Saturday, September 29, 2012


















Hi Everyone! Just wanted to pop in this weekend to share a link to a guest post I wrote as part of Suzy's Feminist Friday series.  My post happened to be posted on Saturday, due to technical difficulties, but I'm pretty sure we can all be Feminists on Saturdays too.  So please stop by and say hello.  I talk about my first experience with cat calling where I was called a "hoe" from a car driving by while walking home from the park with my cousins, in my neighborhood.  Interesting how that memory is still so vivid, am I right?

I'd love to hear about your cat calling stories (because unfortunately  I know we all have them) in the comments, so head on over to Suzy's and show some love!  Thanks everyone!

Friday, September 28, 2012





































I was tagged over at Suzy's blog Eep I'm A Blogger to answer some questions about myself and then pass it on with new questions. Thanks for thinking of me Suzy! Now, for the questions:
1. If you could be any musical instrument, what would you be? I'm not sure what it means to be an instrument.  But I guess a guitar because they are the most badass?  And sexy? Or drums, but only if an awesome girl was the drummer.  Cause girl drummers are hot.

2. What is the best thing about you? The best thing? Hmmm, probably what can also feel like the worst thing sometimes, which is being pretty sensitive   I thin my sensitivity makes me empathetic which can in turn make me a good friend and person.  And it makes me feel the world in a vulnerable way which can be kind of cool, but also a huge burden because I'm always crying when I'm not supposed to be.

3. Tell me a weird fact about yourself. This one is hard.  I kept coming back to it and thinking, but what exactly do you mean by weird? Aren't we all weird? I know, I'm getting too meta.  So a fact about me that may or may not be considered weird is: when I can't fall asleep, I say Hail Marys over and over in my head.

4. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Ugh.  Well, even if it were my most favorite food, I would end up hating it because I love food variety.  And I never know my favorite food.  Two Sundays ago I roasted an amazing chicken with rosemary and sage and tons of delicious butter.  I kind of feel like I could eat that food for the rest of my life.

5. What is your favourite smell? Butter and onions in a frying pan.

6. What is something that you really want but can’t afford? I want to do a crazy blog redesign and focus on my blog as a personal brand.  I feel like this will help take my blog to another level, but I don't have the money for a really good designer.  Alex tells me that content is more important than design.  And I agree, but I'm still dreaming about a perfectly designed blog.

7. Name one item you’d put in Room 101.  Okay, well first of all, I just Googled "what is room 101?" Wikipedia is telling me: "The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world." as stated in 1984 but it's also telling me that Room 101 is a British TV show where people put pet peeves in Room 101.  I'm going to go with pet peeves, because the worst thing in the world is super heavy.  Right now my biggest pet peeve is neighbors not knowing the difference between recycling and trash cans and not knowing how to break down boxes and tie them up together. I know this sounds stupid and boring but it drives me insane.

8. If you were president/prime minister, what would be your first issue to tackle/policy to implement? Global Warming!!!!!!!!

9. What is the best compliment you have ever been given? Awww, jeeze, I don't know.  Whenever someone compliments my writing or my sense of humor, it puts me in the best mood.

10. Describe your style. How do people do this? I wear all kinds of things.  Sometimes pants, sometimes dresses, sometimes skirts, sometimes jumpsuits.  I just like to look at feel cute! That's my style.

11. When was the last time you laughed until you cried? Alex was laughing so hard from looking at this website which I found mildly amusing.  However, his extreme laughter was contageous and we couldn't stop laughing so hard for like a half hour.  It was amazing.

Now I have to tag 5 people with my own questions.  Here they are:

1. How often do you get a haircut?
2. Who is your literary boyfriend?
3. When do you usually go to sleep at night?
4. What is your favorite breakfast food?
5. What do you picture when I say "birthday cake?"
6. How do you get your news?
7. What was a favorite toy when you were little?
8. What did you write about on your blog exactly (or give or take a few days) one year ago.  Can you link to the post?
9. Describe your perfect rainy day.
10. Share the link of a you tube video you've watched one too many times.
11. What's your favorite Beatles song?

So...debbie blogs, Cafe Nervosa, All the Live Long Day, Kitty Cat Stevens and Creature Type....tag! You're it!

