Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dirty Laundry.

This is not my laundry room.
Got to air out my dirty laundry. My dirty winter laundry. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no household chore I hate more than winter laundry. There's the extra stuff, like a billion pairs of socks and tights (I miss my flip flops), the sheer bulk of it (sweatpants and sweatshirts take up so much extra space!) and all that extra folding and sorting. Ugh. While laundry has never been my favorite task, winter laundry is on my "do anything to avoid it" list (and avoid it I am). 

Do you have any household chores that you absolutely loathe? How do you force yourself to get them done before the hamper is overflowing and you're out of black leggings (for example)? I'm always in search of ways to make my dreaded chores easier (e.g., add music - a trip to the laundry room is way better with a soundtrack) but winter laundry may have me beat. Here's to tackling our "to do" lists this week, even those items that always seem to be the last to get done!

Monday, January 30, 2012

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...

This is the view across the street from my hotel! Yay Canada!
Merry Meri is still in Ottawa and didn't get her shizz together in time for today's post. Please come back tomorrow for more of the blog musings you love!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Have a sweet weekend!

Fall in LOVE with your hot coco with this SIMPLE Cool Whip Creation.
A few weeks back I shared some links to sporty recipes and the post was a hit! Who knew my readers were fellow foodies!? I love it. In the spirit of my cold weather weekend (a little trip to Ottawa for work eh?) I thought I'd share some sweet treats of the winter variety. These recipes are all easy ways to stay warm and cozy (and look like a seasonal-treat goddess at your next get together!) Let me know if you try any out! Happy Weekend Merry Readers:)

Almost too cute to eat!
No baking required! Awesome, easy and adorable - winner!
Healthy, beyond simple prep and oh so pretty on a silver platter.
Yes please.
Frosty never looked so good.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wait, how old?

Recently, someone asked how old I am and I hesitated before answering. Now, I did not hesitate because I was embarrassed or considering not telling the truth... I hesitated because I actually, momentarily, did not know the right answer! Numbers popped into my head and I had to organize my brain, finally selecting the right one. What the whhhhha!? Has this ever happened to you? Do you find yourself suddenly feeling surprised by your age?

It's funny how time passes and we grow older, somehow seemingly, faster than we can keep track of. You always hear people exclaiming "it's already her first birthday!?" or "I can't believe it's our 10th reunion!"... where does the time go? But there's something refreshing about feeling younger than you are. I like that when someone asks how old my "little" sister is, I quickly think "18!" before remembering that I'm off by a few years! Feeling younger or envisioning the people we love as younger than reality means that life is good and we're not sitting around counting the minutes and years as they pass. So here's to growing older in reality, but staying however young we choose to be.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hump Day Distractions

I want to go to there.
Another week, another hump day. Ain't it always like that!? 
* New York's most "interesting" Frito Pies - as disgustingly AWESOME as you imagined.
* Obviously when I own a home, there will be a room of THIS. Obviously.
* She is quick and curious and playful and strong. Just when I thought Kate couldn't get any more fabulous...
* Holly Golightly had one, but this DIY is not for the faint of heart.
* I actually made something I found on Pinterest! Dr. H tested and approved!! Served with a side of orzo and sauteed asparagus. (note: I added spinach to the recipe bc I'm fancy like that)
* It would have been reallllly cool to stumble upon this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just a little comfort (object)

World, meet Rolly. Rolly is one of a well known one-hundred and one dalmatians, and he has been my "lovey" for almost as long as I can remember. That's right, I (still) have a lovey and I'm not afraid to admit it. A holdout from the childhood era of comfort objects, Rolly has been to sleepovers, summer camp, college and on countless vacations, even surviving one terrifying "leave behind" in Hong Kong. Rolly has been cuddled blind (repeated attempts to sharpie-repair his pupils have been unsuccessful) and snuggled flat (he used to have a pudgy belly). Even Dr. H loves and respects the power of Rolly.

While it may seem juvenile, I don't see how a favorite stuffed animal or blanket is any different than a beloved hooded sweatshirt or a delicious home-cooked family recipe. Material things are capable of bringing us comfort no matter how old we are because they evoke a feeling inside us. Though there obviously comes an age when always toting around your comfort object "just in case" is no longer appropriate, I think that if you want to grab a stuffed animal when you get home because it's been a brutal day, why the heck not!? Do you still have a comfort object in your life? Are you willing to admit it!?

