A HUNDRED!

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It only took just over a year but I have reached 100 followers! Actually, 101 but both events happened today.

I feel like the guy from the AT&T commercials whose selfie hit a hundred likes. A HUNDRED!

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of course there was no gif of this moment. come on, internet!

Next stop: one million!

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sailing the seas of my followers. navigate me, harry

Let’s be real, 250. Or as many as it takes to be so popular and fabulous that I can make this a lucrative endeavor and never have to work again. can i get an amen?

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merry new york christmas!

Last week I ventured in to the big ol’ city to see the Rockettes at Radio City. I haven’t seen the show in quite some time and honestly, I couldn’t remember it at all. That’s the beauty of getting old – old things become new again.

We took the express bus in to the city and from the minute we disembarked from the bus and on the the sidewalks of 6th Avenue, my mother grabbed my arm as if her life depended on it. One thing about my mom is, she is not a particularly nervous person so I have no idea where this came from. We got to the corner right in front of Radio City and we got separated (read: I wriggled out from her grasp). There was a huge group of out of towners on the corner being very out of town like* and I had to maneuver around them to cross the street. When I finally got across, I found my mother and the look on her face was a mix of sheer panic and relief that we were reunited. Needless to say, this will be the last time for a long time that we make a trip to the city together.

*I have to make this announcement right here, right now. If you are not from any of the five boroughs and decide to make a trip to New York City with either your whole family or the entire congregation of your church, please heed my advice. The city is an extremely busy place, where people just GO. If you are lost, or if people are missing from your group, please move to the side and wait for them. DO NOT wait en masse on the corner of any intersection. DO NOT wait en masse in the middle of any sidewalk. You all have cellphones, move over or duck into a store and make a phone call. They will find you. Also, I’m all for taking pictures and I totally understand and appreciate the beauty that is New York City, however there is an art to doing it. Do it fast and, if you can, do it on the move. hustle, hustle, hustle! Practice taking pictures while walking before you get here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy tourists. I really do think you guys are a big part of the appeal of the city. Especially when you point to the Chrysler building excitedly and exclaim how beautiful the Empire State Building is. Warms my heart.

Anyway, we make it to the entrance for ticket holders and we try to find somewhere to wait for my aunt that was coming from the other direction (read: Staten Island). It started to snow pretty hard by this point so we hugged the building and hoped she’d get there soon.

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After my aunt arrived, we headed through security and into the warmth of Radio City. It’s beautiful. It’s old and ornate and just ugh. lovely.

The chandelier was all crystal snowflakes. Each one different from the next, as snowflakes are. It sparkled like you wouldn’t believe. Honestly, I would have stood there for the hour and a half and just watched it twirl. Which I hope was on purpose because if not, someone better look in to that.

The recording that was playing outside and all through the lobby was pretty emphatic about no flash photography or video during the performance. So like the good little girl I am, I tucked my phone and my camera in my bag and waited for the show to begin. The man in front of me, however, did not. He took pictures without flash AND VIDEO of the whole show. And he had a nice, big DSLR camera so his photos were quality. I was highly annoyed. (Had this been a Disney on Broadway show, his ass would have been on the street before Santa could say HO HO HO) Finally, towards the end I noticed cellphones popping up and no wardens ushers telling anyone to put them away. I took this as my cue to whip my phone out and take some shots. don’t mind if i do.

I know they’re blurry, but had I known I wouldn’t get thrown in Radio City jail for bringing my big DSLR camera, they would have been better.

After the show ended we had some time before our reservation so we went to see the tree. I’m noticing as I write this that I’m using terms that only people from the area would use. THE city, THE tree. It almost diminishes the magnitude of what they are. (I know I must be coming off as highly ego centric or hometown centric and I apologize.) What’s so great about a tree?

THIS. this is what is so great about a tree.

She’s a real beaut, Clarke. – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

While we were at the tree my mom did the whole vice grip on my arm thing again and kept asking me if I was OK.

Mom: Are you OK?

Me: Yep

two minutes later…

Mom: Are you OK?

Me: I just tripped over a small child because you’re insisting that we literally stick together, but yea I’m fine.

two minutes later…

Mom: Are you OK?

Me: Yes, Mom. Are YOU ok?

We all ducked into the NBC Experience store because back in the day, it used to be a really cool place. They used to give tours, let you do the weather, sit at Leno’s (?) desk. Not anymore, but we made the best of it.

