Friday, December 17, 2010

Sparkly Things

I've been a terrible blogger lately. I know. I said I was back, and going to be blogging regularly. Sorry guys. I LIED. I meant it at the time, but then I was busy, and I was tired, and all the travel of the past couple months caught up with me. Throw in a few visitors, and a couple debilitating migraines, and my blog has gone down the tubes for the past couple weeks. BUT NOW, beginning the end of the day today, I will be on vacation for two weeks, which means among other fabulous things, lots of free time to blog as much as I please.

Speaking of fabulous things. How about these shoes? They have been gleaming at me from the window of the Aldo I walk by every single day on my way home from work, begging me to come in, try them on, and take them home. What girl doesn't want to own a sparkly wonderful pair of heels like these? They make me want to put them on and dance the night away all around town in a short little number. Aldo even categorizes them on their website as party shoes. That is how much they just shimmer FUN! JOY! HAPPINESS!

I want them, I need them, I have to own them, but alas. Aldo does not sell shoes in half sizes (Damn them!), so I know they will never fit my feet properly. Yet I'm still considering it. I was at H&M, trying on a very blah, peach and magenta chiffon dress. Everything about it was neutral and boring, except for the FACT that they would pair perfectly with these bad larrys, or GONES if you want to go with the name Aldo gave them. I almost bought said ugly dress just to have an excuse to buy the sparkly footwear to go with it.

Then continue on my walk home, and you pass Urban Outfitters, which has this sparkly number, the Silence and Noise Lords a Leaping dress in the front window. The model in the pic is just not doing it justice. It is a sequined confection that has delicate boning  that you can just tell would push up and scoop low in all the right places.It begs to be worn with a little cleavage, some red lipstick, and perhaps some silver heels. Even as a person who typically hates New Year's Eve, it makes me want to throw this on, and celebrate it every day!

What is it about this time of year that makes a girl crave sequins and sparkles?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Black is the new Brown

Just when your favorite sushi place FINALLY started adding a couple rolls with brown rice to the menu, and that Chinese place you always order from started actually offering the option of brown instead of white, there's a new healthy grain in town to mix everything up again: black rice. The dark morsels are also known as forbidden rice because according to Chinese legend, only emperors were allowed to eat it, and everyone else was prohibited because it was so rare, delicious, and nutritious. Fast forward a few hundred years, and while still uncommon, it is now available at your local Whole Foods.

Black rice is reported to carry the same good for you antioxidants that got blueberries the status of super-fruit over the summer. Except black rice is even better because you receive the cancer-fighting, heart health-promoting anthocyanin antioxidants, but with even more fiber and less sugar than its berry rival. It's even more beneficial when it's eaten in the uncooked, rice bran form. Black rice has quickly gained status as an "it" food, providing you with vitamin E, iron, a host of other nutrients, and additionally working as an anti-inflammatory agent to reduce general infection and illness.

Suggestions for preparing it include replace substituting in any recipe where white or brown rice is called for, but be prepared for the nutty flavor it will add to the dish, and be sure to add a little extra water. Pulverize kernels in your coffee grinder and sprinkle the black rice dust over any dish. Soak the rice and pop in a saucepan with a little oil for a crunchy pop-corn like snack.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm back

There's nothing like a long absence from, well, anything to refresh your fondness for it in the first place. Let's be serious, I was getting straight up annoyed with NYC about a month and a half ago. The flurry of people everywhere, constantly getting in my way, the incessant walking , how gosh darn expensive absolutely everything is was just getting on my nerves. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this city has a way of wearing you down, no matter how much you like it.

Fast forward 7 weeks and after a prolonged period of on again off again traveling for work, I could not be happier to settle down into this city for a while and just.not.go.anywhere. I will resume my regular blogging habits now that I'll have all that extra time that I won't be spending packing and unpacking my tiny pink suit case every couple days.

Instead, I have a packed agenda of eating out, going to bars, viewing every Christmas sight in the city, and going ice skating. And you know what? I'm pretty pumped. Being away has reminded me of everything I missed while I was gone, and the couple things I didn't. 

We'll start with the suck-o parts of NYC:

  • Having to make my own bed, and take out my own trash. That was one part of hotel living that I really could get used to. I make a mess, the maid picks it up while I’m at work.
  • Walking places when it's COLD and WINDY there is no coat with enough down, no boots with enough fur, and no scarf hat combo that can adequately keep out the winter chill from icy gusts
  • The NASTY nasty smells. I got in a cab and had to roll down the window because the body odor/vomit stench was so strong it was making me nauseous
  • The lack of country music stations on the radio. Hey, everyone feels like a little Tim McGraw every now and again.

