Give Me Love . . .

Happy Tuesday! I'm sorry I've been MIA, there really aren't any excuses other than extreme busyness - which doesn't count since I know we're all busy all the time. So how about I make it up to you with a fun, must-do plan for the week?

Go see Yayoi Kusama's Give Me Love exhibit at the David Zwirner gallery. I don't want to give it all away (everything is better as a surprise!), but expect an interactive experience and with plenty of polka dots, in typical Kusama fashion. 

The exhibit runs through June 13, 2015 and admission is free. A word of caution, if you go during the weekend you may run into a short line, but don't let it discourage you. It moves quickly, plus it's completely worth the wait. You'll leave happy and light, only wishing that you could have stayed longer. 

Check it out, have fun, and let me know what you think!

PS. A great tip I picked up from Moni, who took me to see it: follow your favorite art galleries on Instagram. It's the best way to get the latest on exhibits and openings around the city. 


Claire Flowers Heels . . .

The first time I lived in New York I was working at Conde Nast, where I thought it was tres importante to wear heels to work everyday. Being a junior in college I didn't own proper work shoes, so I'd wear my nicest heels (which I usually reserved for dinners or nights out) all day long. When 6pm rolled around, I'd be ready to chop off my own feet. Oh, and by the way, I also thought it was way more chic to wear my heels out of the apartment (like I'd seen in movies, ahem The Devil Wears Prada), instead of wearing flats and changing into heels at my desk. Bottom line, I'd be riding the subway and hobbling to and from the office in high heels that weren't really meant for walking. 

Since then I've become much more sensible in my office footwear choices, but I'm still always on the hunt for a great looking pair of heels that are comfortable enough to wear all day. When I learned about Claire Flowers and her newly launched shoe line, I was immediately reminded of my Conde Nast days. Claire Flowers shoes combine the style and luxury of handmade heels, with the comfort and functionality of work shoes. Plus they're ideal for city girls, since they're designed to not slip on slick surfaces or get stuck in street grates. 

I ran around NYC wearing The Karen style, and I have to say they were exceptionally easy to walk in. If you're looking for a sturdy & stylish pair of heels to accommodate your work and/or city life, I suggest you check out Claire Flowers Spring/Summer 2015 Collection, sold at select boutiques and online

Happy hump day, thanks for reading! 

This post is brought to you by Claire Flowers


Film Society of Lincoln Center . . .

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but last night I saw my first movie at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Having lived in the neighborhood for almost six years, I can't believe I haven't been taking advantage of this!

One of my best friends, Helen, and I decided to catch a film after work, and it turned out to be the perfect cure for a bad case of the Mondays (which we both had). For starters, we saw a fantastic movie: Dior and I, a documentary of Raf Simons' first haute couture collection for Christian Dior. (If you're in any way interested in fashion and/or design, you'll love this film. It was as beautiful as it was moving.)

We also ended up having dinner in the theatre, which we were not expecting. The "concessions stand" which sells the usual popcorn and candy, also had gourmet sandwiches and salads made to order, a coffee bar, dessert options, and a wine list. We made a little meal of it with a couple sandwiches, popcorn, and a glass of wine. After the movie we walked through Lincoln Plaza, planning the next time we'd meet up for another.

It don't know if it was the fact that we were at Lincoln Center or that we were dining during the film, but the whole experience felt so much more special than a typical movie outing. If you're ever looking for a fun date idea or just an upgraded movie night, check out what's playing at Lincoln Center - I think you'll really enjoy!


Weekend Wardrobe . . .

Happy weekend friends! Hope you all have something nice planned. I'm going to preview the new Whitney Museum location downtown on Saturday, so I'm really excited! Afterward Scott and I are having dinner and drinks at Catch. A night out in the Meatpacking calls for a killer outfit, so I'm thinking of wearing a little something like this:
Shashi Pyramid Stud Earrings
Nadia Tarr High Neck Crop Tank
Nadia Tarrr Scuba Pencil Skirt
Les Petite Joueurs Grace Wow Minaudiere
Rachel Zoe Sophia Pave Cuff Bracelet
Dior Addict Eau De Parfum Spray
YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres Glossy Stain
3.1 Phillip Lim Aria High Heel Mules



Breakfast in Bed with Macaron Cafe . . .

How do you treat yourself... Spa day? Shopping spree? Chocolate?

Two of my favorite treats are macarons and breakfast in bed. So when Macaron Cafe sent over a lovely little box of french sweets, I thought I'd treat myself to both indulgences: a morning spent in bed reading, sipping coffee, and munching on their newest flavor of macarons. Milk Chocolate, Marshmallow Fluff, and Sprinkles - it's totally decadent, like a s'more/macaron hybrid. Again, two of my favorites, mixed into one!

