Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween circa 1992.  I'm the tall ghost.  

Happy Halloween everyone, although in a way it feels a little bit more like Thanksgiving come early. As I woke up to even more news about the devastation Sandy wrecked on New York, and how hard it's going to be to clean up, I'm feeling very thankful that all of my friends and family in the area are doing okay. But the city itself is in need of some serious care.

However, if I've learned anything from living here for almost eight years (two more and I can officially call myself a New Yorker, or so they say) it's that we're a kind city always willing to help each other out in times of need. In times of everyday rush hour traffic, that might be a different story. But right now, and for a the unforeseeable future, everyday rush hour traffic situations will not be happening.

So, this Halloween post is turning out a lot differently than I had originally planned it would be. I'm pretty certain that New York will try to have as much of a Halloween as it can today, and since there's no school, maybe kids will get to spend the entire day trick or treating! I hope they all get the chance to get sick on too much candy, they really deserve it this year.

Our Halloween party is still going on and Alex and I are working on the last finishing touches today! We're so excited to go to the Halloween dance party at our friend's bar, Greenpoint Heights where the costume theme is "toxic couples." To quote from their Facebook invite: Greenpointers is throwing a Toxic Codependent Halloween Dance Party. Partner up as the most sick and twisted, messed up couple you can think of! Ex. Lincoln Restler & Chris Olechowski, Howard Moon & Vince Noir, Adam & Eve, Mitt & Binders, Fat Hipster & Skinny Jeans, Toe Jam & Earl, Lucy & Desi, Ren & Stimpy, Olsen Twins, Honey Boo & Glitzy the pig, Mayor Mike & Plus Size Soda, Kurt & Courtney, Tom & Jerry, Ben & Jerry, Bonnie & Clyde, Your Parents, Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man, Rex & Rob Ryan...possibilities are endless. Pair up platonically, romatically, gayfully, straightfully or all that's in between. Don't have a partner? Use a prop - duh! (Think raccoon in a garbage can.)

So are you ready for our toxic couple? Alex is dressing as Bugs Bunny "in drag", and I'm going as Elmer Fudd. I had this idea a few years ago, but we never got around to doing it. When I saw that the theme of this party was practically made for it, I was so excited! So stay tuned for our costume soon and happy Halloween everyone!

Also, if you haven't watched "What's Opera Doc?" in a long time, I highly recommend it.  It's really good.

PS- Can you think of any more great toxic couples? Let me know in the comments! And what are your plans for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hi everyone! Just wanted to check in to say that Alex and I and the kitties are safe and sound here in Brooklyn.  We actually never lost power in our neighborhood, just internet and TV which are both back now.  The winds were a little nerve racking, but we had a good night.  This morning, Alex and I walked over the Williamsburg bridge into Manhattan, which is a totally different story.  We did not see much flooding (just FDR drive) but the power is totally out.  No street lights, no stores open.  Brooklyn feels like we just had a rough rain storm, in our neighborhood at least, but Manhattan is much more severe.  The subways seem to be one of the biggest issues and the schools are closed again tomorrow.

We're in the process of rescuing our friend Dustin who's east village apartment is without power and had a window shattered in the storm.  So he's going to come and stay with us.  It feels good to be able to help someone out a little bit.

I can't help but think that because of global warming, this kind of weather will become more and more common in our area.  The Jersey shore destruction is pretty scary too. Luckily, my parent's trailer in Cape May County is OK, according to their across the street neighbors, who are also okay.

Like people always say, disasters can bring out the best in people, and on our walk around the city this morning it felt like everyone was in high spirits- for now at least.  3 to 4 more days of no power sounds like it could be pretty devastating.

Anyway, thanks so much for your sweet comments during the storm!

PS- This image of the 145th st subway station is making me think it's going to be a long time before the subways are completely back to normal again.


