Friday, November 30, 2012

Ballet Beautiful

Since we've officially entered the Christmas season, I thought now would be a great time to write about...exercise! This time of year is filled with extra sweets and treats and can be quite stressful making it the perfect time to make sure you are exercising regularly.

I've been a huge yoga fan for years (seriously, I've been practicing yoga for over a decade). Earlier this year I injured my left shoulder and decided to stop taking yoga until it healed. While I was healing I realized that I wanted to change up my routine a bit by trying something new. I read about Ballet Beautiful on a blog and decided to give it a try so I ordered the book and slowly started learning the exercises. The program was developed by Mary Helen Bowers, who was a ballerina with New York City Ballet (she trained Natalie Portman for Black Swan!), to help regular women attain the famed muscle tone and flexibility of ballerinas.

While I don't think I'll be gracing the stage anytime ever, I'm really happy with my results. I feel so much stronger and I look forward to the stretches and exercises after a long day of sitting in my cubicle. Mary Helen breaks her full-body 1 hour workout down into sections, so it's easy to pick out a 10-15 minute section if you don't have time to do the full workout. If you're looking for a new exercise routine, I recommend Ballet Beautiful. Your library might even have the book or the DVD available for checkout.

Monday, November 19, 2012

National Dog Show

Do you watch the dog show after the parade on Thanksgiving Day?  We almost always have it on while we either cook Thanksgiving dinner or get ready to go visiting.  When Dave asked me if I wanted to go in person this year I said "yes," of course!

The dog show took place this past weekend and we spent most of the day on Saturday checking out the dogs and watching the group judging.  The show was quirky and fun to see in person (although a bit less glamorous than it appears on TV).  Here are a few pictures that I took on Saturday afternoon:

A Corgi getting checked out by the judge...

The Dalmatian sneaking a treat while he waits for his turn to circle the ring...

The Irish Terrier (he had a cute little beard!)...

The cute little Schipperke - Dave loved this guy!

Congratulating the winner of the herding group...

This particular dog show is benched which means that the handlers and owners each have a booth where they hang out in between judging.  Visitors can check out the different breeds and pet the dogs while the handlers groom them.  It's perfect if you're looking to get a dog, but aren't sure which breed is right for you and your family.

We left before the end of the show, so we'll still be watching on Thanksgiving Day to see who wins Best in Show. :)

I hope your (short!) week is off to a good start.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Weekend Getaway: New York, NY

Last weekend, Dave and I drove up to Brooklyn to visit Meghan and Derek. We were hoping to spend a relaxing weekend exploring the city with our friends. Luckily for us, that's exactly how things went down.

We drove into the city on Saturday morning...

Crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on our way into Brooklyn.
...and grabbed some delicious hot sandwiches at a local cafe before heading over to Roosevelt Island. We walked the length of the Island and checked out the lighthouse and the brand new memorial park at the southern tip.

Looking into Manhattan...
...and then looking over to Queens.
Check out the Oz-like FDR memorial just beyond Dave's shoulder!

As the afternoon grew cooler we started to make our way back to Meghan and Derek's apartment where Derek mixed up some Manhattans and we snacked on cheese and crackers.

Our college friend Julia joined us at Talde for dinner with her boyfriend. We ordered enough yummy Asian food to fill our entire table! My favorites were the Korean fried chicken and the Brussels sprouts.

We finished off the evening at the Brooklyn Academy of Music where we enjoyed after-dinner drinks and a jazz band.

Meghan made us buttermilk waffles on Sunday morning and then we headed home. Dave and I were so glad that we took this little weekend trip since we were stuck inside for a couple of days when Hurricane Sandy hit on Monday. I hope everybody stayed safe during the hurricane!