Monday, January 23, 2012

A girl power moment

Have you ever heard a news broadcaster ask a male politician if he’s had cosmetic surgery? When was the last time a powerful male executive was asked how he balances work and fatherhood? If a young male public figure gains some weight, it must be because he’s pregnant! How come the media dialogue is so different when it comes to high profile women vs. men?

The issues of women’s rights and gender norms are important to me and I’ve had “feminist tendencies” for as long as I can remember. I dream of a time when the opportunities, success and equality of my gender are no longer topics of concern.

For me, a key problem with the women’s “equality dialog,” is that many want recognition for their woman-hood. They want an extra round of applause (an entire gendered history month!) to celebrate overcoming the obstacle of being born female. I think this is the wrong approach. While women should network to encourage, foster and support the success of other women (because significant gender-related obstacles do exist) what our end-goal should be is to be treated like “one of the boys”. For me, a successful women’s movement would be one where being a woman who accomplished something is impressive for the accomplishment itself, not because a woman managed to succeed where no woman has before.

How do we get the media to be less gendered? Do you have habits which you could change for the benefit of greater equality? If this topic interests you at all, this is worth watching and this is worth reading.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mini-Adventure Anyone?

Via Pinterest
I find that a weekend getaway is the perfect activity for shaking off the winter blues. All of the darkness and cold of the season give me a serious case of the "ho hums" and it can be hard to coordinate week-long vacations! A weekend trip is just long enough to feel like a vacation, but short enough to squeeze into a day or two. Here's some mini-adventure inspiration for your pre-weekend eyes... 

Tarrytown, NY (the wood-sy farm inn)
This is a beautiful summer spot, but on Saturday Dr. H and I will explore its winter appeal. Tarrytown is an adorable New Englandy town located right on the Hudson River. It's also apparently home to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, an operational farm and restaurant widely known for its 5-12 course "Farmer's Feasts"! Dr. H has to wear a jacket and tie and there are farm tours available! This spot is an escape from the norm, just a quick train ride from the city.

Stowe, VT (the snowy, cozy ski spot)
Via Pinterest
Snowboard, fireplace, woodsy decor filled dive bar. Done! Stowe is the quintessential east coast mountain town. It's perfect for a road trip and condo share with friends (bonus points if you score a place with a hot tub!) I think that if it's going to be cold and snowy, we might as well enjoy the beauty of wide open spaces and snow covered mountains. Another great option if you're in NYC (which means VT is a bit of a hike) is Hunter Mountain. Just a couple of hours north, it's another cozy town and beautiful mountain.

Coney Island, NY (the quirky, vintage getaway)
Via Pinterest
All you need is an afternoon and a metrocard. Coney Island is an amazing escape to a land of nostalgia and amusement. Though typically thought of as a more summer-time destination, the Coney Island Aquarium and Original Nathan's Hot Dog shop are open and the boardwalk is beautiful on a still, sunny, winter's day. Though you'll have to come back in the summer for the rides, just looking at the Wonder Wheel is enough to take your mind far away from home!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's like recess for my brain

As you might have guessed about a blogger (who's married to an online business man) the internet plays a big part in my daily life. It’s hard to imagine how people did anything from staying in touch (email, Skype, Facebook) to travel (Mapquest, Tripadvisor, GOOGLE!) without the convenience of the world a click away. As someone who spends over 10 hours a day, 5 days per week sitting at a computer, the internet is like a playground for my mind and imagination. I go wherever I please to learn, play and absorb content that I’d likely never otherwise find (EXAMPLE 1; EXAMPLE 2; EXAMPLE 3)

My latest internet obsessions are Pinterest and Stumbleupon. Both are awesome because they aggregate the best of what’s out there, everything from information to inspiration, and keep it all neatly filed and organized for future reference. It’s great having a permanent (and paperless) archive of recipes, beauty tips and my 1,000,000 “someday” craft projects! 

Yesterday the internet community was in an uproar over SOPA and PIPA, two acronyms I had never even heard of before, let alone understand. Wikipedia and several other popular websites went “black” to raise awareness about the legislation which is perceived by many to hinder a free and open internet. I can't say I know enough to take a position, but I can say that I researched it online and learned a ton. I also sent a note to my grandmother, learned how to clean my microwave using vinegar and checked out the menu for tomorrow night's dinner plans. Anything that allows me to do all that, is amazing.

