Thursday, March 31, 2011

hang on, keep going

I know I'm supposed to feel relaxed and refreshed after a short holiday but I was feeling so stressed yesterday. Maybe it was the fact that I had to snap back into reality. My schedule lately has been so jam packed that I'm just feeling overwhelmed. I came home from work last night (after my first day back, mind you) and needed to let out a good cry. I wasn't even sure what I was crying about. I'm tired? Confused? Worried?

I've been blindly navigating myself through life and I feel like most of my decisions are made with as much thought as flipping a coin. But later I always worry, did I do the right thing? I worry, with all this time I'm putting into work, that I'm only able to stay afloat, only moving laterally with no time to make efforts to move ahead. Does that make sense?

So after my big cry I felt pretty silly because, like I said, I wasn't really sure what I was crying about. I went to bed, got up, went to work, and did it all over again. And you know what? Today was a much better day. I've been told many times before, during my reoccurring freak out moments, to breathe and just take it one day at a time. But isn't it funny, when you're given this advice, it seems impossible because it's just too simple of a solution.But then, when you actually follow the advice, it seems like the most natural act and you take credit for handling it all on your own. At least, that's the pattern for me.

Today, I discovered An Awesome Book, and while it's written for children I thought it's so fitting for how I'm feeling. It's a book that tells children to dream big, as big as they can imagine, and not be limited by everyday desires. It's funny how our young minds used to think anything was possible and now we usually think up all the reasons why these dreams aren't possible. I think I'm actually going to buy the book because, although the message seems so simple, it's easily forgotten.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Utah Diary

How do I sum up an awesome 5 days in Park City, Utah? With pictures of course! I took over 500 photos but I'll spare you unless, of course, you're my facebook friend.

We got in Thursday evening and had a low key night of beers, wine, and appetizers so that we could rest up and wake early for snowboarding the next day.

Friday morning, we geared up and headed to Park City. It was snowing a bit in the morning which made it hard to see and sometimes it was pelting our faces which hurt a bit (and made our faces red later), but it cleared up by the end of the day.

Friday evening, we got dressed at headed to Star Bar, an old favorite of ours for the dollar drinks (say what?) and shameless dancing.

We ran into a Polar Bear (who's also a bachelor!) on our way to the next bar.

Saturday morning we needed to rally, shake off our hangovers, get dressed in costumes and head to the Canyons for a Pond Skimming contest. We had no idea what Pond Skimming is and none of us bothered to ask. We figured if we got to be in costumes and hang on the mountain it's gotta be a good time. (I love any excuse to bring out my Party Penguin costume). We were dancing around the house while getting dressed and realized it wasn't even 10AM yet. We are rockstars.

It's always a party when there's a Penguin and Pirate around. Is it weird that I really wish my BFF would wear a beard all the time?

Going bananas! Costumes seriously make me so happy.

Spectators lined up to watch the Pond Skimming (which we learned is people dressed up in random costumes barreling down the mountain on skis and snowboards, trying to "skim" across the pond at the bottom of the hill. Best costume and ability to cross the pond wins prizes).

The gang.

We were absolutely wiped after the Pond Skimming and headed home for a nap which turned into staying in. Our friend Shiv made an awesome chicken dinner with rice and collard greens and we were content eating that and going to bed.

Sunday, we got up for another day of snowboarding on a different mountain, the Canyons. This one didn't have as many Green trails so I (the most inexperienced one) was stuck trying to get down a lot of Blues. I did OK by my standards but I was absolutely exhausted at the end.

Sunday night was our last night out since some of the girls were leaving on Monday. We went to O'Shucks for burgers and beers. Shucks is also another one of our favorite bars, found accidentally last year when we were just looking for a place that didn't have a crowd. It's a low key dive bar where people can play arcade games or eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor. We decide, like last year, to have a dance party instead. Shucks is not a dancing bar by any means which is why we chose to do so there, we were deprived of attention as children.

After Shucks, we followed some new friends to Cicero's. We heard mixed reviews on it but were promised a dance party. Oh did we get one. The DJ was playing house music and everyone was going wild to it. I definitely never expected to be at what was essentially a rave until last call. Oh, Utah, how I love you.

