Saturday, November 30, 2013

Iceland – Kex Hostel

Adorable kid in a traditional Icelandic wool sweater.
Why would I want to go to a country that just suffered a major financial collapse, whose weather ranges from “it could be worse” to “HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE HERE”, and whose staple foods are red meat, herring, and potatoes (I love all foods, but I also love not having gout)? Because of this, this, and this!

The pictures I have look nothing like these, but trust me, Iceland is picturesque and quaint and totally worth the trip – and I say this despite the blizzard and rain and cloudy skies we had through our whole trip.

My travel buddy, Christina, and I arrived in Iceland at around 6am and took the very convenient FlyBus which drops you off right in front of your hotel. We didn’t rent a car because Reykjavik is totally walkable and you can get to all the sights via guided tours. Also neither of us drive stick and, as we later found out, it’s probably better to put your lives in the hands of an experienced driver when it’s blizzarding on the very narrow, unpaved rocky roads leading to the country.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cappu-chinos and Graham Slackers

The National Panthem
- Insert flag pole joke here -
I'm sure I've heard of the Bonobos brand before, but never really noticed them until my cousin sent me a link to their cute pants page. It's like a teen movie where the cool guy knows of the nerdy girl, but doesn't notice her until she tutors him and they fall in love just before she dies of cancer...but with pants....and no cancer.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mother Nature is Fascinating

I keep forgetting to water my basil plant, and it keeps getting all droopy and sad. But nature is amazing. Look what happens! 

I know it's not right to torture the poor thing, but I love watching it come back to life. I AM A GOD!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Monday

Happy Memorial Day? That doesn't really sound right when you think about it, does it?
Since most people talk about the beach, huge sales, and BBQs, often the real purpose of today becomes a second or 5th thought.

Pause - If you can't make it to a memorial or a cemetery because you're at work, at a BBQ, or laying on the beach, you can still observe the day. In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance was passed asking all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps" at 3pm local time. 

Learn - Why do veterans wear red poppies? The gist - in response to Flander's Field, Moina Michael's penned her won poem which also included the mention of poppies. She hoped to use it as a symbol for remembrance, but then had the better idea of using the production and sale of silk poppies to help disabled veterans. Almost 90 years later, silk poppies are still made by disabled and needy veterans.

"...We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies..."

Picture via Mashable; other info from US Memorial Day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Eat: Goat cheese & fig crostini

I was at Gottino - Gastroteca the other day for some dinner and drinks. Okay, mostly drinks. N.B., I tried to find out what a Gastroteca is exactly, but I think it's ogooglebar! (I always find a way to Fun Fact!)

Everything was delicious, but the goat cheese, fig, honey, almond crostini was amazing and is totally doable even by cooking noobs like me. Just put all that stuff on a slice of Italian bread and viola, you have a delicious fancy pants snack.

Picture is not mine. It is from the internetz.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Watch Your Back It's April Fools Monday!

Eat - I had the salted butterscotch caramel. I'm not all about the cupcake trend at all, so know I really mean it when I say it was AMAZEBALLS.

Speak - Bêtes noire. French for black beast, but it means someone or something everyone hates and avoids. So, fruits in place of real desserts would be a betes noire....right? It should be. No one really wants cantaloupe for dessert. Stop doing that.

Laugh - Funny story that happened in my building. This woman was cooking and she had a roll of paper towels next to the stove. It caught on fire, and when she tried to throw it in the sink, it fell onto the kitchen run in front of the sink. Instead of extending the faucet or throwing water on it or trying to smother it, she picks it up runs down the hall and throws it down the garbage shoot, setting the garbage in the dumpster on fire. I'm sure it was terrifying for her, but how is it anyone's first instinct to pick up a ball of fire???? Also, note to self - by a fire extinguisher. 

Go - AKA the PIT. It's pretty cheap in general ($5), but if you are more-so, it's free on Wednesdays! The first set I saw was better than the second, but I walked out of there admiring all of them for not just being funny, but also very brave, and quick. Muchos kudos to them!

Pic via PostSecret (updated every Sunday)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy It's Supposed to Be Spring, Why Is It Snowing Monday!

Laugh - Unabashedly crude and completely hilarious as always. I will admit, I am totally guilty of it myself. These ladies are amazing. Fade Away, by Garfunkle and Oates.

Listen - It may be because the procrastinator in my relates so well, but I'm loving the video. So Watch it too. :) Ne Me Quitte Pas, Regina Spektor.