The above listed make me miss my rental car that smelled only of fresh new car scent and my own perfume that I could leave idling until it warmed up to a nice hot temperature.

On the other hand, there are some things that are pretty awesome:
  • Not having a car. I know. I just said I missed mine, but then again tonight I plan to go to happy hour, and instead of being stressed about having 1 beer per hour so I can drive home, I can have  2 or 3, or as many as my heart desires with no worries about drunk driving. And you know what else? Getting a little exercise on my way home sure beats looking for a parking spot.
  • Ethnic food and healthy eating out options. This is the biggie. Where I was, there was nothing but chain restaurants that relied on frying and soaking in oil to imbue food with a hint of flavor. It’s pretty safe to say that my poor little tummy has been upset and craving veggies for the entire time I was gone. Where I dreaded eating the drab restaurant food for the past few weeks, now I cannot wait to get myself to a Thai place for some Pad See Ew, to order one of 10 salad options from a single restaurant to be delivered to my home, and to get to the grocery store for some whole fruits and veggies.
  • My view of the Chrysler building from my desk window. The Maine Capitol building doesn’t hold a candle to my regular view.
  • Establishments that stay open past 9pm. What if I want to take a nap after work before starting my evening?
  • CHRISTMAS FERVOR. No place does Christmas like NYC period. This weekend alone I will see carolers, a tree lighting, a giant menorah, and drink hot cocoa. Jealous?
  • My friends and my vast nail polish collection. Airport security does not look kindly upon those traveling with too many liquids in their carryons, so 5 nail polish options were out.
  • Strangers who don’t talk to you. I’m not a morning person, and I appreciate the glares or lack of eye contact I receive from others on my morning commute. I prefer to know that other people are pissed off to be awake too, rather than to smile and make small talk while before I’ve had my coffee at the continental breakfast.

With that said, I’m back, I’m happy to be back, and I’ll stop being an absentee blogger now. Sorry about the little break in posts guys!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Hi everyone! I've been in a Thanksgiving haze of turkey comas mixed with some wine combined with alotta traveling back and forth from my apartment to my hometown. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving unless it was jam packed with food, friends, and family, and this year was a good one!

So, in lieu of a traditional post, here are 4 extended haikus I wrote a while back for your enjoyment. I came across them while reorganizing my documents folder, and thought mini poems! What fun! Here you are :

green dandelion
fuzz, a single yellow burst
set in the bright lime green grass
it’s waiting to bloom

invisible wind
messing up our careful hair
trees enclosing our space
the clouds smushing down
kids spattered on lawn
scattered like lawn gnomes
laying and looking around
huddled under clouds
pewter drops falling
smudging my thoughts and blurring
my words run down my paper
it’s starting to rain

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Elle's 2010 Hoilday Gift Guide

Having trouble thinking of gift ideas for that special someone? Just looking for an excuse to go shopping on Black Friday? Or do you just need a couple ideas to add to your own Christmas wish list?

Here you have it. Elle magazine published their 2010 Holiday gift guide with ideas ranging from necklaces and trendy ties to adopting an olive tree. There's something for the pet lover, child, man's man, girly girl, and gourmet in your life. You can either hunt them down in the store, or grab any one of the 60 items online using the handy links. I'm totally in love with the Lanvin Mink Earmuffs. Christmas shopping wouldn't be complete without buying a little something for yourself.....right?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bedroom Voice

Wondering if that cutie from the coffee shop digs you too? Too old to pass him a note saying, "Do you like me, circle yes or no." Now you can tell if he's into you, just by listening to how he announces that your mocha latte is ready. 

Women's Health magazine's December Issue reports that when men and women find each other attractive, their voices naturally become lower. Researchers used voice messages that college students left for members of the opposite sex they were attracted to, and found that both men and women tend to speak in sultry, husky tones when romantically interested in each other. This adds a whole new level to analyzing those post-date phone calls.

Food for Thought

Have you noticed the abundance of fiber infused products in the grocery store? There’s FiberOne cereals and bars, crackers with extra fiber, digestive cookies with fiber added, and of course yogurts like Activia that are marketed to get your insides moving. The end goal is to move food through the digestive system by adding the nutrient needed that many people are not consuming enough of: fiber. Without it? You might have trouble digesting. The main source of it in nature? Fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains.

