Thursday, January 31, 2013

The art of book-shelving

Carefully curated.
When I was unpacking from our move and setting up the new apartment, I noticed something funny.  As I emptied boxes of books and placed them on various shelves, I was carefully selecting which ones got primo exposure in the living room versus those which were relegated to the bedroom. Law school text books? Hide them, hide them now! Travel books, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Stewart/Colbert publications? Front and center baby. Without realizing it, I was creating a conversation piece, a snapshot of my interests and tastes through a carefully curated selection of books. It’s not that some books I own are “good” for display and others “bad” or embarrassing (I am proud of my Mr. Met book!), it's just that this collection, taken together, says some...thing, about ME. In my living room, everything from Fodor's and fiction to Jane Austin and Chuck Klosterman made the cut until I had created shelves which seemed to portray a perfect representation of my personality.

Brings new meaning to "reading rainbow"!
I think you can tell a lot about a person based on their bookshelves. I’ve seen organization by author and topic, years of saved magazine issues and even one “sort by spine color” collection. The books, their arrangement and even their mere presence as d├ęcor, tells you a story. What does your bookshelf say about you?


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hump Day Distractions

Seriously. Congrats.
Hellooooo my merry friends and welcome to the day we all pretend it's spring (at least until it starts raining tonight and snowing on Friday). Thank you January for this brief respite from your usual gloom and cold. I'll take it. Here to help you enjoy this glorious day are some delightful distractions. Happy humping!

* If only all conversations with your significant other were this forthright and honest.
* These dudes are awesome. Totally. Freakin. Awesome.
* Some more information about indoor gardening (must be very "in" right now!)
* THIS kid is without a doubt "creating something that will make the world more awesome". Way to go "Mr. President"
* Hey Sis. I think it's time you busted out your string box and made me one of THESE!!
* Jeff Bridges was a total babe in high school (and other blasts from celebrity past
* Baby it's true. A dog eating popcorn is hysterical.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's Game Time!

I am ready for some football.
With Super Bowl XLVII just a few days away, it's time to settle on the perfect game day eats to make you the King/Queen of your viewing party. Whether your rooting for the Ravens, feelin the Forty-Niners or just love an excuse to drink beer on a Sunday night, here are a few standout recipes for your eating pleasure:

Beefy mac cheese of the Gods.
* Hamburger Mess - Full Recipe HERE. Because nothing says sports like a huge casserole of gooey, meaty macaroni and cheese!
Meat, this time STUFFED with cheese
* Feta-Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs - Full Recipe HERE. There are no words, only a small trail of drool...

Hot & Healthy
* Jalapeno Poppers - Recipe HERE. This is actually a Weight Watchers recipe... so you can save your calories for beer:)

Get. In. My. Belly.
* Mini Taco Bowls - So easy, you don't even need a recipe! Just place won ton wrappers in muffin tins, fill each cup with taco seasoned ground meat, cheese & bake for 8 minutes at 350. Top with favorite taco toppings!

For the gourmet fan...
* Brie Bites - Full Recipe HERE. Because bringing anything involving jam to a Super Bowl party automatically makes you the classiest guest around.

A dessert DIP!!!
* Funfetti Cake Dip - Full Recipe HERE. This stuff will blow your mind... super sweet and less unhealthy than you'd think (uses fat free greek yogurt and cool whip!)

And last but certainly not least (these will never stop blowing my mind)...
For those with ambition greater than any I've ever known...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Are you serious!? (A cellular rant)

I see you over there... glowing...
On Friday night Dr. H and I went to the movies (at the awesome Nitehawk Cinema, but more on that another day) and I sat next to a woman who was OUT OF CONTROL with her cellphone. Throughout the previews she was texting and posting to Facebook (hey, you want to have your phone out in a dark room next to me? Ima look at your screen!) and I nearly said something, but then Ms. "I-can't-live-in-the-present-because-I-must-stay-tethered-to-the-digital-world" did put down her phone. However mid-movie she started checking for new messages, scrolling her News Feed and once even waved the phone in her companions' face to show him something (I hope it was a date and I hope that made him hate her). Phone Girl's phone glow seriously hindered my ability to relax and enjoy the film!

