January 31, 2008

Type away!

What is it about old-fashioned typewriters that I adore...Is it because I sometimes hate technology and the fact that everything we do becomes digital and I long for real papers printed with real hand-writing without the ability to quickly reproduce it? Is it because I remember actually typing papers in elementary school on a typewriter and using that white-out paper that you would have to slide between the paper and the mechanism that popped up with the letter punch; making sure it was completely accurately in the correct place or else what you wanted to erase would not work? Is it because I just love the LOOK of the typewriter because I LOVE what comes out of it...typography? Or maybe it stems from the fact that one summer I came home from college to find out that my parents did some spring cleaning and got rid of *gasp* the typewriter I had grown up with! Whatever it is, it is my life's mission to buy one once I have a home that has extra space for things like typewriters. And I want a turquoise one just like this (above) from Three Potato Four. Does anyone else share this crazy obsession?

I was meant to live in Hawaii with Jack.

Palm trees swaying in the wind. Ocean water that is crystal clear and blue-green. The smell of relaxation and suntan lotion. The sight of Spam on every convenience store's shelf. Yes, we're talking Hawaii here, folks. And what else says Hawaii? None other than native Hawaiian surfer/singer Jack Johnson. Jack has this mellow/poppy sound that I have been hooked on since I first heard his song Flake over five years ago. He has come out with 5 CDs total and now has a 6th to add to the list. "Sleep Through the Static" is set to be in stores on February 5th. I was nervous that this latest CD would not live up to my Jack-spectations but I checked it out on AOL Listening party yesterday and...it surpasses them! Not only is it musically wonderful, it is also environmentally-friendly as it was made on solar-powered analog tape machines. Now I eagerly await my field trip down to the Virgin store in Union Square next week to pick up the CD that will for sure be stuck on my iTunes for the next 6 months; and every subsequent trip to the beach.

January 30, 2008

Will run for cute shirts.

"running divas"

"freakishly strong"

"high mileage"

Running clothes are cute. I admit I love going to Paragon and picking out new dri-fit tees and shorts. I also admit I love clothes ABOUT running that I don't wear while running (because if I learned one thing from my marathon coaches, it's that you don't wear cotton). Highly entertaining quips on clothes about long distance running that make me laugh or feel proud to be in that weird sect of society who enjoys lacing up their Asics for long distances. Even better than great phrases are clothes that are comfortable AND geared towards women. If there was ever a clothing company that did all three it is Running Divas. When I first saw their booth at the Expo during the weekend of the New York City Marathon this year, it took all the will-power in the world not to buy everything they had; long-sleeve shirts, short-sleeved shirts, shorts, even thongs. The latter were appropriately printed with "Marathong". How much do you want a pair of those?! The founders of Running Divas are from California who have been runners since junior high and just want to celebrate the love of running. Makes you want to lace up some sneakers, huh?


Does anyone else watch the TV show on NBC, Chuck? Not only do I love it because it cracks me up the entire time, because I think Zachary Levi is adorable, and that the premise is slightly movie-esque and less TV-y; it also has a phenomenally designed motion graphics intro set to the tune of Short Skirt/Long Jacket by an excellent (and in my opinion underrated) band, Cake. Above, I have taken screen captures of it but you can watch the full version online here. The studio Imaginary Forces was the mastermind behind the cleverly and cleanly designed, perfectly edited, and entertaining introduction. Now if only the writers strike would end so I can keep watching new episodes...

January 29, 2008

Crayola and I made a fine duo.

