wild rice and peach saladthere comes a time each summer, when i’ve eaten one too many ice cream cones and had one too many drinks and i just start to feel like a giant blob of unhealthy. such was the case during the week leading up to labor day, when i told myself, after a weekend of somewhat-controlled debauchery on the jersey shore, that i was going to “eat clean” for a week.

that didn’t last. i mean, i tried, really, i did. and i definitely ate healthier, but if there’s one thing i learned about myself, it’s that putting restrictions like “eat clean all week” on myself just make me want pasta even more. whereas, when i just tell myself i’m actively going to try and eat healthily, and swap my ice cream cones for berries, i’m somewhat able to do so.

anyway, during my “eat clean” week, i stumbled across this recipe from the QUEEN of eating clean. seriously, this woman is perfectly happy to eat a giant bowl of vegetables for dinner and call it a day. i mean, i wish i was that sort of human, but i’m just not.

i adapated sarah’s recipe to fit my own tastes, and to make it work-lunch worthy, i served it over arugula, which beefed it up a little (and added some greens, which are always healthy, right?!). it’s delicious. trust me, you want to make this.

what you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice mix
  • 1-2 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1/3 cup mint, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • juice of one large orange
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • pink himalayan salt or sea salt

what you’ll do

  • cook rice according to package directions. generally speaking, rice is a 2:1 water to rice ratio, with a bit of butter or oil thrown in.
  • stick your rice in the fridge to cool. meanwhile, mince your garlic and shallot, and juice your orange.
  • mix the shallot, garlic, OJ, EVOO, red wine vinegar and a little bit of salt (i used sea salt) into the bowl. stick your fork in and taste it. add more salt (or a little pepper, i did) if you’d like.
  • slice your peaches and roughly chop your mint.
  • in a large bowl, combine rice, peaches, and mint. add dressing and mix well, then stick in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors really seep in. i left mine in there overnight, since i was bringing it to work the next day.
  • when you’re ready to serve, fill a plate with a hearty serving of arugula (spinach or mixed greens would also work nicely here), and top with rice salad. sprinkle with some fresh mint and a little bit of salt and pepper, then toss to combine.

et voila! a healthy, pretty salad that will make everyone else at the office jealous.

 

071f1eff1e6704c21a729ddd41fc8400yesterday was one of those days that made me think a lot about what i have, and how easy it is to lose everything in a single moment. i purposefully held off on posting; i think in the case of september 11th, for the most part, silence speaks louder than any words i could write. i didn’t live here when the planes hit the towers, but having been here for the better part of 6 years, i feel like i can at least call myself somewhat of a new yorker, and every year on 9/11, i feel a little pang in my chest, like a tiny piece of my heart has chipped off and swirled down the drain. the world is kind of a scary place these days, you know? i don’t remember the last time i saw something truly happy on the news, and conflict seems to be around every.single.corner. yesterday, i woke up to clouds obstructing the sun, and i thought, good. it simply wouldn’t seem right for the sun to shine on a day like today. 

like millions of other new yorkers, i got up, and went about my day. i took the subway, i walked to work, i got a coffee at my regular spot – but i did so with a heaviness in my heart that isn’t there on other days. then, when i got to work, i found out that a friend’s father had passed away the evening before. and while i’d never met him, and while this friend and i aren’t that close, i felt this dark cloud settle over me, one little prick of sadness after another.

the world just isn’t fair, you know? i know, that’s a silly and childish thing to say. of course the world isn’t fair. but sometimes i want it to be, so that bad things, hard things, things that break our hearts – so that those things don’t happen to the people i care about.

i’m not really the god-fearing type, but i do ascribe to the belief that there’s something greater than us out there, something that has a sense of our purpose, and our plan. that’s not to say there is a reason for everything, but i like to think that sometimes, there’s someone up there (oprah, is that you?) pulling just a few strings.

all that heaviness yesterday got me thinking about just how lucky i am. sure, i put up a post two days ago about my wounded heart, and sure, i’m SAF (single as fuck, a term i recently coined to describe myself), but if that’s the worst thing in my life right now, god damn am i grateful.

grateful. it’s a good word, isn’t it? it makes you think of the things, the moments, the people and places you’re thankful for. it reminds you to take a step back, and see everything as relative, and remember the good instead of focusing on the bad. on days when it seems like the world is a terrible, horrible, scary place, and like no one’s up there minding the store, i like to remind myself of what’s important: all the things i do have, not all the things i don’t. thinking about all those people who lost their lives on 9/11, thinking about my friend who will never get to call his father again – those are terrible, horrible things. and when i stop and truly think about them, they make me realize: my problems? not so bad.

so, as a short exercise, a few things i am grateful for.

