Wine & Dine, Winnie

Last week, I went to a Tasting Table event in their Test Kitchen. The space itself was very homey, since it is basically a renovated apartment turned into huge kitchen and open area for private dining.

I immediately went straight for the food wall, grabbing the cool rectangular plate that had a hole for the wine glass. Finally, someone out there remembered how awkward networking events are with a hand of food and another hand with a beverage. Now we can all shake hands (although none were exchanged at this event…)

an event planner’s must-have

My favorite part of this night was not the free soju citrus cocktail, but the amazing crispy rice passed hors d’oeuvres. About an inch in diameter, grilled to perfect, with unidentified pink toppings (don’t know if it was fish or vegetables), I had to keep an eagle’s eye out for fresh plates.

winnie & crispy rice
winnie eating ALL the crispy rice that are coming outta the kitchen

I tried searching through social media for a beautiful photo of this, but no luck. Guess the event was too private 🙁

If you’re interested in trying out the crispy rice, I would recommend Koi. In NYC, they are usually listed for Restaurant Week, which is twice a year in January and September. Here is an awesome photo, from the restaurant itself:

koi crispy rice, yummm
koi crispy rice, yummm

I don’t have an Air-Fry so a pan will do. Can’t wait to try this myself after watching this tutorial (and here, if you need to read / print) by Misha.


Winnie, Work & Career

Today was my United Women in Business event with Citizen’s Mark. Good group and attentive audience. Looking forward to the new headshots (by Adeline Ramos) in my email inbox, but in the meantime, this looks just like me right?

winnie in citizen's mark blazer
winnie dressed in the Citizen’s Mark classic fit navy blazer size 0, top – unknown brand, pants – Banana Republic Sloan slim fit, size 0P

Will edit tomorrow with an event recap and thoughts!

[[ EDIT: Wed, Oct 7, 2015 ]]

I wanted to give my thanks to Cynthia Salim for being super easy to work with, inspiring, and sponsoring the yummy cheese & wine (because who doesn’t love vino and small snacks)!

winnie Citizen's Mark grey blazer
winnie not digging the grey color

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Wellness & Workout, Winnie

First off, super glad that Hurricane Joaquin decided to breeze by New York, bringing only heavy rains on Friday (which made me super cold since I was ill-prepared, except for my wonderful polka dot children size rainboots).

I was prepared to sit on the couch all day. I’d like to point out that I am not a huge watcher of shows and movies, so this was a big deal. With Verizon FIOS as my arsenal, I was ready to stream away the latest episodes I missed and maybe, just maybe, catch up with the pop culture everyone is obsessed with.

To much of east coast’s surprise, Sunday was a very nice day. Since I just always have gym clothes on me, I was ready to sweat, get my 10,000 daily steps, and enjoy the sun while we still can.

winnie tennis
tennis in a comfy sweater and shorts, oh yes. I became one of those girls I comment on dressing inappropriately for the weather

Ta-da! Time to make use of those pink tennis balls (which donate $ to Breast Cancer Research Foundation). We played tennis for about a hour before the park shut down due to construction. Who’s scared of a bull dozer…

Also, Fear The Walking Dead was such a huge disappointment. Can’t wait for the season 6 premiere on Sunday!

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Wine & Dine

I think I had a coffee each day this week after coming back from the cruise. Having to think is just too much after being on a boat, eating all day, and being lazy. I thought I expend my energy showing how much coffee is awesome by drawing it out on the S Note app of my phone.

coffee day
winnie on coffee. drawn on the Samsung Galaxy 4 phone. pretty neat considering there’s no tablet and the app is meant for notes 😀

Yesterday was also the the launch of Starbucks‘ new fall drink: the Toasted Graham Latte. I was expecting it to be like cookies & milk or toasted flakes… but it was just a toned down Pumpkin Spice Latte with less sugar and more foam (which I finished eating with my handy spoon! Let no milk go to waste!). Both drinks do not have much flavor. Needless to say, the almost $5 spent on a tall drink was not worth it.

Time to go grab today’s coffee. I don’t follow football but I know the Giants won cause Dunkin Donuts told me coffee is $0.25 today thanks to their New York wins promotion. DD just rocks in terms of membership rewards.

Edit 9/30:

I forgot to mention how cool barista-for-hire is! Check out the rolling bean, who came to my office today and crafted a yummy pumpkin chai latte for me (and again today: a dirty chai pumpkin latte), yum!

the rolling bean
the rolling bean. spice up your party with baristas-for-hire
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Wealth & Personal Finance

Here’s a situation that myself and peers are in right now, given that we graduated 1-3 years ago and have some money to spare. We want to save and invest… so, the big question is, how do you start?

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your loss or headaches (but you can share gains with me, haha :D). Seek professional financial advice if you really need it.

Being an investor is all about the risk you want to take. How fearful of you of losing money? Have you ever went to a casino and sat down at a card table game and lost? Did you feel bad or did you think you could try again to win?

