Sunday, September 29, 2013

Nail Attack... Growl!

I have the itch again... I just bought a whooooole bunch of new nail stuff so more posts to come. 

Here is what I did today while binge watching Breaking Bad. 


Stamping Plate - Konad M57
Base Color - Sephora By OPI - I Only Shop Vintage
Spots - Konad Black Stamping Polish
(*Note on this guy- I tried regular polish first, forgetting that I had Konad.  It REALLY does make a difference.  Some regular polished stamp just fine, but the black Konad is worth it!)
Brown Spots - Sinful Colors - Vacation Time


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crossfit Update and the Best Season of All

I did Crossfit for a month.  I gave it the old college try.  And you know what?  I hate it.  And that's OK.

What led me to this realization was a workshop I went to on Wednesday that was run by a health coach and a life coach where we created "vision boards".  Sounded like total happy bull shit and I was dreading going, but I agreed to go with my friend Sarah and we had to follow through.  On the way over we were both saying how swamped we are at work and how as soon as it was over we were heading back to my apartment to do more work. 

So we enter the workshop.  Take off our shoes, and sit on the floor in a circle of ten women.  We meditate, we agree to leave our stress at the door, yaddah yaddah.  We get started on the process of tearing images out of magazines that we liked.  Not that mean anything like "I should work out more" but just things that made us happy.  We then edited down our pictures and started gluing our boards together.  While we were doing this, the instructors came around and asked questions about what we were choosing.  I had some images of women working out and looking really happy.  We are about T minus ten seconds from my breakthrough.  After about a question and a half I started spouting out how I hate Crossfit but it seems like something I "should" do.  I haven't eaten a carb in a month (except for my meltdown the night before which included a burrito, a bottle of Rose, and a lot of tears... long story) and how I needed to find exercise I actually enjoy.  My vision board came out pretty awesome and it's now hanging at my desk.  It reminds me that it's OK to take some time to relax, and live a more balanced life.  Not no carb, dead lifts, and squats.  Also.. "food is not a reward or a punishment".  Which is pretty much exactly how I eat.  So instead of going home to do more work, we went out for the most amazing pizza at Motorino, and a bottle of sparkling red wine.  To die.  Oh yeah, carbs are back in my life in a MAJOR way. 



Friday I met up with my beautiful, fabulous friend Ly who is visiting from Dublin.  We realized that we haven't seen each other in three years, since I was last in Dublin!  The best part about a friend like her is that I saw her, we chatted and chatted like not a day had gone by.  I miraculously guessed the name of her baby girl due in December.  Like, and Irish name that sounds nothing like how it's spelled (I'm still proud of myself).

And Saturday we headed to my lovely friend Sarah's house in upstate New York for some R and R.  Her parents spoiled us absolutely rotten.  We had tons of great food, great laughs, and girl time.  We were away one night, but it felt like a real vacation.  And we went to Jones Farm, which is in my opinion heaven on Earth.  We checked out the farm, the pumpkins, and the most insane baked goods around.  I had three cider donuts (did I mention carbs are back?) and headed back to the city today. 



It's been an amazing week, and I did some good hard thinking about my health and what's next.  Crossfit is out, but something else has to come in.  I might start seeing a health coach to get on track.  It seems like a good way to deal with whatever is making me eat a burrito when I have a bad day, and need to go to confession over the guilt. 

Here's to another amazing week!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm Doing Crossfit. I said It. Eating My Words.


I NEVER in my whole life thought I’d do Crossfit.  I thought it was cult-ish and crazy, and above all else, something I am not capable of.  But here I am, three classes in.
I have two friends who do it regularly and look absolutely freakin' amazing.  At some point I had to make the decision between doing what I do now- sporadic classes at the gym, never doing weights, or trying something to really push myself and hopefully see some results.  I want to see progress and know I'm getting stronger, and that's something I just can't do on my own.

In class one we went around and everyone said why they are doing Crossfit.  Most people said “I’s in the neighborhood”.  I said "because I can make myself do cardio, I can’t make myself do weights."  Coach seemed to like that answer.  I never for one second thought it would be easy, but I guess that’s also why I’m there.
The first thing we did was learn the "air squat".  Or some might call it just a squat.  I totally get the need to master the basics and get the form right, so away we go.  It started with "do five air squats" but as the coaches walked around and checked form I had probably blown through fifteen and they weren't even to me yet.  Next we did "front squats".  We grabbed a PVC pipe to get the form down, and lifted it up while doing the squat.  Seems easy enough, but the same thing happened.  "Do five or ten" probably turned into 40.  SQUAT SQUAT SQUAT SQUAT SQUAT!

Then we got the WOD (Workout Of the Day).  It was a timed event where we did 30-20-10 of air squats, wall balls (throwing a medicine ball up to a high point on the wall, and catching it in a full squat) and box jumps.  Did I mention that the wall balls are weighted?  Ten pounds was the lightest.  GASP!  And for the box jumps they suggested that men jump straight up onto a 24" box and women do "20 or "12.  I picked 12" and even in the moment I asked myself if I was cheating myself.  But my legs were legitimately jelly, and 12" was plenty!  The first round was 30 of each, then 20, then 10.  I honestly couldn't tell you my time, I think I blocked it out.

Day 2, my legs were ON FIRE!  To the point where I wondered if I should work out again.  I even asked when I was leaving day one and Coach Eric said we would be working different muscles the next workout and to definitely come back.  So after about 27 Advil and a lot of self loathing, I returned.  This workout was with Coach Melissa, Coach Eric's wife.  I could tell immediately that I liked her.  Very sweet and encouraging, which is what I need.  She made sure she knew everyone's name, and that was generally pretty awesome. 

