Fads of the 90s

Sometimes I feel truly blessed that I got to experience both the 80s and the 90s. And while I was fairly young during the 80s, I can still appreciate a good tight rolled on your jeans and I still own a crimper. However, there are so many reasons to love the 90s.

However, my two favorite fads of the 90s have to be the “mini” fad and the “clear” fad.

In the early 1990s, a marketing fad equating clarity with purity began with the remake of Ivory soap from its classic milky solution; the idea spread to many companies, including PepsiCo. Crystal Pepsi was marketed as a caffeine-free “clear alternative” to normal colas, comparing clearness with purity and health. 

PepsiCo launched the cola in April of 1992, and began to sell it nationwide in 1993. A large marketing campaign was launched, for which the company invented the world’s first photo-realistic, computer-generated bus wrap printing. A series of television advertisements featuring Van Halen’s hit song “Right Now” premiered on national television on January 31, 1993, during Super Bowl XXVII. In its first year, Crystal Pepsi captured a full percentage point of U.S. soft drink sales, approximately $474 million.

Coca-Cola followed suit by launching Tab Clear in December of 1992.

Initial sales were good but quickly fell. Pepsi pulled the drink off the market and returned several months later with a reformulated citrus drink titled “Crystal From Pepsi”, but this was short-lived as well.

Funny how soda companies were trying to make their drinks look more like water…

The min fad, I believe, began our downward spiral into an obese nation. Foods started appearing in smaller sizes, not to encourage people to eat less, but to justify eating more. “Who cares if you eat an extra donut, they are small.” So you would eat 5-6 mini donuts instead of just one regular sized donut and all would be wonderful.

Mini Oreos arrived in 1991. I can still remember sitting in my friend’s tree house one afternoon, eating an entire row of the delicious, bite sized treats. There were probably 20 cookies per row, but it didn’t matter. They were small… it couldn’t be that bad.

I saw a commercial the other day for Burger King advertising mini burgers… are we heading back to the ways of the 90s? One can only hope!

The Rise of the British

One year from today we will be welcoming in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Last year I wrote about the 2 year mark until the games, so I figured I should keep with that same theme and acknowledge the fact that we are now only 365 days away.

The aquatics stadium has been build, tickets have been sold, and more than 3 million hours have been put into constructing the Olympic Village and Park – all without a single reportable injury.

The biggest question that remains is who will light the torch during the opening ceremonies. My vote is for David Beckham. Honestly, I believe that the more air time this man gets, the more successful these Olympics will be. And did someone say the Spice Girls would be performing at the Open Ceremonies? Oh no, that was just me?

Between the Olympics and the Royal Wedding, 2011 and 2012, I feel like we are experiencing another British Invasion. And I have to admit, I kinda like it.

Bachelor Party vs. Parental Visit

This weekend Matt atttended a bachelor party out in Las Vegas, so my parents came to NYC to we could have our own equally crazy weekend. It was the first time that they had visited New York since my sister left last fall, so the pressure was on a provide a fun-filled weekend. I spent a lot of time researching things to do, restaurants to dine at and cleaning my apartment for their arrival. I also cranked up the A/C to try and counter the 100+ degree temperatures outside. Here is the itinerary that I came up with:

FRIDAY
My parents arrived in the afternoon, their called filled with wedding presents that had been mailed to their house. We unloaded the car and brought eveything upstairs. I was in the middle of watching the Tour De France when they arrived, so we finished the stage and unpacked some of the things that they brought with them. We then jumped in a cab and headed downtown for dinner. I had originally planned to go to Fette Sau, a BBQ joint in Brooklyn that Matt raves about. However, with the hot temperatures, no one really felt like eating BBQ. So instead, I made a gametime decision and took a chance on the line at The Spotted Pig. We arrived just as they started to seat people for dinner and we were seated within 5 minutes. SCORE! After enjoying a delicious dinner consisting of bacon wrapped dates, the most amazing burger and shoestring fries we headed back up to the theater district for the show, Jersey Boys. This show was incredible. I can not recommend it enough. After the show we walked the 10 blocks home in the heat, stopping for ice cream at Holey Cream. We all ended the day tired and very full.

