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Monthly Archives: December 2013

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okay, first things first: how freaking adorable is this cat? i mean, hi, please cuddle with me ALL DAY EVERY DAY. there are two persian kittens currently looking for a home at kitty kind, where i volunteer (union square petco, nyc folks!), and while they’re as cute as it gets, i think this cat might win in a “take me home” contest.

anywho, the weekend. we did it, folks. we (or at least i) are officially on christmas vacation! i am thrilled to be away from new york (even though i just had a vacation), and even more thrilled to be home in massachusetts for almost a week (!). while my apartment here in NYC feels like home, there’s no home like my parent’s house. in fact, i’m not sure there ever will be. maybe when i have kids myself.

speaking of having kids, one of my favorite things this week was emily henderson’s birth story and accompanying photos (not gross ones, i promise). i’m a huge fan of emily’s blog, and have been following her baby stories over the past year. this was by far my favorite post, and made me really, really excited to pop out some babies like it ain’t no thang! just kidding – emily was honest about how insanely PAINFUL birth is. but she also talked about how beautiful it is, how the happiness is so great that it’s like nothing you’ve ever felt, and boy, do i want that feeling. helloooo, biological clock. tick tick tick tick tick…

other things that struck my fancy this week:

this DIY on spray-painting gold hardware. perfect for ikea hackers everywhere.

this NYTimes piece on dasani, a homeless child in new york. it’s at once frightening, incredibly moving, and heartbreaking. an absolute must read.

this article on how 2013 was a great year for women on the small screen. i couldn’t agree more. i loved OITNB, and am a scandal addict. notably, however, the piece missed a few of my favorite women-fronted shows: nashville, and my beloved pretty little liars.

this movie poster, for the fault in our stars, one of my favorite books of the past year (john green, you rock!). i’m not 100% sold on the tagline they chose, but i still can’t wait to see the film. shailene woodley is going to kill it as hazel.

holiday season is in full swing, and you know what that means? it’s outfit collage time, folks. here are three outfits i’d happily wear in the upcoming weeks.

*if you’re looking to pinch pennies, invest in two things: a fabulous red lip, and some fun, holiday appropriate polish. et voila!holiday dressing

Imagehave i mentioned that i’m not exactly the outdoorsy type? if i haven’t, now you know. this pin rings quite true to me. i’m not a fan of camping. i hate the scratchy feel of sleeping bags. i don’t enjoy a good hike. and yet, “hiking” (if you could even really call it that) was exactly what i found myself doing on my penultimate day in nicaragua. see, martha had mentioned that the view from the jesus christ statue that overlooks san juan del sur was out of this world. we couldn’t miss it. it had to be seen before i departed and flew back to new york. but the only way to get there was to walk up – and i mean up. 

up a series of ridiculously steep streets (my calves have never burned so intensely), and then up about 50-100 even steeper steps. when martha first mentioned the hike, i waved it off, and i’ll let you in on a little secret as to why it’s not just that i don’t like hiking, it’s that i’m afraid i can’t do it. afraid my body can’t handle it. afraid that i’m too overweight, too out of shape to conquer the heat and the hills. so when martha first mentioned the statue, but said it was ‘quite the hike,’ i said i’d think about it.

and then there we were, on my second to last day, trying to squeeze every bit of amazing out of our vacation, and she brought it up again. and this time, i couldn’t back out. so i told myself (and she reminded me) that we could take breaks if we needed to. we’d just walk slowly.

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so off we set, walking along the beach, over a miniature foot bridge, and into the residential streets beyond the bars and the hostels and the little shops in town. before long, those residential streets turned into steep as hell hills, and my legs began to burn. i felt sweat trickling down the small of my back, pooling in my sports bra, dripping down my hairline. i looked over, and both martha and sara were sweating too. that made me feel a bit better. i wasn’t the only one who thought it was practically sauna-like in the sunshine. every moment i felt like i needed to stop, i heard my soul cycle instructor’s voice in my head telling me, that moment when you feel like giving up? that’s not the end. that’s just the beginning. 

after about 45 minutes of walking, we were almost there. we stopped to take a picture by an insanely gorgeous view. and then we kept walking. soon i saw the steps – on such a steep incline that i had a moment of sudden paralysis (what if i fell off?!) – we were so close. at the end of those steps was the statue, and a view of san juan and all that surrounds it. Image$10 later and a GIANT downed water bottle later, we were there. and though my heart was pounding and my skin was sticky with perspiration, i didn’t feel sweaty. i didn’t feel out of shape. i didn’t feel anything but proud. because i had done it. i’d walked, then climbed, all the way from the edge of the beach in that image, to the giant statue that looked over it. little old out of shape, overweight me had done it.