Monday, October 29, 2012

While it's still just mainly a windy day outside right now, it's starting to look like Sandy is going to be much bigger than Irene.  I'm really hoping our power doesn't go out, but if it does, here's a tip that my dad told me about:

Fill up plastic freezer bags with water and put them in your freezer.   If the power goes out, transfer the frozen bags to the fridge and they'll help keep it more like a cooler in there.  Once they do melt, you'll have fresh water to drink!  Pretty cool huh?  We've also turned our freezer and fridge temperature up so it will be colder longer if the power does go out.

In the meantime though, I'm enjoying my stocked fridge! Check out my ingenious breakfast: Smoked salmon and arugula omelette with avocado and red pepper flakes (or hot seeds as my dad calls them) on toast!  Accompanied by a glass of ruby red grapefruit juice.  Yumsters.

I've decided that today is probably the perfect day to tackle two projects I've been avoiding: hanging up some pictures around the house and changing my closet out for fall/winter.  It's time to get those tank tops and sundresses out of there, I'm sorry to say.  And I'm also planning on cooking up a storm. (pun intended!) Hello, spaghetti and meatball dinner, yes, I will eat you with some red wine later on!

Have any of you ever ridden out a big hurricane before? Please tell me about it in the comments, and I'd love to hear any other tips too! Do you think there'll be anyone canoeing down the street later?  I don't want to make light of the seriousness of a hurricane, but I have to say, this has been kind of exciting and fun so far.

Will hopefully be dropping in more throughout the day! xo

PS- Just found out school is closed tomorrow too! Yowzers this is getting crazy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hey everyone! I thought I'd check in with a little "what I've been up to" post.  As you're all probably well aware, we're hunkering down for the Frankenstorm (ugh) but not giving up on Halloween just yet! Alex and I spent the morning at Target and Michael's working on our Halloween costume which I will be revealing soon!  We were pretty much the only ones looking at Halloween stuff, while everyone else was freaking out about water.  We decided to throw some double a batteries in the cart for good measure.

We stocked up on groceries yesterday though, and the supermarket was totally normal.  We made sure to buy lots of canned soup (I love Amy's) tuna and bread and things like that.  But I'm also planning on making spaghetti and meatballs before the power goes out.  Hopefully it won't at all!

Right now, I've got chicken in the crock pot, brussels sprouts roasting in the oven and brown rice cooking on the stove.  Our apartment is smelling nice and homey.  I'm also sipping on some red wine while I type this.  I made sure to run to the liquor store too :)  Both Alex and I have no work tomorrow due to the storm, and the subways are closing in about 30 minutes.  We've been listening to Guided by Voices all afternoon while I did laundry and Alex worked on our costumes.  I love that I have a husband who doesn't mind rudimentary sewing since I hate even sewing a button on. He's actually pretty good!  I can't wait to show you guys our costume!!! But not yet, you're going to have to check back tomorrow for the idea reveal and then on Halloween (or maybe the first) for our actual pics.  Hehehe I'm so mean.

I just got back from spending Wednesday night through Saturday morning in DC for work.  I've never traveled for work before and kept calling it my "business trip." Although really it was for a conference, and I also got to visit a school for an entire day.  I have some much to report back to my colleagues, it was really inspiring and invigorating.  I'm actually kind of amazed at how stepping out of your daily work routine to learn things can be so valuable.  I'm a life long learner, yo!  It was also really fun to bond with the other two teachers I went down with.

Okay, I'll be checking in again tomorrow if our power's still on! I'm hoping to get a lot of blogging, writing, reading and cat snuggling done on my day off.  Please tell me if Sandy is affecting you at all in the comments, I'd love to hear!  Maybe we could start a little Hurricane thread in the comments.  I want to hear what you're having fun doing inside and and weather updates!  Stay dry everyone!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm the kind of person who spends almost all of summer completely sockless.  This year, as sock weather has officially arrived, I realized that I need a complete sock drawer overhaul.  Variety of thickness, color and length is essential people! And my sock drawer is not living up to my perfectly comfy fall feet expectations.  After buying a couple of pair of adorable yet cheep-ish socks from Urban Outfitters- two are already thin around the toes!!! I decided to do some seriously knit-picky sock research and then share it with all of you.  Below, is my metaphorical dream sock drawer.

