Monday, December 31, 2012

I thought I'd post Woody Guthrie's 1943 New Year's resolutions here today for some inspiration if you're looking for it.  I really love all of them, but I think my favorites are:

  • Read lots good books
  • Listen to radio a lot
  • Learn people better
  • Keep hoping machine running
  • Help win war- beat fascism
  • Love everybody
  • Wake up and fight
Here's to living well and cheaply in the new year. xoxo

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Just wanted to say a quick hello today.  Alex and I are in California for the entire week!  And apparently, it's snowing in New York right now.  Are you guys enjoying it? That's nice, because I'm enjoying that picture above. :)  My day started eating delicious avocado toast on homemade bread made by Alex's dad.  And seriously, can we talk about how superior California avocados are? Jeeze Louise they taste like buttah.  Our only plans for the day include going to see Django Unchained and to then eat a delicious dinner.  Anyway, I'll try to check in and post some more this week.  We're still not sure about exactly what we're going to do for New Year's Eve.  Probably be in LA, any suggestions you guys for what to do or where to eat? I'd love to hear them in the comments.  Hope you enjoy this second to last day of 2012!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I saw this idea originally on The Curious Pug last year and decided to play along this year (thanks for the inspiration Alycia)  Here are seven blog posts from 2011 that fall into the designated categories below.  And a big thanks to all of you for reading my writing this year! xoxo

Most Beautiful- In Memory.

I shared an interview I did with my grandmother about her life on her 80th birthday.  Her kind, thoughtful, beautiful and wise words during this interview never cease to inspire me.

Most Popular- Things I'm afraid to tell you

The Things I'm Afraid to Tell You blogging series which started on Creature Comforts inspired this post about my experience with Alex getting run over by a car, but more than that, it inspired me to write those hard scary posts all year long.  The popularity and positive feedback from this post gave me the courage to write about things I'm afraid to tell you.

Most Controversial- On Having Kids Part 2

I don't think that any of my posts this year really caused any controversy, but this topic is one that can sometimes be controversial and that people can have very strong opinions about, so I think it's the closest I came to writing a controversial post on my blog this year.

Most Helpful- How To Still Have a Good Day When You Wake Up to a Rejection Email From Your Dream Job in 6 Easy Steps!

I wrote this post sort of like a helpful "how to" but I think sitting down to write it was the most helpful for myself.  The comments were extremely helpful too! Thanks everyone.

A Post Whose Success Surprised Me- Do You Sleep Better Alone?

You guys, people love talking about sleep.  Deal with it.

A Post I Feel Didn't Get the Attention it Deserved- My Parent's Music

I really enjoyed writing this post which as inspired by the "My Parent's Music" series that was going on on All Songs Considered. I talk about my first middle school dance.

Post I'm Most Proud Of- Life Story of a Kitchen Table

I loved reflecting on the deeper meaning behind certain objects in our lives.

Thanks for reading everyone, and please let me know if you do a seven links post on your blog in the comments!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy day after Christmas everyone! I hope you're still getting to relax today, and if you are at work, that you're having a quiet and stress free day and have time to read some blogs :)  Remember the day after Christmas when you were a kid and there were so many new things to play with and you could stay in your pajamas all day?  I guess I'm pretty lucky to be having a similar type day today.  I slept in until 11 am and I'm still in my new Christmas PJs and slippers at 12:12 as I write this and eat some cold leftover kielbasi on a roll.  Yum.

I just thought I'd do a little check in post, since I haven't written one in a while.  We just got back from three really fun Christmas days in New Jersey and on Friday we're heading out to California for a week to spend New Years with Alex's dad and grandparents.  I'm really excited especially since we're finally getting real winter weather in New York.  It's supposed to be a high of 36 degrees on Friday when we fly out and land in 60 degree California.

I'm planning on seeing as many movies as I can this week including Les Mis!  But I still haven't seen it yet, so no spoilers in the comments please!  I'm also thinking about, like everyone, the coming new year.  I always have mixed feelings about New Year's Resolutions.  Alex hates them because he feels like the pressure is always too big and they are designed for failure and that we shouldn't need a new year to make changes in our lives. And while I do see his point, I always end up getting excited about the possibility of making positive changes with a fresh new year ahead of me.  Can you tell that the old saying "opposites attract" really holds true with our marriage? Haha.

The two big things that I always want to improve on are my health and my writing.  I'm starting a personal essay writing class in January which I'm really scared about but also totally proud of myself for doing.  I'm going to show up to that first class and I'm going to write.  The scary feeling makes me know that this is something I must really need to do.

I'm looking forward to reading as much as I can this next week starting with This is How You Lose Her, which was a Christmas present from Alex and then Black Swan Green and The History of Love.  Have you read any of these books? What are you reading right now? What movies do you really want to see?  Do your New Years plans involve brisket and champagne with family or something louder and crazier? I'm really looking forward to a quiet New Years with good food and people that I love.

