Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nope, That's Not Strawberry Jam


A few months ago, I noticed that most grocery items that used to come in glass jars now come in plastic containers of some sort. I have a feeling that in the near-future, my salsa will come in some kind of flimsy compostable plastic baggie.  I don't use many jars now but I know that someday, I'm going to need one and regret not saving enough during the glass jar heyday.

At least this is what I tell myself when I look at the collection of jars in my cupboard. 

They do come in handy though. For dinner tonight, I made southwest salads and decided to mix up some dressing.  I threw everything in a jar and then shook it. And seriously, a few shakes of a jar is way more effective than a whisk can ever be.

One thing I need to start doing is removing the original labels and marking the contents on the lids.  Finding salad dressing in a jelly jar isn't that bad, but there's an old salsa jar holding chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in our fridge and opening that by mistake might be a bit traumatic.  xo

Friday, January 24, 2014

Resisting the Hibernation Urge

When it's cold outside, I always wind up craving hot cocoa from Dunkin' Donuts. It's a drink that I normally don't even like. It's too sweet, too syrupy and there's always a weird residue at the bottom of the styrofoam cup when you're done, which inevitably makes you wonder what is actually in that hot cocoa.  But when you're sitting at home wearing four pairs of socks and still have numb toes, you kind of don't care about the contents of that sugary beverage because all you want to do is wrap your hands around it and maybe even pour it over your hands a little bit to regain some feeling.

Yes, it's been that kind of week. Polar vortex, take two.

To lighten things up a little, and to keep moving so that my innards don't freeze, I've been making fun treats at night. They're run-of-the-mill snacks but they distract me from my tiredness. Seriously, this weather makes me want to hibernate.

Even though this hot chocolate was regular Swiss Miss in the package, it became pretty special with the addition of whipped cream and sprinkles. And that grilled peanut butter, speculoos and chocolate chip sammy? Much better than anything you'd find at a Dunkin' Donuts. xo

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Yeah, We Know How to Party

When you grow up in New Haven, it always seems logical to get pizza when celebrating. Yesterday was my mother's birthday so of course we headed to Pepe's, smushed into a booth, ordered three huge pizzas, and ate until we had olive oil and tomatoey grease running down the backs of our hands. Yeah, we know how to party.

I was even able to sneak in a few photos; my family doesn't love posing usually but if I don't put them on the spot every once in a while, we'd never have any pictures.  And aren't these off-the-cuff shots the best?  xo 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Daily Lit Challange


As a writer, it's so important to read as much as possible. I've been concentrating on writing short stories lately so it's the perfect time to delve into the art.  I plan to read one short story or creative nonfiction essay per day in 2014. These pieces will be sourced from literary magazines and journals,  online and hardcopy, as well as from story collections, and I'll try to include a link to the original work whenever possible.  You can access the list via the tab in the right column of the main page of this blog (or right here).

And every weekend, I'll write about my favorite story of the week. Lucky you.

I'm really excited about this--I just hope I can keep it up for the entire year. Most importantly, there's really no downside to reading a wide variety of great fiction and nonfiction.  If you have any recommendations, please leave a comment or send me a message--I'd love to hear what you think! xo

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Frances Ha (!)

Have you guys seen Frances Ha? I don't remember ever liking a movie's beginning and end so much, but absolutely hating the middle. I soldiered on through the parts that I found intolerable though because I really wanted to see how things turned out, and thankfully, I was rewarded by the movie gods (in case anyone is wondering, that scene at the dinner party right before she impulsively decides to go to Paris was superbly painful, although that was obviously the point).

  • It's shot in black and white. Every scene looked beautiful. It's nostalgic and reminiscent of movies from the 1960's and 1970's in the best way possible.
  • The relationship between Frances and Sophie is amazing. It's co-dependent, at least on Frances' end, it's deep, it's personal, and they're closer than if they were actually a romantic couple. These are friendships that women really have in real life, and these are relationships worth exploring.
  • Frances Ha is messy, and unapologetically so. Even though things settle a bit at the end, nothing is tied up completely, and I love that.