If you're in the city looking for a yummy bite, swing by one of Macaron Cafe's many locations and try one - trust me, your taste buds will thank you. And if you're not in New York, not to worry, Macaron Cafe also delivers nationwide.

Treat yourself today, you deserve it!

This post is brought to you by Macaron Cafe


Four Year Anniversary . . .

This past Friday happened to be the four year anniversary of my initial cardiac arrest. The best part? I had no idea! Friday night Scott and I had plans to have dinner at Ilili. When we showed up, Lizzie was at the bar waiting for us! Scotty had secretly invited her to celebrate the day she saved my life. I was completely taken off guard - it was just the sweetest surprise. We hugged and laughed through my state of shock, then toasted and celebrated our four year anniversary, so happy and thankful for the time that's passed. 

I wanted to share this little story with you as a reminder that forward thinking, a positive attitude, and a little bit of time can heal all wounds. We all experience tough times, and no matter what we're dealing with - a health scare, a breakup, a job transition - it will eventually pass. If we keep our chins up and our spirits high (even when it seems impossible) four years will fly by and that tough time will become a faded memory - still there, but not nearly as painful.

Thanks for reading, happy Wednesday!


4-7-8 Breathing . . .

Image via Pinterest
Hello! Last week I had a stress test to check up on my heart (it went really, really well!). Usually the night before a test I have serious trouble falling asleep, and last week was no exception. After tossing and turning through the better half of the night, I decided to try out a breathing method I'd heard about to help promote sleep ... 4-7-8 breathing. I wasn't expecting much, but shockingly it actually helped relax me. I ended up dozing off for the rest of the night. So I had to share!

4-7-8 Breathing Method
If you do yoga breathing, place your tongue in the yogic position (tip of the tongue on the roof of your mouth where it meets your teeth) while doing your 4-7-8 breathing. Although, I find that it also works without this. 

- Take a deep breath in through your nose for 4 seconds
- Hold that breath for 7 seconds
- Release the breath through your mouth for 8 seconds
-Do four rounds of this and feel the wave of calm wash over you

Give it a try, let me know what you think. And if you don't notice any change the first time, try again. This breathing exercise only gets better with practice and consistency, so don't give up on it the first few attempts.

Happy breathing! 

PS. 4-7-8 breathing is also helpful in dealing with stress, fighting off food cravings, and lowering anxiety.

PPS. To learn more about 4-7-8 breathing, check out Dr. Weil's video.  


Spring To Do List . . .

This weekend really felt like springtime in the city. I wore flats and a light coat and had my first outdoor brunch of the season. It was glorious! I couldn't be more excited for the warmer days to come. There's so much to look forward to, I can't wait to start checking items off my list: 

1. Walk under the Fata Morgana art installation at Madison Square Park
2. Go to a Yankees day game (before it gets too hot)
3. Run through Central Park
4. Dine at La Birreria at Eataly
5. Start swimming laps for exercise 
6. Edit my closet (and donate what I pull out)
7. Make THIS vegan banana bread granola
8. See a movie or two in the Tribeca Film Festival
9. Buy fresh produce at the 97th Street Greenmarket
10. Have a drink at The Roof of the Viceroy

What's on your to do list for this spring? 


Let's Go Nuts . . .

Image via Studentry
Good morning! My mom sent me this NYTimes article a few days ago, and I thought it was important enough to share as a health post. I've always thought of nuts as a power food - a good source of protein and fiber to give me energy and keep me full. I often grab a handful as a quick snack or use them as a topping to a meal. 

I never realized though, just how powerful nuts really are - the health benefits are incredible. Clinical studies have found that those who eat nuts weigh less and have less body fat than non-nut-eaters. Even more impressive, a series of studies has shown that the more nuts people consume the less likely they are to die of cancer, heart disease, or stroke. Sign me up, right?! 

The next time you're looking for a good snack, grab some almonds or peanuts. They'll satisfy your hunger and add a major boost to your overall health. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy nuts and nut butters:

    • Peanut butter on whole wheat toast with sliced banana 
    • Oatmeal with almond butter, cinnamon and a splash of soy milk
    • Nonfat Greek yogurt with walnuts, raspberries, and shredded coconut 
    • Almonds, pomegranate seeds, and quinoa on a salad
    • Peanut butter, banana, flax seed, agave and spinach in a smoothie
    • A handful of roasted almonds and dark chocolate chips as a snack
    • Lightly salted peanuts or pistachios served with cocktails
    • Sautéed asparagus with sliced almonds and lemon zest
    • Berries topped with walnuts and a drizzle of honey

One warning that I have to include: when purchasing nuts and nut butters of any kind, always read the ingredients. Make sure there aren't any additives (sugar, hydrogenated oil, etc.) included, and that the only ingredients listed are the pure nuts themselves. 