These are all from Steven Allan and Madewell.  More expensive but hopefully less prone to holes.


And all of these are Modcloth socks! They're all around the same price as my Urban Outfitter's socks but so, so freaking adorable, I just can't resist!



I'd love to hear all about your favorite socks in the comments, so sock it to me! Let's talk thickness, fabric consistency  length and of course patterns and colors! Do you like to go wacky and silly in the sock department or toe the line and keep it conservative, or both? Nothing like cozying up with your favorite show on the tube and your favorite socks on your feet! I want to hear you opinions on everything socks, darn it!

PS- Might have gone a little sock puns crazy- I couldn't help myself!  How many can you find in this post? :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I walk by this cook book only bookstore all the time, but have never actually been inside.  I totally love the fact that it exists though. (Photo Credit Mitch Broder's Vintage New York)

Have you ever checked cook books out of the library?  It had actually never occurred to me until about a year ago when reading a fellow librarian's blog.  She checks out cook books all the time just to try them out!  I love this idea because I feel like a cook book is the kind of book you don't need to own forever (unless of course it's very special).  Most of the cook books I own, I'm excited to read through and try out recipes when I first get them, but after a few weeks, I usually forget about them or get bored.  And while they're always there to revisit, checking out new cook books is much more fun than buying them!  I like to put cook books on hold that I read about, like these two that I just found on Design Mom today (Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express and The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper.)  While I love the internet for finding and trying new recipes, nothing beats sitting down with a cook book and a cup of coffee and planning out a few suppers for the week, don't you agree?

I'm curious, have you ever checked a cook book out of your public library?  Or does that sound absurd to you? And while we're at it, tell me your favorite cookbook in the comments so I can add them to my library holds list!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My parents got married.  I know how lucky I am to have grown up with parents who love each other, and have since they were 16 years old!  Having my parents meant hearing stories about high school basketball games (my mom a cheerleader and my dad would take her to get pizza at Spirito's afterwards.)  It meant seeing parents who worked as a team when it came to strengths (dad always ironed and cooked, mom helped with math homework and ballet buns).  It meant seeing parents who loved their children more than anything in the world but also loved each other and loved family.   It meant seeing them do little things for each other to help make the other person happy.  That's something big that I've learned from them- it's those little things that mean more to a marriage then the grand gestures, because that's real life and true love, every single day, for 36 years.

Happy anniversary Mom and Dad, I love you!


PS- Special thanks to my sister Rachel, AKA the Family Historian for scanning these pictures and knowing exactly which ones to email me when I asked for cute pics of Mom and Dad.  Love you, Rach!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The other day after work, I stopped at the drug store to buy birthday cards for my mom and sisters.  While I was there I picked up a 75% off three-ring binder (.99 cents! I love October) to help myself organize my novel revisions and because it is physically hard for me to resist school supplies.  At the last second I grabbed the latest issue of Marie Claire because Gwen Stefani is on the cover looking fierce, and I figured it was an excuse to indulge myself in some ladies fashion magazine reading.

After spending a good hour or so reading the magazine when I got home, I decided to try and document the crazy roller coaster ride my brain went on while peeking in to the life of a Marie Claire reader, because text messages to my friend just weren't cutting it. (Her power day this month is the 28th btw. Mine was the 15th.) 

So grab some sort of women's study college staple from your bookshelf for good measure-Gertrude Stein perhaps?  And let's ride some fourth-wave feminism together. 

Side note: I found myself reacting to the experience of reading this magazine both emotionally and then analytically, usually as an assessment of my emotional reaction. All impulse response is in italics.  Thank you for putting up with my crazy.

Once I'm appropriately comfortable on my couch and pajama-clad (I feel like "pajama-clad" is an adjective a Marie Claire writer would use) I decide I'm going to read this magazine right.  No skipping to the impossible-to-find-when-you're-looking-for-it Gwen Stefani article, I'm starting on the metaphorical page one (page 16) and reading the "Marie Claire To-Do List." 

