A Sexy Rendezvous at Raines Law Room

Raines Law Room Lounge area

Raines Law Room

I love speakeasies.  I do.  They are so sexy, intimate, and serve up the best cocktails I have ever tasted.  I recently visited one during a girls night out that I had been dying to experience, and it lived up to my expectations.

Raines Law Room included all the ingredients to a lovely prohibition era watering hole – unmarked door; mandatory doorbell ring for admittance in; dimly lit space with mainly the flicker of real candles to light the room; velvety couches to lounge on; and unique touches, like the switch at each table, that when pulled, lights up indicating to your server that you are ready for your next libation.  Then there’s the wallpaper.  When looked at from afar it looks like a baroque pattern of sorts, but when you bring it in close, you see that it is actually quite naughty – think artfully done pornographic outlines (sounds odd, but you really have to look closely, and it’s rather quite tastefully exhibited).

 

wallpaper and call switch at Raines Law room

The unique wallpaper and call switch at each tablepattern of sorts, but when you bring it in close, you see that it is actually quite naughty – think artfully done pornographic outlines (sounds odd, but you really have to look closely, and it’s rather quite tastefully exhibited).

Since I am a sucker for spicy cocktails, my eyes went straight to the San Luis Cup ($13).  This delicious concoction had Mezcal, Ancho Chili Syrup, muddled lime and cucumber, with a dash of sea salt and black pepper, shaken and stirred over cracked ice.  It was smokey, spicy, and quite a treat.  The only problem with the drink was that it went down the hatch to quickly.  The ice didn’t leave too much room for the actual drink, but then again, this place it meant for sipping, not gulping.

 

So if you are looking for a rendezvous for two to a place of sexiness, or secret haven to catch up with a small group of friends (they only allow parties of 6), then ring the door bell,  and step on into Raines Law Room.

 

Raines Law Room – 48 W 17th St, Manhattan, NY 10011

 

bar area of raines law room

Bar area of Raines Law Room

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Smoothies Galore!

Welp, I did it!  I drank only smoothies for 4 days.  To some of you that may sound like a piece of cake (and to you I say, good for you, now kindly keep that to yourself), and for others like myself, chomping into a tomato never sounded so good (and that’s exactly what I did on day five – weird,  maybe,  satisfying, you bet!).

As a result, I lost 4 pounds (which I suspect aren’t really gone, but here’s to wishful thinking), have more energy, and without trying to sound too disgusting, I have really had some very healthy BMs (sorry for the TMI, but I told you I’d be brutally honest).  To get off the potty talk (I have enough of that with my daughter), I’m quite pleased with the results.  I feel like I have jump-started my system, cleansed it out a bit, and now I am ready to take on the next diet of choice, Being Vegan.  Even though I will be introducing whole foods into my diet now, I still plan on having a smoothie a day.  So here is another smoothie recipe for you.

Strawberry Banana Smoothiesmoothie diet

1 cup coconut water (for a creamier smoothie, you can use milk/soy milk/almond milk)

1 banana, broken into chunks

14 frozen strawberries

2 teaspoons of honey

1 teaspoon flaxseed

Enjoy!

Smoothie Diet

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The Smoothie Diet (Recipes Included)

Well, I am officially a Diet Guinea Pig on the Smoothie Diet.  I chose to do the Smoothie Diet as my first diet of the year for two reason:  1) I freakin’ love smoothies, and 2) I got a new handheld blender for Christmas and I wanted to see how much juice this device has.  Technically, I initially wanted to do a juice cleanse, but seeing as though I didn’t have a juicer, and spending a whole bunch of money on juices to be mailed to me didn’t seem appealing, I decided I might as well use what I have, and enjoy me a liquid diet of the non-alcoholic variety for once.  While I was doing my research for it, I realized that this diet is a bit of a fad at the moment, with Jessica Simpson losing her baby weight due to it, and websites dedicated to the Green Smoothie.  My intention is to do the Smoothie Diet for 4 days, having only smoothies, water, and tea, as a way to jumpstart my body.  Though it is not juice I would be drinking, I figured it would have the relative same effects of drinking my fruits, veggies, and vitamins.