We started with "mobility" which I think means stretching etc?  We took two lacrosse balls taped together, laid down on them, and rolled them on our spine.  It felt pretty damn good.  We also did some walking pigeons (a la yoga) and then onto Snatch.  Yes I said Snatch.  It's a weight lifting move, perv.  I used a 15lb bar, no big deal.  We did about 400.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVTYRjSDyC4  Then the WOD.  It was an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) of 20 Snatches and 10 pushups.  About 30 seconds in and I was winded.  But in 10 minutes I did six rounds, and I was happy.

Now tonight.  Ughhhh tonight.  The WOD was called Helen.  Why would they name these horrible things after women?  It was three rounds for time of a 400 meter run, 21 kettle bell swings, and 12 pull ups.  Now I have no upper body strength, so this was a challenge.  We were able to use bands over the pull up bar, which help you.  They are a total pain to get in and out of.  On round two I had one left and I just couldn't do it.  They told me to take a break.  I think that makes it worse.  Now I have to wriggle out of the bands only to get back in and do it again.  I asked if I could add one on in the next round and the answer was "No, you can do it".  Fuckers.

Now round three.  I feel like shit, I'm digging deep.  I walk a little on the run but I pull it out.  I crank out the kettle bell swings and almost puke at the thought of more pull ups.  At this point everyone else is done, I'm self conscious, and going to cry and/or barf.  I literally CANNOT do it.  They let me do "jump ups" from a box, into a squat and back up again.  I finish.  Barely.

I walked out in tears.  I was the last one to finish.  There was a bigger girl who got to modify everything and it killed me that SHE beat me.  I was last. 18 minutes, 18 seconds.  I walked home feeling sorry for myself.  Oh and I saw two huge fucking rats frolicking in Thompkins Square Park, right in the middle of the walking path.  Oh, and I have my period.  Really not my day.  I texted my friend Kim who has been Crossfitting for a couple years and swears it gets better and says it takes a couple months to even moderately like it.  And most of all, don't compare.  At the end of the day, is it better to be the last one to finish the WOD or sit on the couch all night?  I worked my ass off, and I need to be proud of myself.  I'm working on it.  I know about myself to know that it is at least as much mental as physical with me.  I tell myself I'm not capable.  I make myself believe it, and I'm hoping that Crossfit is a way for me to get over it.

So three workouts in, I'm not completely sure how I feel about it, but being sore feels better than knowing I need to do something but doing nothing.  So, back it I will go on Saturday.  More to come!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Juice Cleanse, and a Foot In My Mouth

Tomorrow marks day one of the Blue Print Cleanse.  A thing I said I would NEVER do.  Why would you just drink juice I always wondered?  I like food too much.

Welp.  That's the problem.

Things have gotten out of hand.  I see the delivery guys WAY more than I see the gym.  I have let an occasional treat meal become the norm, and it is showing.  Summer is just around the corner, and my thunder thighs can feel it. I just want to reboot my system, and hopefully do away with the cravings for junk.

I never considered doing a cleanse because like many things, I don't have the faith in myself to believe that I can do it.  Well, I've never been happier to have a stomach bug.  Last Sunday and Monday I was in a bad bad way.  This thing ripped through my family (literally) in a matter of days, and since my turn I have had absolutely no appetite.  So when I walked into work and a couple friends asked if I wanted to do it, I thought no time better than the present, and I signed up.

What may be tougher than the cleanse is the pre-cleanse.  Like it isn't bad enough not eating food for three days I have to eat kale for three days leading up to it?  I'm supposed to be carb free, booze free, and vegan to make the transition into the cleanse easier.  All I want to do it load up on meat and carbs, but BPC warns you that if you do, things will only be that much harder.

So all in all, I have been good with the pre-cleanse.  My only slip ups were Friday night when watching the coverage in Boston, watching police chase a mad man all around my home town, I cracked and ate some Doritos I had hiding way back in a cabinet.  Whatever, I eat my feelings and I am OK with it under those circumstances.  My other slip up was today during letterpress class.  We had limited options for lunch, and we had falafel.  I had it on a plate with salad, no pita, some hummus and babaganush.  Much better than it would've been normally.  Then I came home, sat down to this beauty (ehhh) as the buzzer buzzed.  A different kind of delivery man.  No pizza, no Thai, no curry noodle soup.  BPC is here, nestled in my fridge.  Ready for tomorrow.  Am I?

 
 

Crankin’ it Out

Not everyone appreciates craftiness, but I sure do.  Two friends asked if I wanted to take a letterpress class in Brooklyn.  I didn’t know a thing about letterpress, but they had me at “homemade greeting cards”.

We roll into “The Arm” studio in Williamsburg I am shocked at how many guys were there.  We were outnumbered.  Not just by dudes, but hipsters.  I was looking at all these crazy letterpressed posters on the wall, and I started getting nervous about my potential lack of creativity.  Panic set in.
We had a lesson on how to use the massive beasts of machines (five rollers, giant crank, tacky ink) and off we went.  We were given free reign to make whatever we wanted.  Most teams started making posters of sayings including “You are not your code”.  Hipsters, remember?  We opted for greeting cards with a simple “Love & Thanks”.  Mostly because we wanted to use the ampersand, but also because we wanted something useful. We all looked around at each other’s work, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel judgey looks from those hipsters. 



Before our lunch break, we were poking around at the image stamps available to us, and the three of us pointed and shouted “LOBSTER” all at the same time.  We knew we’d be making something with a lobster, we just weren’t sure what yet. 