So why, you may be wondering, are so many products with added fiber popping up everywhere, when it is naturally abundantly found in the major food groups you should be eating every day. Well, there are a few reasons. Numero uno is that Americans just don’t eat their vegetables. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out the results of a nationwide behavioral study a couple months ago that shows not only that American’s don’t eat nearly enough veggies, but that the consumption of them has not increased in any noticeable fashion since 2000 even with the recent attention to whole foods, healthy eating, and Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign. Where have all the veggies gone? No one knows. Maybe it’s a resistance to brussels sprouts and lima beans as a vestige of being forced to eat them as children. OR maybe, it’s because in our culture of convenience, there just aren’t many vegetable and fruit options that don’t take a lot of peeling and chopping to get the nutrition you need.

I’ve been forced into eating out every day thanks to my travels with work, and quite frankly, I have been appalled at the lack of healthy options on the restaurant menus across the city I’ve been staying in.  I’ve sampled nearly every restaurant there, and these are the only veggies I’ve found:

-An assortment of salads that are not actually healthy thanks to the fried chicken, bacon, candied nuts, and creamy dressings they are topped with. The sad part is, that even the salads don’t have extra added veggies in most cases, but are just lettuce topped with meat, cheese, and sauce
-Seasonal vegetables: A combo of rubbery summer squash (out of season), broccoli, and carrots
-“Grilled” Asparagus, that was delivered to me literally dripping in butter, even though I requested none

Typically when I eat out, I’m not concerned with being overly healthy, as I know that day to day I eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fruit, and several servings of veggies. Without the green stuff, I find myself feeling overfull, tired, and lack luster. Yet when I had to eat out for every meal, it became apparent how non-nutritious, and overtly lacking in vegetable options the restaurants are. Only one restaurant had a full vegetable meal with options of veggies to add to the salad galore.

I find it alarming that when eating out at any of the major chain restaurants in America you are forced to choose high calorie or higher, and vegetables aren’t integrated into the menus. I’m sure there are many households that survive on take out and delivery services because of busy schedules. If people aren’t seeing vegetables on their plates as something appealing and delicious when they eat out, why should they think they will be good when they make them at home? Veggies are delicious when prepared properly, and don’t need to be soaked in butter to bring out their flavors. I know that fresh produce can be more expensive and has a shorter shelf life than most other grocery items, but when does it stop being about cutting costs, and start being about getting healthy and the nutrients our bodies need?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Shower me in Hermès

What do you get when you mix together a home decorating and cooking goddess, a fabulous NYC apartment, and the head designer who lives there? That's right, a shower full of Hermès. If only every renter could be so lucky! I would give up washing my hair to own enough Hermès merchandise to fill all those glorious orange boxes.

The designer moved into the wonderful space when his employer and friend found herself unable to use the real estate. She passed it along to him, with the directive to redecorate, renovate, and make the space a home. The designer who lives in this home has a special affinity for Hermès, and started collecting the merchandise. Fast forward to a cocktail party post-Hermès photo shoot, and this is the result.Many thanks to my friend who passed along the fantastic photo of the creative ways that even interior designers use storage in NYC.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Grandma Knows Best

The old adage. We all use them, those little idioms, or sayings that are passed down from family to family. Someone should create a dictionary of every adage ever spoken by a grandma to a grandchild, but I don’t think there would be paper enough in the world.

I have a little habit of picking up the sayings of those around me. Often times I’ll find myself repeating a random phase that has my friends looking at me cockeyed, simply because my Grandmother says it, and it fit the scenario. Most other times, they’re running through my head, a constant sound track of advice.

My Great Grandmother Mema , who lived an entire century on this earth, always used to say, “Willful waste makes for woeful want.” Read: Finish what’s on your dinner plate or else you’ll be a sorry little child. It was typically said in a slow, sing-songy tone that emphasized how woeful want can be.  I can only imagine that it came out of living through the depression, and as a farmer’s wife when what you grew was what you ate, and waste could lead to hunger. Every time I grocery shop, or take a helping, Mema’s little phrase runs through my head. It makes me realize how precious food can be, and minimize the waste that I produce. I’m sure she’s smiling down from somewhere realizing how well she trained her little great-grandchildren.

“Well, that makes the cheese more binding.” This is frequently uttered by my Grandmother during card games. It’s referring to a situation getting a bit more difficult that it already was, say for example, you have a bad hand, and the person ahead of you goes down in exactly what you were saving. Your chance to get that card you need is lost, and well, things can be a little blocked up for you from now on.
“Under mackerel sky, the ground’s never dry.” I’ve had to explain this to many many people. Whenever I happen to look up and notice clouds that look like fish scales, I just can’t help myself, it slips right out before I can stop it. Moral of the story, when the clouds look like the side of a sea creature, precipitation’s on the way.

