Friday, January 23, 2015

The weekend is here!

Happy Friday, my darling readers! How was your week? A four-day week always flies by, right? I am excited for a productive weekend ahead. I'm actually taking a writing class! I write every day for work, but this is my chance to write for me. :) I hope you have something wonderful planned. Here, to get the weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Storytelling on Snapchat.

Thoughts on giving men the red carpet treatment.

Salad for breakfast.

Love this shirt.

Curious about this movie!

The perfect 2016 planner.

Love this Brooklyn apartment!

Why it's hard to stay caught up on TV.

Daydreaming about spring coats.

Made me laugh. And think of Matt.

Another good (but completely unsubstantiated) Serial theory.

(Image via Damsel in Dior)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Trader Joe's salad experiment

Do you bring your lunch to work? I am the worst at doing this, but I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. Here's my strategy: Trader Joe's salads. Have you tried these before? I'm usually anti-pre-packaged salads, but these are actually good! Plus, there's a big enough selection for me to vary it up and not get bored. My top three so far:

1) Trader Joe's Kale and Edamame Bistro Salad. I supplement this one with a half of an avocado, sliced up. It's so delicious with the salad's lemon-herb dressing—and filling. I was able to divide this $5 salad in two so it lasted me two meals.

2) Trader Joe's Mozzarella and Tomato Salad. This is another yummy choice—plus, the cheese is a nice treat!

3) Trader Joe's Greens and Seeds Salad. The best part of this salad is the mix of sweet (the pomegranate seeds), savory (the squash), and crunchy (the pumpkin seeds). It can be hard to find in-store, but when I do, I stock up!

What do you pack for lunch? 

(Image 1, 2)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A conversation about curls

Last Friday, I curled my hair before work in a burst of morning energy before the weekend. I walked into the office with curls that weren't quite ringlets, but weren't quite waves and everyone was asking how I did it. Here's my trick: A wand! I've never been able to master a traditional curling iron. I always end up with funny-looking kinks left behind by the metal clamp. A wand changed that for me. A few quick tips:

1) Make sure your hair is completely dry after showering before curling your hair with a wand. I use a styling product for body, then blow it dry—very dry. I find that if my hair is even the slightest bit damp, curls fall flat and don't hold their shape.

2) With a wand, use the glove (one typically comes included when you buy it). It's the only way to avoid burning your fingers! Once you get more comfortable with the technique, you may be able to skip this step, but you have to be very careful. It's tricky!

3) A curling wand makes it easy to curl hair in the direction you want it to go in. There's something very intuitive about it—you just wind it around the wand one way or the other and curls fall naturally into place.

One caveat: I'm still a work in progress with this. It's taken a lot of trial and error! There are days when my hair cooperates—and days when it absolutely doesn't. ;)

Do you have any quick tricks for easy curls?

PS: My coworker said that she swears by hot rollers for gorgeous waves. I am so intrigued! I want to try that technique next. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Saturday cartoons

How was your long weekend? To start ours off, Matt and I woke up and watched Saturday morning cartoons. As silly as that sounds, it's something we've been wanting to do ever since we heard about Spoons, Toons and Booze, offered by Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg. 

When you think about it, as a kid, it was a weekend ritual to wake up and eat cereal and watch Looney Tunes or Tom & Jerry or Garfield. So, that's what we did! To be fair, our cereal choices were much healthier than the sugary options we devoured growing up (I ate cheerios with blueberries and strawberries; Matt had grape-nuts), but we watched a couple of hours worth of old school Looney Tunes. It was so fun and relaxing! A nice way to ease into the weekend and unwind. 

What were your favorite Saturday morning cartoons? 

(Image 1, 2, 3)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Brunch Page: Prune

For Christmas this year, I gave Matt the newest cookbook by Gabrielle Hamiton, the celebrated chef behind one of NYC's hottest restaurants: Prune. All fall, he talked extensively about wanting to read it—or so I thought. He was actually hoping for a different book—a copy of Gabrielle's 2012 memoir, called Blood, Bones & Butter. I'll admit: I half listened! (Oops.) But it worked out: He was so excited to read Gabrielle's cookbook that it inspired a trip to Prune for brunch.

We've fallen off the wagon a bit with our regular NYC brunch dates, but winter is the best time to get back on track. We coordinated with our friends, outlined a strategy for managing the long wait for a table (Prune doesn't take reservations for brunch), and began salivating over the menu in anticipation of the meal. 
The wait was worth it; the food was delicious (I had the Eggs Benedict); and we had a great time.

A tip: Plot out a nearby bar (or coffee shop) so that you can stop by Prune, put your name down, and have an equally desirable spot to wait. We went to the Library—a total dive with delicious hot toddies and mimosas, too. Our total wait time for brunch? About an hour and a half.

Have you checked out any new brunch spots in New York recently?

(Image 1, 2, 3, 4

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Books Page: Winter Reading

What's on your reading list for winter? As soon as I finish Serial (yes, I know I'm a little behind), these three titles are first on my list. Here's why:

1) Delancey by Molly Wizenberg uncovers the personal side of the restaurant biz after a husband-and-wife team find themselves the owners of a successful pizza spot. I've always been curious about the restaurant life and can't wait to read about it, as told through the eyes of a marriage.