After our lunch break we started looking up lobster sayings and boom… party like a lobster.  Done deal.  We set up the press with navy ink for the letters, cranked them all out, and noticed as everyone in the class left their presses and came over to check ours out.  They just couldn’t wait to see when we were going to do the lobsters.  We cleaned the machine, inked it up in red, and off we went.  The results were AMAZING!  Couldn’t be happier.  Look at these little guys!  Everyone was asking for copies.
 
At days end, we left with some awesome cards, the awe of jealous hipster dudes, and some awesome cards.  And the best part, we can go back and use the press anytime we want.  I am already having visions of Christmas cards.  Too soon?

 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Thick of It

We are in the thick of winter, and I am just about over it.  However, here are a few pictures of the prettier side of things.



















Friday, November 2, 2012

Sandy You Old Bag!

Last year big bad Irene was making her way into town.  The news went bananas, and I followed suit.  I lined up my bottled water, my flashlight, my candles.  I took my AC out of the window because I was afraid it would get ripped out of my window and kill someone.  Then the day comes, and it was cloudy.  And it drizzled.  Fool me once weather man...


 
When they started talking about "Frankenstorm" I thought it was a big ol' nothing. Whole Foods was selling their "Frankenstorm" supplies and I thought it was a gimmick. No thank you please.
I bought normal people groceries and went about my business.  Storm, schmorm.

And then my mom suggested I get some Starbucks Via.  Just in case.  (Great thinking mom).  I also got a lot of wine.



The more I watched the news, the scarier it got.  By Sunday morning they were evacuating part of the East Village, but I seemed to be OK.  Then Mayor Bloomberg starts saying things like "If you don't evacuate, you are risking the lives of whoever will have to come save you" and my guilt kicks into over drive.  I debate evacuating, but decide to stick it out.  Bring it Sandy!

 I worked from home on Monday and waited for the power to go out at any moment, but kept it until 9pm. I was totally cocky. All day people checked in and I was living the life.  No worries.  Cozy at home with flowers, champagne, and candy corn.  Charging devices, scrambling for old iPods.  Whatever I could find.  In the afternoon the wind really started picking up, and not gonna lie, it was scary. I had to turn off the news because it was getting really terrifying. Saying this is the worst storm of our lifetime.  The final straw for me was when Mayor Bloomberg was asked if he would expand the evacuation zone in Manhattan, and he replied that even if he wanted to, it was too late. No more trains or buses would be running, there was no way out.  Maybe a little part of me got scared... what aren't they telling us?  So I did what any logical person would do.  Put my sneakers next to my bed, and filled a zip-lock bag with my passport, cash, credit card, granola bars, and a safety pin so I could pin my emergency bag to myself as I go floating across Manhattan.  Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. I felt like I was preparing for the Hunger Games, Titanic, and Walking Dead all at the same time.

The lights finally went out, the neighbors all booed and yelled, and I went into action mode.  The priority- take a shower while I still have hot water.  What a glorious shower that was.  Then off to bed.  What the hell else would I do?  I braced myself for a Tuesday of no power.

I wake up Tuesday, and read.  And clean.  Put on my iPod and am taken over with the urge to have a crazy dance party by myself, which was fun for about 12 minutes. Then more reading.  A couple naps. Thinking about what I would eat, and taking chances on what was in my fridge, and least likely to make me sick.

I had no cell service, but I would check every couple hours. Tried to send some texts, but nothing.  I figured that friends and family would know from the news or something that cell service was down, so I didn't worry about it too much.  What did suck was around dusk, when I realized it was just a matter of time before I'd be super bored.  But I got way deep into a couple books, and plowed through.  Me, my Kindle, and a mag light.  I still somehow thought the lights could pop on at any moment.  Wrong.

I wake up Wednesday and wonder what to do.  I haven't seen news, or spoken to a soul.  I have no idea if there is power anywhere on the island, and I am sure as hell not taking a cold shower, so I throw my hair in a pony tail, and start the 45 block journey to mid-town.  I get to  Union Square, and take a look at my phone to see if I have service and my best friend Jen is calling.  The relief in her voice- I had no idea people were so worried.  She tells me she called my mom and there was a phone chain. We chat for a few and she tells me there is power above 34th, so I keep walking.  And call home. 

My dad answers on the first ring and asks if I'm OK.  My dad was worried.  This freaked me out.  He doesn't worry.  We catch up and I call my mom at work, who answered the phone during a meeting.  She is glad I'm OK and tells me I have some really good friends.  They were in touch with my family all day and they all worried about me together.  I start weeping.  Obviously.  And call my sister.  Who is also crying. So I cry more.  The bums on the street are looking at my like I'm crazy.  It's just us out there at this point.  By the time I reach 34th it's like a switch was flipped- all of these freshly showered people just going about their business.  It's like nothing happened up there.

I get to work, and I am relieved to see some other faces.  I realize that my coworkers were as worried about me as my family was.  They almost sent one of the guys who lives in my neighborhood to knock on my door, but they were afraid it would scare me.  Umm, it absolutely would have.  But it's the thought that counts. I'm a lucky lady.

On my walk home, I go by one of my favorite stores, Fish's Eddy.  Smattered all across the window are post its.  Some funny, some sad, some sassy, but all a tribute to Sandy.
 


This week has been crazy, and I'm starting to get sick of the hour walk each way (I bought a backpack for Christ's sake) and the no power and cell service were putting me on edge.  I have to leave work an hour before sundown to minimize my chances of getting raped/robbed on the way home.  Kind of kidding not really.

I can easily feel sorry for myself, but I have to remind myself that I have a house, and I am alive.  There are some major inconveniences, but I am OK.  I have really enjoyed that every day every food truck in the city camps out in Union Square and I could pick up some food on my way home, before I crawl in bed to watch movies in the dark.  Good for them, we are fish in a barrel.  I started to wonder when I would stop flipping the light switch every time I walked in the bathroom.  Yesterday I almost snapped and looked for every plane, train, and automobile option to Boston, but they were all sold out.  Then today came.