Wow a Katharine Hepburn coffee table book entitled Rebel Chic, and an HBO documentary about the Kennedy dynasty entitled Ethel, after RFK's wife? I'm intrigued! I wish I could dress like Katharine Hepburn every day.  And Ethel Kennedy is beautiful! Remember to wikipedia her later.

Skim the contents…Your Secret Beauty Life, Total Body Makeover, blah blah blah.  Huh, a photograph of a 21 year old jewelry factory worker in China.  Her image is striking and I'm surprised to see that the caption is about a jewelry factory worker and not a jewelry designer.  I also read the headline "Till Death Do Us Part: How A Smart Girl Fell in Love with A Guy on Death Row." This might be more than a silly fashion magazine! Smart girls! Yay! Did you see that Gertrude?  

Next is the letter from the editor Joanna Coles- still reading chronologically.  Resisting the urge to flip, my willpower is on fire!  Coles mentions two articles that sound promising.  One about how Ambien should probably be illegal, and the other about a woman who was raised in a storage space by crazy people.  She references The Glass Castle which I just finished! Synchronicity.

Maybe I should subscribe to Marie Claire! This is so much more fun than reading the internet! I should subscribe to like 20 magazines.  Maybe I should quit the internet.

Moving on, I meticulously read the contributors bios.  Could I be a Marie Claire contributor?

One page dedicated to analyzing Gwen Stefani's style from 1995 to present. Carefully read and study.

Breezing through the ads I stop and open a "Flower Bomb" perfume pocket by Viktor & Rolf and seriously consider going online to buy it.  I haven't bought myself a new perfume in ages! I need to update my scent!  $75 for an ounce? But it lasts forever! Why they list prices in perfume ads?

Page 65 and just reached the magazine masthead.  Magazines are weird.  Keep flipping. Wait, is this an ad or an article?  Open another perfume ad "Poppy Blossom" by coach. I think I need two new signature scents now.  This one is $65 an ounce.

I'm going to skip over a big chunk of me thinking I love Marie Claire! while feeling weird about my beauty routine and overall appearance, mainly thanks to the ads which I'm trying to ignore. I firmly believe that eye cream is a rip off! Don't I?

I stop on the "What I Love About Me" page where they asked women on the streets of Chicago to share what makes them "so uniquely gorgeous." Oh! Positive body image stuff! Oh. Wait.  Most of them are talking about how they dress or makeup.  What does purple eye shadow have to do with loving yourself?

Oh good, a Chinese ballerina.  I stop at the piece profiling 15 different Chinese women from "multimillionaires to rice farmers."  These images are dramatic.  How cool are these little profiles? I love that they're profiling manual laborers and a lesbian couple. I'm not sure if it's necessary to have two different kinds of sex workers profiled (a sex worker and a high class mistress) is a piece about 15 women, but both stories are interesting, so I guess it's okay.  China is fascinating!

Next is the living in a storage space memoir piece, "Out of the Box," which I want to read, but not yet.   I skip it, and skip the Ambien article and skip the death row love story article- ooh it's about Damien Echols from the West Memphis Three!  I saw that Paradise Lost documentary!  Finally Gwennie on page 209.  Thank God, I finally found you!

Awww she's so cute! And she's talking about how being a mom and wife is really challenging but so worth it.  She's like a real person and an angel rolled into one! What?! This article is only 2 pages?!?! WTF!

Generously skip a bunch of pages and then stop at the article called "Portion Control" about how the only way to keep your body in shape as you get older is to eat way less. Minor panic attack ensues.  

At least I'm only 30! But I just had pizza for dinner and I never established an exercise routine in my 20s! I'm doomed.  Oh this woman in her 40s only eats one meal a day...I guess I could do that...What?!? You're going crazy! You love food! Who cares if you don't look like Gwen Stefani! You are still awesome and have an amazing life! Yeah, Marie Claire! Sheesh!  This article is aging me worse than that pizza that I just ate for dinner. Okay, I'm definitely not subscribing to this magazine.  I feel weird.

