Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolve to be...


See you next year :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Most Overrated Holiday (which I am incapable of ignoring)

New Year’s Eve. This is the only holiday that I am consistently underwhelmed by, but I nevertheless put tremendous energy into. Time and again I angst about finding the perfect plans, the ideal sequin-to-black ratio outfit and the most festive location and without fail, the hype is not worth the hassle! There is so much PRESSURE to make NYE this unforgettable moment or this once-in-a-lifetime occasion when really, it’s just another midnight!

Some of my very best NYEs have been those I paid the least attention to, like last year when I *gasp* repeated my outfit from the prior year, had a dance party in my living room with Dr. H and then somehow found my way to a boozy crowded dance floor, sharing midnight smooches and champagne with one of my favorite girlfriends. The year I spent hours shopping and $100 to get into a Club? Dud and a half. How did we all end up feeling compelled to make this night so extraordinary?

I like New Year’s Eve as a moment for reflection and rejuvenation (and, I admit, gratuitous sequin wearing). I love the idea that we can “start fresh” with new goals, plans, hopes and dreams just because the calendar says another year is beginning. Getting shwasted by 11:59 and raging until sunrise doing the coolest thing I’ve ever done? Meh, too much pressure for me. I’ll happily take excellent company and a whole lot of laughter instead. If we end up toasting until sunrise and dancing until our feet ache, it’ll be because life is good and we’re enjoying it together, not because of a celebration started by the NY Times as a publicity stunt (interesting and TRUE).

May you all ring in 2012 with awesome people, a loving smooch and an outfit that makes you feel merry!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Power of an Awesome Breakfast!

Every day should start with a deli sausage, egg and cheese on a toasted roll. Or maybe those days could alternate with cream cheese and lox on an everything bagel? Wouldn’t that be awesome? I am amazed by the power of a yummy breakfast. To be clear, I do not mean “power” as in power to get me through the day thanks to a healthy, balanced meal (clearly. I started this post with “sausage” and “cheese”). I mean power as in “this delicious bundle in tin foil is actually going to improve my mood!!”

My usual breakfast is a yogurt, but every so often I indulge in a breakfast MEAL instead of breakfast fuel and my smile as I chow in my cubicle amuses me every time. Breaking from my routine, having something I know is less healthy, BUYING breakfast... it all gives me some simple joy. And don’t pretend like you can make an egg sandwich as awesome as the one from my bodega. You can’t. It’s like writing the price in permanent marker on the wrapper of my sandwich gives it special power to satisfy. So I say treat yourself this morning to a break from boring breakfast. Your [toast and egg whites/yogurt/cold cereal] will be waiting for you again tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hump Day Distractions

Today’s Hump Day Distractions are super sized for a) those on vacation with lots of time to smile AND b) those stuck at work and in need of a smile. Enjoy!

* My favorite thing about the week between Christmas and New Years: countdowns and MASHUPS! This is a killer pop music mashup courtesy of my awesome sis. (Warning- there’s a (completely unnecessary) expletive at the very end of the video)
* Friendliest member of the animal kingdom (that's not animated) that I've ever seen
* “I left the remote on the other side of the room” and other truly hysterical first world problems
* Are you heading to the slopes this winter? Here are a few sure to be chic suggestions for my fellow ski bunnies (via Snippet&Ink) * An entire year's worth of New York minutes (via NY Times)
* My hoodie-loving Dr. H received one of these from yours truly this Channuka. The possibilities for use are endless.
* Did your Christmas involve anything this amazing?
* Hosting a soiree this New Year’s Eve? Here’s everything you need to know about wine etiquette (via CupofJo)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Annnd we're back!

Hey there everybody! Welcome back to your regularly scheduled merry programming. How are we doing on this lovely winter Tuesday? Personally, I'm suffering from a major case of the post-holiday “ho-hums”. I just made this term up, but I think it describes the feeling perfectly. It’s that “I just had an awesome [insert holiday/vacation/fun activity here] that I’d really been looking forward to, now it’s over and I’m back to real life which isn’t bad, it’s just not as awesome as [insert same holiday/vacation/fun activity here]”. Are you familiar with the “ho hums”!?

