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

Monday, June 23, 2014

Not so much blogging.

Hey. Yeah. Just realized it's been a month since I've blogged. Sorry. Or maybe not sorry. I just haven't felt like it. Maybe posting this will make me want to blog again. Maybe not. I even have an almost complete post in the queue. And it's even a giveaway.

We'll see.

The difference is, I'm not going to delete this blog like I did my last 3 when I got tired of writing them. Because eventually I'll be back.

Check you later.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Two big things I'm thankful for today:
  1. I'm getting my ass back in therapy. Had an appointment this morning with a new therapist who I really liked. Have another appointment this evening with another new therapist. Then I'll choose. But it felt really good & healing already.
  2. 10 day vacation starting tomorrow. I'll spend part of it w/ Kristi in Chambersburg for her parents' Memorial Day party, then some time in Harrisburg teaching my very pregnant step-sister prenatal yoga. Then I have some staycation time back in Philly for a few days. Then my friend Jenna is coming to Philly next weekend. So excited for ALL of this!
And that's all the time I have to blog because I have a shitload of work to do before this vacation time starts!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Inspiration Monday: Kristi

Kristi is my best friend, my bestie, my BFF. We've been friends for more than 20 years & she's basically the most awesome person I know. I can't believe I haven't written about her yet! But today, I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude. I get to see her this weekend (& 2 weekends from now!), & she's going above & beyond the call of best-friend-duty because she'll be driving a total of 4 hours this weekend because of my fear of driving. And she's not even making fun of me for it!

We were English majors together at Pitt, then we both became educators. Kristi is one of those saints who can work with elementary school kids, while I'm the crazy who chose to work with teenagers.
Kristi & LJ, April 1995, Graduation from Pitt
(we've been taking selfies since before they were called selfies)
And 18 years later at my 40th birthday
(vintage polaroid selfie)
Unlike yours truly, Kristi really wanted to be a mom. Because of reasons, she ended up following the path of adoption. Her oldest was adopted from Russia & her youngest from Florida, where they live. Through her own experiences with adoption, she then became an advocate, speaker, & adoption specialist doing home studies & the like. Her path to motherhood inspired her to help others toward that same goal.
Kristi's hilarious & awesome daughters. I LOVE them!
And speaking of adoption, Kristi is also an advocate for doggie adoption, as well. She volunteers tirelessly with Florida Little Dog Rescue & she keeps adopting more doggies! Squeee!
from front: Sunshine (failed foster), Gracie (my favorite), Dudley
(rest in peace), Chloe (always looks like she's smiling)
Millie, the latest failed foster <3
Obviously Kristi has boatloads of patience & an incredible sense of humor, what with motherhood (the oldest is a tween & the youngest is a diva), so many dogs (with special needs, she could be a vet tech at this point), & being married to the Answer Man (hahahaha, I had to, Matt!). And obviously, I'm totally inspired by her for all of these reasons.

And if she wasn't already awesome enough for all of the above reasons, Kristi is the person who knows me better than anyone, the first person I turn to for advice, venting, & my ridiculous stories. I'm pretty damn lucky to have such an awesome best friend & I am so freaking excited to see her this weekend!