Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Books, Baubles and Taste Testing New Products

Books Page!
I've just added a new page to the blog! I love to read, and I zip through a lot of books while commuting to school or work in the summers, so I've decided to add a page where I write short snippets of reviews to hopefully start a conversation about fun books. I always feel boring -- my hobbies are reading, TV shows and movies, running, working out, and yoga. Scintillating, I know. I've been considering taking up base jumping just to up the "cool" factor.

Anyway, if you're looking for a book recommendation or want to recommend one to me (I'm always looking for good books!), check out the page and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Enjoying Down Time
Since it's finals period right now, classes are over. But since I TA'd and took a projects class, as I wrote earlier, I don't really have much in the way of finals (just a short take-home exam), so I've been enjoying the time without classes.

hangin' with my buddy, Mason
Monday I hosted a breakfast for the first-years I mentor and tried to calm their nerves regarding exams. As I've mentioned before, law firms hire for summer associate positions in August after students' first year, so there's a lot of pressure. Law students also tend not to be the most relaxed sorts of people anyway, so there was a lot of reassuring going on.

After the breakfast, I went home to grab the Dear Santa presents I needed to mail before my spin class at Flywheel. I've been loving taking Holly Rilinger's Monday "lunch club" Fly 45 class the day after my long runs. No matter how sore my legs are or how tired I am starting the week, I always feel reinvigorated after one of her classes. This Monday she ended the class with U2's "Vertigo," which I loudly sang along to (sorry nearby riders). For some reason I hadn't put this song on any of my workout playlists, despite loving it, so I rectified that oversight!

I spent the afternoon reading some materials for my exam before heading down to Midtown East to try a kettleball class (review to come!). I was left wiped out so my previous dinner plans were pared down to "put protein smoothie ingredients in blender and press button." But honestly, it just didn't cut it. I don't know how people make meals out of smoothies! I went to bed feeling hungry and woke up ravenous. Note to self: pre-prepare dinner for nights when you have a late night exercise class.

holiday decorations at Columbus Circle
On Tuesday, I took care of some online errands before meeting up with a friend from the firm I'll be working at next fall. I brought a salad to eat at the take-out tables of Bouchon Bakery and then we split some delicious baked goods from their bakery before checking out the new H&M in Columbus Circle and browsing around C. Wonder for a while. Neither of us really bought anything, it was just an excuse to chat for an hour.

pretty baubles
We both agreed a celebratory jewelry shopping spree at C. Wonder will have to happen after we get our first paychecks next year! I love how C. Wonder is colorful but work-appropriate. New York law firms are very conservative, so a lot of "work" clothing and jewelry in women's stores just isn't the kind of thing a young female lawyer can wear. Jazzing up a grey wool sheath with one of the necklaces in the picture above will count as exciting for me once I start work!

After a fun afternoon catching up, I worked on my take-home exam a bit more before taking a Refine Method class. I like how different each Refine Method class is -- it leaves you guessing so the time passes really quickly! Once I got home, I made a dinner of salmon, Brussels sprouts, and fingerling potatoes all hashed together (sensing a theme? I love hashes!), then cheered on the Knicks to a thrilling last-minute win against the Nets. This season has been so much fun so far!! Is anyone else a basketball fan?

Testing New Foods
I enjoy taste testing new healthy items, so I'll often pick something up from Whole Foods if it's being taste-tested or if I've heard of it on other blogs before. I went a bit crazy last week and got two Health Warrior Chia Bars, a single-serve of Vega's Vanilla Chai protein powder, and some coconut oil.

taste testing time!
The coconut oil was a huge success. I loved it as a butter replacement in the chewy chocolate chip cookies I baked over the weekend. And I've made a few cookies in a cup with it and loved the coconut oil in those as well. A cookie in a cup is where you put cookie ingredients for one serving in a mug then microwave to bake -- I try to make healthy variations on them (and sometimes not quite so healthy). I'll definitely be using coconut oil for future baking projects!

Unfortunately, the other items were a bust. The coconut Health Warrior Chia Bar was okay, but I spent the next 20 minutes fishing chia seeds out of unknown crevices in my teeth. Definitely not something to eat before going somewhere with... any people at all. The chocolate flavor tasted so bad that I just didn't bother finishing the bar after the first bite. Bummer! I'm always looking for another snack bar to add to my rotation of Lara Bars and KIND bars, but these were not it.

The Vanilla Chai flavor was also not my favorite. I'm wondering if I did something wrong, though, because I've loved the Vega flavors I've tried in the past. I mixed it with a banana, water, and almond milk. Perhaps it would have been better with some pumpkin for a pumpkin chai flavor? I'm not quite willing to give up on this flavor because I love chai spice so much!

Any smoothie suggestions? How can I improve my smoothies and their taste?
Anyone else work in a conservative office and enjoy finding ways to add fun into your wardrobe?


  1. Jen - the only way I really add in fun to my work wardrobe is with color! You'll see me in the fall with fun colored dresses and skirts (and maybe shoes if I don't fill up my desk drawers with other pairs first). By fun colors I mean cobalt, teal, etc. So much nicer than black/gray all the time - but still definitely work appropriate!

    1. I have this weird idea that color on me, at 5'9", is somehow less ok than on a shorter person because there's more of it. I know, this is so weird haha. But I always loved how you dressed this summer so you'll be my inspiration!

  2. HI Jen! I use No Meat Athlete's recipe for the perfect smoothie. It allows for a lot of variation with all the proper nutrients. Take a look here...