“Red sky at night, is a sailor’s delight. Red in the morning, sailors take warning.” This one is from my Gramps, who just so happens to be a former sailor. Again, these omniscient elders go predicting the weather by what the skies look like. If only the weatherman knew their tricks! A red sunset was to be enjoyed by all. A red daybreak meant danger and stormy seas ahead.

I say these things all the time, but whenever I mention them to non-relatives, all I get is a big question mark. Yet, when I was chatting with my sister about common sayings in our family, she came up with the exact same ones. 

What little sayings does your family have?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

For the Person Who Has it All

I don't know about you, but I bought my first Christmas gift today! And it wasn't for myself (pat on the back). I keep a running list all year long when I come up with ideas for things my loved ones might enjoy. That way when the holidays or birthdays roll around it's no problem to come up with a gift idea. Yet, there's always that someone who has everything, and boggles any gift list. Daily Candy to the rescue! Today they featured  the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, a book devoted entirely to detailing the fantastic, elegant little tidbits of life that are sure to tickle anyone in your life who enjoys a little luxury. Covering Champagne, the Suit of Light (a matador's garb), baby angels, and the trapeze in some of the highlights.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Unexamined Life

I have a friend who is always asking me deep questions about life. We'll just be having a regular chat, and then she surprises me out of nowhere with one of these bad boys:

-What qualities does your ideal husband have?
-Why do you live in the city you live in?
-What are your passions in life?
-Why do you do the job you do?
-What are your aspirations for the next 5 years? Where you you want to be?
-What do you want to do?

Most times I have to stop and think before I can respond. Yet, each time I appreciate her taking my mind off of a shopping trip or what I'm having for lunch for a little introspection to keep my goals in check. If you're feeling thoughtful on a Sunday evening. Think about it. what do you really want out of your life? Are you taking steps towards getting it?

Just a little food for thought.

Rimmel Lash Accelerator

You've all seen the commercials for Latisse with Claire Danes flitting around the screen, proclaiming how it makes your lashes longer. I believe that it does. But, like most pharmaceutical commercials, the lengthy list of potential side effects just freaks me out too much to actually try it. Now, Rimmel has come out with a lovely alternative that is mixed in with your mascara. No nightly additional applications, no costly pharmacy price tag, just wear mascara as you do anyhow, and in 30 days your lashes will appear longer. Sounds like it's worth a try to me!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Nearly every time I pick up a magazine, there's a section on how to dress to flatter your body shape. Read: how to make your unflattering features less unflattering. The categories typically include boyish, apple, pear, and plus sized figures. It never ceases to baffle me when busty makes the list, as if it were something bad that you would want to cover up. I mean there are entire industries devoted to making women's chests appear, or actually become bigger. Have you SEEN the holiday Victoria's Secret ad campaign?? It's main selling point is that it can make your rack appear 2 cup sizes larger. Hello bombshell.

Yet all of the clothing for the busty ladies is contrived to minimize the chest. The example I'm thinking of showed a short coat to accentuate the long leg, drawing attention away from the model's upper region. My question is, why? When did large breasts become something women should want to cover up, and not accentuate as an asset?

And in another section of the same magazine, there was a little blurb about how the higher your ta-ta's sit, the smaller it makes your waist look, encouraging women to accentuate their curves. That's contradictory messages, no? I'll take the opportunity to show off my curves, over covering up any day. Thankyouverymuch.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanksgiving Preparations

I don't know about you all, but the week of Thanksgiving, I have to do a little prepping to be able to put away a humongous dinner and desserts smorgasboard in one day. I mean really, it's the equivalent of several days eating condensed into just a couple hours, you've got to be ready. And I don't mean by not eating. No, those of you who eat really healthy, or eat less the week of Thanksgiving to prepare for the extra indulgences, well you're just screwing yourselves over for the big day.

How are you going to fit turkey, casseroles, sides galore, and several kinds of pie into a tummy that's been shrinking in size for several days? Not going to work. The real Thanksgiving masters, we stretch our stomachs in preparation by eating lots of large meals before the big day. That's right, eat more in order to eat more. Hey, anything for the spirit of Thanksgiving.