I was a couple blocks from home walking by a paint store and thought... That's a pretty chandelier in there. I wonder why they are running a generator for a chandelier. Then I saw a neon sign at the dry cleaner and my heart swelled. Street lights were on. I started racing home. I didn't need a flashlight to open my door!!! I HAVE POWER!!!  No more carrying a flashlight just so I can get my keys in the door.  No more needing to shower at the gym (but at least this made me join).  No more risking my life every time I cross the street because there are no traffic lights.  I've never been happier to see this guy.  --->

 Sandy is a nasty bitch, but I survived her.  It was a horrible hazing but I get what it feels like to be part of this amazing and resilient city.  It's probably a blessing that I missed most of the news coverage this week because now when I see what's really happening I can't stop weeping.  Like uncontrollably.  I just watched the benefit concert on TV (because I have TV now) and cried and texted the Red Cross to donate like a maniac.  I am lucky, many others not so much.  It's going to be a long time coming back, but this city has come back from a lot of awful things and is nothing but stronger for it.  I love you New York, thanks for letting me tough it out here.

And now for some smiles.

 








 
 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Updates. And Keeping Myself In Check.

"I'm going to blog ALLLLL the time".  Lies.  But the long and short of it is I am settled in New York, loving life, and getting ready for Hurricane Sandy!

The best way for me to sum up my time here is probably through pictures.  Since I take them everywhere I go.

I should start with the best summer ever, the most amazing going away, the the city I love.  So so so very much.

And I'll blog more. Promise.




And then of course...
 

Or at least my version of it.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

RealitySets In

The weeks have just flown by. Before I knew it, I had very very few days left in Boston and I had bought a one way ticket to New York.   It’s been a lot of fun.  Going away party after going away party.  Dinners, drinks, lunches with friends.  It has all fit together like a little puzzle and I’ve managed to find time with just about everybody!

But as the days dwindle on you start to realize things like… this is my last Thursday in my apartment.  This is my last drive to work.  I have three more breakfasts, where will I go?  You start to make a legitimate bucket list like you will never come back.  I will come back.  A lot.  But it’s weird.  This is the city I have known my entire life, and I’m leaving it.
And I am leaving the people that mean the most to me.  New York isn’t far.  I will be back a lot.  I am an overly emotional person.  I expected to cry a TON leading up to the move, and it just hadn’t happened.  Today was my last day in the office and when I was leaving I really started to get sad.  The first chapter had actually closed.  Talking about leaving is one thing, but this was the first real goodbye.
I left work, had dinner with friends and was really happy.  It was great to catch up and talk about my new adventure.  When I left I called my mom, and she started saying all of the annoying mom things (sorry if you’re reading this mom).  But those buttons that only your mom can push.  And push hard.  I started getting emotional.  Like overly emotional.  I called my sister (who has remained unbelievably level headed through this whole thing) and she pointed out that maybe this is just my mom’s way of coping.  Maybe she is stressed and upset about it and it’s coming out as annoying nagging mom things.  Valid point.  But I can’t navigate anyone else’s stress, I have my own.
As I drove home I realized that one of the hardest things about moving isn’t dealing with your own emotions, it’s dealing with the people around you.  I have constantly been reassuring people I would visit, keep in touch etc.  Talking my best friend off a ledge etc.  I get a lot of “You must be so excited” or “are you sad?” etc.  But no one really wants to know how you are doing.  And I don’t think I have asked myself.  Of course I am excited to go, and even when I think about leaving this city that has been home my whole life, I am not sad.  I am ready.  But after weeks and weeks of dealing with other people’s emotions about my leaving, it is hitting me.  I’ve been absorbing it and absorbing it and there is no room for anyone else’s emotions about my move.  I haven’t had room to feel my own feelings; I’ve been dealing with everyone else’s.
Now I am nervous about my last three days here.  I have to fit in work, packing, a final visit home, a party at a friend’s, selling my car, a going away dinner, a furniture delivery, and more packing.  How?  I have no idea.  It will get done, I am sure of it, but there is no space, no air.  No time to digest my own actual feelings about this move while I go through the motions of all the things I need to do  and people I need to see.  I am afraid that I am going through this in such a blur that I am missing it. 
I’m doing it though.  On my own.  No one is coming to help me unpack and settle in.  And yes, I do wish someone offered and could hold my hand through this.  But maybe it’s better this way.  I have todo it on my own, and I can embrace and own the whole experience.  And then a week off of work, just me and my 37 cardboard boxes settling into my own 700 square feet of this amazing city that I get to make into my home.  And that isn’t so bad.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Final Countdown

My move is just around the corner.  Like, for real.  I need to get packing, shopping, decorating, planning.  I have three weekends left.  I have a lot to do, and all I want to do is spend every second at the beach.  Hmm how to fit that in…

I kind of expected to be more freaked out.  Thought for sure I would be emotional and cry a bunch.  Nope.  I am ready.  I was in New York for work this week and it felt pretty cool to know that the next time I came back would be with a truck, and all my junk.
I took the entire week of my move off of work and planned to go to New York, unpack, then come back to Boston to relax and spend Labor Day Weekend.  The more I thought about it, the less I want to shlep on a train only to go right back.  So I am thinking about having my first week in New York be a week by myself.  Just me and my new city.  Hopefully a couch delivery and a cable man.
Speaking of the couch, I just ordered this beauty.  The amount of thought I’ve put into this is irrational. Like crazy town, but I think it’s a good investment. I will spare you the WEEKS worth of analysis, but the real crazy thing was putting in my shipping address for the first time.  It felt so weird, like it’s not really my house!  But as of Wednesday, technically it is.

