Monday, October 29, 2012

on my weekend in pictures.

wedding season marches on for brian and i. this time brought us to a little town called palmetto right outside of atlanta. the whole weekend took place on a big farm/event place, which gave us access to golf carts and farm animals and all sorts of other things new york city doesn't offer. of course the real finds were at the grocery store, which sold pork salted fatback and pork cracklins among other delicacies.
sidenote: my favorite thing
to do when i travel is
check out the local grocery
store. trust me, it's always
a trip.
the wedding was beautiful, it was wonderful to see old friends from high school and yes - i wore the same exact thing i worse last saturday. i'm like the little kid who sleeps in their halloween costume, except i just keep wearing that skirt in public. oh well. best of all we both got back safely to nyc - for all those on the east coast stay safe and dry! hope you remembered to pick up some pork cracklins at the store!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

on thanksgiving training.

one pan recipes are a favorite find of mine. they're easy to make during the week, and they usually consist of veggies and lean meats. on this front, food and wine always seems to pull through, offering another great one pan roasted chicken recipe (here's another favorite of mine). it also involves roasting apples, which as i found out when i made this, is awesome. this is a great, easy recipe for the week, and the flavors and aroma have thanksgiving written all over it - let the training commence!
to start, dice and peel three fiji apples and the butternut squash, and mince a tablespoon of sage. i bought a butternut squash at my farmer's market and peeled and diced it using this helpful guide. i didn't have a vegetable peeler and ended up just using my knife, which lead to many adventures and cursing in the kitchen. if you have a vegetable peeler this should be pretty easy if you follow the guide. if you don't, there's no shame in buying the pre-cut butternut squash at the store (and i plan to do so next time).
toss your apple, squash and sage with a 1/4 cup of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. season your chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place them on top of your apple/squash/sage mixture. throw into an oven set at 400 degrees, and roast for one hour and 15 minutes.
and that's what you get in return! the recipe calls for setting the pan on two burners after removing from the oven, placing the chicken to the side, and boiling/simmering the veggies for five minutes. i did this, but i don't think it really makes a difference in the end product. and you've already waited an hour and 15 minutes for this, so tacking on another five just seems silly.
it was a wonderful weekday meal and i will definitely be making it again. i'm coming for ya thanksgiving - get ready!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

on the road to monaco.

via here. he was like 50 years younger than this guy.

mission chinese is a dark restaurant, lit up with red neon lights and music blaring, it feels like new york in the 80's. granted, when i visited new york in the 80's i was always in diapers, but still, i think it felt something like that place. we were nearing the end of our meal - not quite yet done, nibbling here and there - when a lone straggler came and sat at the bar next to us. we struck up a conversation, as one does when they sit at the bar, and in the first exchange of pleasantries came out,
"where do you live?"
"you from here?"
"what do ya do?"
we found out our new dining companion was a yacht broker in monaco, where he lived.
no biggie.
but his american accent hinted there was a good story behind this (although, for anyone, once you say you live in monaco you must have a story to tell).
we learned how he came to love sailing through his first girlfriend, whose family had a boat out on long island. how he left school far behind to learn how to sail, working his way up to captain. that the roughest waters are those between tasmania and australia. and how he left it all one day to work for an internet start-up in seattle.
he met a girl, as one often does, his ex-wife he called her.
which was when i noticed his wedding ring.
he told us about living in seattle, moving to nyc, making it big with an internet company, moving to london for his job and his wife leaving him.
sidenote: on her way out,
she got a boob job in america with their hard-earned money.
recovered at his mother's house.
at the time, her mother-in-law.
and never came back.
classy lady.
as the conversation died down, i couldn't help but pry - but what, exactly, had brought him to monaco? and how did he meet his second wife?
i was roundly called our for being observant - perhaps too observant - but marathons of criminal minds does that to a person.
he obliged, and told us of moving to the south of france, nice, actually, to study french with the one goal of becoming a yacht broker. he was told he wouldn't work - he was too brash for the types of europeans who want to buy yachts - yet after almost a decade in the business it turns out they were wrong. and when he bought a house that needed to be spruced up, a young italian girl at the architecture firm he hired caught his eye. shy, and reserved, he never said anything. about five or six years later he saw her walking down the street as he drove past, so he slowed down, and yelled...
"ciao!"
even when repeating the story to us he seemed flustered and embarrassed - love seems to have the same effect on people everywhere, no? ("how was that the only thing i could think of?!")
he went home and wrote an e-mail to the architecture firm asking for the girl's information and who responds? the girl - who is now the head architect at the firm.
they had been married for five weeks when he sat next to us.
for all the intrigue, and romance, and travel in the story - i kept coming back to one central theme. that this man's life took so many different paths and journeys and was sidetracked so many times. i have felt in my 20's that i haven't accomplished enough at times - i didn't set out to do all the things i wanted to do, perhaps. i didn't spend enough nights at the office and i didn't dance on enough tables. i didn't get that title in front of my name at work...and i haven't gotten that title in front of my name at home either. as if it's all supposed to happen in our 20's. as if becoming a CEO and wife and mother and fashionista and girl about town is all reserved for one decade. we cross things off our to-do list, think of where our future plans will take us and - what a joke this all is! had you told that teenage boy in long island he'd be selling yachts in monaco and married to a nice italian girl one day, i feel confident he would have laughed in your face.
i'm not saying this to boohoo plans.
plans are good.
ideas are good.
desires are good.
but at the times when i feel lost, or like i'm not doing enough to further my career, or no good can ever come from the not so nice things that will befall me - i'm going to think of this captain living in monaco. we can't always see the path, and we can't predict when we get sidetracked and how many days, years or decades it will last, but there's more out there waiting for us. there always is. even in our darkest hours, new adventures are around the corner and new chapters are waiting to begin. and, if we're really lucky, they just might take place in monaco.

