HEALTH | Stay Fit...


I’ll be honest and admit I’m not really one to exercise, like carving out time during my week to “hit the gym” but, I walk daily and opt to climb up and down the Metro escalators but that’s about the extent of my fitness routine. It’s sad I know because as I’ve gotten older, things don’t quite look the same as they once did in my younger days. So in an effort to try to stay fit and healthy and adding another form of exercise, I’ve decided to target my tummy somewhat affectionately known as my “fanny pack” to help me feel that I’m being a bit more active. Now when I make this reference to my friends, I get heavy sighs, “you want to see a fanny pack; I’ll show you a fanny pack while grabbing their stomachs. To them I look fine and my tummy is flat, but to me, I’ve seen a little bit of the “I’ve hit my 30’s semi bulge”.

So in an effort not to make you my readers agree with them, I won’t post a photo of my tummy but let me just tell you, I can grab the fanny pack. I’ve decided to recruit Jillian Michaels as my personal Ab Trainer and I borrowed my friend’s DVD. Tonight is the first night of my “personal training” and I’ll have to let you know if it takes me a full 6 weeks to see some results. Maybe I’ll post the Post-Fanny Pack photos to show you that I really did commit to exercising and getting rid of the bulge!

I also found this great article to aide you in getting rid of the "fannypack".

What are your exercise routines that you do daily, weekly or even monthly to help you stay fit?

MUSIC | Allen Stone...

A friend of mine who knows that I like good good music told me about Mr. Allen Stone . And to say|put it mildly, he’s pretty darn awesome. It's funny this morning I was telling my friend that I would like to see him if he were ever in the area and dog gone it, he'll be here tomorrow night. :)

Check him out:

Have a Lovely Weekend...

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapppppppppp Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapppppp Happy Friday! I'm glad that it's here and welcome it with HUGE wide open arms. Last week was a bit hectic but also beautiful. I went to Philadelphia for one of my good friend, Ilia's wedding and it was AMAZING, beautiful, awesome and FUN. I danced the night away celebrating with Ilia and everyone else that was elated for this new journey that she is currently on with her main man, her Hubby! I ended the weekend with a brief|quick|went by super fast|in a New York Minute perhaps trip to New York and then headed home sleepy and all to re-start another work week.

What are your plans for the weekend? Tonight I'm going to hang with my gal pal, eat some really good food from one of my favorite restaurants here in the city, Founding Farmers, enjoy people watching as the Congressional Black Caucus begin to wind down and see what becomes of the night. There were/are so many beautiful, dashing, intelligent, supportive, gifted people here in the city attending various CBC's event and I was fortunate enough to be able to participant in an event last night which was great, though cut a little bit short, it still was awesome and amazing to see so many wonderful people fill the city and streets of DC.

As for the rest of the weekend, I'll be living in the moment so we'll see how it goes.

New artist (to me) Allen Stone

Belongs in my closet on the double, brace yourself....

This reminds me of something that my Aunt might actually enjoy, The Joey Bra. She also might say that she's been storing things in there for years, ha ha

Fun. colorful and quirky Clothing Line

As always, have an amazing weekend, do something that's wonderful in your eyes, be kind, be patient and live in the moment. Have a Lovely Weekend!

If you like to see my "days|life|findings|" in pictures, follow me on Instagram @penelopetoop, it should be fun!

J.CREW | Darling...

I think that the most amazing item from this photo is the sweater that says...DARLING! Be still my ticker (heart) J.Crew. Right on the M-O-N-E-Y!!!

FOOD RECIPE | Eva Longoria Chicken Tortilla Soup...

I LOVE soup, I’m the type of person who can eat soup all year round! The great thing about it is you can make it as light or as heavy as you like, seasonally acceptable I guess you can say!

Now that the Fall season is quickly upon us or pretty much here, there are tons of soups waiting to be made and eaten.

I found this really tasty (sounding) Tortilla Soup that is sure to bring some warmth and a plethora of flavors to your tastebuds! One of the components of this soup that I can truly appreciate is one of the foods that I have grown to love as an adult, avocado. Seriously I can’t get enough of it, not only does it taste good but it's good for you, your skin and your hair. Although I'm a little iffy about lettuce in my soup I may opt to skip that step or I may just follow this recipe to the "T", hey why not!

Another tasty part of Tortilla Soup is the ridiculous amount of tortilla chips that you can mount on top of it! Who wouldn’t love that?

I’m looking forward to making this soup and whenever I head back to LA,  I have to make it a point to check out Beso which serves this soup. I viewed their webpage and the AMBIANCE ALONE is enough to draw me in but the menu looks divine as well.

Cook, eat and enjoy!