You know what else made it feel real?  Getting an invite to my going away party.   Such a thoughtful party at that.  Starting out with $1 oysters at one of my favorite places, and then who knows?  I can’t wait, but at the same time that means I am closer to going.



16 Days to go.  The most bittersweet countdown ever…

Monday, July 30, 2012

New York Moments

There are a few things I didn't mention last week, that I find kind of funny, and very New York.

For example, I am on my way to look at an apartment in the West Village. Strewn across the ground everywhere are mannequin parts.  Every. Where.  I laughed, I got the creeps, I wasn't sure if this was a good sign or a bad sign. In the end, the East Village won out.



After looking at apartments in 90 degree heat all day, all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and sleep.  But I also wanted to eat.  My friend Mary recommended Bar Americain, right down the street from my hotel.  If Bobby Flay wants to make me take out, I am in!  And the daily special is fried chicken?  Done deal.  While I waited at the bar, it only seemed right to order a Ketel martini.  So very New York.  Then back home to eat fried chicken, cauliflower and goat cheese gratin, and black pepper biscuits in bed.  Yes, that happened.



By the way, I never want to get into my bed at the end of the day without a shower. Like I have to wash New York off of me. Is that normal New York or just summer?  I'm not sure yet.

So after all of the apartment hunting, the LONG hours of waiting to hear if the apartment was mine, I get the call.  I HAVE A HOME!  I am on my way to meet my fabulous Auntie Sheila (at Nobu 57 ahem...) and I look up.  I want to remember this moment.  I have an apartment in New York.  A fresh start, nothing but bright lights and big city in front of me.  What do I see?  A woman modeling in front of Radio City.  So cliche and awesome and so New York.  Definitely a moment I won't forget,


And finally, in perhaps the most New York moment of all, an under ground club.  Litterally, an under ground club.  We finish dinner at Dos Caminos in the meat packing district intent on seeing celebs (which obviously didn't happen) and head downstairs to this mystery club.  Here is the door.  I will say no more.  :)



So I have just a few weeks left in Boston, crazy as that is.  So much to do, see, eat, and pack before I go, but beyond excited for all of the New York moments ahead of me.



Monday, July 23, 2012

The Hunt

Oh this whole moving thing, boy is it stressful. I spent all last week at a global sales conference and didn’t have a ton of time to look at apartments online, but I am in New York today and tomorrow to find a home. I set up a couple appointments and wished for the best


 
I asked everyone I knew for advice on neighborhoods, and it came down to very easy to follow (and not at all contrary) advice like this:

 
“Live in the East Village, you will love it. Tons going on”
“Whatever you do, don’t live in the East Village”
“Live on the Upper West Side. It’s clean and quiet and close to the park”
“Definitely don’t live on the Upper West Side, it’s all families”

What’s even worse is when I email about apartments and get responses like “Before I agree to show you this apartment you need to confirm that you are ok with the $4200 rental fee”. If I like the one apartment you show me? Get real. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and go sans broker.

 
I had three appointments today, in the East Village, West Village, and Gramercy. And really, little to no idea of what neighborhood I wanted to be in. So I head to the first appointment and hope for the best. I am standing outside of St. Mark’s place and am startled as a metal gate flies up from a storefront and a man pops his head out asking for me. “Sorry, we are doing construction, opening a wine store.” Jigga what? Downstairs from the apartment? Point St. Mark’s Place. On we go. We enter the building and I am less than impressed. The lobby is dark and dingy and kind of gross, but up we go to the second floor. The door opens, and it’s a different experience. It’s nice, it’s normal. Nothing weird, just a small bathroom, a normal kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. It’s lovely. The current tenant is there packing for his move. I ask how he likes living there, and his response is that he and his girlfriend just broke up. Insert foot in mouth. But he confirms that he loves the apartment and the area, and wouldn’t leave otherwise. I like it, the image of the hallway is still in my brain, but it’s fine.

Sidenote: when I tell my girlfriend Laura about the hallway her response is “I also found that most entrances to new york apartments looked like the beginning of a scary movie – maybe that's just something that we need to learn to deal with.” True dat homey.

Next I went to an appointment in the West Village, just a quick walk away. The neighborhood is super cute, but didn’t feel too different than the East Village. What did feel very different was how dang small the apartment was. Like, everything micro sized. But granite counter tops (maybe 12 square inches) and a little pantry. The bedroom was just big enough to fit a bed, but very little else. Same with the living room. Oh, and the closet was in the living room. This wouldn’t be a huge deal if this apartment wasn’t at the tippy top of my price range. For the tippy top, I want the best of the best. No compromises.
 
Apartment number three was just ok. It was listed as Gramercy, but it was really more like Kip’s Bay. It was just OK in every sense. Not worth talking about.

 
I left my heart in the East Village. Apartment one had everything I wanted. I mean, the murder hallway is weird, but I love the apartment itself. So now the decision becomes do I keep looking or lock it up? There could be something better out there, or not, and someone else could snatch it up while I am finding out. I decide to seize the moment and go for it! Bottom line is I am not sure of a neighborhood regardless. I could love the East Village, I could hate it. But I love the apartment, so I’m going for it. Off to sign papers tomorrow.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still having anxiety that I didn't see every apartment, every neighborhood etc.  And maybe there is something "better" out there, but I think this is a good start!
 
Here she is! My beautiful little East Village refuge. Upstairs from a Pinkberry and soon to be a wine store. What else could a girl ask for? Now I get to decorate! WOOHOO!!!


 



 

 

 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

You Can Take The Girl Out of Boston...


