Extra! Extra!

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Read all about it! I think I could pass for a newsie.

We saw Disney’s new show on broadway, newsies, with one of our visitors this weekend and it was really fun and impressive!

The only production Ive ever seen of Newsies is a middle school production so this was quite the upgrade. From what I understand there have been a few big changes ( a prominent love story) and a couple new songs (all were great), added to Disney’s new version.

The musical did start out a little slow, but it picked up, and I loved the show more and more each scene. It just kept getting better and I honestly didn’t want it to end.

And the dancing, omygosh the dancing! I never knew that a bunch of men dancing on broadway could be so hot! The moves were all very fast, difficult, and masculine (as masculine as broadway gets). These young men were very talented and definitely kept me entertained.

Positively Panicked gives the Newsies 4 stars!

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Cheerio!

The Daily Bread

Le Pain Quotidien (which means “The daily bread”)is a French bakery started by Alain Coumont (who is actually from Belgium). This bakery/restaurant uses mostly organic and fresh ingredients and environmentally friendly decorations and supplies. Basically, the entire place is good for you, your community, and your world.

It is famous for it’s bread which is made from organic flour, salt, and water, and kneaded by hand, and bake fresh daily. All the yummy yummy pastries, brownies, and croissants are also made fresh every day. They also sale some of their homemade products. You can buy jams, chocolates, granola, and more.

This restaurant has it’s regular tables that sit 2 to 4 people, but they really prefer that you sit at the long communal table found in the center of each restaurant. The owner of this restaurant wants us to feel like a community, even in the big city. You are encouraged to sit next to a stranger, meet someone new, or read one of the books found int he middle of the table.

Lucky for me this restaurant can be found exactly one block away from my apartment. And MUCH too my surprise…it can also be found all over NYC, and several other big cities. I just discovered yesterday that this place is a pretty popular chain. I really thought we were SO VERY LUCKY to have this quaint little French bakery right in our neighborhood. I guess we are still lucky, but so are lots of other people!

During my future in-laws visit we ate here twice, because once is just not enough.

Iced coffee, wheat grass spritzer, and mint lemonade
The Menu's, the "bread time" stories, and the jams
Gazpacho, mini-tarts, turkey tartine, avocado and chickpea tartine
split pea soup, sweat pea hummus tartine, and an iced latte

Before I go, I should also mention that the servers here are very friendly. Our poor waitress had to put up with a repulsive woman next to us who continuously yelled at her, complained to a manager because she accidently dropped one of our tiny cups of dipping sauce, and was the most disrespectful customer I have ever seen, and the waitress still served her with a smile. I think I was more upset than the waitress.

That’s all for now, maybe we can meet one day for lunch at the communal table?

Cheers!

NYC’s Above the Ground Park

Tiny Statue on The High Line

I forgot to mention in my last couple blogs that we have had visitors. First, two friends from Disney came to visit for 36 hours, halfway through their stay my future in-laws and two of their friends from Florida flew in, and one day later Fiance’s cousin from Seattle joined us. We have been super busy going from restaurant, to tourist trap, to museum, to Broadway show, to cute shops, and more. Which means I have LOTS of NYC blogs to write!

Unfortunately for me, I missed out on some of the fun because I am a working girl 6 days of the week, but you can read about anything I missed on Zoey’s blog.

I only work a half-day on Saturdays, and this Saturday was super sunny and warm (which has been rare for us in the last 6 months). I was soooo excited to meet up with everyone that I almost ran from my job on the Upper East Side to lower Manhattan’s meatpacking district. I opted for the bus instead, but I was wriggling in my seat with excitement the entire way. Or maybe that was just jitters after my 2 shots of espresso? Either way, I was feeling pretty happy.

We met on The High Line. The High Line is a a park built about 4 stories high on historic railroad tracks. These tracks were going to be demolished, but locals decided to start a “friends of the high line” group to save the historic railway, raised money, and transformed it into an elevated park. While walking around the high line, you can very easily spot the skeletons left behind from the railroad tracks. It makes for a very interesting day in the park.

