Thursday, December 23, 2010

NYC trip

I've been back for a week now and I still haven't downloaded our NYC photos. I read up on photographing NYC at night but often I didn't want to take my second baby out in the weather.
So here's some photos that capture our trip (and are much better than what I would have actually taken).

2) There was a huge race Saturday and many people dressed like Santa. We ran into large groups of them all day.

3) Something about the lights of NYC at Christmas. Here: Saks Fifth Ave LED snowflake lights and Rockefeller Center Herald Angels.

4) Lucky enough to score tickets to The Addams Family with Nathan Lane (hilarious!) and Bebe Neuwirth (Lillith).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Angel Bloggess

My heart always aches for the people who won't have Christmas dinner or have to make up excuses for kids who they can't afford presents for.
This gal
did a small good deed that avalanched into helping a thousand people.
God bless you Bloggess.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Elini's in NYC

Eleni's in NYC. Saw them on Food Network last year, and went to visit them last weekend. Beautiful cookies and cupcakes but not worth the calories. A better bet: Magnolia in NYC, Sprinkles in LA and Cupcake A La Mode in Kansas City. (Not that I'm an expert in this topic.)

Elinis was ok, but I was uber-impressed with Chelsea Market. One Lucky Duck (raw, vegan and organic, but mostly just tasty) and the Lobster Market - yum!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

marketing wisdom from Zen gal

I love this "marketing for freelancers" post by Shama, particularly the way she describes what marketing is and is not.

Speaking of marketing, my book draft is almost done. Watch for "Mission-Centered Marketing" in 2011. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Phit? Chicks?

I've never been asked, but I know you wonder.

What the heck does Phit mean?

And "chicks" isn't the most flattering term for women. Doesn't sound very Angela.

Well, in 2002 I moved to Liberty MO to be with Mr. Right and was uber-disappointed that there were no decent aerobic studios. No suspended wood floors, no sound systems that played anything that actually resembled music, none of it. A Spinning bike? yeah right. A Reformer? Is that a religion or a political party?

I was teaching 8 or 10 classes a week and had been for 20 years, so this was a tough change.

I signed up to teach a 6am step class at the community center. Six months later, I couldn't walk down the stairs. (Bad floors = painful knees.) I had previously been a part of some really successful small group personal training for women (ala "Club La Femme" 1999 - 2002), so I started some groups so I could work out and sorta teach.

The ladies in these groups created a community that became very special to me. Their friendship was just one of the many rewards. See this and this and this.

One of these friends was Lauren Chapin. She dubbed our community "chicks."

Lauren was the restaurant critic for the Kansas City Star. She was a gem. A farm girl raised in Weston, MO, she appreciated home-grown food and loved organic before organic was cool. She had chickens in her backyard so she could have fresh eggs for breakfast. She made fun of the egg beaters I bought.

Lauren was a class act. She may have been born and raised a farm girl, but in every conversation with her I learned something amazing about her. She taught sculling at Harvard. She studied at Oxford. She won numerous awards for her writing.

Lauren encouraged me to call us "chicks" because "that's what we are, for crying out loud."

She was (and is) 100% right. Miss you girlfriend.

Now, about "Phit."

Laura Mazi is another person I became friends with when I moved to Liberty. Another super-amazing person with a big heart & creative mind.

Laura was (and still is) a middle school media specialist (that's a librarian and then some). She spent time around kids that age, who at the time were calling cool things "Phat."

Phat meant cool.

I loved the juxtaposition of fat and phat. "Fit" being spelled a bit non-traditionally, was also appealing to me. Seemed to sum up my philosophy about health.

Every day I see a new, beautiful blog with a classy name and gorgeous design. But I feel like honoring my friend's suggestions, even if "chicks" is going the way of the 8-track tape.

There are memories and lessons from Phit Chicks that I will always value. Like when the "Candy Woman" did 21 push-ups at the end of the same year she'd survived breast cancer.

So, for now, Phit Chicks will remain our blog title. I'm not one to oppose progress, so I hope you'll email me if you have a better one in mind.

White and Wintery

There was snow blowing around when I drove to work today. Maybe that's why this white room looked particularly gorgeous this morning.

images via This is Glamorous (where I am spending more and more time - beautiful posts!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

step deja vu

In 1996, Larry Durant & I taught a step workshop to aerobics instructors at Lakeshore Athletic Club.

I'm at a conference at the Fairmont Millenium Park in Chicago, and this morning I walked over to the health club that the hotel sends guests to for workouts. Stood there and felt a deja vu thing.

Then I remembered -- November 1996. Packed studio of 100+ sweaty, enthusiastic instructors.

