Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You've Gato go to Gato

One of my favorite things about living in NYC is that one day you can be walking down a street you always walk down and suddenly there's something brand new and cool there that wasn't just a day before. Enter Gato, a restaurant I noticed immediately last summer when its chic storefront on Lafayette St. suddenly appeared along the walk between my spin studio and the subway. 6+ months of failed attempts to dine there later (I do not suggest trying to just walk-in or secure a "normal" dinner time reservation day-of) I am here to tell you that you've gato go to Gato (God I love puns!!)

Gato turns out to be a Bobby Flay joint, artfully decorated in a very Soho, industrial chic style with a gorgeous bar, windowed kitchen and a floor so gorg I actually got tile envy.
Ambiance is everything dahling.
The menu is priced somewhere above reasonable and below expensive (aka, Manhattan-y) and filled with inventive and unique "New Mediterranean" cuisine from a tapas list to funky topping'ed pizzas,  "spreads" with pita and a breadth of entree and vegetable side options. I found it nearly impossible to decide what to order, but between Dr. H and I we settled on the White Chicory Salad, Pizza with Lamb Sausage (appetizer-me-up!), the Porterhouse Pork Chop and the Kale and Wild Mushroom Paella (so f'ing unique and good I will have to fight the urge to re-order this every time I go back).
Who knew a vegetable paella could be so sexy!!?
With a chic and lively atmosphere ("loud" as your parents might call it), gorgeous setting and a menu jam-packed with items worth ordering, I am already looking forward to my next trip to Gato. I suggest making reservations early, heading over on a weeknight (5:30 and 9:30pm still available for tonight) or being flexible about your dining time on a weekend (we booked a 10pm table just a few hours before heading over). Plus, it's been reported that Bobby is often in the kitchen cooking, so be on the lookout for your very own celebrity chef siting!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring, spring, wherefore art thou!?

Hello!? Are you there?!
Here in NYC, springtime has been taking its sweet ass time making an appearance and though it is reasonable to hope that our puffer jacket days are behind us (knock wood) we're still hovering around chilly temps and the skies have been mostly grey. WHERE ARE YOU SPRING!?

Encouraged by the influx of tulips and daffodils at my local bodega, I thought I'd spend today talking about a few trends I'm noticing for spring. If we will the weather to get there it has got to happen eventually right!?

* Shirt Dresses
Generally speaking, there hasn't been much in the spring store windows that's jumped out or really excited me, but the steady stream of shirt dresses I'm seeing does make me happy. Shirt dresses are the perfect way to dress up or down with one piece, since you can pop on anything from ballet flats and converse, to wedges and sassy lipstick to make the look whatever you want. 
Merry Meri Verdict: Buy one, or three! These dresses are super versatile and pretty timeless.

* Fringe
Mom told me that fringe was "hot this season" and since when do moms not know best!? Whether on accessories like a purse, or on jackets or the bottom of a long shirt or skirt, this trend can easily turn cowboy if you're not careful, but done right, it definitely says chic.
Merry Meri Verdict: Scoop up one or two inexpensive pieces that you can wear to rock this trend and then guiltlessly set aside when the fringe moment is over (or you're not headed to a music festival:)

* Culottes
Also known as the look many of us will attempt, but few of us will succeed with, culottes are wide leg pants usually cut somewhere above the ankle and below the knee. The look is especially tricky to pull off for those of us not blessed with model-esque stems (or quads with any sort of thickness) but I'm going to try on pair after pair hoping to find ones that work for me (though this look, along with the still popular midi skirt, just may not pan out!)
Merry Meri Verdict: Proceed with caution!

* Floral Prints
I absolutely love bold colors and prints so it should come as no surprise that I love the continuing presence of vibrant floral prints on the runways and in stores. This trend is a lot about personal taste since you can wear anything from a floral pop on one item of clothing (stretchy jeans or a sheer tank) to a full-body floral look, just be careful that you don't end up looking like you had a run-in with the local florist (or worse, your grandmother's curtains!)
Merry Meri Verdict: The perfect way to freshen up your look after a chilly winter hibernation!