Have a Lovely Weekend...

This weekend should be fairly quiet and lowkey. I'm looking forward to tonight which is "Pizza and a Movie Date Night" so after work I'll be picking up my reserved (yes, I like to find things and reserve them so they aren't gone from the store once I arrive) copy of Wild Target and munching on some good, good, no really good pizza. Good times ahead I tell ya!

On a more responsible note, one of my main goals this weekend is to do some Fall cleaning/purging just to clear out some clutter|things that don't need to take up anymore space in my bedroom|closet. You know, I want be able to securely close my drawers and actually get to items in my closet. Not that things aren't neat, it's just overloaded and needs some editing :)

If all goes well with the above and I'm not too pooped, I would really like to try and make this pasta recipe I mentioned here possibly with some salmon and spinach (two of my food staples).

In Other Lovely News

I've been hearing wonderful things about Belle Butters (natural/handmade products for hair and body) so I can't wait to order a few products. My skin should be "oh so happy".

If you're interested in and/or love short films then be sure to catch your fill at  the DC Shorts Film Festival.

While reading the paper yesterday I was beyond excited about the Union Terminal Market which opens its doors tomorrow (I love food shopping)! Though the weather is due to be a bit rainy and all of the stores|shops aren't debuting, it still might be worth the trip! Food, shopping and a little bit of the arts under one roof, sounds divine to me!

Lush has created a line of highly pigmented "liquid lipsticks" (amongst other items to include: mascara, eyeliner & face tints). One of the interesting things to know is that each color is attached|tagged to an Emotional adjective hence the name Emotional Brilliance.

Caviar Manicure? Sounds very very interesting and actually looks pretty cute!

I like to support local businesses/entrepreneurs, so I'm waiting with bated breath for these amazing/inspirational K.R.T. Sweatshirts to get back in stock!

Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope that it's restful, productive & fun. As always, have a Lovely Weekend!!

FOOD | Sweet Potato Cream Pasta...


This morning during a small break I was persuing the Net and found this wonderful food blog, How Sweet Eats ( I love food and finding awesome recipes to try, so naturally I was giddy). She (Jessica) has wonderful food photos of items that she personally cooks. If you are a self-professed "foodie" you will absolutely LOVE her blog and she's comical to boot. I def. want to try this Sweet Potato Cream Pasta (her recipe is topped with Kale, but I might use spinach as a side dish instead).

Check out her recipe below:

Sweet Potato Cream Pasta with Crispy Kale
serves 2-4

1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup freshly grated romano cheese + 2 tablespoons
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta (preferably noodles)
1 head of kale, leaves torn from stems
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add kale, sesame oil, 2 tablespoons romano cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat with your hands and massage kale for 1-2 minutes, until flavors are distributed. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, tossing 1-2 times while cooking, until crispy. Remove and set aside.

Bring pasta water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions.

While kale is cooking, heat olive oil and butter oven medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add in shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt, cooking for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Increase heat to medium and add in flour, whisking constantly to create somewhat of a roux. Once the roux has turned golden, add in mashed sweet potato and milk, whisking to combine. It will take a few minutes of whisking to bring the mixture together, and it’s okay if a few small bits of potato remain. Let the mixture come to a simmer in order for it to thicken a bit, but be careful because it thickens quickly. If it becomes too thick, simply add a little milk to thin it out. Reduce heat to low and stir in romano, remaining salt and pepper.

Once pasta is finished cooking, add noodles directly into the sweet potato sauce. Let sit for a few minutes, then transfer everything to a large bowl. Top with crispy kale and toss to distribute.

I'm actually thinking about making this over the weekend. She also has a drool worthy recipe for Toasted Marshmallow Coconut Milk Ice Cream .... I think I'm in love, ha ha


FRIENDS, FOOD & a MOVIE | For a Good Time Call...

Here’s something that you may have already gathered if you’ve been around the blog for a little bit. I like going to the movies, purchasing movies (yep good ol’ DVDs), I like to eat and I like to hang with friends. So why not do all those things in one evening!

I signed up to see Free Movie Screenings here in the DC area so tonight a few work pals and I are heading to see a rather girly comedy called: For a Good Time Call.

The premise of the movie is as follows: Two young women whose circumstances propel them into a hilarious joint business venture of the “carnal phone talk” kind.

It seems like a hilarious movie and something that you and your gals pals should gather together and see and that’s exactly what we plan to do tonight. Once the clock strikes “quitting time”, we’re going to head on over to a sushi restaurant, chat about the day, spark some conversation regarding the forthcoming movie, head to the theatre and enjoy!

What kind of after work fun do you and your friends tend to get into?


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