Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hump Day on Delay

I find this incredibly funny.
As has become something of a trend around here, my Hump Day was so aggressive (hehe) that I didn't make it to the blog for a post. That doesn't mean I don't have some delightful distractions in the queue for you though... now you just get to enjoy them one day closer to glorious Friday. Enjoy!

* A simple way to add some color and cheer to your next party/buffet/photo booth.
* This is a really important article for any woman who has to negotiate. Read it.
* I bought this entire outfit yesterday. Is it springtime yet?
* "Slide the City!?". Just tell me when and where and I will be there.
* Some clarity on the location of all those random Manhattan neighborhood names (Turtle Bay!?)
* A HUGE about-face from the science community about feeding kiddos peanuts!
* Have you seen the music video for Uptown Funk? It's amazing, but THIS is even more amazing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

On Nostalgia

Recently, I've been particularly enamored with the power of nostalgia. It began when I was at a Billy Joel concert last week and as the Piano Man belted out hit after hit from his career, moments of my childhood flashed through my mind. Driving to soccer games with my Dad, summers on the boat, sitting on the pink carpet of my bedroom waiting for songs to play on WALK (a popular long island radio station) so I could hit record on my red cassette player and get the song on tape... Billy Joel's music brought me back to moments and places from growing up that I hadn't thought about in ages.

And then I went to Washington D.C. for the weekend and the entire city served as a nostalgia explosion, each national monument, sidewalk or museum reminding me of some time in the past when I'd been there during the glorious years that were college. It filled me up with a joy so potent, I wish I could've bottled it up to save for later.

Nostalgia is pretty amazing. That a song, smell, place or object can suddenly transport you to another time and even make your insides tingle with the pleasantness of the memory feels quintessentially merry:) So this week I challenge you to indulge in something nostalgic. Play a loved-but-since-forgotten song or visit that former favorite place you no longer frequent and then pause for a moment to enjoy just how beautiful your own personal past is. Because even though life can't always be Billy Joel songs and college, it sure is nice to be able to go back and visit:)

Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm sorry Oscar...

Birdman joke or not, Oscar hosts should
keep their clothing on at all times.
What better way to get back into the blogging groove than to talk about Hollywood, movies and fashion!? For those of you who may have missed it, last night Hollywood got all dolled up for the Oscars and if you missed it, you actually didn't miss much. My two cents:

* I thought Neil Patrick Harris was pretty terrible. I generally love me some Doogie Howser, but his hosting style better suits the schtick of the Tonys than the Academy Awards. He had a few good zingers (an opening dig about the lack of black nominees seemed promising) but generally I thought he fell flat.
* The show overall was a serious snooze. Dr. H and I actually tuned out in favor of our DVR because as much as I appreciate the brilliant costuming, editing, producing, scoring that makes up so much of the movies we love, seeing those awards handed out isn't really what we're tuning in for.
* Lady Gaga are you serious!? Put away the crazy costumes and be this version of your talented self always. 
* Who was feeling the girl power last night!? Patricia Arquette made a passionate call for equal rights for women during her acceptance speech (Meryl and JLo loved it!)
* While we're discussing last night's feminist vibe, not sure how I felt about the #AskHerMore campaign, aimed at getting red carpet presenters to talk about more substantive things with actresses than just gowns and diets. While I agree that women are often asked incredibly sexist/objectifying questions, the red carpet is a lot about the fashion. I think for this campaign to have legs it needs to be applied to non-red carpet moments.

Ok, enough rambling... let's look at some fancy people in fancy clothes shall we!? There were not many looks that blew me away last night and several of my reliable favorites left me scratching my head or straight up shakin it...

Rosamund Pike in Givenchy
Remember when I questioned Rosamund's fashion decision at the Golden Globes because it was unflattering? Well, I'll shut up now. Holy WOW!