What are your favorite nut recipes? 


Putt Putt Park . . .

Spring has finally arrived in NYC, you can feel it in the air... The sun is shining, the temps are up, and the whole city has a little extra pep in its step. Tomorrow the Hudson hotel is ringing in the season by launching a pop-up mini-golf course on it's rooftop, dubbed Putt Putt Park. 

The good news? Putt Putt Park is open to the public: For $10 a person you can play 9 holes of mini golf and indulge in Masters-themed treats, like the classic Pimento Grilled Cheese or a spiked Arnold Palmer. The bad news? It's only around for the a month: So if you can't make tomorrow's launch, be sure to check it out before the end of April. Come May, mini-golf is out and Tequila Park is in - which is a whole other reason to celebrate, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

Image via Morgans Hotel Group
Happy spring, thanks for reading! 


ClassPass . . .

Image via Sweat By Burnthis
Lately I've really gotten into supplementing my personal workouts with a couple group classes throughout the week. It's a great way to mix things up, plus reserving a spot in a class always keeps you accountable which helps on the motivation front.

So last week when I was catching up on my daily news summary (TheSkimm) and saw a recommendation for ClassPass - I had to click the link. After reading more about it, I'm completely sold on the concept. For $99 a month you get unlimited access to classes all over the city (think: Barry's Boot Camp, Flywheel, ChaiseFitness, and hundreds more). I honestly can't imagine a better deal. If you're a dedicated class attendee that forgoes paying a gym membership for a $30 spin or yoga class 3x a week, ClassPass might the perfect alternative. I signed up for a $10 one-week trial, and can't wait to get started. If I come across any classes that I love, I'll be sure to let you know!

And one more thing, ClassPass is available all over the country, and even in a few international locations. Check out the full list of participating cities HERE

PS. Do you read TheSkimm? It's my favorite news summary - quick, yet comprehensive and well written. It also ends with fun tidbits (this is how I learned about ClassPass), like book suggestions, giveaways, shootouts, etc.


Weekend Wardrobe . . .

Yay, it's Friday! One of my best friends is in town for work this weekend, and I get to steal her away tonight for dinner at The Beatrice Inn - so I'm excited! Nothing like a fun, Friday night dinner to get you digging out those statement pieces from your closet. I'm using tonight's festivities as the perfect excuse to get fancy. 

Shashi Noa Ear Climbers
Nars Roman Holiday Lipstick
Nicholas Exclusive One Shoulder V Crop Top
O'2nd Wrap Crop Pant
Chanel Classic Flab Bag
Dior Addict-It Lash Mascara
Charline De Luca Galatea Zigzag Sandals
Kate Spade New York Paley Watch


Q & A with Dr. Yaghoobzadeh . . .

Good morning! I'm really excited for today's post, I hope you like it...

By now you already know that I have the most amazing cardiologist. If it weren't for Dr. Y's exceptional care and brilliance, I wouldn't be at the point where I am today, feeling strong and healthy. After the TODAY segment, both Dr. Y and I received a ton of followup - not only about my story and gene mutation, but also about general heart health. 

I'm happy to announce a new series on the blog, Questions & Answers with Dr. Yaghoobzadeh. Throughout these posts I'll be asking Dr. Y questions on specific health topics that are not only important for the heart but also for overall well-being. Today's topic of discussion will be diet. Here goes:

Tini: What role does diet play in our overall health? We are always hearing that it's good to eat healthy, but how important is it really?

Dr. Y: What we eat over a lifetime is probably the #1 most important thing that we do which affects our health (not withstanding smoking, excessive alcohol and drugs). Many studies show that healthy eating can have very strong and measurable effects on health. These are usually not effects that one sees within a week or even months. The effects take years to take hold and therefore do not fit into our instant gratification model. Healthy eating should be the foundation of any plan toward a healthy life.

Tini: There are a number of diets people are talking about right now (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, etc). From a health perspective, what diet should we be following? What foods should we be eating and what should we be avoiding? Why?

