Tonight NBC will air the series finale of 30 Rock. Oh Lemon, how I will miss  your amazing eye roll, your love of  sandwiches, blazers and you shouting Nerds! Hope to see you in The Rural Juror Part 2. 

I WANT TO GO TO THERE (seen here)

Pasha Update

So after a visit to the vet last night, Pasha is doing really well. When he was a puppy, he actually received a hip replacement (I know, crazy!) so they explained that it could have been that since his surgery, if he lands funny from jumping around, it can cause a little bruising on tissue. This morning he seemed great but we are still totally catering to this boys needs, carrying him up and down the stairs, giving him leg massages...and a few extra treats for being so cute. Thank you all for checking in, homeboy is going to be fine. In fact, the vet pointed out that he is in amazing shape and now refer to him as the body builder since he is all muscle. Lemme get on that work out plan Pash!

the perils of dog ownership

This morning PB came into our bedroom to let me know someone was up with Pashys foot. He thought that maybe since he has been sleeping on it funny, it was bugging him. A little later this morning, I was packing my lunch for the day. This is usually Pasha's favorite activity since more often than not, he ends up with an extra treat in his bowl. And today, it was steak no less from the night before! But it didn't budge him from bed. When he finally did get up, he didn't put any weight or pressure on his back right leg so I had to carry him down the stairs to go to the bathroom. We are going to go to the vet later today and I know that he will be okay in no time but in these circumstances, I just wish that he could talk to us and let me know whats wrong! Do you guys have any pets? Also, can other animals limbs "fall asleep" and get pins and needles they way that ours do?

Role Models.

When I wrote the post earlier this week about French womens hair, I was reminded of a NYTimes article published a few years ago that stuck with me. "The Unfairest of Them All" piece discussed the term Jolie Laide, translating to "Pretty Ugly" and addressed the French concept of women that are unconventional looking in a way that one might first see as ugly but then see as beautiful. A few months ago, NYMag created an unrelated slide show of 40 Women That Women Find Beautiful. After going through the slide show again this week, thinking about how French women approach hair and rereading the NYTimes piece, and scrolling the NYMag slide show one more time,  I began to realize it is all about the confidence that these women have. I know that this is a little deep for MP Daily but today, let's get deep.These women on this list are all powerful, self driven role models that have the confidence to try new hair styles and wear new things even if it means bucking the trends a little bit. They all have the brain power to back it up. Who are the women that you admire? Why? Do you think public figures should be our role models?

My Super Bowl Picks!

Ok, so by the title of this post one might assume that I wold be breaking down the game and picking which team is going to win. Well I am not. Ravens are going to win. I can just feel in my bones. The picks that I am talking about are what to snack on. Super Bowl to me means the chance to cook up a bunch of things that probably aren't going to be great in the health department but AMAZING to taste. So without further ado, here are my picks. What will you be making?

Meatball Sub with Caramelized Onions From Smitten Kitchen.

Mini Cheddar Popovers From Shutterbean

Momofuku Style Chicken Wings from Momofuku For 2

Mini Pretzel Dogs from Joy the Baker    

French Hair

Low effort, high style of Francoise Hardy seen here

This past weekend, we spent some time with a friend Genevieve who has been living in Paris on and off for the past 3 years. While I wore my hair braided and my sister rocked a pretty badass blowout, Genevieve looked as french as they come, letting her hair be natural, slightly messy and in all honestly beautiful.

Since PB and I have been talking more and more about a trip and France has been on the list, I have become increasing aware of how gorgeous French womens hair is. I was so glad that I came across these rules in Vogue so that maybe I can mimic their (and Gen's) style.

 Rule #1: “The more supermarket the shampoo, the better the hair looks,” says de Maigret, who uses Pantene or L’Oréal Elsève. “I don’t know why, it just does. Wash it once in the morning, not twice, like they do at the hair salon.”

Rule #2: “French women never put conditioner in the hair. It makes it straight and flat.”

Rule #3: “After you get out of the shower, don’t touch it.  No hair dryer, nothing. You just let the air do it naturally.”

Rule #4: “Don’t brush. Also, you know, Parisian girls walk a lot, which makes the hair a little messy from the wind. If you’re going to go outside and have it get messy anyway, it’s better to just not brush it from the beginning.”

Rule #5: “Sometimes if you put some dry shampoo, it gives a cool texture—instead of washing it every day. I wash my hair every two days. I know. It’s really too much.”

