Wednesday, November 30, 2011

on a sick day.

via here.
yesterday was a no good, very bad day. i started to feel sick as the day went on, and once i spilled my soup all over me, i decided it was time to head home. i spent yesterday following doctor's orders - getting lots of sleep, drinking water, and taking the good stuff (read: nyquil). hope i can post something a little more exciting tomorrow - and that you're all feeling much better than i am!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

on little italian spots.

lately nyc has been getting to me. i've talked about some of the downsides of living in nyc before, and i mostly try to stay positive and appreciate where i am, but this week i'm just not feeling it. i miss driving to target, and wide open streets, and mountains. but last night i took some comfort in heading to a tiny italian restaurant near the east village for some dinner. if i have one soft spot for nyc, it's the tiny italian restaurants, with flickering candles and reasonable prices. my favorite is this one - every time the boy and i go there we get the same bottle of wine and argue over who gets to order the gnocchi (he usually wins).  so last night, in a similar spot, i tried to take some comfort in a good plate of pasta and a nice glass of wine. i won't be here forever, so i'll do my best to savor what i can from the experience.

Monday, November 28, 2011

on a non-traditional thanksgiving.

this thanksgiving happened to line up with a big birthday for my dad, so he requested we go somewhere warm. and off to jamaica we went. i had mixed feelings about it because i love going home to virginia very much, so a part of me was sad i didn't get to do that. soon, though, i'll be heading there for christmas. so i guess i sucked it up and headed down to jamaica. i know, how noble of me. here are some of my favorite shots from the week. hope y'all had wonderful holidays!
sunset.
just keep swimming...
my sweet ride.
my daily view.
see ya later jamaica.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

on being thankful.

well i'm off for the holiday, so it will be quiet around here for a few days. this year i'm very thankful for all of the people i hold dearly in my life. the past few weeks they have supported me, loved me, and most importantly, forgiven me for mistakes i have made. i am a very lucky girl, to say the least.
i hope y'all have a wonderful holiday - eat lots of pie, turkey and stuffing (of course), and get lots of sleep. see ya on monday!

Monday, November 21, 2011

on recipe books.

so christmas is coming. i know, thanksgiving is coming even sooner. like in a few days. but humor me. since college i have wanted to get a book to hold my recipes. as more time has gone on and i've started to make certain dishes time and time again, i've gotten a little tired of pulling them up on the internet for reference. so this year i think i'm going to ask for a recipe book from my mom, and ask her to put in a few of her favorite recipes before she gives it to me (mainly her amazing lasagna recipe). i think it will be nice to have a book filled with recipes in both of our handwriting that i can pass on.
so, without further ado, let's look at the candidates!
via here.
i've had my eye on this one for years. seriously. you think i whould have just bought it by now. i really like that it's broken up into sections, and i think the binder clips make it easy to flip through. it helps that it's not bound since i'll be using it so much and the binding could eventually break.
however, it's not quite as colorful or personalized as the next two.
via here.
this one can come in many different colors, you can title it whatever you want, and i like the way the recipe pages are set up.
but this next one is also pretty badass. again you can personalize it, but i don't think i like the recipe pages as much. however, look at that sweet design on the front!
via here.
here's what the inside looks like.
finally, there's an old vintage one that i like. it's under $10, so i think i may just get it for myself.
via here.
i had this item bookmarked and it sold. then, lo and behold, another vintage store on etsy had the same book! ahhh, the magic of etsy. it also is broken up into sections, just what i like.
so what do you think dear readers? which one do you vote for? or, is there another great option i'm missing out on?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

on my favorite thanksgiving dish.

stuffing. oh stuffing. the cause of many stomachaches. the cause of so much joy. i. love. stuffing. last year i made my first stuffing from scratch, thanks to this recipe from food and wine. what can i say, i love food and wine. they are good to me. this is a very basic recipe, so it's easy to add an apple or some toasted nuts to the dish. i said i would this time around, but it tasted so good last year that i just went for the old basic. so here it is - sausage and bread stuffing.
and turkey stock. that too.
let's talk about the word mirepoix. it basically means a combination of carrot, celery, and onion. whaaaaaaaat?! is this not the greatest thing of all time?! such a fancy word for such a simple thing! it seriously delights me.
can you tell?!
last year i made my mirepoix, but this year i bought it. that's right, stores sell already cut up carrots, celery and onion to make your life a little easier. at least trader joe's does. like i said, they are amazing at the holidays. next comes the best ingredient of all. the sausage.
you then mix this with toasted bread cubes, and turkey stock before the last, very important, crucial step. but first, let's talk about toasting two pounds of bread cubes. there's no cookie sheet large enough for this. the directions in the recipe seems to think there is. that's crazy. so in my ghetto little oven i pop in a cake pan that i put the cubes in, and after about 15-20 minutes of toasting i spoon the top layer into a bowl, pop the cake pan back in, and let the next layer toast. 
sidenote: my oven is only 18 inches wide.
please go measure your oven, come back here
and comment and let me know your oven width.
i'm pretty sure mine is severely inadequate.
and yes, this basically makes us
13-year-olds boys in the locker room.
moving on!
the crucial step - do not forget to brush half a stick of melted butter on top of the stuffing. actually, this is probably a crucial step in any recipe. so, yeah.
and there she is. the perfect side dish. or dinner. i mean - carbs, protein and veggies? full meal y'all!
what's your favorite thanksgiving dish?
more importantly, how wide is your oven?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

on the best sandwich in nyc.