I have and have always had a slight obsession with crayons. Crayola to be specific. Well, now I preferably use PrismaColor markers but lets be honest, most of us artsy types started out on the Crayolas. There was something so magical about getting a new box. I don't remember my first, but I know it was one of those 8-packs with just the basics. Soon after that, it was the 64-pack with every shade you could possibly want; with orange-red AND red-orange; burnt sienna AND burnt orange. Whenever I got a new box I would immediately take each crayon out and then organize them all in color order starting with pinks and reds and then make my way through the rest of the warm colors through to the cools until I ended with brown, black and then white; putting each back in the box in order from left to right. Was this a sign of my graphic design future and making order out of chaos? The new paper carefully and tightly wrapped around each stick of colored wax had this amazing smell. This smell that I can't describe as anything but pure childhood and creativity packaged into this perfect drawing instrument that fit magically into my little elementary hand. Pictures would flow from this hand to the crayon and onto my construction paper and I would excite in taking a new color out of the box and using it for the very first time. I would like to say that I think Crayola had a small part in making me the artist I am today and for that, I would like to thank them and their clever crayon names and colors for being a part of my life.

January 28, 2008

"When you care enough to hit send"

I was just made aware of someecards a month or so ago (I won't tell you which one I received or who it was from) and am not one who likes electronic greetings. Have you seen these cards? Browsing this website has me in absolute hysterics so I had to share with you a few funny (and cleaner) and time-appropriate ones. The design is pretty clean too and their tagline says it all, "When you care enough to hit send". I personally think that if I was going to take on a side writing project that being a copy writer for this site would be high up on my list of "dream writing jobs". Go ahead, care enough and hit send.

Photography Monday: Number 4.

Clockwise from top left:
1. Piles of travel books from the library and friends; plus some mail of course
2. Cute little purses all shoved in next to each other on a shelf
3. Laundry, laundry and more laundry.
4. My sweater hung over the door to my chest of drawers; not in the closet put away of course.

I think that the theme of this week is clutter/mess/oh my! I don't think I realized how crazy my week was last week until early evening on Saturday when I realized I had been going, going, going since I had woken up Tuesday morning. And then again realized my week's insanity when I uploaded my pictures taken from the week. They were all about messes strewn about my bedroom which is funny I didn't take any outside of the apartment because it seems I spent a lot of time away, hence the mess. It seems to me that when life gets a little crazy, my room does too.

January 25, 2008

The resolutions of Kate.

I would give up my Powerbook and my right arm (rendering me a very slow designer) to work at Kate Spade. Her design is timeless and perfect and clean and...well, I could go on but I'll stop gushing now. My latest crush on all things Kate are the images above which are from her website. They are the intro pages to each of her categories and start with a resolution involving clever copy and a well-positioned image and typography. Please tell me they're hiring...

Warm me up, sweet potato...

It is bitter cold outside in NYC today. The wind is a-blowing and the temperature is below freezing. Also, I have been lazy and a) haven't bought new gloves since losing two pairs earlier in the season and b) haven't done laundry so the ones I wore running last weekend aren't clean so c) my hands have been shoved in my coat pockets everyday. You might be asking how a girl who grew up in New England and has lived in the northeast her entire life is not used to the cold yet? Well, sunshine, I have no answer except I just haven't. Due to the cold, it has gotten me to think about warm foods and thought I would share with you the best recipe for Sweet Potato soup known to man. Ingredients below (I only use about a 1/3 cup of the half and half):

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 small celery stalks, stalks and leaves chopped separately
1 medium leek, sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

The book that finds YOU.

I've been wanting to write about this book, Eat, Pray, Love since the second I started reading it back on January 2nd of this new year. I realize many of you have read it and have heard about it. Or maybe you haven't and if so, then I am really excited to tell you about it. Also, if you are finding out about it through me, it means that it's your time; if you absorb this posting from me, that is. A friend told me recently such a profound statement full of both truth and the belief in fate, when this book came up in discussion at a recent dinner party:

"The book finds YOU when you NEED the book."