And even if I didn't tag you, and you want to do this- let me know in the comments! I'd love to hear your answers! xo

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


via

As you might suspect, knowing me as the voracious reader and librarian that I am today, I read The Adventures Huckleberry Finn at a very young age.  I want to say around 9?  That was my first reading of the book and I for me, it was all about the adventure story of a fun and naughty little boy.  Later I'm glad I reread the book in high school and was able to think about race and our country's history and enjoy the writing on such a different level.  But the thing I remember most about my first reading of Huckleberry Finn, was saying to my mom, a day or two after I finished the book, "I miss Huck."  And she knew exactly what I meant, don't you?

Those books that leave you aching for the characters- your friends really, days later are so special and rare.

Not too long ago, I finished the book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.  And right now it's with the third person I've lent it out too and I bought it as a present for one friend too.  There is something about this book that really makes you want to pass it along.  While Tiny Beautiful Things isn't a novel with characters exactly, it is a book that really stuck with me, and I miss it.

First let me explain the premise: Cheryl Strayed wrote an anonymous advice column called Dear Sugar for the website The Rumpus.  I've always loved reading advice columns, but I couldn't believe how incredibly different Cheryl's answers were.  Every answer to every question reads like a personal essay.  Cheryl is not afraid to tell you dark secrets about her own life to help you figure out your own. It's crazy, because this way of answering an advice question makes perfect sense! Haven't you found yourself telling a friend a personal story when they confided in you with a problem?  It's the best way to try and help them solve their own problem.  And also make you feel really okay for having that problem.

So here's what I've been thinking: I would love to try and tackle some of your problems and write some personal essays, Cheryl Strayed style.  I was hesitant to write this post, because I didn't want to come off as a copy cat or worse, a plagiarizer.  But I really believe that Cheryl has created a new genre of writing, and I would love to try it out.  And because I have this blog with a small but fierce, passionate and AMAZING group of followers, I thought I'd put myself out there and reach out to all of you.

Would you be willing to email me a question you've been needing some advice on? I'd love to try and tackle it.  Then, with your permission, I'd love to post both question and answer on my blog- questions can be anonymous too!  The best questions that made it into Cheryl's book were essays themselves. The more you tell about your problem in your own voice, the more exciting I think it is to try and answer your question.

I know I won't be able to answer your questions as well as or even the same way as Dear Sugar does, but I'm excited by this idea as a writing exercise and also as good blog content.  So if you're up for it, my lovely articulate readers, I'd love to hear from you.  Please email me at wellandcheaply@gmail.com .

Have any of you read Tiny Beautiful Things? Tell me if you have and what you thought in the comments!  And if not, please check it out, I think you'll be really glad that you did.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012



On Tuesdays I get to go into work at 11.  And since I'm pretty used to waking up around 7 on week days, I really look forward to my long Tuesday mornings.  I thought I'd share with you what I've done today so far, and what I have plans to do!

I woke up at 7:15 and after getting a pot of coffee going, I made myself get in the shower right away, so my hair would have time to air dry.  But what I really wanted to do was crawl up with my laptop and catch up on my Bloglovin'!  Lately, I don't feel like washing my hair every morning, but know that if I don't, by the early afternoon, my entire body just feels greasy and dirty.  It's weird, I usually love showering but lately, it's just something I have to do.  I think I got into the habit of showering in the afternoons this summer and miss it.  Wouldn't that be great? If you could take a shower at work at around 2:00? I bet it would get rid of any post lunch tiredness and sweets and caffeine cravings.  If only our society was more civilized!

After my shower, I got right back into my pj's because now is the time for laptop lounging with coffee. Plus I wore my flannel pj's last night and was not ready to give them up just yet. Hooray for cool fall mornings and nights!

My bloglovin' was a tad overwhelming, with over 80 unread posts but I clicked around, read my faves and tried to comment as much as I could.  I got through about half when I decided I needed a break and my hair was practically dry anyway.  So into the bathroom for Heidi braid time!

For me, the easiest way to do my  hair like this is when it is clean and damp.  I want it to be almost dry, but a little dampness allows for tighter braids and more bobby pin grippage. That's my secret tip! Lol.

Still in my pj's, it was now time for breakfast.  Another cool morning favorite, Bob's Red Mill hot cereal with a tablespoon or so of almond butter and some frozen strawberries.   So good.  So filling.  And so healthy.  Yay!

I should also mention, that Alex and I listened to Jim O'Rourke's album, Eureka all morning. It is perfect morning music and will even inspire some impromptu dance parties while you're waiting for your hot cereal to  become hot.