1) my health, and the health of my loved ones. almost immediately after hearing about my friend’s father’s death, i texted my entire family. had my parents not been at a medical conference, i would have called. i just needed to hear that they were okay, that they were there. and then i said, i am so thankful that we’re all still here, and we’re all still healthy. my family isn’t perfect (who’s is?) but we love each other dearly, and i wouldn’t be where i am today without them.

2) my job. sometimes i hate it, but i quite like it, and i feel happy to go into work each day. doing something you enjoy is an absolute privilege, and i try not to forget that.

3) my city. i live in one of the most vibrant, exciting, interesting, diverse cities in the entire world. sometimes, new york uses me as its punching bag, but most of the time, the city is pretty damn nice to me, and i’ll be damned if i don’t feel lucky to live here.

4) my body. slightly connected to my health, but also its own thing. anyone who reads this blog regularly knows i struggle greatly with my body image (and i probably always will), but over the past few years, i’ve been working towards a place of acceptance. while i’m not there yet, i have gotten to the point where i have moments in which i feel strong, and capable, and oh so thankful for two working arms and two working legs, and the ability to get just about anywhere on my own two feet. there are many people (my own cousin included) who do not have this luxury; i try not to take it lightly.

5) my friends. i have never been the girl to have a huge group of friends, and slowly but surely, i’m learning to be okay with that. what i do have, however, is a good handful of people i can count on rain or shine, and then a whole other bucket of folks who are just plain wonderful, even if i can’t count them as my inner circle. this morning, one of my old coworkers reached out to send me a little ray of sunshine, and i can’t tell you just how much it made my day. people like that – ones who do things to make others happy purely out of the kindness of their own hearts – they make my time on this world worth it.

i’d love to know: what are you grateful for? 

5 trends to try for fall

 

you guys, fall is here. well, almost. let me rephrase: fall clothes are here. i may or may not have already splurged on a vince sweater coat at nordstrom rack (cozy central). like all basic white girls, fall is my favorite season, hands down. i just love dressing for autumn. give me a pair of leggings and sweater with a big floral scarf over a sundress any day. i am the happiest of campers when i can layer up the wazoo, and then throw a leather jacket over my shoulders. sunglasses, oxblood nails, berry-tinted lips. done and DONE, my friends. i love fall dressing so much that i’m pretty sure i’m way cuter in the fall. yes, you can quote me on that. or judge me on it (the latter would be more appropriate).

since it’s almost autumn, i’ve been pinning fall outfit inspiration like crazy, as any single girl with a cat is wont to do. the above looks offer 5 trends i’m thinking we (you and me) have to try for fall. some of them are already in, some are ALWAYS IN (hi, faux fur, love you), and some are new, to me, at least. most likely none are new to the more fashionable denizens of this fine city, but let’s be real: not all of us can look like we stepped out of a sartorialist shot.

so, let’s do this, shall we? here are 5 trends you’ve got to try for fall.

1) faux fur. repeat after me: faux fur is your friend. not real fur, because that’s creepy and not fair to the animals who need it way more than you do. faux fur, however, is the shit. it’s cozy. it keeps you warm. it comes in gorgeous colors. it’s CHIC, you guys. i swear, add some faux fur and you automatically look more sophisticated. at least, that’s what i tell myself every time i wear my faux fur snood. if you need inspiration for how to wear it, see images 3 and 4, where olivia palermo and some pretty blonde girl are layering faux fur (or, maybe real fur, those assholes) over their respective shirts/jackets. i love the look of a fur vest over a leather jacket, and there’s something about the juxtaposition of faux fur and a sheer silk shirt that looks effortlessly cool.

2) skirts with sweaters. when done right, a maxi with a sweater can be flattering, warm, and (dare i use the word again?) effortless. it’s the easy way out. but check out the ladies above. laurel pantin (that adorable blonde in the bottom right in the shot above) rocks it out with double the texture, double the fun. she’s got a funky knee-length skirt (hard to pull off no matter what your body type) with a chunky knit, and she’s ROCKING it. the all white color scheme ain’t too shabby either. then there’s the lady to the left, who is a dead ringer for kate hudson (in real life, she’s a style blogger). that sheer black tea-length skirt with the light v-neck sweater? i die for this look. if i were tall blonde and thin, i would wear this every single day.

3) big floral scarves. i’ll admit it: i’m kind of a scarf addict. i love them. i own way too many of them. and now i want to own more, particularly, one with big bright florals all over it. joanna hillman is a serious style icon (the hair. the red lips. the impossibly long legs.), and that shot, with the camel jacket, is no exception. i’d also pair that scarf with a striped long-sleeve tee (alexander wang makes my faves), a light sweater, a leather jacket…the list goes on and on. a floral scarf is basically a neutral, in my book.