Monday, October 22, 2012

on my weekend in pictures.

can we first just point out how awesome the weather was this weekend? simply perfect, and i loved the warmer temps we got in nyc. along with the amazing weather, i had some pretty amazing food that this city has to offer. i ate it all this weekend: a roast pork sandwich from porchetta and donut from dough (i am seriously obsessed with this place) at the brooklyn flea, a great mexican brunch in brooklyn, and, to top it all off, spending my saturday night at mission chinese food. yes - we had to show up at 5:30 to put our name on the list when the line was already out the door, yes - we had to wait an hour, and yes - the food was amazing. we also happened to sit next to a guy who sells yachts in monaco and was back in america for a boat convention. the stories he had to tell. it made me fall in love with new york all over again - the food, the neighborhoods, the people, the weather, the culture. she had it all this weekend, this old city of mine. and boy do i love her for it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

on a shoe story - volume II.

if i had to pick my most important pair of shoes, these would be it: my running shoes.
while i've always used running as exercise and an outlet, i didn't really become serious about it until the end of college. it all led up to my first big race - a half marathon in nashville right before i graduated. i trained for a few months and felt good about the race. but that day it was unseasonably hot - record breaking temperatures - and it was awful. by mile six people were passing out and throwing up. it was like running through a frat house when the party's over. when i passed my friend on the sidelines at mile 9 i just looked at her and shook my head. i honestly didn't see how i could possibly finish the race.
but these shoes got through me every step.
and they got me through every step of my training runs. they've taken me down the streets of madrid early in the morning, just after sunrise, club revelers making their way home as i run along. they've taken me in loops around central park and across the brooklyn bridge (and back). they've taken me up and down the hills of virginia on thanksgiving morning.
i love these shoes. they're not much to look at, and they don't have a spot in my shoe cabinet, but they're the most important shoes i own. i wonder what our next big adventure will be, although i think another half marathon may be calling our name (hopefully with less vomit this time).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

on when your head says no but your heart says yes.

do you have some tired and true fashions that call your name? the ones you wish would stop? your known weaknesses? because i do. oh boy do i ever. anytime i go shopping you'll usually find one of these in my dressing room. i try it on, and i do my best to leave it behind.
it doesn't always work.
i'm also aware that i may be the only person who thinks this way about this kind of clothing. so if you own some, don't feel ashamed. feel proud. you've done what i couldn't - and that's be a normal person.
so shall we go into my head and listen to the conversations i have with myself as i shop?!
let's do it!
first - lace. ahh, lace. i love lace. dresses, skirts, shirts. i fall for every lace piece i see. and then comes the old nagging voice,
"but colleen, won't you look like a tablecloth in that? a big old tablecloth covering a table."
yes, friends, i love tablecloth clothes. or, what i fondly refer to as - my tabletop tops. anytime i try on a lace top, all i can see is a tablecloth. so i put it back. but it doesn't mean i don't love it.
Tempting Lace
1/2/3

next up - my strange obsession with clothing covered in baby animals/small woodland creatures. this category was best coined by britney spears: not a girl, not yet a woman. i am always drawn to them before kindly reminding myself that i'm not a five-year old girl. i'm a WOman. a grown. ass. woman. i bring home a paycheck. i bake cookies. i drop f-bombs. all three are characteristics of a WOman. (seriously, look it up). and yet...i want to wear a sweater with a bunny on it. just like a five-year old girl. i know, because i used to be a five-year old girl. and as i head to the dressing room, a sweater with a bunny frolicking about his jolly way on the front, i ask myself the tough questions:
"colleen, are you a girl or a WOman?"
and i reluctantly answer that i'm a WOman.
and i put the sweater back. i cry. the bunny cries. it's a mess.
Kids Clothes
1/2/3