I started this blog. Swore I was going to update all the time. Months go by, new job, new friends, new projects, and very few updates. So few in fact that I didn't realize my domain had expired. Oops.

But I'm starting fresh, because you know what Liz did? I accepted a job in New York! This is the most exciting thing to happen to me in a long time. It was unexpected, but I was approached with a fantastic opportunity and couldn't pass it up. Plus, I've had the itch to move for a while. Boston is my home. There is no where I feel more comfortable, but almost too comfortable. I have a PHD in this city. Every sight, every restaurant, every haunt. It's time to stretch myself.

So it this is how it went down. While in New York for work on June 5th, the opportunity was presented to me as a possibility, pending a few changes that were still TBD.  I had a sinking feeling that this "potential opportunity" was real. I knew it in my gut that my life just changed.  It came up during my last meeting of the day and I left for Penn Station in a tizzy. Had a few scotches on the train ride home, and immediately opened Craigslist to see where I might be living.  Oh, and I met John Slattery while waiting for my car.  I think the universe was telling me that this was supposed to happen.  I work in advertising.  I just met Roger Sterling on the street.  New York was meant to be.

And then I kept it to myself. My own little secret. Afraid to tell anyone until I knew it was real because I would feel like a loser if I told everyone I might be going, only to have it fall through. So fast forward a few weeks and S&%T got real. The job was real and they needed an answer. Tomorrow. I toughed through a conversation with my boss' boss where I am trying to play hard ball career lady and talk relocation packages, cost of living increases blah blah while fighting back tears. The first of many that day.

I leave the office and drive to meet my Be-Fri Jen for dinner, and utilize the car ride to call my parents. My dad answers, and I'm choking up. After some small talk, I break the news. He is totally supportive, yet raising all of the points and concerns any parent would. I know he is on board. He suggests calling my sister Wendy, a New Yorker of 15 years to get advice on apartments etc.

Here's the kicker. My amazing sister Wendy moved to New York fresh out of college, and is just a week away from leaving the city to start a new life California. I'm excited to tell her but beyond disappointed that we won't get to share the city together. I break the news and after a gasp of disbelief, she calls us "ships passing in the night" and is immediately on Craigslist determined to find me a home. Damn she's a good dooby. She knows this city. I mean really knows it. It makes my PHD in Boston look like a PHD in flip flops. Beyond my disappointment in not getting to live there with her is the uneasiness that she won't be able to help me find a place and give her seal of approval to my neighborhood. She also told me that if this happened six months ago her husband never would've dragged her out of New York. But everything happens for a reason. She is starting a new chapter with her family, and I am forced to do this on my own. It is terrifying but so exciting. Much like this whole experience. I hang up the phone with her, and it's on to dinner with Jen.

So ten minutes into our Chipotle burritos, I blurt out that I have to tell her something before I lose the nerve. I can see some skepticism in her face and I just spew "I'M MOVING!" She was understandably taken off guard, and of course I start crying, and explain the situation. At the end of the day I know she is happy for me no matter what, but she is upset I never talked it over with her. I know she is hurt. And I realize at that moment that we are so close that this isn't just a big change for me, it is for her too. We do everything together, and haven't been separated in ten years. I have instant guilt, and I think to be honest, she isn't over me not telling her before it was a done deal. But there is no one I am more excited to have visit me than her. We are always on the same page, love to travel together, and I can’t wait to explore my new city with her!

Now onto my mom. I told my dad he could give her the spoiler alert, so when I called she knew what to expect. I was bracing myself for devil's advocate the whole way. I was ready for her to poke holes in everything from the career potential to the financials. I couldn’t have been more wrong. She was 210% supportive and recognized what a great opportunity it is for me. What I was really left with was the quote that I will take with me through this whole experience. "Suck it up, Go for it, It's nothing that can't be undone." Cue the waterworks. I hang up the phone with her and weep. It's real, I am going. And it means the world to me to have so much love and support. But I still have one sister to go…

Ugh, telling Barbara. I couldn't tell her the same night as everyone else because at this point it's 9pm, and she is 9+ months pregnant and well asleep. I wait through the next day at work, which happens to be her due date, and call her after work. From the second she picks up the phone I am dreading every second. Her husband and my nieces are hustling around getting ready for an event at church. I hear my little niece's voices and I'm getting upset thinking about how I won’t see them as often.  I just can’t let myself go there.  We talk about her doctor’s appointments and her annoyance of being so pregnant, and I am half concentrating on the conversation, and half pondering whether to tell her before or after her husband and kids leave for church. This will devastate her. I am preparing myself for her to rebut "It's so far away" "You will never see the kids" and on and on. So eventually I open with "I have some news that might send you into labor" and without hesitation she responds "Where is it?" It's weird about sisters right? You just get it. I tell her it's New York and she says "Thank God it's not London or Chicago. If there was one place I could pick, I'd pick New York". She knew I had itchy feet and it was just a matter of time before I went somewhere. What she didn’t know was that both Chicago and London were on the table at one point, and boy that would be tough. In telling both Barbara and my mom, it was not the response I expected, but it was the response I needed. And that felt pretty damn good.

So all in all, I am overwhelmed by support and love. I still don't know when exactly I am going, but I think it will be mid August. There is still a lot to do in Boston (that means a lot to eat). A lot of friends to hug and pictures to take, but I am so ready for this adventure. And the weird thing is it is ten years exactly from when I moved to New York to intern at Letterman. And my office is around the corner from the Ed Sullivan Theater at that.