4) tons of texture. let’s go back to laurel, shall we? there is so much texture going on in that outfit. the skirt. the knitted sweater. the leather belt. this is a tough look to pull off, but the style lesson is still there: don’t be afraid to mix and match. wear your lace with a fisherman’s sweater. pair sequins with faux fur (within reason, of course, there’s a reason that less is more). my general strategy is to put it all on, then take at least one thing off. this generally means i don’t leave the house looking like i got dressed in the dark (note, i said generally).

5) pattern play. the first image in the bunch above is a shot of j.crew’s fall/winter ’14 presentation. that means it was shot last february, when we were still wading through slush and thinking winter would never, ever end. i pinned in ages ago, but i can’t wait to glean some style inspiration from it now. floral pants with a plaid scarf? don’t mind if i do. pattern mixing has been “in” for a few seasons now, but i’ve been doing it since i was a kid. i mean, i was the girl that showed up to a sleepaway camp wearing floral printed jorts and a tie dyed tee when everyone else was in juicy sweatsuits. case in point: don’t be afraid to mix it up. in my book, weirder is better.

and there you have it. style notes from a basic bitch who loves black leggings more than life itself.

47f4faffa2e429a05251506d444ac64fi had another post scheduled for today – a recipe for a delicious wild rice salad – but i woke up this morning and felt like i had to get something off my chest. for just about as long as i can remember, i’ve turned to writing to release my feelings. i was the girl that wrote diligently in her diary, who joined deadjournal (wow, throwback) in high school to write down all her emo musings. i’ve always needed an outlet for my feelings (because let’s be real: i have a fuckload of feelings, about pretty much everything, pretty much all the time), and sometimes, it just doesn’t feel right to burden my friends or family with them. so in those situations, i write them down. somehow, getting my thoughts out on paper (or virtual paper, in this case), makes things seem more manageable.

so, here i go again with the confessional style posts – something i haven’t done in quite some time actually.

i’d like to tell you a story. it’s called, “sarah might be single forever, but at least she tried” – lovely, right?

as many of you may recall, i started a new job a few months ago. actually, i suppose it was about 6 months ago, at this point. time flies! this is going to sound disgustingly superficial, but when i got the job, one of the first things i thought to myself was, well, maybe i’ll meet someone at my new job. there were absolutely zero eligible bachelors at my last job, and while i adored my coworkers, i wasn’t about to be baby-makin’ with any of them. now, before you go on and tell me that i shouldn’t be going into a job looking for a boyfriend (i know, thanks), let me explain.

it is really hard to meet people in new york. or at least, it is for an introvert like me. see, i “do” lots of things here in our fine city. i work. i volunteer. i exercise at studios, where, presumably, one might meet someone. and yet, i rarely do. meet people, that is. sure, i make friends, because i’m a girl’s girl through and through. but even that scares me (making new girl friends). try and put me in a situation where i’m supposed to meet a guy, and i clam up. i’m either awkward and aloof (not on purpose), or i try too hard. i can’t seem to straddle the line of the happy medium.

add to that a stint on just about every dating site there is (all of which have been beyond depressing, who wants to ONLINE SHOP FOR A BOYFRIEND? NO THANKS.), and i feel like i’ve tried it all. tell me: if a girl no longer enjoys pounding cranberry vodkas on friday and saturday nights, and she spends a good 9 hours a day in an office 5 days a week, where oh where is she supposed to meet someone? let’s say she’s already exhausted her friend circles, and she’s given up on stupid dating fads like tinder and okcupid.

i’ll tell you where. at her office. because it’s the place where she spends over 50% of her time each week, if not more.

that’s right, folks. i spend more time with my coworkers than i do with just about anyone else. it’s a good thing i like them.

so anyway, i went into this new job thinking that maybe, just maybe, there would be someone special here for me. and then, surprise of all surprises, i sort of thought i’d found him.

about a month into my new job, i realized i had a crush. one of those stupid, middle school style, blush when he’s around crushes. and for a little while, i had a sense that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t a one-sided thing. that maybe i was about to get lucky. that maybe soon he’d be standing in my kitchen eating homemade cookie dough off a spatula with me late on a tuesday night.

and i let myself, stupidly, get excited. i let myself go all crazy in my head, and imagine all the things that could be. i started over-interpreting simple actions like a crazy person, because remember what i said about having SO MANY FEELINGS?! i got totally ahead of myself, and read into things that didn’t deserve reading into. and maybe a few things that did.