A Juice Cleanse is meant to allow your digestive tract to rest, since the vitamins and minerals are easier to absorb into the body, as opposed to your body breaking apart whole food to extract them.  This break that you are giving your digestive tract is supposed to allow it the time to heal itself, and cleanse itself out.  With a Smoothie Cleanse, the  digestive tract does not rest as much as during a juice cleanse, but you are still reaping many of the benefits.  When consuming smoothies, you are getting all parts of the fruits and veggies, whereas with a juicer, you leave behind so much of the actual vegetable or fruit.  With smoothies you are consuming a lot of fiber, which helps to cleanse the body.  So though I am not doing the fancy juice fast (maybe one day I shall), I still get the benefits, which is good in my book (smoothies are yummier than juices anyways).

After doing it for a couple days, I would say I am feeling pretty good.  I do at times have hunger pangs, but I remind myself that I need to make another smoothie or drink some water.  My energy level wasn’t much different the first day, but I did feel a bit more energized the second day.  It really isn’t that difficult to just drink smoothies, except for when my boyfriend is cooking himself dinner, which in that case I don’t allow him to be anywhere near me while consumption.  Shoveling sweetly scented Asian chicken into his mouth as I gazed on would just be plain cruel.  Luckily he knows better than to do so.  I’ve lost some weight, which I attribute to water weight loss, so I expect that once food is re-introduced, and I get to finally use my teeth again, most of those will be back on the scale (bummer).  As a means to stay motivated, I have decided I will go shopping once I have lost 10 pounds.  Ah, chewing and shopping – life’s simple pleasures.

I shall continue on with the smoothies, so here are a couple of my favorite ones:

Smoothie Diet

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie

Strawberry-Pineapple Smoothie

14 Frozen Strawberries

3/4 C Almond Milk (or your milk of choice)

10 Frozen Pineapple Chunks

1/2 C Non-Fat Plain Yogurt

1 T Agave Nectar

 

Yummy Kale Smoothie

1 C Kale

7 Frozen Strawberries

1/2 C Frozen Mixed Berries

Smoothie Diet, Kale Smoothie

Brooke enjoying the Yummy Kale Smoothie

1/2 C Almond Milk

1/2 C Non-Fat Plain Yogurt

1 T Honey

 

You can substitute any kind of milk in the place of the Almond Milk, and to add a bit more healthy goodness, I add a tablespoon of flaxseed to my smoothies as well.  Enjoy!

What are your favorite flavors in smoothies?  Fruits?  Veggies?  Peanut Butter?

 

 

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Right Now, Brooke Loves: Fisher-Price Doodle Pro

Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Travel Green

This toy really has been a god send.  My family resides in California, and my boyfriend’s family lives in Florida, so we have spent many hours traveling by plane.  Last September we were heading back to California for my 10 year reunion (I’m dating myself now), and wanted some new toys for the airplane ride.  Bret came back with this toy, and it really has been one of the best purchases that we have ever made.  On that flight she used it for over thirty minutes straight, and we both got to close our eyes and relax (I know, unheard of right?).  Since then she has been obsessed with this incredibly inexpensive, simple toy.  Without exaggeration, she uses this Doodle Pro every day, without fail.  As a result, her drawing has improved drastically, and she knows how to hold a writing utensil correctly.  She’ll draw characters, shapes, letters, and anything her imagination can come up with.  I use it with her regularly to teach her numbers and to practice her letters, and she just loves it.  I attribute her ability to write almost her entire alphabet (and she is only a few months over 3 years old!).  And best of all, when you are done drawing, or your attempt at drawing a walrus goes horribly wrong, with one swipe of a knob, you can erase the screen and start over.  Perfect size for travel anywhere, and extremely durable (she drops it all the time).  I can’t recommend it enough, and I am sure she can’t either.  Enjoy!

If you are interested in finding out a bit more about this, you can go here: Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Travel Green

We also have the Classic version of the doodle, which is bigger, and comes with 2 stampers.  She loves this one as well, but this one just stays at home.  For more info on that one, go here: Classic Doodler With 2 Stampers, Classic Blue

What are some of your favorite toys to bring along while traveling?

Drawing Toys

Some of her letters a couple months ago (shortly after turning 3). Now, she can write her full name (first and last). This really is a great toy!

