I love me some Kardashians. This family is banana pancakes crazy and I'm 100% on board for it.

Between the antics between the older girls, the older girls and their mom-ager, and old fashioned, out of the loop Bruce .... I savor every episode.

But, one thing that I've always really liked about these girls and this family in general is that they appear "real". Part of the whole real thing is being honest about their curvy bodies and let's face it ... larger than normal butts. Yes, I know they pedel Quiktrim as a dietary supplement... but I don't feel like they've ever lied to me about how they look or how they got to how they look.

During my evening loop of the celebrity gossip sites, I noticed this post on X17online for Khloe. Apparently, she is going to be on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. Now, she looks great on the cover ... but I have to wonder how much of this is even her.
Screenshot from

I'd say the top half of the body looks pretty realistic. Its the bottom half that I begin to question ... and as further evidence to support my crazy suspicion.... Khloe only shows the top half on her website.
Screenshot from
I look forward to the internet attacking this one a bit - or perhaps not at all. Perhaps I wouldn't have even noticed if I hadn't read the Huffington Post's article on the Kardashian's recent Redbook cover. Its hard to tell (obviously) but she just looks different. I understand that the covers aren't shot on the same day and she could have done a crazy diet before her solo cover.... but it just looks different.

So go ahead internet.... debate.

So what are you saying is....

I understand that stores need signs to tell their customers things. As a customer, I want to be told of sales,  delicate items, packages, etc. It makes me a better customer in some way perhaps. We are both on the same page about the expectations for our transaction.

Now, as a retailer you have to be responsible and consistent with your messaging. Deal?

On Sunday, I went to a local sandwich shop with Baby Sister to grab some afternoon grub. I wanted a BLT and a I wanted it bad. I had been to this place once before (September 2010) and had a tasty Mediterranean Tuna wrap. I actually used a Groupon at the time and it was an easy purchase. I got two sandwiches, a bottle of wine, some chips, and two pint glasses. Done and done.

Today was a different story. The sandwich was mediocre .... and the store was covered in an excessive amount of signs alerting customers to different rules. I took 9 pictures and barely feel like they accurately reflect what the store felt like.

"Rent this champagne fountain for $75 plus the cost of  your beverage"
Is that not obvious? Really. Give your customers some credit. Also this fountain looks not at all exciting

"Be Polite. Take ONE. PLEASE"
This was the first sign I saw when I walked into the store. I'll be polite - but your chips aren't really "crisp".

 I can't even type out all of these signs. But they are all about LivingSocial, Groupon, and Buy With Me gift certificates. Do you really need three signs in this small of a space about the same thing?

This is just the register area. Rules about using credit cards, rules about how long it takes to make a sandwich, buying lobsters with coupons, etc, etc, etc.

... and ... more.... signs. I'm still in disbelief.

Lastly, Guinness Cupcakes? I took this picture on the 27th of March. A full 10 days after St Patricks Day. It doesn't help that you have now made them free. They are still suspect.

Sadly, I'll probably still go back to this place because they aren't idiots (like another place in town) and they carry a really wide variety of items plus beer & wine. Here's hoping that the next time I go back all the Groupons / Living Social / Buy With Me credits have been used up and I don't have to look at these visually abusive signs again.

P.S. Here is a note I won't send but wish I would:
Dear Front Street Gourmet,
You signed up for Groupon / Living Social / Buy With Me. You knew the type of customers that would bring. Customers that would pay $10 for $20 worth of product. Where is the surprise in that? Don't try and make them feel guilty for spending $20.01. Instead, find a new font on your computer and perhaps make a new sign welcoming customers into the store. Also, don't use Wonderbread on sandwiches...
Mediocre-ly Yours,

Bench Love


I've made it pretty clear how much I love the ocean. I find it captivating how the tide comes and goes, the shells wash up, and rocks become smooth. I've taken a million pictures of ocean over the past few months of living near the beach.

