♥ reading… Barbara the Slut and Other People by my talented and funny friend, Lauren Holmes. Don’t let the provocative title scare you. This funny short story collection is touching and real. The stories of dating, sexuality, family relationships, dogs, and growing up feel entirely fresh, young, smart, and current… without resorting to text speak or emoticons.
♥ eating…. Birds & Bubbles. Fried chicken and champagne in a Chinatown basement may sound a little odd, but it is so great. Travis took me to this surprisingly fancy spot on our very first babysitter-supported date night a few weeks ago. I loved it and seriously want to go back.
♥ wishing for… this J.Crew leather jacket. I actually do NEED a new winter coat… but I don’t know if leather is practical enough. Decisions, decisions.
♥ prepping for… Swap-bot’s 10th Anniversary in October. I seriously can’t believe we’ve kept the site running for a decade. It is a big job and I don’t know if we can keep it going forever, but for now we are going to celebrate the community that has grown over the last 10 years. I’ll be doing some fun giveaways on the blog and I’m hosting a 10th Anniversary Mail Art Swap – come swap snail mail with us!
♥ dreaming about… our trip to Hawaii in November! Our friends, Brian & Jeanette, are getting married and we can’t wait to get to the Big Island to help them celebrate!
What are you up to as summer comes to a close?
♥ using… Dior Nail Glow. This is the best nail polish in the world. It is basically clear, but it has some magical property that makes the pinks of your nails become pinker and the whites become whiter. It also has a super-hard finish and lasts forever. Plus, you can just layer on another coat if it does start to chip. I seriously think this polish makes my nails look way better than any manicure and it is a lot easier and cheaper!
♥ eating…. Tons of organic, local fruits & veggies. Travis and I joined the Local Roots CSA through his office, which means we get a random assortment of fruits and veggies each week, and meat and bread every other week. We’ve tried a lot of new things, like sorrel, quelites, tat soi, bok choy, and garlic scapes, plus the usual stuff like strawberries, apples, carrots, and beets. We’ve really enjoyed cooking a lot of healthy, tasty meals at home.
♥ wishing for… this metal shelving unit from Room & Board. I need to drastically purge and organize my office, and this set of shelves will fit into a small space.
♥ watching… Star Trek: Voyager. I’ve been working my way through the series whenever I have down time. (Usually, when Travis isn’t around. He doesn’t seem to love it as much as I do.) I watched it when it originally aired, but not religiously and not the final few seasons. At first it was too cheesy and I thought I wouldn’t finish it, but the series gets better and better. I am in Season 6 right now and will be sad when it is over! I love Tuvok. He reminds me of Travis.
♥ working on… Swap-bot! Travis and I have been doing a LOT of work on the ‘bot to catch up from when we were away in Europe. Travis has been upgrading the backend infrastructure of the site and I just announced our new Ambassador program. I am excited about it and thrilled that we have so many excellent and enthusiastic members!
What are you up to this summer?
The calendar says it is spring, but the weather doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. I’ve been spending a lot of time indoors these days. Here is some of what’s been keeping me busy…
♥ reading… The Serpent and the Rainbow. I actually just finished this nonfiction book by ethnobotanist, Wade Davis, and I loved it. My parents took me to see an Egypt exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago in the 80s. That, combined with Indiana Jones, ignited an interest in all things related to history and culture. The Indian Jones style of archeology and anthropology (white man “discovering” “primitive” cultures) has rightfully fallen out of favor, but I think the idea of discovering new things will always be exciting and romantic. Davis’ book describes his experience in Haiti searching for the secret recipe for zombie powders — ooo spooky! — but it is much more than an adventure story. It is the story of the incredible history of the Haitian people, the vodoun religion, and the amazingly diverse ways different cultures view and interpret the world and their societies. (I plan to read Passage of Darkness next. Thanks, Dad!)
♥ watching… True Detective. We bought HBO just so I could watch this creepy, suspenseful show. We blew through all eight episodes in about four days. It is sad and scary, but very smart. It will stay with you. (Matthew McConaughey forever!)
♥ playing… World of Warcraft… again. I know, I know. I really don’t have the time. But I love the battle pets! And I am determined to get to level 90… someday…
♥ hosting… Rachel’s Easy Travel Postcard Swap on Swap-bot. Travis and I are taking a crazy-big trip in April, and Swap-bot will be coming with us. I’m hosting this easy snail mail swap so that other travelers like me can keep swapping during their trips.
♥ planning… that crazy-big trip mentioned above. Travis and I are going to Europe! Wow. We have been talking about this trip for years. Recently all of the pieces sort of fell into place in such a way that we felt we HAD to do it now. We will be traveling through six countries – The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and France — I am really excited, but also nervous. My plan is to keep a little travel journal here on the blog… maybe a short post each day about our experiences. Stay tuned!
What have you been doing lately?
♥ drinking… David’s Tea. In support of my no-coffee-ness, Travis got me three kinds of David’s Tea for Christmas and they are all tasty. There are so many tea options, including cold-fighting teas and chocolate teas. Wow!
♥ playing… the best iPhone game ever: Star Trek Trexels! You get to build a starship, explore strange, new worlds, and succeed at diplomatic missions! So cute. Plus, George Takei narrates! I am already at level 20 and I love my little Trexel crew.
♥ cross training… a lot. I’ve been running a little less now that the weather is so cold. I still go out a couple times a week, but I’ve been adding in lots of other exercise, too: yoga, swimming, kick boxing, SoulCycle! I like mixing it up and hopefully it will make my body stronger.
♥ organizing… the 6th edition of my favorite swap, the February Love Matchbox Swap on Swap-bot.com. If you like Valentines, paper crafts, or snail mail, come join us!
♥ looking forward to… going back to Bermuda for a quick trip next weekend!
