Friday, November 30, 2012

Picture this.

Here's a man sitting on a throne made of thirteen lions. Amazeballs.
It's Friday and I'm feeling lazy so I'm just going to share some Pinterest-procured  awesome images. Also THIS hysterical way to make your day better. Smiles guaranteed. Have a wonderful weekend!!

Party at my house


If I were an elephant, this guy would
totes be my bff.

You thought your mom was embarrassing...

Someone just told them it's Friday!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things...

Raindrops on roses...
Today I thought I would share a few things that have become Merry Meri obsessions of late. From beauty and cleaning to workouts and water, here are a few "can't live without" items for your consideration:

* Clarisonic Mia *
Clarisonic - Mia™ Skin Cleansing System
Like an electric toothbrush for your face!
A little over a year ago I was in bride-to-be/how can I look like a more glam me? mode and I purchased a Clarisonic Mia after reading a glowing review from the beautifully skinned Rebecca of the Daily Muse. While I'm not sure I breakout less as a result of my Mia, my skin definitely looks significantly better - less dull and grey - thanks to a once daily scrub. A bit pricey ($120 at Sephora) I'm so pleased with the improvement to my skin that I'd definitely recommend the investment. 

* Skull Candy Headphones *
Aviator - Brown Gold w/Mic
Get on my ears!
When I walk around with my Skullcandy headphones on, I'm in my own little badass, music lovin, happy place. I freakin LOVE my giant headphones even if they do look a bit ridiculous on a white girl dressed for her office job (channeling my inner dj!?) The sound quality is awesome and not a week goes by without some random stranger complimenting their awesomeness. Perfectly priced for the holidays, gift or get some Skull Candy.

* Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo *
My hair's new bff
I mentioned that I was experimenting with dry shampoo back in May, but now it's been upgraded to "cannot live without" status. Always fearful of drying out my dyed and frequently blown-out locks (also I'm extremely lazy in the morning) dry shampoo, specifically Oscar Blandi brand, is pretty much the greatest invention ever. I few carefully placed and well rubbed in lines of the powder on my scalp and that "how long has it been since that chick washed her hair?" greasiness is traded in for volume and a clean-to-the-touch mane.

* Nathan Human Propulsion "Tritan Bottle" *
Nathan 700 ml Tritan Bottle with Flip Straw
Drink up!
I am obsessed with my turquoise "sippie straw" water bottle. I use it every day at my desk, when I workout and when I'm travelling. Purchased at Modell's for like $15 because I'm a big water drinker and hater of the waste individual plastic bottles create, this guy is dishwasher safe, has no BPA (a thing I know nothing about other than BPA = bad) and the straw seems to have the effect of making me drink more which is not only healthy, but seems to help with my ravenous appetite and seasonally dry skin. Grab a Tritan and drink up:)

* Mr. Clean Magic Eraser *
Mr.Clean® Magic Eraser® Original
Love that bald man.
You know you're getting old/growing up when one of the items you can't live without is a cleaning product, but peoples... this stuff is le-git. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers get EVERYTHING off your walls, whether it's scuffs from furniture, fingerprints from excessive wall touching (apparently something Dr. H and I are quite guilty of) or all the scratches and marks you get from 2+ attempts to hang that bookshelf that just keeps falling down (I know from experience?). I literally walk around exclaiming in amazement when I clean with these things - buy them!

* Vinyasa Flow Yoga *
Yoga Vida in NYC
I've come and go from the practice of yoga over the years, but I recently discovered a studio just a short walk from my apartment (convenience is key!) and it's hitting a yogi bliss sweet spot. Requiring intense control and mental clarity, yoga has been an excellent escape from work stress while simultaneously whipping me into shape. Yoga seems to magically produce results almost instantly, lengthening and tightening up some of my "soft spots" after only a few classes (visible results = excellent motivation). Whether you're a beginner or one of those crazy-headstanders, consider an hour on the mat next time you're looking to relax and workout.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hump Day Distractions

Brings new meaning to "love your vegetables"
Another week another Wednesday. A 5-day work week is a real biotch after a few days off, but together we can make it through. Hump with me:

* Quite possibly the most awesome Facebook prank ever.
* A cheetah like you've never seen a cheetah before...
* One awesome reader sent me this link as a reminder that plenty of individuals are grateful for Jews on Christmas!
* I'll take one of EVERYTHING please:)
* THIS outfit is perfection.
* Children of the 90s and lovers of TGIF rejoice
* To God regarding dinosaurs: you did the right thing (and other adorable notes from kids to the big guy upstairs)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Be lazy and save money!?

