Friday, August 31, 2012

Rejection makes me feel like singing "Somewhere Out There" I don't get it either.

It doesn't happen that often.  A job posting that might as well be personally addressed to you.  And maybe you never thought that you wanted it as a job, but as soon as you read the description, you knew.  It was dream job material.  And you were made for it.  Born for it even.  Everyone you told about it agreed.  And you had no reason to doubt them.

But then, a little over two weeks after applying, you wake up to a beautifully written, extremely encouraging rejection letter.  The kind of rejection letter that you’re starting to think you could add to tyour pile of other beautifully written and encouraging rejection letters and wallpaper your bathroom with all of them.  And although after applying for the job, you declared to the universe that if you didn’t get it, you would definitely throw yourself on the bed and have a good long cry (which you never thought you would ever do about a job.  But about this job you knew you would) you don’t cry.  You feel a little bit empty, and really down and blue, but you don’t cry.  Instead you take a shower, put on those cute shorts that make your legs look really good, throw your laptop in your backpack and leave the house.

And this is what you do next.

First, you go have coffee at a place that also sells different kinds of toast, and savor a ricotta pesto breakfast toast that you never knew was the perfect breakfast for you until you ate it.  Kind of like how you felt when you saw the posting for Dream Job.  While using the cafĂ©’s free wireless, you decided on a whim to go see Celeste and Jesse Forever at 10:45 in the morning. This is your first impromptu decision of the day. And it’s a good one.

During the previews you see a trailer for The Perks of Being A Wallflower that gives you goosebumps.  And although it’s a movie about a book, and you’re the kind of writer who’s more interested in books that are books, you know that you getting the chills while watching that preview has something to do with you being a writer no matter how many encouraging rejection letters you continue to get. Sorry you, that’s just the way it is. And actually, it’s a good thing.

After the movie, which made you decide you LOVE Rashida Jones, as opposed to just being “meh” about her like you were in the past, you turn down a side street and smell a really amazing smell.  That smell is ice cream cones.  And although you’re used to just walking by ice cream shops and enjoying the smell from the sidewalk most days in your life, you decided to go inside and have a cone alone today.  It’s lunch time after all, and you just read a rejection letter for your dream job a mere few hours ago.  This is the second impromptu decision of the day.  And it is also a great idea.

After the ice cream you go to a coffee shop where you can plug in you laptop and start writing about all the things you’ve been thinking about all day.  Because maybe it’s the perfect blue sky, the fact that you’re having a great Friday afternoon by yourself or that you are allowing yourself to believe those encouraging rejection words, but something is making you want to write, and you should just go write something, 'cause it’s so obvious that that’s what you need do.

In case you weren’t keeping track, we’re on step number 5 right now.  This step hasn’t happened yet, but you’ve made plans to meet with a friend at a waterfront park at 2:30.  This step is important because you know you have to talk about the rejection email to really feel more okay with it.  To maybe really avoid the having a good cry step that you haven’t had yet, but still might.  This friend will listen, totally get you and make you laugh.  This interaction will remind you that there is SO MUCH MORE to life than dream jobs.  That maybe, in the grand scheme of things they aren’t even that important.

And what’s step number 6?  You tell me.  Maybe it will be cooking dinner with your husband who will hug you and also make you laugh, maybe it will be another impromptu thing like drinks with other friends that you also have, who also care about you.  Maybe you’ll call your Mom.  Maybe you’ll have that really good cry in bed, and Queenie will come sit by you, because she can always tell when you’re sad.  Whatever it is, you know you’ll get through it.  And you know that you put yourself out there.  You took a risk and got rejected because you’re that close to reaching your goal.  You’re close enough to be rejected, and that’s a big deal.  Feeling sad about something like this, is actually pretty amazing.  And you can get through it.  You’ve got this.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I've been having so much fun reading through all of the blogs linked up to the comment challenge, that I thought I'd share a post from each one for a Thursday links post!  As of writing this post, there were 17 bloggers signed up.  But I'm loving how it keeps on growing! It's still not too late to sign up for the challenge, so if you want to join in, click here!

In the mean time, here are some of my favorite posts from fellow challengers.  How many can you comment on?

I'm loving Becky's entire A-Z of Becky Series, but especially her I is for "Identity" post.

Elisha Lynn's surprise engagement story complete with adorable photos.

I need to memorize this Faulkner quote that Gabriela posted.

The ugliest and most beautiful sweater ever thrifted.

