Thursday, September 29, 2011

total BFFs

i love adele.  i think she's an amazing singer.  her music is inspiring and emotional.  would have been more than willing to pay top dollar for a ticket to her concert in the city earlier this year.  but we weren't yet friends at that point.  our relationship developed this past summer.

i love her.  and i don't care what anyone says.  i love her for the singer she is.  i love her for the britishness that she exudes.  i love her for the lyrics she writes.  i love her for her sassyness.  i love her for the style she promotes.  but right now i love her most for the fact she filmed her gorgeous someone like you in paris.

thank you adele.  we are now best friends 4-eva.

what happens when i'm bored

i'm bored; therefore, i buy things for my apartment to change something and attempt to take away the boredom.  trust me it's a good idea.  otherwise the dark side of HGTV watching will send me down a deep dark spiral of wanting to buy a house in some random location just for a change.

what do we think of this duvet cover set for the bed?

expanding my book reading horizons

my good friend jewel and i needed to spice up our social circle so we started a book club.  we invited a bunch of our buddies to read and discuss books written both recently and of yesteryear.  at our discussion last month we chose a book called unbroken by laura hillenbrand based on the recommendation of one of our comrades.  the summary said it was a story about a man who competed as an Olympic athlete in the mid and late 30s then served in the army air corps during world war II.

i have never read or even picked up in a book store or library a book that dealt with the subject matter of war.  it just wasn't my style.  but i'm a team player as they say so i dutifully purchased the book through the iBookstore.  kinda held out until about 10 days left before the date of our discussion.  started to read and LITTERLY. COULDN'T. PUT. MY. IPAD. THAT. HAD. THE. BOOK. DOWN.  lost a lot of sleep over the last 10 nights.

the story was amazing!  and as my friend said during the discussion last night, if i didn't know it was a real story i would have thought the events detailed in the book were straight from someone's imagination.  even reading about all of the atrocities that happened to louie, i was completely inspired by his determination and ability to retain as much humanity as possible while being physically destroyed and stripped of his humanity.

i would urge everyone to read this book.  not only is it well written by laura hillenbrand (author of seabiscuit) but it is a page turner because you want to know what happens to louie.  you care about him and his comrades.  you won't be sorry if you choose to dive into the story of this courageous man from torrance, california.

hoping that october's book the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society is just as good.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a note to a thief...

to the person who stole my debit card number,

it makes me sad that you stole my debit card number.  there was no need to produce a counterfeit card to joy ride in taxi cabs throughout the city, buy some possibly needless gift cards and supplies from targets in the bronx and brooklyn as well as treat yourself to a coffee and doughnut at dunkin doughnuts.  there really was no reason for you to take about $400 of my hard earned money.  you truly should be ashamed of yourself that your thieving ways caused me to almost hyperventilate and start to shake because of panic and absolute dismay. 

there are only a few things, to me, that each person of the human race should hold dear.  they are honesty and integrity.  mr./ms. thief - you failed miserably on both points when you stole my debit card number.  i really hope that it was worth it to you because i think i was able to catch your thieving ways soon enough to get the card number cancelled before you hit the slot machines in atlantic city or bought that iPad you've had your eye on for the last week.

my final piece of advice to you, the person who stole my debit card number, is to take a moment to evaluate what you are doing.  stop leeching off other people and causing stress and anguish.  and if after the self evaluation you decide that you're all good with the dishonest choices you are making then my next piece of advice is to never open a checking account because i'm pretty sure the people you associate with wouldn't hesitate to do to you what you did to me. 

the person who spent three hours of her day on the phone or in the branches of my bank

