11.28.2012

Baked Eggs, Guardian Angels & Love Notes

I just sat for 15 minutes trying to write something cute leading me into my new recipes for Baked Eggs. Then I realized there's nothing cute about them, they're just delicious and that's that. And I have a whole lot of work to get back to right now so why not just post the recipe and let you form your own anecdotes, right? 

Basically, I'm addicted to Baked Eggs and have been making them this week in attempt to act somewhat civilized while working like a madwoman. Seems a lot healthier than cookie dough for breakfast. And so versatile- basically throw whatever you have in your fridge in the baking dish, add some eggs and bake. Fabulous. So here were my concoctions this week.

Baked Eggs with Potato (or Butternut Squash) & Cheese
makes 1 serving

Butter
Thin slices of Potatoes &/or Butternut Squash, enough to cover bottom of your baking dish with 2 layers
1 Piece of Cheese
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Milk (of your choice. I used almond milk. You can use soy, or cream, or actual milk, etc)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter your ramekin or small baking dish. Layer your potatoes and/or butternut squash on the bottom. Place in oven for 10 minutes to precook since they'll take longer to cook than the eggs.
Remove the first layer from the over, place a piece of cheese on top & then the whole eggs, taking care not to break the yellows. Pour the milk on top and place back in oven for 20-25 minutes until yolks are baked to the consistency of your liking.
Throw on a dash of salt, some freshly cracked black pepper and fresh herbs. Devour.

... and then get back to work!

That's basically what my life looks like these days. Eat, drink coffee, work, repeat. But I'm seriously grateful; no complaints here! I've always said the best part of what I do is getting to interact with my customers (really need a new word for them since I feel like they're more than just customers to me. Any ideas?) and I'm finding that during the holiday season, the stories I hear are even more heart warming. Here's a perfect example. This is a charm bracelet I just created for a woman who won a giveaway but wanted to gift her prize to a friend who is in serious need of a guardian angel right now.
I'm just so honored that she trusted me to create something so special. And then the Love Notes I'm receiving! Ahhhh LOVE!

Well, not Love Notes to me per se, although those would be lovely too.  I'm referring to my new collection, called Love Notes, where I engrave your sweet scribbles on charms to wear close to your heart. I hosted a slumber party for a 5 year old boy last week so that he could go to the Thanksgiving Day parade and we created a Love Note charm for his mom.
This is Mac's Love Note to his mom. How freaking adorable? I wish you could've seen her face when he gave it to her! Definitely my favorite gift idea for the holiday season and beyond! Every time I receive another Love Note order, I imagine that whomever receives the piece I engrave will have the same look on their face when they open it. Yes, I'm corny. I can handle that ;)

Back to work I go. I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season! And let me know if you make the baked eggs and any new combinations you think of. I'm always game for some new flavors.
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11.27.2012

11.23.2012

Grateful Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I spent the morning doing this...




... then spent some time with friends before heading back to my apartment to work, work, work. Tis the season I guess ;) Working hard to get everything up & ready on ESD in time for gift giving and this busy holiday shopping weekend.

Honestly? I've never been a big fan of Black Friday. Something about spending Thanksgiving be grateful for all that we have followed by a day of trampling each other in stores & fighting over the last $99 TV makes my stomach churn. But I do understand that folks expect some kind of amazing discount and or deal the weekend after Thanksgiving so I've put some thought into what I might offer this holiday weekend.

And here's what I came up with. Grateful Weekend. I'll be offering free 1st class shipping in the US on my website from now through Monday because I'm grateful to have you as my customers and I'm grateful to be working my ass off right now.  That's a good sign, right?  But instead of discounts on jewelry, I'd like to take the $ that you might have saved and donate it to some good causes. As I've mentioned before, I'm still donating a portion of proceeds from all Race Jewelry purchases to Sandy relief efforts retroactive since the storm and through the holiday season. I'm also excited to launch the new Awareness Collection, an idea I've been working on for months so that more donation based gift giving would be available on my site in time for the holidays. The Awareness Collection and donation program will continue throughout the year and I'm hoping that the assortment will continue to grow.

