Put a Cork In It
There is nothing better than a refreshing glass of wine after a long day at the office, or over a delicious homemade meal. But with every great bottle of wine comes an inevitable problem - getting it to be the right temperature.
Enter Corkcicle to save the day!
Sound funny? Well you won't be laughing when you take your first sip of perfectly-chilled wine. Plus, it IS on Oprah's List of Favorite Thing 2012 - and you don't mess with Oprah!
Developed in 2011, and bursting onto the scene not even a year later, Corkcicle is revolutionizing the way you keep your wine fresh and perfect for serving. Good for wine of any kind, this miracle cork keeps whites chilled, while cooling down reds to make them all-the-more refreshing.
See?? (Forgive the chipped nail polish)
With a wine night ahead of me tonight, my Corkcicle Classic is currently chilling in the freezer, and I can't wait to use it!
But wait, there's more! Corkcicle has also come out with several other lines of wine-related goods to suit your every need. The best part? They are all just as affordable as the Classic! The Color line features Corkcicles with multi-colored tops - loaded with personality, all while providing the same great service. Stoppers are designed to keep your wine fresh by acting as vibrant caps to an opened bottle of wine. Easy to open, easy to use. And, finally, if you're in the mood to really spice up your wine, check out the Caps line, featuring fun, removable tops to use with your Stoppers.
As obsessed as I am with the Corkcicle Classic, I can't wait to try out the Stoppers and Caps - stay tuned!
Apparently having one productive Sunday ( see Myth Busters: Productive Sundays) can really go to a girl's head. This morning I woke up and the wheels were turning!
With the holidays approaching, I've been making a valiant effort to take my diet and exercise regime up a notch, so that I can feel less guilty about totally splurging this year. While I believe that I have a good routine in place, it never hurts to have a little extra motivation - especially this time of year.
So, my latest Thing I Love is... the My Fitness Pal app!
I've tried desktop-based trackers in the past, but having everything I need in the palm of my hand is a much more Sarah-friendly experience I've decided. I signed up this morning, and with my breakfast in the books, I'm already hooked.
How it works..
After going through the set up where you're prompted to enter your height, weight, goals, and exercise routines, your daily caloric intake is calculated and you land here - The Control Center.
Eaten something? Exercised? Enter it! Note - you do need to know the calories included in what you've eaten, but the desktop version of My Fitness Pal has all of this information readily available.
As you add entries to the diary (via the My Diary tab at the bottom, or Add to Diary button on the home screen), My Fitness Pal keeps track of them, subtracting calories as you go to let you keep tabs on where you are throughout the day. Any exercise essentially gives you calories back against your total. No cheating!!
Hands down, my favorite part of the app is the Progress bar. Oftentimes, even when we set goals, our perception of how we're stacking up against them is way, way off. By keeping up with the diary, My Fitness Pal accurately tracks your progress against your goals.
My Fitness Pal is also a social tool. Find friends, add friends, and get a little competitive!
More often than not, I don't venture into the "More" section of an app. It is usually filled with things of little value, which is - to be honest - frustrating. My Fitness Pal does this area well though, promoting its ability to sync with other fitness apps to better track your goals, thus enhancing the overall experience. Brava!
Today is just day one, but already I am (clearly) raving about the My Fitness Pal app! Download away!
As I did with my last blog - which lasted for two posts over the span of several months - I hit a wall with The Pitts. I was still contributing, but not regularly, and I really didn't have blogging on the brain. Not too sure why, but I just wasn't feeling it.
But now I am back... in a big way. I've decided that being busy shouldn't deter from my blogging - it should enhance it! The more I am doing, the more Pitts-tastic (TM'ing that) things I have to share with my readers. Today's Thing I Love - blogging it out.
Why the change? Well, connecting with many other bloggers over the past week or so, and seeing all of the amazing things that they are doing has changed my POV. I also realized that blogging could be like a little DIY project (except online so there is little chance of me super-gluing my hands together).
Here's a peek at the changes I've made over the past few days...
Evolution: Toned down the yellow to make it easier on the eyes, and enlarged it to 200x200.
Evolution: I wanted the title to my blog to be something personal, so I created a collage of photos I have taken since arriving in The Pitts. Again, adjusted the yellow for a softer, more feminine feel.
I'm a constant fixer and improver. I'll move a mirror around 10 times before it is just the way I want it (sorry walls), but I just can't help myself! As my journey progresses in The Pitts, expect to see more updates!