and then, my weakest category. try as hard as i can, i usually have little resistance for items in this category. it's hard to have any left after passing up the opportunity to look like a five-year old wearing a tablecloth. yes, my weakest category:
wanna-be figure skater.
oh sequins.
everytime i vaccumm my apartment i find a sequin somewhere due to the fact that i wear them so much. august, december. it doesn't matter. sequins are lurking. show me a tight dress covered in sequins and my eyes go wide and reason leaves my body. just wait until i post pictures from the upcoming holiday season. you'll see. you'll know it when you see it. you'll see just how bad it can get. i think if i could dip my face in sequins and hit the party circuit i would. would i get invited to many new york city parties in that state? probably not. but i'd be happy as a clam.
yes, sequins are my greatest weakness. as i head to the dressing room with a sequin dress in my hands i clamor to remind myself that i will look like a crazed oksana baiul. and then i remember that oksana was a winner, and gosh darnit i will be too. if i just get this one last dress covered in sequins.
Ice Skating Wear
1/2/3
what are your greatest weaknesses?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

on my weekend in words.

this space has been a little quiet for a few days, and these last couple weeks of october will probably be no different. work is at one of it's busiest and fall always seems to bring with it a busy social calender - weddings, weekends away and so forth. so here we are looking at a picture that's not even from my weekend, but a playoff game brian and i went to where our teams faced off - yankees and orioles, yankees won, naturally ;)
but my weekend was nice - brunch with a friend, a long and sunny walk around brooklyn, getting my hair cut, eating some fried chicken. it felt like the clam before the storm of these next two weeks. so i guess i focused on savoring it rather than photographing it. i hope these weeks go quickly, everything i need to get done at work magically finds a way to get done, and i can focus on what really matters:
christmas. is. coming.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

on an amazing fall shoe collection.

can you believe it?!not even friday and we're already talking about shoes. with all the writing i've been doing at work, this is what happens. we revert to pictures of shoes. ah, well. so it goes on this blog.
as i was poking around the internets a few weeks ago, i was led to look at free people's shoe selection this fall and damn - i was impressed. i fell in love with style after style. i am doing my best to resist the temptation of popping into a store and checking them out in person, but i'm not sure my resolve will last through the weekend.
ah, well. so it goes on this blog.
do you have a favorite from below? i love the tan heel with the black toe most of all. let's hope the store near me doesn't carry it, otherwise my wallet is going to be in deep trouble.
Free People's Amazing Fall Shoes

Monday, October 8, 2012

on my weekend in pictures.

this weekend was a big one for us, as we went up to boston to watch brian's sister get married. we had a wonderful time and, as you can see, she made for a beautiful bride. there's just something about brides isn't there? they're all so beautiful because they're all so happy. something to remember as we go through every day life. and to cap it all off i got to see anna from dear friend, who was kind enough to come out to the little town we were staying in for some brunch. all in all it was a pretty perfect weekend, if i do say so myself.

Friday, October 5, 2012

on a shoe story - volume I.


it was my first february in new york city. i remember wearing my big down coat to work - it goes all the way to to my knees - on a day where i learned what it meant to be cold to the bone. there was no snow, but my calves hurt the whole time i was outside. ached. ached with each step i took to the subway. it was on those mornings that i passed them. i would turn my last corner, making my way through a sea of people on different commutes, and there they were. in a quiet store, dark, not open for business. i never knew what to think of them. they were cool. they were different. they were badass, for sure. but could i pull them off?
in life, we gravitate towards what makes us feel comfortable. particularly as adults. we know what we like, what we want. we don't have to pretend anymore. our core group of friends listens to similar music, shops at similar stores, shares similar stories. it's not to say we're all the same, just that we gravitate towards those we relate to. think of the blogs you read or enjoy the most - most of them tend to share traits or similarities with oneself. while they tell a different and unique story, you get them. so you read along.
and these, these shoes. they weren't a part of my story. while i think my personal sense of style can be eclectic at times, when it comes to shoes i am a girly girl through and through. stilettos, pumps, peep toes - i'll take my high heels any way i can get them. it pains me to buy flats. i own two pairs of flats, and i resent them both. and these shoes - while not flats - are definitely not girly. they're one of the most aggressive pairs of shoes i've ever seen - covered in thumbtacks, they seem to almost say "bitch please." (to me, too - and i own them!) these shoes are asking for a fight. they're like nicki minaj if nicki minaj was a shoe.
so one cold day in february i got off of work at a normal hour (before 9 PM!) and went in, just to see if they had my size. (you know how this story goes).
they did. one pair left. my size.
and like most of my beloved shoes, the minute i put them on i knew it was a done deal. they were like nothing i had at home, i had no idea what i was going to wear them with, but my goodness did they make my heart skip a beat.
these days i pair them with jeans and a non-desrcript t-shirt - white. grey. minimal. when you wear shoes like these, you don't need anything else. they do most of the talking on their own.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

on life's disappointments.