Also, here's a look at my Holiday Look Book that includes the new Love Note & Awareness Collections, as well as other great gift ideas!

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11.19.2012

Philadelphia Marathon 2012 in Pictures

Not much time to write a full post about my weekend in Philly since Thanksgiving is just a few days away & I still don't have all my new holiday gift items on the site yet. So just going to post the slideshow of the pics I took at the race and hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed cheering.

Also, a major shout out to the Philadelphia Marathon for not only opening up the field for displaced NYCM runners but welcoming them with a beautiful heart and open arms. The special announcements were awesome and when they played Sinatra's New York, my friends & I couldn't help but belt out the words with pride.

If you find yourself in a pic, please feel free to grab it at a keepsake. Congrats to all those who pounded the pavement for 13.1 or 26.2 miles! Hope you enjoyed every step of the way!
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11.06.2012

Infuse Your Mood

I suppose one of the perks of having a blog is constant offers to try products for free. I rarely accept these products, not because they aren't enticing, but because I've got my hands full and often times, they aren't actually products I might buy for myself even if I do enjoy them for free. I'm not the type to tell you to go out & try something that I'm not likely to buy. But when I was contacted by Sun Chlorella to try their 100% Natural Eleuthero Infuse Your Mood Tea and write a review, I jumped at the chance. I LOVE tea.

If you follow my instagram feed, you know I adore my morning coffee. There's nothing like waking up in the morning, sitting with a hot cup of coffee and getting ready to start my day. It's a ritual I truly love. But once I finish my morning cup, I steer clear of caffeine for the remainder of my day as I already have major trouble sleeping, and I take tea breaks. Maybe the only thing more relaxing than my morning cup of coffee is my afternoon & evening cups of tea. When I'm stressed & need a breather, I heat some water, sit on my couch and drink a cup of tea with my eyes closed. I have a huge tea collection- green, chamomile, ginger, cocoa spice, etc... and am always excited to try new flavors.

The offer to try Infuse Your Mood tea couldn't have come at a better moment. I was juggling work, marathon training & attempting to date... pulling all nighters to get it all done, and feeling incredibly stressed. According to their website

Infuse Your Mood Tea is a 100% natural, caffeine-free beverage that contains Eleuthero, an herb that is proven to give one’s body a natural boost, decrease stress and supports your body’s fight against the ill-effects of modern living – without dangerous side effects.

Hello? Yes Please.

I have to say I love this tea. It became my evening ritual to stop working, make a cup & meditate to transition to evening as an end to my work day. When you work for yourself and are often isolated, rituals like this come in handy and having a new tea specifically for this reason made it an easy ritual to keep. A few days after I started drinking it, a friend called me to chat and was feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. We talked about how she could cope with everything, I tried to be a good friend, and then later in the week, I dropped of a few packets of the tea for her to try. Her response "Thank You. I love this... it's perfect. Just what I needed."

The flavor reminds me of a subtle green tea; lovely & calming are the words that come to mind. I finished the box pretty quickly and just placed an order for another two boxes (Free shipping on their website? Score!) I should note that I've never bought tea online until now. I live very close to Fairway, Trader Joe's & gazillion gourmet food stores packed with tea... but I love this tea. As I head into holiday season and business is crazier than before, I'll be drinking it nightly to help keep me calm and focused.

Have you tried Infuse Your Mood tea? Do you love it as much as I do? Any evening rituals or methods you use to transition from your work day to evening? I'd love to hear any ideas so leave some ink & tell me about them :)


10.31.2012

NYCM After Sandy. Yes, Another Opinion.