Many months ago, a good friend was reading the book and I am sure she told me about it. In fact, I am sure it was on our dining room table many a time sitting next to my cereal bowl, but for some reason it didn't register on my "must read radar". Not even a blip. Then a friend was in visiting from LA the week before the new year and told me about the same book and for some reason it was permanently on my radar. I ended up borrowing it from the same friend who had told me about it many months before and could not put it down once I started it. Well, let me tell you, a book has never affected me the way this one did. I don't want to give too much away, but will tell you it is a travel memoir about the year-long journey (both physical, spiritual, and mental) of 34 year-old recent divorcee Elizabeth Gilbert through the three I's; Italy, India and Indonesia. In each country she focuses on one aspect of her life and achieving balance in that.

Words cannot truly describe the the inspiration it has had on my life since finishing it only a little over two weeks ago, but I shudder to think about my world without it. I believe that everyone who reads it will make a change in their life, either large or small and either now or in the future; they will let what they have read settle inside of them and then possibly even months or years down the road make a choice based on what they read in Elizabeth's memoir. If you absorb what she is saying, doing, feeling, achieving, and balancing, then you will take something away from it and it just might possibly change the course of your life forever.

January 24, 2008

Hole in the Wall & why I love earrings so much.

{Hole in the Wall}

Being a girl, I of course like jewelry. Who doesn't? However, to me, not all jewelry is created equal as I have a special fondness for earrings. I'm unsure of where this obsession first started but am pretty sure it was enhanced by an annual visit to this magical place, Hole in the Wall in Raymond, Maine. My Grandparents used to have a wonderful home in the great state of Maine that we would go up and visit in the summers from the time I was 6 months to 19 years old. There are many things that represented July and August in Maine to me; eating lobster outside, jumping in the lake off the dock, building sand castles with my brother, getting mosquito bites on top of mosquito bites, setting the table for Friday night dinner, playing Scrabble with my Great Grandma, playing cards with my cousins, eating fresh fruit from the farm stand down the street, taking boat rides around the lake, and just pretty much loving every minute of everyday there with my family.

There is one other thing that must be added to this list – taking our annual Grandma/Mom/Daughter trip to Hole in the Wall. It was this incredible studio that made me love earrings so much. They sold copper enameled jewelry, watercolor paintings, wheel-thrown ceramics, metal-worked outdoor sculptures, and any other handmade piece of art all sold in the confines of this wood cabin where the floors and walls were made of wooden planks and the lighting streamed in perfectly from the windows and skylight above. I remember going in there and getting to pick out a new pair of earrings (which wasn't as easy as it sounds because I loved all of them), courtesy of my very kind Grandma. Not only did I love looking around at everything in this cabin, I also loved the feeling of the store. It was happy and artistic and just perfect and something that now as an adult I can say is the kind of place I would give anything to own; where people young and old could come in, feel happy and take home a piece of art and a memory.

January 23, 2008

Those British know their tea. And their talent.

{Design frieze by Bernard Cookson for London Cuppa tea}

Everyone knows that in Great Britain, tea is the drink of choice. So of course when my good friend brought a box of London Cuppa back for us from the land of Hugh Grant, David Beckham, and Burberry I knew it would be great. I didn't realize how great it really was until my first glass made for iced tea. This tea really is tasty and if I shut my eyes, I am sitting down to an afternoon with Mary Poppins up in the air with Uncle Albert. It is that good. Another thing I love about the tea? The illustrations on the packaging! Done by English illustrator and newspaper cartoonist Bernard Cookson, the scene is metropolitan and just makes you want to stop into a cafe in London for a sip. Last I checked on their website, you can't get this tea in the US so you will just have to go over there yourself (or ask a friend who might be in the area) to pick up a box for you. Or maybe hire a nanny who flies via an umbrella?

January 22, 2008

A beautiful breakfast blog.