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The Birth of a Diet Guinea Pig

Diet Guinea PigWell, it’s the start of a new year, and just like everyone else, my health is at the top of my goals list (remember, focusing on the balls).  Last year I managed to lose 25 lbs, but by the end of the year (and a bunch of Taco Tuesdays later), I was only able to keep off 15 of it.  I realized last year that there seemed to be a million different diets/lifestyles out there with conflicting information.  Now that I have eaten up the last of the junk food in the house (I’m not one to be wasteful, of course), it’s time to try out a bunch of these diets/lifestyles and see what works and benefits me the most.  I intend to spend the year finding out the good and the bad of each lifestyle of eating.  Some might be tougher to stick to than others, but I’m not one to judge based on a lack of meat, carbs, or cooking.

*The one rule I plan to incorporate will be my one cheat day per week.  Whether that means cooking a Paula Deen dessert containing a stick and a half of butter (Fine, I’ll try to keep it to under a stick for healths sake), or ordering the buffalo wings at the bar, this one day is a non-negotiable.

Diet Guinea Pig Rule:

“Thou shalt consume any and all finger-licking and fat-producing foods that I so choose, with the limit of once per week.”

**Alcohol is excluded in the above statement.  I allow myself bubbly or a specialty cocktail (In moderation, obviously – hangovers hurt) whenever I choose, with the stipulation I work out that day.  That seems like a reasonable trade off, since heading to the gym isn’t fun yet (make me work for those drinks).

Now to get this guinea pig going, I shall start out with the Smoothie Diet.

Are you trying out any new eating habits as your New Years Resolution?

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How to get Kissably Soft Lips Naturally

During the winter the elements can wreak havoc on our luscious lips.  To help battle this I have some tips on how to keep your lips kissably soft throughout the winter, and year round.

Tips to heal chapped lips, or keep your lips soft and healthy:

1.  Drink Plenty of Water – Since chapped lips are mainly a result of dehydration, drinking enough water will help to eliminate your chapped lips.

2.  Don’t Lick Your Lips – If you lick your lips, the saliva dries quickly, thus drying out your lips quicker, causing chapped lips.  If you have chapped lips, and a habit of licking your lips, you need to work hard to stop this habit.

3.  Limit Exposure to the Elements – Dry wind/air, and bright sun can cause dry lips, so make sure to use a lip balm that has sunscreen in it if you spend a lot of time outdoors.

4.  Keep Your Lips Moisturized – There has been some words that petroleum based lip balms are not the wisest choice when it comes to chapped lips.  It has been said that it does not allow the skin of the lips to breath, therefore causing more dehydration of the cells, which in turn leads to more chapped lips.  Your best bet is to go with natural products and remedies that include natural butters and oils (I will list some below that work wonders).

5.  Exfoliate Your Lips – This will help to get rid of some of the dry skin, and moisturize in the process.  Below is an all natural, oh so yummy exfoliate you can make yourself:

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon of brown or white sugar
1/2 teaspoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
a pinch of powdered cinnamon

These ingredients work well to exfoliate, hydrate, and moisturize all at the same time!

all natural exfoliatorHow to use:

  • Mix ingredients together in small bowl.
  • Using your index finger, rub on dry lips gently, in small circular motions.
  • Scrub 2-3 minutes.
  • Wipe with a warm washcloth.
  • Apply chap stick/lip balm to lock in moisture.
  • Uses once-twice per week (Over exfoliating can cause damage to sensitive skin cells)

When looking for Lip Balms, here are some of the natural ingredients you can look for:

  • beeswax, coconut oil, almond oil make lip balmBeeswax
  • Shea Butter
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coconut Butter or Oil
  • Almond Butter
  • Jojoba Oil

Also, you can take some of these all natural items and use them for your very own home remedy, such as:

-Coconut Oil applied straight to lips works wonders, without being too greasy

-Lanolin (yes, the stuff used during breastfeeding) when applied at night, you will wake up with soft lips

-Aloe Vera, which we already know is great for skin, can be applied to the lips to help make them nice and supple again.

-Cucumbers, known as a wonderful spa treatment for minimizing  puffiness, can also be used on your lips.  Cucumbers are more than 90% water, so they are great for hydration.

diy lip balm recipeKeeping with being all natural, you could always make your very own lip balm.  Here is a  recipe from Angry Chicken you can follow:

1 tsp. cocoa butter

1 tsp. shea butter

1 tsp. almond oil

a splash of Vitamin E oil

15 drops of sweet orange essential oil

Melt it down, and put it into a container of your choosing (a tin, lip balm tubes, etc).  Put it in the fridge to let it set, and by morning it should be good to go.