Margot Robbie in Saint Laurant
This is a pretty sexy look and I really like how Margot is rockin it. It manages to maintain some elegance while being very rock and roll. Her necklace is the perfect accessory and I also like the bold lip and lob (long-bob that is!)

Lupita Nyong'o in Calvin Klein
I can't decide what I feel about this. From far away the dress is stunning and the detailed pearls on top of pearls concept is amazing, but up close for me it didn't look quite as glam. I dunno... a dress made entirely of pearls is pretty fabulous!

Cate Blanchett in Martin Margiela Couture
I love this look. While I confess it's very basic and not exactly daring, the silhouette is working wonders on Cate and her statement necklace and hair are perfection. 

Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford
Reese, I am Bored with a capital B. Though this simple dress and hair combo is beautiful on you, I feel like I've seen you wear this look on every red carpet these past few years. I dare you to be a bit more adventurous. 

Julianne Moore in Chanel
I count on Julianne for effortless style and grace, but unfortunately I think this dress is a miss. Though the fit is divine, the color is washing her out and the strangely placed rows of darker beading create a strange overall shape.

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive
I can't totally hate this dress, but the thing it reminds me of most is a cobblestone Soho street. Not ideal right? Naomi looks stunning, but I just can't support the bricky look.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

This blog of mine. / Hump Day Distractions

Current Vibe.
So you've probably noticed that posts are a bit sparse lately. Not only have I been in beast mode at work, but perhaps as a result, or maybe just because, I haven't had a ton of blog inspiration... I'm not spending much time perusing the internet and I don't even feel like I have many good stories to tell (except, sidebar, did you know I've been working from my bed for the past 3 days?! I'm not sick or anything, it's just freezing cold outside and I haven't had any meetings in the morning so my bed has seemed like as good a place as any to be heads down with my computer. I wake up, grab my laptop and get to it immediately so I seem like "Ms EarlyBird Executive" when secretly I'm "Ms. Snuggled in Sweatpants"! So much for all my "work from home" rules!)

Anyways, I'm going to keep blogging when I have something to say, and leaving this place a little quieter when I don't. Because I don't see the point in lousy, half-assed posts and if you're going to take the time to visit this corner of the internet, I'm going to continue to make it worth your while! So now, without further delay, here are some delightful distractions to help you hump it through the week!

* Soooo, my family needs one of THESE of our pup Oscar, yes?
* It involves Cheese and Bread and a Party. What more in life do you need?!
* Some of these are absolutely freaky!!
* Frances McDormand talks honestly about aging and is particularly badass.
* Thinking warm thoughts...
* The fashion week that's happening in NYC right now is for next fall, but here's what you need to know from last fall's fashion week about this spring (you follow!?) 
* Animals and their babies. So freakin CUTE! (Seriously though, you're about to say "awww" like 20 times in a row.)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Presidalentine's Day!

This is so good.
For a lover of love and Presidential geek such as myself, I don't think it gets much better than Valentine's Day falling on President's Day Weekend. I'm in heaven. And though three day weekends aren't quite as special as they used to be since I started working from home, I still plan to snuggle with my sweetie on Saturday and pay homage to George and Abe (and all the others!) on Monday. Want to combine the two?! Well thank goodness for THIS.

Also, have you seen this commercial?! Obviously as soon as I saw it I was like "I MUST LEARN THAT SONG!" and so off to the world wide web I went to find it. 

Wishing you a wonderful Valentine's Day filled with love and a Monday fit for a President (whatever that means!) xox

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hump Day on delay

That's some Thursday HumpDay-esque material right there
Was so busy humping (hehe), that I never got time to post yesterday. Oops! Good news is that I still managed to collect a nice sampling of goodies from around the web this week so without further delay... here are your hump day distractions (on Thursday. Whatever, you'll still click em!)