{A beautiful photo from Jen on Simply Breakfast}

(Try saying that 5 times fast) Honestly though, I think I found another "photography meets the beautiful ordinary meets food" blog. Not only is it food, it's more specific than that; it's my absolute favorite meal of the day. None other than the first thing you eat, what everyone tells you that you should not start your day without, what I need to eat or else I am beyond the most cranky person in the office. Breakfast, my friends, breakfast. This blog, perfectly named "Simply Breakfast: The Art of Breakfast"
might be my latest of daily viewing blogs that I MUST see or else my day is not complete. I browsed through a lot of her older posts and see that sometimes she has guest bloggers/breakfast eaters. Not only seeing what she is eating, but how she is arranging her composition as well as the placeware and glassware/mugs she is eating and drinking from is something else that I am loving. If I didn't eat a bowl of cereal standing up (while drying my hair or doing my eye make-up) five days a week I would love to try this photo project for myself.


Today I am craving sugar. I am not sure if it is because it's my friend's birthday and that reminds me of birthday cake or what, but in response to this craving and not giving in to it, I am going to write about it in hopes of getting my sugary fill that way.

My Mother and I share a few food loves; key lime pie and anything butterscotch or caramel, for example. However, this candy (caramel bullseyes, pictured to the right) and I had no relationship growing up despite my Mom's love for it. I remember she used to keep them in a blue-ridged ceramic container with a lid and everything. She kept them on our wooden divider in the living room and I can still hear the crackle of the thick plastic wrapper as the sticky caramel was removed and popped into my Mother's mouth. I could not understand her love for these. I first tried one at around age eight and decided instantly that it was flavorless; aside from the delicious vanilla center. This center was sweet and sugary and amazing. Had I been allowed (or had I been able to reach the shelf they were on) I would have gleefully popped the vanilla out of each caramel, and then wrapped up the vanilla-less caramels back in their wrappers and placed them in their blue jar. Somewhere way far down the road, my very good friend (who I also share a love/obsession for caramel with) reintroduced me to said caramel bullseyes. It was love at second taste. The caramel with its perfect lighter sweetness combined with the sugary vanilla of the white center had me enthralled and now I can definitely say makes my top 5 favorite candy fixes. I can also say that I am very glad I have grown and can reach that shelf with the blue ceramic container on it in my parents' house!

January 21, 2008

Photography Monday: Number 3.

Clockwise from top left:
Pebbles near a tree outside my apartment building
2. My last piece of incredible sushi dinner in it's take-out metallic container
3. A look into my bag finds my planner, my cell phone, wallet, colored lip gloss and a pack of gum
4. Great swirly decor at one of the ticket windows in Grand Central

January 18, 2008

Where can I get this dress?!

I am so excited to see this movie. I mean what girl in her 20s or 30s who has ever been a bridesmaid WOULDN'T want to see it? It's the perfect excuse to get your gaggle of girlfriends together and take a field trip to the nearest Loews Theater. Not only was I already ready to see this movie for multiple reasons, which start with number one; James Marsden. Those blue eyes. That dark hair. Those dimples. But alas, I digress. Anyhow. I've been ready to see "27 Dresses" since first seeing a trailer for it during an episode of Ugly Betty, but now after seeing this really cute dress-as-typography I am even more so! Kudos to the graphic designer who did this piece!

Stina and soccer.

I know artist/illustrator Stina Persson's work has been all over the design blogs, but I just had to give homage to her and these incredible paintings she did for Nike Women a couple of years ago. She is so talented and her work is so fluid and just amazing. I truly believe that most of the advertising campaigns we see are quickly forgettable, but there are a small few that really make an impact on us either for the smart copy, the beautiful visuals, or the perfect layout. And sometimes one achieves all three. This one does that. These Nike ads are quite possible one of my favorite campaigns of all time. It combines my love for athletics with art. A priceless combination. Not only that, but I read these and immediately think they were written specifically for me, a female athlete, which is what I am sure many other women out there do as well. And the writing is great too; I have written it out below:

"My legs were once two hairy sticks that weren't very good at jump rope but by the time I reached the age of algebra they had come into their own and now in spin class they are revered. Envied for their strength. Honored for their beauty. Hairless for the most part except that place the razor misses just behind the ankles."