And now it's 9:00 and I still have an hour or so before I have to leave for work! My plan is to get dressed, tidy up the apartment and read my book.

How was your morning, Lovelies? I hope you had a good one.  I know mornings can be hectic most of the time.  Tell me about yours in the comments! Crazy commute? Delicious breakfast? Cute outfit success? Lots of sleep, or not enough?  I really want to know! And I hope you all have a fabulous day.

Monday, September 24, 2012


via my "letters" pin board.

Without really realizing it, I've been trying to communicate with the future older me lately.  I've been very conscious of how so much has been the same for me these past seven years and sensing a change is on the horizon, although not knowing what that change should be!  In the spirit of my letter to 16 year old me post, I thought I'd try out a letter to older me post today, so here it goes!

Dear Older Me,

Should I start out with the obligatory flying car future joke?  I don't think I will because that's not one of my burning questions.  And, I'm pretty sure that you still have an awesome sense of humor, Older Me, so I know if you laugh, it will be only to be polite.  These are my burning questions for you: Do you have a child? Do you have more than one? Where do you live? Have you made any money from your writing yet?  I know you still write, but do you still blog? Is Global Warming worse?

Since you can't tell me the answers to these questions just yet, I thought I'd tell you about your life right now.  About things I don't want you to forget when you read this, Older Me.

You can spend your Saturday mornings in absolute silence.  You can sit at the computer and write whenever you want to.  Alex usually sits at his computer and does the same sort of thing for a while until you both decide to stay in your pajamas a little bit longer and watch TV over scrambled eggs and toast.  You can also have a Saturday where you spend the morning writing and vegging, and the afternoon exercising.  Are Zumba and yoga still around in the future?  And then your evening hanging out with friends.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, that you have a special selfish life, and you have for a pretty long time.

I'm getting the sense that you don't live in New York City anymore, Older Me, but maybe I'm wrong about that.  After living in the city for seven years you still have moments where you marvel at how big and amazing it is, or stop to think about how special it is too.  Just last night, Older Me, while weaving my way through a crowded subway platform with a friend as we walked to a connecting train together, I had a moment of realizing just how New York that action was.  How both my friend and I knew exactly how to weave, exactly how fast to walk and exactly where to avoid the homeless person on the bench, and old person walking very slowly.  When we both split around that bench for a moment, conversation pausing and then seamlessly reconnected, I laughed at what a New Yorker I am and at the freedom of being young and grown up at the same time.

I want you to remember Older Me, that you have good friends, an amazing husband and an interesting life.  Your most recent Friday night consisted of sparkling rosé and conversation, viewing the Emancipation Proclamation on display at the New York Public Library, and then eating delicious soul food in Harlem.  And yet when I feel myself craving change I'm afraid that I might lose some of that.  I want you to tell me, Older me, that I won't lose anything from change but will only gain.  I want you to tell me that not changing things when you feel an itch is the same as succumbing to fear, and that you try not to live your life that way.  I think you would say that leaving New York would change EVERYTHING and that is good.  Or would you say, "Stay! You don't know how good you have it! You love it here!" I just don't know.

Older me, younger you, is not used to her body getting older and what a 30 year old's metabolism and healthy exercise schedule is like.  Are you still obsessed with losing 5-8 pounds? Have you lost it and learned how to keep it off? Or do I sound completely ridiculous to you?  And losing 5-8 pounds is something you never ever think about?

One thing that I know already, Older Me, is that no matter how old I am, I know I'm still going to be figuring things out.  I'm still going to have questions, so that while some of these questions I'm asking you right now, you'll have to answers to, I know that you'll also have an entirely different set of questions that you'll want to be asking even older you.  I suppose that is a comforting thought.

Since you can't give me the answers right now, I guess I'll just figure it out myself.  See you in the future, Older Me.

Love,
Sarah

Friday, September 21, 2012













































I guess I never really sleep alone with these two fur balls!


Alex is away at a conference until Sunday.  We never spend this much time apart and it feels weird- I miss him!  But also, extremely...restful.  As in, I sleep so much better when I have the entire bed to myself!  I know it's a totally taboo idea for married couples to have separate bedrooms, but do you think you'd ever consider it?

