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Monthly Archives: January 2014

happy weekendmama mia, what a week. i’m on the cusp of a lot of big changes, and they’re scaring the shit out of me. thankfully, my wednesday night brought the solace of an evening birthday soul cycle ride (see my sweaty picture with instructor isabel here) with all of my favorite ladies that helped me work out my anxiety. speaking of soul, their spotify account is killing it lately, and i’m finding so many jams that i can’t wait to tap it back to in their 2014 breakout stars playlist. specifically, this one. i just want to bob my head so hard to that song.

i spent most of my other nights working late and/or relaxing at home with the best footwarmer ever. it’s been pretty damn cold here (though not as bad as in chicago and canada, i hear), so i’ve been bundling up, big time. thank goodness for my anthro snood. best $68 i’ve spent in a while, i tell you.

this weekend, i’ll be celebrating my birthday on saturday night, then waking up (relatively) early on sunday morning to stretch it out at bar method and go to brunch with my friend lisa. tomorrow’s supposed to be rainy and gross, but i’ve got a mani/pedi/massage gift certificate to my favorite salon, pastel, from my parents that is burning a hole in my pocket. birthday nails here i come! beyond that, tomorrow will be spent hibernating, catching up on my reading list, and making #1 on the list below.

 things that tickled my fancy this week:

* DIY vitamin c citrus facial mist. can’t wait to make this!

* jennifer lawrence’s first appearance in W, a TBT worth looking at.

* i can’t get enough of this album, by john newman

* martha stewart’s beauty regimen is insane (and fascinating). no wonder she looks so good at 72. i see an into the gloss feature in her future. how amazing would that be? paging emily weiss!

* rethinking the branding and design of starbucks stores. a really interesting read. i still believe very few places make as good of a chai as my neighborhood starbs, but i love the idea of more locally-relevant concept-style stores.

* nymag’s 2013 reasons to love new york. a good read on days when i’m feeling like breaking up with my city.

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{jayson home moroccan wedding blanket parson’s bench}

a story about me and morocco.

the year i was bat mitzvahed, my grandma took my entire extended family (my cousin and i are the same age) on a 2 week trip to morocco. though i had traveled a bunch as a kid (lucky me!), morocco was a whole other world. literally. for starters, it was in AFRICA. i mean, hi, exotic locale. it was also a place where girls with blonde hair and hazel eyes were things to be bartered for. my price was equivalent to a few nice rugs and some steaming mugs of mint tea. it was a place where the old world still had a firm hold on things, where lifestyle glossies like vogue had yet to traverse the terrain, where rivers of mud and discarded trash ran straight through the streets. marrakech, specifically, was a visceral feast. the sights, the sounds, the smells. and don’t even get me started on the leather tannery we visited one day. talk about smells, or should i say, stenches. holy moly, did i have to hold my nose at that one.

as blessed as i feel that i’ve visited such an incredible place, part of me wishes i’d made the trip when i was a bit older. i think i would appreciate the country a lot more now than i did then. i suppose that’s why it’s important to travel as an adult – because your brain has formed enough to truly wrap itself around the amazing experiences that sojourning around the world bring. one thing i’m sure i would appreciate now more than i did than is the amazing color and style of moroccan interiors – from the colorful tilework to the gorgeous moroccan wedding blankets that have become all the rage in interior design over the past few years.

also known as handira, moroccan wedding blankets are traditional cape-like nuptial garments of the Berber women. these gorgeous pieces, worn by brides at their wedding ceremonies, are handwoven by a bride’s relatives, and can take weeks to complete. these days, you’ll see them hanging on walls, atop crisp white sheets being used as bedspreads, beneath dining tables as rugs…the design possibilities are endless. a bit sparkly, a bit sequin-y, and a whole lot of pretty, moroccan wedding blankets are a beautiful, versatile piece that the interior world can’t get enough of.

you can get the real thing by doing a bit of savvy googling, or you can snag mass market versions, which have popped up everywhere from anthropologie to jayson home (where the piece above can be found).

winter101fauxfuri don’t know about where you live, but it’s been cold as beejesus ’round these parts. i love the northeast, i really do, but sometimes, a girl just wants to wear a sweater and a snood and call it a day. though i have to admit, i do love me some faux fur. i’ve got two (identical; one’s light brown, the other, dark brown) faux fur jackets that i scored for 10 pounds each back in 2006 at london’s portobello road flea market, and beyond the fact that i’m pretty sure they’ve got many a story hidden in their sleeves, they keep me damn warm when the temperatures drop. there’s nothing like a little (faux, of course) fur to snuggle up to when you’re waiting for the crosstown bus on a chilly winter morning. and as the ladies above prove, it’s easy to look tres chic while doing so. now, where can i get me an oxblood jacket?

funfetti-caketoday is my birthday.* i am 28 years old. god, i can’t believe i just wrote that sentence. i’m tossing it around in my mouth, running the words from teeth to tongue, and damn, I AM OLD. when did this happen? i mean, i was always somewhat of an old soul, even as a child, but still. i’m on the precipice of turning 30. THIRTY, people. god help me, really.

excuse me while i go eat a giant piece of cake.