"My knees are tomboys. They get bruised and cut every time I play soccer. I'm proud of them and wear my dresses short. My Mother worries I will never marry with knees like that. But I know there's someone out there who will say to me: I love you and I love your knees. I want the four of us to grow old together."

January 17, 2008

A reuniting with Ricky.

Ricky, I used to know you when I was a teenager and working in a fifties-themed ice cream parlor. Your music was on our authentic jukebox and I am sure at one point I knew what letter and number to press to get "Hello Mary Lou" to come on for all ice cream eaters in the store to hear. I have since lost touch with you. Until just the other day, when I went to one of my favorite sites for free listening of full new just-released CDs. Behold my eyes, what was that I saw? That Elvis-esque hair on the cover and the title, Ricky Nelson's Greatest Love Songs. I immediately clicked on your picture, plugged my headphones into my Mac and was taken back to my days of serving ice cream sundaes and wearing horrible soda jerk hats, but strangely loving every minute of my job. A time when life was easy and my biggest annoyance at work was having to refill the hot fudge. Ricky, this CD is incredible and I thank you for bringing me back to some classic music from a much simpler time.

Illustrator amor.

For some reason I have an affinity for learning about Spanish culture and therefore it does not surprise me that I am completely enthralled with the work of the Spanish illustrator/designer Javier Mariscal. His illustrations are very childlike and happy and there is just something about it that really resonates with me. Even his website is something that will just make you smile when you go to it; the funky upbeat music and even the little icon next to the web address in your browser that starts dancing. The work above is from a cookbook he illustrated which is called 1080 Recipes. It was recently released for the first time in English. From what I have read about it, it seemed to have been the Spanish Joy of Cooking in terms of widespread love and devotion to it, as well as something of a bible for of Spanish cooking.

Why don't I have more cabinet space?

Glassware, how I love you so. I don't know why but I have an obsession with all things beverage-holding related. Mugs, teacups, glasses, flutes, highballs. It sort of makes me want to a write a poem about it, but I'll spare you. You name the vessel for holding liquid and I love it. These glasses from Sur La Table are just another example of a kind of glassware I like; the entertaining kind. Why oh why don't I have more space to keep them in my kitchen...

January 16, 2008

Please place your hands behind your back and step away from the Mac.

The point of this blog is to find new things on my own and talk about them, but this is too amazing to not share although I didn't discover it (Design Crush has this posted on her site and I will give her the "finder's credit").The above image is from Design Police, five templates filled with fantastic and highly appropriate things that any good Design Policeman or Policewoman would use; and of course it is a well-designed template at that. Imagine having these on a roll and attaching them to your belt like a gun in a holster?! I think I might have to print some of these on self-adhesive paper and bring them to my next design assignment.

My favorites are:
  • Comic Sans is Illegal
  • This type has been bastardised
  • Caution: Rivers
  • Awful library stock photo

Gentlemen, this is the final rose...