Individuals are different and therefore no single diet is going to be correct for every person. Studies are done on populations and therefore their results follow the rules of averages which may not shed light on an individual situation. However, I believe several concepts are paramount:

1) Move toward whole foods and away from processing. This means less pre-prepared meals, more home cooking, less food out of boxes and cans. Less packaged cereals and more whole grains, nuts and seeds. Lots of greens, vegetables and some fruits. When choosing foods like breads/cereals/pasta/snacks - look at the total carbohydrate to fiber ratio. The lower the number (definitely less than 10:1) the better.  

2) Move towards proteins derived from plants (beans, nuts, seeds, grains, mushrooms) and away from proteins derived from animals (meat, poultry and dairy) with the exception of fish. Fish is one of the animal proteins which has been repeatedly shown to be essential in diets that prevent heart disease, cancer and inflammatory illnesses. Moving away from animal proteins will accomplish several things:
               a) Plants are higher in fiber and fiber is one of the pillars of good health.
               b) The saturated fats that come with plant proteins are healthier than the saturated fats that come with animal proteins.
              c) Reducing exposure to animal proteins reduces exposure to much of the potentially harmful 'processing' involved with getting the animal protein from the farm to your table (hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, chemicals, etc). This processing has been shown to change the actual composition of the animal product.

3) Listen to your body. A small group of patients do dramatically better when they cut out gluten. Others have significant improvements after they cut out dairy.

4) One can be purely vegan and still be eating very unhealthy if they are depending on processed foods with simple carbohydrates and unvaried sources of protein like soy. Variation in diet increases exposure to the 'good' and diversifies exposure to the 'bad'.

Tini: Have you had any patients whose health has improved after eating this way? Any one story that stands out in particular? 

Dr. Y: I have many patients who have changed their eating habits which have led not only to weight loss but to improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and reduction in markers of inflammation. They have been able to come off medicines or avoid having to take them all together. I had a very interesting interaction with a patient who happens to be a very successful baker. This middle aged man sent me blood work to check - which showed truly dramatic improvements in his cholesterol profile. Over the phone, I assumed that one of his physicians had started him on cholesterol medications but teased him that "Looks like you have become Vegan!" I heard a gasp over the phone and he exclaimed, "How did you know?" After a chuckle, we both were impressed with how powerful the effect of this dietary change had been.

The same day I interviewed Dr. Y, THIS article was published in the New York Times. Dr. Y sent it to me as a supplement to his answers, writing "Sugar isn't the only villain. The hazards of meat are understated."

Dr. Hooman Yaghoobzadeh, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
Weill Cornell Medical College
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Hope you found our first Q&A helpful. Stay tuned for a new health topic next month.


Upper East Side Find: Seamstress . . .

Image via TastingTable
Not a tailor, but a bar. A speakeasy style cocktail bar. Who knew the Upper East could be so downtown? I mentioned last week that Scott's moving to the UES, and that I couldn't wait to explore his new hood. Well, I've found my first new must-try: Seamstress.

Part cocktail bar, part restaurant, part leather goods shop - this cozy lair of a lounge has it all. Plus the drinks are fantastic. I tried the Mortimer and Mauve because it had chai (yum) and loved it. It was full bodied and a little spicy, perfect for last week's chilly weather. The cocktail list is long and expertly categorized, so I've already made plans to return and try another off the menu this weekend. Upper East Side exploring is already off to a great start! Next time you're in the area, check it out and let me know what you think. 

RT Tip: Make a reservation. Thankfully I reserved before showing up (mostly because I thought it'd be easy OpenTable points) but when I got there I realized that reservations are required. The host turned away three parties while I checked my coat, so be sure to book ahead. 


Beauty Sleep . . .

Image via Pinterest
We all know how important proper sleep is for our health. It helps improve memory and relieve stress, it can also decrease inflammation and heighten focus. I try my best to get around 7 hours a night, and when I don't - I feel it. I also look it. Puffy eyes, dull skin, dark circles, the whole nine. I'm a big believer in beauty sleep, and I know that if I want to wake up bright-eyed and fresh-faced I have to get a full night's rest.

Overnight the cells in our skin and hair recover, which I love to think about. In my mind it feels productive to know that my hair and skin are repairing themselves while I snooze. So to make the most of my zzz's I add an extra boost to that cell regeneration with some of my favorite nighttime beauty products:

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
After washing up, I massage a few drops of this oil onto my face which works overnight to replenish and restore my skin. It also smells like I just left the spa!

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment
Next I apply this super rich eye cream, tapping lightly around the orbital bone, instantly moisturizing the area.