SATURDAY
We woke up, enjoyed some delicious coffee from our Keurig and looked at the hundreds of wedding pictures that our photographers took. It was really nice to relive the wedding and see a lot of things that I didn’t really get a chance to look at that day. Now I just have to figure out what I am going to do with all of these pictures! Then watched the time trial stage of the Tour de France before heading out to one of my favortite breakfast spots, Nook. We started off with the baguette covered with nutella, bananas and strawberries. I enjoyed an egg scramble, while my mom had the french toast and my dad had a slice of quiche. YUM! After breakfast, we took the subway out to Queens to visit the Museum of Moving Image where the exhibit, Jim Henson’s Fantastic World had just arrived last weekend. As a child who grew up watching Sesame Street until the age of 14 (ok, really 28), this was a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

After the museum, we jumped back on the subway and headed to Eataly, a cross between a farmers market and a restaurant. I had never been to Eataly and was dying to adventure in. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

I couldn’t believe how large the space was and how many delicious foods there were. We decided to buy food, as opposed to eat at the various restaurant/counters, and cook ourselves at home. We bought a baguette, a few cheese and meats for appetizers, tomatoes, mozerella and basil for a capreses salad and some pasta and sauce for our main dish. Everything was so fresh and so amazing. It certainly inspired me to make the time to cook – recently, I have spent too much time with the microwave and frozen Lean Cuisines! We spent the rest of the evening just relaxing, chatting and eating.

SUNDAY
Whenever I have guests visit, Sunday always feels like a wash. Their pending departure seems to get in the way of any fun plans, even if they aren’t leaving until the afternoon. We woke up and went to Sarahbeth’s, another breakfast favorite. We then walked around the park and went to Crate & Barrel to do a couple errands. Once we got ome, my dad packed up their bags while my mom assembled my new spice rack for me. After they left I rode my bike for a while on my trainer (i.e. something  that turns your road bike into a stationary bike) and made some cookies. It was a fantastic weekend!

Thank you Mom and Dad for making the trip down. And after hearing about Matt’s weekend in Vegas, I feel satisfied that ours was more fun. I mean, casinos and pool parties don’t hold a candle to Jim Henson and the Muppets!

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Growing up in New Hampshire, everyone has a yard. And while most people fight to have the greenest grass on the block,  my father (the gardener in our family) put all of his time and attention into his flowers, rather than the lawn. I think that was a result of the fact that at our first house, we have very limited grass. Our backyard was basically a forest and our front yard was a giant hill. This hill was so steep that landscapers had turned it into large “steps” and my dad put a flower bed in each one; limiting the amount of grass to nearly none. I don’t remember a lot about our first house, but I do have a very distinct memory of “helping” my dad tend to the plants in these flower beds. My favorite plant was called a “bleeding heart.” I think even at such a young age, I could appreciate the dramatic nature of this plant. 

 

When we moved to our new house, my parents did a lot of landscaping to increase the size of our front lawn. And while is tends to look pretty good most of the time, my favorite time of the year would be when the giant bed that contains hundreds of daffodils is in full bloom. I remember spending one year planting the bulbs. I thought we were planting potatoes… boy was I surprised when hundreds of yellow and white flowers appear the next spring! I love going to my parents house during the month of April because there are always vases full of these flowers around.

At my wedding, I was lucky enough to have two very good family friends do all of the flower arranging for me. They did it all, from the center pieces to my bouquet. And the best part is, they used flowers from my dad’s garden! We had a lot of peonies, all placed into antique ball jars that had raffia tied around the tops. I loved the way they looked and only wish the flowers would have lasted forever. Unfortunately I don’t have any really good pictures of the flowers – hopefully when I get the professional photos this weekend there will be some. Until that point, here is the best I could do (these lasted until the breakfast the NEXT day!)

Last night, I hung out with my favorite entrepreneur, Jessi Walter of Taste Buds! I love hanging out with Jessi, not only because she is an awesome person, but she always has fun and interesting things for us to do. Often times, we attend cookies or baking classes, but last night was something different – it was flowers! Jessi had found a deal on living social for a flower arranging class at Celadon & Celery Events. While the class was a little shorter than I had anticipated, it was something that was fun to do.

A few tips that I walked away from the class with:

1. Clean your vase really well before you put your flowers in it. One of the main reasons that flowers can die so quickly is because bacteria can get into your water. Washing your vase with cleaner or bleach will help prevent this.

2. Change the water in the vase every day – add a little plant food each time

3. To keep hydrangea  from wilting, dunk the flower heads in cold water for 5 minutes before you put them in the vase. You also want to remove nearly all of the leaves. If you don’t, the leaves will soak up all of the water before it reaches the flowers

4. Cut your stems at an angle and then cut up the stem twice so that it splits into 4 different pieces all attached to the bottom of the stem (see picture here: http://www.israelflorist.com/store/images/site/7.jpg)

5. Try to keep your arrangement no more than 3 times the width of the vase and 2 times the height.

In the end, I walked away with a beautiful arrangement of flowers! Hopefully I can apply these skills without the instruction of the teacher. And one day, maybe I will be doing the flowers for a friend’s wedding!