Dinner time decisions...
Dr. H and I both have colds. Amazingly, this is the first time in our relationship that we're sneezy, snotty messes, at the same time (that's hot right?!). What this translated to last night, was two very lazy people, laying on the couch, unable to decide what to do about dinner. "I'll just eat soup" he says. "I had soup for lunch" I answer. "Dude, I'm ordering from the pizza place, you in?" And just like that, I abandoned my "it's the holiday season (of spending), avoid unnecessary expenses" resolve and allowed a calzone and meatball sub to come to the rescue.

But when the delivery guy came to our door and the whopping grand total of $15 (including tip) sunk in, I realized that it would be tough to buy ingredients for a dinner for two that amounted to less than that. Our chinese and mexican takeout bills are often similarly low. One of the most glorious things about NYC is that you can get almost any type of cuisine delivered to your doorstep, at any time, at any price point you choose. Though we usually pride ourselves on being Manhattanites that actually cook, it could be that Dr. H and I would be better off not making our own dinner if the end game is to cut cost. And it's waaaay easier to lounge on the couch in sweatpants waiting for a delivery guy than to slave over the stove. How many nights in a row is too many when it comes to take out? Depending on how long these colds last, we just might find out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

(A Jew) On Christmas.

George Washington get his tree
The decorations are up, the holiday music is playing and faster than you can say "Black Friday Insanity" Thanksgiving is in our rear view and the countdown to Christmas has begun. Christmas... beautiful, sparkly, cheery Christmas. Moment of honesty: I really wish I celebrated Christmas. Though I am proud of my Jewish heritage and I love my Chanukah traditions (Mom's latkah's are a once-per-year delicacy) nothing compares to a twinkling tree, mint hot chocolate and Mariah Carey belting out that all she wants for Christmas, is me. 

My parents tell a tale of little Meri coming home from preschool, confused about Santa. "If I'm good, he's supposed to come! Is he going to come!?" Stuck with the difficult task of explaining religious diversity to a 3-year old (and risking the reveal of some "Santa-related truths" to an entire preschool) my parents did what any parent of a blabber mouth would do: they told me to believe. And believe I did - cookies, carrots for the reindeer and a short note thanking Santa for stopping by. From that year on, the magic of Santa has been a tradition in my Jewish family (you should see my stocking) and an annual small gift from Mr. Claus reminds each of us of the holiday's joy (and a funny Meri story.) Because similar to Chanukah's 8 nights of gifts, Christmas has developed traditions quite distinct from the religious significance of the day. For me and so many others, twinkling lights, an excellent soundtrack, togetherness and giving are all non-religious Christmas magic (also the Nutcracker, It's a Wonderful Life, the smell of fresh pine and gingerbread). So while I may not get to put up a tree (tempted, so tempted)  I'm going to love on Christmas with the enthusiasm of a goy... it's like my parents said "all you have to do is believe" :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Thankful Hump Day

Sup G?
Happy almost Turkey Day my merry friends! In honor of the holiday and the day we all collectively say "why on earth did I bother coming into work?" (aka, today) I've compiled a fantastic list of distractions for you. I wish you all safe travels, delicious meals and a few moments of peaceful reflection to remember that no matter the challenges you face, there is much in this world to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving.

* I love this NYC tradition more than you can possibly imagine.
Big Squishable Animals. Yup.
* So funny. So true.
* Some people should really stay off of Facebook.
* The truth about what will be on your tv all day tomorrow.
* So easy, you can have THESE on your dessert table even with less than 24 hours notice. Sure to be gobbled up (hehe).
* Why Friday just might be more awesome than Thursday.
* Two really cool ways to support those still recovering from Hurricane Sandy HERE and HERE.
* 49% of me says "ahhh! so dangerous!" but 51% says "damn I want to try that". (Skip to 1 minute mark).
* Be thankful for what you have. Be charitable to those who have less. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Love in a digital age?

I recently watched the movie Sleepless in Seattle [Warning: plot spoilers below] for the first time (late to the party I know, but SO worth the wait!) and after I recovered from my Nora Ephron-enduced moony love trance, I started thinking about how modern technology has absolutely obliterated the plot of this "timeless" romantic comedy. For starters, not too many people are listening to radio these days and even fewer are writing letters. If Tom Hanks' Sam Baldwin was around today, his inbox might have been flooded, but not his mailbox. Additionally, Facebook, Linkedin and Google pretty much guarantee that Meg Ryan's Annie would not have remained a mystery to Sam for long. They both would have had pictures, employment histories and countless other pieces of personal information to judge the other on prior to having an actual conversation. The mystery and romance of the Sleepless love story are just not possible in our internet dominated world!

