Friday, July 31, 2009

SUN WITH SOME CATS AND DOGS FROM THE SKY

I'm really psyched about my gym workout routine. After 18 weeks of doing 9 machines at a time, it's time to mix it up a little so that my body doesn't get too used to the same ol' and cause the exercise to be ineffective on my muscles. So now I'm doing just 5 machines in different order which cuts my workout time in half (or gives me more time to do cardio and stretch). This also allows me up the weights. Now I have NO excuse not to go to the gym 4-5 times a week. I can easily swing by on my lunch break or after work. I love it when my life becomes even more simple.
Summer is the time to kick back and relax and for some of us relaxing means kicking back with a cold one, and a regular 12-ounce beer contains around 150 calories. If you're worried about what that beer will do to your waistline, here are few summery ways to work it off. These calculations are based on a 130-pound woman.

  1. Jog for 22 minutes.
  2. Swim laps for 19 minutes.
  3. Play golf for 28 minutes, just be sure to carry your own clubs and walk the course.
  1. Go on a 44-minute canoe ride.
  2. Bike for 19 minutes.
  3. Go on a hike for 26 minutes.
  4. Catch some waves surfing for 51 minutes.
  5. Play 22 minutes of tennis.
  6. Go for a casual 44-minute walk.
I SAY CHEERS TO THAT!






Saturday, July 25, 2009

FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER AT CIPRIANI CLUB

Today Keli and I went to Asskicker class at Gravity . Our trainer Kevin got our behinds pretty good this time as well, but I have to say that it is getting easier. I don't feel like I'm about to pass out anymore in the middle of the class. So it's working, I'm getting stronger. We are still celebrating the NYC Restaurant Week and our pick for this beautiful sunny Friday evening was Cipriani Wall Street .
Located on Wall Street in Financial District it stands as a triumph of Greek revival architecture and has 70 foot ceilings and gorgeous balcony for dining al fresco. That was our pick of course. It's summer and eating outdoors is the way to go whenever you have the option.
 
Service was top notch, but food was nothing to write home about. Once again, the best part of the dinner was the dessert. Look at that chocolate cake and those fresh berries in sabayon. Delicious.

 
 After the dinner we decided to explore downtown little further since we hardly ever come here (I've said it before; we are way too Midtown-concentrated and need to get out of the area). So our tour guide Nick (architecture and design freak) took us around the streets of Financial District and wow, were we impressed. I would love to live here. And they got so much night life as well, tons of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating. And very little cars. This is perfect place to make my home at.
And last, but not least (it was around midnight at this point), the necessary photo with the bull. Whenever in the area, must get photographed with the bull. And we're classy ladies (even we look like we're on "Price is right"), so no photos with the bulls behind .  

Friday, July 24, 2009

STUFF ABOUT STUFF

I was in supermarket heaven earlier this week when we wandered off to Fairway . The place itself is huge and freezing, but what a great selection in natural and organic products. And their dried fruit, nut and seed section; humongous. They had every fruit and vegetable imaginable dried and packed. I picked some dried kiwis, since I love kiwi, but sometimes when you buy fresh off the supermarket they just never get soft and sweet.
Crystallized ginger. Love it. I eat it in the morning on the train on my way to work, wakes up my digestive system.
 These two fellas; dried banana chips and walnuts I just mix up in small freezer bags and snack on whenever I get hungry; on the train, at work, during lunch.
 Ok, this is not from Fairway, but I love the shape of this lamp. Got two of these for our guest suite night lamps. From where? K-Mart! They were around $14 a piece.
This vintage Aalto vase  was given to me by my grandmother during our last trip to Finland. Since its unveiling in 1937 at the Paris World's Fair, the Aalto vase has been an international sensation. Its mysterious shape has been the subject of much speculation; some say it is based on Aalto's sketches entitled, "The Eskimo Woman's Leather Breeches." Others speculate that the fluid shape might be inspired by the lines of the Finnish landscape. I filled it with some tropical underwater elements and it is sitting on the windowsill of our guest suite bathroom.

I've been struggling with breakouts on the left hand side of my face (most probably because that's the side I hold the phone at work) and chin for a while now. My dermatologist recommended that I start using only mineral make-up and stop using make up foundation and powder completely because she thinks I don't even need it due to my skin tone. So I went to my local pharmacy and found this Mineral Wear tinted moisturizer by Physicians Formula that is specially made breakout-prone skin. It goes on like butter and leaves my skin looking great.  We'll see about that when winter comes by again, but for now this moisturizer is only one I need. I love it a lot. Plus they don't test on animals.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

COMPASS RESTAURANT NYC


 
 Today we had reservations at Compass on Upper West Side. Keli used to work there before she joined our beautiful team of professionals at the Hotel. We had our collegue Anthony and of course the usual Nick to join us. Compass serves seafood, but their restaurant week menu was anything but seafood. The athmosphere is very relaxed and cozy, but with five star white glove service. The above photo is my appetizer. It had tomato, watermelon, feta cheese and watercress with some kind of herbs, maybe cilantro. So refreshing and all these different flavors sour, sweet and salty complimented each other beautifully. I have to make this at home one day.
For some reason appetizers and desserts are always the most memorable ones for me and main course just passes by. For dessert I had pineapple tart in coconut soup with pistachio ice cream. Need I say more. Yummy.
It was pouring rain (again) as you may notice from our accessories (umbrellas), but we felt energetic after that fun meal and walked to the subway instead of hopping in to cab. Subway stations always give nice background for random shots as you may see from the following...
Rocking my People's Liberation jeans with high heels and my new fav blazer. I felt extremely good tonight.
 