Sunday, September 25, 2011

ode to HGTV

my friend preppy told me about her recent addiction to watching HGTV.  i thought it was kind of odd but didn't voice that opinion to her directly.  in my mind there were so many other great cable shows to enjoy like AMC, Bravo, ABC Family, Bio, etc.  Who wants to watch shows about how to build a deck?  or what kind of paint and primer combo is best to disguise a red wall?  or heaven forbid, watching men compete in a show about who can make the best bird feeder out of popsicle sticks?  needless to say, it didn't intrigue me but i thought that my friend preppy is a pretty urbane, cultured and sophisticated new yorker/san franciscan so maybe i should see what all of the hoopla was about.  big mistake.  huge.

i have now turned into an HGTV groupie.  it is my go-to surfing channel if i'm waiting for my prime time shows to commence or i need something in the background while i cook or if i'm just lounging on my couch in my 400 something square foot apartment that i pay a rent of 4 digits to call my home.  some of my favorite shows are house hunters international, property virgins, for rent and my first place.  the mistake in converting to the dark side of watching others search for properties is that i have some serious, hard core house envy.  i want to be one of the young whipper snappers that is buying their first home full of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with an island and deck in the back yard.  oh and did i mention all of the homes seem to have a dishwasher and laundry facilities?  because they all do.  be still my beating heart.

don't get me relationship with new york city seems to be on solid footing.  we still spend lots of wonderful hours together basking in vibrancy, culture, energy and street fairs selling food on a stick.  it's just that HGTV has opened up a new adult world to me full of people concerned about mortgages, location vs. space, and how close is too close to one's parents.  as well as how to compromise on paint colors and how big is too big when buying a new HDTV for the family room.

sometimes i wonder if i could have a long term relationship with a place like los angeles, san diego, phoenix or portland that is just as vibrant, cultured and energetic but with an added bonus of a mortgage full of equity and maybe a yard where my one day dog can romp and play.  i think in many ways it is better to not realize what is out there so you don't know anything but your chosen way of life.  unfortunately HGTV burst that bubble of ignorance. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

this week's simple moments

1.  the un general assembly is in town - 'nuff said
2.  first relief society meeting was a rousing success
3.  took the subway to and from work three times this week :/
4.  enjoyed central park walk late on a saturday afternoon as the sun was going down
5.  taught clare how to use the FaceTime function on her new iPad - hooray for technology that brings people together

Thursday, September 22, 2011

new york favorites written by M2 relief society

our ward's relief society fall social was all about how to live, love and enjoy living in new york city.  one of the things we opted to do was ask all of our relief society members to send in their opinion on the best places to see, do, eat, be pampered, people watch, etc. as well as advice for living in the city.  we had a great response so i thought i'd let you know what made the list...(see if you can pick out the items that i submitted as my faves).  Please feel free to share with any friends who are planning a visit to the greatest city.  This list was compiled by real life New York women.

 Follow the advice of John Lennon to WALK everywhere! It's the best way to get a feel for the city and you can find amazing architecture, people, food, shopping, and helps you feel a part of a larger New York City community.
Embrace it! There are many things that may seem inconvenient and hard; however, if you focus on the positives they will always outshine the negatives. You will learn & grown here more than any other place. Choose to enjoy every moment!
Be involved in the ward! Go to any and all activities to make your presence known and develop your New York family.
Learn the MTA Bus System – it takes you almost anywhere you want to go and is amazing to see the many people, places and architecture pass by your window
 Get a safe pesticide for your apartment like EcoSmart. They’re made with natural ingredients that don’t irritate senses when using them.
Use your computer – you can order groceries (, diapers ( and almost anything from and Most online retailers have excellent shipping prices that make online ordering more convenient.


o Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – free on Fridays from 4:00pm – 8:00pm
o Metropolitan Museum of Art – pay what you want
o The Paley Center for Media (previously the Museum of Television & Radio)
o Museum of the City of New York
o Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters
o Museum Mile Festival in early June shuts down Fifth Avenue and numerous museums are free including the Met & Guggenheim

o $6 ticket to movies playing before noon on Friday, Saturday & Holidays at AMC Theaters
o Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Square – tickets as low as $15
o $20 tickets for select Broadway shows through Hiptix – free registration for those between the ages of 18-35
o Student Rush tickets to Broadway shows
o TKTS booths in Times Square & South Street Seaport
o Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater
o New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center – tickets as low as $25
o NYU & Fordham showcase fantastic & cheap arts programs & film festivals
o Alliance Francaise (FIAF) for culture events and viewing foreign films on Tuesday nights
o Plays at BAM Harvey Theater in Brooklyn
o Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater offers numerous classes and amazing performances
o US Open Tennis Championships – cheap ticket for a Grounds Pass early in the tournament

o Conservatory Garden at Fifth Avenue & 105th Street – gorgeous in Spring & Fall
o The Highline and Chelsea Market
o Green markets for fresh produce, flowers, etc.
o Bike riding and rowing boats in Central Park
o Walking the Brooklyn Bridge and stopping at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
o Ice Skating at Wollman Rink or Rockefeller Center
o Free walking tours throughout the city
o Long Island City's waterfront park
o Double Decker bus tours with visiting friends – 2 for 1 tickets available for local residents of tri-state area with web registration and proof of residence
o Karaoke in Korea Town at Duet 35 – private rooms to sing and dance to your heart’s content
o Top of the Rock Observation Deck at dusk
o Concerts at smaller venues - Bowery Ballroom, Terminal 5, Irving Plaza, Roseland Ballroom, Brooklyn Waterfront, Mercury Lounge and Beacon Theater
o Park Avenue Tree Lighting & Singing – first Sunday of December gather outside Brick Church @ 91st & Park Avenue to sing Christmas carols


o Epicerie Boulud @ Broadway & 65th Street - amazing French pastries like macaroons
o Tonnie's Minis @ Lenox b/w 123rd & 124th - mini cupcakes
o Francois Payard Bakery @ Plaza Hotel & Houston b/w Thompson & Sullivan
o Bouchon Bakery @ Rockefeller Plaza & Columbus Circle
o Almondine Bakery @ Water Street & Main Street (Brooklyn) or @ 9th Street & 7th Avenue
o City Bakery @ 18th Street b/w 5th & 6th – hot chocolate & cookies
o Levains Bakery @ 74th Street b/w Columbus & Amsterdam – 6 oz Chocolate Chip Cookies
o Donut Plant @ 23rd Street b/w 7th & 8th & @ Grand Street b/w Essex & Norfolk РCr̬me Brulee doughnut
o Magnolia Bakery @ Bleeker & 11th Street or @ 49th & 6th or @ Columbus & 69th – Bread Pudding
o Amy’s Bread @ Bleeker & Leroy or @ Ninth b/w 46th & 47th Street –Chocolate Cake
o Baby Cakes Bakery @ Broome b/w Ludlow & Orchard

o Eataly @ 23rd Street & 5th Avenue
o Pio Pio @ First b/w 90th & 91st – Peruvian Combo
o Baoguette @ Lexington b/w 25th & 26th or @ Maiden Lane & Broadway – Classic Sandwich
o Patsy's Pizza @ 69th Street & 2nd Ave or @ 23rd Street b/w 8th & 9th
o Halal Cart @ 53rd & 6th – best after 7:30pm
o Cascabel Taqueria @ Second b/w 80th & 81st
o EJ’s Luncheonette @ 73rd Street & Third – great French Toast
o Dim Sum Go Go @ Broadway b/w Catherine & Chatham Square
o Joy Burger @ Lexington & 100th or @ Washington Place & 6th
o Alta Restaurant @ 10th Street b/w 5th & 6th
o Caracas Restaurant @ 7th Street & 1st Avenue
o Lula's Ice Cream @ 6th Street b/w Avenue A & Avenue B
o Cafe El Portal Restaurant @ Elizabeth Street b/w Spring & Kenmare
o Le Maison Du Chocolat @ Madison b/w 78th & 79th or @ Rockefeller Plaza
o Yorkville Creperie @ York Avenue b/w 83rd & 84th
o Mandoo Bar @ 32nd Street b/w Broadway & 5th - dumplings
o Dos Caminos @ 50th Street & 3rd or @ Park Avenue South b/w 26th & 27th – excellent Brunch menu