This month just feels epic in a lot of ways. One sister is moving clear across the country, and the other is going to have a beautiful baby boy at any moment (literally). My best friend got a new job in Charlotte, but the new job means she gets to travel to New Jersey a lot, just a quick train ride from NYC. Sometime I sit there and think to myself "I'm moving to New York" and I get a tingly nervous feeling in my chest. I tear up a lot, and think about all of the people and things I will miss, but that are only a train ride away.

You can take the girl out of Boston, but you will never take Boston out of the girl. This is my home, and I will be back a lot. I worry about feeling like I am a visitor in this city. My city. But I think the experience of living in New York is something you just can't pass up. And I can always come home.

Suck it up, Go for it, It's nothing that can't be undone.

Friday, October 28, 2011

25 Ways to Tie a Scarf

I have an obscene number of scarves. Love em, but always wear them the same way. So here I am tonight, catching up on a week's worth of blogs, when what do I stumble upon? 25 Ways to Tie a Scarf!

This video is super amazing, and when you get to the end there are links to more details on how to do each one.  Let's just say I will be rocking the "magician" tomorrow.  Wahoo!





Thursday, September 15, 2011

Missoni Frenzy!



I feel like everyone will have a "Missoni story".  Where were you on September 13, 2011 when Missoni for Target was set loose on society?

Well, I'll tell you where I was.  Days before I had some minor surgery.  While the timing was not planned, I thought... how perfect.  I will be recovering at my parents house with the day off of work.  Nothing to do but pop Percocets, catch up on People's Court, and watch the day whittle away.  So I wake up, flip on my laptop, and like the rest of fashion forward America, was faced with shock and awe that Target.com was down.  What's a girl to do?

Enter my amazing father who volunteers to take me on my first post-surgery outing to the motherland!  I needed to get moving anyway, right?  It kick starts healing.  So off we go for an early morning Target trip.  I try to keep my cool as I am affronted with all things zig zag.  But I have to say, I wasn't wow-ed.  While the stuff was nice, it was all the crazy bold Missoni, not some of the subtler prints you see with the real deal.  But on I went.  I searched every little crevice of that store, and stalked the staff as they were unpacking.  But I left with only a headband.  A skinny, albeit beautiful, chevron headband.    What I really wanted was wellies, a scarf, and an iPhone cover.  Fail.  On my way out I over heard an employee saying that they didn't get accessories or shoes.  WTF?

So I spent the rest of the day checking Target.com.  Every once in a while I could get on, add a couple things to my cart, only to get kicked off.  By the time I made it to check out, everything in my cart was gone but the iPhone cover. At least it was one of my must-haves. 

The crazy thing, by 10am this stuff was on eBay at an insane mark up!  It kinda made me wish I turned rogue and bought up the store for a profit, but I guess that would be not so kind.  I guess the karma paid off.  Later that night my sister calls from her Target.  She Missoni was ravaged except for...brace yourself... a pair of WELLIES!!!!  One size too big, but I have plenty of socks to make up the gap.  Don't you worry.

So I am now the proud owner of... a chevron iPhone cover, head band, and wellies!  And the best part, I didn't have to suffer extortion from eBay to make it happen.

Big ups to my sister Barbara.  I can't wait for it to rain!

And to you infiniti scarf... you WILL be mine.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Currently Coveting - Cozy Edition

Jeez,  I want a lot of stuff.  Recurring theme in my life, huh?  With the last month of Summer starting, I can't help but think about Fall.  I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, but EEEEK!  Fall is so exciting!   Here are a couple items I'm Currently Coveting.



Striped Gardengate Cardigan, Madewell, $39 ($72)
Essie BBF Best Boy Friend, Ulta, $8
Stephan & Co. Patterned Enamel Bangle, Nordstrom, $14
Betsey Johnson Oversized Round Sunglasses, Urban Outfitters, $55
Cece Leather Ballet Flat, Jcrew, $89.99 ($128)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Currently Coveting - Rainy Day Edition

The weather has been absolute crap.  It's making me think I could never make it in Seattle or London, which means time to re-think my life plan.  The constant mist and depression of the last few weeks has caused me to spend a lot of time shopping.  And so here is stuff I want.  And I want a lot of stuff.



1. JCrew Racer Tote $62.50
2. Stila Convertible Color - Petunia $25
3. Banana Republic Lily Cluster Ring $49.50
4. 7 For All Mankind Jules $69
5. ModCloth Craft Sale Saturday Dress $91.99
6. Kate Spade devoté mod leopard lacey wallet $89 (Reg $225)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kale Chips. Yup, I said Kale Chips

You know what I never thought I would do in my whole entire life? Blog about kale. There’s a first for everything… here goes!

I kept hearing people rave about kale chips and how they are JUST like potato chips. I finally decided I had to give them a try.

Truth be told, they do not taste like potato chips. Even a little bit. However, they do taste like the amazing crispy edges of roasted Brussel sprouts. The very reason I make Brussel sprouts to begin with.

I bought the biggest bunch of kale Whole Foods had. Go big or go home, right? I washed and dried it in the salad spinner, tore bite size pieces away from the thick stems. Spritzed with olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt. I baked them on 350 for ten minutes, and voila. Kale chips.

I think this is one of those things that you just have to try to believe. I get that it sounds weird, and totally non amazing, but they really are good. Especially right out of the oven.

Need more convincing?

2 cups of kale contain:
• 260% of the daily requirement for vitamin A
• 170% of vitamin C
• 10% of calcium
• 8% iron
• 3 grams of protein
• Over 1000% vitamin K
• 40% manganese
• 40% of vitamin B6
• It is a prime cancer fighting food, rich in anti-oxidants and detoxifying enzymes, carotenoids and high in fiber
• The carotenoids in kale help prevent eye degeneration and help protect against cataracts .It is also high in calcium.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wow.