Thanks for listening to my rambles.  Let's ramble some more in the comments!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

M'ladies, M'lords, Downton Abbey, Season Three is starting in a matter of weeks. Days even!  Some of you may already know that last year the word "obsession" wouldn't even accurately cover my Downton craziness.  There were parties, there were recaps there was the NY Times and CNN.  I decided to republish the Downton mania from my old blog on Well and Cheaply to get ready for Season Three! So if you're feeling fancy, put on your fascinator and some silk gloves and click on my new page that I've made available in the side bar for some fun Downton reads.

And tell me in the comments, are you planning on watching come January 6?  What are you hoping for? Let's talk about it!

I've kind of been lusting over side parts lately.  Is it a subliminal 90's are back thing or something else? I don't think you can do a side part and bangs and I'm not ready to get rid of my bangs anytime soon, but man, some of these side parts are so pretty!

What do you guys think?

Also, me.  With a 90's side part.

My 7th grade year book picture, where I apparently signed my own photo in my own yearbook.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Looks like my dorky adolescence is finally paying off.  I 'm really excited to have contributed my obsessive analysis of the Les Mis Trailer to XoJane.  Please click here to check it out! 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Tuesday everyone!  After trying to buy tickets to see the Nutcracker with my friend Dustin, who told me, "There is no one I would rather go with. And I really want to go." (awwww) And then failing because OMG that's a lot of dollars and we probably should have bought them in October (next year!) we came up with a different Christmas Joys in the City plan: window display gawking and then a drink at Bemelmans bar!  Where I'm positive there will be live piano music of exclusively Christmas songs. YAY!!!

Here is a map of the most famous New York Christmas windows: Macys, Lord and Taylor, Saks, Berdorfs, Barneys, Bloomies! Say that ten times fast.


Do you have a favorite window display in your town?  I feel like it is a true art, sort of like a life size diorama- which were always my favorite projects in school.  Will be back tomorrow with Well and Cheaply Exclusive photos!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Every Christmas, my grandmother used to do something that made us all roll our eyes behind her back.  It was a tradition my sisters and cousins and I always found awkward.  We would share a piece of Christmas wafer called opÅ‚atek and wish each other good things for the year to come.  We had to do it in front of everyone and it was hard not to get silly about it.  And yet, I always knew there would be a Christmas where my grandmother wouldn't be there to make us do this tradition, I just never knew it would come so soon.

This Christmas is the first one my family is celebrating without Mama and I'm really not sure what to expect.  I think I've been subconsciously pushing away a feeling of dread and sadness, since the Christmas season started approaching. I came across this quote from A Wrinkle in Time, recently and it seems to keep popping into my head: "Believing takes practice."

This Christmas, a person in my life who always believed in so much and with such sincerity, faith and hope, will be missing.  She didn't just believe in her God and her religion, but she believed in people.  She believed in good and kindness and delight and laughter.  And all of that is making me realize how important it is for me to believe too, especially during Christmas.  It's important to remember to believe in giving presents, in surprises, in looking forward to things, and togetherness.

So this weekend, when we decorated our apartment, and when I watched Mariah Carey on Jimmy Fallon on you tube (seriously guys, I love her so much) and when I called my mom to get ideas for what to get my sister's for Christmas, I practiced some believing for Mama.

It's hard for me to really grasp why I love Christmas so much, but I always have and I think it's the believing that does it for me. I'm so thankful to have had people in my life who have taught me how to practice being a believer every single year.

What are you believing in this holiday season? I'd love to hear all about it. xo.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Saturday night everyone!  Alex and I are going to spend it working on our own projects- him with radio stuff, me blogging and writing.  Yay! I love having a partner who also likes to be creative outside of his day job.  It makes for good Saturday nights in every once in a while.  But Saturday day, we decorated our Christmas tree and apartment.  I love my crooked little snow angel on top.

I thought I'd use this post to highlight some of the small business shopping I've been doing this Christmas.  And since I'm not good at photo shop, you're just going to have to click on my link descriptions to see what the heck I'm talking about.

If you can't read my t-shirt about it says "Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal" and is a play one on of the many super awesome Home Alone quotes, which just so happens to be one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time.  You can buy it on ebay here.

Do you love wearing cardigans? Some times buttoning the top button to keep it elegantly closed just doesn't cut it.  This makes wearing a cardigan a million times better.  Perfect for your frequent cardigan wearing bestie who also happens to love everything vintage.

The Strand is one of my all time favorite bookstores and they have these really great literary t-shirts for the book lover in your life.

Another great book lover gift, last year I bought this for my Mom.

Also for the nerdy boyfriend in your life.  I know you're going to love anything from NerdJerk.

Do you have any great small business holiday shopping suggestions? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

PS- How do you top your tree? Do you come from an angel family or a star family or something else? Let's discuss!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Occasionally I will post a piece from my old blog on Well and Cheaply.   I thought I'd share as a blog post I wrote about an email exchange that I had with a friend almost exactly a year ago talking about the "rules of the internet," because I think it might start a fun discussion.