I woke up yesterday morning with a heavy & sad heart. A day after super storm Sandy pummeled NYC, I felt like my city had been attacked. Yes, Sandy was different than 9-11. We had warning, it was a natural disaster, we knew it was coming, we could take cover and save lives if not material objects. But in the hours and day since the storm passed, the city has come together once again just like it did after 9-11. This city never ceases to amaze me and I am so proud to call myself a NYer.

I was talking to my mom on the phone and she asked me if I'd heard from friends. My answer? Yes, they are my NYC family, of course I've heard from them. From the moment the storm began, the texts, phone calls & emails were flying back and forth.  We checked on each other every few hours, making sure everything was ok, that everyone was safe. "Hey, hanging in there?" "Checking in, you ok? You have power?" "What's going on by you. You okay?" non stop....Even those who were away on vacation took the time to text, to make sure everyone was ok. Here in NYC, we take care of each other. Most of us live here, away from parents and possibly even brothers & sisters. We consider each other family and I am so incredibly grateful to have such a large family here in NYC.

And then the topic of the NYC Marathon came up and I must admit, I felt torn. There have been so many opinions expressed and I found myself uncertain about how I felt. How will we get to the start line? Will the course be impacted? What about all the runners who can't make it? Should the city spend energy & time devoted to a race when so many people needed their help? Lots of questions. Maybe not enough answers. But at the end of the day, the race will go on and I will be running it.

I'm going to have faith in the city & it's leaders. I have to believe that if the marathon were going to be detrimental to the city and the disaster victims, they would make the decision to call off the race. But the city is supporting it and therefore I will run it. This race is estimated to generate more than $300 million for the city and from what I understand, it's money the city could use right about now. I also have to believe that this is not a greedy decision made by New York Road Runners. Although I'm not Mary's hugest fan and don't love where she's taken NYRR, it really bothers me to see so many lashing out at her over this race. It seems like just another excuse to pick on the woman. She was hired to lead an organization and plan a race and she has the city's support to keep that race on Sunday's schedule. I'm trying to believe that she's just doing her job to the best of her ability.

As per NYRR's facebook page, "The Marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this City" and I have to agree. I read a comment from someone who argued to cancel the race because it would be like throwing a party in a suffering city. But I do not see this race as a party. A runner for years, I first started racing with the goal of one day running NYCM to prove to myself that I was strong enough to do it. At the time, my life was falling apart and I needed something to keep me going, to prove to myself that I could handle anything. I started with half marathons, then the Philadelphia Marathon as my first, always with the goal of NYC in my mind. Through these last few years of running, training & racing, I have found more strength than I ever thought was possible. I'm part of a beautiful running community, many members of whom make up that NYC family I mentioned above. I found the courage to start my own business and the running community has supported it and helped it grow into something I could never have imagined. So on Sunday, when I run 26.2 miles through the streets of NYC, I won't be throwing a party but will be reflecting on how far I've come. For me, this race will be a symbol of my vitality and resilience.

There are many negative comments about the race floating around social media right now and I'm doing my best to tune them out. The city has decided, the race is on and us runners have a few days left before we take it on. We need your support. Just about each of us out there have a story, a reason why this race is important to and why we are still running it. I cannot speak for others but I do believe that running this race shows the city & the world that we are strong & resilient. As per a friend's text tonight "his race is by no means a party for many of us but has been a healing process and a way to honor loved ones." I mean absolutely no disrespect to those who have been impacted by Sandy and am aware of their struggle & the road ahead. Running this race does not erase that. I've contacted my local shelter to help, I've cooked meals and offered a warm bed to friends without electricity, and I'm doing my best to do my part. I am also donating a portion of proceeds from ESD NYCM Race Bling to Sandy relief efforts, retroactive to Monday & through the holiday season. And yes, I'm running NYCM because it is important to me and because the city has given me the okay to do so.

So on Sunday, please come out & support us runners and the city. Running this race does not mean that we disrespect those impacted by Sandy. We are just trying to follow through on our hard work. The excitement you see coming from us right now does not mean we aren't aware of the situation in NYC but it's what we need to do to get through this race and we need your support. 
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