2) Searching for Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan is a throwback to New York City in 1955. Three roommates are living in the Barbizon Hotel and searching for love, romance and fun. I love the setting of this novel—the location and the decade.

3) Funny Girl by Nick Hornby is another book that that takes us back, this time to 1960s London. Sophie Straw ("a provincial ingĂ©nue turned TV starlet) leads a cast of characters that sound quirky and delightful. I've enjoyed so many of Nick Hornby's books—can't wait for the next! 

My Amazon order has been placed! What are you reading right now?

More great books here, here, here and here.

(Image 1, 2, 3)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Recapping the Golden Globes

Did you watch the Golden Globes on Sunday night? My favorite part of the night (other than this Benedict Cumberbatch photobomb) was the photo booth set up behind the scenes to capture stars, fresh off the stage. Each photo was live 'grammed—and I loved it! I'm now using this Instagram account as a virtual reminder of all the films and TV shows I still need to watch...and the ones I want to watch again.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What I already miss about the weekend

Even though there is zero space left on my apartment walls to cover, I can't help but pine away for this adorable print. It's part of the new Kate Spade Saturday home collaboration with West Elm and I love it! It's such a pretty reminder of my favorite weekend activity: sleeping in. 

Everyone ready for Monday?! ;)

Check out the full Saturday and West Elm collection here.

PS: More apartment wall art here and here.

(Images via West Elm) 

Friday, January 9, 2015

The weekend is here!

Another weekend! What do you have planned for the next couple of days? I have a front row seat reserved on my couch to watch the Golden Globes, hosted again this year by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey (check out this fun promo here!). Matt and I have been pushing to see as many movies as we can so we're up to speed on all the nominees. Boyhood and Birdman are two of my faves this year! Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing weekend ahead. Here, to get it started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

A pretty printable calendar for 2015.

Will you watch this show?

I heart this pizza.

An awesome post-holiday how-to.

Cute ideas for photobooth pics.

Winter blush!

Reasons for red lipstick.


This phone charger sounds amazing.

Love this bathroom refresh!

Thinking of Paris this week.

(Image via Hypable)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The coziest pair of slippers

I never pegged myself as a slipper-wearing gal until my sister gave me a Shearling pair of UGGs for Christmas. They stayed in the box for most of the holiday—to be honest, I thought about suggesting she return them. I typically walk around my apartment in bare feet or socks. Would I really go the extra step to put these on at home? 

In a word, yes. It's funny, but now I have such a hard time switching to my regular shoes to go out the door. They are so comfy! And cozy! And soft! When I put them on, I feel like I'm giving my feet the love and care they deserve, especially after looong days walking around New York.

How do you treat your feet? 

(Image 1, 2)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

36 Hours in Boston

Over the holidays, I had a chance to make it into Boston and show Matt around my old stomping grounds. We've been a few times before, but mostly for weddings or occasions where we're over-scheduled without much time to roam around. This time, we did it right. After spending the day in Harvard Square, we walked around Beacon Hill (my old 'hood!) and hit up Upper Crust (my favorite slice) for lunch.
We museum hopped, stopping by the MFA early so that we could be at the front of the line to check out the new Goya exhibit, which received a rave review from the New York Times. It's on display through January 19, so there's still time to go! The painting I'm sitting in front of above is a New England classic by John Singleton Copley—it was my favorite when I was a kid.
We stayed downtown, which meant that we could quickly pop over to Boston Common and the Public Garden—two of my favorite spots in the city. We had planned to skate at the Frog Pond, but since it was a rainy weekend, we people watched there instead. For dinner and delicious cocktails, we met our friends at Eastern Standard, right next to Fenway Park. I've blogged about this place before—I was shocked to see my signature drink (the Au Provence) is no longer on the menu, but they mixed it up for me anyway. ;)

So fun to go home again! (Can you believe it's been seven years since I moved to New York?!)

(Image 4 via The New York Times)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ernest & Celestine

Now that winter is here, I'm back in my video rental groove. Thanks to our local video store, I stumbled upon the sweetest animated film called Ernest & CelestineIf you haven't seen it, you should rent it now. It's about a mouse named Celestine and a bear named Ernest—unlikely friends until an accidental brush with the law where they have to rely on each other to get by. Beautifully animated in watercolor, this Belgian film is available in both French and English (voices for the English version include Forest Whitaker, Lauren Bacall, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman). A total delight! 

(Image 1, 2, 3)

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year, New You

This year, on January 1, I quit the gym. This was no easy feat. I stopped in, I asked for the manager (who was unavailable), I called, I emailed, I went back the next day. When I finally sat down with the guy, visions of the episode of Friends where Chandler tries to quit (and has to bring Ross for moral support) flashed in my head. But I did it! And in 30 days—the notice that's required—I will be out! ;)

Don't get me wrong: It's not that I don't want to work out/get in shape/etc. It's just that I have been in denial about a strategy that isn't working for me: my gym membership. Lately, I've been way more motivated to run outdoors, throw on a workout DVD, or take a yoga class. Plus, add extra long hours at the office to the equation and I'm lucky if I get to the gym before 9 p.m. 

So: It's 2015! I'm taking a new approach. I'm also facing reality. If the temperatures drop (like they're supposed to this week), I'm going to try out the gym at my office. Convenience is key!

What are your resolutions for 2015? 

(Illustrations via the New York Times)