via here.
there are some things in life that we can't change. sure, we can always change our perspective, but some things are the way they are. your parents are your parents. your siblings are your siblings. your genes are your genes. some things can change with hard work, perseverance, timing, luck.
some can't.
a few weekends ago, as i settled down to watch another episode of "keeping up with the kardashians", brian asked me why i watched the show. at first the answer was obvious - curiosity i guess. interest in how other people live their lives. wondering where they like to shop. no different, really, from why i read some blogs. but i thought about it a little more, and there's another reason, too. it's really the only thing in life that briefly arouses pangs of jealously whenever i see it - the relationships the sisters have.
you see, i have a sister. we grew up across the hall from one another for the first 18 years of my life and we played with barbies and legos, but as we got older we grew farther apart. we had little in common and even less when it came to our personalities. now, we talk about twice a year. we awkwardly hug at holidays. we tell each other we love one another because it makes my mom happy. we have nothing in common. we have nothing to say to each other. we don't talk about boys or make-up or clothes or cooking or careers. we talk like acquaintances.
how are you?
catch that football game?
yeah, this stuffing sure is good!
my mom says when we have kids we'll be close, we'll be friends. my parents, both from big families, have close relationships with their siblings and are saddened that we don't. i think sometimes they blame themselves. so they tell themselves we'll be close, one day. i think they see something i don't. or something that just isn't there.
so, yes, a part of me watches the kardashians for that. for all the vapidness on the show, kourtney still stops at kim's house before she goes to the hospital to have a baby. kim and khloe go to the doctor together. they shop together. travel together. i watch as though i'm straining to get a glimpse of what it's like to have a sister. then, of course, i remember that i do have one.
our relationship can't be dissected in a post. like any close family member there are layers and layers that explain how we got to where we are today. but no issue is as insurmountable as the realization that when i sit across the table from her, the two times a year that i do, i have nothing to say. we won't have spoken in eight months and still - we can't think of anything to say to one another. there is no quick fix, no apology, no forgiveness, that can change that. it just is what it is.
i was talking with my college roommate about this a few weeks ago and she reminded me that i am in no shortage of close female friends, which is true. i have made very deep and meaningful relationships from each stage of my life with girls, now women, who mean the world to me. whose houses i can stop by before i have that baby, or who can go to the doctor with me, or shop with me, or travel with me, or cook with me, or discuss career strategy with me. but still. it nags at me. it tugs at me. i have a sister.
and yet, i don't.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

on an autumn farmer's market dinner.

this is the first recipe i've tried from dinner, a love story and i have to say - it's pretty damn good. this dish can take you all the way through the winter, but the apples in it really make it perfect for fall. add to the fact that i got every ingredient at my farmer's market (except the thyme) and it means i can eat something delicious AND feel like a hippie. a hippie who showers. win win my friends.
my second favorite part to this recipe? the fact that it calls for everything to be chopped roughly. no fancy slicing and dicing here. it cuts down on a lot of prep work that can make the time between getting home from work and getting to eat dinner seem so long. i chopped up my onion and two potatoes (yes, two was enough for me although the recipe calls for four) and threw them together with some thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. for my potatoes i simply sliced each one four or five times, then quartered the slice.
roast these for 20 minutes at 425°F, and in the meantime chop up your apples. i used two apples of the cortland variety - they were perfect baking apples. a good standby is granny smith apples, though - you can never go wrong with a classic granny smith apple when you're baking apples.
pull the pan out of the oven, toss in the apples, then lay your four sausages on top. slightly lower the oven to 400°F, then bake for 25 minutes.
after 25 minutes pull out the pan and toss in two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. for that part i took the sausages out of the pan, added in the vinegar, tossed, then laid the sausages back on top. put the pan back in the oven for an additional five minutes.
then, enjoy! brian and i both loved this - particularly the apples which cook down and act as a sort of applesauce for the dish. it also made great leftovers for the next day.
a perfect dish to welcome in the fall season - enjoy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

on my weekend in pictures.

well, it's official. i'm in an interborough relationship. a manhattan girl dating a brooklyn boy. our first week living near one another has been quite nice, and our weekend was the same. we started off saturday with a run across the brooklyn bridge, something i can cross off of new york city bucket list (and something i can now do every saturday morning - pretty pumped about it). we spent our day at berry park, a place i've frequented in brooklyn for a while now. good beer, great views from the rooftop, and never crowded. (a good way for tourists to relax in brooklyn? check out the brooklyn brewery then come here for some food and a view of the manhattan skyline - something i've written about before really early on in this blog). the rest of our weekend we laid low - and sunday morning i may have overloaded my pumpkin pancakes with chocolate chips. some mistakes are worth repeating, right?
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