I figured I would kick off the new month with a new Thing I'm Loving. Thanks to Groupon's $15 credit it was featuring a few weeks ago, I was able to snipe these gems for free, and I couldn't be more excited.
This time of year I feel like you see everyone and their mother.. and their step brother. The holidays are soon to be upon us, and that means gorging ourselves with endless amounts of food, while still wanting to suck it in and look our best in those family and party photos that we all know are imminent. What's a girl to do?
Well, I'm starting my preparation with my latest Thing I Love - Brite Smile To Go Pens.
Cute little box
Three pens for $15? What a steal!
I'll be honest, even if they hadn't been free, I would have gladly forked over the $15 to Groupon Goods for these babies. As we all know, whitening treatments, both do-it-yourself and professional, can be insanely expensive, ranging on the high end to hundreds of dollars. They can also be irritating. Who has time to sit at the dentist for an hour (or two.. you know they're always "running behind")? Or those strips - gag.
Brite Smile solves both of these dilemmas. Not only is the whitening system cost-efficient (without a Groupon, the set of three pens retails for $79.95, but are reduced to as little as $28.99 on sites like Amazon), but the application is easy as well. Simply press the button at the bottom of the pen until a drop appears at the top of the applicator, then apply to the fronts of teeth. It took less than three (yes three) drops to completely cover my teeth, leaving my whites whiter, and my breath minty fresh! And the best part? The fun-sized applicators are easy to take with you wherever you go - take that TSA!
Need an extra confidence boost heading into the holiday season? Check out Brite Smile To Go Pens - my latest Thing I Love.
My style is, to put it simply, classic. I rarely venture into the world of outside-the-box when it comes to my fashion choices. You'd think it was because I'm penny-pinching when it comes to my wardrobe, but J. Crew and Banana Republic will gladly tell you otherwise. But there is one long-standing trend that I can no longer resist - bold, exotic statement pieces.
It started subtly with scarves, bold jewelry to accent a plain sweater, loud lipstick to light up a look. How far do I dare to go? Well, my latest things I'm loving are these babies...
A little outside the box, but a lot wearable. Dress up a work outfit or jeans and a top for a night on the town. It's time for me to experiment with prints, people, and I have every intention of starting here!
Baby, It's Cold Outside
Well, my friends, the cold weather is upon us. It's time to dust off the winter jackets, waterproof your boots, and bundle up! Outerwear is something I take very seriously this time of year - I'm simply not a one-jacket-fits-all type of girl. No, I put serious consideration into my jacket choices before venturing out into the brisk fall weather, and this season will be no different. Why am I a proponent of multiple jackets? Well, not only are there varying temperatures that need to be taken into consideration, but there are also different occasions.
Below is the outerwear I'm loving this Fall (thus far):
Rainy Day: Marmot Women's PreClip Jacket
Casually Chic Fall Activities: J Crew Downtown Field Jacket
Feeling Sporty/Tailgate Time: Koppen Women's Brise Hybrid Sweater Hoodie
Dressing It Up: J Crew Factory Wool-Blend Funnelneck Coat
First of all, I hope everyone reading picked up on the title's 30 Rock reference. With the premier of the final season in the books, I found that it was only fitting.
It's officially October, which means that local Walmarts and grocery stores everywhere have been selling Halloween candy, decorations and costumes for a solid three to four weeks now. But seriously. Don't even get me started on how early Christmas items go on sale - that is for another day.
I do love Halloween, but it just seems so very far away right now. Last night, however, I got a surprise in the mail that not only boosted my spirits, but officially got me into Fall and Halloween-mode: a hand-painted ceramic haunted house from my beloved Nan!
Isn't it perty?
Needless to say, this work of art claimed prime real estate on my entry way table, with the red light on and gleaming for all to see.
My thing I'm loving today - homemade holiday gifts and accents.
Yes, there are hundreds of variations of Halloween home decor on the market, but where else could you find something so amazingly filled with love AND holiday cheer than having it made by a loved one? This has led me to rethink my gift giving as a whole which, with the holiday season upon us, is very well-timed. Do I put any thought into the gifts I give to my friends and family? Am I just giving them more stuff? Food for thought, everyone!
And then there is the decor aspect. Sure, I thought about running out to Target and filling my basket with a few bucks worth of tacky Halloween accents, but it just wouldn't make my apartment feel any more like home. What I've been craving since I've moved here is that one piece that makes this apartment home - and I think it just arrived in a brown box last night.
