I’m Smitten With Songza


Music has always been a huge focus in my life. I remember saving my pennies and buying my very first record. Actually, it was TWO records: Boy George and The Culture Club’s Colour By Numbers (in color nonetheless!) and Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical. Then there were the cassettes. The best of which included Micheal Jackson Thriller and Cindi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual. The cassette was my era. We swapped tracks filled with inuendos in the form of mixed tapes, lovingly crafted with the push of FF, Pause, and Play/Record buttons. Next came and went CDs and along with them brick and mortar CD stores. Today everything is digital and starts with an i.  itunes, ipods, and iphones. Still a music junkie, I now get my fill with virtual radio stations like Pandora and Spotify only to be wooed by the newest audio kid on the block, Songza. This local New York company fufills my nostalgia  for a good ‘ole mixed tape, making good on their promise for Good Music making Good Times. Their playlists are curated by music experts to give you specific recommendations based on time of the day you’re listening, mood, and/or activity you’re engaged in. There’s a playlist for everything from commuting to concentrating. I think the folks at Songza know that everyone’s life should have a soundtrack. They helped me find mine. What would be yours?

We’re Smitten With…Spotify


I will admit I have been a die hard Pandora user since it’s inception. So, when my instructor Nicola Yvette asked me if I used Spotify, I was clueless. At first glance I couldn’t be bothered learning a new interface and letting go of my current playlists on ol’ Pandora- but the buzz about this newcomer was getting louder. I realized I had to try it out and dipped my toe in with the free version. Much like my old friend, you can listen to millions of songs on your computer sprinkled with irritating commercials- big deal. On further exploration though,  you can see where Spotify really shines. They took social media and infused it with music sharing. Make a playlist, search for your buds on the FaceBook and subscribe to theirs. Don’t fret, you’ll still have the ability to listen to a radio station based on that new Carly Rae Jepsen song. Pay $5 a mo to get rid of those pesky Rite Aid spots, or twice that to have the luxury of listening to all your playlists and tunes on your iphone while underground, no WiFi required. Just upload an actual application for your computer which works without internets, and the annoying “are you still listening?” stoppage from ahem…the other guys. Upload your iTunes to Spotify for a one stop music shop if you desire, but the biggest draw for Spotifiers is the social media interaction. Even if the thought of sharing your music choices on Twitter gives you hives, this is worth trying. Get the premium for gratis for 30 days. See if you even miss…what’s their name again?

5 Things I’m Smitten With 56

Aww…you missed me! The word on the street is that everyone’s missing their weekly fix of 5 things. Well, we weren’t trying to deprive you on purpose, but in order to redo my blog and create my lifestyle brand, some things had to give. Now 5 Things I’m Smitten With (the killer email that’s been landing in your inbox every Friday) will now only arrive every two weeks. Don’t fret though- ’cause now there’s another way to get smitten with your life! Simply visit my new blog: lindsaylopez.com and subscribe to get updates every time I post. I’ll be blogging about those same things I’ve been smitten with all along, as well as other juicy tidbits on fitness, fashion, food, and any other fabulous thing that strikes my fancy. All I ask in return for your dose of this goodness is share the word!!! Forward this email to someone you’re smitten with, post on your Facebook wall, or tweet away to all your followers- because these 5 Things are too good to keep to yourself!


Sunday Night Dinner
My friends know me as a kind of maven. If you want to know about the newest restaurant in the neighborhood, the place to buy some cool digs, or what music to put in your ears or novel to pour over- I’m your gal. So it’s no surprise that I knew all about The Sunday Night Dinner in Astoria. Back in 2003 two fellow foodies, Tamara and Zora, met while working in (what else), a restaurant. They bonded straightaway by their love of all things delicious and their home borough of Queens with it’s eclectic eats. What started out as a casual, ‘come as you are, just bring some wine!’ dinner for friends and family, has developed into a regular gig. This underground supper club is the hottest ticket in Astoria. So, when I serendipitously was invited to a get-together for fellow Astoria bloggers, imagine my delight when I realized I was going for an infamous Sunday Night Dinner! A table full of strangers, glasses of wine in hand, my world came full circle. For this special dinner Tamara Renyolds produced course after course of goodness. Candied bacon lollipops, heirloom carrot salad with lemon, cardamom, and ginger, and of course for dessert- roasted plums with burnt honey ice cream. If you’re not lucky enough to get an invite, check out the duos awesome collection of recipes in their book, Forking Fantastic. Such a lovely tradition I was privy to. I encourage you to make your own rituals, they are even more fun on the down-low.