My HGTV Crush

I have only been married for 1 month and I already have a new man in my life… David Bromstad.

After spending an entire day with him last week during a “Color Splash” marathon, I must confess… I am in love with David. Not only is he super cute and has an addictive personality, but he is talented as well. The rooms that he transforms on his tv show are amazing. I love everything he does! He inspires me to step outside my Crate and Barrel comfort zone and take risks.

Now, not only can you see David on his tv show “Color Splash” but on Monday nights, he appears on the HGTV reality show “Design Star.” This is the show that launch his career forward after he won to design contest. This year, David will be serving as the mentor to this year’s contestants, offer advice and a friendly smile.

Matt and I just re-signed our lease for another year in our current apartment. With all the wedding planning, we didn’t have enough time to really look and see what else is out there. And while I really do like where we live, I am getting a little tired of it. I want to start fresh, with a new blank canvass to decorate. So now, I will dedicate the next 12 months to finding that perfect place. Let’s just hope it comes with two bedrooms, some outdoor space and an inexpensive monthly rent! And when I find it, I am going to invite my new BFF David over to help me get started!

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Pan Mass Challenge – UPDATE

I would like to update you all on my progress towards my goals.

  • To date, I have raised $1,025
    Thank you to everyone who has already shown their support. I truly appreciate it! Unfortunately, I still have a long way to go! There is still plenty of time to make a donate – please click HERE to do so! Remember 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to the Jimmy Fund!
  • In 2011, I have ridden approximately 120 miles
    As a result, I am pretty confident I will finish the first day of the Pan Mass (110 miles) – not so sure how that second day is looking!
  • Matt vs. Molly
    Last year, I was able to keep pace with Matt fairly easily during the ride. So far this year, Matt has crushed me during every training ride. Last year Matt has a stress fracture in his leg that kept him on crutches right up until the Pan Mass. Apparently, that impacted his performance… and I thought he was just lazy. At least I will look better in my bike shorts!

As I have done in years past, I created a YouTube video from last year’s ride. Hopefully this helps you experience what it is like to ride 190 miles to fight cancer.

 
Thank you so much for your support! We are closer by the mile!

Say Cheese!

Today my mom went to pick up the cd that contains our wedding photos. I am super exciting to look through them all, although I have a feeling it might make me sad that the day is over. I loved every minute of the wedding and honestly couldn’t have asked for me. I can’t wait to post all about it!

Please check out Cheetah Design Studio. I would highly recommend their services for any photography needs!

Born To Run

I have to admit it, I don’t LOVE running. It is hard. And unlike biking, where you can coast and soar downhill, it is always hard. Unless you walk – but then, that isn’t running. But despite my sometimes negative relationship with running, there have been a few moment where I have loved running. The problem is, I had to suffer through weeks of hatred to get to that point. Weeks where I forced myself to get out the door and run the 4-5 miles, every step a challenge. But slowly, my body got used to the act of running and eventually, I found myself enjoying it. And I could time, I even thought, “hey, this is awesome.” Unfortunately, I am not quite at that place right now. And considering I am overseeing the Robin Hood Marathon Team, that isn’t a good thing!

During the honeymoon, Matt read the book “Born To Run.” I picked a much more advanced book… “Mini Shopaholic.” After finishing our respective books, Matt couldn’t stop talking about how good his book was, while I was slightly embarrassed to even tell him the title of mine. I decided that I needed a little more substance in my life (I don’t want to be the weak link in our marriage), so I decided that I would read Born to Run as well. And who knows, maybe I would learn how to enjoy running again.

The book is written by Christopher McDougall, a journalist for Men’s Health magazine and casual runner. The question “Why does my foot hurt?”  leads McDougall on a journey into Mexico’s Copper Canyon.  In his quest for answers, McDougall discovers the Tarahumara Indians, who are quite possibly the and greatest distance runners on the planet.  Their real name “Raramuri” translates into “The Running People”.

The Tarahumara are literally born to run and from an early age Taramuhara children play running games which continue well into their old age.  It is not uncommon for 80-year-old Tarahumara to run literally all day long through rough, mountainous terrain on little more than Pinole (a corn mixture used as a type of superfuel – There are no gels in the Copper Canyon!)  Not only are the Tarahumara excellent runners, they are also known for incredible health, long lives, serenity, and their peaceful nature.