o Bloomingdales on 59th & Lexington
o J. Crew on 17th & 5th has the best sale section
o Barney's Warehouse Sale is worth the madness
o Forever 21 in Times Square
o DSW in Union Square
o Polarn O. Pyret for kids clothes on sale - opening a shop on 79th & Columbus soon
o Fishes Eddy for kitchen items - 889 Broadway
o ABC Carpet & Home Outlet Store in the Bronx (not on Broadway) has great deals on carpets, rugs, and modern furniture.
o Tag sale at the Brick Church (91st/Park) every October and April to stock up on used children's clothes, shoes, coats and toys.
o Fairway at 125th has a free parking lot

o Sample Sales throughout the Fashion District
o Herald Square – 34th Street between 5th & 9th including Macy’s Department Store
o Union Square
o Broadway between Houston and Canal Street
o Chelsea, on 5th and 6th between 14th and 18th featuring Anthropologie, H&M, TJ Maxx, Zara, J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, etc
o Flea Markets in numerous neighborhoods like Hell’s Kitchen and Brooklyn as well as the Garage near Madison Square Park


o Blooming Nails on 90th and Lexington
o Mimi’s Nails on 80th and 2nd – avoid Saturdays
o Make sure your chosen nail salon has massage chairs to allow your pedicure to do double duty. Get a full-body spa treatment for the price of a pedicure
o Many nail salon offer manicure/pedicure combo deals during Monday - Thursday

o Arrojo Studio @ 180 Varick Street – try to book appointment with Katie
o Cutler Salon in Soho – try to book appointment with Hannah
o Whitmore Hair Salon @ 45 Grove Street
o Hair Farfalla @ Third b/w 88th & 89th Street – great for a quick shampoo and decent cuts

a dream is a wish your heart makes

i've stated before how i pretty much always remember my dreams.  and they are always vivid and generally involve at least one person that i know.  here's a run down of my dreams this week, thus far...

monday night -  a guy i had a crush on many moons ago showed up at church so i ran from floor to floor and classroom to classroom to avoid him seeing me.  was terrified that if i talked to him that i would start to like him again.  that had to be avoided at all costs!  crush hasn't been part of my life for quite some time so i'm always annoyed when he shows up in a dream to remind me of his actual live existence and that he didn't love me back.

tuesday night - was in a hair salon in utah visiting clare.  she had to go take care of a hair care emergency so told me to wait.  a woman close by was waiting to get her hair colored.  the owner of the salon came up to me and started giving me a hard time because i hadn't started her color process yet.  i didn't know what to do and clare wasn't answering her phone so i just started mixing color.  but was terrified of messing up this girl's hair, knowing how important my hair is to me, so i told the owner that i wasn't a trained stylist.  clare walked in while the owner was yelling at me.  she got yelled at also.  not sure why i waited so long in the dream to tell salon owner she had the wrong person doing hair.  i guess wanted to protect clare from getting in trouble.  so this dream once again cements my "good friend" status.  

wednesday night - my favorite band jimmy eat world was on my flight from london.  i happened to be sitting close to the lead singer jim adkins so of course i struck up a casual conversation.  i mentioned that i was bummed they were only doing their "bleed american" shows in san francisco, los angeles and arizona because i couldn't go based on work commitments.  jim told me that fellow toros (our HS mascot) had to stick together so he would put together a special performance of the album for me and my friends in new york within the year.  i promised to be his best friend for life.  i think i got the better deal.  REALLY REALLY REALLY wish this dream will come true!  makes perfect sense that my fave band would be willing to coordinate a show for myself and my friends in appreciation of my years of tireless devotion.

wonder what tonight's slumber will bring...

