into Manhattan.  On the train I tried one of these Raw-Revolution bars for breakfast.

HPIM3384

I did the chocolate coconut flavor – delish!  This was chewy and chocolatly and pretty much perfect.  I was full of energy when I reached my final destination.

Physique 57.  Months ago Melissagave a bunch of bloggers a free pass and I think I’m the last person to use it.  I did a 60minute beginner’s class, it was strength moves for the whole body using weights, a ballet bar, a beach ball, and a mat.  I was terrible, the instructor corrected my back like 8 times and I still don’t know how I was supposed to be.  And I loved it.  I booked a class for next Saturday before I even left.

After the class I stopped at Jamba before the subway to refuel.

HPIM3385

This was a 16oz Peach Pleasure with a whey protein boost.  I wanted the protein boost but this flavor was not happening, I brought the 2nd half of it home for A.  I can’t wait ’till we move so I can buy a blender!

I had a busy but fun afternoon – painted my nails, ran some errands.  I had a $9 credit at Staples (from my teacher rewards card) that I obviously don’t need so I bought some nuts and candy there and then I headed to the grocery store to buy some goods for dinner tonight.  I was dying for a snack by the time I got home so I ate the other half of my veggie dumplings from last night.

HPIM3389

Then I had a romantic snack with A .  We went to Union Market for fun the other day and got foccacia,

HPIM3391

and this beauty –

HPIM3390

Guinness Cheddar Cheese.  Yums!  A made me thin slices so it looked like more.

HPIM3392

So good, you could really taste the beer!

We have a fun dinner planned tonight but first we are going on a walk to run some errands I forgot earlier, see ya later alligators!

What new fitness routes have you tried lately?  Did you enjoy them?  I am a new convert to Physique 57 and I’m actually trying something new tomorrow too!


Big Apple Rainstorm

June 13, 2009

When I woke up this morning I felt so tired I told A I could stay in bed until 5 – looking back that might have been the better idea!  We had a fun day but things weren’t quite working out for us.

I’m not gonna lie – the first thing I ate today was Ruffles potato chips, unphotographed, straight from the bag.  Then we headed up to the city to hit up the Big Apple Bbq.  On the way we stopped at Dizzy’s and got a lemonade to split.

HPIM3368

There were TONS of people at the park, and live music. 

HPIM3369

I had a few sips of A’s apple cider.

HPIM3370

We had a good time people watching but discovered that there was NO chicken at the event, so my dreams of a pulled chicken sandwich were not going to happen.  A was not happy about being pushed (he had a questionable mole removed from his back this week and has stitches) so we decided to split.  No soon did we leave the park then it started to rain!

We ducked into the spot across the street and discovered a fresh juice bar.

HPIM3371

I got carrot, spinach, and pineapple.   I thought this was delicious, maybe I can be a real blogger after all!  As we walked down the street we spotted Punch which looked fun,

HPIM3372

HPIM3373

so we went inside for the brunch menu.  They brought a basket of bread/muffins to the table,

HPIM3375

and our meal came with drinks.

HPIM3374

I got a Bloody Mary, and salmon eggs benedict with the sauce on the side.

HPIM3376

HPIM3377

I wasn’t really feeling this meal, I ended up only eating half of everything (incudling the drink and the hollandaise).  I was pretty hungry still as we hurried to the subway through the rain.  I ended up eating another serving of chips when I got home.

 HPIM3378

At least this time they weren’t straight from the bag!

We have low key plans for tonight (and know to bring our umbrellas!) so hopefully this evening will work out a little better!

What is your favorite bbq food?  I really liked pulled chicken sandwiches but feel like you can’t find them anywhere.