On our way to dinner we passed one of my favorite light displays in the city (after the windows and the tree)

The BAWLS, the LIGHTS, and those majestic looking REINDEER!

After dinner we headed back to the bus to go home. I looked up at one of the buildings across from us and saw that the Empire State Building was reflected on to the building. All of a sudden my inner Annie Liebovitz came out and I needed a picture. More regret that I was without my nice DSLR.

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The bus came and we got on, therefore essentially ending our adventure. It was a great time and can’t wait to do the same in the spring because the Rockettes are doing a new show all about New York City. Minus the tree, the lights and the other holiday goodness, of course.

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monday mumblings

Since I missed Friday favorites last week instead of waiting, I decided to do them today. lucky for you guys!

The Mindy Project‘s Christmas Episode: I think we’re all going to have to accept the fact that this show will be included in my favorites until the season ends. Wreath Witherspoon, THAT GREEN DRESS (which looks so much better on TV than it does on instagram), the almost proposal, the recommendation letter! ugh.

Welch’s Peanut Butter and Jelly snacks: Ok, I know it sounds gross – peanut butter covered fruit snacks. I wasn’t too sure about them either but seriously, I’m addicted. They come in either grape or strawberry, creamy or crunchy. My favorite is creamy grape. Try them – you’ll love it!

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Winter programming: All of my usual “stories” are going on or have gone on winter hiatus. It’s killing me, but at least now there’s all new shows swooping in to fill their place. Lifetime has a new reality show coming out on New Year’s Day about plus size dating called Big Women:Big Love. This should be a beautiful train wreck. I’ve been in the trenches of the war on love for the bigger girl (president of the “friendzone reporting for duty!)  and I can’t wait to see how it’s portrayed. And, BONUS JONAS: SallyAnn Salsano, of Jersey Shore fame is involved. Like I said, beautiful train wreck.

Christmas commercials: I’m not going to lie, the commercials this year have not been the greatest. However, I really like the one with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. They’re really cute together and I have no doubt in my mind that this is 100% them.

To round off this list, I have some not-so-favorites

Christmas gifts: In my family we do a secret Santa since we don’t have any children left. I went shopping and basically after a whole day at the mall, the only person I bought for was my secret Santa. Now it’s almost 3 weeks later and I can’t find the gift. ANYWHERE. It’s mind boggling because I also lost the stocking stuffer gifts I bought for my cousins. It’s like they fell into a Christmas black hole. Hopefully they turn up soon or else everyone is going to just have to accept a smile and a big Christmas hug from me this year.

My face erupted: I’m not prone to breakouts. So tell me why (ain’t nothin’ but a heartache), all of a sudden, my face turned into break out city. ugh. It’s probably all the stress about lost and unpurchased Christmas gifts.

Gray hair: After Thanksgiving, I noticed that I had a few more straggly gray hairs than usual. Upon closer inspection, I realized they’re all over the place! rude. Premature grayness runs in the family, or so I’m told, but still ain’t nobody got time for this. At least I’m not balding.

I think that’s about it. Talk to you soon!

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one year

blog birthday

My little blog turns one year old today!

I’m a bit more excited than I thought I would be. I guess since it took me almost the full year to get started.

I wish I had something planned, like a giveaway or something. I feel like a mom who forgot to plan her kid’s birthday party so she hired her husband’s foul mouthed friend to throw on a clown costume, and threw some pizza bites in the oven while she ran out to find a card and some balloons.

This is why I don’t have children. That, and the lack of anything slightly romantic in my life.

But, I have a blog. That I’m extremely proud of and enjoy hanging out with.

In the spirit of being a proud blog mama (oh God, even that sounded unnatural), I thought I’d do a year update.

Likes: page views, likes, comments, new subscribers, old subscribers, blogging friends, backstreet boys, one direction, the mindy project (did you see this week’s episode?!), manhattan, nail polish, glitter, kate spade, commas, sarcasm

Dislikes: ghost subscribers, slow viewership days

Goals: to hit 100 subscribers (1 away!), to hit 250 subscribers (in due time), to comment more, to become so popular mommy doesn’t have to worry about finding a new job (so thoughtful!), to make more friends.

I feel like I should get all introspective and say how starting this endeavor has changed me as a person. Except I’m the same hilarious, beautiful, sparkly, adult-child that I always was. So you lose on that one. Or maybe it’s a win.

