Cold pressed juices on tap? Yes please! I sampled several offerings from the Vitality Bar at the new Naturopathica Spa in Chelsea. My friend Lauren, a beauty guru and the marketing manager at Naturopathica, was kind enough to give me a tour of the new space. New York is a city where any manicurist with a kitchen timer and portable massage chair can call themselves a spa. So it was amazing to find myself in a space that truly pays homage to the art of wellness and relaxation.
Nothing makes me more happy than beauty products. I mean, I’m a simple girl who likes simple things (cue Jordan eye roll here). I’m not super discerning when it comes to choosing products to try. To be honest, I’m a major sucker for pretty packaging and a simple design. I do have some staples, but love incorporating new products into my routine. Above is what I’m sort of obsessed with this month. Some are staples that I’ve been using forever (3, 8, 9) and others are new products (2, 4, 5, 7) that have recently won me over.
Sometimes preparing a protein for an entree salad seems like such a difficult step. Why not forget the salad part and just eat this roasted chicken immediately? I oftentimes agree, but recently held out in order to prepare the most delicious salmon salad with cornbread croutons.
All of the ingredients come together in a savory, wholesome way and it’s worth the 8 minute roasting time. I realize that making the salmon is already a big step, so baking cornbread may seem out of the question. That being said you can skip the cornbread croutons or substitute store-bought ones. Jordan had made cornbread for chili the previous day, and I decided to recycle it in this salad.
Jordan and I were both off the entire first week of January and did a lot of lazing around to ring in the New Year. We did manage to get in a couple of good meals, watch two seasons of The Affair and reorganize our closets (my idea!). It feels good to get back to work but I’m starting to miss my DVR.
I love any excuse to entertain, so when Jordan’s friend started dating his new (much younger) girlfriend, I jumped at the chance to have them both over for dinner. I mean how else am I supposed to get to know (read: judge) her? It turns out she was lovely, mature for her 26 years and made excellent conversation about The Real Housewives.
I never try to complicate appetizers and focus most of my attention on dinner. I always have crackers, mixed nuts and good olives on hand, just in case. I supplement these basics with 2-3 good cheeses, cured meats and fig spread. Jordan and I conveniently live upstairs from Malt and Mold, an artisanal cheese shop, so good cheese is never far away. Remember to always leave a small dish out for the olive pits. You don’t want your guests awkwardly putting them on the table or secretly palming them.
We used our two full days in Bangkok wisely, hitting the major tourist sites early which left us ample time to explore the city. The weather is *warm* with a side of humidity. All of the temples require women to wear ankle-length bottoms and covered shoulders. I brought along a scarf to drape around my shoulders when necessary which still allowed me to wear a tank outside in the courtyards. On the grounds at Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) there is a Thai Traditional Massage School where you can get an hourlong massage for less than five USD. J and I both opted for half-hour foot massages which were killer after the long flight. Usually I’m anti-massage, even at the most upscale spas. I just can’t justify being touched so intimately by a stranger. An upscale spa this was certainly not, but it was a well made exception.
Jordan and I have long talked about going to Asia. Over the past two weeks we finally made that dream come true, traveling to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was a celebration of sorts; me finishing my two months of grueling overnight work in the ICU and our six month wedding anniversary. We obviously told everyone on our trip it was our honeymoon, which unfortunately did not yield any freebies except several flower bouquets and one bottle of champagne. Uh, room upgrade please?
Packing has always been difficult for me, especially on a multi-week trip with varying climates and activities. I definitely come from the mindset of more is more. For example, for most warm trips I end up packing multiple sets of shorts even though I absolutely hate shorts and have never worn a pair past the age of 20. How about if I finally get over my distaste for shorts and become obsessed with them on this trip? I will obviously need to be prepared with several pairs.
When I cook, more often than not I find myself committing to a super complicated recipe that requires some sort of prolonged brine and 15 different spices, most of which I need to purchase the day of. After sitting down to dinner at 9pm, I realize that I probably could have skipped the 1/8 tsp of sumac. Needless to say, I’m trying to become more open to easy recipes that require less prep. I am learning that complicated does not necessarily equal better.
Case in point: this creamy salsa chicken recipe is so easy and seriously tastes great. Serve it over brown rice or quinoa in a bowl with some fresh cilantro and let the compliments roll in.
Quality beauty treatments in NYC can get expensive, especially if you’re in constant need of a new look to go with your new outfit. With all of our recent weddings and weekend plans, I wanted to find a beauty routine that was financially sustainable but still felt like a luxury. After some trial and error, I finally landed upon the perfect hair/makeup combination that does not break the Amex.