Oh, sisters!

Jes tells the truth about being on TV and moves me YET AGAIN!

Have you ever toured a cave? I haven't and this post totally made me want to try it some time.

10 rules to break when being creative.

How much can you say in just 100 words?

I would never guess that about half of the things in this adorable nursery were free!  Yeah thrifting!

Erica's amazing cut and color.

Annika says she's yet to master seamless panoramas, but these images look pretty cool to me! I'm going to have to check out Photosynth now!

I am in love with this entire blog and couldn't just pick one link to share!  AND I found it because of the comment challenge.  YES!

Jess's "Honesty Hour" post about moving to a new city.  I think as blog readers, we never want our favorite bloggers to being going through a tough time, but when they actually write about it it can be such a relief.  So relatable.  We all have sucky times! Yay!

Curating dessert tables.  I want that to be my job too!

And finally, the most amazing thing I have ever seen.

Phew! That was super fun!  But I need to add how I forgot how different working full time and blogging is!  I've been working on this post all day. (Started around 3, I think? It's now 8:12)  But I actually loving feeling super busy too.  All the life of the modern woman! Okay, I'm off to watch some Parks and Recreation re-runs with the husbo.

Let me know about some amazing links that you commented on today, in the comments!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Comment love challenge vlog from Well and Cheaply on Vimeo.

I'm so excited that today marks the start of the End of Summer Comment Love Challenge!    I thought I would post a vlog on how to be a great blog commenter to get the challenge started!  If you've signed up (and if you haven't here's how) the challenge is to comment on as many blogs as you can for one week.  Participants should keep track of their commenting- and if you reach the minimum goal of 25 comments, you qualify to enter the giveaway to win Kaelah from Little Chief Honeybee's  PR and Marketing ebook !


This is the first giveaway that I'm hosting on Well and Cheaply, and it's been really exciting to watch as the linky tools participants grow every day!  You can sign up for the challenge anytime this week and I encourage you to click around on other participants and comment there- I've already discovered some awesome new blogs.

So what are you waiting for?  Watch my vlog on being a great commenter, and then Go HERE to sign up, grab a button to display in your side bar, and happy commenting!

Well and Cheaply

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I feel like I haven't had any meaty posts up lately.  Those that I categorize as a "things I'm afraid to tell you" topic.  I love writing these types of posts because not only do they usually make me feel really good, but I'm also always so encouraged by reader's reactions.  The thing is though, lately I just haven't been inspired.  I know these posts can't be forced and that the reason they are so satisfying is because they are true in their deepest form.  So I'm not sure if I just haven't been having these deeper thoughts lately or if I'm feeling like keeping them more to myself.

The thing with me, that I'm still trying to figure out, is that most of the time, I'll feel something about something or another for a long time and not even realize it at all.  It takes me a while to process my emotions, even though I am a very emotional person.  And while writing those emotions out is a really good way for me to work on the process, I need to get to that starting point first, and sometimes that takes a long while.

I even hesitated to write this post because I worried that a blog post about not knowing what to write about would be boring.  But Alex suggested it,when I was talking to him about not knowing what to write about, and I really just want to post something, so I figure this was as close as I was going to come to being honest and true today.

I know I can't be prolific all the time and that my creative side goes away sometimes but always comes back.  I can't help but wonder though, does it start to go away, just as I'm gaining readership? Or planning something new?  Is this creativity dry spell connected to fear and I don't even realize it yet?  As much as I really enjoy taking risks and putting myself out there (this blog and writing novels are two of the biggest risks I've ever taken in my life) I know that deep down, it's a really scary thing.  Even though it can be so rewarding, letting the world see your true, honest and genuine self is scary.  And I've never been one who likes to scare myself.

So, I guess this post is asking you to bear with me readers, don't stop believing in me- because I need you.  And stay tuned.  Tomorrow is the first official day of the Comment Love Challenge!  Have you signed up yet?  I think maybe I'll focus more on commenting that writing my own posts this week, and see where that takes me.

Thanks for listening, pals

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Saturday everyone! I'm planning on doing some yoga, getting my haircut and finishing my book today.  Here are some interesting things I found on the internet this past week.  Have a look, and I'll see you all Monday!

Mr. Darcy and his second proposal

I am so in love with this blog right now, and these two posts in a row had me in blog reader heaven.  One and Two.

My other favorite blog right now.  Doesn't this post read like an excerpt from a really good memoir or novel?

I was moved by Sam's funny post about what her family chose to do with her dad's ashes.

Last week I linked to news stories about Pussy Riot.  This week I'd like to share this great article on the west's misinterpretation of these women.  I can't believe two of the three women are mothers and they are pretty much exclusively referred to as "girls" in the western media.

New favorite Tumblr?

The impossible made possible: an invisible helmet invented by two amazing women.  Found via Design Mom.

And finally, what a squid does when it listens to Cypress Hill.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

For those of you who followed me on my old blog, I ran a comment challenge with some blog pals back in February and it was a ton of fun.  I thought that the end of summer and a new blog would be a great time to bring the challenge back.  So here's the deal:

The idea came about because I've talked with other bloggers before about the great comment conundrum.  Sometimes it can be easy (especially if you're a blogger with a relatively small audience like me) to get too obsessed with your comments.  A post that you worked really hard on and love, with no comments, can sometimes send bloggers into a dark self doubting spiral that's just no fun for anyone.  

And yet, while we know the dark self doubting spiral is bad blogger behavior, I think we also know that there is a reason we bloggers ask our readers for comments.  It's because blogging is a conversation.  It's what makes a blog different from a magazine.  We are talking to our readers like we talk to our friends who come over on a Tuesday night to sit on the balcony and drink some wine. We want to chat!  And comments can turn a really great post (or even a very average post) into a great conversation within our awesome blogging community.

We all know that comments are a good thing, and yet as a blogger who loves reading blogs, sometimes I forget to participate in the conversation too.  There are a million excuses to why this happens, but when it comes down to it, sometimes you just need a little bit of a challenge to get yourself going.  To remind yourself how much you enjoy a good conversation and to get back into the community you so dearly love.

So here's the challenge!  

Sign up anytime before September 5th.  The idea is to link up your blog and comment on as many as you can before the 5th.  The purpose of the link devise will encourage participants to comment on fellow participant's blogs.  But the rules are loose and based on the honor system.  The whole point is to discover new bloggy friends and start conversations.  

And for a little incentive, Kaelah from Little Chief Honeybee has agreed to offer her PR and Marketing ebook as a giveaway prize for participants! How cool is that? I bought  Kaelah 's book when it first came out and remember spending an awesome Saturday completely absorbed in it.  It's a great read, and I guarantee you will learn a lot.

So that's the challenge! I hope you'll consider joining. You can sign up now with the linky tool.  We've already got an amazing list of participants! I've also made a button to help get the word out there. Remember, the more people that link up, the more new blogs you'll discover and the more people will come and comment on your blog!  I found some amazing new reads the last time I held this challenge, it was so much fun.

So grab a button, link up below and happy commenting! 

Well and Cheaply

Let me know (in the comments of course!)  if you have any questions!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Right now, there's laundry to be folded and a floor that desperately needs to be mopped (the image above explains why), and I need to leave the house in an hour to make it to my therapist appointment, and then I'm meeting my friend Lana to help her possibly decide to adopt a kitten!  So, now is not really the best time to write a blog post, but I haven't posted in two days, and it's been bothering me, so I'm just going to blurt one out real fast, mainly to make myself feel better, but hopefully for your enjoyment too, dear readers! I hope you're in the mood for run on sentences!

So what have I been up to?  The last full week of summer, that's what!! For some reason I've felt really busy and really lazy at the same time this entire week.  School doesn't officially start until the day after labor day but we have a few professional days next week and one last teachers only day the Tuesday after Labor day.  So, I will be eased back into the mayhem that only a school year can bring, but I still have a feeling it's going to be hard to get myself out the door come Monday morning.

In the mean time though, I'm celebrating my good friend Angela's birthday on Friday, Alex has a rock show (also on Friday) and then we're also having our cat sitters (and good pals) over for a "thank you for keeping our cats alive while we were in Michigan" dinner.  (Yes, we were in Michigan about a month ago).  This will be the first weekend in a while where I'm not leaving the city, which I think is a good way to spend my unofficial last weekend of summer.  I'm pretty sure Labor Day weekend is the official last weekend.  Oh how I hate that weekend!

While I do enjoy fall, summer will always be my favorite season.  I just hope we have actual fall weather this year (although it would be nice to get a few more beach weekends in September) so I can start wearing the vintage coats I inherited from my grandmother (can't wait to show them to you guys!)

I've also been reading the book I picked up from Word all week and am dying to loan it to about a thousand people. I think I'm going to write a blog post about it when I'm done.  But if you're looking for a good read, with really good, possibly life changing advice in it, click here!  You won't be sorry.  I'm obsessed with it right now, and currently going through that "I want to read my book all the time, but don't want it to end" feeling that I only get with really good books.  Don't you just love that feeling?

Other things I've been thinking about writing a blog post on, but have not actually sat down and written one:
  • Female objectification and dealing with cat calling (I know, kind of heavy, hence my hesitation).
  • A guide to my favorite places in NYC
  • More Smart Girls in Long Skirts posts
  • Another vlog (did you guys like my last one? I didn't get much of a response, but it was fun to do!)
And I think that's about it!  Make sure you come back tomorrow, because I have something exciting to announce!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The other day, I was walking by my parked car and saw this:

Womp wha....

And guess what I realized? In my 30 years on earth, I still had never learned how to change a flat tire!  I decided it was finally time to learn.  I thought I'd teach you all too, in case you've never done it before. Not only is it easy, but a surefire way to feel like you accomplished an important task.  Once you know how to change a tire, I'm telling you, you'll feel like you can take on the world.  So here's how to in 10 easy steps!

1. Open your trunk and locate your donut, jack and lug wrench- this is your flat tire survival kit!

2. Use the pointy end of the lug wrench to pry off the part of your hub cap that covers the lug nuts. Ie: the middle part.

3. Use the lug wrench to unscrew the lug nuts.  Those babies should be on there nice and tight.  So the trick to getting them off is standing on the wrench and using your weight to twist them.  It's like a little ride!

4. Once the lug nuts are off, make sure you put them some place where you won't lose any, like the front seat.

5. Now it's time to get the jack going! Consult your owner's manual to see exactly where the jack is supposed to go.  You're looking for a ribbed notch which is the strongest part of the car.  Lifting the car in the wrong spot is dangerous! So consult your manual to find the notch.

6. Wind it up with your lug wrench!

7. Now your tire should come right off.

8. It's donut time! (mmmmm) Put the donut in place of the real tire, and start screwing those lug nuts back on. Use that stepping method again to make sure they're nice and tight

9. Lower your jack back down.

10. And you're good to go! Get yourself over to a mechanic and remember don't drive over 40mph with a donut on!

Now go get yourself a reward donut- you deserve it!

Have you ever changed your own tire before, readers? Have any horror stories? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I've had moles all over my body my entire life.  Or as my parent's told me they were called, "beauty marks."  I have a huge mole on my left calf that a close friend in high school named after herself.  (I still think of Allison every time a shave my legs).  And have come to terms with my high mole concentration back, and even showed it off in my wedding dress.

I'm a beauty marked girl who loves the sun, especially the beach, which is why I try and get yearly skin screenings by my dermatologist.  And you should too!  This year, a mole on my thigh looked suspicious to my dermatologist.  I was surprised to learn that those big, ugly, lumpy moles are usually not the problem when it comes to Melanoma.  But the smaller, flat moles are often the culprits! This was a small mole, flat on my skin that got suspiciously darker in color.  She decided to take a biopsy right there just in case.

A week later, I found out that while my mole was not cancerous, it did contain abnormal cells that could turn into cancer ten years down the road or so.  So today, I had the mole fully removed as a preventative measure.

The reason I feel so strongly about getting my story out there is this: this was the kind of mole that "non-moley" people often have.  It wasn't big, it wasn't lumpy.  It could have passed for a large freckle.  And yet, it was growing abnormal cells on my body!  That's why EVERYONE should go get annual skin screenings, not just us lucky beauty marked ones.

So that's my PSA for today.  Go get a skin screening, and take care of your biggest organ!  You'll be glad you did.

PS- Did you know?
Via Mollie's Fund

And have you ever had a skin screening? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Friday everyone! I thought I'd try my first weekend links post ever!  I always enjoy the weekend links posts that bloggers like A Cup of Jo and Sometimes Sweet do, and Little Chief Honeybee's "Things I Love Thursday," but I've never taken the time to do one of my own.  Usually because I find all of my good links from those gals! But this week I've been bookmarking favorite finds and think I've come across a nice little collection, and I hope you think so too.  Let me know if anything spoke to you in the comments. Or tell lead me to a link you loved this week!

What are you up to this weekend? I'm Jersey Shore bound! Cape May and Stone Harbor, here I come!  Summer's not over yet!

Now for the links!

Horse print wellies? I can't even deal.

I GUARANTEE this will make you laugh.  Click it, ya sad sack!

I need to buy one of these for everyone in my life for Christmas.

These kids are making me giggle.

My (and probably yours too) relationship with Anthropologie analyzed#ridingbikeswithespadrilles

I loved my teenage bedroom.

Happy birthday Julia "I was born hungry" Child!

Did you or do you plan on changing your name when you get married? I loved Sara's post about her thought process for this big decision.

Free speech is something we must never take for granted! Have you been following the Pussy Riot story? The Huffington Post and On the Media have great stories to keep you informed.  This is a women's rights and free speech issue.  Please click to learn about what's going on in Russia!  Below is the video of what Pussy Riot did to land them in jail for 6 months, and maybe another 3 years.

Loving Jes's Love Your Scale DIY

I totally say this to kids at work everyday.

I feel like I really have no idea what brand new moms go through.  Next time a friend has a baby, I'm totally doing this.

A frightened baby elephant produces the cutest running/farting combo ever caught on camera.

How do you feel about gin?  Want to try this next time we have friends over!

And finally, I love yoga, and it has never even occurred to me to want to play basket ball.  But still, I loved this post.

Have a great weekend everyone!

My parent's beach trailer!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

This is first Well and Cheaply vlog, everyone!  And it was a lot of fun. Thanks for watching! xo

PS- Misty and Kerri don't just have great hair, they're mentally gifted too.  Read this article!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


In honor of Julia Child's 100th birthday today, I thought I'd repost something I wrote 3 years ago, almost to the day.  Happy birthday, Julia!

Today instead of writing, I saw Julie &; Julia, by myself at the AMC theater in Times Square. It was probably the perfect movie to see with my "I don't feel like writing today" self. You know why? Because Julia Powell never said "I don't feel like writing today," for an entire year. And then Nora Ephron made her movie into a book. So take that, me.

I loved the movie though. I read some reviews where people said they loved the Julia Child part of the movie but not the Julie Powell part. I have to say I loved both parts. Maybe because I related so much to Julie. First of all- she lives in Queens! Long Island City to be exact.(sidenote: I used to live in Queens) She also has this subtle view that Queens is the worst possible borough to be living in throughout the movie, how it is so much less hip than Brooklyn- which I have too sometimes, but I will say this movie gave me Queens pride. Artists who live in Queens are the real deal. We can afford our 1000 square foot apartments because they are about half as much as they would by in Brooklyn- even a lot of the "bad" neighborhoods.

Sorry, I digress. So Julie Powell lives in Queens and really wants to be a writer- she has written a novel that she couldn't get published (similarity number 2!) and then starts a blog (similarity number 3!) The blog gets her writing, then attracts readers who are strangers (I don't think I have that yet) (sidenote #2: I do now!) then strangers start leaving comments, then lots and lots of comments, then an interview in the NY Times then a book deal! (That's where the similarities between us pretty much stop, but that's ok). All the while we see Julia Child laughing and cooking her way through life wanting nothing more than to find a publisher for her cook book.

I cried when Julie gets her book deal in the movie, and then again when Julia gets hers. They wanted it so badly and I want it so badly that when I see it in a movie, my face scrunches up, my hands automatically cover my mouth and I just get teary. Two women who were destined for greatness is inspiring- now that makes me want to keep writing.

I'm happy to say that three years later, although still no book deal, I AM still writing.  And my blog has grow so much!  Thank you so much readers, for helping me get to where I am today.

Have you seen or read Julie & Julia? What did you think?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 Photo via

I know I'm not about to write something that hasn't been said before, but I just have to say it- I love book stores.  Now I'm going to say something that maybe not as many people say these days- I hate my Kindle.  But look, I said it.  And I'm not taking it back.

Today I finished another really great book that I found at the library. An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer was a beautifully quiet yet intricate book that reminded my of Prep and even The Marriage Plot, if you've read those.  I highly recommend it.  So I finished my book, and being the kind of person that I am (some would say bookish) about an hour later, I was trying to decide what I was going to read next.

I remembered that The Glass Castle was a book I heard was really good.  So I went onto the NYPL website and saw that the reserve list was long.  And while I'm a fan of putting a book on reserve (getting that email that it's in weeks later always feels like a present) I was seeking instant gratification in that moment.  And that instant gratification feeling reminded me, oh yeah, I have a Kindle (it was given to me for work).  So I looked up The Glass Castle on Amazon, and while it was only $9.99, I just didn't want to spend ten bucks on something that didn't have pages or a cover or would be easy to lend to my mom when I was finished with it.  I had just finished reading a nice 340 page hardcover with really pretty cover art and that great library plastic wrapping over it (I have fantasized about stealing some plastic covers from work and covering all of my own hardcovers in it, but I digress).

I just couldn't do it.  So I looked up The Glass Castle on The Strand website and saw that not only did they have it in stock, but because they are a used bookstore it was only $7.95 (take that amazon and your expensive virtual-ness).

Due to summer time laziness, and living in Brooklyn though, I just didn't feel like taking the train into the city. But hold on, my story doesn't end here!  Alex came home from work.  I made dinner and then we decided to go for an evening stroll to our local bookstore Word.  We spent, I don't know, a half hour there, and although we need more books in our tiny apartment like a hole in our heads, we each bought ourselves a present.  And it felt good.  Really good!  Smooth pretty covers, paper that makes that crinkly sound.  Browsing the shelves and reading recommendations from staff members. Seeing books that I didn't even know existed and being reminded of ones that I had heard were good.  Which is what lead me to my purchase.  I didn't end up buying The Glass Castle but instead I went with Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed.  I had heard Cheryl Strayed on the Leonard Lopate show  not that long ago and really enjoyed the interview.  The sweet handwritten recommendation from a Word staff member sealed the deal.  And I ask you, is that the same thing as buying an eBook on Amazon? No.  No, it is not.

I know the eBook is doing really good things for writers in this weird publishing world that we are currently living in.  I've even thought about publishing an eBook myself.  And I still might do it.  But I can't deny the fact that when I think about having my novel published, I think about what books it might sit next to on a library or bookstore shelf.  I think about signing a copy and giving it to my mom and dad, and I wonder what the cover art will be like.

Can we have eBooks but keep bookstores too?  I really hope we can, because going on does not feel like a mini date.  It doesn't take you down tree lined streets where you can hold hands with your husband as the sun goes down.  You can't walk to Amazon, buy each other a present and then sit side by side in bed together reading it until you fall asleep.  I'm sorry Kindle, but you just can't.  So I'm going to go put The Glass Castle on hold at the public library right now, and then go read my new book.  And I have a pretty strong feeling I'll be lending it to my mom when I'm done.

Thanks for staying open till 9 on a Tuesday night, Word, you really made it a special one.

Doesn't she look like she could be Lady Sybil's best friend?

Today I'd like to talk about a particular Smart Girls in Long Skirts icon: the WWI Nurse.  I have to admit that most of my knowledge about WWI nursing comes from Downton Abbey.  But while I was doing some internet reading about the history of WWI nurses, I found the most fascinating stories were those told through letters.  Don't you love learning about history that way?  I found this collection on the British Red Cross Blog, and thought I'd share some of the more upbeat highlights from Miss. Dorothy M. Robinson a nurse at 
Waverley Abbey Military Hospital in Farnham, Surrey.
I am sleeping in what is known as the Cubicles. It is a large room divided into seven cubicles and is just above the stables. Now the stables are used as a laundry, so you can imagine there is no fear of my being cold at night. They really are awfully nice cubicles, and the bed is a very comfy one, but I’m exceedingly glad I had the electric torch with me that Daddy gave me on my birthday as you have to find your way in the dark across a very cobbly and at present very puddly courtyard, through the wash tubs of the laundry and up a sort of wooden staircase! The fun comes when you want a bath and have to run across the afore said courtyard in your nightdress (I usually put on a coat!) with your towels etc. Jamie is sleeping in the house and would have asked if I could be up in her room, only the spare bed there was so very lumpy, she thought she could not commit me to it!
Yesterday an officer brought over some men of his regiment and they gave a variety entertainment. They were most clever. A conjuror, a musician and a ventriloquist came. All the patients were taken into the Monastry Hall. The ones that could not move were put on stretchers on the floor and the others were in chairs etc. They enjoyed themselves most awfully. Jamie and I only saw a small part at the end as we had a whole lot of dressings etc to prepare, but to judge from the cheering and laughing that went on it must have been a most brilliant performance. I think it was a very good idea of the officer’s myself as he could select the most suitable men, and they naturally know exactly the sort of thing that amuses Tommies.
I found some lovely letters on this website as well, about Nurse Hellen Fairchild  Here's an excerpt:
August 1917
 Dear Mother,
...I am with an operating team about 100 miles from our own Base Hospital, closer to the fighting lines. I'll sure have a lot to tell about this experience when I get home. I have been here three weeks and see no signs of going back yet, altho when we came we only expected to be here a few days. Of course, I didn't bring much with me. Had two white dresses and two aprons, and two combinations. Now can you imagine trying to keep decent with that much clothing in a place where it rains nearly every day. We all live in tents and wade through mud to and from the operating room where we stand in mud higher than our ankles. It was some task, but dear old Major Harte, who I am up here with, got a car and a man; to go down to our hospital and get us some things. He brought me six clean uniforms and aprons, beside heaps of notes from all the nurses, letters from home and all kinds of fruit and cake.
We made the trip up to this place in an auto-ambulance 100 miles through France. Oh I shall have books to tell when I get home.

I really love that part- "Oh I shall have books to tell when I get home."  Unfortunately, Nurse Fairchild never made it home, she died from complications during surgery while serving.  However, I love what her niece writes on her website: "through her letters written to her family, which have been so lovingly preserved, Nurse Fairchild is at last telling her story"

For more Smart Girls in Long Skirts posts, click here!  And don't forget to check out my Smart Girls Pinterst board!

PS- Remember when Lady Sybil says that if a princess or queen could be a nurse, why can't she? Here's her inspiration! Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood

Monday, August 13, 2012


This American Life has been a huge part of my (American) life since high school. And most people I know also listen to the show, but every once in a while I'll come across someone who's never heard of it and I'm always shocked, and then a little jealous that there are SO MANY episodes that they've never heard, because they in for such a treat.

Last week, one of my favorite contributors to This American Life, David Rakoff, died of cancer at the young age of 47.  I've been enjoying tributes to him around the web all week, and felt the urge to share some of them here in case any of my readers have not yet heard of This American Life.  Or for those of you who already love the show, I think you'll enjoy listening to these clips.

Public radio has always been big part of me and Alex's lives, and This American Life was something we bonded over when we were just getting to know each other. I'm curious, do you listen to NPR, readers? What are some of your favorite shows if you do?  In the past few years I've also been discovering podcasts and love how the internet has actually helped radio- which was once considered a dying media!  We might not be listening to radio shows on the radio anymore, but there's still so much you can do with the medium.  I'm planning on doing a post about my favorite podcasts soon, but for now, I hope these will bring a smile to your face and make you cry a little bit too.  RIP David Rakoff.

Listen to David Rakoff on This American Life

PS- This week This American Life will dedicate it's show to David Rakoff.  So if you enjoyed these, and have never listened to This American Life, this week would be a perfect time to start!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Friday everyone! I'm spending the weekend in Boston for my dear friend Melissa's birthday/ going away party- she's moving to Armenia for a year!  So in honor of that, I thought I'd repost this post I did last year for Anonymous Was A Women's "My Favorite Photo" series.  Have a great weekend!

Here is the story behind this ridiculous photograph.  In 2005, I was visiting my very dear friends (photographers themselves, they shot my wedding) in Northampton, Massachusetts.  It was a year after I'd graduated from the University of Massachusetts and a year since I'd moved away from living in the same town as Fred and Melissa.  I was there for a weekend visit and brought my now husband, but then just-started-dating-boyfriend, Alex.  They were meeting him for the first time, and I was kind of nervous about it. I really wanted them to hit it off.

In the lobby of their building, someone had left a big box of clothes for the taking.  Without speaking really, Fred, Melissa and I came down from their apartment, saw this box in the lobby and immediately started trying on clothes and vamping.  Because that's what you do when you find a box like this!  At least that's what you do when you're with Fred and Melissa.  Alex took the picture on a little disposable that I had brought with me and the rest is history.  In case you can't see this crappy photo scan too clearly, I am wearing a fur coat, Fred is wearing some sort of hippie skirt, and Melissa has on goggles and is holding a boom box, somehow managing to look like a super hero.

This photo always makes my heart swell with love for these friends and makes me realize what a good and hilarious time we always have together.  We can have a party with just the three of us, every time that we meet.  Give us a box of junk and suddenly we're ten years old again and playing dress up.  Even though I didn't meet Fred and Melissa until the end of my senior year in college, they're the kind of friends that I feel like I've known my entire life.  Luckily Alex fit right in that weekend, making that awesome threesome grow to four.  I love how he is the one taking the picture and I can still hear him laughing behind the camera every time I look at this photo.

PS- I got a really good pair of jeans that I still wear today out of that pile!

PPS- I'm not sure if Sarah is doing this series anymore, but it's really fun, and a great way to find inspiration for a blog post.  You can submit yours to Let me know if you do your own in the comments!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Today was one of those really good end of the summer days.  I woke up early and went to the beach with Erika and her sweet little boy Declan, who is afraid of the ocean but not afraid of the sand, and getting it all over himself and his surrounding areas.  We had such a good time, that I didn't take any pictures!  I know, bitter sweet.  But then I went into Manhattan, wearing a new dress that I got for free using Khols cash (received two compliments on it so far!)  And saw a dog hanging out of a second story window having a grand old time, and a lady with a big bouquet of balloons.  All on 6th avenue!  I couldn't wipe the smile off my face when I escaped into the subway narrowly missing a rainstorm, so I thought I'd share them here for you:

Aren't you grinning?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer- William S. Burroughs

I’ve been having one of those days where I couldn't seem to step away from the internet.  And yet, what I was doing on the internet was in no way useful.  It wasn't inspiring me to write my own blog posts, it wasn't inspiring me to work on my novel. I have these days more than I would like to admit, and often find myself feeling guilty and hopeless about them, which usually makes me think, I might as well keep having a day of doing nothing and feeling sorry for myself, and the cycle continues.

I was finally able to walk away from the screen however, to take myself to an afternoon yoga class.  Before we began, the teacher read a yogic analogy about taming a stallion.  The moral of the story was that to tame a stallion, you must let it run wild until it feels tired, and then it will be ready to be tame.  The teacher asked us to think of the stallion as our mind.  And suddenly a light bulb went off in mine.  I had to resist the urge to jump up and leave, because suddenly I had something to write about!

My mind had been that stallion all day long, and the internet was it's rolling hills. But instead of shaming myself for how I'd spent my day, maybe it was what I needed to get to that tame or creative place I was craving.

Maybe I needed to be wild in order to quiet my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I'm not saying it's okay to spend everyday not working on something you're trying to accomplish, but what I think I've realized, is that I need to trust myself and my mind.

I need to trust that I am the kind of person who will come back to my goals.  

I will come back to my creativity if I trust myself to let my mind go wild from time to time.  Because eventually, I'm going to get tired of that and my mind will just give me the answers.  Willingly, like we're friends rather than enemies.

It's a funny thing, wanting to do one thing, and yet your mind having a mind of it's own.  Don't we all feel like we have a stallion mind sometimes?

PS- I thought I'd go with an image of William S. Burroughs to avoid this post becoming too new age-y.  Hey, the Beats were into that Zen stuff too!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wait, not those kind of buttons, these kind of buttons!

Well and Cheaply

I decided it would be fun to feature buttons of blogs I love in the sidebar of Well and Cheaply.  Let's do a swap!  If you're interested please grab my button and send your 200X75 jpeg with a link to your blog to

Thanks, Pals!

When you live in a one bedroom apartment, and your bedroom looks like this:

Cute! But tiny. (We used to keep the hamper in there but getting up to pee in the middle of the night, pretty much guaranteed a toe stub, so into the living room it went.)

New Yorker's know, sometimes it's just not that easy to hide your dirty laundry (sorry I couldn't resist).

I've decided it's time to say goodbye to the bed bath and beyond hamper I bought approximately 7 years ago, and hello to not only a new hamper, but a new piece of furniture, in our living room- cause that's the only place I have any room.  This is what I'm dealing with now:

I would love to buy a $5 plastic basket that I keep hidden in my closet, but that's just not going to work in our little abode.  So I'm on a mission to find the perfect living room friendly hamper.  Here's what I've seen around the web so far.  Which one is your favorite, readers? I'd love to know your opinion.  And how do you handle laundry in your house?


Friday, August 3, 2012


The type of blogs in my reader (I use Bloglovin.' What do you use?)  have changed over the years. Some I've been reading for what seems like forever, others are new friends and even others I've grown out of.  I've discovered so many new-to-me amazing blogs by clicking through other readers "daily reads" sections, so I thought I'd do a post highlighting some of my favorite blogs.  I hope you find something that you like!

Just discovered!

You probably read these too

Just for LOLS

I feel like we'd be friends in real life

Not afraid to get deep

I love "mommy blogs!"

For the photographs:

Do you already read any of these? Did I miss anything?  Let me know about a blog you can not live without in the comments!  And have a great weekend everyone!