Some of it is funny now. The Madonna-mic, the capri tights, the CASSETTE tapes of the perfect workout mix we toiled over for hours. We were step rock stars.

Today, I watched the teachers in the studio who seem SO YOUNG and SO FIT and I really miss those days. Endless hours of cardio with no knee pain. Wearing sports bras with no worry about a t-shirt to cover baby-belly.

Wouldn't trade my place in life for anything, but, well "those were the days, my sweaty friends!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

hanging in there

This is a crazy-busy, exciting time of year in my work life.

This photo (that Mr Right sent me) made me smile. All is so good for me.

Friday, November 05, 2010

C'mon Girls. McCain's daughter slams Bristol Palin for not voting.

Not voting is not Phit, Bristol. Huge mistake.

Apparently Bristol Palin "forgot to vote" Tuesday. Then Meaghan McCain slammed her for it on national tv.

Girls, girls, girls.

Growing up with this kind of priviledge and family connections, I would have hoped for more from both of you. Politics aside, you both look silly now.

Monday, November 01, 2010

how long 'til Halloween?

This was not my Halloween.

This was:

Only 364 days until I get to do it again. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

the Ballerina Project

The Ballerina Project - ballerinas photographed in NYC - is amazing!
I must start saving for series of these prints for my home office.

Belle et brillant~

Thursday, October 28, 2010

bubbles for baby girl?

Thanks Melisa for giving me another budget temptation. This time it's crewcuts, JCrew's miniatures.
Don't you think my daughter needs this sequin bubble skirt in heirloom pink?
I will not buy a two-year old a skirt that takes $129 out of my pocket. But a girl (and a mom) can dream, right?
Maybe Santa Claus...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I would love to believe...

I would love to believe:

that no one watches these pathetic shows or this one or (even though Orange County CA is one of my favorite places in the world) this one

that everyone supports Kiva and other organizations that teach people to take care of themselves

that no one eats crap like fried beer

that people can learn to listen to opposing political beliefs with compassion and intellect

and most of all,

that all children feel the love my daughter does.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

phit web faves

I wish I could order these jack-o-lantern balloons!

Thanks Franki for letting me in on Eddie Ross's gorgeous decorating & entertaining blog and these photos of Anna Della Russo and her amazing (47 year-old!) legs. I am back on my "strict" nutrition program.

Are you getting enough rest? Shape magazine has this nifty sleep needs calculator.
My fantasy shopping list this month includes: colorful cake stands, this jacket for work, a raspberry lemonade cupcake (oops, sorry strict program, slipped my mind for a second), and Lululemon's skidless towel for sweaty yoga sessions.
I need some new cardio playlists. This one from Fitness magazine might be a good start.
I bought a Holga camera in the spring and still haven't found time to play with it. Anybody a Holga pro?
Images via Eddie Ross and Life in a Venti Cup

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

nursing moms - best idea EVER!

Kudos to Joanna for posting these goodies for nursing moms. I thought these nursing tops by this Swedish brand were especially brilliant. For one year I lugged a pump around (sometimes frustrated) and it would have been so nice to have had the option to be a little more discreet.

image via Boobs Nursing Wear

Monday, October 18, 2010

Women Who Inspire

I'm loving Donna Karan's new website, Women Who Inspire.
Susan Sarandon, one of my all-time favorite actors, is one of the featured women.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

a good five pounds to lose

I'm struggling with balancing my vanity and my health.

Make up.

There's the aesthetic draw. I love the beautiful colors of lipstick and nail polish. I don't even polish my nails, my manicures are "buff only."

But skipping foundation would be the absolute best thing for me. And my 40+ skin isn't exactly office-ready without it.

Putting chemicals on your skin is actually far worse than ingesting them. When you eat something the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break it down and flush it out of your body. Cosmetics absorb directly.

Women who wear make-up daily absorb five pounds of chemicals into their body each year.


This does make the IPL facial make sense. I got one a year ago and loved the results. Something about spending the money on a laser (though you can barely call it that) treatment seems shallow and vain.

Though I'm now thinking it may be healthier.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another fave belly-flattener

These posts are kind of funny to write, as my belly is still anything but flat two-years after a late-in-life C-section. I am still confident that I wouldn't enjoy the strength (and healthy back) that I do if it's weren't for dedication to Pilates and yoga.

My other favorite belly flattener is a variation on yoga's "Dead Bug" pose. I just added some lower body movement to challenge the internal obliques and lower rectus abdominis (that would be the "six-pack" in super-lean folks).

This really targets the "Abercrombie muscle" -- or the low, low abdominal muscles that you see on the jean's posters in the Abercrombie & Fitch stores. :)

green tea

Green tea really is greener: it has a smaller carbon footprint than black tea or coffee.