Imageand as i stood there looking over the edge to the town below, i had a thought: maybe little old me wasn’t so out of shape anymore. maybe all those spinning classes have given my heart and my legs an edge. maybe i’m finally turning into a person who doesn’t have to turn things down for fear that she can’t keep up.  Image

on the walk down, i turned to martha, and i said,  i think i’m having a bit of an epiphany. i was so worried about doing this, so afraid i couldn’t do it. but i could. my body could. my body does so much for me. it can do so many things. it’s so strong, so powerful, so amazing. and yet all i do is complain about how it looks. 

it sounds silly, doesn’t it? ridiculous, even. but body acceptance, for me, is a huge thing. and i don’t think i’m there yet, but climbing that mini mountain was yet another step on my journey to acceptance. and that was a beautiful thing.

martha, in all her infinite wisdom, simply wrapped me in a big hug, and said, i’m so happy you’re having this moment.

and you know what i thought? that despite the fact that i was sweaty, and looked like an overheated piglet, so was i.

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{paris}

it’s snowing in new york for the second time in three days, and i couldn’t be happier. while everyone around me is grumbling about the slush and the chill, i’m happy as can be. this morning, leaving my house at 7am, the streets were blanketed in white, and all was silence. there’s nothing like the silence that accompanies freshly fallen snow. inspired by that feeling, here are some of my favorite cities in the snow.

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{the charles bridge, prague}

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{london}

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{the carousel, paris}

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{the flatiron building, new york city}

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{rome}

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{brisighella, italy}Image{cabin, location unknown}

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everyone has that friend – the one who’s a mini martha in training, who can whip up a four course meal like it’s nothing, who can decorate for a dinner party without even thinking twice about her style choices. the gifts on this list are great for girlfriends, moms, and anyone who loves a good party. i mean, hello, who wouldn’t love those “pop fizz clink” balloons for a new year’s even party? and those bath salts…no one can resist a good relaxation moment. the nest holiday candle is my absolute favorite scent right now, and it makes a great present. there’s nothing like bottling up the scent of christmas and then releasing it wherever you so choose.

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ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWELVE | THIRTEEN

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it’s currently snowing lightly here in new york. a crisp coat of white is covering the naked tree branches, and the sidewalks are streaked in snowflakes. it’s my absolute favorite time of the year; after brunch at the smith, i found myself walking the streets of midtown (of all places!) humming rudolph the red nosed reindeer without any prompting. it might be slippery, and it might be chilly, but new york is coated in the holiday spirit. it’s everywhere you turn, and i couldn’t be happier. good lord, i love the winter. now, if only we could get more than a dusting up in here.

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oh, what a week it’s been. the first week back from vacation is always quite rough, isn’t it? this week certainly was for me. after getting in super late sunday night, i was a total zombie at work on monday. note to self: always give yourself an extra vacation day to recoup, do laundry, go grocery shopping, become a human again, etc. i spent tues-friday trying to get my life back in order, and getting back into the swing of my schedule: bar method in the mornings, a tues night soul cycle class with my favorite instructor, isabel, marathons of chicago fire, shrimp pasta with fresh basil and tomato. you know the drill. i read a quiz in this month’s self magazine that was all about whether you were an adventurous type or a homebody. not that i really needed a quiz to tell me which type i was, but guess what, folks? i’m a creative of habit. even self thinks so. which explains why, despite the absolutely incredible time i had on my trip to nicaragua, i am thrilled to be back home and back in the habit.

on the docket for this weekend:

a friday night friend soul cycle/dinner date with my girl katie, who i haven’t seen in far too long, and whose southern accent i miss dearly; saturday morning bar method then brunch at lafayette with my friend sara, and a sunday afternoon lunch and last minute christmas shopping with my ladies kara and sophie. and of course, my requisite sunday night soul class, where i tap it back and get my groove on for the week ahead.

in the meantime, i’ll leave you with the things i loved this week:

this holiday candle has been making my apartment smell amazing for the past few weeks. it smells like christmas in a candle, all pine and yummy spices and the scent of snow. get it, trust me.

* this roundup of blair eadie’s 2013 outfits offers some serious sartorial inspiration. blair’s style is a bit more overdone than my personal taste, but i still get inspired by her unique, feminine fashion choices.

* i bought a few of these notepads for my girlfriends for the holidays, and i can’t wait to gift them. everyone loves a cute notepad, right? ain’t nothing like staying organized in style!

* my mom got me this new, holiday-appropriate deborah lippman polish for hanukkah, and i can’t get enough of it. it’s the perfect shimmery forest green.

* do you read love taza? it’s one of my favorite blogs. naomi is a great writer, and her photos of her beautiful family are always such a nice dose of inspiration. she recently went blonde, and i can’t get enough. it’s making me want to go platinum.