Now maybe this sounds harsh, and maybe if I'd spoken up she would have realized she was being rude and stopped, but I didn't want to be "that girl" ( know, the one who speaks up and makes you want to roll your eyes and say "geez lady, lighten up!") But honestly... WTF Phone Girl!? You're at the MOVIES!! You aren't a doctor, you're not checking on your kid, you paid good money to sit here and watch this so put away your tele and be HERE, watching THIS! All that other stuff will be there in 2 hours I promise. And if nothing else, consider the obnoxious glow your phone is casting, impacting the good time of all the people around you - it sucks.

So that's my rant on  taking out your cell phone at the movies. I'm sure none of you will ever volunteer to see a movie with me again:)

Friday, January 25, 2013

In an alternate universe...

I have a Pinterest alter-ego, and she has a seriously glamorous wardrobe... I don't know what she does for a living, or where she goes on weekends, but she gets to wear stunning and funky things like this
and this...

and this...

Her shoe collection is pretty incredible:

... and when it comes to accessories, she spares no expense:

All in all, she's a pretty fabulous gal.
Happy Friday my friends:)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Do you believe in magic?

I believe in magic. I believe because I've seen it with my own two eyes (four if you count Dr. H's!) When my colleague told me about Steve Cohen, The Millionaires' Magician, I admit, I was a bit skeptical. "Magic for grownups?" I thought... For sure this would be one of those activities that I was amused by and Dr. H found a bit silly. Well, somewhere between the unbelievable card tricks, incredible "think-a-drink" act and magically knowing my husband's name, wedding anniversary and rando favorite food (baby bok choy!) there was nothing left to think but "whhhhhhatttt!?!?!"

A demonstration of modern conjuring
The first "magic" of the night is the setting. The show takes place in a suite at the Waldorf Towers, meaning you have to stroll through the beautiful and historic Waldorf Hotel to get there. The dress code is cocktail attire, so cute dresses and men in jackets evoke the glamorous going-out era Manhattan now seems to reserve only for the opera. An intimate event (there couldn't have been more than 50 people in the room) everyone is close enough to the magic to notice all the details and witness legit miracles.

You will spend hours post-show wondering "HOW!?"
Steve Cohen is a true performer. Witty and engaging, he runs through a program of magic tricks and mind-reading that is completely skeptic-proof. I can assure you there's no planting people in the audience because he picked ME to participate in a trick and I was not in on anything! For an amazing night out, perfect for a date with your honey or an adventure with friends, check out Chamber Magic! (Also, lots of sexy/swanky bars downstairs in the Waldorf for pre or post-magic cocktails!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hump Day Distractions

If you own a dog, you get it:)
1) It's f'ing freezing outside; 2) This is my first 5-day work week in a while; and 3) I'm in the middle of a good book that I really wish I could just curl up with and keep reading. Hump day like whoa... let's distract ourselves:)

* Simple and glamorous (like them).
* Humans are capable of amazing things (worth watching all the way through:)
* A really interesting article about our brains and why they make high school so damn challenging.
* The easiest way to "have" a lion for a pet.
* I'm an ENFJ. What are you
* Definitely the coolest Valentine's Day cards I've ever seen.
* It's freezing here so THIS obviously needs to get made and put in my belly. ASAP.
* I dare you not to smile.
* These people are my heroes. Way too much time on their hands, but heroes nonetheless.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Is it in the cards?

I am, intrigued.
Would you ever visit a psychic or have your cards read? I recently chatted with a girlfriend who had sat down for a reading and she was thrilled to know all about her future successes, the fate of her love life and trying times that she would have to overcome down the line. While I’m typically adventurous and this seems like something right up my alley (I read my horoscope daily, and have the personality traits of a Cancer crab through and through) I’m not sure I’m up for having my future laid out before me.

Whether or not you believe in the accuracy of astrology or someone’s ability to possess psychic powers, being told that things will turn out a certain way no doubt influences your decisions and could instill expectations that are difficult to live up to. “What if she’d told you something scary or that you didn’t like?” I asked. “Well, it’s only as real as you make it” my girlfriend replied, which made sense, though I didn’t find the response entirely satisfying. After much pondering, I think if I ever found myself somewhere where I could have my future predicted, my curiosity would overpower my fears, but I’m not sure I’ll ever seek it out. I think sometimes, fate is best left in the stars… 

Monday, January 21, 2013

On this day...