Could you guys ever abide by these rules? I am tempted by the idea of dry shampoo, especially after a yoga class. Have you ever tried it?

happy weekend and stay warm!

Drawing by marc johns
have a great weekend!


$5.00 Savings Plan

Five Dollar Plan seen here

 My sister and her husband introduced this plan a few years ago and the times that I have done it, I have been surprised and excited by how much money I was able to save. Basically, anytime a $5.00 comes into your possession, instead of spending it, you save it somewhere safe. A five, though significant, once gone from your wallet isn't as heartbreaking as a twenty gone. This has really helped me cut down on needless purchases like lip balm, gummy bears or anything else that I tend to break a five on. Have you ever done this? I also sometimes think that it helps to have a goal for all of those five dollar bills. Like next time you go on vacation, you only use those fives. Trust me, it feels like found money!

Money talks

Frenchie Piggy Bank from Z Gallerie
When PB and I first moved in together, one of the things that I had not completely anticipated were bills. It wasn't that neither of us wanted to deal with them, but it also wasn't going to be something that worked itself out. So we devised a plan. Rent is split down the middle. PB pays for the cable and internet. I pay for gas and electric. Each week we alternate who pays for groceries and though we try to be careful about dining out, we also go back and forth on who pays. Now that we are trying to tighten our belts and save a little more, I would love to hear what you guys do.

For us, we have both stopped buying clothes for the time being (though I am going to breakdown and buy gloves-- its for my own safety!). Last night I soaked my fingers and gave myself a home manicure. Packing lunches from leftovers the night before is a must for us. And We each put money into our 401K and set aside additional money into savings accounts.

I know that money can be a touchy subject but I would love to hear what works..and doesn't work for you guys.

Yummy Art

I recently came across Erin Jangs Food Sketches website and wanted to share them with you guys. Erin is a graphic artist, art designer and illustrator who has been doing these abstract drawings of food from restaurants that she has been visiting with friends. I love how direct and bold these images are yet still totally fun and abstract. I am also using her site to guide me where to eat next. Enjoy!

Ice Cream Cake from Parm

Pretzel Croissant from City Bakery
Swedish Meatballs from Ikea

Erin also has a retail shop The Indigo Bunting with some really fun stuff too. Check it out!

A little facelift

The one and only Joan Rivers seen here

 You might have noticed that things look a little different around here. I am working on making this blog look and feel a little bit more So if you don't mind, there might be a few minor changes coming this way. And guys, any feedback -- good or bad that you may have, please lay it on me. I would love to hear.

You Make Spending Freeze So Hard

A Montclair Tradition

I grew up in Montclair, NJ. Every year, around this time  there would be a Martin Luther King assembly for the entire school and every year we sang Lift Every Voice and Sing. I think that it is such a beautiful song and I love this rendition. Enjoy.

Sock it to me Winner!

Erica, you are the lucky winner of these badass socks. Contact me here to collect your winnings.

Wrapping Up Fitness Week

Have you noticed here that I have a real love for commercials. Even if I have DVR'ed something, if I see a commercial that I love flying by as I fast forward, I have to stop and watch. I thought this one was especially good. Have a great and healthy weekend!

What motivates you?

Since it is officially Fitness Week here at MPDaily, I have a question for you guys. What motivates you to move?
That dapper dog Pitbull seen here

For me, it is a combination of both music and images When I am at the gym, I keep my Pandora on either Pitbull Radio or DMX Radio (thanks Rach for the tip). I also like when the TV's at the gym are showing E!  I know that attaining a celebrity body isn't realistic nor most likely healthy but it does make me increase the speed of the treadmill.

Can you conjurer up an image that makes you push harder those last 5 minutes? Or is all about the music? What about the scale? Is it all about the weight?

Cheap Thrills Barbaras Pick

So honestly, when I started blogging this week, I had no intention of making it fitness focused around these parts. But once it started, I decided to roll with it, using posting as my own motivation (sorry for the mildly selfish thoughts) and get to business. With that said, it was also time for another Cheap Thrill and I had been itching to use this one anyway. Barbara is my old roommate of over 10 years. She can make me laugh within 10 seconds of talking to her, is one of the hardest working people I know and once signed up with me on the family plan at the Brooklyn YMCA so we could score the deal.

As a dance major in college, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle has always been a part of Barbara's life. When she emailed me that her cheap thrill was Balega Hidden Comfort Socks, I wanted to know why. I thought I would share what she wrote back. "They are super cushy - aka the hidden comfort - on the bottom which I just think is a nice touch. It makes my feet feel respected when I run, not to mention cozy. Also, they have the little tab in the back so they don't fall down into your shoes, a big prob for us skinny heeled sistas."

