Saturday, December 31, 2011

highlights from my time spent with 2011


Greatest vacation:  London in October!  Enjoyed 4 different double decker bus tours and a boat cruise, excellent food, gorgeous weather, made the London Eye rotation twice, took fabulous photos and did some souvenir shopping.  Took a train to Bath where I worshipped at the altar of Jane Austen.  Took a train to Oxford where amazing architecture is found and lots of students live and learn.  Cried while hearing Alfie Boe sing “Bring Him Home” during a performance of Les Miserables.  Drank tea at the Orangery in Kensington Palace, more evidence I’m a descendant of British royalty.  

Greatest vacations that didn’t include a 5 hour time change and a passport:  Walt Disney World in January where we dined with the princesses and wore cheap tiaras.  Utah in March for a friend’s wedding.  Spent 5 days in the Bay Area in April where I visited the majestic Muir Woods & Muir Beach.  Took a tour of Alcatraz at night and saw my childhood through adult eyes.  Enjoyed the southern hospitality and face melting heat of Charleston in June.  Trips to see my family, see below…

Greatest family time: annual water park fun in July including taking Blake on the cave waterslide, celebrating the baptism of my beautiful niece Julia in Indiana, lots of hands of pinochle, meeting my newest nephew McKay for the first time in March, playing tennis and our monthly video chats

Greatest unexpected life changes:  serving in Ward Relief Society Presidency and starting a book club to socialize and read books I wouldn’t normally – highly recommend Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. 

Greatest new purchases:  Mikimoto pearl earrings and necklace from Japan World Showcase in Epcot Center, my iPad 2, hard bound books of my blog posts and my AppleTV

Greatest guilty pleasures:  Sprinkles cupcakes, Ann Taylor friends & family discounts, using expensive shampoo & conditioner, wearing a sparkly tiara in public, Instagram photo taking, asking my friend Megan & my mommy to sew dresses for me and Till the World Ends (Britney Spears)

Greatest songs played on my iPhone: the entire 21 album by Adele, Iridescent (Linkin Park), Movielike (Jimmy Eat World), Called Out in the Dark (Snow Patrol), Don’t Turn Out the Lights (NKOTBSB), Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5), Turn to Stone (Ingrid Michaelson) and Belong (Cary Brothers)

Greatest television: Friday Night Lights, Revenge, Once Upon A Time, White Collar, The Good Wife, Glee & anything on the HGTV channel especially The Property Brothers

Greatest concerts/Broadway shows: Les Miserables with Alfie Boe at Queen’s Theater in London, War Horse, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Andrea Bocelli @ Central Park, Anything Goes, Plain White T’s @ Highline Ballroom, Sister Act, New Kids on the Block & Backstreet Boys @ IZOD Center, NY Philharmonic @ Lincoln Center, Catch Me If You Can and NY Pops @ Carnegie Hall

Greatest hours spent in a movie theater: Moneyball, Crazy Stupid Love, Fast Five, Captain America, Midnight in Paris, X-Men: First Class, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II & The Help

Greatest need for a movie ticket refund: Limitless, Cars 2, One Day and Tower Heist

Greatest New York moments: spent birthday in Central Park, took pictures of people, places and moments, 10th Anniversary of New York Fun Day, out of town for Justin Bieber performance on the Today Show, monthly dinners with friends I don’t see often, not losing electricity during Hurricane Irene, “I’m a Mormon” cab ads & Times Square billboard, met the stars of White Collar, played tour guide for Flat Stanley & friends’ trips to New York & Alexander McQueen exhibit @ the Met

new york fun day 10th anniversary

new york fun day's 10th anniversary took place on saturday, december 17th.  i was ecstatic that doc was able to fly in from medical residency to participate in the event.  she was my co-founder way back in 2002 when i was a little new york newbie.  

this year we decided to go big or go home.  we added a little personal pampering, christmas karaoke on saturday instead of friday night, a three course meal in a nice restaurant and buying seats in box at carnegie for the new york pops concert.  we had a great time!

new york fun day is one of my favorite new york christmas traditions.  it makes me appreciate the city and the magic it creates during the holidays.  spending a full saturday with my best buddies is an added bonus.  

i can't believe we have had 10 years of new york fun days.  it has gone by so quickly.  thank you new york city.