Learn - Ever wonder what the differences between jam, jelly, and preserves are? Jelly is made from fruit juices, jam is made from crushed fruit, and preserves have fruit chunks in juice or jam. Marmalade is actually a preserve made from a citrus fruit. Please promise you won't use this information to pretentiously correct someone if they call one the other.

Eat - Avocado toast. Easy, healthy, and filling. And you can put anything you want on it. Avocado is so bland it's a perfect base for any sort of topping. Do it so I can love you long time. Get your head out of the gutter - I meant in the sense that I love you and want you to be around for a long time.

Pic: Fancy chrysanthemum from the Botanical Gardens Japanese c-mum show last year. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Monday!

Did you notice what beautiful weather we had about a week ago? In the words of Paul Revere, "Spring is coming! Spring is coming!!!!" (I imagine that's how he made all his announcements. Can you imagine what an annoying kid he must have been?)

Do -The world's rarest beer now in Brooklyn. I don't know what most of these words are, and all beer tastes like fizzy dirty water to met, but I'm sure someone out there might be interested.

Listen - Just another cute song. You Picked Me, A Fine Frenzy.

Learn -  Did you know that Edison didn't actually invent the light bulb?

Laugh - Spring is almost here!!

And the Happiest of Birthdays to the Hottest of Tockets (Ramoses)!!!!

Picture of students soaking up the first warm, sunny day of the new year.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Happy Monday!

Yeah, I missed the Happy Friday post, but you know what? This is better. My weekends are busy, but not as busy as my weekdays. Compiling and blogging while I'm trying to keep up with work, school, social things, etc.? AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!
Plus, Mondays suck. This would give you, my imaginary readers, something to look forward to!

Help - This isn't a volunteer opportunity, but it is an awesome reason to get a really cool painting. When someone compliments a piece of art in your house whether because they mean it or because, like me, you have no TV and they feel like they need to fill the that sad void with idle chatter, how cool would it be to explain JoJo's story instead of "I got it at Target." Hit up the folks at Wellspring Trust if you're interested!

Listen - This is exactly exactly the song I would write if I had such abilities. Instead, I write silly rap songs about work. As awesome as they are, I don't think it'll get me a Taylor Swift-like following with the tween markets. The Quiz, Hello Saferide.

Wear - I couldn't figure out how to get to the collection preview on her site, so the Pinterest page will have to do. Doesn't it make you excited for Spring?!?!

Learn - Ever wonder how folks got up before alarm clocks existed?

I made the banana cookies I posted last weekend. No, they weren't as good as real cookies, but real cookies are filled with butter and sugar, and that's tough to beat. Still, I'll probably keep making these banana nuggets for snacks, and a to-go breakfast. So easy!

Pic is of my friend Kim, President of Wellspring Trust, with the artist currently known as JoJo

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wine Ice Cream

You know when you break up with someone and you kind of just want to booze it up with a glass of wine and dive into a tub of ice cream, but you can't hold both because you're ugly-crying into the phone to your girl friend and wiping away tears tears?
Well now you can can do at least two of those at the same time!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Have a warm weekend!

Went to Kraverie today with my brother for his birthday lunch. It was delicious! I had the short rib kimchidilla (quesadilla with kimchi + meat), and Bro had the rib-eye burrito. We got there at noon, and it was still pretty empty. There aren't a lot of offices around there, but the delivery person was heading out with 5 bags of food, so hopefully they're doing fine.Their servings seemed a bit small though. I'm sitting here craving (ha) more already!

Learn - "Alis volat propriis." The Oregon state motto that is apparently also a very popular tattoo means, "she flies with her own wings." Bonus: In Latin, there is no distinction between genders so guys and androgynous types can also use this. I like it. It's me.

Eat - My friend Hot Tocket, who I will link to once she starts what sounds like an awesome blog, tried this recipe and gave it a resounding "eh." I'm going to try it as well anyway. I always want to eat cookies for breakfast, and these sound like a much better idea than Oreos.

Watch -  The Oscars! I haven't watched awards shows in years b/c I realized it's dumb to further reward and glorify people who area already rich, beautiful, and famous, and am always annoyed when people who have long respectable careers lose out to the likes of Jennifer Hudson. I'm still steamed about that! But....I like movies. And I like taking note of all the shorts I want to watch later. I should have a post-Oscars short film marathon!

Help - This one's also a Go and a Buy. It's NY Cares's 2013 Soiree. It's an open bar, with snacks, a free gift, and an excellent networking opportunity at an event that helps support all the good work NY Cares does all year.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Have a good weekend!

Valentine's is over. Ah well. Next year.