Every week when I take the train to NYC, I try to sit on the lefthand side of the train because that is the side that has the best ocean view. The coastline of Connecticut seems to be covered with wooden walkways through the marsh and benches that scatter the shoreline. Its phenomenal.

Even on grey days, I just want to sit on any one of these benches and soak in the view. Pretty sure, I can't make a living sitting on a bench but if I could I would.

Obviously this picture isn't me (or anyone I know for that matter ... just another little gem from Pinterest)

Thanks for the potatoes...


... and web traffic.
It only took about a year but someone from Idaho stumbled onto my blog. I'm not sure what they looked at on St. Patrick's Day on my blog but I'm thankful none the less.

So, that just leaves South Dakota and Nebraska. Now it would be cheating for sure, but I could make this whole goal go away if I took a weekend trip to both states. A little searching on Hipmunk revealed that I could make this happen for a mere $903 on a weekend in April.
It would be a bit of a whirlwind trip, but I'd also get to check out Denver and Chicago. I'm not sure what food Denver is famous for but I could go for an authentic slice of Chicago deep dish pizza.

Maybe the internet will save me $1000 and send two measly visitors from Nebraska and South Dakota?

{link to other Web Traffic posts}

Faux Culture Sunday


Every couple weeks I like to come into NYC early and check out a new site or have dinner with an old friend. There are upsides and downsides to this for sure. Upside? See friend. See new sites. Downside? Leave home much earlier than normal.

But upsides clearly outweigh the downsides.

This Sunday, I'm going to sit and relax by the ocean... last Sunday, I was adventurous.

I got to NYC mid-afternoon and thankfully the weather was still super nice and I was able to enjoy the rest of the day. I changed out of my travelling clothes (read as sweatpants) and into some jeans (read as jeggings) and set out to paint the town red.

1st stop: Starbucks. 
I picked up a tea with honey... and a cake pop. Now that I had some sustenance I was ready to continue to adventure.

2nd stop: Bryant Park.
I wasn't really a big Sex & the City fan so seeing the New York Public Library didn't have that type of a significance to me - but I love libraries and I love big buildings. I also love parks. Win. Win. and Win. The NYPL (yep, I'm shortening it) is gorgeous and impressive. But, part of the allure of libraries is that you feel naughty walking around and disturbing the peace. This place felt a bit more like a museum than a library.
 See I even saw "art". I'm so cultured now.

3rd stop: The "30 Rock" Statue and St. Patrick's Cathedral
I was planning on meeting up with a new friend a little more uptown and so I strolled up 5th Avenue. (Oh and I broke out my cakepop for the walk) The weather was still nice enough for all the tourists to be blocking the sidewalk taking pictures - especially of the Rockefeller area.

4th stop: Vero Wine Bar
Whenever I go to a new restaurant I always do a instant assessment of whether I could eat solo there, Vero Wine Bar is perfect for that... but thankfully I had company this time. Based on my Foursquare history (nerdy I know), I sat at the bar here for nearly 3 hours just chatting over a bottle of wine. Not too shabby, rather great.

5th stop: Sip Sak
The person that I met up with is Turkish and suggested a place near by for a bite to eat. I've never had Turkish food but I'm sold on it. The friend that I was with took charge of the ordering in Turkish no less. We shared many small plates and since they were super tasty I figured I'd write them down:

  • Artichoke hearts with fava beans
  • Humus
  • yogurt soup
  • stuffed grape leaves
  • Kibbi (faux meatballs)

I'm not sure Sip Sak is a "solo" dining place but I'd love to go back and enjoy sharing plates again.

6th stop: Hotel Sweet Hotel
Great Sunday in the city.

21st Century Girl Scouts


I wasn't really a successful Girl Scout. I think I resigned (thats better than quitting right?) after a few years and a few hundred boxes of cookies. I'm not sure why I left Girl Scouts but it most certainly wasn't because of the badges. I'm pretty competitive and surprised that the hunt for Girl Scout badges didn't get the best of me and keep me around longer.