The people of Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit are on the same page. They want you to prep not only for your holiday eating, but for your holiday drinking as well. This coming Saturday, they are having a workshop from 2pm-6pm at $10 a person that allows you to sample their wines paired with Thanksgiving favorites like turkey, stuffing, and of course dessert. All proceeds go to City Harvest, which could not be more appropriate for the holiday. Get the details here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day!

I would like to say a big thank you to all the men and women who have risked their lives to protect my freedom.

The Veteran's Day Parade is happening NOW (I love how NYC has a parade for everything!)! I bumped into it while out for a walk. It's going up Fifth ave starting around Madison Square Park. Go show your Patriotism and support our brave soldiers!

Random Acts of Meaness

We've all been there. Sometimes you are just going about your day, minding your own business and BAM someone comes out of nowhere and decides to unleash a world of anger on you. That stranger sitting next to you on the subway starts yelling about you for smooshing them. The lady in front of you in the express lane flips out on you for having a 6 pack, and 5 other items in the 10 items or less line because well, she's counting your sodas as individual items. The clerk at Duane Reade gives you serious A-TUDE when you add a candy bar to your order at the last second. Or that person who's heel you accidentally stepped on does not want an apology. No, they would rather scream in your face. Usually it's completely uncalled for, and often just totally ludicrous that someone would be getting so upset about such a small thing. Most times, you get this verbal lashing through no fault of your own.

Then we've all been on the other side of things. You burnt your hair in the curling iron, you accidentally overdraw your account, you are late to work, and then to top it all off you drop your perfectly good ice cream cone in the gutter when someone brushes by you a little too closely. You are having a BAD day. Then you go to the Verizon store to try to get your phone fixed and end up crying or yelling when the guy behind the counter can't help you. You're just taking your emotions out on an innocent bystander.

At least, that's how I prefer to think of things. I would rather decide that when that person decides to lose their shit on me for no apparent reason, that maybe they are having a terrible day and need to vent a little. No, it's not the most appropriate way to cope. But does it happen? Yes. Sometimes we get overloaded and just. can't. deal.

Would I rather not be yelled at by strangers? Sure. Sometimes do I get mad right back? Sure. Yet, when it comes right down to it, I'd rather try to be a little nice even to the meanies. I'd rather think maybe their dog got run over this morning and they needed to get a little anger off their chest. Although I didn't appreciate it, maybe they feel a little bit better afterwards. Maybe, just maybe by letting someone lose it, I've just helped to make their day a little brighter. I'd rather think that, because the alternative? Well, that's just: people are plain old mean.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tis the Season

Every year around this time, I do a little dance for joy when I pass my first Starbucks sign saying the the Eggnog Latte is back (evidenced here). Nothing says Christmas season like eggnog, and cookies, and presents, and family and joy! I love the eggnog latte. It combines 2 of my favorite things, caffeine and Christmas spirit. It's not just the latte that makes me happy though, it's what it symbolizes, that the holidays are upon us-FINALLY for two whole months. I can crank up the holiday tunes on my iPod, bake, visit my relatives/friends, send pretty cards, and buy gifts I've had my eye on for everyone. I always think the Christmas season is too short, so I'm glad that Starbucks is on board with stretching it out a little longer. Too soon to pull out the Santa lights?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dress Pants=Button Crazy

I would like to know why every single pair of dress pants that I own has so many buttons. I mean, the button fly went out of fashion for a reason, right? People got sick of having to undo and then redo four to five buttons when they could just slide a zipper down, and button up one button at the top for extra security. My jeans seem to manage to stay on my body with only one button at the top of the zipper.

And yet, my black pants have two buttons, vertically stacked off to the left side of the zipper. These are the "show" buttons that you see if you happen to be wearing a cropped top or tucking in that button down at work (neither of which I typically do). Then there's the hidden invisible button on the inside of the waist band a little to the right of the zipper. It's purpose, I simply can't imagine, except a little more annoyance when taking them on and off. My wool pants from Banana Republic are the same deal, a hidden inside button, with 2 little prongs that keep the outer flap tucked over the zipper. Ditto for my khakis, tweeds, and tan skinny dress pants. I'm a lady of  convenience. I put my sneakers on and off without untying the laces. I already have to do my hair, pick out matching jewelry, paint my nails, and pick out which heels match best. I prefer to be able to put my clothes on with minimal finangling. These little inside buttons are constantly getting on my nerves. My dresses and skirts seem to do just fine with a zip and a little hook and eye at the top.