The simplest things you can do to invest your money is to:

  1. Open a savings or CD account
  2. Put money into your company’s retirement account
  3. Open a separate retirement account
  4. Buy equities (or stocks)
  5. Buy life insurance
  6. Start an education savings fund

Keep in mind that there are many many investments outside of this list that I do not know (since it’s outside of my risk profile).

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Wealth & Personal Finance, Wellness & Workout

If you’re into fitness, wellness, or need some motivation to be more wellthy, here are two apps I think are awesome because you get rewards for working towards your best self:

Pact App http://gym-pact.com

In summary, you wager $5 for each activity you will complete, whether it’s gym or fruit/veggie. If will earn $ for the promises you keep and lose $5 for each promise you break. Ex: if you promise to do gym 5x and veggie 5x, but you only did gym 4x, you will owe $5.

Wellcoin http://wellcoin.com

In summary, you log all your wellness activities, from sleep to food to exercise to buying groceries, etc. Each activity belongs to one of the five categories. Each category has a max # of wellcoins you can earn each day. You redeem wellcoins in the marketplace (granola bars, fitness classes, retail discounts, etc) and get entered automatically into weekly and monthly raffles for Amazon/Target giftcards.

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Wealth & Personal Finance

I grew up being told to save, save, save, because it’ll be good for the future. We all know how tough saving can be with the bajillion things we want to do. So, here are some ways you can save money without trying too hard:

1. Use Ebates (sign up herea). Ebates gives you a percent back on your online purchase on many websites. You can easily earn 1% – 10% back on things you are already buying. I usually check Ebates before any purchase, but to really save more time, you can install their button/plug-in here (Chrome, Mozilla, Safari) so if you go on a website that is on Ebates’ list, it will tell you to turn “Cash Back” on. Ebates will send you a check every quarter if you reach their minimum cash back amount.

2. Use UPromise (sign up here). The purpose of this website is to save for college. However, you can have the savings sent direct to your checking account (after you meet the minimum amount). Sometimes, UPromise has better % back than Ebates, so it’s better to use it. UPromise also has the browser toolbar to detect if the website has cash back. The awesome plus about UPromise is that it can earn $ back from your dining and auto gas expenses–just remember to add your credit and debit cards (and other cards of your family if you want to benefit from their purchases too!). If your credit card is already linked to a dining or rewards program (such as Hilton Honors rewards dining, then it will not work for UPromise).

3. Use Acorns. This app rounds up your daily expenses to the nearest dollar and sends it to your savings account. You can set up saving goals for yourself. Another feature is putting a lump sum and having their technology help you grow it. I personally do not use Acorns but have heard great things about the saving feature, since you do not even realize you are saving.

4. Use RetailMeNot. This website lists discount codes of online retailers. Some codes do not work, so just try ’em until they do.

5. Use LevelUp. This is a payment app, so if you’re iffy about security, then this is not for you. The way this app works is that every time you spend money at a food & dining spot, you are logging loyalty dollars. Every vendor has a set amount of spend before you get $$ credit. Plus, your first time visit to new vendors that use LevelUp may have credit applied to your purchase! I have been a user since this came out for Gregory’s Coffee last fall. (Ex: Gregory’s Coffee is spend $50 for $5; Go Go Curry is spend $70 for $7; Fresh & Co is spend $100 for $9, etc. Can you tell what stores I like? Haha.)

a Sign up with my referral link, so you can help me while helping yourself 🙂


Wellness & Workout

This is a long post about how I went from loving group fitness classes to being a group fitness instructor, thanks to the Shape Up NYC program!

I don’t know when it started, but I live for group fitness classes. Okay, that’s an exaggeration–more like group fitness makes me feel awesome. And happy.

I tried many chain gyms (Ballys, Crunch, Dave Barton, Equinox, NYSC) through free day or week passes or monthly trial deals. I used to go on group fitness deal crazes with my awesome workout buddy. We even took turns booking the classes.

We ♥ pole dancing class so much, we bought the deal three times, and each time, the price per class rose (still below retail). I bought a Pole-X cause I thought I would practice more that summer. I would teach myself inverted tricks. None of that happened. I didn’t have a spotter. My sister made use of the pole (climbing up in a week what took us 10 weeks).

I tried many different classes: kickboxing, Jazzercise, burlesque dance bikini boot camp, trampoline yoga, dahn yoga, and hip hop… Everything was just a lot of fun!

In the summer of 2013, I decided to go for a certification and did research on the different ones available. I saw AFAA had their APEX deal in September… but a month and half of study wouldn’t have cut it.

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Wellness & Workout

I stumbled upon #MyYogaGratitude, which is Gaiam TV’s 12 days of free online yoga to help us empower our gratitude!

I found this on Day 5 and wanted to commit to doing it for the remaining seven days. In short, I was able to follow along twice. The first yoga practice I tuned into was very cute, as it was taught so kids can follow along too. The second program was about breathing and meditating.

This is a pretty neat idea and I wish other fitness programs will think of something similar to share!

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