Learn more about SOPA and PIPA here 
Follow me on Pinterest here
Image via Pinterest (because the internet can take you from your desk to amazing places like Fiji!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hump Day Distractions

Get your weekly dose of cooky (not much mysterious or spooky) here:
* Well THIS shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever eaten one of her fried, with a side of fried, topped with a little fried (completely delicious) meals. * The last segment of my love affair with Marcel (for now!) Check out his interview with Brian Williams. * If you could go back in time and re-create a moment captured by a photo, which one would you pick? 
* I want to own THESE (and THESE, and obviously THESE).
* Here’s a list of 25 clever ideas which will make you say “why didn’t I think of that!?” (thanks Sis!) 
* I think the “Sh*t ____ Says” video craze is getting a bit overdone, but this is hysterical and possibly the best one I’ve seen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away!

Oh goodness gracious, this again!? There are few things more rotten than waking up to a rainy Manhattan morning. Doesn’t matter if it’s misting or pouring, walking around in the rain is the WORST! Taxis are a rare oasis when the skies are grey, so being a New Yorker means learning how to keep dry.* Thankfully, THAT’s something to love - rainy days require special accessories (and accessories are awesome).

The first essential rainy day accessory = rain boots. No shoes other than rain boots will keep you dry on your schlep from the apartment to the subway (I have ruined many a shoe this way...) so cute boots are a must. These pretty ladies and I met on Gilt Group. These will find me some day in my dreams. And of course, Hunter boots are extremely popular and classic. If you’re a dude, Dr. H has serious man-love for his “Shboots” (shoe-boots; he made that up himself!). They’re extra awesome because you can get away with leaving them on at work whereas women usually have to switch out of their “wellies” upon arrival. 

Next, a small umbrella. Why small? Two reasons: first you should ALWAYS have your umbrella in your bag (the day you leave it behind is the day it starts raining while you’re out and then you have to buy an ugly, over-priced umbrella from the dude on the corner). Second, NYC sidewalks are a war-zone in the rain. You have to guard your eyes from a million poking umbrellas while maneuvering your own up and down to avoid collision. While a huge golf umbrella would probably be more effective, be a good Samaritan and only take up the essential airspace directly overheard. I love Target.com’s collection as well as those cheapies near the register at H&M. 

Lastly, you need a good raincoat. I spent several years improvising on this front and it was a mistake. You want water resistant, a hood and long enough to cover at least ⅓ of your legs (umbrellas leave you defenseless against sideways rain). Luckily there are plenty of reasonably priced cute options worth investing in (Target rules; Modcloth is awesome for finding the “adorable version” of any item). Stay dry my merry friends!!

*Note: “Keeping dry” is an illusion. Inevitably your adorable umbrella will be inverted by the wind, your pants will be soaked in that 2” sliver between your raincoat and boots and your purse will be soggy, but at least you’re going to look awesome while you wait for the sun to come back out!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Big solutions start with small actions.

I am in love with New York City. I love this place so deeply, I’m like a horrible Carrie Bradshaw cliche. NYC is fast, exciting, diverse, colorful and so very chic... all things I aspire to be. That’s why I’m troubled when people are critical of my urban love affair and insist that there must be something I don’t like about living here. Well, there is one HUGE thing I hate about living here - the almost daily exposure to homelessness. Seeing a fellow human without food and shelter or a loving family member to assist in a time of great need makes my heart ache. Though homelessness exists everywhere, it’s particularly present in urban settings and it’s in stark juxtaposition to the shiny skyscrapers and fancy restaurants we have here. And regardless of how you feel about a person who spends their day begging for charity, the idea that they are so alone in this world that you’re their best hope is sad.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, who believed in ones own ability to make the world a better place, here’s a list of WAYS TO HELP which I think are worth considering:

* Volunteer at a soup kitchen - There are lots of places looking for people to spend a few hours cooking and serving. Look HERE if you’re in NYC. It’s an eye opening experience and I believe it means as much to the volunteers as it does to those you’re serving.
* Give away food - If you’ve got food in the fridge that you know is going to go bad before you have a chance to eat it, pack it up in a plastic bag and hand it off to a person in need on the street. You can do the same with restaurant leftovers that you’re unlikely to actually reheat. Sure you get the occasional individual that doesn’t want anything but cash, but most often the men and women I’ve done this with are incredibly appreciative.
* SMILE!!! - In college I volunteered every week at an amazing soup kitchen called Charlie’s Place and I became “friends” with several of the regular patrons. One man told me that what he loved best about me was that I smiled at him. He told me that being homeless means people are afraid to look at you, that they avert their eyes and rush past. He said eye contact and a smile made him feel human and that’s something I’ll never forget. Next time you’re passing a homeless person on the street, share a smile even if you don’t want to drop anything in his/her cup. It’s free and it just might be the nicest thing anyone has “given” them all day.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Are you ready for some football!?