Before putting it down all together, I flip back to an article that I missed called "Total Body Make Over- Your Anti-ageing Guide to Keeping Up Appearances From Your Teeth to Your Toes." Maybe there will be something good in this article.  I go straight to the "Tummy/Tush/Thighs section, of course.  

Wait a minute… the only advice is plastic surgery.  A tummy tuck is only $5,300? Maybe I could get that some day if I needed it.  Wait, I hate plastic surgery and am against women using it to "anti-age."  Hold on, every tip in this article is to get plastic surgery!!!

I take one more delicious sniff of those glossy pages and throw it aside.  Am I sweating? Is my heart beating faster? Something feels out of whack.

I'll probably read those three articles I skipped on the subway in the morning and the 30 something woman on her way to work sitting next to me, the one who forgot her copy of The New Yorker or her Kindle, will be looking over my shoulder, and reading right along with me. I just know it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The first draft of this post was super vague.  I was inspired by this Tiny Buddha article to talk about my own journey with learning how to create boundaries.  But I was hiding the juicy stuff.  The "things I'm afraid to tell you" stuff that I know makes good for good writing, and ultimately makes me feel more satisfied as a writer.

So here goes, take two.  Here's something I'm afraid to tell you: lately, I've been having a hard time dealing with Alex feeling unhappy.  When he talks to me about things that are bothering him, instead of being a sympathetic listener, I consistently find myself taking on his mood.  If he's angry, I become angry.  If he's disappointed or resentful suddenly, so am I.  And then I get mad that he made me feel that way.

It's a disaster! He just wants someone to talk to and vent with.  I completely agree with the things he's feeling unhappy about, and yet I find myself falling into the danger zone of starting a fight.  I'm mad at him for making me feel bad.  And I will say completely unuseful things like "you have to stop being so negative." Welcome to crazy town. Population: Sarah.

I'm at a point in my life where I'm recognizing that this is happening, and even know why it's happening (more on that in a second) but I'm still working on how to be the person I want to be to prevent it from happening.  Does that even make any sense?  The thing about learning about who you are is that figuring out what you need to do is the first step- and it's a really important one.  But actually doing that step is the hard part.  It takes time, practice, patience and compassion for yourself.  You can't change something about yourself if you keep criticizing yourself about it!  Or calling yourself crazy.  So, I guess I take that previous line back, Me.  I am not a citizen of crazy town, that's just mean.  I wonder if Compassion Town will ever let me move into the neighborhood.

So, why is this happening?  It has to do with boundaries everyone! My new favorite thing!

Here's what I'm starting to figure out as a mature young lady: when we set a boundary, we let go of the outcome.  And while remembering that I cannot control someone else's emotions is a really hard thing that I'm constantly reminding myself about, it's also a really liberating thing to know about.

As a naturally empathetic and compassionate person (towards others, not always to myself though), I tend to internalize other people's emotions sometimes.  Usually it's the emotions of people really close to me (the ones I never would want to hurt in a million years, which is just effed up).  Suddenly I can't tell the difference between what they are feeling and what I'm feeling.  Has this ever happened to any of you?  You're having a great day, and then suddenly you're greatly affected by someone else's mood?  Guess what, it probably means you need to be setting some more boundaries in your life.

I know that it is okay to feel angry, sad or frustrated.  I'm starting to know that it's even okay to feel resentful or disappointed   But the thing that I know, but am trying to learn how to know in practice is that it's okay for other's to feel his way too.  Like, OMG! DUH!!!

But seriously, I've got issues with that! Hence the internalizing other's emotions conundrum.

So right now, I'm working on letting myself and others feel a wide range of emotions.  Identifying them is good too, but I think I'm more in the just feeling them stage.  The reason I have such a hard time letting others feel emotions that I am uncomfortable with is because I am uncomfortable with myself when I feel those emotions.