* i’m celebrating by taking a soul cycle class with my favorite instructor, isabel, at 8:30 tonight with all of my girlfriends – even a few who are total soul cycle newbies. i can’t wait to sweat it out with all my favorites, and then eat a cupcake afterwards. it evens out, right?

john-derian-new-york-city-home-apartment-the-selby-3i have a pinterest board titled “someday home.” on it, i pin rooms that i hope will, someday, be included in the home in which i live with my big, slightly rowdy but effortlessly clean family. the home in which we’ll eat stack upon stack of chocolate chip pancakes. the home in which a roaring fire will crackle all throughout the holiday season. a home with a cozy guestroom for two and enough bathrooms for all the kids and then some. a home with a large entryway and maybe even a leopard stair runner. living in new york, where space comes at such a premium, and saving is somewhat of a foreign concept, it’s hard to imagine that i’ll ever own a home of my own.

one of my goals for 2014 is to start really socking away money to buy a place, ideally, here in new york. somewhere that’s really mine, not a landlord’s. easier said than done, of course. but in the meantime, i’ll just pretend i live here, in john derian’s amazing east village abode.

{all photos via the selby}

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to embrace my fears. i’ve been thinking a lot lately about how many things i don’t do not because i think i wouldn’t like them, not because i’m not interested in them, but because i am afraid of them. afraid that i won’t be able to do it. afraid that i won’t be good enough. afraid that people will point and laugh. how many moments have i missed out on in life because i was too afraid to participate? too many. this year, i hope to stare my fears down, acknowledge them and then keep going.

to trust my gut. as much as i often hold myself back because i am afraid, sometimes, i hold myself back for the right reason: because my gut tells me something is not right. and then i beat myself up for holding back, and i say, why didn’t you try that? maybe it was the right thing! you’re missing out. and sometimes, i am. but more often than not, i’ve made the right choice – though maybe not for others – for me.

write more. goodness, i make this resolution every year. here’s hoping this is the year in which i keep it. and here’s hoping this blog will help me do so. i’d also love to take a creative writing course at 92Y in the spring or summer, if my schedule allows. there’s something about knowing you’re on a deadline that helps.

get away. my recent trip to nicaragua was, hands down, one of the best things i could have done for myself. it involved, for starters, embracing my fear of traveling alone, but beyond that, it involved a week of being blissfully disconnected to my life in new york; of sharing and talking and laughing and crying with two of the best women i know (and am privileged to know). in my early twenties, i read a lot of articles about the importance of getting away when you work a stressful job. and now, i know those articles are right. to that end, i’ve got a mid-march 5-day trip down to florida with my mother planned, and i’m in the process of putting a weeklong escape to california on the books for april.

love my body. this is a big one for me. scratch that, the biggest one. it always has been, and, if i’m being honest, probably always will be. but i feel like i’m on the path to acceptance. i had this little epiphany while hiking in nica, sweating my ass off and thinking, wow, my body got me up this GINORMOUS hill. and just for that moment, i felt proud of my body, instead of how i usually feel, which generally involves the words ugly, disgusted, ashamed, and a whole slew of other not-so-pretty things. i truly believe in beauty from the inside out, but it’s always been a struggle for me to feel that way about myself. but i’d like to get there, and i think i’m finally making my way.

forgive myself. i’ve made a lot of mistakes in my past. some were big, some were small. i’ve also been through some pretty intense stuff with my family this past year. stuff that’s made me realize that even the people i put on a pedestal (like my parents) are far from perfect. that everyone has made mistakes. big ones. and little ones, too. and it’s okay. all that we can do is forgive both those around us, and more importantly, ourselves. only when we’ve done so can we move forward, and become better people in doing so.

and there you have it. my plans for this year. bring it on, 2014.

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remember how i’ve talked about how un-outdoorsy i am? well, that un-outdoorsy-ness extends to winter sports, like snowboarding and skiing. so you might find it a bit funny that i decided to accompany my friends on a ski trip upstate to hunter mountain over new year’s. and even funnier that this was my second year in a row participating in said ski trip.

here’s the thing: i love everything about ski trips, in theory. except, really, the skiing. i like the big comfy sweaters and the cozy nights spend snuggled up on the couch drinking spiced cider (this year, we spiked it with fireball. it was delicious!). i like the constantly crackling fireplace and the hottubs that fit ten people with no problems except some criss-crossed feet. i like beautiful scenic country roads, their pavement streaked with snow. i like rosy cheeks and drinking too much on new year’s and being on vacation, away from reality, in general.

truly, i like it all. except the skiing. so i don’t ski. but this year, i did go snow tubing, and let me tell you, that shit is F.U.N. i used to go tubing in the lake at my camp every summer, and while i was scared shitless of being dumped into the water while going 80 mph, there was nothing like gliding along the water at top speed. snow tubing is the same, except you’re going down a giant snowy hill instead of going across the top of the water. you spin around backwards and the wind whips around your face, and even though you’re freezing, you feel so freeleave it to me to prefer an activity that’s designed for children over one that’s designed for adults. Image

$500 worth of groceries for 4.5 days. EEK. 

so while my friends trekked up and down the mountain, i walked around the tiny town of tannersville, buying silly things like overpriced chocolate malt balls and maple sugar candy. i sat by the fireplace and plowed through allegiant, and generally, had a dandy time. one of my best friends, maddie, joined us this year, which was wonderful, and the entire trip went off without a single moment of drama (a record for our group of friends, as much as i hate to admit it).

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you can’t imagine how many takes it took to get a good picture out of the two of us

when i first saw our house online, i balked. i believe the wording i used was “it looks like the sort of house where SVU murders take place.” but i ate my words; after one night in my (admittedly uber creaky) bed, i was sold on our little log cabin (the upstairs, at least. the downstairs was not really my jam). just a hop, skip and a jump from the mountain, and closer to the town of tannersville than the one we’d stayed in before, the cabin was the perfect choice for our group, and i’d stay there again in a heartbeat.

all in all, it was a wonderful way to ring in the new year. 2014, here i come!