Luckily Alex doesn't snore (knock on wood that he never does!) so it's not that that's the problem.  I sleep fine with him, but I always notice how much more rested I feel when I sleep alone.  Last night I slept through the entire night and would roll over so I slept on both sides of the bed.  I love rolling over in the middle of the night to a cold fresh pillow, it feels so good and relaxing!

Even so, I don't think I could ever sleep in another bed when he is home (not like that's even an option in our one bedroom apartment.) The main reason would be that too many great conversations happen between us when we're still awake but in bed together. Although this Salon article on the topic, does make some compelling arguments.  Like this one:
Stanley then turned to the effects of all of those poor nights of sleep, charting a sad lineup of outcomes ranging from divorce to depression to heart disease. But there was hope, he said. Because sleep is as important as diet and exercise, maximizing our rest meant that we would be fitter, smarter, healthier — the sort of people, in short, we would want to share a cuddle with. “Isn’t it much better when someone tiptoes across the corridor for a snuggle because they want to, rather than snoring, farting and kicking all through the night?” Stanley wondered.
But, what about romance? And I'm not talking about sex when I say that.  I'm thinking the best solution is a king sized bed (again, not an option in our current apartment).  If we ever have a bedroom big enough to fit a king sized bed, I'm going to insist we buy one.  It must be the answer!

Do you sleep better alone? Have you ever had this exact same thought and then thought how horrible a partner you are for thinking it? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!


PS- In response to number 22 in my 25 things about me post: "I don't care which side of the bed I sleep on. Neither does Alex. We don't sleep on the same side every night. Whenever I've told this to someone, they are always appalled."

I recently got the best comment:
haha, I was telling my husband about your sleeping situation the other night, his reaction "the only thing it says about them is that they must be serial killers."

LOL.  See? I told you, people have extreme reactions to this!

Also, this post on velvet bedding is one of my liked posts in my Bloglovin' because I am seriously considering buying it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


This picture of me wearing the most makeup I've ever worn, pretty much sums this post up.

I saw a post of Facebook about September 21st being "Fresh Face Day" the idea being to "take a break from makeup and talk about beauty."  And while I think this is a great idea,especially since it was created by a 15 year old girl, my participation won't really have the same effect because I pretty much never wear makeup.  As in I have a makeup bag, but it includes things like a MAC blush compact that my cousin gave me when she used to work there from, I don't know, 2007?

So I thought I'd share what goes through my brain when I think about my relationship with make up.

I first remember asking my mom if I could wear mascara in high school (maybe 9th grade?) and I remember feeling weird about it.  I think her reaction was something along the lines of, "I was wondering when you'd get curious about make up, and sure!"  I remember girls starting to wear makeup in middle school, and for whatever reason, it just wasn't for me.  The idea of using makeup myself embarrassed then in this weird way- it doesn't make sense, but that's the only way I can describe the feeling.  I was embarrassed to try makeup on.  I think because when I did, my face looked so completely different to me (maybe not as extreme to others) and I was afraid everyone would stare at me.  Very similar to the feeling I had back then when I got a new haircut.  I connect this to your typical adolescence awkwardness and also to the fact that I was always really tall, and people were always pointing that out.  My entire childhood, I just wanted to blend in.  I guess not wearing makeup was one small way that I could try to do that.

I'm pretty sure my first tube of mascara dried out pretty quickly.  I hated trying to put makeup on.  It was similar to drawing or sewing or painting my nails.  It involved small motor skills which I have never had (and still don't to this day).  I sort of decided I just wouldn't wear makeup, just like I decided I just wouldn't wear heels.  Writing this now, I think it makes me seem super confidant.  Like I didn't need make up to hide behind and feel comfortable as a teenager.  But in reality, I think that wearing makeup or high heels always made me feel the opposite of how most girls feel in those things.  It always made me feel uncomfortable and self conscious.  And I think I saw the girls who wore fun makeup every day as the confidant ones.  The other problem was I was always touching my eyes or rubbing my face and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to eat with lipstick on.

In college, I started wearing eye makeup every once in a while and had fun with it.  I never felt tied down to having to wear makeup - something that I've heard woman talk about before, and I think that's how my relationship with makeup has remained.  I just started wearing lipstick occasionally last year and sometimes like a little blush, mascara and eye liner (only on the bottom, because I just can't do it right on top).  I never wear makeup to work though, again because I feel self conscious! Like everyone would say, "oh you're wearing makeup today!"  I know, it's silly.  Who cares, right?  And also, that probably wouldn't even happen.  I also know though that it would either completely rub off or I would have to keep checking myself in the mirror every 45 minutes, which just isn't my style.  I don't really like the way my skin feels after a few hours of wearing makeup.  I just can't imagine wearing it all day, every day.  Although I understand why some people do.