We spent Monday walking around town and buying souvenirs since some of the girls were leaving that afternoon and my flight was early the following morning. I'm neglecting so many awesome details of this trip by just posting a photo diary but I don't have the energy and I hate to torture you with all the inside jokes. I've known many of these girls since middle school and high school and if you asked me then if I thought we'd be traveling together and sitting around the table talking about our changing, near 30, bodies, I'd have said no. I am so blessed to have them in my life for the talks, laughs, and endless adventures.

PS: Thank you, Jen, for being the most gracious host ever and putting up with our noise and mess!

PPS: Carebears, we thought of you the entire time and you were missed (tons!).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Utah bound

Miei amici,

Tomorrow, I'm off to Utah again for a snowboarding trip with my girlfriends. Our weather has been so up and down here and I'm ready for some warm weather, but I'm also looking forward to snow, riding, hot tubs, hot springs, hot cocoa, martinis, dancing, and just hanging out with the girls.

I've packed every single one of these.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St Patrick's Day

I'm not much of a holiday person and St. Patrick's Day is up there on my "Least Favorite" list. I would've gone about my day thinking it was just another Thursday had it not been for the sea of people wearing kelly green. Just like New Years, people think they have a day pass to drink as much as they can get their lips on and act like Spring Breakers. Do I sound like a wet blanket? I feel like one.

Anyway, this year I didn't make any special plans. One of my BF's was in town for work and we made loose plans to meet up for dinner. Then my other friends from Jersey said they wanted to meet up for the night as well. We had drinks in NOHO and then wandered around looking for a place to eat that didn't feature corned beef hash. We happily agreed on burritos and margaritas. Dinner was a riot and we decided to cut ourselves off when Romy kicked the table, spilling all the drinks (but mine). Because I made fun of her for it, she tickled me so that I was unable to swallow my drink and ended up spitting it out. Time to leave when you're having tickle fights and spitting up in the restaurant.

We wanted to continue on to a bar but we couldn't find a "quiet place where we could talk" on this stupid holiday. So we cabbed it back to my friend's hotel and had a slumber party. My friends are always so generous when they're in town for business, letting me stay in their room, pretending I'm on holiday. I said to them, "One day it'll be my own hotel room and I won't be drunk all the time."

I woke up with a massive hangover the following morning and my friends already left for work. I showered and gathered my things but as I was leaving I thought, "I'm running low on soap." So I grabbed some soap. Then I thought, "I always need travel sized toiletries." So I grabbed the shampoo. My friend also left behind a copy of Elle. I figured, I hadn't read it yet, I might as well take it. Then I eyed the toilet paper. I mean, it's not cheap and we go through it so fast. So I took those. As I left the room, I thought, "I am such a scrub." At least I'm not too proud, right?

I had to go to work and didn't have time to stop home for a change of clothes. I figured it was fine, nobody at work ever notices what I wear. But then I realized my friend also left her kelly green "Kiss Me I'm Irish" shirt. She bought it but never wore it. I contemplated wearing it to work, so that I was in fresh clothes, but then I debated- Which is worse? Wearing the same clothes to work two days in a row? Or wearing an obvious St. Patrick's Day shirt, the day after? I decided to leave the shirt behind, in place of where the coffee maker was. Think they'd notice?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

TOMS shoes

I covered a story yesterday about TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie's announcement to expand to more than just shoes. I can't believe I had never known about TOMS shoes' One for One model; for every shoe sold, one is donated to a child in need. Imagine what the world could accomplish if this was every business's model.

I wanna get these canvas classics for my summer bike rides.

graphic designer

We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast...

Last month I was a little stressed out about what to do with my blog. I was using a host that was way out of my budget and debated just scrapping the whole site. Then I was referred to Tionne, an NY based graphic designer, to figure out my options. I just wanted to say that I'd recommend him to anyone. He helped transfer my old posts to a new host, added new custom touches, and was incredibly helpful with all of my tech challenged questions. His prices are super reasonable and he keeps you posted the entire time on how the work is coming along. Once I figure out what I want to do with this site, I'll be going back to him again for a new design.

If you're in need of a new header or site design, or any graphic design work, I'd definitely check out Tionne here.

And he consults via email so if you live far away you can still work with him. I never had to pick up a phone or get on the subway. Perfect for my hermit tendencies!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

everything counts

I wrote my first post for Refinery29 today about products you can purchase whose proceeds go to help with relief efforts in Japan and spreads the message. Every action, no matter how small, counts. We are all citizens of the same planet.

