Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shut up and drive

A quiet Sunday morning around 9am: the sun is shining, the city is slowly waking up, and I am pacing nervously in my apartment trying to keep busy. My first driving lesson is 30 minutes away. Am I really going to do this?

My lesson was in the back of my mind the whole weekend. I tried to stay positive: This would be fun! This would be an adventure! This would be empowering! And in general, I think I believed most of it. But I had a restless night of sleep on Saturday, so at least part of my brain was struggling.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The end of excuses

Yesterday I decided it was time to get back on track training-wise. I thought it would be easier to get into a schedule once I got back from vacation, but no. There's always an excuse -- it's incredibly hot, I got stuck at the office late, I wanted to sleep in, a last-minute invite to something more fun than working out -- but I know what excuses do for helping me reach my goals: absolutely nothing. I'm remembering why I was such a hard ass on myself once upon a time -- if left to my own devices, I can be quite a slacker!

After letting almost the whole day go by (and seeing my evening plans fizzle out), I finally got my act together around 7:30 and laced up the sneakers. It was a really lovely evening -- the heat of the day had dissipated, leaving a still-bright sun and a nice warm breeze. I set out for Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is starting to feel comfortably familiar. I don't think this view will ever get old:

One day I will take a not-crooked Hipstamatic photo

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cars, too

Do one thing every day that scares you.
   -Eleanor Roosevelt

That's a great quote, and one I think of a lot when I'm trying to take on new things. Trying to achieve this daily seems like a bit of a stretch to me, though when I think about daily life during Eleanor Roosevelt's time, maybe it wasn't so hard. I mean, what was hair removal like back then? Probably frightening.

Yesterday I did something that was quite scary: I signed myself up for driving lessons. Well, just one lesson -- but with any luck there will be more to follow.

Source unkown

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Suddenly, this summer

I was pretty excited to wake up yesterday morning and take in the first day of summer.


It's my favorite season, I just love saying it. True, it has felt like summer for the past few weeks in NYC. And true, as a regular 9-5 working girl I'm hardly able to kick back and take off entirely for the summer. But still, I find this particular season incredibly appealing. Long, lazy dinners at outdoor cafes, weekend BBQs and pool parties with friends, frothy and fruity adult beverages, and so much sunshine every day. Everyone is just a little bit more relaxed...aaah.

There's also something about the start of a new season that feels like a clean slate, full of new opportunities. I want to enjoy every minute, so I thought I'd take a minute to lay out some of my goals for this summer (this is totally original, I'm sure you haven't seen ANY other posts like this).

Great summer vacation

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Web roundup

I spend a fair amount of time hours and hours and hours surfing the interwebz, and there isn't a day that goes by where I'm not inspired by looking at sites that are lovely/hilarious/amazing. But don't worry, I'm not selfish -- I am happy to share a few sites that have been keeping me entertained this week.

Dear Photograph

Definitely the darling blog of the web this week, Dear Photograph encourages people to "take a picture of a picture from the past in the present". Got that?

Looks something like this:

Dear Photograph,
We had nothing, but you gave me everything. Thank you for your
never ending love. I love you Dad

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lovely Life List: Lip service

This week I've spent a little bit of time working on a small corner of my Life List: finding a great lipstick shade.

I have a drawer full of lipsticks that are all fine, but I have yet to find that one great shade that goes with everything and makes me feel perfectly polished. Seems like a good thing to have in one's makeup bag, right?

There are a few criteria that I identified to help me narrow down my search:

- I want something in the pink family; plum colors are too dramatic for my coloring for every day and reds are too high-maintenance
- I want something creamy or matte. No glitter, no shimmer.
- I'd prefer a drugstore brand. If I find something I love I'll probably want to have an extra tube or two around, and spending $75 at Sephora on three tubes of lipstick does not excite me; it would also be handy to be able to replace a tube easily when I run out or if I'm traveling.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Friday

Yesterday was my first official Summer Friday -- hands in the air for the Friday dance!

Image source
Do you know about the wonder that is Summer Friday? It goes like this: in an effort to help employees get a head start on weekend plans (i.e. drive out to the Hamptons), companies allow employees to leave the office early. Every company has a slightly different arrangement, but ours is pretty simple. We can leave at 3pm, provided our work is done. There has to be someone in each department who stays the full day to provide coverage, but for me that means I only have to stay every 3rd or 4th Friday. Not bad!

I had hoped to use this time to meet up with a friend for a drink (feel like I've been so out of the loop with my girlfriends lately), but everyone was either working or, in fact, headed out of town this afternoon. I decided to spend the afternoon focused on two things I love: shopping and eating!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thing I should do more: give compliments

I've been thinking a bit about compliments, thanks to a great post by Jessica at What I Wore. She asked about the best compliment you've ever received on your personal style, which led to a fun discussion in the comments.

Image credit

One thing everyone could agree on is that it is SO GREAT to receive a compliment, whether from a loved one a complete stranger (and in some ways, a compliment from a complete stranger is an even better ego boost). This got me to thinking about compliments in my life, both given and received.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

You know what you gotta do when life gets you down?
Just keep swimming

Just keep swimming
 -Dory the Fish

OK, so I almost have the Disney thing out of my system...