This friend is someone who's never really cared about the internet that much, and just signed up for a Facebook account.   After being on Facebook for a little while he sent me a message telling me how when he first signed up for Facebook about a dozen people from earlier phases of his life reached out to him. Most people sent a 2-4 sentence email or posted something on his wall.  He responded with a four or five paragraph email briefing them on the past ten years of his life and asking questions about what had been going on with them.  And not one single person responded to those emails.  He was feeling kind of down about it all and said:
I signed up for Facebook so I could reconnect with people.  So far, this has not really happened for me, at least not in a meaningful or fulfilling way.  I cannot help but take it personally.
He asked me if his long emails might be off putting to people, and this was my response:

I'm responding through email because the facebook mail format makes me want to rip my brain out of my head. Why the little tiny box?  WHY???

I have to say that I am shocked that no one responded.  Even if just to give you a shorter response than you gave them.  However my guess is that they thought about giving you a long response when they had the time and then never got around to it and just forgot about it completely.  I really don't think that they read your detailed email and were like- whoa didn't need to hear all that!  They were probably really happy to get it.  I know I'm always happy when someone sends me a long email.  Long emails are more and more rare in my life these days and I think it has to do with the way we use technology now.  Most people answer emails on their phones and use facebook on their phones.  I know tons of people who don't even talk on the phone anymore and just text.  I've fallen prey to this a little but not as much as I think most people I know have.  Almost all of my friends have a smart phone and I still don't. (Update: I do now! haha)

From what I can tell, technology doesn't play the kind of role in your life like it does in most peoples these days.  It's funny because in a way you're using technology more, by spending the time to write a long email, but people might not really be used to that on facebook...I'm not sure, even the tiny little text box makes it seem like facebook isn't meant for the long email.  While I kind of hate facebook and think it is so stupid and boring, for me, the best way to feel like I'm keeping in touch with people is to post status updates a lot- like everyday and to read through my friend's status's and comment on them. Look at photos and comment on them, upload your own pics.  I think if you uploaded a bunch of pictures you might get comments on them from those people who never emailed you back.  It can be easier to do the very simple/casual updates on facebook. A long email is almost as formal as writing a letter at this point.

So to answer your questions, I don't think in any way that you are being offensive or off putting in the way you communicate, but maybe you'll start to meaningfully connect with people if you do it how they are- like a status, upload and article you found interesting, tag yourself in some photos etc.  I know it's all so stupid, but kind of interesting to sit down and really think about the nature of facebook.  I think it's endearing that you do not use the internet like, at all- but I have told you before that I find it frustrating too- I think we'd be in better touch if you had more of an online presence.  Like, you have gmail but you're never on chat!  Gchat is a great way to have short conversations frequently with people you never ever see- it makes it feel more like a real relationship where you talk about the little everyday things.

Also know that people are reading it and just responding in their heads (I know, annoying) but I post my blog posts to fb and know that people click on them but a lot of those people never comment on what I post.  Whenever I do get a comment it makes my day, and while I think everyone feels this way, it's easy to forget it.  It's a lot easier to read a meaningful blog post and think "that was good" in your head and then not take the time to write a witty positive response in the comments.  I don't know, I feel like I've been rambling, and that I could also talk about this all day!   Let me know if any of this makes sense or if you agree!  Actually I feel like the entire topic of this email could turn into a blog post!  So thanks for the inspiration! 

I'd love to hear your thoughts, readers.  Do you agree with my highly scientific Facebook analysis?  Have you ever had the same or similar experience with Facebook as my friend did?  And although I talk about the importance of updating statuses, I kind of never do it! So I'm a little bit of a victim of "practice what you preach" there.  Tell me you thoughts on The Facebook in the comments!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hello Tuesday, where did Monday even go?  I'm having the feeling that this week is going to be a week of serious and important blog posts, especially since I'm starting on a Tuesday.  So, first up: do you all curl your hair???

I am a 30 year old woman who has never owned a curling iron.  I used to put up with those pink squishy but not squishy enough to sleep on curlers when I was little, which resulted in completing my "puffiest of sleeves" (yes that was an Anne of Green Gables reference) first communion look, as pictured above.  But as I've been spending time researching haircuts lately (Sidebar: I got my hair cut on Sunday and did some layers but nothing major.  Click here to see!) I've noticed that all these girls have curly hair and there are not that many curly haired people out there- are there?

So here are my questions:

  1. Do you use a curling iron.
  2. If so, when, and how?!?!
  3. Are you shocked that I do not and never have owned one, or is it no big deal?
Please, let's chat in the comments.  This is serious, you guys.

PS- Erika won the Butter NYC giveaway!  She wrote: "The rubber address stamps will make a perfect housewarming present." And I agree. Thanks so much for entering, everyone!