  •  I've already cited the crazy awkwardness of Frances but my major ehhh is that I'm not sure she would really act like that and still have friends/acquaintances. Her social interactions go beyond awkward to unacceptable at some points. There's a point when she's walking with one of her friends (Grace Gummer) and she starts 'play-fighting' with her, which really just means punching the crap out her even when told to stop several times. It's off-putting and a little unbelievable.

I read somewhere that Greta Gerwig was in every scene of the movie. She's truly what made the movie special; her actions are delicate and fully-loaded. Thanks to Netflix for finally streaming a movie that I've been dying to see. xo

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Week-in-Review: Polar Vortex Edition

I think this will be forever remembered as the week of the polar vortex. Eh, it sounds a lot more exciting than it actually was, which was merely a really freaking cold week. We kept our heat on for four days straight (!) and our complex had signs on the door warning of frozen pipes so we let our kitchen faucet drip for a few nights too. Oh, and my car squeals like a piglet in pain when it's below 30 degrees so the sound it makes at 3 degrees is a real treat.

For some reason, I feel compelled to do a round-up reminiscent of those awesome early 2000's music compilations. Without further ado, welcome to Now This Is What I Call the Highs and Lows of a Long Cold Week, Volume 413.

High: We finished watching the second season of Episodes and seriously, I love that show. It's so witty and the acting is great, although I don't think I can ever look at Joey Tribianni the same way.

Low: Man, were people crabby or what? I had doors slammed in my face in the lobby of my office building several times, my co-workers were cranky-pants, and don't even get me started on the rudeness of everyone in the Target this afternoon.  Lighten up, it's January, 2014. Try to recite a mantra or something.

High: Last weekend's quick stop into Anthropologie resulted in me falling in love with the 50% off clearance table and emerging with a fancy apron, a cheese cookbook and a little blue butter dish. Serious scores.

Low: Yesterday morning in the cold, Anthony and I had to jump his car twice. Luckily, he only needed a new battery but what a way to start the day.  His poor jeep looked so sad in the snow and fog.

High: So far, I'm kind of sticking to my 'keep it organized' goal for the new year. We dropped off several boxes to Goodwill earlier and I'm de-cluttering our apartment slowly. Also, I've been drinking lots of water with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and trying to really believe in the revitalizing power of citris.

Low: We ran out of everything this week: baggies, tissues, peanut butter, celery, bread crumbs, foil, etc. These are things that I always keep stocked. How random and rather inconvenient.

I hope you're all having great weekends. Happy Saturday night! xo

In honor of the news that New York Transit/MTA is planning to phase-out metro cards, here's a shot I took a few months ago of the back of my metro card. More poetry, please.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Hello, lovelies. It's been a while.

It's been about two months since my last post, but it feels like longer. And a lot has happened since the beginning of November. There were so many times I wanted to sign on and share my latest favorites or my weekend plans or even just my jumbled emotions, but I'm glad I waited to get back into the swing of things. It made me miss my daily/weekly writings here in this space much more than I thought I would.

So let's start fresh. 2013 was a mixed year in my book. There were milestones and major changes, a pretty special wedding and the death of a very close family member.  Turmoil ensued more than once, and now, I'm craving a quiet, peace-filled year. I think 2014 has potential.

I'll leave you with a few highlights from the end of last year.  I'm happy to be back. xo

At our annual apple picking outing, the baby alpacas climbed into the feeder to eat.

Stump. Self-explanatory.

On this stage, there is a very small, very colorful Elton John.

We went to see the balloons being blown up in Stamford for their Thanksgiving parade. 
This smurf could not be contained.

Warm churros and fancy hot cocoas.

Ice storms and crystalline trees.

Anthony and I posing at the theater at MSG before A Christmas Story, 
with photo-bombing friends in the background

I love how the red and green tip of the Empire State Building emerges from behind 
other buildings and the corner of a food truck, just like it was meant to.

I took on the task of making my grandmother's traditional Christmas Eve fare, potato croquettes.

Our small but mighty tree.

I bought my cat niece and nephew a cardboard cabin for Christmas. 
I love that they love it.

"Bide your time, for success is near." Hopefully, this fortune is a sign from the cookie gods.