For some reason the FDA hasn't verified it, but many studies show the health benefits of drinking green tea.

My favorite, by far, is Tazo Zen served at Starbucks. For a less-expensive version, I've found that I can brew two green tea bags and one mint tea bag and get a small pot of something very close.

Fun things to do this weekend

It will be a good weekend. We are hosting friends tonight from Colorado, then tomorrow taking the baby girl to the fall festival to pick out a pumpkin.

I always have a "fantasy to-do list" and here it is for Friday, the 15th. Sharing it for anybody with a free hour or two.

Plan a trip and buy a round-the-world plane ticket.

Schedule some free time in your calendar next week. And if you're feeling guilty about it, read these thoughts on "The best reasons I've found for backing the f*** off."

Make caramel apples. Be sure to decorate them.

Make a parody video of your favorite music video. These kids did Lady Gaga's Bad Romance and matched it screen shot-for-screen shot. With Flip video cameras. Amazing. I thought I was techno-hip and cool when I made a mix tape in college.

I don't know why I got distracted on YouTube, but here's how to make your eyes big and bubble-like a la Lady Gaga in above mentioned video. I won't be putting those drops or contacts anywhere near my eyes, thank you very much, but I am astounded at the art of make-up. And continually impressed with what youngsters can create with a Mac.

Make this Ricotta and Zuchinni Tomato Tart. Yum.

Help a niece, nephew or neighbor pick a Halloween costume.

Know how to sew? (Wish I did.) Make this bow pencil skirt. Darling!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Pilates "belly flatteners"

All the fitness magazines are featuring Pilates exercises, and I decided to share my favorite "belly flattening" exercise, the Roll-up.

The key to learning the Roll-up is to start with one knee slightly bent. Then as you get stronger begin to straighten that leg, until you can complete the exercise with both legs straight.

If that doesn't help, try putting a folded towel in the small of your back for a little assistance, again removing it when you gain strength.

The key to making the Roll-up effective is to keep your heels on the ground and "peel" your vertabrae up from the floor one at a time.

I knew I had healed from my C-section when I could do the Roll-up again.

Models are typically not in their 40's. Give a girl a break. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fast Track Your Career

On the flight home from a long one-day business trip (up at 4, airport at 5:30, back home at 9pm, that kind of day), I treated myself to a magazine. Here's a few juicy tidbits I pulled from a Women's Health article on "Fast Track Your Career."

*Fast-track your career by connecting with co-workers, not by churning out killer projects or clocking long hours. I have the book that was the source for this article, and it's quite good.

*Set your alarm to go off in the afternoon and let that be your cue for a five-minute doorway conversation. Don't blow off socializing. People who are laid off in the current recession have a much more difficult time landing their next job than those who don't have strong office relationships.

*Gossip wisely. Be brief. Apparently we can learn from the men here. Men will say "so and so is an a**hole" while women tend to get emotionally involved and have a hard time letting go.

P.S. Better book by Lois Frankel: See Jane Lead.

Carrie "gams" Underwood

I don't follow country music AT ALL, but I was impressed with the Women's Health article on Carrie Underwood.

Her exercise routine. {yoga, weight training, cardio, abs, abs, abs, workouts with her trainer Eve Overland}

Her nutrition. {quesadillas with low-sodium black beans, tomatoes, onions, and fat-free cheese combined with real cheese - so it melts. I mean, she has practiced this stuff until it's just right.}

But mostly, her legs. Wow.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

GI Jane

GI Jane's (aka Demi) was pretty impressive with those push-ups. I still remember that amazing strength (in what was only a mediocre movie).

Got nothin' on my girl M though...check out these pull-ups at our local Arboretum.

baby girl names

I came acrossed this list of the current top 100 baby names.

I laughed when I saw "Evelyn" still on the rise. This is my baby girl's name and it comes from her Great Grandmother, who has been aching for a baby to be named after her for decades (she has 40 grandchildren now!). Needless to say, she was thrilled when my girl's middle name was announced as Evelyn.

Funny thing, the very next year Evelyn appeared on the top names list at number 50.
Now it's 39.

Do you have secret baby names?

If I had twin girls, they'd be Norah and Lucie.

Norah for Ephron and Jones, and Lucie for my Mom's middle name, Lucille, and because I just think it's darling.

I recently found my handwritten list of name ideas I scratched out early in my pregnancy. (This was before Mr Right found "Mirabella" in a baby name book - that was our instant winner.)
My short list included:

Mirabella, how did I know exactly who you were? :)

photo of my girl in Chanel-inspired pink herringbone suit I bought THE DAY I found out I was having a girl