Inauguration Day 2009 - Before sunrise

... we, as Americans, have a lot to be proud of, 
and much to hope for.

Last time, I was there:)
"With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations." - Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

"As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead."
Here's to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the hope that our past trials will lead to a brighter future for all those who dare to dream.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Crafty Little Things

It's Friday! Do your happy dance
Hooray for Friday!! Here to send you off into the long weekend are a few fantastically fun crafts I've recently discovered on Pinterest. Nothing too complicated, but a whole lot of "awwwww" and "cool!" and "why didn't I think of that!?" Enjoy!

Think spring!
A decorative way to grow and display fresh flowers!? Sign me up. To get the look: Fill a glass container about 1/3 of the way with marbles or decorative rocks. (Clear glass will enable you to watch the roots develop). Set the tulip bulb on top of the marbles/stones, pointed end UP. Add a few more marbles/rocks so that the bulb is surrounded but not covered (for support). Pour fresh water into the container. The water shouldn't touch the bulb, but it should be very close, so that the roots will grow in. Wait 4-6 weeks and then voila! 

DIY dishware
This one seems almost too good to be true it's so easy. Buy cheap glass dishware. Decorate with gold sharpie marker (think simple like dots or stripes or maybe for the more artistically brave, get silly with your sketches?). Bake at 350 for 30 min, then let cool in oven. The perfect way to create a whimsical custom look for your next dinner party!

So easy and obvious. Binder rings... DUH!
I am a massive collector of cards. I've saved sentimental notes from dozens of special people and moments in my life and they are truly treasures. What they aren't, however, is well organized or displayed. This binder rings idea is truly genius and definitely on my to do list. And a merry meri tip - if the card doesn't say it, be sure to write the date (with year!) on the back so you can always remember which special moment the card was commemorating.

I do not like green eggs and ham, but I LOVE these!
Ummm... it didn't occur to me to have an adult Dr. Seuss theme party until right now, but maybe a 1 fish, 2 fish, Lorax filled celebration needs to be on the horizon!? Whatever the age group, these lil guys were too cute not to share. 

Now all I need is some snow!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Taking it down an inch.

*le sigh*
I knew this day would come. Any time I'd show up to a dressy family party, my mother or grandmother would glance longingly at my feet and say "I used to be able to wear shoes like that" and I'd smile to myself, thinking smugly, "I will always wear shoes like this!!" But alas, my time has come... I need a lower high heel.

Now before you envision me barreling towards a lifetime of footwear discontent, know that I don't plan to abandon my 4" heels completely. Hellz no. I have FAR too many amazing shoes at that height to leave high-high heels forever. The problem is really my "everyday" heels. The 4" brown and black pumps that elongate my legs and tighten my booty to nearly mythical proportions when I wear a pencil skirt, structured suit pants or a wrap dress. Lately, I just can't motivate to get them on and when I do, I long for something just a tad lower; it's like my legs one day decided, "we're too old for this sh*t." Sigh... So now I'm off to find the perfect high, but not too high, heel, fully aware that there's a 50% chance I "accidentally" walk out of the store with another pair of 4" beauties. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hump Day Distractions

What a grand reception!
Could this Wednesday be any more ick!? As if being only half way to Friday wasn't bad enough, here in NYC we're getting slammed with "it's too warm to snow, but too cold to be even remotely pleasant" precipitation. Where are sweatpants and Netflix when ya need em!? Here to get you over the hump is a hearty serving of awesome distractions... enjoy!

* What if your favorite celeb looked "just like us"?!
* In his defense, that pot could be a sexy turtle friend! (Brings new meaning to "Hump Day)
* I submitted to Strangers Project the other night when I stumbled upon its creator in Washington Square Park. Would you share your story?
* Pack your bags, we've go places to go!
* This is one of the greatest pranks EVER. Holy cow.
* I've discussed the impact of technology on love before. Do you think that courtship is dead?
* Now that I have a chalkboard wall in my living room, I need to beef up my drawing skills!
* Bubbles, a baby and her four legged friend. Smiles galore.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Only in New York..."