* Some truly holy wow amazing ice sculptures.
* Some mighty good advice for lasting longer in high heels.
* I dream of going to so many of these festivals (except the tomatoes. I will skip the tomatoes).
* Bacon + cheddar + jalapenos + easy = best recipe EVER.
* I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm chronically late, though I can be a bit "timeliness challenged". Here are some great explanations for why people run late and ways to break the habit.
* Only in NYC (and I must be a true NYC'er because this seems totally cute and reasonable to me!)
* Because Disney does true love better than most... 
* RBG I sure do love you.
* For your daily dose of goosebumps, this is beautiful.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Will you be my Valentine?

I love love!!
In case you've been trapped under a wintery weather mix (or many feet of snow as I've heard our friends up in Boston are!) I'm here to remind you that Valentine's Day is right around the corner, this Saturday, February 14th. Now I don't subscribe to the overly commercial glorification of this "hallmark holiday", but I absolutely love love and I think any day that asks us to pause and appreciate the people we love is a day worth honoring. So here to help you forgo the sappy cards and do better than a box of red chocolate (though don't get me wrong, chocolate is good!) are some merry meri tips for the loviest holiday of them all!

Sometimes the best way to say I love you is with a cheesetastic homemade card! Thankfully I've got a bunch of amazing, adorable and easy DIY valentine ideas for you right HERE (seriously punny:)

* Merry Meri Tip: Valentine's Day means major markups at the florist and crowded restaurants with boring price fixe menus. Send your sweetie flowers in advance of the big day (they'll be just as appreciated on Thurs or Fri!) and since Valentine's Day falls on a weekend, consider a lovers brunch or lunch date to avoid the dinner crowds. Plan the day and then see where the night takes you:)

Want to be "that mom" who rocks your preschooler's Valentine's Day celebration harder than anyone else? How about these adorable "main squeeze" valentines?
Pin it HERE, Full tutorial HERE.
For more candy free valentine options, click HERE.

If you're looking to get crafty with your kiddo, I love this heart-inspired "Bee Mine" craft.
Pin it HERE, Full tutorial HERE.
Another cute kiddo craft idea from favorite blogger Naomi HERE.

Perhaps an adult themed craft is more what you had in mind!?
Amazingly easy step by step instructions for transforming the toy "bang" gun into a "bang me" gun (and where to get the gun) HERE.

* Merry Meri Tip: You don't have to spend a lot or go out to have a romantical night with your babe. Consider cooking together (order your first box of Blue Apron!?) or host your own semi-potluck where each of you is responsible for preparing a dish and you surprise one another with the final results! Set the dinner table with candles and the nice dishes (or at least don't eat at the coffee table (like we always do!)) and enjoy.

If you ask me, sentimental is always the way to go on Valentine's Day and nothing is more romantic than a hand written note. This year, consider getting old fashioned on your sweetie (or friend or beloved family member) and write them a note (or a bunch, like the pic above) telling them just how much you care.

And though Dr. H and I don't usually do big gifts for this holiday, that certainly doesn't mean gifts aren't lovely (right ladies!)? For some more awesome gift inspiration visit HERE (all under $40!); HERE (for him and her); HERE (the most adorable options); HERE (for ma high rollers); HERE (for him); HERE (edible, wearable and quirky), HERE (insanely easy and perfect for friends/coworkers)

Plus, some super cute cards (better than Hallmark!) HERE. Also, check out Urban Outfitters, they've got some serious greeting card game lately and though a bit overpriced, I think having a crude, sarcastic, sexy card is worth the extra $1!

* Merry Meri Tip: No significant other? No sweat!! One of my best Valentine's Days ever was a Gal-entine's Day (thanks Leslie Knope!) with my girlfriends in college. We held a "Secret St. Valentine" gift swap of gag gifts, played "pin the manhood on the man" and wore every share of red, pink and hearts that we owned. It was a BLAST. Love is love people, so spend your holiday with people you love!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

It's all ok in the end...