but either way, the end result was that i learned that i’d read wrong, and that my crush was totally, unequivocally, unrequited. and somehow, i feel like i kind of got my heart broken, even though i know that for all intents and purposes, that’s not at all what happened here. what happened here is that i let myself get my hopes up, and i dove in headfirst because i don’t know how to do things any other way, and then i got disappointed by something that should have been obvious in the first place.

and now, i just feel sad. like i wasted a few months on something that was never there, that was only in my head, and like i might just be single forever if i can’t learn to figure this shit out. last week, i had two girlfriends over for dinner, and i talked to them about my quandary, and i started going into this headspace where it was all, “and then i did this wrong, and then i assumed that incorrectly, and it’s clearly all in my head, and i should have never let it get to this point.”

and my friend kara turned to me and said, “no, that’s BULLSHIT. YOU DID NOTHING WRONG.”

and as hard as it was to believe, there was this tiny little spark in the bottom of my heart that said, “you know what? she’s right. all i did was believe myself and believe in someone else and hope a little bit. all i did was put myself out there.”

and while i do feel sad, i also feel like i need to not beat myself up over this. it’s not good for my heart to be thinking about all the reasons it didn’t work, all the reasons it was in my head, all the reasons he wouldn’t have wanted me. because that’s just going to make me feel like shit, plain and simple. and while it was me, obviously, it wasn’t really about me, you know?

so, here i go again, back out into the world, to try and feel my way into something that’s right. i feel like i could use a little white snake behind me, no?

6 steps to the perfect fall manicurebuffer | cuticle oil | moisturizer | base coat | polish | top coat

so, i have a confession to make: i got sort of addicted to gel nail polish this summer. i know, i know. it’s terrible for your nails, and it’s so much more expensive, but there is just something positively crack-like about staring at shiny nails that DO NOT CHIP. FOR WEEKS. i mean, hello amazing. gel is simply easier when it comes to maintenance, and it’s especially good for summer, when too many days at the beach can wreck havoc on your mani/pedi.

that might be the most superficial sentence i’ve ever written. alas.

anywho, now that summer’s on its way out the door (don’t let the door hit you on your humid ass on the way out, summa! just kidding, i love you), i’m re-dedicating myself to the practice of DIY manicures, and kicking my gel habit to the curb. over the years, i’ve pretty much perfected the art of the at-home manicure, so i thought i’d share the wealth. people often ask me how i get such nice manicures with just my own two hands, and the answer is much like other things: practice, practice, practice. and then practice some more.

i think my hands have gotten considerably less shaky over the years, but i still make a bit more of a mess when i’m painting with my left hand – but hey, that’s why god made q-tips, right? above are my 6 steps to a perfect manicure, any time. but since it’s fall, we’ll go with fall manicure, yeah? i’m crushing on that butter london shade above. god i love me some glitter.

 1) cut, buff and file. the perfect manicure starts with fresh, clean nails. i prefer short and square shaped, but you can go long and rounded if that’s your thing. just don’t let them get too long, you’ll look like you have crack nails, ya hear? i trim with a nail clipper, file straight across to get them even, and then buff the heck out of them with the little doo-hickey above.

2) clean cuticles and apply oil. at my nail place, they always attempt to cut my cuticles with a scary looking tool, but i try to simply “push” and clean instead. cutting leads to hangnails, in my humble opinion, so i simply clean things up and then massage some oil into my cuticles. trust me, oil helps. one of my good friends carries a little bottle of cuticle oil in her bag at all times, and massages it in at random. i can’t commit to that, but i try to lube ‘em up when i can (gross?).

3) moisturize. dry hands are not cute. i should know, my hands and feet are always dry. my feet, to the point where the girls at the nail salon yell at me (WHY YOU SO DRY?! girl, i don’t know! in the words of gaga, i was born this way!). my hands are a bit better, but i try to moisturize as often as i can, especially in the winter, when cracked skin gets the best of me. the aesop lotion above is a splurge, but it’s amazing, trust me.

4) apply a base coat. i’ll admit, sometimes i’m feeling lazy, and i skip this step. but i notice that when i remember to apply base coat, my manicure lasts longer, plain and simple.

5) apply polish of your choicei’m a big fan of glitter pretty much any time, anywhere, but a shade like the one above, with a subtle shimmer, is a bit more work-appropriate. come fall, i lean toward deep oxblood shades and moody greens. on days when i’m feeling more casual, i go with a bronze/rose gold ish shade like the one above, always with some shimmer.