So I know what I have to do.  I have to own my own emotions, I have to be okay with them and communicate them to others directly and honestly too.  I have to recognize what I'm feeling and then tell someone about it.  Only when I learn to do that, will I be truly loving to myself.  And when I am loving to myself I will be able to separate myself from other people's emotional experiences.

Sounds so easy right!  It's like, okay, I get it.  So now I just have to do that and I will have the healthiest relationships with everyone I know!  But it's really, really hard to break a way you've responded to emotions for your entire life.  So right now, I'm recognizing that it's a hard thing to do (hey there compassion!) but I'm going to keep trying to do it and hope for the best.  It's really easy to say that you love yourself (which I know I do on most levels) but an entirely different thing to actually achieve it.  I'm pretty sure we're all on some sort of spectrum when it comes to this.  Right?

So, thanks for listening, I tried not to be vague in the post.  I would love to hear if you've had similar experiences with this kind of thing in the comments!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I know this has been said on the internet before, but after recently watching episode of the Cosby show, I was impressed by how timeless it felt (it's still really funny!) and just couldn't get the brilliance that is Clair Huxtable.  Watching the Cosby show as a kid, I was always laughing at Bill Cosby and interested in the lives of the kids.  For me, Clair was a total after thought, I was usually more concerned with Vanessa's plot line.  And maybe since I had such an amazing mom myself, I took Clair for granted.  But watching the show as a 30 year old woman who will most likely be a mother someday, she was my favorite part! A badass, no-nonsense working mom raising polite and respectful children and married to her best friend, who she's still totally in love with.  Role model central, am I right?

So I ask, dear readers, and especially children of the 80s and 90s, have you had a Clair Huxtable awakening?  (Its streaming on Netflix right now) I'd love to hear all about it in the comments.  Or, do you have another favorite TV mom? (Hello Tammy Taylor!)  Let's discuss!

PS- Let's all get it together and drop these macho attitudes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yesterday my mom came into the city and we spent the day celebrating my grandmother's and her upcoming birthday on Saturday.  It was one of the best days in New York that I've ever had!  First of all the weather was a perfect high 50s low 60s all day long.  With a cornflower blue sky it was a truly perfect autumn New York day.

Let's relive it together, shall we?  I met my mom at the port authority and our plan was to head to Barneys to gawk at all of the designer clothes.  But first we made a detour at the New York Public Library, which my mom had never visited before!  Our first stop: the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals from the 1920's owned by the real Christopher Robin! Isn't Piglet the best?

Thee were two exhibits on display, one about the history of lunch in New York City which included an old auto-mat   My mom said that she remembered whenever they would come into New York when she was a girl, that her father would insist that they get food from the auto-mat because he remembered it from his days in college at Columbia.  Just looking at it in the library, she said she could smell it.  There was also an exhibition on Charles Dickens's characters.  Unfortunately no photos were allowed in that one, because if their were I would be able to show you his letter opener on display with his cat's paw on the end of it!!!  It was so crazy and so old! The relation to a Dicken's character, you might be thinking? The cat with the preserved paw was named "Bob" after dear old Bob Cratchett.  And it is on display at the New York Public Library right now!

After checking out the Rose Main Reading Room and lions out front, we decided to walk up Madison to Barney's.  On our way however, we realized we were passing the back of St. Paticks Cathedral, and decided to duck inside.  It wasn't on our list of things to do, but something about it was calling both of us in and made us feel really connected to my grandmother.

After a jaw dropping perusal of  Barneys (we noticed that no one had shopping bags.  Does anyone ever actually buy anything there?) we made it over to the plaza for our afternoon tea.  It was so beautiful, elegant, lovely and delicious.  I highly recommend trying it out at least once in your life! We both though Mama would have loved it.