Vitamin String Quartet
I get emails from time to time with suggestions about things I just might be smitten with. Last week my old friend (old as in time we’ve known each other, not in biological age. Although we’re both getting up there!) Chris Jerger gave me a fantastic tip, the Vitamin String Quartet. Not a huge classical music fan, I was skeptical that these musicians could imbue a rock n’ roll approach to what usually puts me to sleep. After backing up some of the heaviest rock groups, filling out their harsh music with the groups melodious arrangements of sound, these LA based instrumentalists have expanded with covers of some of the industries most popular artists. They have countless albums to pick from, but so far what I’ve downloaded (their versions of Lady Gaga and Adele) I just can’t shut it off. If you listen carefully you just might hear their sweet-sounding instrumentals playing ‘Paparazzi’ in my studio…


Hunger Games
I’ve been devouring books lately. Most of my choices were recommendations from my client Dara. Like me, Dara is a voracious reader and favors a good suspense or who-done-it titles. In preparation for our recent hurricane scare (yes, apparently we can have hurricanes in NYC!) she gave me a couple good reads to pass the time. One of those were The Hunger Games. Author Suzanne Collins intended this series for pre-teens, but it’s caught on like wildfire to all most every adult I know. The Hunger Games is the first of a series of three novels featuring the young heroine Katniss Everdeen as she struggles for survival in the destruction of what once was North America and against it’s malicious governing body. Part thrill, part romance tale, I was hard-pressed to put this down and finally gave in when my clock read 3am! A quick read, but easily habit-forming, you’ll find yourself jones-ing for the next installment the moment you close the book. Stay tuned for a movie version on it’s way to a theater near you.


Trader Joes WIne Shop
I recently sung the praises of my California transplant Trader Joes. While in the Cali stores, liquor laws permit wine to be sold right along side the trail mix and frozen pizza. Here in NYC you can’t find the hooch (with the exception of beer) inside the grocery store. Luckily Trader Joes has a resolution- their very own wine shop! The Trader Joes Wine Shop is the only one of it’s kind here in the city, and lucky for me- it’s right down the street from my studio. While the lines in the grocery store usually keep me long enough to discourage me from repeating the wait on the wine side, I recently braved the crowds, and was so happy I did. For an art reception we were throwing at the studio, I needed libations, and at a fair price. I was amazed at the size and selection inside. Frankly, it put the two tiny aisles of bottles I was accustomed to back home to shame. I made it out with 22 bottles of medium grade vino and clocked in at only $150! You can do the math, but that comes out to only $6.80 a bottle. I tried lots of new labels and got a few of my old favs. Here are my choices for your trip to shangri-liquor:

Schloss Biebrech Sekt
An old fav from my friends in Cali. We’ve drunk our fill of this $3.99 sparkling gem to give it a big thumbs up. Clean, crisp, a tad fruity it’s great to drink on it’s own or mix with juice, mimosa style.

2009 Green Fin California White Table Wine
I just had this for the first time on my recent scavenger hunt. Apparently a Trader Joes’ exclusive, this organic wine is from the same producers as 2 Buck Chuck. At $3.99 a bottle this was a surprise cheap hit at the party. It’s almost oaky in color, but in taste is beautifully fruity with notes of tropical locals on your palate.

2007 Picket Fence Pinot Noir
This spicy Russian River Valley favorite usually retails for $30 a bottle. Not so at good ‘ol TJ’s. Here it’s an affordable $8.99 a bottle. One of the most expensive bottles I purchased, I will be going back to get more any day now. Light bodied, with an essence of fruit (strawberries and cherries, oh my!). Low acidity with a delightful vanilla finish. Not to be missed.


LinkedIn iphone app
I don’t update my iphone nearly often enough, and I usually barely notice the updates on the apps as they come in. Not the case with LinkedIn’s iphone app. I admit I’m usually much more of a frequent Twitter and Facebook user. So, imagine my surprise when I opened my LinkedIn app and could barely even recognize it! The main page opens up to a dashboard that has all you need- updates, status, profile, connections, inbox, etc. The newest techie feature that I’m planning on using at my next networking trip is the “in person” bluetooth linking ability to share info wirelessly. Now if that’s not Star-Trekky I don’t know what is. Facebook- take a lesson from your friends at LinkedIn. Your app is pretty crappy in comparison…..just saying.