Alas, thankfully I have Foursquare to fulfill this desire. 

{still don't know about Foursquare... read this}

I've been a Foursquare user since last June and could probably be responsible for bringing on a handful of users after hearing me expound on the virtues of discounts, badges, and check-ins. As I've referred to in a previous post, my own family has gotten pretty competitive over mayorships. Mayorships are hard to attain though as the service gets more popular and that's where badges come into play.

Foursquare currently has about 100+ active badges (perhaps?) that a user can earn by checking-in to certain venues or checking-in with a certain grouping of people. Some badges are sponsored by companies or other brands and that perhaps makes them more interesting to try and collect.

  • Ellen Show -- Going to the Ellen Show is on my life bucket list. Currently nothing else on my bucket list  would get me a Foursquare badge... this would be fabulous
  • Dog's Best Friend -- I love dogs and perhaps when I get this badge it will mean that (1) I have my own dog or (2) I'm cool enough with the owner that I can go to the dog park with it 10 times.
  • Player Please -- The benefit of getting this badge would purely be that more of my friends and social network has joined Foursquare. I'm no player :)
  • Epic Swam -- I kept hoping that every Snowpocalypse that we had this winter would turn into an epic swarm but alas it did not happen. I managed to get the 250 person swarm by checking in at Rockefeller Center during the tree lighting.
The upside and downside of badges is that some are active only for a period of time.... and for special events like SXSW. I'd love to have gotten all of the badges but especially these four:

  1. Panel Nerd
  2. Foursquare with Foursquare
  3. Disco Nap
  4. Golden Ticket

I was terribly jealous reading my twitter feed during SXSW as I read about different panels and events. I'm thinking about putting in for some vacation time so I don't miss next years event. I won't be able to play Foursquare with the Foursquare founders .... or go to a Big Boi concert.... but I'd probably be able to take a "disco nap". In the meantime, I'll just keep trolling the interweb for next years big thing and snagging some new badges.

A little spot of sunshine


I take my meals really seriously. The day must be brutal for me to miss a meal - never mind breakfast. It's one of my favorite meals of the day whether I just have Greek Yogurt or something more exciting. Is there anything better than sipping coffee to start the day? Obviously its better in a favorite coffee mug but I'll take it anyway I can get it ... except perhaps from McDonalds. I'm sure there is some survey out there saying that people love McDonalds just the same as other brands ... but frankly I don't care.

Well, I recently stumbled upon this place called Aroma near my office.... and .... its .... delicious. I started going there for lunch and was hooked. Their Grilled Chicken Cesear Salad was my gateway drug to the eventual pancake bites. (yes you read that right...) I tend to get the crazy tasty oatmeal for breakfast with a regular coffee. The fresh fruit is super delicious and makes me feel like I'm actual making a good eating decision - so much so that I can do a wine bar for dinner.

I'm not going to wax on about how much I love Aroma but here are few reasons why this brand / establishment has captivated my attention more than Starbucks recently:

  1. The oatmeal comes with delicious fresh fruit. The blueberries are crazy plump and the strawberries obviously aren't too shabby either. 
  2. You get a mini chocolate with your coffee.... even at 7:30 in the morning. Win Win. Sometimes I forget that I have them and then I find two at a time. Jackpot.
  3. The coffee cards are punched with a "heart" punch. Hey, its the little things.
One last reason? Social media presence. The last 4 times I tweeted my Foursquare check-in Aroma responded - which I think is impressive considering I've only done it 4 times. Aroma feels I deserve the pancake bites even if it isn't raining.
Its hard to argue with Aroma when the pancake bites are as delicious as they are..... just look at the picture.
These little nuggets are so fluffy and perfectly sweet. I only wish they were priced just a smidge lower and perhaps came with a few more in the to-go container....

It might be raining / snowing  when I leave the hotel this morning in which case, I might have to treat myself to some pancake bites.