Next up is President's Day, which I care about because I get the day off, and my brother's birthday. To celebrate, I'm taking him to lunch at Taqueria in Jersey City. The reviews of the food are great, as my friend confirmed, the service is supposed to be terrible. I guess if you have amazing food, you can get away with it! Can't wait!

Learn - Did you know....the dot above the letter "i" is called a tittle?

Eat - Planning on making this, this weekend. this, but hotter, garlicier, meatier and basically inedible for anyone but me.

Wear - Sticks and stones rings

Laugh - Do not show this to my mom. Or my friends. One of my male friends saw this and he said it made him feel even worse than he already did. Oops! 29/31, by Garfunkle and Oates.

Melt - I think this guy is the cutest little boy in the whole frickin world.

Listen - And because it's still Valentine's week, this beautiful song. The Nearness of You, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

Photo via The Satorialist

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Arrested Development Valentine's Day Cards

It's Valentine's week!

I love it. It's a day when couples everywhere celebrate their love or like likes, and when everyone else can enjoy watching sweet young and old men head home with bouquets of flowers for their girls, the excuse to watch unrealistic, fantastical rom coms , and eating heart-shaped Dunkin donuts (did you know they have brownie batter donuts now?!!).

How awesome are these Arrested Development-inspired valentine's day cards by Marisa Sequin? These three are my favorite.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Have a safe weekend!

A storm's a comin'! I feel bad for those folks who have to drive, because even an inch of snow can be dangerous. Be careful out there. Stay home and make hot cocoa with marshmallows instead! Unless you're diabetic. Maybe don't do that.

Speak - You know when someone makes fun of you and all you can say is "'re a jerk!" But then later when you're flossing you finally come up with a super awesome comeback? There's a phrase for that: l’espirit descalier. I think, literally, it means the spirit of the stairs. I think going forward, when people come up with these awesome, but too late comebacks, we should all yell "l'espirit descalier!" and shake our fists in the air. Who's with me?

Listen - I really like this band, and I really like their videos. This one is beautiful all around. Of Monsters and Men, King and Lionheart.

Eat - This may sound like 'poor college kid' food, but one of my favorite things to eat is (canned) corn with parmesan and black pepper...maybe some garlic powder too. It's basically my healthier (I pretty sure that's true) version of cacio e pepe which is also delicious. Cacio e pepe: pasta + some leftover pasta water to keep things gooey + parmesan + pepper. 

Laugh -  Great pick up line

Picture from Pinterest

Friday, February 1, 2013

Have a Cozy Weekend!

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

This is how I'm looking at this super intimidating class I'm currently taking. About ten minutes into the class, and I was ready to drop it. I looked at the bios of the other students later and they were either ivy leaguers or had impressive positions and impressive companies. BUT...I decided to stick with it because once it's done, I will have (hopefully) passed and the overwhelming amount of apprehension will turn into an equally high sense of accomplishment.

Also, it was too late to drop the class and still get a refund.

Anyway, that's my pep talk to myself. Wish me luck, please! Is there something you want to conquer, but feel like it's too scary?  You can do it!!

Some links from around the world (wide web)!

Buy - Grand Central Station turns 100 years old today, and to celebrate, they're offering 1913 prices. 13 cent mussels! 19 cent cheesecake! 10 cent gelato! Happy Birthday GC! 

Do - Hot chocolate month is back!!!

Get - Food-inspired office supplies to add a little fun to your cube

Melt - Cute kids, in cute costumes, cute Kate Micucci, and a ukelele.

Help - Want to practice your German or Italian, test your grammar skills, or put that Art History degree to use, all for a good cause? This site let's you test yourself, and hopefully teach yourself, while donating rice to the hungry with every correct answer. Awesome, right?

Picture via Pinterest

Friday, January 25, 2013

Have a Relaxing Weekend!

Woo wee! What a crazy, stressful week. Apparently I haven't been to the doc in 3 years, and it came back to bite me in the bum today. I'll definitely make an appointment this year because, guess what, it's one of my resolutions! :) It's just so hard finding a good doctor.
Hopefully everything will be fixed and okay early next week. *Crossing fingers*
In the meantime, let's focus on the happy:

Listen - Damn, that's sexy. Even without watching the video, you can feel the James Bond vibe. RAWR.  Feeling Good, Michael Buble.

Watch - The Booth at the End. If you like Hitchcock or The Twilight Zone, you will love this. It has a calm, eerie, mysterious, amazingly written story, all of which takes place in a booth in a dinner. You don't even think "I want to see what happens outside the booth" because it's written SO WELL. You guys, I just went all caps right there, so you know I'm excited and serious! There are only 5, 20-minute episodes (first season was better than the second). That's less than two hours! (I was going to give the exact time, but I'm like, eh, I'm bad at math...I'll just estimate.) You can do this!!