What are you currently up to?
Check out a blast from the past:
currently january 2013 // currently january 2012
♥ watching… Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This new comedy is my current favorite. It is really funny. And sweet. And it actually addresses some important and relevant topics, like the changing dynamics of NYC and LGTBQ and women’s equality in the workplace. Plus, it is based in my neighborhood!
♥ eating… Blueberry Scones – yum! I added a brown butter glaze to Martha’s classic recipe for a little more sweetness.
♥ playing… Tiny Thief, a super-adorable puzzle game for the iPhone. It costs $2.99, but I think it is worth it. Cute and clever!
♥ feeling… proud and happy that Bill deBlasio is our new Mayor of NYC!
♥ listening… to songs that will motivate me through my marathon on Sunday. My current favorites are Cruise by Florida Georgia Line (the remix version feat. my favorite STL rapper, Nelly, of course) and Timber by Pitbull and Ke$ha. What other fun songs should I add to my playlist?
♥ loving… my new Patagonia puffy vest. I wear it running and as perfect fall layer any time. Totally classic and comfy. (Wouldn’t it look cute with this colorful hat?!)
♥ organizing… another great Holiday Gift Donation Drive with the Swap-bot community. We are collecting gifts for The Partnership for the Homeless to distribute at their Children’s Holiday Party here in Brooklyn. Join us?
What are you currently into?
Check out a blast from the past:
currently november 2012 // currently november 2011
♥ making… the best ever chocolate chip cookies. No Crisco and they still turn out fluffy and soft. Don’t over-cook them. They get eaten really fast!
♥ practicing… Swimming! My swim lesson came to an end, but I’ve started going to lap swim at the local public pool. I have a goal to swim 25 miles by the end of summer… that is a lot.
♥ watching… Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. We actually already finished the full series. It is funny and poignant and complicated and weird. All of the actresses are amazing, but I especially love Kate Mulgrew (previously known as Captain Janeway).
♥ listening to… Emeli Sandé.
♥ looking forward to… camping this weekend! And volunteering at the Lake Placid IronMan. My friends and I are manning a water table during the run portion of the event. I’m excited! (I had such a great experience volunteering at the NYC IronMan last year.)
Summer is half over and I am already mourning its passing. I’ve been packing this hot season too full of fun and fitness! What have you been enjoying?
eating… broiled grapefruit. A delicious, but very healthy breakfast or dessert. I followed this recipe, but you can easily modify it and use whatever fruit or nuts you have on hand.
playing with… the A Beautiful Mess photography app. If you like Instagram, but want to add a bit more to your photos, you will love this app. It allows you to add text and doodles and novel borders and then share your creations via Instagram or other social networks. It is a lot of fun and totally worth the .99 cents!
prepping for… the Trail/Road Challenge next weekend. I’ll be running a 15k trail run on Saturday and a 5k road race on Sunday. In between, I’ll be partying with my Brooklyn Team in Training in the Berkshires!
trying something new… swimming! I am taking a weekly lesson with my friend Suzy. It is a beginner lesson geared toward triathlons. I have always known how to swim, but swimming competitively or for long distances is totally new. I think I am making progress…
What are you currently up to?
I love my birthday month, but this February seems to be dragging on. So cold and rainy and grey. I have lost my enthusiasm for a lot of things… except this stuff:
♥ watching… X-Files! Oh, how I love Mulder & Scully! I am working my way through the series. I just finished season three (Queequeg just got eaten by an alligator) and started season four (my favorite). Such a thoughtful, mysterious show! Definitely one of my all-time favorites.
♥ enjoying… spring pastels. Like this handbag, this rug, and this scarf.
♥ eating… grapefruit and pistachios. My two current healthy favorites. I believe that I eat pretty healthy in general — fruits & veggies, whole grain, low-fat dairy, etc — but I am on a renewed health kick since I read this article about junk food engineering.
♥ wishing that… my new iMac would arrive. It is back-ordered until March. My current desktop is broken — it crashes every 10 minutes — and it is difficult to do serious work on my tiny travel laptop.
♥ hosting… the Sweet Spring Time Matchbox Swap on Swap-bot. I am really looking forward to spring and thought I’d host one of my signature craft swaps to hurry it along. Join us!
what are you up to?
We are only four days into 2013 and I already feel like it is going by too fast. What is occupying my time and thoughts as this new year starts? This stuff…
♥ obsessing over… my new iphone app, Lumiè. It allows you to add bokeh light effects to your photos and share them via social media.
♥ watching… Homeland! Just finished the first season. It is a lot more about mental illness and EMOTIONS than I was expecting, but it is interesting.
♥ eating… South Brooklyn Pizza. With onions, mushrooms, and pepperoni.
♥ exercising with… the Brazil Butt Lift workout videos. My friend Brian got me the videos (at my request) for Christmas. They are basically aerobics workouts with a lot of lunges.
♥ getting pumped for… the Goofy Challenge in one week!!! And the Bermuda Challenge the week after that!! Wish me luck!
What are you doing right now? What do you have planned for 2013?
Shut the door on November and get in line for the frantic holiday season! I am not ready. What have I been spending my time on?? Oh ya, this stuff…
hosting… the 6th annual Holiday Fun Matchbox Swap! Yes, I have been hosting this same swap for six years. Wow! Come join me in some paper crafting fun.
reading… Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York. I love reading about NYC history, but the arrogance and self-righteousness of the reformers in turn of the century NY is starting to get on my nerves.
listening to… Miguel.
obsessing over… this coat and this ring.
looking forward to… playing the Hero-U adventure game. I was happy to support the game’s Kickstarter campaign. It won’t come out for at least a year, but it looks like a lot of old-school, Sierra-style fun.
What is currently grabbing your attention?
This is what I was doing last November.