Wednesday, September 24, 2014

City Fit Girls

I've already told you about my friends Takia & Kiera & how awesome they are. They are seriously all about making the world a better place. In a variety of ways. I want to talk about two of those ways: the 2nd annual City Fit Girls FitRetreat & Meal Planning 101.
Kiera & Takia at FitRetreat 2014. Photo credit Darren Burton
This year's City Fit Girls FitRetreat was phenomenal. So many incredible session options--workouts, lectures, panel discussions! And so many incredible vendors! My favorite part was Kiera's Club Cardio--I love the way Kiera leads a workout--with a constant smile on her face. I also enjoyed the session on the Psychology of Eating. And the vendor I'm now obsessed with is THINX--moisture wicking, stain/leak resistant, anti-microbial, absorbent, & GORGEOUS period panties! So. Great workout, great knowledge, & a new obsession! I'd say the FitRetreat was a success!

Meanwhile, Takia also leads the Meal Planning 101 Series. I highly recommend signing up for this. I know what I need to do to eat correctly, but sometimes, I need a little nudge. Enter Meal Planning. Takia sends bi-weekly emails, chock full of educational nutritional goodness. She teaches you how to navigate the grocery store & how to create healthy balanced meals. Do something good for YOU! It is SO worth it.

So check out City Fit Girls. They exist to Inspire. Uplift. Encourage. Motivate. Get to a workout. Sign up for a run. And in October, check out their active wear line. Yes please!

Love,
LJ

Monday, September 22, 2014

Philadelphia Farm Sanctuary Walk: Saturday, September 27th!

The Philadelphia Farm Sanctuary Walk is THIS SATURDAY at 10am! It's not too late to sign up or donate & it's going to be phenomenal this year!
Last year, my friend Jess & I led the walk
Here are some details:
Register for $15 today, or for $25 the day of. That's right, you can just show up & walk without lots of advance fundraising. Or, if you can't make it, you can feel free to make a donation through me, I'm still doing lots of fundraising, and I haven't met my goal yet. Every bit helps the animals.

I hope to see you there. I'll be checking people in upon arrival, so make sure you say hello!

Love,
LJ

Friday, September 19, 2014

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Did you know that Edgar Allan Poe lived in Philadelphia for six years? I did! I went to his house (the one of his Philadelphia houses still standing, National Historic Site, actually!) with my grandparents when I was in high school. And I just went back this month--it was just as cool now.
beautiful & sunny outside...inside was a different story...
On my birthday weekend, my two best friends came to visit & we had much fun touristing. All three of us were English majors & two of us are English teachers, as well, so where else would we go but to a FREE tour of Edgar Allan Poe's house.
Nevermore!
It's a cool little self-guided tour. There's a short film to watch, which we oohed & ahhed over, then they give you a laminated tour guide paper & you take yourself through the house. Naturally, I read it aloud dramatically. The best part of the tour is, of course, the basement. Super creepy!
the basement that inspired "The Black Cat"
I highly recommend this tour for anyone who enjoys American literature, Philadelphia history, the darkness of Poe, & FREE tours. They're open Friday-Sunday, 9-5 (closed 12-1 for lunch). You do need to knock first. Enjoy!

Love,
LJ

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Phila Flea Markets

Do you know about the Phila Flea Markets? They're one of my favorite things about living here! A wide variety of vendors (including my favorite vendor of vintage dresses, Kittycat Antiques), a different spot each time in the summer, indoors & heated in the winter, it's like miles of vintage goodness.
I went this past weekend near East Passyunk Square & I scored two new-to-me dresses from the 60s. I meant to shop just for winter, but there was a sleeveless one so wonderfully colorful, I just couldn't resist. I'll look forward to wearing it some time next June. At least I got one long sleeve!
It was a gray day, but there were still deals to be had!
Mostly I'm into dresses, Pyrex, and lamps, but lately, I'm also into jewelry & glassware. I like to shop alone--I don't want to rush anyone & I don't want to hold anyone back either. But that shouldn't stop you from saying hi if you run into me there!

Next Market is this coming Saturday, September 20th at 10th & South. That's super close to my apartment, so you know I won't miss it. Hope to see you there!

