Just a quick note to say "thanks" for reading my emails and blog! 5 Things has been getting lots of great responses and I am grateful to all of you who've stayed with me from the beginning. In my effort to expand my readership, I ask that you forward this along to a friend or loved one you're smitten with (there's a little link that says" forward this email" at the bottom of the goodness)-or simply click the share button at the bottom of the post if you like to spread the word on Facebook. Thanks in advance for evangelizing for me....I look forward to many more weeks full of smittened fun!



We all love our neighborhood gems. My neighborhood is Astoria and Vesta is a 24 karat find. I had already heard the buzz about this eatery and had it on my "to eat" list, but just hadn't taken the time to visit. One night my darling boyfriend said, "I'm taking you on a dinner date!" and he suggested we try it. We arrived at Vesta at 7pm on a Wednesday evening and it was PACKED! We were asked if had reservations- isn't it Wednesday? Luckily, we were seated fairly quickly, in their tight but cozy dining room. Vesta has an ever changing menu that is inspired by seasonal finds from the local greenmarket such as Brooklyn Grange. We shared a charred apple salad with candied pecans, then we did the half time switch on two entrees- a delicious pasta dish with brussel sprouts and pancetta and a free range bird with pumpkin puree and a side of cauliflower that blew my socks off!!! The wine list at Vesta is complete, but I love that they have wine on tap- that's right lovlies- you can get a glass, half carafe, or carafe of 4 different local NY wines, from the TAP! These taps keep the wine tasting better, make it more affordable (which means you can drink more), and is less wasteful so you leave with less of a carbon footprint then when you came in. Greg is not a fan of sweets so we brought their infamous "Jesus Cake" home for desert- JESUS it was good! Bottom line- this place is worth braving the subway to my bourogh, I promise. Just make sure to call ahead for a reservation if you don't want to wait, and add an extra seat, I may just join you!



Ever needed someone to help you balance your checkbook, design a website, or translate your masterpiece into Russian? ODesk can find the man (or woman) for the job. I found ODesk through one of the many business newsletters I subscribe to (I'm opening a Pilates studio, so I'm doing homework). I was in the market for a new bookkeeper and thought I'd try their service out. This employment website allows you to post your job requests to it's thousands of verified candidates. You'll get plenty of responses to choose from and after reviewing their lengthy profiles and work history, you can interview and hire them online. Once a week you review your teams timelogs and simply pay through Odesk via credit card. Independent contractors love it because they're guarenteed to get paid and employers love it because they can hire someone for as little as $2.00 an hour to do tasks they loathe. I found the most capable and thorough candidate, and am more than happy with the results. Thank you ODesk!



Dog Days
As some of you know I used to teach Pilates at Equinox here in New York City. My classes were usually packed and filled with regular faces, some of which I knew by name. After leaving Equinox, I not only missed teaching my classes, but also seeing those lovely faces and keeping in touch. One of my devotee students, Gordon, has reconnected with me through this very blog. He emailed me to comment on an issue and I noticed a website link at the bottom of his email (make sure you have yours at the bottom of your emails, you never know who will click it!). What in the world does Gordon do in his real life? Turns out Gordon, or Wallace West as his company is named, is an illustrator- and a good one. He can illustrate almost anything but what caught my eye are his series of "whimsy infused canines". Gordon sketches the cutest pups and puts them on tote bags, stationary, and even baby clothes. My favorite of course are the bulldogs, but he has a scottie for your hottie, a spaniel for your Daniel, or even will customize the pooch of your choice.



Copy Cat Chic
I'm a coupon clipping Mama- so if there's a deal to be had, I'm on it. Reichel Broussard, is a girl after my own heart. In her blog, Copy Cat Chic she finds the most fashionable home furnishings for champagne tastes with an option for those of us on a beer budget. I subscribe to her daily emails and am never annoyed or put out by them, but rather I jump on those suckers like they're a Hermes scarf in a discount bin. I had been looking for a mirrored desk for my new home studio, and one day low and behold- Reichel had found one just for me within my price range. This morning I scored a floor lamp on sale for only $80! Word to the wise, jump on those deals when you see them. I was dragging my heels with the mirrored desk and was chagrined to find that they had sold out. Remember- the early bird catches the dirt cheap worm.



Viv and Ingrid
Vivian Wang and Ingrid Chen met as youngsters while growing up in California's Bay Area. The fruits of their friendship blossomed years later into Viv and Ingrid - the lovable jewelry line. I acquired my first pair of their elegant earrings when I lived in Silverlake, CA. I frequented a shop there called Uncle Jer's that had the most unusual, yet happening clothing, accessories, cards, books, toys, and more. I fell head over heels for a pair of golden hoops wrapped with red coral beads. I begged and pleaded to all who were within earshot (no pun intended), for them to be a birthday gift. Finally someone bestowed me with a pair...if only to shut me up. Since I lost my Viv and Ingrid virginity, I've added more than a couple other pairs to my collection. The pair that I'm most devoted to are my x-small hoops with turquoise beads. I wear them all day long and don't have to take them off to workout or sleep. Fashion and function. Go to the site, view the collection, I bet you can't choose just one.



Do you have something I should eat, visit, get, do, or see? Email me your suggestions and you might even get to be a guest smitten-er!


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