Good Morning! Happy Monday! Merry Week of Christmas!
This weekend, I had a great time enjoying Christmas in New York City, but before we can get to that it’s time for some music. And this time I was in the mood for some club music. Enjoy in your sparkliest clothing.
Spaceship (feat. Kelis, Apl.de.ap., & Jean Baptiste) by Benny Bennassi
Set Fire to the Rain (128 BPM Dizzman mix) by DJ Dizzy
C’mon by Tiesto & Diplo
Someone Like You (extended vocal mix) by Carlos Gallardo
I have never baked vegan cookies before – at least not a version that wasn’t meant to be a healthified, protien-amped up or omega-saturated version. These cookies, while devoid of trans fat and packing a little protein from the use of whole wheat flour, are most definitely worthy of the name cookie.
The dough balls are yummy, ooey-gooey amazingness. I had to hide them lest I eat the whole batch. I split the batch into two, and put white chocolate and peanut butter chips in one, and Mama’s recommendation of peanut chips and carob chips in the other batch. (Baking note: I cut down the salt slightly and found that the dough couldn’t absorb the last little amount – maybe 1/4 cup of flour.)
The salted chocolate chip cookies were the ones I had the most hope for and they disappointed me. Although this could be entirely my fault, since I thought the dough was too wet looking and added about a 1/4 cup more flour. The cookies are good, but they taste healthy. I would not recommend adding extra flour, and maybe reducing the salt in the dough.
The sugar cookies were also wonderful. I personally prefer a little bit chewier cookie, but these were excellent. And the frosting tastes like the real thing, although I had to use a lot more powdered sugar. I think that could be because I don’t own one of those fancy Kitchen Aid Mixer’s, and was using a fork (!) to whip up my icing. Still it came out delicious. (Baking note: If you like sweet sugar cookies or don’t plan on adding frosting, omit the salt. Also cookies are super-duper crumbly fresh out of the oven so handle the cookies with care.)
Now all that’s left to do is find myself a cookie monster to help me eat these cookies. Any volunteers?
Here’s my new music for the week:
Malo (Radio Edit) by Aviici
Roll (feat. Sean Kingston) by Flo Rida
Take Care (feat. Rihanna) by Drake
Talk that Talk (feat. Jay-Z) by Rihanna
Till The World Ends (The Femme Fatale Remix) feat. Nicki Minaj & Ke$ha) by Britney Spears (side note: the lyrics are sort of hilarious)
What are you listening to this week? Do you ever try baking “healthified” versions of the traditional favorites?
This weekend things got a little crazy: I went to New Jersey.
I know. Can you believe it? What has this world come to?
But New Jersey has it’s perks.
I will never get sick of looking at this.
Such as good views of New York City and lower tax rates. Also some really good friends came from there and the most upstanding and intelligent colleagues hail from New Jersey. So don’t let Snooki and the Real Housewives and Tony Soprano sour your opinion of the state. Just don’t be surprised if you come across a bump-it or two as well.
This week I’m off to another state with it’s own set of misconstrued stereotypes – Michigan. And more specifically, Detroit. This weekend holds a lot of great things but before we can get there, it’s time to share my favorite tunes of the week.
You Da One by Rihanna (I think I have a girl crush on her. I love everything she does.)
Sail by AWOLNATION
Princess of China by Coldplay and Rihanna
Ni**as in Paris by Kanye West and Jay-Z (I so wish the title of this song was something else, but the beat is sick.)
Moment for Life by Nikki Minaj
In the Dark by Dev
What are your holiday plans? What are you listening to now? How do you find new music to listen to?
Hmmm, are you confused right now. I mean what does Detroit have to do with Music Monday. Is this a Motown-themed music week?
Well, that depends on what you think of when you hear the term “Motown”. Do you think Diana Ross and the Jackson Five?
Yeah, me too. But that’s not what it really means to me. To me Motown means home.
And this weekend, I went back to Detroit to run a the Detroit Half Marathon.
It’s true. I did that. And it was awesome. Not in the I-ran-a-PR type of way but in the way that my running company was beyond comparison and my cheering squad was out of this world. You can’t ask for much more.
And though this weekend, music did not fuel me at all – the support of my family and friends did. I still had a few songs to listen to, and so here you are.
And like any song worthy of Detroit, please, roll the windows down and crank up the volume.