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I wanted to also say that I am so thankful for everyone reading this. If you’re a subscriber, thanks for pressing that button! If you aren’t, please feel free to change that! To the frequent commenters – thank you for keeping me motivated by reaching out. It’s scary how alike some of us are. It makes me feel less weird. I consider you guys my blog friends because that’s what friends are for, to share each other’s weirdness. (I hope I don’t sound crazy!)

Here’s to many more blogging birthdays!

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need a little Christmas, right this very minute!

This year it’s been hard to get myself into the Christmas spirit. I’ve been circling the rabbit hole and sometimes my foot hovers over it, but I can’t get myself to jump in. I mean, I’m excited for the holiday, but I’m overwhelmed. There’s so much I want to do with seemingly no time to do it. Also, we’re having new windows put in on our sun porch but due to the horrible monsoon like rains we’ve been having, the company keeps rescheduling. Which means that everything that was out on our sun porch is now in the dining room. We look like we belong on Hoarders. It’s starting to drive me nuts.

I was scrolling through my Bloglovin’ feed (you can click on the snazzy gold button on the right to follow me on there. it’s the one with the + sign.) and I came across a Christmas survey of sorts that Allie from Allieology did.  I stole borrowed it because I figured it would be fun to do and maybe help to throw myself down that rabbit hole.

Without further ado…

Talk about finding out Santa wasn’t real. How did it happen? What did you feel?
Honestly, Santa just faded out. I believed in him for a long time, but after a while I just wrote letters and stuff for the hell of it. I think my cousins kept it up for each other, not quite sure if the others believed anymore. When my youngest cousin announced that Santa was mommy and daddy, the jig was up. I also remember in maybe 4th grade one of my classmates asked me if I still believed. I was so conflicted because I whole-heartedly did at that point, but I felt like I was being set up and I didn’t want to be made fun of. So I coolly answered, “Um. a little.” And then nervously asked, “Do you?” My classmate smiled and said “Yea, a little too”. And then I exhaled.
I still leave cookies out, though. I have a cookies for Santa plate that’s been around my whole life so instead of putting it away for my children (it may never see the light of day again if i did that), I throw some cookies and a carrot (for Rudolph) on it, and set it down next to a nice glass of eggnog. My parents are such good sports because there is always a cookie or two missing, a bite mark in the carrot, and the glass of eggnog is empty.

How do you countdown the days until Christmas? Tell us about your advent calendar. 
I take 25 and subtract it from whatever day it is at the moment. Nothing fancy.
I don’t have an Advent calendar, never have. In Sunday school we had the wreath and the teacher lit the candles but that’s where my advent experience stops.

Share a tradition you want to start in your own home one day. 
I love going to look at the lights. So where ever I live I will find the biggest light display and make sure my husband and kids go every year. Or just me and my husband. Or just me and my cats. (actually, I’m not a pet person, but I’m covering all of my bases.)


Christmas in Brooklyn – it’s the best!

Holiday decor home tour. (Because you know we want to see it) 
I’ll show you my tree because my house is a mess and my mom would kill me if I showed anything else. My mom does a great job every year decorating whatever tree we pick out. Our tree always was (and always will be, as long as i win the yearly fight) a real tree. This year she keeps saying that this tree is too wide. I think it’s perfect. big is beautiful

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This one is my little “Kate Spade” tree in my bedroom. It’s not exactly what I envisioned, but for $5 from Five Below, it will do.

What is your Christmas music policy? When is it allowed to be listened to? What are your favorite artists? Hymns or more recent songs?  
Sometimes I’ll “allow” Christmas music before Thanksgiving, but usually my rule of thumb is that it should start the day after. everyone needs to have their shining moment.
My favorite Christmas albums are Mariah Carey’s (the original one) and N’SYNC’s (if the Backstreet Boys came out with one, Justin and Co. would have gotten the boot). I also love the traditional songs from Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc. They remind me of my grandmother. Alternatively, whenever I hear a regular Frank or Dino song, it reminds me of Christmas.