I had a wonderful long weekend celebrating, relaxing and doing a whole lot of nothing with my family and now I’m just... ho hum. I find it so difficult to get back into the swing of things after wrapping up something wonderful and long anticipated! It’s like I need a buffer day between vacation and reality. Topping off my ho hums is that most of my closest friends are STILL on vacation, including my bestest bud Dr. H, who is currently in Florida. I’m jealous and sun tan-less. 

How do you recover from the “ho hums”? I like to find the next fun activity and start thinking about how awesome it will be immediately. I try to always have my next awesome activity on the calendar because even if it’s far away, knowing that it’s out there helps win the ho hum battle. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait long this time because I have a New Year’s weekend getaway right around the corner! (Only 70 hours away, but who’s counting!?)

(Note: those 2 Tiffany lovebirds are NOT having a ho hum day).

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry & Bright

So, we’ve made it through our first two weeks seekingtobemerry. How are you feeling!? I’m enjoying all the writing and I think Dr. H is happy I have someone else to “talk” to! I’m eager to hear what you have to say though. What would you like to read more about? Is there something I can post on weekly which you think would be interesting? Are the posts too long? I aim to please so send your ideas my way!!

This weekend I am celebrating Christmas quite fabulously: an AMAZING italian dinner with my best friend and our families, sleeping in, chinese food, an “Oscar contender” movie and “day-after-the-holiday sale” shopping with my sister (you know I love a good deal!)

Wishing you all a merry and bright holiday... May your find whatever your personal  “Tiffany blue” is, waiting under the tree...

(Photo courtesy of an NYC bus shelter and my cellphone. LOVE.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I am a “daily deals” floozy.

Do you buy “daily deals”? I do and I do it with reckless abandon. Groupon, Lifebooker, Gilt, Goldstar and Living Social have all led to significant savings and awesome adventures for Dr. H and I - everything from wine, cheese and a dance lesson, to two hours of home cleaning services. I’ve always been a bargain shopper and these sites take my love of a good deal to a whole new level. Sometimes I am searching for something specific (why pay full price for a massage if you don’t have to?) and sometimes it’s an impulse purchase (I could hear Tim Gunn saying “make it work!” as I clicked on the Mood Fabric deal). My most frequent purchases are for fitness classes - spa yoga, boot camp, core fusion - all items that might be cost prohibitive if I looked into a membership. Aside from the savings though, deal sites help me know about cool events and unique businesses around my city. It’s impossible to know every nook and cranny of Manhattan, but daily deals highlight some of the city’s latest and greatest.

One noteworthy thing about being such a daily deal floozy however, is that I rarely form a “permanent relationship” and I’m fairly certain that is not what participant businesses have in mind when they agree to post a deal. I think they want things to get "serious"! Do you scour daily deal sites? Do you think it’s wrong to use a deal coupon and then never go back?
Update: In honor of today's post (and the 10+ hour days we've been spending hunched over computers) I just booked Dr. H and I massages for tonight through Lifebooker. Happy (cost effective) Channuka to us!
* Btw, today is the day I start using these stunning Tiffany ads as images even though they have nothing to do with the topic of the post. Wintery, holiday, pretty.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hump Day Distractions

A promised, here are your weekly goodies from around the web (with a holiday theme of course!):

* 'tis the season to get your party on, but how "festive" you can be depends on where you work.
* Someday I will do this craft (there's been an empty tomato sauce jar sitting in my sink for the past 10 days... maybe in time for Valentines?) 
I'm not sure about all 10 fingers, but how about making it an "accent" on one? (via Cup of Jo) 
* Get into the Channuka spirit (enough oil to out-do the Maccabis):  (not mentioned but a personal favorite: the latke appetizer at Noho Star ; 2 latkes topped with tuna sashimi, seaweed salad and a wasabi creme fraiche) 
* "guess why I smile a lot?... 'cause it's worth it" - Marcel the Shell (part 2). 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You're gonna like this a latke!

On the lower east side of Manhattan lies one of my favorite nights out. Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse is like your grandparent's old basement (think linoleum floors and wood paneling on the walls) meets old-man wedding singer, meets amazing jew food (like stuffed cabbage, fried kreplach and latkes). The place can not be done justice in writing, you have to see it to believe it. 

get things started with pickles and rye.

soak up the sounds. This guy does everything from Sinatra to Streisand.

chopped liver. Don't knock it 'til you try it... Sammy's "jewish guacamole" on rye is out of this world.

bring on the beef. Also note the shmalts (Yiddish for chicken fat). Disturbingly our mixer (oj) is the exact same color.