Dr. H and I are of the generation that grew with the internet, meaning we fell in love just before the proliferation of the smartphone, when Facebook was only an idea floating around Harvard's campus. Other than over-analysis of AIM away messages (song lyrics never had so much meaning) we fell for one another face to face. Our romance felt organic and real. I wonder for today's generation if the internet has ruined falling in love, just a little bit. Though it's great to "know more", for me, the mystery and anticipation of learning more with each minute spent together was one of the best things about falling in love. I'm grateful there was no internet history for me to cross-reference or pre-judge. Because even though it took Sam and Annie months of "near misses" and cross-country wondering to find one another, without a single text or tweet, the crazy power of love led them to the Empire State Building. You can't find that kind of magic on the internet:)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manic Monday.

Yup. That's about right.
My brain is not fully functional today. I started out feeling very empowered at SoulCycle:
A coveted Union Square ride!!
And since I have the day off from work, I was all "Ima hit up the Farmer's Market and cook Dr. H something amazing and fresh for dinner".

The plan was to cook up some chicken cutlets with a side of THIS:
my maiden voyage with cauliflower.
But then my girlfriend reminded me (thank goodness!) that we're signed up for a little pre-turkey/gravy/mashed potatoes burn sesh at Barry's Bootcamp tonight and I'm like "F. I totally forgot. The chicken is defrosted and my butt's already sore from spinning." Also, the "clean and organize my closet" project is not nearly complete:

So now I've got Tim Gunn screaming "make it work!!!" in the back of my mind as I push forward into the day's plans. Tomorrow I will likely be crippled, have an untouched head of cauliflower in my fridge and be back at my desk. But on the bright side, I'll be having guilt-free pumpkin pie on Thursday and my closet will finally be livable.  I might even be able to squeeze in painting those dining room chairs... SO, I'm off... Seize the manic Monday friends... holiday break is just around the corner:)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Something to smile about

Nothing like a witty joke...

... a play on words

or a brilliant idea...

To make you smile...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You've gotta play to win...

Want to know something funny about me!? I LOVE to enter contests. And not only do I love to enter, but I do it a lot... and I win. Front row at a Madonna concert? Thanks Free Caribbean cruise? Bingo! At the moment I have my sights set on a VIP trip to Disney World (including one night's stay in the Castle Suite!!!). I enter literally every day. 

As you might expect, I get made fun of pretty endlessly by family and friends for my contest fetish (I guess they didn't want to be 1 of 8 joining me on the Fage Greek Yogurt 10-day Greek Getaway!?) but the reality is it takes about 30 seconds to visit a site I've bookmarked  to click "enter" and the worst thing that happens is I don't win that $500 shopping spree or free iPad. Are the odds of winning good? Definitely not. (Part of what I do for a living is oversee the Official Rules of contests and sweepstakes, so I know that the odds are not in my favor.) But if you don't try to win, you definitely never will. So I say click to enter, visit daily, buy that Mega Millions ticket... because as the New York State Lotto is constantly reminding us... "hey, you never know".

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hump Day Distractions

A direct message to Thursday and Friday.
Hump day is here and maybe if I fill it with extra goodness you'll totally forget that I couldn't get my shizz together yesterday for a post? Damn you real life and your commitments and obligations and necessary effort!! Enjoy the distractions and good luck with your humping:)

* Brilliant holiday card for those of you sick of twinkling trees and spinning dreidels. 
* THIS event is called a Beerathon. Need I say more?
* This is your dose of touching joyful love for the day.
* The sloth has some stiff competition for cuteness from this guy.
* Straight men beware (the best argument yet for supporting gay marriage)
* Easy, tasty, get in my belly.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Imaginary Tattoo

Amazing what you can do with a pen & boredom
Lately I've been fixated on the idea of getting a tattoo. I can't explain where exactly the burning desire has come from, but suddenly I'm Pinterest-hunting designs and doodling on myself with a uniball pen, all the while knowing in the back of my mind that this is a permanent decision which I'm highly unlikely to actually go through with. The tattoo I'm never actually getting is an anchor. I'd put it on my left wrist, tiny enough to easily cover with a watch or bracelet. It's meaningful as a daily reminder to stay "anchored" and strong and also because it evokes happy thoughts of summers spent in the sunshine on my family's boat. As you can see, I've given this imaginary tattoo a lot of thought. 