After our leisurely afternoon tea, we decided to pop into Bergdorff Goodmans for more gawking (and decided we liked it better than Barneys!) then strolled up the park to 76th street where we ended the day sipping Manhattans at Bemelmans bar listening to live piano music and munching on their superior complimentary bar snacks!  And on our way out we spotted the always fabulous Iris Apfel! The perfect end to the perfect day.  If anyone is looking for a great day in New York city, follow this itinerary and I promise you won't be disappointed!

PS- Check out my New York Pinterest board for more pics from our day!

Have you entered the Shabby Apple Giveaway yet? To sweeten the deal even more- and if you just can't wait to see if you win, they just sent me a coupon code for 10% off!  Just type in the code wellandcheaply10off.  It's good until November 12! Let me know if you buy anything in the comments!

You have until the 16th to enter! Good luck!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

As I've said here before, my sister has been scanning my grandmother's entire photo collection for our family to have access to.  Up until now, it's all been pictures of us grand kids (mostly from the 80s), but she recently emailed me a bunch of photographs of my Grandmother as a teenager/ in her early 20s. I thought sharing them here would totally count as a Smart Girls in Long skirts post.  Today is her birthday, she would have been 81.  So I'm posting these today in memory.  Happy birthday, Mama! I miss you so much.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Have you ever shopped at Shabby Apple?  I've always seen them around, usually with an ad on a blog that I love, but until they approached me about hosting a giveaway, I don't think I really understood how truly awesome they are.  This site has everything a girl could dream for, including an apron's catagory!

So, thanks to the great folks over at Shabby Apple, I'm hosting a giveaway to win a $50 gift card- which can go a long way on this affordable site!  I've picked out some of my favorite retro dresses.   It's so hard to pick just one favorite! I'm really loving the lace dress and maxi dress too!  And I might just want to wear shirt dresses every day for the rest of my life.

Lace dress, Maxi Dress, Shirt dress

And if you're a little weary about ordering clothes online, Shabby Apple makes it really easy with their Live Chat, fit guide and Ask Kate section- fashion advise that's really fun to read!

After reading all that, I know what you're thinking- how do I enter??

First, visit the Shabby Apple site and find something you would love to buy with your gift card.  Then leave a comment below telling what your favorite product is.  Unfortunately this giveaway is for US shipping addresses only- sorry all of my sweet international friends. I still love you! 

For extra entries you can:
Make sure you comment telling me about each extra entry since you have six chances to win!

I really love supporting businesses that appreciate and support design and artistry, and Shabby Apple is just that kind of business.  And I especially love how they support emerging designers.

Good luck everyone! I'll be announcing the winner on Wednesday the 17th!  We have a winner!

And follow my Shabby Apple Pinterest Board to see more of my favorite picks!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

These are the things that I have to say about my new favorite song and video.  First and foremost, Psy is hilarious, and I cannot watch this video without cracking up.  Every time.  Second.  He's an awesome dancer!  I Love the part at the very end when you think the song's over but it isn't yet.  Third, I think the popularity of the dance has to do with how easy and fun it is to do.

But the other main reason why I totally love Psy is because every time he is asked in an interview about how he feels about his sudden extreme international fame, he always says something like, "I'm a 30 year old pudgy guy with two kids.  This is all totally amazing and I'm enjoying every second of it."

I have a thing about watching huge groups of people react to music.  It pretty much always makes me cry because it makes me feel so happy.  This video of Psy doing a concert in down town Seol with over 80,0000 people in the audience is the best.  I never thought hearing 80,0000 people yell "hey sexy lady," together could ever be so moving.  Plus it was a free show.  What a great guy.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I went to the cloisters on Saturday and it was such a calm and happy place.  It made me feel joy and peace at the same time. I know it sounds cheesy but it really did.  I couldn't help thinking that my Grandmother would have loved it.  It was a comforting thought, to be able to think about her and something she would have loved.  It can be a sad feeling, because I can never tell her about it, but it didn't make me feel sad in that moment.  Instead I thought about how people really live on through the memories they give to the loved ones in their lives.  And it made me really happy to know that I would always have those memories which make things remind me of her when I'm not even expecting it to.