So tonight, when I get home, I will flip the red light on and immediately feel more at home in my new apartment than I ever have. Oh, and I am absolutely ready for Halloween now!
PS: Didn't get my 30 Rock reference? Watch this - Werewolf Bar Mitzvah
When most people think technology, they think gadgets, computers, phones, big shiny machines doing incredibly complicated things, and so on. Even though I work in the digital realm, I am not even going to try to pretend that I am that type of a "techie".
I am, however, loving a different type of technology today... fitness clothing technology! Why? Well the Columbia Omni-Freeze ZERO Truck was kind enough to roll up to work today and school me on some seriously "sweet" (they brought ice cream) technology advancements that they are rolling out.
What is Omni-Freeze ZERO, you ask? It's a fabric that contains cooling cells that activate when you begin to sweat as you exercise. When the fabric becomes wet, it absorbs the moisture (instead of wiping it away) and cools you off. Too good to be true? No! I got a sample - and a coupon woohoo - and was amazed by the cooling sensation I felt when it was sprayed with water. And, not only are they rolling out tops, but hats, shoes, shorts - you name it!
So, excuse me while I go snag one of the tees that are on sale now. Check out the website to see if there is a truck coming to a location near you! Otherwise, get ready for the full launch in Spring 2013.
I'll be the first to admit that getting my nails done is not high on my priority list. I was blessed with good nails (thanks Mom) that require only a filing here and there to keep them strong and pretty. Seriously. But even the most blah nails deserve to rock this fall's polish colors, and they might be appealing enough to drag me into a nail salon... like today.
Why am I loving this season's colors so much? They are muted and understated, but absolutely eye-catching and glitterless (not to mention neonless), which I love. Since I rarely do my nails, I need a color that I'm going to like looking at day in and day out, and that won't horribly clash with every single thing I'm wearing. Honestly, I just don't have enough neon in my wardrobe to justify electric yellow nails. I just don't.
My favorite line so far? Le Vernis by Chanel. At $26 a-pop, there is a little pricetag shock involved, but, if you're like me and want a staple color for the Fall, it's worth the investment.
Chanel puts a bold spin on once-ordinary palettes
Photo Courtesy of Chanel
Nail-polish-aholic? Kudos, but you probably aren't looking to drop nearly $30 on a single color (gasp). Luckily, staple brands OPI, essie and Nicole are also boasting new, bold fall lines for you to sample.
I'm loving the Germany Collection.. even the yellow meets my standards!
Photo Courtesy of OPI
While essie is also featuring a metallics line, these are much more my style.
Photo Courtesy of essie
So now I officially have no excuse to roll into the nearest salon and polish-it-up with one of these fall beauties!
Fall-ing In Love
I don't know about you, but I used to have a major thing for vests. Not the two-button, nerdy-now-cool vests that seem to be gaining ground again, but vests of the puffy variety. I think it's because they went well with my middle school, pre hair-straightening days. Regardless, if you've ventured out to the mall or browsed online recently, you know that they are back on trend, and I couldn't be happier.
Nothing solves the "it's too warm for a winter coat, but too cold for a sweater" dilemma like a vest. Below are a few of my favorites that I've seen so far, along with the one I purchased for myself (yes, it's August, but colder weather is right around the corner) - we'll see if you can figure out which one it is!
This faux-fur vest from H&M can add a little flare to any outfit, while minding your budget at $34.95
Layer this J. Crew Excursion Quilted Vest over a tee or popover for a sleek fall outing look
Add a little edge to your jeans-and-sweater look with this metallic vest by Tory Burch
My first Thing I Love for the Fall Season - vests! And, if this year is anything like last year (mild, little snow, all-around glorious), then this might double as a fantastic winter investment as well!
So You Think You Can Cook
Despite the title, no, I don't think I can cook. In fact, despite many attempts at things other than Lean Cuisines, I'm fairly certain I can't. No, no, I can't cook - but I can follow a recipe! That's why this latest "Thing I Love" is Foodily.
Whether it's the Foodily app, site or blog, this recipe source is a haven for the cooking-challenged and foodies alike! Know what you want to cook, but don't know where to start? Not a problem! Just type in what you're looking for, even adding exclusions, and away you go. No idea where to start? This is the category I fall into most frequently - browse through hundreds and hundreds of recipes from amateur to professional chefs.