As a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding (the one who gave me that compact) we all had our makeup done professionally, and I remember feeling so silly with layers of foundation and fake eyelashes.  I felt completely unnatural and pretty uncomfortable.  But people kept telling me I looked amazing, and when I see pictures from that day, I agree.  But the pictures tell a different story.  A ton of tasteful makeup makes you look perfect for a picture, but in real like I just didn't feel like me.

I would love to hear your stories about makeup in the comments, I know there have to be so many different ones out there! How often do you wear makeup? What do you love about it? What do you hate about it?  I don't think there's anything I really truly love about makeup which is why I rarely wear it.  But I do think it's fun to wear sometimes, otherwise I don't think I'd ever wear it at all.  Do you ever feel pressured to wear makeup?  I'd love to hear from all of you!

And finally, a vlog of me going through my makeup bag with a surprise guest at the very end! Thanks for watching everyone! xo


The secret life of my makeup bag from Well and Cheaply on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In case you couldn't tell, I'm the clown.
This summer, while cleaning up after one of our group dinners that we always make with the gang on Lake Huron, I had a flash back.  With spaghetti pot and dish towel in hand I burst into song.  When my sisters and I would do the dishes after dinner, we named the biggest pot "The Cauldron of the Universe." and when we put it away, we would dramatically hold it over our heads and sing "The Cauldron of the Universe!" over and over, our voices getting louder and higher as we did until we usually collapsed in giggles, or something like that.

That's just the kind of kids we were.  I started singing it in that moment, and when I explained the song to my friend Dustin, his response was "you just HAVE to have kids!"

It's funny.  Do I think good childhoods make people good parents?  No, not exactly, but there is something about becoming a parent that seems like an exciting way to revisit your childhood.  I think about my childhood every single day, and I would say that all of those memories are happy ones.  I still remember words to the many songs my sisters and I made up and the rules to the games we also made up.  We preferred to play made up games, almost exclusively.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post, other than that memory and childhood are a funny thing, and I think you can bring them with you into adulthood in a really great way.  Even if you don't have children, you can still make up silly songs about your cats and husband and play made up games together too.  But I also think it would be really fun to do that with your own kid.  Holidays and birthdays, the first day of school and summer vacation, that's got to be tons of fun to do all over with your children and see what they come up with too.  A lot of my memories technically have nothing to do with my parents, it wasn't like they made up the silly song and taught it to me.  But I know that being the kind of kid that I was has to do with them 100% thanks to the childhood they gave me.  Family dinners with the responsibility of cleaning up afterwards, who knew it could lead to such a great thing?  A special thing to be able to look back and think about whenever I want.  I think they knew that all along.

My sister Rachel has been digitizing my grandmother's huge family photos collection for the past few months, and every once in a while, she will email me and my other sister Emily a real gem.  The one at the top of this post makes me really happy.  Rachel found it behind another photo, and based on the poor angle it must have been considered a mess up, but too good to throw away.  Can you see our handmade signs in the background under the 46 too?  So glad to have this picture to look back at when ever we want.  I think my grandma knew that all along.

PS- I would like to add two disclaimers to this post.  1- no, I'm not having a kid any time soon, just thinking about this stuff.  And 2- this post on Design Mom inspired me to write about the Cauldron of the Universe.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The other day, Alex and I were talking about saying the word like too much.  A stigma often associated with girls and now as "valley girls" and 90s children are in their 30s and 40s, women.  A friend told me that something her brother noticed as a turn off about a woman he was dating, was that she said like too much, and then Alex said that sometimes he noticed that I said it a lot.  And I was mortified.  Like, I couldn't get over it. (Do you see what I did there?)  Even though he kept saying that it's only something that he notices sometimes, not all of the time and that he still thinks I'm really articulate, I couldn't help but obsess.  I have never wanted to be a "like girl" and yet, I'm pretty sure I like, totally am.  I know I have been saying the word "like" since elementary school.  It wasn't something that my parents did, it was something I picked up at school and from Nickelodeon.

And while I say that I know that I am smart, I think maybe feeling confident in how smart I am is something that I struggle with, which is why when I'm told I say like too much, I want to crawl up in a ball and die.