Time for some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be another exciting day involving gym and Cipriani.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

STEADY AS A CLOCK, BUSY AS A BEE, AND CHEERFUL AS A CRICKET

I have been busy as a bee studying for my fire safety directors certificate and today I failed the on site test again. They might give me 3rd chance, because luckily it turns out that the previous inspector I did the test with misplaced my records and it looks like I never did this test before in their books. So I might be able to take it again. You are only suppose to try twice and if you fail the second time you have to start all over again, meaning take the classes, written test and computerized test. I do not want to go through the hassle again.
Anyways, better news. I finally ordered my elliptical that should arrive any day now. He got me a gift card for Sports Authority for my birthday back in early March and I was not sure what to get until now. Elliptical it is and hopefully this is the beginning of even more active life. Another thing worth mentioning: I have stopped watching TV completely and it feels amazing. I get so much more done around the house. It has been about 2 weeks now that I have not had the need to touch that dial. When I get home from work I clean, I cook, do laundry or just chill and read something. TV is just such a waste of time and it makes you lazy. I`m not saying I`ll never watch TV again, but right now I feel good having a little break from it.
It is the end of the NYC Summer Restaurant Week, which is actually 2 weeks, and we have reservations for tomorrow and Friday. I will report back with reviews. Oh, and sorry about these photos that have nothing to do with the content, but I got nothing else right now on this computer, so please enjoy my Helsinki-Stockholm cruise photos from 2007.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MY DAYS AS A REALITY TV STAR

This is what happens when you have aspiring actress as your best friend; in order to support her career you get involved with it. And this is how I got to do a pilot for NYC based reality show called "American Sweetheart". In the show we are best friends and roommates living the Sex & The City lifestyle that adopt a wild shelter dog that turns their world upside down. We went to a shelter in Harlem to pick up a cute white dog named Kita and spent few days shooting with her around Manhattan and Brooklyn. I might post the trailer later on if I dare. I just have really weird facial expressions I didn't know I was doing before I saw this clip. I'm like the female version of Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber.

Monday, July 20, 2009

SUNDAY CHILLING AT BRYANT PARK

It was unusually quiet Sunday at the hotel, so we just cracked jokes most of the day and talked about nutrition. After work I met with a fellow Finn at Bryant Park for a little chit chat in the sun.
I couldn't resist getting a sandwich from 'wichcraft again. Pick of the day was tomato-mozzarella-olive-panini that was absolutely delicious. These guys know their stuff. The soups of the day sounded lovely as well; gazpacho and chilled cucumber melon soup. Got to come back and try their soups one day too.

After eating I naturally got thirsty and found this cute yellow outside lounge Southwest Airlines has sponsored together with 'wichcraft (photo below). They had free WiFi and swings fitted beautifully on the side of the park. We had very refreshing ginger margaritas to toast the beautiful summer day in the City.
 
I love this blazer from Charlotte Russe (below). Its nicely fitted with gathered 3/4 sleeves and it's nice length covering half my butt. I don't often find stuff from CR anymore, it just seems a bit too junior for me (yeah, I'm getting old...), but sometimes they have very nice business separates. I got so many straight black pants from them for about $20 each that are still in great shape after year or two of active use. I gave in and also got these People's Liberation jeans. I think good jeans are an investment because they can last for years, so I did not mind so much throwing a hundred on these ones. Nice fit, very long inseam (perfect with high heels) and love the dark blue color.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

COUNTRY AT THE CARLTON ON MADISON

Our first pick for the NYC Restaurant Week was Country that is located inside the Carlton on Madison Avenue . Geoffrey Zacharian is the chef here and the restaurant holds a Michelin star. Decor is absolutely gorgeous and the architecture has very interesting history that you can read about on their website. One things was weird though, once we sat down to our table for tree the lights got dimmed and it got really dark. So no food photos this time, sorry. 
The food was modern European American fusion and five star quality.  I especially have to mention the goat cheese cherry tomato salad for appetizer and the creme brulee for dessert. I've never tasted creme brulee that wonderful. The caramelized top was thick as can be and the hot inside just melted away in my mouth. Wow, I got to back there just for dessert one day. 
We got a little private tour of the facilities of the Country since one of us is an architecture  freak. The second floor of the restaurant has private banquet rooms, champagne bar and the breakfast area. The whole second floor is overlooking the first floor so it is very open.
Country is located right off from Madison Square Park on Madison Avenue and 29th St. Of course when we got out it was pouring rain. Nice and warm summer rain though.