* speaking of inspirational, here are 10 ways to dazzle in a meeting, courtesy of the everygirl.

* i’m reading lean in. love sandberg or hate her, agree or disagree with her, it’s a really interesting read. suffice it to say it’s making me feel angry, passionate, emotional, and totally fired up all at once.

 

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i’ve talked a lot on this blog about my homebody nature – how i’d rather stay in than go out, how i crave and thrive on routine, how i prefer things to be planned out, so i know what to expect and when. i’m not, most would say, the most adventurous of ladies. in fact, that last sentence was the understatement of the century. adventure isn’t really my jam. routine, i get. routine, i know. but spontaneity scares the shit out of me. i’d love to be one of those chill, go with the flow girls. god, i wish i was. but i know i am not, and likely, will never be.

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my friend martha, though? she’s one of those girls through and through. she is one of the most open, adventurous, down ass chicks (really, that’s the only way to describe her) i have ever met in my entire life. she is spontaneity at its best, always up for a new challenge, a new place, a new food or person. she’s a free spirit, and i mean that as the ultimate compliment: she goes where her heart takes her, and for this, i admire her greatly.

most recently, her heart took her to san juan del sur, a beautiful little beach down on the southwest coast of nicaragua. see, martha got burnt out at her job as a nurse in boston. and unlike most of us, who would suck that unhappiness up until it ate us alive, she got out. and then she said to herself, what should i do next? what will make me happy? what will make me feel full? and a chance to do some health research in nicaragua came up. so she took it. and she leapt, eyes open, into the unknown.

pretty incredible, right? when she told me her plans, i too was feeling a bit burnt out at my job. i hadn’t had a real vacation in years, and i thought to myself, i should go to nicaragua and visit her. except her plans were up in the air, and i couldn’t book dates until the semi last minute, and i wouldn’t be able to stay with her, which would mean booking a hotel on my own, and traveling alone, and all of a sudden, it didn’t seem like such a great idea.

because it was scary, and new, and different. and adventurous.

and then i did it anyway. because it was all those things, and i needed to push myself out of my comfort zone. so i booked my ticket on the blind faith that even if i was traveling alone, and even if i was staying alone, martha would be there – and during the times that she wasn’t, i would be alone, and that would be a good thing. i would explore. i would practice my spanish. i would volunteer. i would just be.

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as it turned out, while i did stay alone for 2 nights, i spent another two in a beautiful house (see below) with martha and her dear friend sara, who is one of the most fabulous ladies i’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with.

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and then we spent another two nights in a fancy schmancy resort that was uber lux, but also uber filled with insects. but hey, i can’t balk at that view. who could?

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it was a week filled with some serious girl talk, some crazy dancing times, a lot of rum and cokes, and enough beach and pool time for me to a) come back looking “seriously relaxed” and “very tan” – two phrases that are never, ever, associated with me.

i have a good deal of stories to tell about my week in nica, but i’ll do you the favor of spreading those out a bit, so you’re not reading 9 million words at once. in the meantime, though, here are a few other pictures. i tell you, the sunsets there…i’ve never seen anything like them.

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sometimes, when i’m having a really rough time at work, i daydream about quitting my day job, and doing my own thing. you know, writing for this here blog (which currently has under 200 readers, let’s be real), writing copy for companies that actually matter, and baking up a storm in my spare time. and on those days, i dream of an office that looks pretty darn close to this one – 95 yesler, which belongs to a group of inspiring seattle creatives, including brian paquette and cassandra lavalle (who pens one of my favorite blogs, coco+kelley).

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for starters, let’s talk about that insane coffered ceiling. the architectural detail in the space is positively stunning. i mean, hi, those windows are INSANE. the all white palate really lets the historical beauty of the building shine, and the abundance of natural light helps to hammer those details home.

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how cute is their holiday tree? i think if i were to celebrate christmas, i’d get really into tree decorating. and christmas cookie baking, of course. ain’t nothing like the holiday spirit to get a girl in the groove. also, let’s talk about that chair peeking out of the side of the frame. you can see the set more clearly in the image below. they’re a vintage find scored in seattle, and i am positively in LOVE. they make the space. brass and velvet beauties, be still my heart.

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how insane is the light in this photo? those windows are just incredible. i can’t imagine it would be possible to feel frustrated in a space this gorgeous.

95-Yesler-offices-_-6 95-Yesler-offices-_-4all the desks in the space are ikea (!!) and are mobile and convertible, giving the team the flexibility to push them to the side when they do photoshoots and styling projects. smart, right? i’m also liking that expedit shelf; placed vertically, it makes for a whole lot of storage, and also fits perfectly into that little nook.

gosh, i am in love. what i would give for an office like this (god bless corporate america). hey, at least i have open seating, right?