Have you seen this clip of Tavi Gevinson on Jimmy Fallon?


She is so articulate, and funny.  She is the epitome of cool and manages to make Jimmy Fallen act like the teenage girl in the interview.  I love her so much! (You NEED to buy her book if you haven't already), but her interview made me wonder, would I, a thirty year old woman, sound that smart and funny on a talk show too?  I'm not sure.  However, after watching it a second time, I realized that both her and Jimmy are saying like all over the place!  Which I didn't notice the first time watching, and I don't think I would have noticed the second time around if I hadn't been looking for it.  I guess saying like really isn't that big of a deal any more, but is that something we should be okay with?

An article came out in the NY Times this February that I really loved- the title itself is amazing, "They’re, Like, Way Ahead of the Linguistic Currrrve"  It talks about how female created slang is usually associated with immaturity and stupidity, and yet that style of talking is rapidly taking over the world.

So can I take my insecurity about using the word like as a conversation filler and turn it into something more powerful?  I'd like to, but i'm not sure if it's that easy.  Just as I'd like to stop saying it so often, but don't even realize when I'm doing it.

I'll leave you with a clip of one of the best characters in cinematic history ahead of the linguistic curve, Cher Horowitz, to help you mull over this complicated problem.



Do you ever struggle with being self conscious of the way you speak, readers? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!  And in conclusion, may I please remind you, that it does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012



I think a rule of thumb for judging how good a first fall weekend went should have to do with how many picnics it included. Well, my weekend included two picnics.  One on Saturday at Storm King Art Center and one on Sunday in Central park.  Complete with fried chicken and cozy hoodies.  And FYI: I have decided fried chicken is a picnic new must.

I will now dump some photos on you, because the sky was just so blue and the clouds were just so white, and words, at the moment, appear to be escaping me.


Other things enjoyed and only captured in memories include brisket and good wine and conversation at Erika's house, going back to my first Zumba class in a while and having a great yoga class this morning.  Scrambled eggs, avocado and red pepper flakes (AKA hot seeds, as my dad calls them) on an Ezekiel English muffin for breakfast, splurging and having our apartment cleaned while we were out on Saturday, and of course, cat love, all the time, every time.

Sigh, it was a very well and cheaply time.  I'd love to hear how yours went in the comments!

Friday, September 14, 2012

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Wow.  It's Friday already!  I don't know where the week went, but I spent it neglecting my dear little blog.  So sorry everyone!  I'm still getting used to blogging while working full time again.  We just finished our first full week of school, and it went really well, but that doesn't mean that I'm not looking forward to having Monday and Tuesday off for Rosh Hashanah.  Seriously, when do I do laundry during the school year?

So with all of that said, I thought I'd cheat a little today and repost something from my old blog that a lot of you probably never read before.  And for the ones who have, thanks so much for sticking around.  I love you guys!

It's an old meme and I've updated whatever has changed since last year (which isn't a lot).  And I promise to be back with as much fabulous original material that I can come up with next week.  Have a good weekend everyone!

PS- Thank you all so much for your amazing comments on my Priced Out of Brooklyn post.  It's been so much fun reading them all week, and I feel like we've got a great conversation going!   Please consider stopping by to say something if you haven't already! xo

Originally posted on 9/20/2011


I saw this first on Srsly Liz and then a million other places.  I would like to be a million and one.  Let me know if you do one too in the comments!  