We’ve Got Tonight by Bob Seger
Wait for Me (feat. Lupe Fiasco) by Big Sean
Work Out by J. Cole
Picture by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow
Backseat (feat. the Cataracs & Dev) by by New Boyz
Woooeee, this week has been a doozy already and it’s only Wednesday, or it is Monday? I can’t keep track of my days anymore.
First of all, here are some things I just feel like saying. No idea why I have such an urgent need to get these things off my chest, but I do. Please forgive me if it doesn’t make sense.
Why didn’t I wear a coat yesterday? The nasty humidity that sat over the city for the month of September has officially left, leaving cool days behind. And yet, I’m still wandering around the city minus a coat and in flip flops. I’m thinking this must be combination of running outside in just shorts and a long sleeved top plus my Michigan roots. To me fifty degrees is beach weather. No?
I love New Girl and Suburgatory. New Girl makes me want to cut bangs, die my hair black and watch Dirty Dancing. Suburgatory sucked me in before Modern Family. And they say that life is all about location, location, location.
There is a new Florence + the Machine album coming. I love, love, love Florence + the Machine. The “Dog Days are Over” is my all time favorite running song. You could play it to me in the middle of child labor and I would have to get up and start running. My running playlist has three different versions of “Dog Days Are Over” on it, because I just can’t get enough.
Harvard’s Healthy Plate is awesome. Finally someone with some serious street cred comes out and says that we don’t need to get a daily dose of dairy products. Although, I’m a little disappointed to find out that french fries don’t count as a vegetable anymore. Sighhhhhh…..
Organic Avenue pissed me off. After all the wedding eating, champagne, and lack of sleep, my body needed some lovin’, so first thing Monday I headed right for some Veggie Vibe. But the nutrition label had been updated to show that the juice had 446 calories and 39 grams of fat. I confirmed that the information was correct with the clerk, went to work and shot off the nastiest email to the company lambasting them for deceiving me for months with their nutrition labels. A curt email a little while later, assured me that the label I saw was a typo. I’m not convinced yet, but I let it go.
Is anyone else having problems connecting to satellites in Central Park? My Garmin searched so long and hard yesterday, that it gave up twice on me yesterday. What is going on?
I don’t really care about baseball, so do I really have to pick Yankees or Tigers? Can’t I just continue to be oblivious of baseball happenings unless I’m in the actual stadium with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other? But if you want to ask me about my favorite college football team, please do. Chances are I will tell you even if you don’t ask anyway.
I love J. Cole. I downloaded some of his songs this week and they have been rocking my world like no song has in quite some time. I love me a good rap song – I guess that’s the Detroit in me.
And with that, I’m done rambling. Here’s my music for the week. Try to not dance to them. I dare you.
Strange Clouds (feat. Lil Wayne) by B.o.B.
Mr. Nice Watch (feat Jay Z) by J. Cole
Dog Days are Over (The B-Sides, Yeasayer mix) by Florence + the Machine
Seeing as how I’m the type of person who has regular blog feature about music, you’d think that I couldn’t even take two steps without plugging into my music.
And for a long time, that’s exactly how things worked. The iPod’s not charged? Well, I guess I’ll do my run after work and a good charging session? The speakers aren’t working right? Let’s take a detour by Duane Reade to grab a replacement set. The battery died mid-run. Time to count every step all the way back home
For years and years, running and music went together likes peas in a pod for me. Until one day it didn’t. That day I was running with my Garmin and obsessively monitoring my splits. Near the end of every mile, I would stare at my watch so intently to catch the split that in hindsight I’m really surprised I didn’t trip or run someone over. And then the little ‘pod died, and it was just me and Garmin for over five quiet miles.
Or, more like five fast miles.
That run ended up being one of my fastest of the summer. I guess it turns out that the reason I love running to music, is also the reason I shouldn’t always run to music: it’s a distraction.
This past week, I ran once without an iPod and a second time, I voluntarily shut it down mid run and ran to the beat of my heart and breath. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still like a good song. There is nothing like a new song to get the blood flowing, but this week all my headphone free runs left my music collection lacking.
This week I’m listening to:
All Night Long (feat. Missy Elliot & Timberland) by Demi Lovato
Lay ‘Em Down by the Outsiders
We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) by Rihanna
Bulletproof (Dave Aude Cherry Radio remix) by La Roux
Oh man, last week was not a good week. I can’t give you an specific reason except to say that I just felt grumpy and angry and irritated all week long.
The good thing about a bad week is that it always ends. And this one did….on a great note with an awesome almost ten mile run.