when you first move to nyc, you have three goals: 1 - find your favorite local pizza place, 2 - find your favorite local bagel and 3 - find your favorite local sandwich. this is the first step in authenticating yourself as someone who lives in new york - whenever people visit they will want to know your favorite pizza/bagel/sandwich. and you best have an answer for them.
and so i introduce my favorite sandwich spot, hands down: defonte's. the original store is in brooklyn, and a few years before i moved here they opened up one near my apartment.
via here.
it's an old-school nyc place. the people who work there call you sweetheart and doll, there are pictures of frank sinatra on the walls and you usually find yourself bobbing your head to the temptations or the supremes.
also, they put very thin slices of fried eggplant on every sandwich, which is like a love letter to my little foodie heart. definitely stop by the next time you're in nyc.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

on my new favorite things.

i found this site this weekend. it has made my life. this is my favorite one. if you have an awesome baby, pick a picture, look up a lyric, and submit them. totally worth it.
my friday night.
got these at trader joe's. trader joe's is always awesome, but during the holidays, it's out of this world.
and finally, for any girl who loves to use the words perf, fave, obvi, sammy, or totes perf, is my new fave show parks and rec(reation). and here's a clip to prove why.
anything i'm missing out on?

Monday, November 14, 2011

on fall in central park.

this weekend, true to my word, i went up to central park, cappuccino in hand, and wandered around taking it all in.
as i've said before, i don't really get out to central park enough, and it's kind of the bombdotcom. besides the 5K this past summer, the only time i've been there is for a picnic with the boy when i first moved here.
we came to the park after a very full day. we walked across the brooklyn bridge. we wandered around brooklyn. we ate hot dogs (obviously). we stopped at a random bar, where we called his mom to see if she would tell us how she and her dad met. (doesn't everyone call their mom from the bar?) then we finally made our way back to manhattan.
even though we were tired and running behind, i had a schedule, and gosh darnit we were going to central park for our picnic.
so we went, and there we found ourselves, instead of enjoying the sunset, in the pitch black next to a lamppost enjoying our picnic. i was so focused on my "ohmygodohmygodisn'tnewyorkcitythebestohmygod", that it didn't really hit me until i was fumbling for my sandwich in the dark that perhaps i went a little overboard.
true to form he was a good sport, and true to form i acted like i wasn't worried about getting mugged and someone stealing our sparkling water.
and after all, it wasn't new york city that we were both falling love with.
and that was fine by me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

on savoring the last of fall.

via here.
fall is coming to an end here in nyc. i can feel the chill coming. the last few nice days i'm going to take the time to savor. this weekend will find me:
+ wandering around central park with a cappuccino
+ at the farmer's market
+ wearing big sweaters, no coats
+ enjoying brunch outside, bundled up, with a friend
+ baking my little heart, using apples and pumpkins
+ going on long runs along the east river in the perfect, crisp weather
+ make my stuffing that was a hit last year and share it with y'all
anything else i should add to my list?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

on my lady friend situation.

re-living our glory days on a wine tour in long island.
in graduate school, my girlfriends and i had a regular date. every friday night, at 5 PM, we'd go down to a local restaurant for a glass of wine. they had a special on good wine, the place was quiet, and quite soon we became regulars. since we were all in the same school, we had similar schedules and it was easy to make this a tradition. over those glasses of wine we discussed everything we could discuss about life and then some. we missed a few fridays here and there, and when i graduated and moved away, it became one of the things i missed the most. 
when i moved to nyc it was very hard for me to adjust to not having this built in system. it was hard for me to adjust to the fact that i didn't have the kind of schedule where i could be dependable to show up, even if i did have people to show up for. i moved to nyc and had three friends - one from childhood lived here, one from high school lived here, and one from grad school lived out in nj. while i tired to unite us a few times, schedules were different. things came up last minute. people got tired.
as time has gone on i've made more friendships, but i still miss this set date with my girlfriends. i'm thinking of trying to set one up again - perhaps twice a month as opposed to every week. taking the time to relax, talk, get to know one another, laugh about our everyday lives and support each other through the tough times over a glass of wine is an ideal way to end the day. it's kind of like blogging, but in real life.
do you have a set group of girlfriends in your town? do you miss not having that around, if not?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

on chandler the cat.