Pinned Image
Will the"new messiah" defeat one of football's reigning QB gods? 
Do the Saints go marching in?
Is New York really ready to crush the cheese(heads)?
Does my college roommate's undying love for all things Raven finally get rewarded?
Only time will tell.

Here's to tasty wings, ice cold beers and THIS amazing treat courtesy of Jimmy Fallon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hey Winter... where are you!?

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I am actually craving a snowy, cozy, winter's day. We've been unseasonably warm (and often rainy) in the northeast for most of December and January and I've had enough. If I can't be wearing flip flops, the least mother nature could do is give me some snow.

Wrapping up a long week (because the weeks before long weekends are always the longest!) I've got some brief and random thoughts for you: First, I must confess that I've had  a relapse. I am currently reading my second consecutive bona fide paper book. I abandoned my Nook to re-read something I already owned for my Book Club and it just felt so GOOD to have PAGES in my hands again. When I was done with the first book, I picked up the second. Oh dear. Second, the Golden Globes are on Sunday night. If you ask me, this is the one awards show worth watching because a) it's tv AND movies; b) it's funny to watch the celebs sit at tables and get drunk; and c) Ricky Gervais is hosting. Again. Next up - how superstitious are you!? Today is Friday the 13th! Ohhhhhh!!! Finally, this YouTube compilation is bound to get you smiling. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An older/younger theory.

have a theory... my theory is that generally speaking, people gravitate toward others that are in the same place in their family’s “birth order”. For example, my very best girl friends are all oldest children just like myself. Expanding the circle wider, I’d estimate that over 50% of my closest friends are also the oldest (with some very beloved exceptions:). In a brief and highly unscientific study, I found that I was not the only person experiencing this phenomenon - many I asked found themselves similarly matched related to birth order and close friends. This raises the followup question: WHY!? Are there personality traits which are so linked to where you fall in your family that you naturally gravitate towards others who were raised the same way?

Interestingly, Dr. H, who has an uncanny number of similar personality traits to my younger sister, is a youngest child. Both Sis and Hubs are often the enthusiastic sidekick, the one who is perfectly capable of leading, but prefers to go along for the ride, the one who knows that if he/she waits long enough, someone (ME) will likely take care of “it” (anything) for him/her. It feels like more than a coincidence that my two most cherished relationships are so similar!

Do you think there are “traits” which can be associated with birth order? Do you form different types of relationships which mirror relationships in your family? Am I so over-analyzing that you think I’m completely crazy!? Food for thought:)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hump Day Distractions

Here we are once again, creeping towards a glorious 3-day weekend. Enjoy a little something to get you over the hump:

* Ombre. So hot right now. * THANK heavens, scripted television has returned! Tomorrow night on NBC we get our fix of 30 Rock (Tina’s back!) Parks and Rec (current favorite) and The Office (I miss you Michael Scott!) Speaking of The Office, did you know THIS exists? * Last weekend Dr. H and I went out to eat HERE. It was delicious and I’d highly recommend, but really it just made me crave a visit HERE. A favorite spot. * Really looking forward to purchasing this revolutionary new beauty product (hehe) * I tell you, this girl can do NO wrong * I too, get this excited about a good dinner. Also, have you noticed my “blog roll”? It’s that neato list on the right side of the page which links to other blogs I think are fabulous. I recently added a few new discoveries... Visit, read, enjoy!
Mid-hump UPDATE: THIS is too funny to wait until next Wednesday. I mean, could Betty White get any more awesome!?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You can call me Sporty Spice.

I just got home from a Knicks game and the BCS Championship Game is on tv. I saw over 5 hours of NFL football on Sunday and last week I watched the final episode of HBO 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic. Twice. At the moment, my hunger for sweatpants and the couch (my annual "winter hibernation") is being deliciously satisfied by a plethora of sports television. It's a good time of year to be a sports fan.

In honor of my sports-centric brain, because sports viewing means hearty eating with friends (so true) and to bring some merry-foodie-ness to the wide world of sports, here are a few sporty recipes from around the web:

Football requires something buffalo flavored: http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2011/09/24/buffalo-chicken-bites/
Perk - these are WAY healthier than regular wings!