I think I shall call it Tartine-y (emphasis on the "tiny")
After reading about the Parisian cafe inspired, reasonably priced, BYOB West Village spot Tartine, it immediately went on my dining to do list. Enter Friday night when Dr. H and I walked 10 soggy minutes to find a line at Tartine's door (no reservations allowed). The hostess indicated that there was no room for us to come inside (hmmm) so we waited for another 10 minutes, hiding from the rain under their awning. Once summoned in, I pulled back the entry curtain to see that the place was PACKED. I mean tables composed like a Tetris game packed. 
What's missing in this pic is 10 more tables and like 100 people
We were then shown to a table so wedged into the corner that we literally had ass-to-face encounters with the neighboring tables as we climbed to our seats (I hope they liked my pleather jeggings!), shouted our order to the waiter (who was physically blocked from getting closer) and cracked open our wine. I looked around and realized why I hadn't noticed the crowd situation from outside - completely steamed up windows. Oh boy. As we finished our (delicious) appetizers (wild arugula salad for me, french onion soup for him) Dr. H was sent over the edge. His forehead glistened as he moaned "it's a sauna in here! Am I sweating? I'm so hot. Ohmygod". I struggled to keep a straight face as I said "it's not so bad, the food is really good!!" knowing in my heart that this was clearly a merry Meri miss. Even the simply prepared and extremely tasty main courses (full menu HERE) could not improve our disastrous accommodations. Wedged into a corner, sweating profusely and unavoidably eavesdropping on the table next to us, thank goodness Tartine is byob because booze is a necessity.
The sauces melt together and fries soak it up and YUM.
Bless my husband's heart for smiling through this meal (I ordered him ice cream for dessert specifically to cool him off, buying myself enough time to enjoy a berry tart and polish off our bottle). As we paid in cash (because you know they can't be bothered with credit card) and shimmied out the door towards fresh air, at least we were laughing. Because only in NYC will a couple wait in the rain to be squished into a bajillion degree restaurant (with 100% humidity) for a delicious (but was it really worth it?) meal.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Naked Lena Dunham

Lena knows her nudity is overdone. She does not care!

Did you catch the Season 2 premiere of Girls last night or is it still on your DVR because of the Golden Globes? Thankfully, I'm a seasoned television junkie who managed a mixture of live and recorded shows to get a full night of television accomplished. Which brings me back to Girls, and naked Lena Dunham. Lena, the brilliant, hysterical and uniquely beautiful woman that she is, seems to have a thing for getting naked on her show (even Amy and Tina made fun of it during their monologue). Within the first 5 minutes of the new episode, Lena boob was front and center and it ended with a full Lena moon.

"She's just
so NOT attractive" Dr. H (and so many others) said. "It's like... uncomfortable to watch. I hate it," and this for some reason makes me realllllll feisty. I'm not all "She's a real woman! Hollywood should just embrace it!" because honestly, Lena's body is not something most aspire to and I like (sadistically and with admiration) stunning celebrity women. But people of all shapes and sizes get naked in real life, so why not on tv? Flawed funny men have been baring all for ages (Jason Segal in Forgetting Sarah Marshall? Will Ferrell in, like, everything!?) and that is somehow funny, not gross. So I say, Lena, take it all off! Keep making people squirm until maybe they realize that there's nothing to squirm about. TV creates imaginary worlds, beautiful worlds and depictions of the real world, so if you and your cast mates feel the need to constantly strip down, why the hell not?

PS- Amy... Tina... you rock. Honestly.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Healthy Habit of the Month

Learning to love my fruits and veggies
Recently my bffs over at Weight Watchers shared a new way of thinking about eating right. When their researchers discovered that we are straight up hard-wired to crave junky foods (read about the brain scan research HERE) they deduced that we cannot rely on willpower alone because our brains are programmed to be like "gimme the pizza dammit" and no amount of willpower can control that sort of Jedi mind control. Apparently, in addition to a strong resolve to eat better, we've got to build habits and environments which help us defeat these chemical reactions. Sounds exhausting right?