A. Age: 30
B. Bed size: Queen, which barely fit up our stairwell.  I don't know anyone in new York with a king sized bed.
C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning the stove. (right Danielle??)  This is a weird chore to hate but it's so much more difficult than wiping down the counters!  Also hate doing dishes and mopping the floor.  
D. Dogs: I grew up with the best cockapoo in the entire world.  RIP Curly.  But nowadays, I've sort of turned into a cat person.  (Like you didn't already know that!)
E. Essential start to your day: Shower, coffee, bloglovin.
F. Favorite color: What are you trying to do, making me pick favorites here!  I like all colors! But usually stray towards greens and blues with clothes and decorating.  Oh and cream and white.
G. Gold or Silver: Gold.
H. Height: Five feet, nine inches.
I. Instruments you play: I used to take piano lessons from Mrs. Mouser, but I pretty much forget how to play now.  The Mousers still send my parents a mouse themed Christmas card every year though!
J. Job title: Librarian.
K. Kids: This is a definite yes now! But still not sure when.
L. Live: Brooklyn, New York 11222
M. Mother’s name: Karen
N. Nicknames: O'Holls, Soholls, SoSo, O (in high school mainly), Holla, and SARS.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Not me, just the hubs.  
P. Pet peeves: When someone is walking too close behind me on the sidewalk.  I always stop and let the pass.  Also, if I'm walking being someone who is smoking- then I always run in front of them.  Especially in the morning.  Gross.
Q. Quote from a movie: "Doesn't he have a noble brow?  If I were a boy, I'd want to look just like that." -Little Women
R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: Rachel and Emily
T. Time you wake up:  7am on most weekdays.  Usually wake up naturally at 8:30 on weekends.
U. Underwear: Not to bed.
V. Vegetable you hate: Peas.
W. What makes you run late: Not being able to figure out the perfect outfit!
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth and arm.
Y. Yummy food that you make: I can make a mean turkey burger thanks to George Foreman.
Z. Zoo animal: Red Pandas forever!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The view from my bedroom.













































This weekend, a friend's neighbor went to an open house in my Brooklyn neighborhood.  She was one of 200 people there.  13 people put bids on the apartment.  According to this article, Brooklyn is the second most expensive place to live in the United States.  Manhattan is the first.  I love my neighborhood, but unless I am blessed by some sort of fluke apartment luck (I'm starting to think that rent control in a NYC urban legend) we will not be able to stay here forever.  However I'm also starting to think that if 13 people are simultaneously bidding on a million dollar two bedroom apartment, that I don't want to live in that kind of neighborhood, because I'm not that kind of person.

I've been dealing with feeling priced out of New York since I moved here.  Being broke and living in shitty apartments is a New York City rite of passage, and seven years later, I can look back on my first few years in New York romantically.  I understand why we sacrifice so much to live here and I am proud and happy that I never had my parents paying for my rent so that I could live in a "safe" (ie: trendy) neighborhood.  That is what moving to New York is supposed to be like.  But while I'm proud of how far I have come, I'm also starting to feel increasingly disheartened by what my city is turning into.

My 20s are over, will living in New York City be over for me soon too?  It's hard to say at this point, but I feel like I'm genuinely open to the idea at this moment in my life.  And yet, this is the place I've lived for the longest amount of time of my adult life.  We've built a community here.  Could I really start over somewhere else after seven years?  Would it be exciting and rejuvenating, or depressing and lonely?

I'm curious readers, what is your neck of the woods like?  Do you want to live somewhere else? Are you happy where you are? Have you ever felt priced out?  How long have you lived where you live right now? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Jes over at Militant Baker is doing an awesome series right now called 25 Things Fat People Shouldn't Do where she goes through a ridiculously hateful list that she came across online and crosses off each and every thing one by one.  It's actually a really fun list and includes things like "doing cannonballs" and "shimmying." As Jes puts it on her blog: "25 Things Fat People Shouldn't Do is an unabashed middle finger to the preposterous idea that any human who weighs more than the status quo does not deserve to live a full and well rounded (ahem) life."


As part of her series, Jes is encouraging other bloggers of any size to link up and join in on her activities.  I really wanted to do the first one- a cannonball! But couldn't make it to any body of water.  So I was really excited when I realized I already had the second one available in my closet.  Number 2 of the 25 is "wear a mu-mu."

I like to refer to my mu-mu as a "tent dress" but I'm pretty sure that falls in the mu-mu catagory or is at least a close cousin.  I love my tent dress which I bought from a craft fair and was told was made from a vintage table cloth!  The cut and design is so simple (note the adorable bow collar) and while I occasionally belt this dress as shown in the pictures, my preferred way to wear it is in it's full shapeless tent glory.  SOOOOOO comfy, especially during a heat wave.  A mu-mu knows how to breathe!

I'm also excited to participate in Jes's link up because I've come to realize that every woman that I know (including myself) has some sort of body image issue.  That we all see our bodies as imperfect no matter how perfect they may appear in other people's eyes.  This fact is mega depressing, and something I've been wanting to write about on my blog, but have never been exactly sure on say on the subject.  Except this: believe what people tell you and try to see yourself as others do.  Living in New York City, I feel like I see a disproportionate amount of "too skinny" people every single day.  It's easy to think that what they have is a good thing.  It's not. Lately, I look at these people and feel grateful that I'm not dangerously skinny, that I weigh more than I did in my early twenties and still look healthy and beautiful. Especially in a Mu-mu.  Am I right ladies?  I encourage you all to join Jes's link up! Let me know if you do in the comments!


































































































































Congrats to Anke from Anchor and Sing!  You won Kaelah from Little Chief Honeybee's PR and Marketing ebook!