Eat - French-Korean fusion? Okay! My brother told me about this place, and it has excellent reviews on Yelp. The prices are reasonable, the portions are ample, the food is delicious. If you visit me in JC, I will probably take you here :)

Help -  There is a very cool volunteering event I will be working at on Monday for Bottemless Closet NYC. The gist is, disadvantaged women participate in workshops that prepare them for interviews, manage their finances, and gain other skills that allow them to be more self-sufficient. Attending these workshops allows them to earn credits they can use to shop for interview- and work-appropriate clothing. That's where I will come in. So while I won't be doing anything life changing, I will get to help someone shop and accessorize for their big interview! If anyone wants to join me, let me know!(Update: My bad. This is actually on Feb 11.)

(The picture is from a camping trip I went on a while back. That colorful thing on the bottom seems to be a beautifully molding leaf.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Brunch: Frittata

One of my 28 resolutions, is to cook one real meal a week. I figured today would be my official kickoff because I was having my cousins over for brunch and all we seem to do when we hang out is eat, so yummy food is a must. I made my first ever frittata with a side of breakfast potatoes (which are basically baked french fry cubes), and second ever crepes. All of them got a thumbs up, so...huzzah!

A frittata is basically an omelette, but the veggies and meat are cooked in with the eggs, not sandwiched between the folds. Even though I read numerous recipes about 37 times before and even while I was making it, it's actually incredibly easy. I'm just a a nervous person who needs to quintuple check everything. Here's how I made mine in case you don't already know the gist of a frittata:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy MLK Weekend!

I don't know about you guys, but this was not my favorite week. Here's to a better weekend.

Do - Restaurant Week...which is really about a month long is happening right now.

Get - if you don't have an iPad Mini, maybe you could use these as mirror stands! Or just not buy them.

Listen - I don't know if you remember this guy, but I just heard his other song the other day and remembered how much I loved this one. At moments he sounds like Freddy Mercury, no? Grace Kelly, Mika.

Wonder - Why do all these TV shows show families sitting around eating breakfast and chatting, and then eventually getting on their way to school? What time does TV school start? Noon?? When I was in school eons ago, it was still dark out when I finally made it out the door. I don't think I even had time for cereal. My breakfast was usually a pop go.

Speak - The Italian version of "you can't have your cake and eat it too" is "Non si può avere la botte piena, e la moglie ubriaca" or "you can't have a full bottle of wine, and a drunk wife." Theirs is definitively more fun than ours. Oh those saucy. Ha, pun.

Wear - Because I dare you.

(Pic: I met this guy at the Central Park Zoo. I call him Lorenzo. Get it???)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Friday!

Ssome random bits of interesting to share. Have an awesome weekend!

Watch - Whites. I know it's the British way, but this series was too good to be this short. But...this makes it easy for you to marathon this weekend! I love you Bib!

Learn - Did you know that this --> ?! <-- is called an interrobang? Sounds naughty, doesn't it?

Do - Broadway week! Shows don't start for another two weeks, but tickets go fast, so get on it!

Listen - I have been a huge fan of this chick since I heard her on TV over 5 years ago. Doesn't this one sound like something choreographers Mandy Moore and Travis Wall would use on SYTYCD? 

Eat - I just learned the real name of one of my favorite Indian dishes! In my family, we just call it "egg powder." This isn't exactly my mom's recipe, but it is the one with the nicest picture :)

Laugh - I hope I remember to pull this out when my friends tell their crazy stories. *cough*racinginAC*cough* 

Speak - My last class had a bunch of international students and I found it fascinating when I realized how many idioms and how much slang we use every day. Did you know that the Danish version of "to search high and low" is "med lys og lygte" or "with light and lamps?" Cool!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Resolutions 2013

So it's been a year, eh?
I did half of my resolutions from last year. One that I did not do was the constellations one. It's kind of hard when you live in a city filled with light and air pollution that makes seeing actual stars impossible. I did see some TV and movie stars though and was totally able to identify them, so...does that count?
Here's part of my list for this year...
1. Be able to do whatever this is called:

It looks easy, but it isn't! It isn't at all!! You try doing it without rolling all over the place in the middle of a class full of bendy, tight pants wearing, yoga girls. Not fun. But one day, I will be one of them, and someone else will be the core-strengthless girl who can't even touch her toes who I will pretend not to notice or feel bad for.

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