Getting my culture on


OOF - Edward Ruscha
My thoughts exactly. 


In an effort to get out and experience more culture in NYC, I went to the MOMA one night after work. I am not a museum person at all. I quite literally ran through the Louvre in Paris and waited in the lobby of the National Gallery of Ireland while Baby Sister soaked up all the culture.

But, I'm in NYC and if I can't lead a typical home life, I might as well celebrate the fact that I can go to the MOMA on a Thursday night. Its actually not that easy to go to museums at night because they close at ....5:30 pm. For reals. But once a month, the MOMA stays open late and I happened to time it right so I was able to take advantage. PLUS, I got in for free with my work ID. Boo yah.
See my ticket price? $0. Also, feel free to take note that I took home a brochure intended for children to learn about Abstract Expressionism. I know its for children, but I know nothing. I completely looked past the the sign asking people just like me to not take one.

I'll fully admit that I didn't see the whole museum but I did take in the experience for sure and actually had some fun while I was at it. Here are a few of my favorites:

This painting is 13 feet long. Don't worry, I like it for more than its length.
Water Lilies -- Monet
I don't really know what an olive tree looks like but I guess this is it. Everybody and their brother loves "Starry Night", I'll take this one instead. The description on the website says that this is supposed to be the daytime pair to Starry Night. Oh, and he painted it while he was in the crazy house.
Olive Trees -- van Gogh
I love a good beard - although, this might be a bit much for me.
Portrait of Joseph Roulin - van Gogh
Frankly, this is where I get confused about art. Like, I could have made this in Microsoft Powerpoint. I know it would not be as exciting but come on now. Baby Sister will kill me for saying something like this :)

The museum was doing this really cool Andy Warhol exhibit while I was visiting. You could get your picture/video/I have no idea really taken in his style. Downside? They were going to put it on the interweb. I know I'm on the web obviously (hello, you are reading my blog) but I'm not one to just give people my picture and let them do what they want with it. I'm not a pre-teen celebrity.

Interestingly enough, there was also an exhibit about FONTS. Thankfully, no Comic Sans. I really hate that one.
All in all, a great cultural excursion that I can cross of my "to do" list.


It seems like every blog has some sort of themed periodic post. Hopelessly Techie has never had that but I've been thinking about doing something...

A few examples:
I'm not sure what would be best for me but I love the idea. This may seem self-centered but sometimes I really enjoy just reading old blog posts to reflect on what was going on and how things have changed since I wrote what I wrote. 

So a few things that I'm really interested in that could provide for a theme:
  • bucket lists
  • start-ups
  • cooking
  • infographics
  • finding deals
A few of these get knocked off pretty quickly because I don't have the time or means to do something about cooking once a week... that is unless the Hilton starts to let me use their kitchen. Pretty sure that's not happening.

So, while we ponder this question.... here is a little gem that I wanted to share. I actually found this tumblr back in December but hadn't gotten around to sharing it. 

“For your information, I wasn’t “kicked out.” It was politely suggested to me that I should leave. It’s different.”
Link to post
"Hungover Owls" is a tumblr feed that essentially uses pictures of owls and puts captions insinuating that they are hungover / drunk / recovering / etc. I'm not sure why it's s funny.... but frankly it just is. So enjoy it.

Nightly Ritual


I like reliable. I like consistent. No real secrets here.

There are many great things about "living" in the Hilton, but one of them is consistency. Every night around 6pm, a lady comes around to each room and turns down the bed. Best part of this? She leaves two little chocolates on the pillow. 

I don't have much restraint in life, when I want something I want it... and normally I can't wait a millisecond. Some how I always manage to wait until I'm in bed to crack open these little delights. Now, I'm sure you are judging me potentially for one or all of the following:
  1. eating in bed
  2. eating chocolate in bed
  3. eating Hilton chocolate
Well, I don't care. Sometimes on the train when they give me the Ghirardelli caramel chocolate square, I manage to save it and bring it home. Especially when I take the night train... and they give me two. Highlight. I never manage to bring any Hilton chocolate home - and rarely does it make it to the next day. So not only do I always eat it, but I always eat it the same way. 