Monday, September 19, 2011

friday night lights farewell

i've expounded previously about my love and admiration for friday night lights.  the show is a perfect blend of character and football.  it is a story about family - a nuclear family, a sport family and a community family.  the final episode of this great series has already been filmed, edited, broadcast and put on a dvd.  it is one of the best finales i have ever seen.  seriously hoping they do as they have suggested and develop a movie for these characters. 

while watching a completely boring emmy broadcast last night i nearly allowed my tear ducts to work when they called out the name of jason katims for best dramatic writer.  he is the brains, heart and soul of the show.  the best part is he ended his speech with the perfect "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose." 

the evening got even better when the amazingly talented but long shot kyle chandler was awarded the statue for best lead actor in a drama series.  i literally jumped off my couch and started clapping.  i was so incredibly happy for him because without coach taylor the show would not exist.  he is amazing.

lately when people come over to my apartment for the first time and see my large bookshelf full of dvd and blu-rays they always remark how they absolutely love friday night lights.  i can't tell you the number of times i've loaned out the full series on dvd that i own.  anything to help people embrace the goodness of quality television programming.

i will miss FNL.  i will miss eric and tami taylor.  i will miss the dillon panthers and east dillon lions.  i beseech you to watch this series!  it is truly one that brings out the emotions of life set against a football loving town with amazing scenery, music and heart.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

this month's simple moments - written on an airplane

  • obsessed with Groupon - bought one for food and one for a photography class
  • love my book club - this month's book is called Unbroken
  • 69 cent songs on iTunes are awesome
  • nail salon lady asked where my friend was while getting a manicure...apparently netter and i are a nail salon attending duo
  • la guardia airport has more families flying than jfk - must be the numerous orlando flights
  • holiday weekends in new york city are very quiet
  • no more A/C usage = smaller electric bills
  • bought tickets in a box at carnegie hall for new york pops holiday concert
  • allergies are getting bad again
  • three days of perfect weather following hurricane irene
  • line down the block at abercrombie & fitch and parisian landuree for macaroons, i would have chosen the macaroons
  • sat next to a friend from church on my bus to work

trying to coordinate a girls' weekend

it's been over 10 years since myself and my two freshman year college roommates have been in the same room.  i think the last time we were all in the same room was susan's wedding.  a lot has obviously happened in that decade to all of our lives.

while chatting recently with heidi we realized that enough was enough.  it was time to bring the sweeties of m. smith heritage hall back into the same room.  emails about dates and locations have been exchanged but nothing finalized.  this weekend getaway unfortunately is easier said than done with two busy moms' schedules and my work load.  but i know the three of us are determined to make it happen. 

i have no doubt in my mind that when we are all back together that it will seem like we've only been apart for a few months.  that is one of the greatest blessings in life, friendship.  i greatly look forward to partying like it's 1999 again with my BYU comrades heid and susan!

halfway through september

apparently i forgot i had a blog during the first 18 days of september.  my time has not been idle.  seems as the year winds to a close that my "to do" list increases.  not just with my professional obligations but also personal and church.  as i told someone recently, i would rather be busy and accomplishing tasks then sitting around being bored.  got my wish.
  • successfully made it through the first tax deadline of september 15th.  just one more to go in october.  
  • booked housing for orlando, florida january 2012 vacation
  • enjoyed numerous hours of amazing tennis played during the US Open including an epic match between novak djokovic and rafael nadal
  • spent labor day with my brother big lug and his family for my niece julia's baptism - she looked beautiful
  • started going to the gym at 6am daily - yup, 6am
  • planned relief society fall social with my meetings committee
  • saw Andrea Bocelli in Central Park  
  • became kind of obsessed with my Instagram app
  • ate my first cupcake from Sprinkles bakery
that is just a small snippet of my month of september thus far.  finally it feels like fall is in the air.  this means apple picking, photo taking, pumpkin bread baking, breaking out the cashmere sweaters and no more flip flops.  still pretty shocked that we are a short two weeks away from the fourth quarter of the year.  anyone else in a bit of shock by this fact?