(Print by Nan Lawson)

williamsburg -> philly -> astoria


I think I'm going back to my old ways; surviving solely on 5 hour Energy and Coffee. OK, maybe things have changed- there used to be a lot more vodka in that mix. And I've had to upgrade from coffee to espresso.

This weekend, I went straight from work to dinner at Bozu, a Japanese tapas lounge, in Williamsburg. We had tako balls (filled with cooked octopus), pork belly, and the party bombs, which is a sushi presentation I have never seen before. Oh, and lots of sake. I would've been content staying there all night but we stopped by a friends birthday, a few doors down, at Trash Bar. I believe I drank a drink with the word "Poison" in the name, and I can't remember much after that.

Saturday, after work, we drove to Philly to visit my best friend, Carebears, and her husband. (OK, they live in Norristown, PA, but since I can never remember the name, I always default to Philly). We were so tired from a long weekend and a late night that we were joking about getting to their apartment and asking if we could put on our pajamas and watch a movie. We didn't want to be duds, and would've gone out, but luckily my friends were just as content sitting in their beautiful (spacious!) apartment and drinking wine. (Are we getting old?) We sat and talked for hours and then decided to put on Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I have such a hard time staying awake for movies so I knew I was going down. But not before a midnight snack- Carebear's husband made us some (organic) mac n cheese before bed. Hey, I was on a mini holiday, right?

Sunday morning, I woke to our lovely hosts making us breakfast. The menu? Banana and nut pancakes, buttermilk biscuits with strawberry jam, piles of bacon, pineapple, and coffee. It was so indulgent and wonderful. I felt like I was at a bed and breakfast. After we ate, we got dressed, and decided to do a mini tour of Philly since I haven't been in years. We walked along the water by the museum (I'm saying museum, singular, because I'm assuming there's only one? Everyone kept saying, "Did you go to the museum?") but it was quite windy and chilly so we didn't linger on take too many pictures. We walked around the museum to the top of the "Rocky Steps" which was a little disappointing if you didn't start from the bottom. I was like, "this is it?"  I thought it was better to see it from the bottom of the stairs. We have to admit that we weren't interested in anything except pigging out on cheesesteaks (and getting out of the cold) so we went to Reading Terminal Market. There we got cheesesteaks (with cheese whiz) from Carmine's and roasted pork sandwiches from DiNic's. As usual, it was totally wonderful to consume, and absolutely painful, afterwards, when my stomach looked like I was a snake that swallowed a puppy.

We drove back to Astoria Sunday evening, got right back into our pajamas, watched some Law & Order, and went to bed, content and exhausted.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

mon petit amour

This February, we also welcomed my beautiful little niece, Ella, into this world! I cannot wait to meet her in person and spoil her with all the cute baby clothes Etsy has to offer!

PS. It's kinda funny that I actually wanted the name, Ella, if I ever had a baby girl. My brother keeps telepathically stealing baby names from me!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

He's back!

One of the best parts of February was my brother's return from Afghanistan. I had missed him so and couldn't believe how fit he is. He's like an Asian Hulk.

I'm SO proud of him and so happy to have him back. My hero.

I'm back!

Due to the overwhelming responses :) , I'm back again!

So it was actually nice to take an ENTIRE month off from blogging. I got to focus on a few other things and didn't worry about whether my life was being documented on this site. I didn't really want to stop blogging but I wasn't sure, if I kept posting, what I wanted to write about anymore. I have some of my work links on here but then I have some posts about my personal life as well...And I just wasn't feeling the mix.

So I've decided to keep this blog as my personal blog, for friends, family, and internet voyeurs :) . I feel like writing about the going ons in my life over the past years has really helped me figure things out (especially with your input) and it's been fun to look back on old posts and see how I've grown and changed.

With that said, February has been a really exciting month and I can't wait to start posting some updates. I've also started another blog, one with less commentary on my life, just about things that I like (so simple right?). So check it out when you have a moment, let me know what you think, and follow me if you'd like. Your input is much appreciated.

New Blog! It's called Mi Piace which means "I like" in Italian. I had been saying how I wanted to keep my new blog simple and I started to think about the way kids talk ("I like ice cream. I like sunshine. I like my best friend." etc etc). I thought I'd do the same by just posting things that I like. I hope you'd like it too! :)

(Gosh, this is a record amount of smiley faces I've used in one post! Taking time off really does make you happier).