What way is that you ask? Oh, please see the video below.
Believe it or not, I would not really consider myself a "sweets" person. I normally turn down dessert and can stay away from chocolate with ease. But I guess thats hard to believe, when you see a whole post about the Hilton chocolates or watch me devour/dominate red velvet cupcakes.

{Future post coming on Top 5 things about staying in the Hilton... hint, you just read about one}

Delayed Warnings....


I can't decide how I feel about this. Shocker I know. I have some pretty strong feelings about lots of things.

Two years ago, there was a fire sale on peanut butter on Amazon. If you know me, you know that I not only love to buy from Amazon but also that I love to buy things in bulk. Clearly, both of these loves came together in this instance .... and I think I was really into peanut butter at the time.
{Please take note... TWO years ago...}

More recently....

I got an email from Amazon on Monday just as the work day was beginning to come to a close. Apparently the peanut butter that I purchased in February 2009 from Amazon is potentially at risk for Salmonella.
Now, upon closer inspection of this email I learned the following:

  •  The recalled peanut butter spread may be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems
  • The recall affected only Skippy Reduced Fat products
So, while I appreciate Amazon alerting me to the product recall - albeit two years after my purchase - I have to wonder why they even alerted me. I didn't purchase Reduced Fat, I purchased myself 6 jars of full fat peanut butter. Doesn't their database allow them to filter out my full fat peanut butter purchase?

I'm pretty thankfully that my fatty choice saved me from {potential} salmonella poisoning.

Crazy Social....


Normally during a work week, I'm "social" one night a week. The rest of the week I grab takeout and eat it on my giant king-size bed. I'm not complaining, I love eating a bacon cheeseburger in bed. Its sneaky luxury that I would never do in my own bed.

This past week was a different story. Despite a little bit of work drama hanging over my head, I went out each night this week. No room service for this girl.

I convinced my friend Ria to skip a spin class and get dinner with me. Because Ria's commute takes her through Grand Central Station, we grabbed dinner at Zocalo. Nothing better than a surprise dinner that includes tortilla chips and salsa.

One of my childhood friend's, Rachael, blogged about The Wharf Bar & Grill over the prior weekend. She raved about the low beer prices and quality wings. Both are key to a great budget evening... and my hotel happened to be located quite near to The Wharf.
not a picture of the actual wings... sorry.
While I had a great evening, the wings were definitely better than the company I was keeping that evening. Rumor on the street is that this place also has $1 tacos on Tuesdays... I'll have to come back and check it out. Plus, there is a great outdoor deck area for when its not pouring rain.

While I was at The Wharf, I tweeted my foursquare checkin. Lucky me, my old friend saw the tweet and we were able to connect for dinner on Wednesday. I am not even sure the last time I saw Rachael but it was definitely nearly three quarters of a lifetime ago. We ended up meeting up at another great spot near Grand Central called El Rio Grande.
also, not a picture of the guacamole... sorry.
Rio Grande's selling point is the crazy delicious guacamole. And, it was crazy delicious. I'm sure its meant for more than two people but we certainly put a sizable dent in the serving.

I already blogged about Thursday in my Ladies Night post... but it wouldn't hurt to mention again. I had a ladies night dinner with Ria and a new friend at Wine:30. Its always nice to end the work week on such a high note.
an actual picture of my meal.... my favorite Seared Tuna appetizer

I am optimistic about this coming week as well. Tonight, I'm going back to The Wharf for a "Bachelor" Finale party. I some how managed to avoid getting caught up in The Bachelor / Bachelorette hullabalo in the past few years but this year has been different. Perhaps I just love me some crazy bitches competing over a clueless dude?

I make no promises about being this social going forward, but it was super nice to see so many friends in one week. Loves it.