And what tops off the Sammy's experience (other than the Kettle One bottles frozen into blocks of ice) is that the place is meant to be done as a group. You MUST be with family and friends, in all likelihood celebrating something, to truly fit in at Sammy's. So get some people together and celebrate. Happy Channuka to you!

First image from Lost City 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Music for Your Mood

I listen to A LOT of music. On any given day I listen to at least a few hours of tunes whether it be on my iPod on the go, on Pandora at my desk or at home as an awesome alternative to the television. I am that person on the subway who says “WHA!?” when you ask me a question as I remove an ear bud and ask you to repeat yourself (inevitably as the doors begin to slide closed between us, I’m sorry!) I use music to suit my mood, or to change my mood if I’m feeling ambitious. Getting dressed to go out? Hit me with my “Shut up and dance” playlist. Late night in the cubicle? I’ll take some jazzy “Frank Sinatra Radio” please. And this goes for bad moods too. When I first moved to New York (leaving college and a boyfriend behind in DC) I frequently allowed myself to mope around for extended periods of time. I would leave grad school, head for the subway and pop the latest Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack tear jerker into my ears. Sulky and sad I would emote all the way home (crying in public is totally cool in NYC, even the Times writes about it).

Does anyone else do this? While there’s no denying that it takes time, energy and some dolla bills to keep my world filled with awesome tunes, I find that my moods are enhanced by a soundtrack and I think that’s a good thing. My “Happy Times Music” playlist really makes me feel happy and sometimes we all need an hour alone with Adele on a grey rainy day. Below is a small sample from the aforementioned “Happy Times Music” for you to consider... Any suggestions!?

(I made all of these song titles links to the actual songs! Today is your lucky day! Woo!!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dream a little dream for..?

I spend a lot of time dreaming and scheming. I can’t help myself... on a daily basis I think about all the things in this world I wish I could do or be or visit. All of this dreaming makes for quite a mental “to do” list so I’m wondering - how do we know which of our dreams are worth chasing? Assuming we take the arguably downer, but (let's be adults here) realistic view of our personal dreams, we know that some are probably not going to pan out (be the first woman President) and some just might be within reach (see the northern lights). And once we've mustered up the courage to select that big dream worth chasing (be bilingual) when is the right time to go for it? I have so many more questions than answers!!

I think being a dreamer is a good thing, but maybe it leads to more disappointment than it’s worth. On my honeymoon, Dr. H and I hiked for 4 days to Machu Picchu which is something I’d dreamed of doing. It was a big dream, a big adventure and 4 of the best days of my life. On the flip side, I dreamed of being a Moot Court all star in law school and when I didn’t make the team I was devastated. In the end, I believe “you’ve got to play to win!” and I think that applies to dreaming big, but that’s just me. What about you? Do you place constraints on your dreams or is the sky the limit? Will you be chasing a dream this weekend?

Dream on merry readers!

(Image via Pinterest)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why I love and hate my Nook.

The summer that I read The Help changed my reading habits forever. Available only in hardcover, I lugged around the 300+ page novel daily so I could read during my commute, lunch break and those random moments which pop up throughout the day (this is how I do most of my reading). My best-seller-list cargo also severely limited my purse options and no doubt contributed significantly to my chronic back pain. After weeks of reading and self-shoulder massaging I said to myself, “I can’t handle it anymore, I must join my fellow commuters on the eReader bandwagon!!” Up to that point I had resisted eReaders hard core. I love the FEEL of a book. I like to dog-ear pages of importance and underline memorable quotations. Those eReaders looked so sterile and unromantic. Nevertheless on to my Channuka list it went (thank you mom and dad!) and now I’m the proud owner of a Nook.

Over a year later I still can’t decide how I feel about the device. There are lots of pros to reading on an eReader, but something about it just doesn’t feel right. My Loves: portable; easy to get new books; great for reading in bright sun; built in dictionary. My Hates: can’t flip back to pages easily; can’t write notes; needs to be charged (my books never ran out of battery!); lending/borrowing is limited to certain books and only with fellow Nook-ers. And my chief complaint: it’s NOT COZY or BOOK-Y! I liken the feeling to telling someone that loves movies to never go to the theater because everything is streaming on their iPad. It’s the experience that we cherish, not just the story. How do you feel about eReading? Do you have any suggestions for making the experience more book-like? (<---see how I’m baiting you to leave a comment here? Do it, you know you have something to say... :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hump Day Distractions

