MONTHLY ARCHIVES: APRIL 2012

Physique 57 Giveaway Winner!
by LAURA posted on APRIL 30, 2012
Thank you all for participating! It was a pleasure reading all your comments. I’m definitely with all of you in getting in shape for summer. I’m excited to announce the winner who will receive:

Physique 57 tote bag
Physique 57 classic 57 minute DVD 2nd edition
Physique 57 ball
Physique 57 grippy socks
The winner is….

Cara M. who said, “I would love to give Physique 57 a try to attempt to lose the stubborn chub covering the existing muscles in my arms, legs, AND abs!

Congrats Cara! You will be expecting an email shortly on how to claim your prize!

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posted in FIT & FAB | tagged BIKINI BODY, PHYSIQUE 57 | LEAVE A COMMENT
5 Things Laura Loves
by LAURA posted on APRIL 27, 2012
{Tres leches & double chocolate donuts from Donut Plant}

April showers bring May flowers…arg! Because of the weather this past week, a couple of my outdoor plans were derailed but I saw it as a good opportunity to discover new eats in the city. For some reason, it was donut week. I had amazing donuts from Flex Mussels (read here) and Donut Plant. Last night, I had a few girlfriends over for a 50 Shades of Grey party. There has been so much buzz around this book that we all agreed we needed a party. I’m still giggling over the conversations that took place last night. I’m really looking forward to a weekend with more discoveries.

{Beignet mix a reminder of my recent trip to New Orleans}

{Holly Golightly sleeping mask from Fredflare}

{Potato chips & panko chocolates-Amazing!}

{Silver & Grey tie cookies for my 50 Shades of Grey book party}

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posted in 5 THINGS LAURA LOVES | LEAVE A COMMENT
I Love NYC Project
by LAURA posted on APRIL 26, 2012
{Manhattan Bridge on the DUMBO side}

I get inspired by New York City everyday. It fuels my creativity and is the muse for my blog. I know I’m a little biased but I’m in love with this city. A year ago, I started an I love NYC project to capture New York in photos. It’s my homage to this city that makes dreams come true. It certainly has made my dreams come true.

{Alice in Wonderland in Central Park}

{Jaume Plensa’s “Echo” in Madison Square Park}

{Empire State Building}

{Shutters in Soho}

{Strawberry Fields in Central Park}

{Coney Island}

{Bethesda Terrace in Central Park}

{Kenny Scharf’s mural on the Houston Street graffiti wall}

{Columbus Circle}

{Central Park bridge}

Stay tuned for more…

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posted in NYC | LEAVE A COMMENT
Flex Mussels
by LAURA posted on APRIL 25, 2012
My friend Natasha insisted we go to Flex Mussels for our next dinner date. When she told me it was on the Upper East Side (82nd & 3rd) I told her it better be worth the trip. For those of you who aren’t familiar with New York, I had to take an uptown subway and a crosstown bus (yes, I’m being dramatic). I can happily report, it was definitely worth the trip. I loved that it was a restaurant dedicated to mussels with flavors from around the world like Mexican, Thai, Indian, and Italian. We shared the Parma which had parmigiano cream, meyer lemon, scallions, toasted garlic and shallots. We also shared the truffle fries and oysters. I was constantly reminded by Natasha to leave room for the donuts for dessert. My-O-My these donuts were the highlight of the meal. This was a great neighborhood find in the Upper East Side.

{Truffle Fries and a side of melted butter}

{PB&J, strawberry shortcake, salted caramel & fluffer nutter donuts}

{This is the fluffier nutter donut}

{They give you a little Swedish Fish at the end of dinner}

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posted in RESTAURANTS | tagged FLEX DONUTS, FLEX MUSSELS, MUSSELS | 1 COMMENT
Mini Mac n Cheese Muffins
by LAURA posted on APRIL 24, 2012
Like every other girl right now, I’m in the process of getting into shape for the summer. However, it doesn’t stop me from eating my favorite indulgent foods. That’s why I thought these mini mac n cheese muffins were perfect because they are bite size and you don’t feel guilty about eating 2 or 3 and you still get to have mac n cheese. I used a simple recipe from Food & Wine here and I loved the results so much I’m thinking about serving them at my next cocktail party. Getting into shape is really important but life is too short to not eat really great food!