We updated our balcony with fall plants. Yay for bright crimson mums and cool weather.

Speaking of cool weather, and my grandmother, I got to wear one of the coats I inherited from her for the first time today, and I loved it so much.  I wore it when Alex and I went to get breakfast with our dear friends who are moving to Massachusetts soon.  Then we walked around Brooklyn and Shannon showed me the Sorting Hat.  Who knew it's been in Brooklyn all this time?

(Disclaimer: I still haven't read the Harry Potter books but almost watched the first movie in it's entirety until I got bored.  I'm sorry! I kept falling asleep!! However, I thoroughly enjoyed the sorting hat scene.  It might have even been my favorite part.)

Since I started talking about Harry Potter, I might as well make it more than just a disclaimer.  The other thing that I wanted to say is that I LOVE RON WEASLY.  He made the movie for me.  LOVED HIM!  I really enjoyed the beginning.  It reminded me very much of Roald Dahl with the mean parents and crazy fantasy.   But I just got bored with the action scenes.  I want it to be all mean adults and learning spells.  Those parts made me extremely happy.  I also love how you can't say Voldemort's name.  Clever little details like that really made it for me.  I think will eventually read the books, but not just yet.

Speaking of Voldemort, do you guys watch Parenthood?  It's one of my all time favorite shows and I loved the scene where Crosby said he kept bringing up Voldemort when he was trying to explain to Jabbar why you can't say the n-word.  I totally got the reference!  I thought that was really funny and good.  I love how they talk about race all the time on that show.  I feel like they do a great job.

I'm also really excited the Treme is back with season three.  Do you guys watch that show?  I love it so much and it always makes me want to start planning a New Orleans vacation.  The latest episode got me excited for Halloween.  I think Alex and I might actually watch the famous parade in the village this year!

This coming Thursday, my mom and I are taking the day off and spending it in the city.  This Thursday is my grandmother's birthday so we're spending the day doing things we know she would have loved.  So far the itinerary includes "shopping" at Barneys (mainly just looking at the super expensive fashion.  That place is like a museum and  I love it.) Afternoon tea at the Plaza and a drink at Bemelman's Bar.  Strolling through Central Park and will probably end up down town for dinner.  I'm thinking Pizza or Italian some place good downtown like Gruppo.  I can't wait to blog all about it on Friday.

And one more thing I'm excited to blog about- I'm going to be holding a giveaway from the awesome company Shabby Apple on Wednesday!  So stay tuned, you won't want to miss it.

Thanks for letting me just chat about my life in this post.  So, now it's your turn to talk.  Tell me what you've been up to in the comments, I'd love to hear all about it!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"He'll just be sitting there like this,

while I'm trying to have a conversation."

Can you fill in the blank?

I've noticed how the international hand signal for phones seems to have changed.  And the way we talk about them in conversation. Have you ever signaled across the room to someone like this, as you're leaving?

I think I've done this! But I've noticed when talking about using your phone in conversation these days, everyone does the cupped hand.  And it's like you can just see that little screen.  They don't need to say anything more, you know exactly what they're talking about.  I find it's usually when you're complaining about improper phone etiquette but I think it could even be just part of the conversation starting.  "I was on my phone..." (cupped hand signal.)

Have you noticed this too? Or any other classic hand signals that have changed over the years?  I think there have been three for the phone.

One for an old timey phone.

One for the landline phone.

And one for the smart phone.

Alex says that my old timey hand signal is not a phone signal but rather the signal that you do for movies when you're playing charades.  My arguments is that I'm not doing that signal and he is wrong.  We got in a fight about it.  What do you think?

PS- Once Alex was on a road trip with his friend Debbie and they wanted to alert the person driving next to them on the highway that they'd left their gas tank door open.  But felt so helpless because there is no hand signal for relaying that information! This is the one that they came up with"

Try it some time.  Let's make it the universal symbol for open gas tank doors!

PPS- I know this post is crazy because of the gifs. LOLZ.