Imagine my surprise as I'm riding the elevator up to my office one morning, and this image is on Captivate.  You know, that stupid tv inside the elevator. 

This can be a really weird and scary world.  This picture just grabbed me.  It makes me smile, it makes me sad, I just can't stop looking at it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bar Carts: Portable Party

I have seen some pictures of gorgeous bar carts and I really really want one.  I was poking around on Overstock and it suggested this industrial cart that isn't meant to be a bar cart, but sure would make a good one for $56.99! 

 Here are some of my favorites I've seen around the block...

Cupcakes & Cashmere

Apartment Therapy
Kitchenisms

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

The most unique and unexpected Christmas present I got this year came from my dad.  It was an oil painting kit that came with everything you need to get started.  Paints, brushes, canvas, and a how-to book.   I felt a mixture of excitement, inspiration, and terror thinking about what in the world I was going to do with it.

The walls in my parents house feature a few of my dad's masterpieces from over the years.  After a long hiatus he started painting again, and I got dibs on one of the first ones he did when he started back up.  It's hanging in my kitchen, isn't it nice?  I left Christmas with some pointers from my dad, but was still terrified at tackling a landscape.

While reading Jordan Ferney's blog I saw an old post about a collection of cakes her husband Paul Ferney painted.  How freakin amazing is this?  And each painting has a cute little phrase like "After a slice of that chocolate cake she was in the mood to crash a party." and "As she sat there with her sisters, giggling and devouring an entire cake, she felt like she was 12 years old again." I love them all!



So while legitimately snowed in today, with my DVR bordering on empty and Netflix devoured, I pondered what to do with myself.  DING DING DING!  Today is painting day.

Not completely sure what I was doing, I pulled out all of my brushes and paints and planned my attack.  I took a look at a bunch of Paul Ferney's paintings and settled on which cake/cake stand/background combo I thought was do-able and I set up shop.  Do notice the laptop playing a marathon of Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

Now the smart thing to do would be to sketch out my attack plan with pencil, but I couldn't find one anywhere, so I drew ever so lightly with pen, which gave me enough of an idea of where to put paint to canvas.

I started with the cake stand, which I was hoping to be a nice jade green.  It came out a little darker than I was hoping, but I quickly realized that the more you try and fix a color the more paint you wind up with.  It was getting out of hand!

Next I moved onto the most fun part, the cake!  I outlined the cake and filled it in solid brown, then went back and really caked it on (no pun intended).  I wanted it to look like thick, gooey frosting.  I added a candle, painted in the background, and voila!  She was done.  And for the record, it may have been easier to paint the background before the rest of it instead of trying to paint around everything!


This is by no means a Paul Ferney, but I'm glad I took the plunge and gave it a try.  Here it is.  Not quite good enough to eat, but I tried.  I think I might attempt a painting class to actually learn what I'm doing, but this was a much better way to spend an afternoon than shoveling snow.  Although eating cake may have been better...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Robbed The Gap!

Well, not litterally.

Growing up, one of my mom’s favorite activities was taking us to the Gap when they were having a major sale. We would clean out their clearance section then go home and huddle around the kitchen table with our shopping bags and a calculator. We would carefully peel back the sale stickers until we could see the original prices, and add up what we would have spent at full retail vs. what we actually paid.


This was the only time I ever showed even a modest interest in math.

Last night the nostalgia flowed back as I did this again. I had time to kill before a movie, and the Gap had a sign out front that all clearance was 40% off! I didn’t have a ton of time, but I did my best impression of Supermarket Sweep and snatched up the best stuff I could find including the ballet flats that I wanted before Christmas. Two pairs in fact. Worth the wait!

Here is a recap…



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Inspiration

Flash forward... there I am!

I wanted to wait a few days before doing an official New Years post.  I don't know why, I guess all the talk of resolutions and "new year new you" bologna was too much, but I'm ready.

In reading everyone else's New Years posts, I came across an amazing post from Mighty Girl about Esquire's "What I've Learned" section.  There were some serious gems in there that have definitely helped me to look at this coming year and my attitude in a new way.

Here are some of the best quotes, followed by my favorite "Get up off your ass and be proud of yourself, girlfriend" anthem. 

“Some people understand what it is to create something special, and others are thinking what they can get out of it.” -Al Pacino

“There was an incredible power that was against me. And that power, I hope I was able to use it to do something good. Power is power. It’s energy. And if you get big, big energy, you can use that in a good way.” -Yoko Ono

“People don’t remember who the critics were.” -Robert Redford

“Running from something and running to something are the same thing.”

“There’s always going to be someone smarter, prettier, nicer. It’s better to appreciate it instead of being threatened by it or defending yourself against it.” -Mary Louise Parker

“I don’t look ahead. I’m right here with you. It’s a good way to be.”

“I don’t want to impress people I wouldn’t cross the road to talk to. I want there to be a strict door policy at my club. I want to go, “You can’t come in. You won’t like this. And I don’t want you to like it.” -Ricky Gervais

Now, I dare you not to dance a little, and feel a whole lot better about yourself after this one. 


Update: While we're on the subject, check out this non-resolution from Bridget from It's a Hunt Life.

"basically, i would just like to be a better person, but that's what we should all hope to be as each year flies by.  complain less.  love more.  be more patient.  take more time with the kids instead of shooing them away because i've got other things that can't wait (laundry can wait.  computer can wait.).  take more time to tell my husband what i'm proud of him for.  be grateful for at least five new things at the end of each and every day.  learn to be more like gracie (dogs really are the best teachers, aren't they?).  compliment more.  stress less.  read more.  eat well.  listen to beautiful music.  go to more concerts.  make some delicious new recipes.  write more snail-mail letters.  be a better person."

Amen Bridget!