All of my talk about flowers the other day got me thinking about a show completely based on roses; as well as Chris Harrison, drinking in hot tubs, over-the-top 'romantic' dates, and Chris Harrison (did I already mention him?). It got me thinking about you, Trista. You have a lovely baby with your good-looking firefighter-husband, Ryan, but I hate to say it, you are the ONLY successful marriage that the ABC show "The Bachelorette" has produced. The two gals that followed in your footsteps and hoped for the same wedded bliss were Meredith and Jen Schefft. M sadly had a break-up with Ian (her final pick) after the show ended and for some reason, had me actually feeling SAD about a couple I didn't know! Maybe I was on a positivity high after Trista's happy ending? Who knows. All I know is that reality dating TV clearly has a profound effect on me; which scares me some. Next after M to take the throne as the Bachelorette was J. Schefft. Well, anyone who has even heard of reality TV knows exactly what happened there. I specifically remember my girlfriends and I announcing after the finale aired that it was "three hours of our life we will never get back." Three hours. No ring. No proposal. Fans, as well as ABC it seems, were clearly scarred and since that fateful night in February of 2005, the show has not returned to primetime. Well, dear readers, I am here to tell you that this summer there WILL be a new Bachelorette taking her turn as giver of roses, cheesey dates involving helicopter rides and rose petals, and of course the key to honeymoon suites (is this the year of the reality show comeback or what?!). The network has just announced the return but not revealed who it is starring yet, but I am wondering if it is one of the castoffs from the latest Bachelor series with Austin hotness (and subscriber to the same decision-makings as J. Schefft), Brad Womack, who in the end chose no one to be his one-month bride. Jenni? Deanna? Bettina? Will we be seeing any of you ladies again on the Bachelorette? Regardless of who it is, you know I will be glued to my TV and waiting for Chris Harrison to say "Gentleman, this is the final rose of the evening."

January 15, 2008

And they're baaaack...

My favorite and by far most inspirational photography blog, 3191, is back as of a posting last night. They are presenting to their viewers "A Year of Evenings" this time around as compared to their photo project last year, "A Year of Mornings". The two women live 3,191 miles away and take pictures as if they are connected via some crazy and beautiful photography extra sensory perception. They are my constant and daily "must view"!

Flower Power.

{white freesias are perfect for everyday}

There are a few items in this world that I wish came with a monthly stipend given to me by my wealthy benefactor (think what the 'Convict' is to 'Pip' in Great Expectations); basically I would be allowed to spend x amount of dollars each month on ______ with no charge to me, which would be lovely because these are things I want to buy all of the time and with NYC rent is absolutely not possible. This ______ for me is many things. It is books of all kind (especially design and photography ones), CDs, vanilla chai lattes from Starbucks, margaritas from Zarellas...you get it, the list could go on. Now one thing I REALLY wish I had a stipend for was fresh flowers. There is something about having fresh flowers in your home that really brings some life into it as well as added a beautiful scent. For me, if I were to buy them, I would base them on the color and what sort I was in the mood for that day (I am rarely in the mood for roses). Well, my favorite publication (of the last 5 years), New York Magazine, has a great feature in their mag this week which is which flowers to put where in your home based on smell, color, and visual. For those with a 'Convict' in their life to aid in their weekly botanical purchase and even those who just buy them maybe once or twice a year, this short guide will for sure be helpful.

January 14, 2008

Masha by mail.

{illustration by Masha D'Yans}

For the holidays, my oldest (not in age, but in years we have known each other) friend sent me a card with the most gorgeous illustration on the front. It was by an artist named Masha D'Yans who (I learned from the back of the card) studied art at the Cooper Union in NYC and had a website which I went to and see many other wonderful paintings. I immediately stood the card up on my dining room table so I could see it everytime I sat down or walked by. The flowy watercolor combined with the use of some pen and ink flourishes made this quite possibly the prettiest card I had received in a long time and made me want to break out my ArtBox, some coldpress paper and Windsor Newtons and start painting. I was also impressed by my friend, a phsyical therapist, and who I didn't realize had such an eye for wonderful illustration!

* I want to show you all of her work and had trouble picking just one to represent her full portfolio, so go to her site to view it all; it's definitely easy on the eyes.

Photography Monday: Number 2.

Clockwise from top left:
1. my favorite fruit cart near my apartment; this guy's produce is out of this world
2. the makings of my soon-to-be small child-sized challah in the KitchenAid mixer. It was the first time I had ever made it by scratch and let me tell you, it was an operation
3. beautiful potted plants sitting outside at the local florist
4. scenes from a dinner party at my apartment; wonderful food, friends, and wine (that's a delicious couscous in the red bowl)

I guess this week's theme is food as three out of four of these photos have to do with something edible. And who knows, maybe those flowers are edible too? Also another theme of the week was beautiful weather in Januar; an oxymoron if you ask me. The sun was shining and I didn't need to wear a hat or gloves all week.