Love,
LJ

Monday, September 15, 2014

LJ's Mad Mod Birthday

It seems fitting that the 1st legit post of my new Philly focus would be about Charlie was a sinner. If you know me at all, you know how much I love Charlie's. The food, the cocktails, the atmosphere...but mostly, I love the people who work there. They take customer service to amazing wonderful levels.

I go to Charlie's a lot. I fit in there. I feel good about myself there. And of course, I'm the Yelp Duchess. So naturally, I decided to have my birthday party there this year. I called it LJ's Mad Mod Birthday, encouraged everyone to dress up like they were in an episode of Mad Men, thought about buying everyone candy cigarettes as party favors (then discovered they have gelatin, wtf!), had Ryan at Juju give me another fabulous gravity-defying hairdo, & let the amazing staff at Charlie's handle the details.
Big Hair Don't Care
The BFFs flew up from Florida for the weekend!
I worked primarily with Michelle, the general manager, and Pete, the bar manager. Stephanie was our waitress for the night, and Nicole, the owner, was also part of the evening's festivities. I had 35-40 people RSVP yes, around 30 in attendance. My only requests, as we planned, were separate tabs, finger foods, & whatever would make it easiest for the staff to handle our large party.

They totally nailed it! They created a custom menu, complete with LJ's Signature Cocktail, the Tattoo Punch, which Pete developed for me based on my fruit & veggie dance party tattoo (squeee!). They gave us the front lounge area, though we eventually spilled over into the bar area, as well. But the highlight of my night was when they brought me their chocolate cake, which they know I love, with a candle. And not just any candle...it was one of those trick candles that took me about 12 tries to get it to finally blow out. I love that! Something about such silliness in such a classy joint just really speaks to me.
I'm in love with this.
Did you notice that I have MY punch in hand in EVERY pic?!
So. Huge thank you to the entire staff of Charlie's for making my birthday such a success, & special shout outs to Michelle, Pete, Stephanie, and Nicole for working with me. I heart you all so much!

Locals, whether you're vegan or not, if you haven't been to Charlie was a sinner. yet, what are you waiting for? Get there! I promise you'll love it! And tell them LJ sent you!

Love,
LJ

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Blog Focus

OK, so I don't even really know if people really even read my blog or even really missed it when I wasn't writing, but I had an idea this morning to give it a little more of a specifically Philly focus & I DO miss writing, so here I am. Let's try this again.

When I started this blog, I was almost 40 years old, so I called it What 40 Looks Like. But now I'm 41. What 41 Looks Like? No. So I'm just keeping the URL the same, & I changed the title to 40s in Philly, & basically, I'm just going to share things I like in Philly. People I like. Places I like. Foods I like. All in Philly. Probably mostly in Center City. Pretty simple, right?

Maybe you're wondering if I'll blog consistently this time around. Probably not. But I am really obsessed with the city I live in, so I might have a lot to say. At least I have a new focus. At least I'm even writing this post right now. I'll try for at least once a week, OK?

Love,
LJ

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Squeee Heard Round the World

A small group of us Phabulous Philly Vegan Ladies started calling ourselves the Vegan Girl Mafia back in April at the Philly Veg Dining Guide Release Party. Totally adorable & totally silly, our numbers grew until last night, when we collectively descended upon Miss Rachel's Pantry for an amazing meal & a girl's night out of epic proportions.
as goofy as we are beautiful, the vegan ladies of Philadelphia
We called last night's dinner a tweet-up, so after much squeeeing over meeting in real life for the first time, naturally, we proceeded to clog everyone's twitter & instagram feeds with all the deliciousness. All of this awesome even inspired me to blog again, so here I am after months' hiatus.
Miss Rachel's Swoontastic Menu
1st course: Savory Tofu Scramble Enchilada
2nd course: chilled cucumber bisque
3rd course: creamy elbow mac + smoked seitan roast + caramelized kale
OR seared maitakes + whipped coconut milk & horseradish potatoes
(BOTH because sharing is caring)
4th course: flourless chocolate peanut butter cake
Shout outs to Pam for having the idea to get us all together, Kiera for organizing it, Miss Rachel for her delicious food & gorgeous space, & Erin, Meagan, Lia, Rachel, Takia, Alli, Melissa, & Joy for their awesome company last night. And one more shout out to Amandah who was with us in spirit & happily eating her to go treats today.

I've got so much love for the women I shared that meal with & so much love for the women who prepared said meal & I hope that this was just the first of many Vegan Girl Mafia GNOs