*One-Shoulder Shirts/Dresses
The latest in "if you wait long enough, all things come back into style", the early 00's 1-shoulder look appears to be making a comeback. I always found this neckline particularly flattering for women's shoulders and collarbones (a very often forgotten but oh-so-sexy body part) and the singe strap avoids the dreaded "armpit fat" and constant tugging of something totally strapless.
Merry Meri Verdict: I wouldn't go crazy buying up this trend since it's such a "look", but if you see one or two items that look pretty, scoop them up for this spring/summer!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Have you heard about..?

Last night, somewhere between avoiding unpacking suitcases and pretending I was "totally fine" after 18 hours of flying and a 15 hour time change followed by a full work day, I went on a jet lag-fueled Netflix binge of the new show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I watched 6 consecutive episodes which I think definitely qualifies me to say "have you heard about the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt because you really should be watching!!"

Kimmy is Tina Fey's first post-30 Rock endeavor and it is the comedy I've been needing since Alec, Tina and Tracy said goodbye. The show, starring Ellie Kemper (of The Office and Bridesmaids fame), is about a woman who is rescued from a doomsday cult bunker after years of imprisonment who then starts life over as a nanny for a socialite (Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock) in NYC. Though the premise seems dark, the show is jam packed with laugh out loud humor, almost offensively offensive zingers and generally outstanding comedic writing. 

As for casting, I'm thorough impressed with Ellie... never my favorite character on The Office and kind of a lightweight amongst the Bridesmaids, Ellie has tremendous comedic timing and her "only through 8-grade" lack of education comes across as cheerful naivety rather than eye-roll inducing stupidity. Jane's character, an oblivious snob, is a bit of a reprise from her 30 Rock days, but there may be a little more depth this time around and I already like her more than Jenna Maroney. The rest of the characters, a black-gay-failed-actor from Mississippi roommate, a zaney old landlady, an immigrant GPD classmate and 2 spoiled rich kid nanny-ies, all have a lot to offer and will hopefully settle into a generally excellent ensemble cast.

If you loved 30 Rock, if you like offbeat comedy, if ya just freakin want to laugh, clear your calendar and schedule an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt binge for this weekend (besides, you probably need to lighten up from all that House of Cards anyway!)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Around the world and back again (literally).

Une vie a plein bord.
Friends. Last we spoke, I was retelling tales of poo on the subway and since then I've been around the world and back. Seriously. I went to Australia! Dr. H and I packed our bags and accompanied my mom and dad on a trip to Sydney, Melbourne and a drive along the stunning Great Ocean Road. I don't think anything less than a three post description/photo recap will do, but first I've got to dig out a bit at work, figure out what time zone I'm in and maybe stopping eating like I'm in vacation mode (maybe).

Good Lord iPhones are AMAZING!
It's impossible for me to reduce to words all the thoughts, experiences and emotions that have been March 2015, or if I'm being honest, the past year of my life. There has been so much change, travel, struggle and growth, it astounds me to look back and see where I was just 365 days ago. At the same time, I feel this slow and exciting build towards even more change ahead... Whether it's our careers, the place we call home or decisions to add to our family (with individuals of both the canine and human varieties) my life with Dr. H is changing every day and it's good and hard and wildly fulfilling. We have seen so much, but I love knowing that there's still so much more to see.

Friday, March 13, 2015

If I can make it there, I'll make it... anywhere?

NYC Poo with 'tude
Last weekend I experienced an ultimate New York moment. I am proud to add the experience to my list of quintessential New York City happenings, even though it is disgusting and something only a New Yorker could boast about... Last weekend I encountered a giant poop on the subway.

Yup. A poop. On the floor. Of a public subway car.

Are you laughing or painfully cringing (or maybe a little bit of both?!)