The best part? Foodily is totally social. It's Pinterest for the foodie-at-heart. If you find a great recipe, go ahead and share it with the world. If you find a chef whose creations really tickle the tastebuds, follow him or her to keep tabs on their latest and greatest!
It is also extremely user friendly..
Step 1: Upon setting up your login info, you'll be directed here where you can browse popular Foodily members and choose who to follow.
Step 2: Be social! Review who you've already started to follow, and invite your friends to join in the cooking adventure.
Step 3: Already found a million and one recipes on Pinterest that you're "planning on" trying? Now there's no excuse! Gather all your future food adventures in one place and get ready to strap on an apron.
Forgot to write down the recipe? Not a problem! Download Foodily to your iPhone (sorry Androids) and have it at your finger tips in seconds.
And there you have it, my Thing I Love of the day. Now you must literally have no reason left in that bag of excuses to never cook.. I'm sure I'll come up with some, but Foodily is getting me well on my way!
Easy Style pt. 2
A brief follow-up to my disclaimer I listed in "Easy Style".. It turns out they DID pay me to write that (well sort of). Last night I received my J. Crew 2012 Fall Collection Look Book along with a rather large gift card that I am chomping at the bit to spend! A sign that I have spent too much money there? Probably, but I can't wait to go back for more!
Casual Fridays can bring about more challenges than the name implies for someone in the corporate world. In the agency realm it meant little was off the table aside from pajamas and the shirt you worked out in yesterday - I've even seen yoga pants eloquently pulled off right under the boss' nose. But here in Corporate Land it's a bit more difficult. How casual is too casual? Can you tell these are jeans? Is this tee shirt to tee-shirty?
Waking up this morning, however, I realized that another Thing I Love is something that helps solve this early-morning, end-of-the-week problem - The Popover Shirt by J Crew.
Those who know me best know that I'm a tee and jeans kind of girl, so this fits me to a tee (no pun intended). Whether you're tossing one on with a pair of jeans, or dressing down a pair of work-appropriate pants, this top will leave you comfortable and feeling like Friday all day!
Furnace eternally cranked in your office? No problem, these shirts are lightweight and loose!
Office so cold you require a space heater? Me too, my friend. Luckily, the shirt is in no way bulky, so go ahead and throw a cardigan or casual blazer on top.
Am I becoming a wannabe fashion guru? Absolutely not - see tee and jeans comment above - but I do love a good Popover!
*Disclaimer: No JCrew didn't pay me to write this, though, for how much I shop there they should. Yes, I am wearing one today. No, I don't have a space heater under my desk but I am close to investing in one.*
This page, while it should be easy enough to fill up, has caused me quite a bit of grief. Not because I don't love anything, but because I feel like this first Things I Love should be something I love lots and lots.
*Disclaimer: This section will not feature people so as to avoid tension, mean texts, defriending on Facebook, etc.*
So here it is, my #1 Thing I Love (circa today) is... *drumroll*... Football Season!
Getting my daily dose of ESPN.com this morning I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of excitement as the NFL preseason is getting underway. And why, you ask, am I so excited on today of all days? To put it simply..
I just realized that I am a hours away from seeing these NFL studs take the field again (against New Orleans..wah wah). I know it is only preseason, but football - both NCAA and NFL - seem to give the weekends more meaning. I have a purpose when I wake up on Saturday mornings during football season other than debating whether to run or go get McDonalds breakfast.
I must point out, however, that I most certainly do not discriminate when it comes to the world of sports. Born and raised (mostly) in Boston, a love for the Red Sox runs deep in my veins. I'm sure everyone reading this is thinking of equally clever, yet snarky responses to that statement giving our current "situation", but as my passion is unwavering, please keep them to yourselves (oh, and I'm dating a Yankees fan, so I've pretty much heard them all).
Hockey? Ehh.. but given my current city of residence I'm sure I will acquire at least one piece of Penguins fan gear this winter.
College Football? Double ehh. I'll always love my Redhawks, but am open to other teams, especially ones that would give me a reason to go someplace warm in the dead of winter to watch a BCS Bowl Game. Any suggestions? Feel free to comment as to why I should become a fan of your favorite NCAA Team!
For those of you who do know me, you'll know that my current role is perfect as I am surrounded by all-things-sports day in and day out. For those of you that do not, the mystery continues!