And thanks again to all the participants.  This has been really fun.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


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After just finishing up my 6th summer spent working on writing a novel, I think I've finally figured something out: the summer might not be the best time for me to write creatively.  I think I might be a fall and winter girl when it comes to this kind of writing.  The more I started thinking about it, the more I realized how my big productive times in writing happen in the fall, when I'm typically the most busy.  For example, last year I started my 500 words a day project (where I made myself write the first draft of my novel by writing every single day as long as I wrote at least 500 words) at the end of October.  I have also spent a lot of my summers suffering from what Alex and I affectionately call "the summer sadness." Where I get into this funk of having too much time on my hands. I know I sound obnoxious right now, that having too much time is a true gift for most people, but not for me, when it comes to writing at least.

You know that vision?  Being isolated in a lake house with nothing to do but enjoy nature and write your novel?  I think I realized that that vision might be more of a nightmare than a dream.

Last summer, I was prepared to have a really tough, not so fun summer.  Alex had his accident in May and most of the summer would be spent with him being immobile.  I decided then and there, that since it was going to be a tough time in our lives that I would try and make the most of it. My main focus would be trying to have fun and to rest and relax in any way that we could.  And when I look back on it, that summer was actually a really fun summer.  I didn't sink into the summer sadness, because I had other things distracting me from being down when I wasn't as productive as I thought I should be with my writing.  I cherish my "too much time on my hands" summer vacations, but have come to realize that I need this time to rest, relax, be indulgently lazy and maybe let myself wait for inspiration to come. Maybe let myself get bored (remember being bored on a long hot summer day as a kid?) I think that's what summer should still be for me.

This summer I felt very happy with the kind of writing I published on my blog, but didn't spend the time revising my novel that I thought I should.  While I did take an 8 week novel writing class which I really enjoyed, I didn't do the outside work that I could have accomplished with the time on my hands.  And now we are in fall.  Although I'm planning on squeezing in a few more beach weekends, today was the first day of school and I'm back to being a full time librarian as my day job.  But I'm getting excited by the fact that I have to squeeze in those writing times again! Waking up an hour early or going to a cafe directly after our staff meeting to write before going home.  There isn't time to sit around and wait for inspiration to strike in the fall, and I'm looking forward to that.

Right now, I'm still in season limbo and trying to decided what my next step will be.  I'm considering revising the first draft of my novel in a similar 500 words a day fashion (complete with a complex sticker system) but I'm also considering taking a memoir writing class where I hope to potentially turn some of my blog posts into longer pieces.  The class starts in October and a friend has already signed up for it (we didn't know that we were both interested!) so that is some definite incentive to do the class.  But it's a 10 week commitment meeting from 7-10PM every Monday.  That feels a little daunting, and I'm wondering if it's my time of  year to be focusing on my novel, not creative non-fiction.

Any thoughts on being creatively driven by the seasons?  Do you find yourself doing different sorts of creative things at different times of the year?  I'd love to hear about it! And advice on weather I should take the memoir writing class or spend the fall revising my novel would be much appreciated too!











































I can't believe it was only a week ago that the comment challenge started! I've found so many amazing blogs this week, and have been really enjoying all of the sweet and encouraging comments people have been leaving on my blog, so thanks so, so much.  I really mean it.

I decided that keeping track of how many comments you wrote this week wasn't really the point of the challenge.  It seems to me that everyone just started commenting as much as they could whenever they could, and that's what's made this week so special. Because of that, I've come to the conclusion that all 23 challenge participants will automatically be entered in the giveaway (I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow) for Kaelah's PR and Marketing ebook!  Yay!

If you could share something about your comment challenge experience in the comments of this post however, I'd be delighted to read all about it.  If you did keep track, what was your grand total?  What was your favorite part of the challenge? Did you see more comments on your own blog? Would you do something different for the next time I hold this challenge?  I'd love to hear from you!

And PS- There's still 7 hours left to enter.  Don't be shy! It's never too late to start commenting!