Every family has an odd, interesting, unique Christmas day tradition. What’s yours? 
It’s not a tradition but, something I can count on is my mom takes foooorrrreevvverrrrr to get ready to come downstairs to open gifts. She gets up, goes to the bathroom, brushes her teeth, brushes her hair, washes her face, changes into different pajamas. Then she finally comes downstairs and wants to make coffee, take out things she might need for breakfast (not that she makes a gourmet meal. it’s usually bagels and coffee). Then finally, she’s ready for presents. This process takes between 30 and 45 minutes. I make sure I have nothing in my eyes, teeth, or on my face, grab the camera and I’m ready. My father smoothes his hair and he’s good. I mean, really.
The only real tradition we (my parents and i) have is that we eat fish on Christmas Eve. I think it’s an Italian thing. We don’t do all of the seven fishes (i don’t even know what they are), but we have some and it’s my favorite meal of the week, maybe even the month. hands down.
My mom and I also bundle up and take a ride to this house that’s next to a funeral home near my house that does a whole light display. It usually isn’t crowded because we go on Christmas Eve after dinner. We’re usually gone for no more than a half an hour, but it’s something I look forward to every year.

As far as traditions with the rest of my family, we have a few.
annual cousins Christmas picture
my oldest cousin always says grace (i’m second in line and hate doing it.)
the “kids” open gifts first (except now we do a secret santa)
eggplant parmigiana and artichokes no matter how big the rest of the meal is

I like to make sure I watch Miracle on 34th Street and/or Home Alone 2. I can’t find my Miracle DVD and I’m having withdrawals.tumblr_mekngoOe3U1qa5etko1_500See you soon!

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everybodayy… backstreet’s back! alright!

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GUYS!

The long awaited (for me, anyway) Backstreet Boys documentary is finally being released!

January 30, 2015 – MARK IT DOWN, AMERICA.

February 26, 2016 – MARK IT DOWN, WORLD.

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Sorry Kevin.
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Sorry again, Kevin 
"From 1992 to 2002 we were the biggest band in the world. No one thought it was going to be as big as it was...Then it just stopped. And what do you do when you're a full grown man in a boy band?" - Brian Littrell ugh.
“From 1992 to 2002 we were the biggest band in the world. No one thought it was going to be as big as it was…Then it just stopped. And what do you do when you’re a full grown man in a boy band?” – Brian Littrell
ugh.

I love me some One Direction but the Backstreet Boys will hold my heart forever. They showed me the shape of their hearts and promised they would never break mine. How could I not love them forever? (where do i come up with these things?)

So, who’s coming with me?

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a horse is a horse- of course, of course

This post was supposed to be a throwback Thursday type of deal but considering it’s now 12:28 Friday morning, I think I missed the mark.

Anyway…

As we all know, I love my city. And I love playing tourist here whenever I get a chance. (meanwhile, have i ever been to the empire state building? nope. statue of liberty? negative.) However, another fun fact about me that may or may not be known is that I am scared of everything. I mean ALL. THE. THINGS. I don’t like rides. I take the steps one at a time. I over-think before I leap (literally and figuratively). It’s annoying, but I like to think that it’s an endearing quality that someone will learn to love and find cute about me. here’s to hoping.

That being said, about 7 years ago I played tourist and went on a big city adventure with Lisa, Nicole and my cousin, Jill. We went for lunch at Jekyll and Hyde and to Max Brenner for dessert (which I highly recommend). Somewhere in between it was decided that we should take a carriage ride around Central Park. Obviously, this was not my decision. I hemmed and hawed and asked the guy how much weight is too much weight for his mighty steed to pull. In a delightful Irish brogue, he assured me everything would be fine and before I knew it I was being hoisted (read: thrown) into the carriage by Lisa and Nicole. It took a few minutes to get acquainted with being in the carriage. With every bump I feared the worst.

Me: This is it! This is how it ends!

Lisa: We haven’t even made it into the park yet, Martina.

OK, so I was a little dramatic.

After I calmed down, I started to enjoy myself. The carriage driver doubled as a tour guide, pointing out famous places from movies and celebrity apartments. He showed us Diana Ross’ building, which conveniently overlooks the Diana Ross playground. oh, to be rich. 

By now I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Taking in the sights, laughing with my fellow adventure seekers. I’m watching the road ahead to kind of figure out where we were and to figure out why we were so close to traffic (we really weren’t, but i’m neurotic). I noticed that there was two other carriages next to each other, the drivers having a conversation. Our driver decided to squeeze through.

Me: We’re not going to fit

Lisa: He knows what he’s doing. We’ll fit.

Me: I don’t think so.

We didn’t fit. The wheel on my side touched the other carriage’s wheel. You would think it was a 20 car pile up.

Me: I told you we wouldn’t fit! Who else gets into an accident in a horse and carriage? Us. We do!

Lisa: OK, we didn’t fit.

All in all, it was a really fun experience. So New Yawk. Much better than the pedicab ride Lisa and I took looking for Times Square. But that’s another story.