Do you ever get an impulse to do something you know you're not really brave enough to do? Have you researched skydiving despite a fear of heights or planned for a haircut, but never actually let the scissors chop off those inches? When thinking through the idea of a tattoo, I find myself unable to deal with how permanent it is, yet there's something awesome about the imaginary plan. It's like "other meri" is playing what if? and I'm just enjoying the hypothetical. Maybe that's ok, kinda what our imaginations are for, to enjoy being the "other" version of ourselves that isn't attainable in reality... or maybe it's time for me to go get a tattoo...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Order has been restored.

I do love potatoes...
Up until yesterday afternoon, Dr. H and I had been living in our new apartment sans cable or internet. With so many areas impacted by recent storms* the earliest appointment FiOs could give us was 5 days after our move-in. Given our affinity for vegging out in front of the tv (serious love for our "programs") this was a pretty gaping hole in our ability to "settle" into the new place. We'd been meandering through our evenings, lost souls with nothing to do but unpack boxes, assemble furniture and bicker out of exhaustion about the placement of stuffed animals (Dr. H is not pleased that his Joe Montana Wrestling Buddy has been relegated to a closet). 

But with the television back in our lives, it's like we've re-located our center. Last night I cooked dinner, we watched some shows, Dr. H did the dishes and we snuggled, little productivity-less zombies on the couch. I sighed and thought to myself "here is our routine, order has been restored." Those night stands that got delivered and require assembly? Tomorrow. The fact that our hall closet is mostly a heap of shizz with a giant stuffed penguin on top? I'll get to it. Maybe it's ridiculous to allow the tv to play such a vital role in our home, but honestly, I don't care. Life requires so much doing and organizing and thinking, that sometimes the anecdote has to be mindless entertainment. So thank you Carrie Matheson, Ron Swanson, Dwight Schrute and Jon Stewart for bringing normalcy back to our home. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a week's worth of television to catch up on.

*Ed. Note: Dr. H and I feel truly lucky to be in living in a heated home, with electricity and no storm damage. I recognize that quibbling over cable is a blessing relative to so many other NY'ers in truly dire circumstances. Make a difference by clicking HERE.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Snow. NYC. November. WHHHAATT!?
So things are officially freaky deaky here in NYC (and if a New Yorker says it's freaky, it must be reaalllly freaky!) After flooding and wind of epic proportions, last night we added snow to the list.
View from my apt, 9pm last night
Where do I buy tickets for the ark..? This shizz is no joke. I don't know if this is global warming or El Nino or just some seriously bad luck, but how's a girl supposed to get dressed in the morning when the forecast is hurricane with a side of blizzard and godspeed opening your umbrella in this wind pretty lady..!?

Since this weatherpocolypse (combined with moving, unpacking, decor shopping and organizing) has left me in a mental clusterf*kc, I'm going to default to one of my favorite topics today: FOOD. It's like I always say, when the going gets tough... eat something:

"Skinny Cheesy Potatoes"
I think my fellow blogger over at The Spotted Lamb is onto something. These potatoes may not be healthy per se, but they are certainly healthier. Made with no butter, no sour cream and no condensed soup, the new super-ingredient greek yogurt is here to delivery creamy, tasty goodness. Yum.

It's important for you to know that I DO actually eat vegetables... starch and cheese may have my heart, but my booty is on a strict diet of delicious greens (don't you wish it could work that way!?) Here are a few new veggie recipes I'm eager to take for a test drive:
Israeli Couscous w Chickpeas, Brussels Sprouts & Asparagus
Pinterest HERE, direct link to recipe HERE

Apparently this will be the "Best Broccoli of Your Life"
Pinterest HERE, direct link to recipe HERE

And of course, don't forget to save room for dessert:
Homemade "ice cream" sandwiches!
Plop some Cool Whip and pudding (exact recipe w combo quantities HERE) between two graham crackers, sprinkle some yummy/pretty treats on the edges (sprinkles, crushed nuts, mini M&Ms!!) and pop into the freezer for about 1 hour. Voiala! Low fat "ice cream" sandwiches.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hump Day Distractions

One day a "Zach Morris phone" reference will draw
blank stares from my children. Sadsies.
I need this week to get a move'on it. I feel like every day has at least 25 hours (26 of which are spent at work). In my post-election day haze (a 1:30am acceptance speech Mr. President!? Really?) a mind-numbing few minutes browsing internet goodness is definitely in order. Happy Wednesday my friends.