Well, since everyone I know is looking for ways to be healthier and look skinnier (<-- let's call it what it is people) I thought perhaps together we could attempt to integrate one new healthy habit into our lives each month.* One small change we'll test out together and see how it feels. Ready?! Here goes:

Healthy Habit of the Month #1: Add a fruit or veggie to every meal.
Maybe this isn't a change for you. Maybe you're all "ohmygod how unhealthy is this girl that she isn't eating a fruit/veg at every meal?" Well, I'm not, so I'm gonna try it, the theory being that 1) fruits and veggies are super healthy 2) if you round out every meal with fruit/veg, you'll get and stay satisfied for longer. So if you usually have yogurt for breakfast, add a banana. If lunch is soup and a half sandwich, add some baby carrots or an apple... you get the idea. I'm really curious to see how I do with this challenge since I'm definitely NOT a huge fan of fruits and veggies... I am, however, a fan of feeling full, so maybe, just maybe, it can work. Good luck!

*Note: Sometimes the healthy habit will be Weight Watchers suggested, other times I'm gonna think it up myself. It's like I'm paying your WW membership for you. You're welcome:)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crazy/Lazy Day

Sometimes I don't get to do all the things I was intending to do so I abandon the plan and just find something that will make you laugh. Laughing is the best. xox.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hump Day Distractions

'staches for everyone!
Today is not Friday, but at least it's not Monday right?! Am I right?! Here to help you navigate the boredom of the day is a whole butt load (that's the technical term of course) of delightful distractions. Happy humping.

* A most unusual classroom. Better or worse than the norm?
* I've already ordered THESE awesome lil guys (Sis I hope you're excited!)
* The fabulous HBO series Girls is returning Sunday (woo hoo!) Click HERE and HERE for cast and costume goodness
* T Swift remixed with Jackson 5... you know you want to (on repeat:)
* Malted Milkball Krispie Treats. 100% happening. Soon.
* Al, this is what we call "TMI".
* What a brilliant gift idea for the cute kiddies in your life.
* These are so wrong... and SO funny.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Wonder-ful Book

Sometimes you read a book that you know within the first 10 pages is going to move you. Maybe even more than move you; impact you in a strong and strangely beautiful way. Wonder by R.J. Palacio is one of those books.

Wonder is the story of August Pullman, a fifth grade boy born with a severe facial deformity. Auggie has never attended school until now and the story is based around his middle school journey, through the eyes of Auggie as well as several of his friends and family members. Each story within the story shows the different faces of adversity, strength, compassion and love. Amid cruelty and fear, human goodness oozes from the pages. I alternated between smiles and tears for all 300 some odd pages. 

I am almost taken aback by how beautiful I found this story to be. R.J. Palacio has created a wonder. Read it. For reals:)

Monday, January 7, 2013

At least we have the food.

We have officially reached that moment when I say "F you winter, we're through!" Even though the temps here in NYC are forecast to be unseasonably warm these next few days, as I piled into my jacket, scarf, hat and gloves for an outing over the weekend, I remembered that once the Christmas lights come down, I don't have much use for winter anymore. Except, of course, when it comes to the food. Cozy, creamy, yummy winter food. So to celebrate the one awesome thing about the 2 months left before I can reasonably consider open toed shoes again, here are a few recipes I intend to try out soon. Happy eating!

Alfredo, Mac Cheese's BFF.
I found this recipe on Pinterest with the caption "Laughing Cow Alfredo Sauce (Weight Watchers friendly)". You had me at "Laughing Cow" (LOVE those little triangles!) Comprised of basic ingredients and insanely easy to whip up, this "imitation alfredo" will no doubt be on the menu in my house asap. (Direct link to recipe HERE). 

Spinach and artichoke linguine. Sounds fancy, looks tasty and the recipe (which I discovered courtesy of CupofJo) seems achievable even for an amateur chef such as myself. Though I will certainly need assistance from the cheese counter dude at Whole Foods to locate the mascarpone cheese, THIS recipe has "dinner for two" written all over it!

Bake it baby!
Because nothing is more fun than taking a healthy snack and making it less healthy, these baked avocados are lookin good to me! Still a genuinely "good" snack (adding ¼ cup bread crumbs and 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese is hardly "bad"), I look forward to surprising my avocado-loving husband with these tasty treats! (Direct link to recipe HERE)

And for added deliciousness, check out my FAVORITE recipe from last winter HERE.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Laugh with me.

This image has been cracking me up for over a week now. I saved it to my cell phone and have text messaged it to at least a half dozen people. When I look at it, I cannot stop laughing... "THROW ANOTHER SHRIMP ON THE BARRRRRRBIE!!!!" HA!!!


Happy Friday Friends!