I also wanted to add that our Mayor is trying to get rid of these horse and carriages. don’t even get me started. I’m going to include a link to the Save the Carriage Horses website. From there you can email the people in charge to ask them to not do away with this New York icon.

For those who worry about the horse’s health and safety – I personally know someone who works in the park as a mounted police officer (cool job, right?!) and she has said many, many times that the horses are treated better than humans. The drivers love their horses and would never do anything to put them in harm’s way.

So if you can (and want to), please head over to the website and send a quick note!

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single gal speaks: Santa Baby

I was flipping through my Flipboard app and I came across that video in an article from the Daily Mirror. (Is that like the Enquirer for our UK friends?)

Can I just say how in love I am with her remix? It’s adorable. And hits all too close to home.

So if anyone needs an idea on what to get me for Christmas, watch the video.

Except, he doesn’t have to squeeze into tight Calvins. I actually prefer sweats. And please have a sense of humor. And a good job. And no commitment issues. And please be nice. And open minded with lots of patience. And very romantical. And be smart. And reads. Like, actual books – for fun. And be able to hold a conversation. And has grammatical skill – even through text. =/ And be accepting, generous, good with kids. And not neurotic (I’ve got enough of that for the both of us) And level headed. And financially responsible… this could go on for days.

I’m not asking much (just a token, really. A trifle!). Oh! speaks in movie quotes. And song lyrics. And cute inside jokes.

Ugh. I’ll stop now.

I’ve been a little uninspired lately. What do you do when you’re feeling like you have nothing to say. Or you don’t have an interesting way of saying it?

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the giving of thanks

Is it just me or is anyone else’s mind blown that Thanksgiving is just days away? I mean, I know this happens every year, with every holiday. Come April we’ll be all “OMG it’s Easter already?!” Sure is.

Earlier in the week I was asked by Nancy over at Sincerely and Sarcastically to participate in writing a Things I’m Thankful For list. So in the spirit of the holiday, let’s get started.

1. I’ll get the cliches out of the way and say my family and friends. Just because they’re cliche, doesn’t mean that I’m not thankful for them every single day. Because I am. I don’t know where I’d be without those weirdos. Recently, I was talking about my cousins to a co-worker. I do this a lot because my cousins are the best. Anyway, when I was done, she said to me, “Your family seems cool. Like you guys have a good time. They seem like fun.” you know it!

My closest friends have been my friends, quite literally, forever. Let’s put it this way, my youngest cousin will be 21 in January (ugh.) I’ve known my oldest friends for almost 23 years. do the math, kids. 

2. 7-11 coffee- America may run on Dunkin, but I run on Hazelnut iced coffee from 7-11. But not the one from the machine. Oh no, no, no. I take the large cup and fill it with ice, then add hot coffee. DELICIOUS.

3. Etsy shops – like this one. Christmas is coming so if anyone wants to buy me a gift, look no further. I love the instagram one, this one, another one, this true statement, and most especially this one. The artist has a stand at the Bryant Park Christmas fair. I might have to take a trip.

4. my work family- It’s a known fact that I need to get a new job. That being said, the thought of leaving my current work family makes me sad and nervous. But not sad or nervous enough to not leave. sorry guys. I think they get it though because we’re family and family understands.

5. the people I’ve met through my little blog – it makes writing so much more fun when you know people are reading it. I feel like I’ve started to make some friends because of all of this and it feels really good. So keep the likes and comments and follows coming!

6. hulu – I have a handful of shows that I set to record on my DVR. But there is another handful that I catch up on with Hulu. Also, Hulu allows me to watch The Mindy Project as many times as I want, whenever I want to.

7. One Direction – (what? i already brought up The Mindy Project so I figured you would be expecting it) or maybe the more accurate answer would be Simon Cowell or even The X Factor for joining together my (2nd) favorite fivesome. My eyes and ears are forever thankful.

I think I’ll stop here or else we would be here for days. Now, I’m supposed to tag 10 people to write about what they’re thankful for. Even though Thanksgiving is an American holiday, I think it would be fun to do this anyway, no matter where you’re from. It’s good to reflect on things you have before you ask for things you want. (christmas is coming!)

I tag:

peaches & poppycock

honestly, libby 

the awkward addict

breakfast with bentley

Rae of Sparkles

the little unicorn blog

all things britney lee

half and half

pushing play IRL

confetti and curves

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