Kiehl's Lip Balm #1
I use this product all day long, but I'm always sure to load up before I go to bed. Nothing worse than waking up with chapped lips.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Protector
Whether my hair is damp or dry, I smooth a couple pumps of this product on the ends of my hair and brush through. The next morning it wakes up shiny and frizz-free.

L'Occitane Lavander Pillow Mist
I love to spray this essential oil on my pillow before laying down, it smells lovely plus it promotes clam and restorative sleep.

Last thing before I go to bed, I take my medicines with a tall glass of water - one final boost of hydration before hitting the sheets.

Happy Tuesday, thanks for stopping by!


Pop Quiz / Cheat Sheet . . .

Image via Refinery29
Last night I was browsing for restaurant ideas for a few fun group dinners I have coming up this week, and I stumbled across TimeOut New York's 100 Best Restaurants, plus a test that calculates how many you've eaten at. I have always thought of myself as pretty well versed in the New York restaurant scene. So I figured I'd ace this test no problem. Not so much.

I got a 45 out of 100... that's an F, my first F ever. I was shocked. I took it three times to make sure, and every time it was 45. So needless to say, I was knocked off my foodie high horse last night. But the great news is now I have 55 new restaurants to add to my must-try list!

So how about a little pop quiz this morning to start off your work week? Test yourself HERE and see how many of NYC's 100 best you've eaten at. Or if you're not interested in taking the test, consider this the perfect cheat sheet for the next time you're wondering where to dine in NYC - you can't go wrong choosing an option from this list.

Happy Monday and Good Luck!


Weekend Wardrobe . . .

I don't think I've announced this on the blog yet, but Scotty has officially moved to NYC! I'm going to miss those weekends jetting off to Texas, but I'm so excited and happy to have him here. He's moving to a fun and young area of the Upper East, so I'm really looking forward to exploring a new part of the city. Last night we got a pretty good jump on setting up his new place, but I have a feeling most of the weekend is going to be spent in sweats, unpacking boxes and arranging furniture.

J. Crew Merino Wool Tippi Sweater
Rebecca Minkoff Pyramid Fan Stud Earrings
ATM Terry Sweatpants
FRENDS Layla Headphones
Deux Lux Berry Backpack
Louis Vuitton Fluffy Bag Charm
Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment
Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray
Converse All Star '70s Oxford Sneakers

Happy weekend, enjoy!


Free Macaron Day NYC . . .

Image via Martha Stewart
By now it's no secret how much I love macarons (remember this and this post?). In my opinion, they are the most delicious treat on the planet - I could happily live off vanilla and raspberry for the rest of my life. So each year when Macaron Day comes around, I celebrate. And since it's just around the corner (Friday 3/20), I wanted to make sure and give those of you in NYC all the details. How can you turn down a free sweet treat from some of the city's favorite patisseries? 

Friday 10AM - 5PM bakeries around New York will be offering free macarons to bring awareness to City Harvest, which fights hunger in NYC. Any additional purchases will go towards a donation to the charity. 

Check out participating bakeries, flavors, and an interactive map HERE. And a little word of advice, get there on the early side before flavors run out. I know I'll be visiting some of my go-tos Epicerie Boulud, Macaron Cafe, and Bouchon Bakery. 

See you there! 

PS. If you're reading this from Paris, Friday is also you Jour du Macaron - the original Macaron Day. 


Monday Mix . . .

Image via Pinterest
Good morning! How was your weekend? I'm not going to lie, it was hard saying goodbye to Jumby Bay yesterday. It might have been my most relaxing vacation ever. But it's always nice to come home to NYC, especially feeling refreshed and well rested. So to kickstart the week I made myself a good morning mix. Here's what I'm listening to on the way to work today:

Elastic Heart
(Also loving the Ellie Goulding version!)
Talking Body
Honey, I'm Good.
Love Me Like You Do
Run Run Run
I Lived

Any favorites I should add to my mix? Let me know in the comments below.


Weekend Wardrobe . . .

Yay, the weekend is finally here! Truth be told, it's a little sad because it means my trip is coming to an end, but I'm just not going to think about that part. Instead, I'm going to throw myself into the last few days of vacation and soak up as much sun as I possibly can. And since I'm still in island mode, I'll be flopping around in a bathing suit and sunglasses all weekend. 

Mara Hoffman Reversible Printed Racerback Bikini
Kate Spade New York Gayla Sunglasses
Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector Body SPF 50 Sunscreen
Target Women's Striped Mesh Tote
Spun by Subtle Luxury Four Way Fray Wrap
J. Crew Leather Thong Sandals
March 2015 Issue of Shape Magazine

Have a great one, see you Monday!