Mayor Battle


 I've been on Foursquare since last June just before I went to Ireland. I blogged about the life of a suburban Foursquare user during the summer. At that point I was the mayor of 16 locations that included some of my daily "hotspots" like the gym, the porch, the beach, etc. (Can you see that my life was a little bit different then than it is now?)

Over the summer I also managed to get the rest of my family on Foursquare. Quite the feat considering they normally mock my insatiable interest in technology.... but then come crawling back when they can't figure something out. Of course I mean this in the nicest of ways :). My mom first joined Foursquare during a game at Fenway Park. Honestly, I was a little annoyed/jealous that she managed to snag the Swarm badge so easily where as I had to really work at that one.


Since I've been working in NYC the last couple months, I have slowly lost the suburban mayorships that I loved to other family members. I've picked up other mayorships that have been perhaps more challenging to retain though like the Club Acela lounge at NY Penn Station. The Amtrak Station. The Hilton Manhattan East. (Here are my stats).

I was alerted to my latest lost mayorship not by Foursquare or Twitter, but actually by my little brother. He so nicely left me this voicemail while I was at work in a windowless conference room.

So sweet.

Ladies Night!


I love an excellent ladies night but even more than that... I love an unexpected one!

I ended up staying in NYC this Thursday night and got a spontaneous dinner with one of my friends (and one of her old co-workers). Despite the icky Manhattan weather, we ventured out to Wine:30 in the Murray Hill area. I've been a huge fan of this place since the fall but hadn't been able to make it over in several months.

Wine:30 is a super cute restaurant that has a great atmosphere with a couple of small rooms so its not a one big loud room. Plus, I'm often dining solo and the bar is perfect for that. Its a great place to grab a glass of wine or appetizer... or a whole meal. The cast of characters at Wine:30 is also really consistent. I always see the owner there and he seems to know everyone who walks in the door. I almost felt like a celebrity on Thursday when he asked where I had been the past few months.

The owner, Volkan Muti, seated my party of 3 in their relatively newly opened private wine cellar area. Its super neat and such a great space. The pictures on the Wine:30 site really showcase much better than words.... so check them out.

But on to the meal!

It's a wine bar.... so obviously we had wine. One of my favorite Wine:30 team members, Hakan, picked a great bottle for the three of us to share. Perfect wine, perfect price. 

  • Bruschetta of Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, Melted Gruyere
  • Fresh Tuna Wrapped in Shredded Wheat & Pan Seared, with Seaweed Salad and Wasabi Sauce
I've been a fan of this appetizer for a long time so it was great to have it again. I have no idea how they get shredded wheat around these nuggets of Tuna... but its delicious.
The bruschetta was also super tasty... clearly we ate it too quickly to take a picture of it. The bruschetta variety is really great here and it feels like there is something for everybody on the menu.

Main Eats
  • Red Wine Seared Hanger Steak. Served With Creamy Polenta & Sautéed Spinach
I'm a fan of pretty much everything on the menu... and have eaten a lot of it as well. So on this occasion I delegated my dinner choice to one of the best guys there, Hakan. He does an incredible job pairing meals and knows what I like. The hanger steak is delicious. De-lic-ious.
The other ladies had different things on the menu - one had the halibut and the other had the zucchini pancake appetizer. Both great choices!

  • Cheesecake {... I think Oreo?}
  • Banana Bread Pudding
  • Red Velvet Cupcakes
It almost seems like a lie when I say I'm not a dessert person because every time I come to Wine:30... I get dessert. It is always the tasty little Red Velvet Cupcakes because they are just perfect. 
The other ladies each had a dessert as well (as you can see) and we toasted the end of a great night by each having a red velvet cupcake. The dessert menu seems to change frequently at Wine:30 which is great so I can't remember what the other girls had - but clearly I sampled both ... and loved both.

Love returning to a great restaurant...
Love a good ladies night...
Love meeting new friends...
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