If making your own lip balm sounds like a bit more effort than you are willing to put in, then here are some of the top natural lip balms out there:

1.  Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

2.  Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25, Mint

3.  Loving Naturals 100% Organic, Unscented Hemp Lip Balm

4.  Treat Soft Candy Vanilla Buttercream Old Fashioned Jumbo Flavored Lip Balm

5.  Pangea Organics Lip Balm, Italian Red Mandarin With Rose

6.  Alba Hawaiian Lip Balm, Coconut Cream

Now that you naturally know how to have chap-free lips, get out there and pucker up!

My name

natural kissable lips

Courtesy of Angry Chicken, and Spaweek.com

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The Rest is Just Sand

Golf Ball on BeachThe other day I was just stalking friends flipping through facebook, when one of my long time friends shared a photo with a blurb attached to it.  Usually when I have to click “see more” to read the entire passage, I quickly lose any desire to do so, assuming it is going to be some chain letter-esque story or some politically motivated spiel about gun rights.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s been some life changing stories that I have missed because I am too lazy busy being productive to click one more share button.  Believe me, I’m all for people using those arrows that point to their picture that says, “This person believes in preserving the 2nd Amendment.”  Whatever other people like to do on facebook is cool by me, I’d just much rather check out the latest pics I have been tagged in.

Anyways, I suppose I read this one because it had a note attached to the blurb saying “People should read this please and thank you” from my friend (I guess that was enough of an arm twist for me), and I am actually glad I did.  Rather than share it on facebook, I decided to write a whole post about it, so in the words of my dear friend –

People should read this please and thank you.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.”

After making a list of resolutions last year, and checking back this year realizing that I only continued to work on a couple of them (they were big things at least – my health and relationship), I decided that taking care of my “golf balls” first pretty much encompasses all that is important to work on.  Happier, Healthier Me, gives off to Happier Relationship and Child, and all else follows  in suit.  Here’s to 2013!

Did you make any New Years Resolutions this year?

 

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Cheers!

New Years 2013

Happy New Years!

New Year, New Blog!  Welcome to Simply Bubbly.  I’m a 20 something mommy, who loves bubbly (champagne, prosecco, cava – Yes Please!), that can’t wait to welcome you into my lil’ world.  Hope you enjoy the ride.  Cheers to a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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Sorry for Being MIA

Two months have passed, and I can’t believe where the time has gone.  After being out of commission due to Hurricane Sandy, then going into my busiest time of year, there were many moments where I wanted to write something, yet never got around to actually doing it.  No more excuses.. I’m sorry for the disappearance, but I look forward to chugging along with this blog into the coming year.

XOXO

Denise

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Bucket List # 21: Learning a Second Language

languageI recently took the first step to knocking one of my more long term goals off my bucket list:  #21  – Learn a Second Language.  There was a deal on Groupon for Babbel.com, which is a website where you can learn a language at your own place.  It has a bunch of short lessons that build on one another, allowing you to move as slow or as quickly as you are capable.  When you use it on a computer a mic is needed, so that it can monitor your pronunciation, and if you are on the go, it has a mobile app that you can use.

This has been one of the things I have wanted to do for a long time.  I learned Spanish in high school (took 2 years), and actually can remember a lot of it.  Since I have a foundation, though maybe slightly rusty, I feel that I should continue on with that language.  As a whole, I think it might come more in handy around where I live.  The thing is though, I think French is such a beautiful language, and I’ve always wanted to learn it (and probably would have if it were an option in high school).  It is on my bucket list to live outside the US, and France is at the top of my list of where I would move to.  I know if I were to move, I would need to know French, but I’m torn that I would not use it as much on a daily basis while I’m living here.  Spanish is the second most spoken language in the US, with French in third, both behind English, but if you look at it on a larger scale, Spanish always falls within the top four spoken languages world wide, behind Chinese (and depending on which study, it can be behind English and Hindi as well).  French does not even fall under the top 10 languages worldwide.  Does this matter?  I don’t know.  What would you choose – A language you could easily continue on with since you already know the basics, and could use more regularly, or starting from scratch a language I would not use frequently here, but would love to learn, and hope to use in the future?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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