6) apply top coat. i SWEAR by this top coat. there are more expensive versions out there, but i’ve tried a bunch and i always come back to my beloved out the door, which truly does have you out the door much sooner than pretty much any other option. quick dry for the win, am i right?

and there you have it: 6 simple steps to getting that perfect fall manicure. you and your beautiful nails can thank me later.

happy weekend

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well, i’m officially a no good, very bad blogger. i have these dreams of being the type of person who sits down at her computer each day (or, let’s be real, each night) and writes something, anything, just to get some words on the page. but instead, i go on living my life, not tending to my little corner of the internet, except for when i publish these silly end of the week roundups that no one really cares about anyway. i don’t know why, exactly, i can’t seem to get it together. part of it might be that i sit at a computer all day long and when i come home the last thing i want to do is touch my laptop. literally, i don’t think i’ve opened my personal laptop in a month. sorry, laptop, love you miss you xoxo.

i have all these ideas, and all these moments i want to write about, and then i just plain don’t get around to it. ask pretty much any accomplished writer for advice on writing, and they’ll tell you the first thing to do is to sit your ass down in your chair and just WRITE SOMETHING. which is what i need to do. sit my ass down – at lunch, at work, at home, in front of my TV, at starbucks, anywhere really – and WRITE SOMETHING.

so, here i go again, trying to be a good blogger for the one or two people who actually read this thing, but also for myself, because i know i’m a better writer when i write all the time.

ANYWAY, now that i’ve gotten that off my chest, here are the interesting things i read and loved this week.

three little dots, a whole lot of anxiety. how the iphone’s “typing awareness indicator” is killing us slowly (i’m exaggerating, sort of).

this guy dropped one letter from his resume and the offers came flying in. whitewashing, folks.

this list of 25 things all basic white girls do during the fall hit waaay close to home. guess i’m basic, guys. i may not drink PSLs but i looove me some autumn.

that’s it. i’m booking a trip to turkey. no but really – how amazing does this place look? perfect for a honeymoon (or for SAF ladies like myself, a girl’s trip).

i think you’re fat. i clicked on this because i am fat, but i stayed because it’s a great read about radical honesty.

i just finished kevin kwan’s crazy rich asians, and it was a total mindfuck. has anyone read it? thoughts?!

happyweekendso, as is the theme in pretty much every blog post/facebook post/tweet i’ve read today, labor day weekend is here and HOLY SHIT HOW IS LABOR DAY WEEKEND HERE?! i am usually not really a fan of summer, but even i am slightly sad that the scorching season is done. this summer flew by; it seems like just a week or so ago i was pulling my maxi dresses to the front of the closet and scoping out shoe stores for a few new pairs of sandals. time flies when you’ve got summer fridays, i guess. i’ve got one last beach day scheduled for tomorrow, and then it’s back to the grind. no more early fridays, back to 6pm soul with my girl krista, and back to weekends that aren’t peppered with sand and hot sunshine. to be honest, i’m a bit excited for fall. and by that i mean, it’s my absolute favorite season of all, and i can’t wait to pull out my cozy sweaters and big scarves and just be one big ball o’ COZINESS. with apple cider, of course.

there’s something about september that encourages you to push the reset button, and i intend to use this next month to do just that: get back into my routine, but in a way that feels natural and relaxed, not frantic and full of fear. this summer was wonderful, but i feel like i spent it running around, trying to squeeze everything in, worried i’d miss out on something. what that something was, i don’t really know. but i’ve got very few plans this weekend, and i’m quite happy about that. i’ve been away more days than i’ve been home in august, and i’m excited to do super-boring things like wash my couch covers, get my nails done, go to soul cycle, cuddle with penny, and whip up some new recipes. #grandmastatus

i hope that whatever you’re doing this weekend – however you’re ending summer and pushing reset – you have a wonderful time.

now, for the things i loved this week: 

the one word that comes up in women’s performance reviews (but not men’s). a good (albeit slightly depressing) read.

a dream home in sag harbor. this “cottage” is so pretty – i’d move in immediately.

speaking of moving in, i want my imaginary boyfriend to take me on a romantic weekend to the cape, and i want to stay here. 

my new favorite read. so much pretty here!

i was obsessed with taylor’s apartment when it was originally featured on design*sponge a few months back, and i’m even more obsessed with the before and after shots. proof that you can take a shithole and turn it into something beautiful so long as you’ve got good bones. side note: the idea of painting my kitchen cabinets and putting up backsplash makes me nervous – but maybe that’s just because i’ve always had “big bad corporate” landlords and not small town crown heights ones.

i just finished this book, and L-O-V-E-D it. i haven’t read a book that’s stuck with me like this one did in quite some time (the last book i loved this much was cheryl strayed’s “tiny beautiful things“)

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