* Cheaters never prosper (especially when your eyesight is as bad as THIS kid's).
* The most adorable game of Memory ever

* For once, I'm happy that the country is feeling blue:) 
* An awesome retro hairstyle for those of us with only moderate hair DIY skills (Pin it HERE)
* Ahhhhhh... *contented sigh* [via CupofJo]
* These people absolutely nailed "Halloween at work
* Kids are always good for a smile (#7 and #9 are personal favorites:)
* Lastly, NYC (as well as so much of New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester and Connecticut) are all still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. If you live in the city and want to help, click HERE for a great list of ways to aid in the recovery efforts.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You know what you have to do...

...but Will Ferrell is here to remind you. Voting is a privilege, voting is important, voting is your duty. Go! Vote!

* To find your local polling place, simply Google "find my polling place", plug in your address and let the magic of the internet do the rest. HAPPY ELECTION DAY!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Creativity Overload...

After several days' delay (thanks Sandy) Dr. H and I have made a triumphant return to lower Manhattan living. Proud residents of Greenwich village once more, we are in the process of unpacking, organizing and decorating our beautiful new home. I am in Pinterest/crafting/organizing/decorating heaven. The downside of all this creative energy going towards my apartment however, is that a blog post for today was a bit of an afterthought. Oopsies. (Also, no internet in the new casa until Thursday). I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me... To hold you over until tomorrow, I am officially bribing you with this:
Yes, that is a baby Koala... in a mug... sipping a bottle!
awww... bunny...
THIS link packs in enough beauty to have you in awe for at least a few minutes...
... and THIS is a terrifyingly hysterical prank/ad campaign.
And one final wish...
bum. hehe.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Gimme the beat boy and free my soul...

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of...
What better way to send you off into the weekend than with a few great musical selections? Here's hoping these new jams give you a little something to groove to in the days ahead.

* Passion Pit - Gossamer
Passion Pit's first full length album, Manners came out in 2009 and has been a favorite on my iPod ever since. Their electro-pop sound with funky vocals and excellent beats is usually uplifting and perfect for the occasional impromptu dance party. Their latest effort, Gossamer doesn't quite rock my world like Manners, but it is no doubt worthy of your ears. The first single "Take a Walk" is super fun (that's right, I said "super fun") and kicks off an album that is "infinitely effortless in its pop arrangements and flicked-off soul ruminations". In other words, it's a winner.

* Ellie Goulding - Halcyon

If you don't know Ellie Goulding's music yet, drop EVERYTHING and download her albums now. Ellie is a total star across the pond (she played at the freaking Royal Wedding!!!) and is  currently one of my top "gotta see her live asap" artists. Lights, came to my attention last winter and Goulding's breathy voice, complex melodies and slightly electronic sound was unlike anything I'd ever listened to. Her newest album, Halcyon, is just different enough to be new, but stays loyal to the uniqueness that made me love Ellie instantly. Favorite tracks: "Anything Can Happen", "Joy" and "Explosions".

* Mumford & Sons - Babel
I discovered Mumford at the Grammy's of all places. In 2011 they sat beside the great Bob Dylan (and the awesome Avett Brothers) and brought down the hhhousssse with their song "The Cave". I've been hooked on their banjo-infused folk rock sound ever since. Their sophomore album Babel is so perfectly just more of their awesomeness, I can barely stand it.  It's third track, "I Will Wait", literally moves me. To quote Billboard: "Babel reveals a band happy to remain entirely Mumford - although a larger, smoother Mumford, offering fresh nuances and textures while emboldened by the promise of the initial mission." Get it, get it NOW.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Hey Sandy, NY has a message for you...
Today is going to be a normal-ish day. I'm back at the office... but the majority of my colleagues are not. I'm packed and ready to move... but my new apartment is not able to welcome me (powerless). My family is safe and mostly unscathed... but my city and so many friends, are not as lucky. It feels a little strange to act normal-ish. Yesterday I went on an exploratory bike ride:
Even where there's power, it ain't safe in the street

Our neighborhood crane is still dangling

...and downtown, is a ghost town (Meatpacking Dist)

Pumps in the West Village are working overtime

You no longer need scuba gear at the
Brooklyn/Battery tunnel 

Thankfully, NYC has not lost its sense of humor:
"Bill Clinton" & a lady friend attempt to hail a cab
on First Avenue yesterday afternoon

Tomorrow we will shoot for "normal", but today I think it's ok to settle for "normal-ish".  Once again, I quote my favorite poet:
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,