Now, do not get me wrong, I LOVE this idea. I think it is super clever, economical, environmentally friendly, and fun. However, I do not love the high line.

It is fun to check out and take visitors to see because it is so unique. I do not actually find it much fun though. Every time we’ve been it has been super crowded, and not very exciting. I always feel like I am waiting in line for a ride that I never get to…we just walk in single file line for most of the park and then it’s over.

To be fair, we always seem to go on a weekend with sunny weather. So, maybe it’s much more enjoyable on a slower day.

Even with the crowds, we still had a great time basking in the sunlight and visiting with each other. There were food carts everywhere and Fiance bought me a cucumber lime popsicle sprinkled with chili seasoning and it was the BEST popsicle I have ever had!!!!!! I will go back to the high line again just to get this popsicle.

There were also some cool artsy birdhouses, musicians, arts and crafts, and even a wedding!

I still prefer Central Park, or any park on the ground, but if you haven’t seen an elevated park, The High Line is worth a visit. But, if you are going to visit NYC, you should really call us!

See you soon!

Hil

P.S. I recently heard that they are now trying to build a “low line” in an old abandoned subway station! Sounds pretty cool to me.

Rewarding Myself

Some of the best teacher’s best tricks are positive incentives. Students will work hard and follow rules much easier when there is a reward in the end, or some sort of recongnition. Eventually, their behavior becomes habit, and the incentive can be taken away. I consider myself an expert at positive incentives. I’m pretty confidant that if my students remember anything about me (pu-leeaase, I’m sure they remember EVERYTHING), it will be my rewards programs…. and the fact that they never saw me without high heels and a coffee cup.

EVERY picture of me that my students drew looked like a blonde stick figure in stilettos holding a cup of coffee.

My most popular incentive was “Ms. M’s Money” * I gave out “money” (which looked very similar to real money with my face on it), out to students for various reasons. They may get a buck for neat handwriting, 2 bucks for helping to clean up, five dollars for being the quietest in the line, 10 dollars for helping a friend, etc etc. The best part was that they never knew when I’d give out money. Basically, I would have to “catch” them being good and reward them with “money”.

The students also had their own wallets that they saved their money in, and each morning they could spend their money on a myriad of things!

If you find the mistake you get $10 Ms M. Dollars!

A few other incentives I used was a “Fantastic Hat” (The hat Mickey Mouse wears in Fantasia), that I gave out to someone being fantastic. Bruce, the reading shark was given to the best listener at story time. There was the “American Idol” microphone for the “best” singer after our morning songs, the “mathematician” award, and the list goes on and on….

As an adult, I sometimes need my own incentive program or rewards chart.

Like most brides, I have been trying to get into great shape for the big day. I was on a pretty strict regimen of working out most days, and eating healthy-ish (No Chips, thanks to lent), up until my Bachelorette party weekend.

We ate all of my favorite foods (Everything Mexican and spicy, and lots of hot fries), drank too many margaritas, and washed it all down with cake and donuts.

Anytime I take just one day off from the gym it takes all of my willpower to force myself to go back. I was incredibly unmotivated once I returned to NYC, so I decided to give myself a little incentive. Last Thursday, I made a deal with myself:

Everyday that I workout I get a present.

I decided this present could be anything from Starbucks to a new pair of shoes. I would just spread out the expenses, and not allow myself extra coffee, lunch out, or ANY shopping unless I’d been to the gym.

Thursday I had a delicious vegan lunch during my lunch break with Zoey, and I went to the gym the second I got off work. Check!

Friday, I threw my back out….. And as you know from Lemons into Lemonade, I then shopped unit l dropped.

I was feeling REALLY guilty that night. I had already failed on my great rewards program plan. I had to do something about this, I had  to make things right. At 10pm I hobbled down four flights of stairs, limped 5 blocks to the gym, and sat in the sauna and read for half an hour.

I figured sweating it out was as close as I could get to a workout.

The wedding is now 54 days away, and my back is starting to feel better, anyone have a better idea for workout motivation?

Maybe I should just hangup a calendar and place a shiny sticker on each day I workout… and then go shopping.

Cheers!