I did a little googling, naturally, to see if anyone else had the same question, or could answer my conundrum. Here are the most creative responses I found:

  • The inside button is to hang your extra Bentley key on, in case you're mugged
  • The outside hook is to signal that you are single looking to mingle
  • They're there to make sure you don't drink too much at after work happy hour
  • A zip is a nasty thing, redolent of cheap suitcases and brightly coloured tents. A bespoke suit should have a button fly.
My best guess is that the extra button is there for the "hang" of the garment. It keeps the pants in proper alignment so they fall nicely, where jeans don't need the extra accouterments to look fab. What's your best guess/most creative idea?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Whip my Hair

Ok, I know she's like 9 years old. But man, this song is catchy. Watch it, and say it's not stuck in your head for a little while afterwards.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Money really Matters

I read a scary statistic as I was flipping through my magazines the other day. FORTY percent of all women between ages 26 and 39 carry a credit card balance of $5,000 OR MORE. TWENTY percent of those women owe more than $10,000. I believe it. I can think of 5 people I know who carry credit card debt off the top of my head. Recently, I managed to get myself into a tidge of credit card debt for the first time in my life. It wasn't much by these standards. But let's just say that it was more than $200, and less than $2,000. It stressed me out.

I was always brought up that if you don't have the money to pay for it, you don't buy it. For that reason, I never got a credit card until a year ago, "for emergencies." I just knew I would be tempted to purchase things I couldn't really afford. It's far too easy to charge something you want and deal with the consequences later.

And it was. I got sick of never having the money saved to splurge on the little luxuries of life I wanted. So when I couldn't afford it, I swiped. Then the bill arrived, and for the first time ever, I couldn't pay off the balance in one month without making myself totally broke. The limit on my credit card may be $4,000, but the limit on my bank account is when it hits zero. Luckily I have a low interest rate, and the damage wasn't too bad that I couldn't get rid of it with a little planning to pay a certain amount each month. Yet, every month that I'm paying a couple hundred to pay down the balance, I'm thinking. If I had just not overspent this one month, this is $200 worth of makeup, shoes, clothes, or dinners out with friends I could be treating myself to. It totally wasn't worth it.

We all seem to have this need for instant gratification. I want it now, I have to have it. I'm guilty of this one. Yet, it tends to be much more satisfying to save up for it, and then go out and treat yourself once you've waited and dreamed about how fabulous it will be once it's yours. I'd rather have money in my savings account to spend as I please than be obligated to pay a company a certain amount each month or else any day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Love New York

Just when you get down on NYC, you see blog posts like this one that list all the hilarious reasons why you should love it again. My favorites= #49, #38, #30, #25, #24, #10. What's yours?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

In the mood for color changing nails!

The BFFL told me about In the Mood nail polish several months ago. The only thing that has kept me from blogging about it for so long is that I STILL don't own a bottle. Horrors! Now Glamour beat me to the punch, and put it in November's issue. I've gotten texts from several people who know how much I love a new polish that I need to try it.

I'm ordering some now. I'm getting a bottle in Hyper (goes between red and pale orange) because it reminds me of color changing hyper color t-shirts (anyone else remember those??) and Devious (which changes from purple to pink).

I've owned color changing polish before. It was changed by sunlight. Inside, it was blue, outdoors it morphed to the palest pink. This particular polish changes by the heat of your fingers, your beverage, or your mood. I used to love mood rings, now I'm excited for the next mood predictor to distract me from my work.  It might even make me less annoyed when I have to take my gloves off to text in this chilly weather. Yay for new polish!

Words of Wisdom for the Day

"Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."
-Mae West

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Catch a Fire: Spread your good deeds

If you're a daily candy NYC reader, you may have heard of this already. It's a website engineered to match professionals and the skills they have to offer to a selection of non-profits in need of your help. Catchafire takes the guesswork out of volunteering.

I know that I have been looking for a place to volunteer for a couple years. I know the skills I can offer. I'm good with people. I can write and edit. I love animals. I can use tools. I'm not afraid to get a little sweaty and dirty while volunteering. I know my passions: fighting domestic violence, women's rights, saving animals, fighting poverty and inequality.

Yet, there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of non-profit and volunteer organizations in NYC. Even when I spent some time googling and found organizations that sounded like they matched my interests, they either were looking for too much of a time commitment or the roles of the volunteers needed weren't really what I was looking for.

It was becoming a full-time job trying to find a place to spend time outside of work, doing some good for my community. Then I open my email this morning to find the solution to my predicament. This website takes your skills, and matches them for you. And it works with you to fit volunteering into your schedule. Now that Halloween is over, it's time to start celebrating my next favorite holiday season, Christmastime! And in the spirit of the season, I'm joining to look for places to volunteer today.