Most experienced NYC subway riders know that if a train pulls into the station and you notice 1 car significantly emptier than the others, there is something going awry in said car. The A/C isn't working, a person is behaving or smelling strangely, the possibilities are endless, but the result is the same - people avoid the car. Well on Sunday, I stepped quickly onto a subway car and immediately realized that the car was only half full and that half was pretty much all on one side. uh-oh. Directly across from me was a man, sitting casually on a bench all to himself, with a bandana across his nose and mouth. Double uh-oh. I notice a strange smell, not overwhelmingly unpleasant, but not great. I look right, a bunch of people... I look left, no people except bandana man. I look left and down... GIANT SH*T ON THE FLOOR. AHHHHH!!!! It is too late to exit the car, the doors have closed. I can't go right bc this is the last car of the train. To evacuate the premises I will need to go around the doodie and through to the next car. I do not pass go (but I do pass the poo!) as I scurry quickly (noticing that it looks like it came from a freakin horse and has clearly been sitting there for some time) to the door and into the next car. I briefly look back. I kind of regret not snapping a picture. I cringe and then smile, then go back to my day getting just a little bit excited to retell this story as soon as I get home. Welcome to New York.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hump Day Distractions

I hope you have a sparkling poop kind of day.
Guess who had her first "look at you, placed right next to the register" impulse purchase of the season yesterday!? MmmmMmmm you taste so good my egg-shaped friend:) Since every day can't be a Cadbury day, here are some delightful distractions from around the web to get you over the hump and straight on to the weekend!

* A new and interesting take on consignment that I just might have to try next time I clean out my closet (which I swear I'm going to do soon, before shizz gets out of control again!)
* Everlasting love. So very very beautiful.
* I'm going to have a baby just so I can put it in this onesie.
* Brussels and Burrata pizza as a recipe that looks pretty easy to pull off!? STFU.
* Every girl needs to know how to keep her cheap jewelry from turning green (just might have to try it).
* Be a badass, fearless, alpha woman. I dare you.
* This birthday party is absolutely golden. I love it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

New Product Alert!

Complexion Rescue to the rescue!
I'm baaaaaack! After more than a few days off to focus on work and take a little blogging creative breather I am BACK and I've got a whole iPhone note's worth of post topics to start sending your way!! I hope you're ready because I've missed having a place to share my funny stories, random thoughts and new discoveries. Speaking of which...

NEW PRODUCT ALERT! I have found the greatest makeup product EVER. Seriously. Allow me to explain: Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a makeup person. My typical makeup routine involves less than 5 minutes of mostly applied-by-fingers products. This is the result of a few things (laziness and a fear of people getting so used to my made-up face that my plain-old face starts to seem less palatable being the dominant two!) and when I do want to "turn it up" I've got a single set of bareMinerals powders I like to use. But then I saw a tv commercial for a new bareMinerals product that promised to make my skin light and radiant and have all the benefits of a tinted moisturizer, BB and CC cream (I have no idea what those things are, but I know from reading fancy magazines that I should be using them on my skin.) So off I went to my local bareMinerals store (on Prince St. in NYC, though their products are also at most Sephoras) and had my makeup done using "the product from tv" which the girl in the store quickly identified as Complexion Rescue

My new, unstoppable combo!
You guys... this product is FOR REAL. Not only do I absolutely love how it makes my skin look, but it is so easy to apply and doesn't make your face look "made-up", just WAY better! With 2-3 tiny dots onto the brush (I bought Complexion Rescue and this brush) and about 60 seconds more time than my old makeup routine, my skin looks smoother, genuinely more radiant and overall more even and lovely. Don't believe me!? Well, I had someone see a picture of me recently and ask if I'd had my makeup done (nope! just my new Complexion Rescue doin its thang!) and my mom gave me an unsolicited "you look good" compliment over brunch last weekend. If that's not proof that this product is the real deal, I don't know what is!

My recommendation - go get this product, but take the time to have it tried out for you in-store. The pros will match your skin tone to the right shade and show you how to apply it (plus who doesn't like having their makeup done by a pro!?) So now go forth and get your complexion rescued!!