Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gifting Some Kick-Ass Arm Art

I spent part of my lunch break making this pretend gift certificate for my brother's birthday.  I brought my own colored pencils from home, in case you were wondering.

See, he wanted a gift card to a tattoo parlor so that he can have work done on his sleeve, but I didn't have time to get down there.  The next best thing is cash and a fun made-up voucher put together with the cool Pac Man band-aids and hot cocoa mix that I'd already bought.  Sometimes I wish there was a full-time job that would pay me to draw and color all day. 

Happy birthday to my little brother, who is the best sibling around. I can't wait to see his kick-ass arm art. xo

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Potato Chip Try-Out

We never eat potato chips but like every good American consumer, Anthony bought these at the store tonight:

They are part of Lays' contest to find a new chip flavor.  There's also a Sriracha flavor that wasn't on the shelf, presumably all sold out.   I liked the Chicken and Waffles variety better, and Anthony enjoyed the Garlic Cheese Bread more, although he thought they tasted best when the flavors were mixed with one another (can we call that Garlic Chicken Cheesy Waffles?). The seasoning is subtle on both though; I don't think either kind would suffer from a little extra maple or garlic.

I didn't really expect much but I think that the concept is really neat. And Lays has come up with a great way to appeal to new customers too--we're proof that fun marketing works.   Have you tried any of these new flavors? xo

Monday, February 25, 2013


 The cat at the florist fell in love with Anthony.  It's almost like she was attracted to him 
because she could tell he was allergic to kitties. I named her 'Skedaddle.'

Here is a summary of the last couple of weeks:

Proofing wedding invites. Finalizing rehearsal dinner. Standing in line for postal stamps. Going to 50+ stores looking for a dress to wear at my bridal shower.  Panic. Deciding on flowers. Getting quotes from limo companies. Dreaming about our honeymoon. Worrying that people won't have fun at the wedding. Table numbers, favors, centerpieces. Sending out wedding invitations.


I know our wedding day is going to be just wonderful, unforgettable and full of love, but I'll be very happy when we can stop planning the wedding and just be married.  xo

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sunday Project

Look at what arrived in the mail:

Our wedding invitations from Minted are here! And honestly, they are beautiful.  Tomorrow, I'm going to start addressing the envelopes and hopefully, we'll be able to mail them this week.  The countdown is on--there are less than two months until our wedding day.  Once the invitations go out, that pretty much makes it all official. xo

Monday, February 11, 2013

Snowplow Relief

I don't think I've ever been so excited to see a plow.

Anthony and I have been stuck in our apartment for almost five full days due to Winter Storm Nemo.  Our street is barely cleared and my office is closed due to dangerous conditions in New Haven.  It is not easy for an unprepared town to quickly remove three feet of snow apparently.  We've been patient but I have to admit that I'm getting a bit stir-crazy.  Everyone in our building was so relieved to see this little fork-lift thing rattle through the driveway; they gathered near the entrance and actually watched the guy remove the snow for several hours.  I'm sure he loved the audience.

I'm hoping to take my little car on a short field trip around the block tomorrow just for fun. Welcome to February, New England! xo

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Carry On" In the Rain

The Grammys aren't my favorite awards show (ahem, Tony Awards) but the performances this year are spot on so far. The best one for me has been Fun.'s  "Carry On," complete with a cityscape emerging behind the band mid-song, followed by an onstage rainstorm.

I read an essay a few months ago about current music trends and the author made a comment about how Fun. should be embarrassed by their music, and that they probably will be down the road.  It's too confessional, too immature.  I immediately felt like I needed to defend the band.  I think it's hard to put yourself out there for the public to pick apart.  Maybe the band will be embarrassed in the future by their spoken word section in the song "Some Nights" but at least they are being true to themselves. And they can perform live, that's for sure. We should support different styles in mainstream music; not everyone will like every song ever recorded but it's brave to expose yourself to that possibility as an artist.  xo

Staying Put

In case you can't tell from all those snowy pictures in your Facebook feed, the Northeast is basically at a standstill right now due to a blizzard that dropped three feet overnight.  Our town, like tons of other communities, I'm sure, was totally unprepared.  We're at two full days and counting of being unable to leave home; there hasn't been one plow sighting.  I'm staying positive but I have a feeling we're going to be stuck inside and off the roads for a while.