Yay Rhianna, Boo Chris Brown

So this morning, I'm eating my breakfast and watching the top 20 music video count down on Vh1, the usual. Then, my morning ritual is interrupted. Horrors! Is that Chris Brown? In a neon suit jacket at that? Can we talk about why this young man, convicted of domestic abuse still has a career? Or better yet, instead, let's watch Rhianna's latest song (ironically enough about difficult relationships) and think about how terrible a crime it is to abuse one's partner. Whatever you do, don't buy his album. Do lend your support and admiration to a lady who dealt with a terrifying situation with grace and class.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Writers I Love

Today I saw a post on facebook asking people to list their 15 favorite authors of all time who have had an impact on and influenced their lives. Over the weekend I was debating taste in novels with my book club, and reminiscing about favorite authors of my past. I tend to have a rather random taste in books ranging from high "classic" literature to the most scandalous romance novel you can imagine. Some I loved in the past. Some I love now. So here's my list:

  1. R.L. Stine: Goosebumps anyone? I'm pretty sure I own every one ever written, and then graduated to his scarier novels for slightly older kids
  2. Tamora Pierce: The starring character in her novels was a female knight who had purple eyes and magical powers. Need I say more? I believe I was in her fan club at one point
  3. John Steinbeck: My love affair with him started after I read East of Eden. His themes are timeless.
  4. Roald Dahl: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the only book I've read more than 5 times.
  5. Mary Higgins Clark: This was another "scary book" phase I was going through. I read every mystery I could get my hands on. Hard to believe with what a wimp I am today about scary stuff!
  6. Margaret Atwood: LOVE.
  7. E.E. Cummings: Poets count, right?
  8. Maya Angelou: For whenever I need a dose of girl power or a kick in the pants to stop feeling sorry for myself.
  9. Nora Roberts: Guilty pleasure. What can I say? My aunt just keeps passing along bags of her novels.
  10. Terry McMillan: Hello?! She wrote How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting To Exhale, and NOW almost 10 years later, she just came out with a sequel to WTE called Getting to Happy. Color me excited.
  11. Louisa May Alcott: Because sometimes reading one book by an author is enough to make me love an author for life. Little Women. Enough said.
  12. Jane Yolen: She writes the cutest little story books about beautiful faeries and elves, which would not be complete without illustrations by Lauren A Mills.
  13. Carolyn Keene: Because Nancy Drew taught me how to love books. I used to make my mom read me her novels until she fell asleep, and then I'd pick them up and read out loud until she woke up.
  14. Chelsea Handler: I don't typically laugh alone on the subway to myself like a crazy person, but she made me. Several times. I have to admire someone who is funnier in writing than live.
  15. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Epic.
I always find it interesting to find out what people I know are reading. Their taste never fails to surprise me. There is nothing like a good novel to take your mind off your troubles, transport you to another place, or pass a peaceful day. I know a number of other writers/bloggers read my posts. What are some of your favorite authors?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ladies. Go. Vote. A. Week. From. Today.

Yes, I'm sick of hearing all the election jibber jabber on tv. And yes, I'm also sick of being accosted by political canvasers on my way to the subway every morning. But I'll still be voting on November 2nd. I would never give up that right, no matter how annoyed I get by candidate bickering. You shouldn't either. There is a rising complacency among young Democrats that might risk flips in senate majority, and major changes if voters don't get out, get to the polls, and vote for what they believe in. Republicans, I respect your views. I just don't agree with most of them.

One of the things I love most about the Obama's (among many) is their crusade for health, and against child obesity. It's an affliction our nation needs to take drastic steps against that is compromising the health of a generation for life in many cases. Marie Claire magazine interviewed the Health Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, who is in charge of Obama's widely disputed health care reform bill. Here are some reasons to motivate you blue loving ladies to DVR an episode of Glee, and go wait in line to cast your ballot for liberal minds and women's rights.