Barbara once was in Cape Cod and training for a crazy run with our friend Amy. They ran from the house 3.5 miles to the best bar around and then back to the house. I would like to think that it was how comfortable the socks were that stopped her from going into the Beachcomber for a Goombay Smash.

So you guys know the drill. Leave a comment with the words "Sock It To Me" and anyone other workout gear that you love, always appreciated. A winner will be pick on Friday at 5pm.

The buddy system

When all else fails in the morning, I can totally get behind the buddy system! Thanks Sheree!

Up and out

Eh, probably not going on a sunrise run but crazier things have happened! Seen on FitSugar

As I have noted here on the blog, PB is now in the habit of getting up early in the morning to start his ever busy day. Since I am a fairly light sleeper, I too have been getting up earlier in 2013, only to find myself laying in bed thinking, reading or "resting my eyes" for about an hour. I would like to use this time to be more productive, get going on my day a little earlier and make going to the gym in the morning part of my routine. I did a little online research  and here are some heplful tips that I am going to try to stick to.

From Stephanie Romine Become a Morning Person: 8 Tips from a Former Night Owl

Plan ahead. Each night before I go to bed, I make sure everything I need for the next day is ready to go: breakfast, lunch, and water bottle in the fridge; laptop case and purse by the door; gym bag is stocked with extra clothes, shoes, and toiletries. Even if I oversleep by a few minutes, I don't need to scramble to track down everything I need.

Carry an extra set. There's nothing worse than arriving at work still sweaty from a workout (I shower and get ready at the SparkPeople offices most days) and realizing that you don't have clean clothes. Thankfully, I have never forgotten clean underwear, but I have forgotten clean socks, and, once, I forgot a towel. (I used a clean t-shirt to dry off.) I keep a spare of anything I couldn't live without: socks, undies, bras, towels. That way I don't have to take a 20-minute detour home and back in the morning.

Stick with it, even on weekends. I can't stay out past 10 these days, and that's fine by me.  If I try to sleep in, stay up really late, or deviate from my normal schedule on weekends, Mondays are really hard. I "sleep in" until 7 on weekends, but I stick with my morning yoga practice and other routines. This was key, especially in the beginning, to adjusting to the new morning schedule.

Read the rest of the tips here

Do you guys work out? Morning or evening? Weekends too? Weekends only? I hate to sound cheesy but since PB moved in, I sorta hate working out at night since that is our time to hang. 

Being Carmen Sandiego

The NYTimes recently came out with their 46 Places to Visit In 2013 and boy oh boy does it make me want to get out there and get my passport stamped.  My list includes Casablanca, Morocco, The Jeseniky in the Czech Republic (I recently have been craving to ski), and of course and always...Paris. Where do you want to go?

What it is right now.

This morning I was waiting for the subway, listening to The Splendid Table when all of a sudden a woman starting approaching me and pointing her finger at me yelling. I had no clue what she was saying so I said what? She pointed at my fur collar and yelled "I hope Karma gets you!" I was pretty surprised and a gentleman in the area asked if I was okay and we each rolled our eyes at this woman. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before and to say that she got under my skin would be an understatement. As I looked around the station, I noticed that almost everyone around me has on leather and there was even another fur color. Why did she pick me?  Did she realize that I had my headphones in and couldn't really hear her? Does she do this often? By the time that I got to my work I had cooled off and realized that this incident left me with something that if I am ever stuck in an elevator with Kim Kardashian and Anna Wintour, I will bring up and we can all commiserate together on the hardships of being fashion forward....even if my fur is made of acrylic.

PS. Did you hear the best news of the day? Justin Timberlake is putting out new music. See the teaser here

Update on New Years Resolutions

Remember these? Seen on Second Shout

Did any of you make the resolution to text less and talk more? The more I have heard people discuss their goals for 2012, the more I hear it and I kinda want to jump on the bandwagon. I am not saying that I won't text or that I don't love it but I also really understand the value of a phone call and how wonderful it can be to talk to a person, if for 3 minutes or an hour. So maybe all of us need to tap into our inner 8th grader and call me!

Also, to make you smile, this is how I feel another one of my resolutions seen on Toothpaste for Dinner

Good Morning!