This happened on Monday, but it was still on my mind this morning. Monday morning started off in the usual fashion: oversleep, rush around, curse, knock something breakable over, forget one of my gadgets, run out the door with sweat on my brow. It's fun, really. It must be because I do it almost every. single. day.

I was supposed to make something for lunch before I left, but that definitely didn't happen so I figured I would grab a salad near work. There are quite a few pick-your-own-ingredient salad bar type places near my office, so not a bad option for a quick and healthy lunch.

And then lunchtime rolls around and my desire for salad goes right out the window. I didn't feel like it, I wasn't in the mood, a client was mean to me, blah, blah, blah. Who knows why, my brain is full of excuses. I started thinking about other options, and I decided I was in the mood for Chipotle.

Guacamole and DREAMS. No wonder I can't stay away...
Photo credit

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How I spent my summer vacation...

I've already shared the Give Kids the World parts (here and here) of my Orlando trip -- I wanted to recap the "vacation" part of my trip, too.

I think I have already mentioned this, but I am a bit of a Disney nerd. My family didn't get to take many vacations, but when I was in middle and high school we took an annual trip to Orlando for as much Disney fun as we could squeeze in, and we REALLY cherished these trips. I took a bit of a hiatus from Disney parks for quite a few years, but I've been making up for lost time -- last week was my 6th trip to the World in two years. Hooray for Annual Passes!

I like how at Disney you're not an adult, you're just "10 or older"
What this means is that I don't feel the need to see and do everything on my trips. Our trip was scheduled during a fairly hot and crowded time of year, and my traveling companions (mom and brother) don't really have the same kamikaze attitude I do about touring. In general I just tried to go with the flow.

So, the highlights....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Volunteering at the Village, part II

Friday was an early morning, and we all tried to stumble through the getting ready motions as quickly as possible. We were out of the room at 7am and stopped to grab a quick breakfast at the Marketplace, the quick-service restaurant/hotel gift shop (yeah, I don't understand it either) shared by the Yacht and Beach Club hotels.

Good morning, carbs!
Photo source: WDW Info
We were a teeny bit late pulling into Give Kids the World, but luckily the staff was beyond understanding and assured us we hadn't missed anything. Today's shift was at the Gingerbread House -- we were helping with breakfast!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Volunteering at the Village, part I

By far, my favorite part of last week's Orlando trip was volunteering at Give Kids the World. If you missed it the first time, make sure to check out my post on this amazing place.

The process of volunteering at Give Kids the World is pretty straightforward. Since I had volunteered there previously, all I had to do was let them know when I was available and I could be put on the schedule. My mom and brother were new Angels (GKTW code for volunteers), so they had to fill out the online application and go through a quick background check. Very easy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

S#*t my brother says

"The other day I felt like going for a run and ran 11.2 miles in 97 minutes."

"I'm not sure if I could run a half marathon...though I did run 13 miles once when I was lost. So I guess I could."

"I really love running this 1 mile loop around the Boardwalk...so I ran it 10 times. I had to stop because I was getting a little thirsty." (This run took place around 3pm in the brutal Orlando summer heat)

"I had a great 5-mile run. I wish we didn't have to go to the parks, I could have kept going for another hour."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

There's no place like home

And just like that, I'm home.

This morning at about 12:30am, I was back in Brooklyn following a fantastic vacation to Disney World. You might not have even noticed I was gone because of my sneaky auto-posts (ah, technology!) -- but while you were reading about Give Kids the World, cake, and dachshunds, I was in the land of sunshine and talking mice.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Notes on a dachshund

Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog
discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every
sentence is a riot. When I address Fred I never have to 
raise my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when
I instruct him in something he wants to do.
-E.B. White, loving dachshund owner

There seems to be a lot of talk about dogs on the blogs that I read: people who have dogs, people who want dogs, people who "adopt" random dogs in their neighborhood and give them new names (oh wait, that was me). Some of you may be considering adding a furry friend to your family. And maybe you’re thinking a dachshund would be the perfect addition.

Good news, you’re right!

Dachshunds are wonderful, lovable, and hilariously adorable little creatures. They also have very funny, quirky personalities. Audrey and took a walk last weekend, and I snapped a few photos to illustrate a few of my favorite dachshund traits.

>>Dachshunds like to stop and smell the roses

Dachshunds have wonderful senses of smell, and they are very thoughtful about stopping to smell the flowers. Your dachshund would like you to wait patiently while she pauses to sniff each and every leaf with her magical little nose.

Friday, June 3, 2011


LIKE: Cake

Photo credit: Bakerella
LIKE: Dogs using their front paws like hands
DISLIKE: Dogs winking at me (as if to say, "Yup, one day we will be your alien overlords and you'll be the one who can't sit on the couch.")

LIKE: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
DISLIKE: Real Housewives of Anywhere Else (I do love NeNe, though!)

LIKE: Blythe Danner
DISLIKE: Gwyneth Paltrow

LIKE: May flowers
DISLIKE: April showers

Ranunculus are my favorite!
Photo credit: Lucy Snowe Photography

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Give Kids the World

New York City is home and will always be my favorite place on earth, but let me tell you about another place that is incredibly special to me...

Give Kids the World is a nonprofit resort in Florida that exists to fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It is made of magic, pixie dust, and wishes. And ice cream!