Friday, December 16, 2011

this week's simple moments

1.  my mommy sent me flowers for christmas...she is the best mommy i know
2.  enjoyed the new york philharmonic's performance of handel's messiah on wednesday night
3.  stood in line for 30 minutes to enjoy laduree macaroons.  worth every minute of line standing.
4.  made my bed every morning this week.  progress.
5.  glad my bed was made when my co-worker had to escort me home from work because i was sick. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

move over magnolia, you've been replaced!

in a previous post about three years ago i expounded about the virtues of magnolia bakery, which had just opened in rockefeller center.  i was in cupcake bliss and became a bit addicted to grabbing something sweet from their luscious catalogue of goodies.

now i have taken a vow to ignore magnolia's siren song.  i have found a new and better cupcake shop to obtain my hard earned funds.  it's all about sprinkles!  the red velvet, cinnamon sugar, pumpkin, lemon, banana, etc. make me so happy!  the cupcake has a perfect cake to frosting ratio.  neither are overly sweet.  they just taste so dang good.  if you're in new york, DC or california you MUST have a cupcake.  they will change that frown upside down, i guarantee it!

bereavment for decent television

my dvr is very sad.  nothing much for it to look forward to until next month.  i miss you revenge, once upon a time and  the good wife.  i guess i'll actually have to watch those 100s of movies/tv shows i currently have on a book shelf.  or there is always abc family and lifetime cheesy christmas, made for tv movies.

plus i'm looking forward to the introduction of new shows like smash.  i get chills every time i watch the preview.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

old age rears its ugly head

monday night was a trek to new jersey to buy a christmas tree and enjoy the 'burbs for an evening.  took a pick up truck over the hudson river for our excursion.  made sense since i had to bring back a tree. 

driving the pick up reminded me of grandpappy.  he used to take me and my cousins in his datsun black pick up.  we would pile in the back and he would drive along and then start turning the steering wheel so it felt like we were shaking.  i remember squealing with my cousins whenever he would do that.  love those memories with my grandpappy.

anyway, back to original blog post story...

after loading the trees we did our best to secure them and the drop cloth generously borrowed from a friend.  we used my bungee cords and rope to secure.  when i got going on the highway (aka freeway for those living on the west coast) the drop cloth kept flying up so we pulled into a parking lot and i jumped in the back to try to tie rope around the trees and secure it.  pretty sure that is how i strained/pulled my back.

the next morning it was horrendous pain with any movement.  took quite a few advil just to get through the day.  came home last night and popped into a hot bath to try to loosen the tension.  thankfully clare had given me a flannel wrapped rice bag that i could heat up also.  did all i could to make it feel better.  woke up this morning and it was worse than ever. 

moral of the story is that my 30s mean the aches and pains seem to be more frequent and of longer duration.  makes me mildly concerned for my 40s.

Monday, December 05, 2011

christmas season has begun!

the christmas season has officially begun! 

the first official activity of the season is the brick church park avenue tree lighting.  it happens every 1st sunday in the month of december.  100s and 100s of community members gather on park avenue at 6:30pm to sing carols and watch the illumination of the trees along the avenue.  this year the weather was absolutely perfect.  it wasn't its typical freezing temperatures.  loved the atmosphere of being surrounded by my friends and neighbors as we sing the songs of the season.

netter and i with our annual photo after the park ave trees are lit

now i can focus on the rest of my christmas activities!  here's a quick run down of what christmas in new york city (per moi) consists of:
  • buy christmas tree in new jersey
  • watch white christmas
  • wrap all pictures hanging on walls so they look like presents (a la Joani)
  • write christmas annual review letter
  • address christmas cards
  • listen to tuba christmas on rock center ice rink
  • buy and ship christmas presents to family & friends
  • make christmas music playlist #2
  • attend church services
  • read nativity story
  • donate to Sub 4 Santa
  • decorate christmas tree
i'm obviously most excited about this year's new york fun day!  doc is coming all the way from michigan to celebrate the 10th anniversary of new york fun day.  i'm so so so happy she's coming since she was the co-founder of this great event.  this year we're adding some things to make it even bigger!  can't wait for december 17th!

today while walking back to my office after grabbing lunch a song came on my iPhone.  it was the brass rendition of "o holy night" performed a few years ago on the awesome show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  it almost brought tears to my eyes because i think it is so beautiful.  take a listen below and let me know if you enjoyed.