Since PB moved in last August, we have a had a pretty solid morning routine. He would get up around 6:00, shower, eat breakfast, get dressed and feed the dog before leaving by 7:15 for work. I would get up around 7, decide what to wear, walk the dog, make the bed and head out the door by around 8:30. I will admit, part of my morning routine is laying in bed for about 15 minutes, listening to NPR. I love it. But then last Friday PB did something new.

This week in meals

Since one of my New Years goals is to bring my lunch to work, I decided that this week I would focus on dinners that can be stretched into lunch without feeling like I was eating leftovers. I also am trying to make sure that these meals are basically healthy for us while still tasting great. Also, on Saturday night when we were out to dinner with friends I had a grilled kale salad and fell in love. I even recreated it for lunch yesterday but PB eat most of it. Its now getting rotated in our usual roasted veggies. PS. Tonight we are going out to on of favorite bars in the neighborhood to watch the B.C.S. National Championship Game and Wednesday we have plans as well so this week might seem a little light.

In clockwise order
1. Fennel Gratin from French Revolution I might try to lighten this one up (Greek yogurt, I am looking at you) but regardless, we love fennel and am excited to take it to a new place
2. Lasagne from Punchfork. A duh. So hearty, can make it healthier and something that I will look forward to eat for lunch.
3. Grilled Kale from Rachael Ray. Ok so the word grilled can be scary for those living in the city but I used a grilled pan for this yesterday and was pleasantly surprised with the results. With just a little olive oil and salt and pepper beforehand, once grilled, I bet you could really dress it however you want. I used mustard, lemon juice and a little more olive oil. Delish!
4. Chicken Chili from The Girl Who Ate Everything. This time of year screams chili to me. My mom makes a really yummy version of white chili and I can't want to replicate it.

What are you eating this week? Anything I should try?

Work in progress

Notice anything different about the blog today? Since part of my goals for the new year has been to fancy up the ol'blog, I decided to attempt to teach myself some tricks and tools in Photoshop (actual Pixlr since it is free). So bear with me as I attempt to make things a little more professional looking around here.

PS. If anyone wants to teach me Photoshop for exchange for something, I am all ears!

Double Booked

Sloan's Planner Seen on NYTimes

How do you guys keep track of your schedule? I have to be honest about this, I am not always the best and have been known to double book myself on more than one occasion. I use my Outlook, Google and my phone calendar all synced and I still sometimes miss things. I used a Filofax when I graduated college and after reading this article in the NYTimes about Sloan Crosleys (disclaimer, I love this woman) affection for her red Louis Vuitton planner and the yearly ritual of replacing the pages, I am tempted to bring back my Filofax. There is something to be said for writing this down in ink! What about you, how do you keep track of your calendar?

My dream version....seen on Fashion Squad

New Years Goals

Like almost everyone this time of year, I have some goals and aspirations for 2013. And since this a public space, I figured that it wouldn't hurt to put them out there...and kinda make me own them even more. So here goes, in no particular order....
1. Bring lunch to work! For a long time, I was doing really well with this. And then for some reason, I fell off. Time to get back on especially since my next goal is...
2. Think about the money that I spend. For a time, my spending freeze was only really for clothes and fun things that they sell at the check out of Urban Outfitters. For 2013, I would like to take it to the next level. I am talking coupons, using cloth napkins instead of paper towels and becoming better at doing my own nails to limit the manicures.
3. Travel. The reason that I am trying to be better about my money is because PB and I have been talking about taking a trip. Maybe Paris, maybe Berlin, maybe some place we don't know yet. But a passport will get stamped.
4. Teach myself blogging tricks. Ok so I know that this blog isn't the visually attractive blog out there. I do like some of the little things on here but I want to be better, for both you and me. So I plan on spending a new extra hours at night and over the weekends to teach myself some tricks of the trade. Just a heads up, when I do learn something new, I will most likely brag and look for some encouragement.
5. Comment more on other blogs. I know how important it is when people take the time to comment on this blog (THANK YOU) and I need to pay it forward. Let others know I virtually love them.
6. Reply! Like everyone else out there, I get a lot of emails. And sometimes I let them sit longer than they need or would like to. I am going to try to be better.
7. Along the lines of personal stuff, I want to work on my tone. When PB and I disagree, I can jump down his throat while he talks reasonably. Not cool Maddy, not cool.
8. Jiggle less in the middle. The favorite of every list. I am not looking to run a marathon, just to think about the food that I eat. To move my body more.   Get your mind out of the gutter.

Any goals that you have for the year? Doesn't 2013 not roll off your tongue? Anyone want me to keep track of how I am doing?

Happy 2013!

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