reunited and it feels so good.
my roommate and i got chandler the cat in our sophomore year of college, after vividly discussing him our freshmen year of college. emphasis on the word vivid. at one point our friends asked us to stop talking about the cat we hadn't gotten yet, because they felt excluded / weirded out. emphasis on the latter.
baby chandler.
after college i moved away and my roommate kept chandler, and now i get to see him once or twice a year if i'm really lucky. i like to think he remembers me, since he slept by my side all of saturday night, but most likely it's because i was the warmest thing around. we have a lot of good memories with chandler.
picking another kitten before him at the pound, only to find that one was already taken. we settled with chandler, and it proved to be the best thing.
making him wear a sweater at night to help him fall asleep.
how ridiculously long his whiskers are.
our suspicion that he's half lynx, from the tufts of hair on his ears. and that he can jump on top of a bookcase that's over six feet tall when he's on the ground.
his loathing of toothpaste.
his love of pushing things off counter tops, particularly if they're made of glass.
his desire for all things puffed: cheese curls, rice cakes, and so forth.
chandler, like most cats, is a total weirdo. but of course that's what makes them lovable, and provides many laughs.
do you have a pet? did you have a pet growing up? would you like to share a funny animal story to make my day go faster? please, the floor is yours.

Monday, November 7, 2011

on my weekend fun.

oh hello old friends. my work schedule has promised to die down after this week. like it came up to me and said, "scout's honor, you'll see sunshine outside sometime this week". so i'm hopeful. shall we take a look at what i did this weekend?! you know i love doing that.
i ate a hot dog this weekend. clearly, this is not earth-shattering to long-time readers. it's kind of my thing. but i ate this thai-themed hot dog in philadelphia. that's right, for the third time in a month i went back to the iladelph. this time to visit my college friends. so my college roommate, who one day you will get the full story on how we became besties (it involves lots of hot dogs and cats, no surprise), and i  got hot dogs together. true love people.
then we went back to her apartment and hung out with our cat, chandler. i shouldn't say our. it's hers' now. but we got him, and raised him together, until we graduated and i moved away from philly. like any ther divorce, she got full custody and i got the couch. it happens.
and finally, we participated in an annual party with our friends. we dress up and decorate our apartments as a certain theme, and travel from destination to destination, in weird costumes all night long. and yes, there is a drink to go along with each theme. do what you will with that piece of information. we made our theme christmas (shocker), and i had the time of my life. hope you all enjoyed your weekends, christmas-themed or not.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

on subway stories.

via here.
i have been working a lot lately. like a lot. i'm sorry if this old blog has seemed neglected, but i go in when it's pitch black, i come home when it's pitch black, and if i work less than twelve hours we're having a good day. but my co-worker and i, who both switched to a new firm together, have had it worse. sometimes we'd leave at 5 AM and be back on the subway at 8 AM the next day. we were reminiscing about those moments today - when we would look at the people around us, wonder if they had any idea what we were going through. wonder if they were going through it, too. and that's the thing about the subway. everyone has a story on it. they may be riding right after finding out they're expecting. that their mother is sick. after getting engaged. after getting fired. and it's an odd situation. you want to be alone, but to get home you have to surround yourself with a variety of strangers, traveling in a tin can to your destination.
and then, of course, there's the homeless man who has stolen what appears to be a motorized wheelchair combined with a dirt bike and is driving it up and down the car. it's not too hard to figure out what his story is.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

on snow.


taken last winter in saratoga.
i don't know if you heard, but this past weekend we got our first snow in nyc. while i've made it clear that the impending winter has me worried, snow is one of my first true loves. and in the city, in fact any city i have lived in, it can be downright magical. the streets get quiet, everyone stays inside, and it feels like you're the only one there. i'll admit - i don't have to drive to work, i don't have kids who get snow days, i don't take in the train from the suburbs - most of the bad stuff that comes with snow doesn't effect me. so i understand why people don't like it. but this past weekend, even though it was october, i stood next to my window and with a huge smile on my face watched the snow swirl down to the city below.
winter - i'm ready for you. as long as you keep bringing the snow.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

on my halloween.

i hope everyone had a fun halloween, i know mine was perfect. i got to meet up with my dear friend molly (who you met in this post), and meet her husband, whom i now affectionately call dan landers. (dan was full of wonderful advice last night - i highly recommend him.) we went to a place near the parade for some burgers, delicious fries, and the ever wonderful toasted marshmellow milkshake. and we were having such a fun time catching up we had to order another drink, even though we had already finished dessert. i really gotta hand it to the internet here - it did wonderful things for me when it led me to molly's blog.
and now, of course, halloween is over and the christmas music can come on. not a bad way to start a tuesday.
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