Born to run tackles many issues, including why are so many runners injured every year (some data suggests as many as 80% of runners get injured every year), does running make a great man or woman or does a great man or woman make a great runner, and ultimately – aren’t we all “Born to Run” by our very nature, history and bio-mechanical makeup?


The book details facinating stories that include many of today’s well-known names in ultra running such as Scott Jurek, Ann Trason (there is a great account of the history 1994 Leadville 100 showdown between Ann and the Tarahumara), Barefoot Ted, Jenn Shelton and Luis Escobar, among others.   All these runners (aside from Ann) are involved in the final climatic story of this book which centers around the first ultra-distance race in Mexico’s Copper Canyon. 

In the end, the book was both educational and motivational. Mid-way through the honeymoon, Matt took me on a 3 mile trail run that wound along the cliffs lining the ocean in Kauai. And while I have a very long way to go before I am able to participate in an ultra marathon, it was inspirational. Not only was I inspired to run; I am now on a search for Pinole (the magical corn superfuel that keeps the Tarahumara going!)

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who runs, even casually. And even if you aren’t a runner, it is a very interesting story, filled with unique characters.

Below is a rather long video that tells the story of the Tarahumara that was shown on the Discovery Channel. I got to say, I LOVE the dramatic narration!

A New Family Member

Since my blogging hiatus, the Brethauer Family has added two new family members. One, Matt, my newly acquired Husband. But the second, and substantially more exciting, is my new niece, Bexley.

Bexley is my sister’s new puppy. She joined the family back in April and has been the center of attention since. I used to get videos and pictures every day – unfortunately it has become more of a weekly or every other week thing.

Kisses for Molly

Who needs a paper shredder when you have a dog?

She has provided hours and hours of entertainment

Now, if only we can teach Matt to do this…

 

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY BEX!

 

Pan Mass Challenge – 2011

 

On August 6th and 7th, I will ride 190 miles across the state of Massachusetts to raise money for cancer. This year I will be joined for the two-day ride with my sister Abby and my husband(!) Matt. This will be the fourth year that I have participated in the Pan Mass Challenge and every year I have become more and more passionate about the ride. 100% of the funds that are raised through the Pan Mass are donated directly to the Dana Farber Cancer Research and Treatment Institute.

 If you already want to make a donation, just click here: http://www.pmc.org/profile/MB0342. To be persuaded further, read on!

 Six months ago I began working for a non-profit foundation called Robin Hood. Our mission is to fight poverty in New York City by finding and funding 200 of the most successful poverty fighting organizations in the city. When I was originally offered the job, I remember thinking that the job was going be fantastic, but if nothing else, I was excited to learn the secret to fundraising from Robin Hood and apply it to my own Pan Mass fundraising efforts.

 Well, after working for Robin Hood for more than 6 months I can report that there is no secret to its success; it is straightforward. Have a mission that you believe in and hold to that mission. We believe passionately in the work that we do and our donors trust us to invest their dollars in the best poverty-fighting organizations.

 My passion for the Pan Mass and the work that is being done at Dana Farber stems from my own experiences throughout my life as well as those gained during the ride these past three years.

  •  Being told in high school that my friend had leukemia and not understanding why
  • Hearing the countless “Thank You for Riding” cheers as you ride along the 190 miles.
  • Seeing a sign in someone’s yard that states “Diagnosed with cancer, age 3. Today, thanks to you, living cancer free, age 8.”
  • Seeing the pedal partners, children who are currently undergoing cancer treatment, at the water stops who are cheering US on.
  • Struggling up a hill and being passed by someone riding along with a living proof* badge *given to riders who have been diagnosed with cancer at some point – some are still fighting it
  • Seeing a friend who was battling cancer standing along the road and cheering as loud as possible, while waving her wig around her head.
  • Seeing my mother cross the finish line in Provincetown just one year after being diagnosed with cancer.
  •  Hearing my dad tell me that they had found his skin cancer early. He was going to be fine.

I know many of you have similar stories, some more tragic than mine. Cancer doesn’t discriminate; it affects us all. However, thanks to your support we are making a difference in the fight against this terrible disease. And since 100% of every dollar raised goes directly to the Dana Farber Institute you can be certain that your donation will count.

 Hopefully my passion for this ride and the battle against cancer is contagious. If you have caught the bug, please make a donation here. Thank you so much for your support.