 In Obama's ideal health care reform world:
  • Being battered by an abusive partner and reporting it to the police is no longer considered a detrimental pre-existing health condition to disqualify women from benefits
  • Chain restaurants must post calories on their menus (with the goal of cutting down the 1/3 of women in the US who are obese)
  • Pregnancy, or having children with health problems is no longer considered a detrimental pre-existing health condition to disqualify women from benefits
  • Birth control may be categorized as a preventative health care measure (and will be subsidized as such)
  • Women will no longer be charged more for non-employer sponsored insurance than men just because they are female
  • Women will no longer have to pay higher deductibles for life saving screenings for breast and cervical cancer
Like what you hear? Get your lazy bum off the couch, and have your say in who gets to make the laws that control women's bodies and health care options, or set them free. Suffragettes fought for you to have the right. Go out and make them proud!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Secret Romance

Just when you thought that Tiffany Keys or $30,000 watches with hundreds of tiny diamonds floating across the face were the only way to a woman's (OK my) heart, Stella McCartney went out and found you another way in. She debuted a line of 14 karat gold disks that ranging from prices of $3,745 to $2,265 will certainly be less expensive that some extravagant jewelry with a message that says "I deeply care about you" more than, "I want to buy your affection." Literally.

These adorable jewels came right in time for you to start saving up for Valentine's day, and would be perfectly paired with a box of conversation hearts. Each mature looking charm mounted on a swing top pendant has a hieroglyphic like message on one side, and flips to read a mushy little love note on the other. Be Mine and I Love You were featured in the October issue of Vogue. Hey, I was just reading my old School Days notebook, where each year I was asked to describe myself in my own words. At age 10, in the fifth grade, I self identified as having "expensive taste." I might as well live up to it, right?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spooktacular Time of the Year

Halloween is my second favorite holiday (Christmas is first-duh). And it's officially one week from today!!

I look forward to it every year, and start brainstorming costumes months in advance. I love the excuse that it gives me to eat way too much candy, and dress up in a ridiculous outfit for a night or two. Add pumpkin carving, haunted hayrides, and spiked cider, and it's nearly a perfect holiday. Last year, I was the Hamburglar one night, and Glinda the Good Witch for the second night of celebration. I didn't think I could top those costumes this year.

Then I came across the Nintendo section of Ricky's. I'll be visiting my sister for Halloween weekend this year, and we are going to live out the Nintendo characters we've played our whole lives for the evening.
I'll be going as Princess Peach.

My sister will be going as Yoshi. I cannot wait. What are you going to be for Halloween?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Gems of Augusta

This week I had a series of firsts. I rented my first car, I stayed in a hotel by myself for the first time, and most importantly, I visited the capital of Maine for the first time eva. Going in to the trip, I had mixed expectations. I hadn't heard great things about Augusta (Disgusta as some Maineiacs like to call it). I heard it's the land of chain restaurants (true) and that everything closes around 9pm (true). Compared to NYC, it's snooze town. But there were some gorgeous little nooks I discovered in my travels. First of all, the leaves. So pretty, and the fresh air. It just makes you want to step out and take a deep long breath. The country side is gorgeous. Then, in the midst of Applebees and Arbys, the star of lunchtime emerged, Bay Wrap. It's a wonderland of salads, vegetarian wraps, and health.
Then there's Water Street, overlooking the valleys of the Kennebec River (which I had white water rafted a couple summers ago through Northern Outdoors) surrounded by banks of changing trees.

I visited the Capitol Building, which is really quite majestic, and the State museum.

Look at all that open space! And blue sky!

And last, but most definitely not least, I sampled the famous Lobster Stew at Hattie's Chowder House in the neighboring town of Hallowell. It is a must have. It's basically a giant bowl of lobster meat with cream poured all over it. Best served with oyster crackers and a large pint of Allagash.
Just in case you need to have some now, you can order lobstah stew, and all kinds of chowdah to your door online at this site over night express. You can thank me later.


There comes a time in all of our post-college lives when we realize that it's time to ditch the tattered Bob Marley poster, the room dividing beads, and the empty keg in the corner that "adds character" or that we were just too lazy to return in favor of "adult" decorations.

I was on a cleaning spree lately, and I threw out a bead curtain, a Bob Marley poster, and a giant print of Johnny Depp playing the piano. A while back I framed a couple prints, so now my room displays Dali's Space Elephants and Gustav Klimt's Life and Death (though my print is cropped just to show the life part).

I felt the need to have some real art looking classy on my walls, matted and framed. It is peaceful to be able to gaze at a pretty painting before you go to sleep.  No, I haven't gotten rid of my foam finger, or my graduation tassle. That stays. It's school spirit! And there are some things from college that should just stick around--like your BFF's.

In the spirit of redecorating, I was perusing my dad's college BFF's photography. He just started selling his gorgeous prints on this website that he just launched at extremely reasonable prices. My favorites are the balloon festival, and the Grand Teton National Park. Check it out!


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