And though, I’d like to tell you that the reason that ten mile run was so awesome was because my music was just so awesomely motivating, I’d be lying.
Because the ‘pod died mid-run. Tear.
Now, it’s not officially done because it worked today, but it’s reaching the end of it’s life. It’s cranky and temperamental, and it works perfectly fine until I start working out. I guess it’s had enough of my sweating.
But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t go out to run fully equipped with motivating music. I actually even rearranged my playlist and cleared out some songs that I didn’t care to run to anymore.
This week, I’m loving:
Mr. Saxobeat by Tribute Mega Stars
Marry the Night by DJ Wallace Mays (a Lady Gage remix)
Nope, nope, and nope. None of those. I went because I liked it.
Sitting on a bike, or anything really, for an hour and a half and not going anywhere despite a bucket of sweat and maybe a few tears, is maddening stuff – except when you’ve got the right music and words.
And Saturday mornings at the NYSC in Union Square one of the best spinning teachers ever taught two classes in a row – and I sure as hell wasn’t going to miss out on even one minute of it. And, if you think I’m the only nutball to do this, let me correct you: Not only did about half of the class stay for both sessions, but people would line up at the door for the class. I’d even witnessed a fight or two for the last remaining bike.
No, we’re not all going insane here. Instead, were here for the magic.
Some like to motivate by offering words of inspiration and encouragement. “You came here for a reason. This set is it,” says one teacher. “This is your hardest piece of work today,” says another, likening a workout to a physical thing that we give to ourselves.
Others create fictional scenarios, in which we must call upon our imaginations and glycogen stores in equal measure. “Imagine your ex is chasing you up this hill,” says one shrill voiced instructor. “Think of someone in your life who needs you in some way; they are standing at the finish line waiting for you,” says another.
Some don’t even need to use words. They just climb up on the bike in front and sweat it out with us. Their breathy voices, shouting out commands. One teacher, who had the most estatic following I’ve ever seen, wouldn’t say little besides a short, “Yeah,” and always rapping a ringed finger on his bike – perhaps in encouragement or lost in his own cycling high. Another never stepped on a bike, but would lift his hands and face to the sky, almost as if praising the spinning gods – or maybe to get a breath of fresh air from all the stinky spinners.
But lately, I’ve become enamored with a teacher who likes to take a interactive approach to class. He repeatedly asks us for a ”Hell yeah!” in class. I’m generally not one to hollar out during class, but his infectious requests get to me. Even though, I’m not the loudest or most enthusiastic, I love to hear him ask the class.
And then, last week he asked us to sing. Excuse me? I can barely breathe, let alone sing. But that’s what he wanted us to do. And then he climbed off his bike, onto one of the empty bikes in the room, jacked up the music and when it was time, he sang:
“I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier. I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier…”
It was not what I expected, but it was awesome. Thank you!
From my spinning class,
All these things that I’ve done by the Killers (The ”I’ve got soul song)
Girls Like You by the Naked and Famous
Not Over You by Gavin DeGraw
You and I by Lady Gaga
But don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself.
It’s ironic that a day anointed with the word “labor” is all about doing anything but…
Most labor days, I pass the time being completely useless, lazy, and just a little bit gluttonous.
- and with rightful reason.
The official end of summer isn’t until September 22nd, it might as well be over for all intents and purposes.
The pools are closed, school has started, football has kicked off and fashion week is beckoning. It’s fall, even if it isn’t official according to the calendar.
So this Monday’s music is in memoriam to summer. The summer that was this year and every year.
Isn’t funny how every summer is it’s own spectacle and yet with the pools, suns, beaches, barbeques, vacations, humidity, sand, air conditioning, mosquito bites, and sun burns, it’s always the same, no matter when and where you are.
So it’s no surprise that summer is about juicy, groovy, little tunes that you can dance to with a margarita in hand and a little sundress.
Take country music for example. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of country any day of the week. I don’t hate country music at all…in fact I respect their ballad writing and guitar strumming skills. But the easy melodies of country just don’t get me moving. It’s just not my thing.
Same goes for rock music too. So when I saw that one of the top selling albums on iTunes was a rock band, my eyes glazed over.
But somehow, indescribeably, Mat Kearney has found his way into my heart…and I may never let him leave.
To be fair, I’m not sure why Mat is in the rock genre. He sound is a little bluesy, a little alternative, and a little folksy.
Here’s some of my Mat Kearney favorites plus a few other songs too: