Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hump Day Halloween/Horrible Sandy Distractions

Light the night with a little Halloween cheer.
If ever there was a time for distraction, this is it. Today is lacking in fun tricks or treats for my beloved NYC and so many others in the northeast. For the first time in four decades, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade has been cancelled and there are no school children proudly boasting costumes because NYC schools are still closed. All "three New Yorks" are still recovering from Sandy. But in the midst of destruction, let's find a moment of laughter, a distraction from whatever Hump Day challenges you face. Wishing all my merry readers a very Happy Halloween... may you find some delicious candy and a moment of spook-tacular fun no matter what else your day has in store.

* Google's homepage is a creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky good time today.
* Light up your power-less apartment with an awesome Jack-o-lantern. Free stencils HERE.
* And speaking of Jack-o-lanterns... these people are sick.
* A simple way to Halloween-ize your manicure.
* THIS is the coolest way to use a Bjorn EVER.
* Why have kids if you don't mess with them every once in a while?
* Same could be said for your pets.

Monday, October 29, 2012




So many Sandys, so little time... Here in NYC, Dr. H and I are hunkered down in our apartment, well stocked with soup, candles, mac cheese (duh) and bottled water. We're watching the white caps on the Hudson River (not a common sight) and hoping that we don't lose power (because the 22nd floor is a lot less awesome without an elevator). This Sandy is one feisty lady... 

I'm taking the unexpected day off as a chance to finish packing (will our move scheduled for Wednesday actually happen!? I don't know, ask Sandy!!) so I leave you only with THIS. Stay safe my friends.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A sweet escape: Lisbon

The Arco de Rua Augusta is at the center of the city
To celebrate our first wedding anniversary, Dr. H and I travelled to Lisbon for a 4 day getaway. Located on the west coast of Portugal, Lisbon and the surrounding areas are a beautiful place to relax and explore. There's plenty to see (palaces, beaches, romantic cobblestone streets!) but not so much that you're marching from site to site squeezing it all in. The people are friendly, the city and transit system are accessible and the architecture, (from tiled buildings to Romantiscim palaces) is stunning. We just kept asking ourselves, "why isn't everybody coming here?! This place is great!!" See for yourself:
Looking inland from one of the city's MANY hills

Portugal was all about exploring the seas

colorful buildings

perfect for strolling with Dr. H

just your average Lisbon sidewalk. NBD.

We travelled 40 minutes by train to Caiscais

Well worth the trip!

Another train ride took us to Sintra

living up to Sintra's "mystical" reputation

and amazing homes

and crazy mysterious gardens!

Make time to visit Queluz and it's stunning gardens

one of the most beautiful palaces I've seen,
and we were pretty much the only people there!

The city of Lisbon shines at night!
Lisbon was the perfect destination for our first anniversary adventure. Whether for a quick trip or as part of a larger tour of the region, Lisbon is Merry Meri and Dr. H tested and approved.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ombre-cing the Trend.

Bold and beautiful
Last week I decided to change my hair color (again). After literally months of contemplation, I took my (single process) dark brown hair and added some light blonde tips. I went ombre. Since summer I've been admiring the ombre trend from afar (or from not so far, I confess to sneakily photographing an actual woman's hair from behind at a concert because I thought her color tones were that perfect!) but I feared taking the plunge. Now that I have my stylish locks, I'm sad I waited so long to go for it because I'm in luuurve. Even though I went for the most tame ombre possible (just the tip hehe) I feel fresh and sufficiently "changed" by the new color. It's amazing what loving your hair can do for your mood:)

What I can't figure out though, is why this seemed like such a big decision to me. I've been highlighted blonde, out-of-the-box redish/brown, and so dark brown it's nearly black all within the past few years (I like to play with my hair!) but for some reason embracing the ombre look seemed like a big freakin deal. Will I be a cliche trend? Will I appear unprofessional in my corporate (and mostly untrendy) office? Will I look back at pictures in 10 years and wonder "what the hell was I thinking!?" (a la the boy/bowl haircut of fifth grade!?) Who knows. But I think the moral of the story is to find that space between impulsive and over-analyzing and just go for it. Relish the new hair fad, funky nail art or trendy seasonal fashion if you really love it. Because, why not?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hump Day Distractions

You and especially YOU.
Hump day has arrived and somehow the weekend still seems soooooo far away. How ever will we make it through this grey Wednesday? Here's my best effort to distract you... I'm off to read celebrity gossip and browse Pinterest.

* I am a huge advocate of fresh flowers in the home at all times (it really does improve your mood!) Learn how to take a bodega bouquet from drab to florist fresh HERE.
* Thinking of purchasing THESE to solve the "flats for walking, but heels at work" pant length crisis. Has anyone tried them? Do they work!?
* A+ for effort kid. A+
* Never worry about missing "the good part" of the movie again [viaCupofJo]
* What an amazing endeavor by a father. What an amazing gift to his son.
* The most adorable look-a-likes you ever did see.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quick & Easy

100% accurate
As we've discussed before (HERE; HERE; HERE!!) I loooove to eat. Thankfully, I also love to cook. I enjoy the process, the control over ingredients and flavor and the fact that Dr. H is an excellent dishwasher certainly helps:) But with a move on the horizon (not so humble brag: organized packing is my bitch!!) I don't have a ton of time to spare in the evening and the majority of my supplies have been put into boxes. So in order to avoid a delivery/takeout/dineout tour-de-force (bad for the wallet and waistline) here are a few quick and easy recipes for your dining pleasure:

Pasta is the key to my heart.
I'm a lover of straight up spaghetti and meatballs, but sometimes you feel like you need something with a bit more pizzazz. This recipe for Lemon Garlic Spaghetti (on Pinterest here) requires only a few ingredients and only a few more minutes than opening that jar of red sauce. If you're looking to add a protein, I'm going to try shrimp with some garlic and oil prepared broccoli on the side. Bon appetit! 

Chicken Ranch Tacos. Awwww yeah.
Mexican is a go-to for me when I'm looking for an easy meal. You can put the seasoned beef or chicken over lettuce with all the fixins (salsa, cheese, sour cream, avocado, jalepenos, refried beans!) for a delicious salad or go the hard shell/tortilla route. This recipe (on Pinterest here) calls for nothing more than chicken and the taco powder and adds ranch dressing for a lil something special. Serve with a side of rice and beans (Goya's prepacked mix is my fav) and you'll have your own little fiesta!

Get some slow cooker tips HERE.
I think I've mentioned my love affair with my crock pot before. If you don't have one of these glorious devices, you really must get one because they make cooking a more complicated meal much easier. Maybe on a night you order takeout,  use those 30 minutes waiting for the delivery guy to arrive to prep the ingredients for tomorrow's meal... When you wake up in the morning it takes 2 minutes to dump it all into the crock pot and bam! 8 hours later, dinner is served. SixSisters'Stuff is my favorite resource for crock pot recipes - check out 50 good ones HERE and HERE.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sound the alarm

Rise and Shine.
Are you particularly attached to your alarm clock? I am, and I realized last night, as I clicked the oversized buttons on my chunky black digital dinosaur, that this alarm clock has been with me since I went off to college! After a decade of wake ups (currently serving the crucial role of "backup" alarm for when I silence my cell phone while I'm basically still asleep) I insist that it's ease of use and reliability make it irreplaceable. But the fact is, it isn't that easy to use and it's features are far from extraordinary. It's just MY alarm clock and to switch to something new (perhaps something with less of a green glow?) seems like more trouble than it's worth... What if I can't figure out the snooze button? What if I don't like the location of the on/off switch!? Dr. H is similarly attached to his purchased-for-college alarm clock. His is a big, nightstand-dominating device with the clickiest buttons and most abrasive buzzer ever, but he is firmly rooted in his belief that his is the best alarm clock around.

What is going on here? Is it that managing the clock and radio settings is so complex that once we settle on a device we can actually use we won't budge from it? Maybe it's that these alarm clocks represent the first time in life that we had to get up and out of bed on our own (too philosophical!?) Whatever it is, I wish I had the courage, or even the desire, to chic-fy my nightstand with something like THIS, (or at least upgrade to something with an ipod dock!) but in all likelihood, I'll be waking up to the green glow for as long old reliable is up to the job.

Friday, October 19, 2012


waka waka
It's Friday!! In honor of the joyous occasion, I leave you with THIS. Have a good one:)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Master of Disguise

For the third installment of my "I freaking love Halloween and you should too" series (recipes HERE; decor HERE) I thought I would tackle the trickiest of all the Hallo-weeny topics: costumes. Sure you can always go to the store and purchase a packaged costume in a bag (Marie Antoinette was a fan favorite of those for me) or, if you are a lady, be a "slutty ___" (nurse? construction worker? referee?) and pull it off, but sometimes a little DIY can make you the star of the party. Here are a few ideas (from my crazy brain and around the web) to help get your creative juices flowing.

* Get Witty
This is GENIUS!
Rock, paper, scissors anyone!?
This little girl is legit my hero. Easy peasy
how-to instructions HERE
Think about a play on words, your favorite food or a classic song... how can you bring it to life? Maybe you need to be a "Devil in a blue dress" or "Hell on wheels" (devil costume + roller skates!)? Cup of Jo has an AMAZING collection of ideas for adults and kiddies HERE and Coolest Homemade Costumes is an online gallery filled with genius inspiration.

* Be a Star
Khakis, jacket, button down, hat =
instant Indie
Dr. H will forever be attempting to match the
greatness of the year he was "Most Interesting"
Put your LBD to work!
One of my favorite costumes from recent years was when I dressed as Ms. Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany's fame. Black dress, sunglasses, gloves and a tiny tiara instantly transformed me to another era. Consider Indiana Jones if you're an action movie kinda guy, or a recognizable television or commercial character (two friends once donned maid of the mist ponchos to perfectly portray The Office's Pam and Jim on their wedding day).

* Go Classic
Frank is as iconic as Halloween itself!
A witch, ghost, mummy or Frankenstein are all exceptionally easy to execute and probably require very few purchases beyond what's already in your closet. For a Witch: black dress, black tights, black nail polish. Buy the pointy hat and a broom as well as some green face paint if you're going for authenticity. Ghost: White top sheet and a friend to help  you mark where to cut your eye holes. Frankenstein: Black suit and a black shirt. Purchase some green face paint and use eyeliner to make your "stitches and seams". Black spray-in hair color completes the look.

* Keep it Simple / Pick a Theme
Halloween-y & HOT!
If you're looking for a way to mix up your Halloween party costume theme (because you KNOW I love themes) consider encouraging people's creativity with something like "Heroes & Villains  or "Twice as Nice: Your best costume ever, again" (I literally JUST thought of that and I'm tooootally doing it next year. Is dressing up as Raggedy Ann 3 times in 1 lifetime too many!?) If you know your audience isn't big on theme participation, maybe a simple "Masquerade" or "Black & Orange" is the way to go. 

It's not often that adults are invited to dress up like children (without being considered whack-a-doos) so don't miss your chance to play pretend for a night!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hump Day Distractions

The smartest Smart Car I ever did see. I want.
Well hello Wednesday... we meet again. I'm getting back into the swing of things after some Portuguese adventures last week (more on those soon!) so I welcome this hump day as a signal that a new weekend is just around the bend. I can almost taste the beer on my lips..! Hump it with me here:

* Check out this brilliant way to jazz up those Ikea cube shelves that like 90% of us 20-somethings own.
* Is it too late to apply for early admission!? (brilliant!)
* It never occurred to me that you could get salsa from anywhere other than a jar:)
* Someone please find me a budget-friendly knockoff of THESE. I need.
* Click HERE for your daily dose of something beautiful
* You think you're so tough don't you?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where the curvy girls at!?

curves for days
Last night, as I sat contemplating the loss of those pesky extra pounds I brought home from Europe, I joked that maybe instead of trying to lose weight, I should usher in a new era of the feminine form, or rather, bring back a version of the female body we used to admire. "I want to look like those sculptures we saw everywhere. I think I'm just gonna embrace some soft curves and round edges... those babes looked smokin!" Dr. H laughed and ever the ass-man, seemed pleased with my plan, but he commented that to fill out like those ladies, I'd probably need to gain at least 20 or 40 pounds.

"Yes, my thighs touch.
You got a problem with that!?"
What happened? How did we get from nude babes with bellies and soft hips to size zero? Apparently I was born in the wrong century... I mean, if Aphrodite, Goddess of Love could have a little pooch under her belly button, why can't I!?

a little something to squeeze was
apparently how she wanted love to be
I'm not in a place to dissect the evolution of the female form, nor do I care to comment on the fashion industry and its use of emaciated models (I just did?) but I would like to remind all my lady friends out there that curvy and soft is beautiful. So beautiful that Europe has whole sculpture gardens full of it (I know, I was there). Maybe this isn't considered the "ideal" female form any longer, but it's still a form of beauty and I say if you got it, flaunt it (maybe the key is to be naked more?!) Somebody get me a second serving of pasta please.

work those curves girl

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happily Ever After: Year One

True love.
Today is my first wedding anniversary. Even as I write that, "first wedding anniversary", it sounds too adult to be true. But it is, and if I'm being honest (and extremely cheesy) it's wonderful. Everyone always asks you as a newlywed (a term I think I'm officially shedding as of today?) "how's married life treating you?" and you say "Great!" or, since Dr. H and I were together for many years prior to our wedding, "You know, mostly the same as unmarried life", but that's not really the truth. The truth is, I've found marriage to be fulfilling in the most unexpected way - I love it most for the partnership. Dr. H is my bud and in our marriage I have found the ultimate partner for planning and deciding, mulling and choosing. The comfort I find in facing decisions with Dr. H at my side is what makes having a husband the best. I get someone to blame if a decision goes badly (hehe) but more importantly, I have someone to listen to my fears, push me through difficult decisions and to scheme and dream with. In short, being married (specifically to Dr. H) rocks.

So husband, happy anniversary to you, to us. Thank you for being the ultimate sounding board, consultant, dreamer and partner. Our life together brings me happiness in ways I could never have imagined and I love you to the moon and back. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

F.I.T.S. of merriment

Site seeing in Sintra.

Merry Meri is on vacation this week so she's left you with something Funny, something Interesting, something Tasty and a Site she loves (F.I.T.S.!!) to hold you over until her triumphant return. Enjoy!

Funny: Snoop Dogg decided to get political (it's brilliant. Fo shizzle).
Interesting: Parts of NYC's East Village have been a declared a historical landmark. Hipsters rejoice! (Also, wouldn't going on one of these tours be totally geeky/awesome?)
Tasty: Doubling down on the delicious desserts for you this Friday... THIS is so brilliant I can barely contain my excitement and THIS looks so good I nearly licked my computer monitor.
SiteILove: I am seriously late to the party on this one, but if you aren't already reading Suri's Burn Book, you really should be. Written brilliantly "by" the spawn of the now defunct Cruise/Holmes union, Suri takes her reign of the Hollywood-child kingdom very seriously (watch out Jolie-Pitts!)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

F.I.T.S. of merriment

Lisbon is for Lovers.
Merry Meri is on vacation this week so she's left you with something Funny, something Interesting, something Tasty and a Site she loves (F.I.T.S.!!) to hold you over until her triumphant return. Enjoy!

Funny: What if the Disney villians had won? (thanks sis!)
Interesting: As the weather gets colder, I self-diagnose my "seasonal effective disorder". Beat the winter blues with these creative tips.
Tasty: 'tis the season for all things pumpkin. Bring fall into your kitchen with one of these tasty recipes (and thanks to loyal reader Laur for the link!!)
SiteILove: My love and admiration for all things Justina Blakeney started by following her on Pinterest and blossomed into daily reading of her blog (oh social media you're so savvy!) Focused on interior decorating, fashion and a bit about her "boomba" (adorable Ida was born just over a month ago) Justina's blogis a colorful, cheerful, thoughtful expression of all that makes her unique and interesting. I can only hope to curate my knicknacks as thoughtfully as she has in her "Jungalow".

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hump Day Distractions

Thanks Bill.

By the time you read this I will be wandering the streets of Lisbon, Portugal with mi amor, the infamous Dr. H. But fear not, I could never leave you to face the week alone. F.I.T.S. of Merriment is making it's triumphant return tomorrow and as for today, hump it here (who loves ya!?):

* College football fan? You're gonna love THIS
* In NYC, we take our brunch-ing very seriously.
* I am going to make a magical forest of balloons in my parent's backyard (yup, I just said that)
* There's something very goth-y gorgeous about this. I want.
* I love you Brad. Always have, always will.
* I need to get me one of THESE. (via CupofJo)
* One day dogs may have their revenge, but in the meantime, enjoy THIS.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pack 'em in!

Just a quick trip...
Reader survey: How many pairs of shoes is too many pairs of shoes when going on vacation? Dr. H and I are headed out of town for a few days and I consider myself a phenomenal packer - I can piece together outfits with a discerning eye, pack just enough "options" to suit mood and weather and thanks to my mom's astute training, I pack that shizz up so compactly I can travel in carry-on when many would need a checked bag. But shoes? Shoes present a problem. With fashion, versatility and comfort (in that order!?) to consider, before I know it I've abandoned half my clothing to make space for that cute pair of wedges that I just can't leave behind (wedges take up I have admiration for people who say "I just bring two pairs; one for walking and one for evenings", but at the same time I'm thinking "what two pairs of shoes on planet earth are going to look good with all your outfits, be comfortable for walking long distances and seem chic and non-touristy!?" (you know I don't even bother with gym sneakers!) Most shoes are simply not that versatile. 

So just how many pairs of shoes did I pack for my 4 day vacation? Five (six if you count the pair already on my feet). Converse, wedges, dressy sandals, flip flops and 2 pairs of flats. Too many? Just right? I'll have to let you know!

Monday, October 8, 2012

No tricks, just treats.

Frightfully delicious! (HERE for Pinterest, HERE for direct sitelink)
Happy Monday my friends! As promised last week, I'm here to help you prep for all that is fabulous and Halloweeny with inspiration for crafts, eats, costumes and more. Thanks to my internet bff Pinterest, festive food recipes and ideas are easier to find (and prepare!) than ever before, so check out some of my favorite treats below... Have you planned your BOOze & Schmooze yet!?
This cheesecake is so (candy) corny. Pinterest
HERE, link to great site w/ lots of great ideas HERE

Get wrapped up in one of these pizza mummies (hehe).

Witches broom. Frighteningly easy:)

Freeze creepy crawlies into your ice cubes to
take your cocktails to the next level  

Frankenstein never looked so delicious (isn't it amazing what
a sharpie and some food color-ed pudding can become!?)

No one will "boo" this dessert!

These are my go to homemade sweet treats, Halloween-ified