Easy peasy: refried beans, sour cream, guac, salsa, cheese, decorative peppers and MORE cheese!
Make it a bit healthier by using fat free beans and low fat sour cream and cheese (no one will know!)
Put it in individual glasses like THIS genius for easier sharing during the game.
Perfect for Superbowl Sunday at: http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/2011/02/you-gotta-see-this.html

Ohmagawd. please feed me this: http://thatssomichelle.blogspot.com/2011/08/oven-baked-chili-cheese-dogs.html

If you make THIS, you will be my hero.
Wow. An entire post about tv, eating and sports. Ooooh winter.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Where's the no pants party!?

A No Pants Subway Ride. This weekend in NYC there was an organized event known as the "2012 No Pants Subway Ride". This large-scale public event involved people of all ages, genders and body types picking specific times and routes and simultaneously taking to the subway sans pants. Apparently in its 11th year, the event has thousands of participants.

For a solid 60 seconds, Dr. H and I actually pondered participating. We checked out the facebook page and videos from past years and wondered out loud if we were really so bold as to stand in a crowded subway station in our underwear as part of an improv group's hysterical stunt. I thought: "standing in your underwear isn't particularly different than a bathing suit bottom and it is unseasonably warm for January..." There could be something very thrilling and memorable about participating in an NYC oddity like this. The idea didn't seem that crazy.

Ultimately Dr. H and I opted for dim sum and football (more on our addiction to dim sum in another post). Maybe next year we will be motivated to pants-less action. Would you participate in a mass pant-less public foray? Did you see any undies on the subway yesterday between 3-5pm!?

Image via Pinterest (and public props to my awesome Sis for being the first one to bring "no pants" to my attention)

Friday, January 6, 2012

A plan to make NO plans!

The holidays are over, my hubby is home, I’m finally not sick and I am not going out of town. My plan for this weekend is to have NO plans... Ahhhh. Feels good. But...

I’m a do-er and a planner at heart. No plans means I have the freedom to MAKE plans and there are so many things to choose from!! I realllly need to clean out my closet (is doesn’t close). I want to go to for dim sum (it’s been over a month). That exhibit with the slide at the New Museum is closing soon (an indoor slide. for adults. seriously). I want to try out a new recipe and enjoy a nice bottle of wine (thank you Pinterest and wine of the month club!) There’s a jazz festival downtown!? (http://www.winterjazzfest.com/tickets.html) Is there ever such a thing as no plans? How can I do nothing when the world is filled with things to accomplish and experience and EAT!? I retract my statement. This weekend I have a plan to make perfect plans. I will strike a perfect balance between productive and fun. I will sleep late and accomplish something. Nothing is set in stone, I’ll do as I please. A plan to make vague plans?! Happy weekend merry readers!

P to the S: I went to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway this week with new leads Darren Criss and Beau Bridges. The show is beyond fabulous... if you are a lover of musicals I’d rate it as a must see (while dreamy Gleek Darren Criss is in it if you can score a ticket:) xoxo.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Off to the Movies (for a history lesson?)

On Monday Dr. H and I went to see “The Iron Lady”.* As I sat soaking in the film, I couldn’t help but be embarrassed by the level of suspense I felt as I watched the storyline unfold. Though based almost entirely on historical events which occurred during Prime Minister Thatcher’s life, I found myself blissfully ignorant of outcomes to things like elections and wars. It was the British history equivalent of going to see Titantic and wondering if the iceberg would really sink the ship. How could I be so unaware of real life events!? 

I left the theater deep in thought. Was it that I never studied the astonishing leader that Margaret Thatcher was with enough depth or that I simply didn’t have the capacity to absorb her awesomeness at the time it was being taught to me? Did I learn about the war for the Falkland Islands at some point in AP European history (or AP International Government or Intro to International Relations..!) and just TOTALLY forgot about it!? Yikes!! Dr. H tried to calm my “I’m an unaware idiot” qualms as we walked home by reminding me that we only have so much capacity for knowledge and perhaps knowing all aspects of global history is a bit beyond my reach. Though I know I’m not a candidate for tomorrow’s episode of Jeopardy, I still felt as though my education and worldliness were seriously lacking. There was a lady PM who went to war and won..? There was a King of England who resigned for love of a married American woman..? How did America react to the hostage crisis at the Munich Olympics!? I’ve learned a lot of history from watching movies. Do you rely on Hollywood for knowledge of historical events? Is that a bad thing!? (ps- at least I came home and did a little research:) 

*The movie was excellent and I highly recommend it. Meryl Streep is a goddess of character transformation and the movie, though at times a bit depressing, is a must see for lovers of history, feminists and “Oscar nominee junkies”.