When there's a storm warning, I never rush to the grocery store. How long could we possibly be stuck in the apartment?  We almost always have enough food in our cabinets for at least a few days.  Tonight, I broke into the freezer and pulled out three boneless chicken breasts.  It seemed like a shame not to take advantage of the afternoon and make a meal that I would normally never have time to make after a workday.

I did something that I almost never do: pan-fry chicken.  My grandmother is an absolute pro at making the thinnest, most delicious chicken cutlets.  She is somehow able to slice the chicken breasts almost paper-thin.  I've been practicing with little luck but tonight, I felt like I was getting the hang of it.  And since I never fry, I'm never sure of when the chicken is fully cooked and I kind of figured out how to gauge that too.  Moderate success, finally.

Now, our apartment smells like chicken, which is good and bad, but either way, it smells like home here while the snow drifts grow in the whirling wind outside.

Awesome photo of Judy Garland frying chicken via Buzzfeed

Thursday, February 7, 2013

She's Crafty

I love craft stores, but my favorite thing about them is how nice people are within the confines of this magical place stocked with yarn and glitter galore.  Tonight, I bought two yards of mesh netting at Joann Fabrics and the lady at the cutting counter could not wait to ask me what I was making.  She offered suggestions and told me to be confident about completing my project.  The entire time I was in the store, I had been doubting my decision to make my wedding veil instead of just buying one, but after a short conversation with this woman, I felt like I could really make something beautiful.

Crafters are just genuinely interested in what their fellow crafters are up to.  So the next time you find yourself in the check-out line holding a stack of multi-colored felt and the woman behind you asks what you are making, don't be ashamed to share.  (Yes, that happened.  I was sewing a felt banner for Thanksgiving).

P.S. Martha Stewart rules. xo

Photo via Babble

Monday, February 4, 2013

Closer to Free

Flash mobs are always fun to watch but this one made me tear up. It takes place at Union Station in New Haven, a place where I have been hundreds of times, and features cancer survivors, physicians and a local choir.  Maybe it's because my job deals with the Smilow Cancer Center or maybe it's that my grandmother has been receiving treatment for ovarian cancer for almost eight years at this very facility, but I think this is such an inspiring video.  There is true joy and cheer emanating from this clip. I'm so thankful for the wonderful care Smilow provides, and I know I'm not the only one. xo 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bye-Bye, Christmas

I finally took the Christmas tree down today.  There's nothing that says "The holidays are over" like spending a morning vacuuming pine needles. 

Big thanks goes out to Anthony for humoring me; he only told me that we needed to take the tree down a few times since New Year's Day.  She still looked festive and vibrant as we stuck her in a plastic bag, but I have to remind myself that it's already February.  It's definitely time to say good-bye to Christmas 2012. xo

Friday, February 1, 2013

Beauty, and the Use of Long Paintbrushes

I don't know much about art or art history, but like all good liberal arts college alum, I can point out a Kahlo or a Jackson Pollack.  Warhol, Picasso and Rockwell are entirely recognizable, but that's about it for me. On Sunday, my friend and I caught the last day of an amazing French Painting exhibit at the Wadsworth Museum in Hartford, and got to see unbelievable works by Manet, Renoir and Monet.  The museum itself reminded me of a smaller version of the Met, only much less crowded and way more accessible, making it difficult to resist the urge to touch Monet's Water Lilies when it was a mere half-inch from my face (yes, that Water Lilies).   

The old ladies walking behind us in the exhibit kept saying "Did you know that these artists used to paint with very long paintbrushes?  That's why they were such good painters." Now, I don't think that using long paintbrushes added to these artists' talent but it makes their work even more impressive.  It's not easy to wield those long brushes, I'm sure.  My personal favorite was Monet's The Beach at Trouville: understated beauty when viewing up-close as well as at a distance.

I loved the sweeping staircases in this museum, and the walls in just those areas were painted in bright, swirling designs.   The juxtaposition of modern and medieval styles was so fun, and the entire building felt very open and inviting with atriums and fountains at the far ends. The fact that we got free admission from the kind woman in front of us with extra tickets didn't hurt either.  All in all, a good day surrounded by beauty. xo