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posted in FOOD, RECIPES | tagged MAC AND CHEESE MUFFINS, MINI MAC AND CHEESE | 1 COMMENT
For Adults Only
by LAURA posted on APRIL 23, 2012
It was my best friend’s bachelorette party this past Saturday. For her special night, I made raspberry champagne jello shots. Why champagne? Because it’s not as strong as vodka and it’s sweeter. I made one for each of the guests and made it extra girly with sprinkles. They were the perfect treats for the bride-to-be’s last fling before the ring.

1 package of raspberry jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup champagne or prosecco
Sprinkles
Boil 1 cup of water. Add raspberry jello mix into water. Stir until combined. Add champagne. Pour into little plastic cups. Let the jello set in the refrigerator for 4 hours. When the jello is set, add sprinkles.

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posted in CELEBRATIONS, RECIPES | tagged CHAMPAGNE JELLO SHOTS | 1 COMMENT
Physique 57 Giveaway
by LAURA posted on APRIL 20, 2012
Summer is just around the corner and we’re all trying to get ready for our bikinis. I went to Physique 57 to get bikini ready and so can you in the comfort of your own home! To enter, you need to “Like” Physique 57 on Facebook (Like here) and comment on this post what you want to tone up like chiseled abs, toned arms, or sculpted legs. This giveaway is only for US residents. Giveaway closes on Friday April 27th 2012 at 5:00 PM EST so hurry up and enter the summer is upon us!

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posted in FIT & FAB | tagged BIKINI BODY, PHYSIQUE 57 | 25 COMMENTS
Spread the Love
by LAURA posted on APRIL 19, 2012
My boyfriend and I started this tradition on Friday evenings since it started getting nice outside. We have a glass of wine with some cheese while sitting on the balcony and talk about our crazy week and make plans for the weekend ahead. I look forward to it every week. For this Friday, I wanted to make something special. I always pass by the Lavender stand at the Union Square Farmer’s Market. It is an entire stand dedicated to dried lavender. The farmer is called Lavender by the Bay and they grow their lavender in North Fork, LI. I’m planning to visit the farm this summer because the pictures from their site are stunning. I bought their dried lavender for baking ($5) and decided to make a fancy goat cheese spread. This is an estimate of the proportions I used because I really just eye-balled everything.

Ingredients You Will Need:

1) 8 ounces of goat cheese, softened

2) 2 tablespoons honey

3) 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried baking lavender

4) 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

5) 2 – 3 tablespoons of heavy cream

{Dried lavender flowers}

{Whisk all the ingredients together}

{Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving}

{Spread the love!}

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posted in DIY, RECIPES | tagged CHEESE SPREAD, GOAT CHEESE, LAVENDER, LAVENDER AND HONEY, LAVENDER BY THE BAY | LEAVE A COMMENT
Cherry Blossoms
by LAURA posted on APRIL 18, 2012
Every year, I go to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to marvel at the cherry blossoms. This is one of my favorite things to do in New York. This year, I was surprised at how early the blooms peaked because usually I make this trip in mid-May. I went early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the sight literally took my breath away. I have no words to describe the beauty you just have to see it for yourself! You better hurry though because they are peaked right now. Here’s a glimpse at the cherry blossoms if you can’t make the trip yourself.

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posted in NYC | tagged BROOKLYN BOTANICAL GARDENS, CHERRY BLOSSOMS | 1 COMMENT
Quick Dinner Idea
by LAURA posted on APRIL 17, 2012
Yesterday was our first taste of summer. I was running around all day doing errands, working downtown and sweating like a crazy person. When I got home at 7 pm, the last thing I wanted to do was make dinner. However, I didn’t want to get take out or eat anything too heavy so I created this salad with most of the items from my pantry. I already had peeled raw shrimp in the refrigerator. I hate to sound like Rachael Ray but this meal took me less than 30 minutes to make. The salad had some of my favorite things in it like hearts of palm, black beans, corn and avocado. I made the dressing with lime juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little bit of agave nectar. I’m all about fast, healthy and delicious meals in preparation for bikini season!

{I had all the components to this salad in my pantry and fridge}

{I used spice no. 22 Cataluña from La Boîte á Epice to season the shrimp}

{I added the plantain chip for a fancy touch}