Starting a blog which promises a daily post Monday through Friday is an ambitious endeavor. Even those of us who seem to have an endless stream of words to share (eghm) worry about having “nothing to say” on occasion. I’ve decided to get out ahead of this potential crisis... welcome to “Hump Day Distractions”. Every Wednesday I’m going to take a break from the writing and simply scour the internet for share-worthy items.
* Sometimes they will make you LAUGH (this is the funniest thing you will read all day, possibly week, possibly ever)
* Sometimes they will make you want to SHOP
* Or COOK (Mac cheese is the best food ever invented. Do not debate this.)
Mostly they’re an excuse to surf the web when you should be working (or sleeping or whatever it is that you’ve given up to spend a few minutes being merry each day).
* Over 14 million people LOVE MARCEL ... you should too
ps- did you know that when you search pinterest for “hump day” the majority of images in your search result are big round booties!? I tell no lies... You’re lucky you got Dr. Seuss (or not, depending on your preference:)
Image via Pinterest

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sharing is Caring?

My adoring and encouraging husband is a huge reason why I started this blog. A lack of a daily outlet for my creativity is another. So much of who I am as a person in real life is what led me to create this virtual personality which I am posting on the internet for anyone to see. I did a lot of thinking when the idea of seektobemerry was born about how much was too much to share. While my audience is mostly comprised of family and friends for now, I’ve been lectured one too many times by my Dad about the dangers of putting “could bite you in the ass” photos and information on the internet. Dr. H, as I will be calling my husband from here on out, works in the internet business and I work in law so as you might imagine, our thoughts on the importance of privacy are a tad different. For example, Dr. H looooves FourSquare or “checking in” to a location via his mobile device while this concept actually HORRIFIES me. It screams “hey burglars! I’m not home” or “hello friend I didn’t invite to this bar that I’m at!” or at the very least “I’d rather share with the internet that I’m here than just enjoy being here”. Too much for me.
So how much should we share with strangers over the internet? I once recognized a blogger I religiously follow on the subway and was simultaneously elated (ohmygosh I LOVE her blog!!) and felt like a creeper (she has no clue who I am, but I know her child’s name and what she did last weekend). I ended up emailing the blogger to tell her about the siting and confessing that I was too embarrassed to say hello. I know snippets of my real life will be very present on this blog, but I hope to maintain a level of anonymity just... because. I’ll be sharing the adventures of Dr. H and I, but I don’t think that will include pictures of our smiling faces. For now. Maybe one day I will feel differently when I have millions of adoring fans:)

Image via the incredible Uplift Photography

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Grandpa said to write a book

During my wedding reception (right in the middle, somewhere between a toast and the raging dance party) my 85 year old Grandfather said to me “you should write a book!” I’m not entirely sure where this thought came from at that particular moment, but it stuck with me. I’ve always loved writing, I have a ridiculous amount to say on any given topic (dating back to the “talks too much in class” box being checked on every elementary school report card) and I am addicted to projects (scrapbooks, decorating, party-planning, the list goes on and on...) Since I’m also an instant gratification kinda gal and word on the street is that publishers require more than “Grandpa said this would be a good idea,” I’ve decided that writing a blog will be my new hobby... welcome to the world Seek to be Merry!
Question: “What is your blog going to be about?” Answer: Stuff. Lots of it. As a seeker of happiness in even the most dull situations, I hope to get you thinking and smiling daily.
Question: “Why do you think people will want to read what you have to say?” Answer: Because it’s interesting! In debating whether to start a blog I asked myself if it was narcissistic to think people would care about what I write. In truth, it might be, but I’m going for it. I think all bloggers believe they have something to say that’s worth sharing and as my elementary school teachers properly ascertained, I fit into that category quite nicely:)
Ironically, Grandpa does not own a computer and I’m fairly certain he thinks email addresses are evil. Perhaps for my muse, a weekly “print-edition” may be in order. Thank you Grandpa for inspiring Seek to be Merry and welcome merry readers to my newest project!
Image via Pinterest

Friday, December 9, 2011


I'm Meri and this is my blog. I live in Manhattan and I am constantly exploring and searching for the beautiful and interesting things in life. I seek to be merry at all times and this blog is a collection of the thoughts and ideas I hope will take me there.