If you say so...
Do you give yourself pep talks? How about reciting a positive mantra like the one on the left? Really what I need to know is, when something stressful or challenging pops up in your life, how do you cope and keep on keepin on? Lately, I have been struggling to stay above water mentally when challenges in 1 part of my life pop up. It's like the stress of that 1 thing has my chest in a vice grip and even when there's nothing I can be doing about it (or when I'm trying to focus on something unrelated) I can't seem to let that stressful thing go. I know this isn't a healthy way to approach the stressful situation and it certainly isn't a productive way to go through life, so I'm curious, how do you cope?

I have read several articles about coping with stress (HERE, HERE) and I've found some excellent tips that truly work for me (get fresh air, create routines, exercise, express gratitude to others, talk to yourself as if you're a friend giving yourself advice (love that one!)), but the reality is, when you care a lot about something (who doesn't want to be a great employee, boss, wife, friend, mother, sister, daughter!?) not allowing uncertainty or a challenge to suffocate you in unrelated areas of your life can be extremely difficult. 
SO. True.
It certainly reframes things when you consider that anxiety is just as created in your mind as positive creativity doesn't it? And when all else fails, a wise fish once said...

Thursday, February 5, 2015

If you see only one thing on the internet today....

Make sure it's THIS
(Pretty much the best thing ever, ever, holy blast from my 90s childhood past!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Flying penguin!

Today has been a real doozy of a day, but thankfully this incredible photo and video from National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen seems like the perfect antidote. Check out just how penguins propel themselves to the surface (creating the stunning image above) here:
(It gets super cool around 1:20)

And if you're in NYC, you can hear more amazing stories from Paul tomorrow night at the NYU Skirball Center (more info HERE). I can't make it, but perhaps a fellow merry penguin enthusiast out there can?!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Wanderlust Part II. - Helsinki & Copenhagen

Hello hello and happy Monday my friends! I hope you all enjoyed your weekends and last night's thrilling Super Bowl. Here to help us ease back into reality (and avoid going outside into yet another day's wintery, snowy, icy mess!) are some pictures from the second half of my winter wonderland adventures, this time slightly more "on the grid" in Helsinki, Finland and Copenhagen, Denmark. Both were truly wonderful places to visit so I hope you enjoy checking them out!

Helsinki by night.
* Helsinki is a small city in southern Finland where Dr. H and I spent just under 24-hours. This was the perfect amount of time to stroll the pretty city, eat a delicious brunch and explore some of the main attractions including the harbor, a church in a rock (seriously) and the Museum of Natural History. I was fortunate enough to travel to Helsinki with my family many years ago during the summer (also for a 1-day visit), so it was cool to see the city in all its winter wonder.
A city that really shines during Christmas season!
The harbor looking especially picturesque.  
Eat brunch at Fazer. Do it.
Snowy city center
The church is actually built into a large rock. It's pretty amazing.

* Copenhagen is AWESOME. A truly metropolitan city with plenty of old European charm, Dr. H and I loved everything about our time in Copenhagen. From the cobblestone streets, and beautiful architecture, to the distinct neighborhoods, walkable distances, bike paths, an amusement park IN the city (that's rumored to have inspired Disneyland), a rich Jewish history and of course the food, I already look forward to returning to Copenhagen again in the future. 

Built along canals, Copenhagen is best explored on foot, boat or bike!

Be sure to take a canal tour to learn all about the city's buildings and history
This is Tivoli, a beautiful amusement park/garden with restaurants and shops
Also, the rides are seriously legit (check out that rollercoaster!) 
On NYE we discovered that citizens are free to set off fireworks just about
anywhere. This made for a beautiful (& mildly nerve wracking) evening! 
Changing of the guard at the royal palace!
If you are interested in Jewish history, Copenhagen is a must-visit. Denmark saved
nearly all of its Jews during WWII and this is a peak inside the synagogue today. 
A view of the beautiful city from atop the Round Tower.
Though we did run into some gloomy weather and restaurant closures (because of the holidays) I highly recommend seeing Copenhagen in the winter which is their "off season." Nothing was crowded and hotel prices were extremely reasonable.