January 8, 2008

Global warming at its best.

{Vincent Laforet photo}

I know it's not warm enough to lay out in Central Park as this photo suggests (well actually you couldn't even if you wanted to, as the Park's lawns are closed until the spring). Is it frightening to anyone else living in New York City that it is currently 55 degrees AND the beginning of January? I am going running later and planning on wearing shorts. This should not be. I love warm weather as much as the next life-long Northeasterner, but this is a little scary. I have decided to take advantage of this unseasonable lovliness outside and share this photo from a photographer who I absolutely love. His name is Vincent Laforet and if you get New York Magazine, you might have read an article about him a couple of summers ago. One of his series of works is all about aerials and the way he takes the photo from such a height that it almost seems as if you are looking at miniatures set up; not real life. Anyhow, enjoy this photo and go to his site to check out the rest of his series. Even if you can't have a picnic outside in the Park.

One ticket to Paradise...

{The final SUPER dramatic scene in the first Paradise Hotel season back in '03}

Normally I shy away from all things reality series-related. All television shows which are trashy, involve excessive binge-drinking, ridiculous amounts of hooking up, the "kicking off" of roommates, and the promotion of falling in love with other trashy binge-drinking people you meet a mere ten hours before and then are separated from once you do something dumb (or your castmates convince the powers that be that you are not a "fit" for the house) on a set somewhere a lot warmer than where I am currently living. Normally. However, I make one exception (err, two exceptions...The Bachelor is the first although I don't consider it trashy in any way) and this is a big one. None other than Paradise Hotel. Yes, that wonderful show that was actually on twice a week (and that was pre-writer's strike!) back in 2003. My friends and I used to tune in every Monday and Wednesday to see what food Charla was eating (and still staying oh so skinny), what Amy's latest blow-up against Dave was all about, and how big Toni's eyes got when she started talking to someone. Ahhh, the good ole' days of reality TV.

Now, out of the woodwork, in a high-priced hotel somewhere in the tropics (or in LA?) and thrown into our living rooms some 5 years later, Paradise Hotel is back! No joke, February 4th begins the latest of the reality series to hit our screens due to the lack o' written series. Who knows what the latest hotel guests will be like and if Amanda Byrom will be our hostess again, but you can be sure I will be tuned in.

Lost and found.

{From FOUND Magazine online}

Okay, I apologize if you know about this already but I stumbled upon this fantastic website a month ago (via a blog, via a blog) called Found. Each day a new found note or photo is posted online with a little bit of (usually) entertaining commentary. Finders are from all across the country and even the world. I am trying to think of the best note or letter I have found by mistake on the street, in a classroom, in the grocery cart. What about you? Anything worth entering to this site? Yesterday's was quite amusing and I thought I would share (it is the one posted above). It excites and/or frightens me that one day a grocery list I have made or a love note I wrote to Kevin Caruso in the seventh grade could be out and about for all to see on the world wide web...

January 7, 2008

Photography Monday: Number 1.

Clockwise from top left:
1. tiles on the building facade of the Staples in Chelsea
2. bras hanging to dry off of my bureau (not as effective as a drying rack, I know, but it served its purpose and a wonderfully colored photo)
3. sitting in Barnes & Noble and looking down at my feet
4. the most wondrous morning bowl of cereal (Kashi's Cinnamon Harvest) sitting next to my make-up and watch.

Photography Monday is all about what I have captured the week before in photos from Sunday through Saturday. This is one major New Year's Resolution for myself: take 4 pictures a week, every week, for the year. A year ago I started looking at the wonderful blog, 3191, and they inspired me in a similar way to take photos as much as possible; capturing the small but beautiful things in life. It really only takes a few moments to see something stunning/different/curious and then capture it on my Canon PowerShot, so why not? I am going to also put them together as one big piece because I think the union of the four photos is a unique representation of the week as well. I can see if there was a theme or a feeling that I didn't realize until I put the works together. This week was very colorful–and what a great and inspiring way to start the new year!

January 3, 2008

I am beginning to hope.

My New Year's resolutions were all written yesterday and I am very excited about this new year of 2008. I think great things are in store for all who are really looking for some life changes for the better and hard work is going to start really paying off. Anyhow, because MY resolutions are done, I was thinking about writing one for someone else. I know these lists are supposed to be personal and only you can decide what you want to accomplish this new year, but sometimes people need a little nudge. Before you tell me I am being pushy, let me tell you who I am going to give a pre-made resolution to: Regina Spektor. She has been my favorite female singer since I took home her Begin To Hope (and her most recent) CD with me one night in April of 2006 from the Virgin Megastore in Union Square. It was one of those times where I wished I lived in the suburbs with a car; where I get a new CD and immediately start opening the plastic wrap from its case the second I put the keys in the ignition. Off the wrapping goes and there always seems to be too much time that elapses before I can get the disc into the player, but when it does and that first sound plays from the speaker – its love at first note. This is how I felt the first time I heard Regina on Pandora many months before. It was her song "Us" that initially had me hooked on her beautiful vocals and piano playing as well as her quirky and smart lyrics that are found in each of her self-written songs. I mean how can you not love a singer who talks about "Summer in the city means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage" and "Remember the time I found a human tooth down on Delancey". If you have not heard of her or heard her music then you must go to iTunes and take a listen. You will be glad you did, and might even send her the same resolution that I am, which is to BEG her to come out with a new CD.

PS. I didn't design this t-shirt. I am not that crazy. Amazon is selling it online here.

Inspiration without shoes.

Inspiration comes in many shapes/mediums/sizes/forms as I mentioned in a recent post. One really never knows where and when it will strike and I had this "inspire!" moment about life appropriately on New Year's Eve day. Waiting for my mini quiches to cook in the oven, I realized I had about an hour to kill before all three batches would be done and before I would be leaving for yoga. My roommate mentioned she had watched the Food Network's Chefography on the Barefoot Contessa and said it was worth a look. Well watch I did and inspired I was! I recommend it for anyone who loves watching the Food Network (and honestly, who doesn't love the making of beautiful and delicious-looking food being created right in front of their eyes? Unless you are really hungry and have no food in your kitchen, in which case you might get a little angst-ridden and jealous of your TV screen.) and loves a good story. Ina Garten is the Barefoot Contessa and in her Chefography we learn about her first foray into cooking, what HER inspirations for food are, what her studies were (they didn't involve cooking), what her first job entailed (it didn't involve cooking either), and how she made the leap to being on the Food Network and the author of four extremely successful cookbooks. I don't want to give her story away, but lets just say that after being glued to my television for an hour (and after my quiches were done and I was on my walk to yoga) I felt I could go out and conquer the world with whatever I was destined to do! Not sure if it is still playing, but set your DVR for the next time they have a Chefography marathon.

January 2, 2008

Best of December/2007/All-time (because it's all the same to me & this blog)

I wish I had been blogging all year but since I just started this writing activity in December, I am going to do a "Best of December/2007/All-time" since it encapsulates the same time period. And this way I can do a REAL best of the year NEXT year and feel oh so much better about (though I guess it will be harder to pick my top 5 favorites). So, a happy new year to all and without further ado, a listing of my 5 favorite posts in no particular order:
  1. The blog writer that I found whose writing I truly admire this year

  2. The actor I re-fell in love with (onscreen of course) this year

  3. The movie that changed my professional life this year

  4. The book that enthralled me to no end this year (yet I still have not purchased yet)

  5. The belief of the crazy fate-typists written down and just said out loud (and definitely more to come on them in 2008)