weekend update: christmas shopping, light displays and historic houses

So, it’s Sunday night and I’m actually writing a weekend update post.


Friday I took the day off of work so that I could uphold the tradition (and necessary evil) of going Christmas shopping with my mom, aunt, and cousins. When I say necessary evil, it’s the crowds and the pressure of getting it all done that I hate, not the company. The mall we went to had a huge Christmas tree in the middle and if anyone thought they would get out of taking a selfie in front of it while I was around, they were sadly mistaken.


Saturday was tree day, where my mom picked out the best Christmas tree we’ve ever had. It’s tall and it’s fat. It’s like Rockefeller Center right there in my living room. The whole house smells like pine and I truly can’t understand how people can prefer fake ones. No judgment, it’s just once you go real, you know the deal. The decorating crew (my mom) hasn’t worked its magic yet but it will soon so keep checking my instagram to see it in all of its glory.

I also finally got my flu shot on Saturday because I think my father was convinced if I didn’t get it, the flu was coming for me and the strains are terrible this year, or so I’ve heard… repeatedly. It takes 2 weeks to take effect, but after that COME AT ME, FLU. I’M READY.

Saturday night, Nicole and I decided to brave the snow and take a ride over to Dyker Heights and see the lights. We couldn’t believe that there were actual tour buses parked just on the outskirts of the activity. I had heard the crowds were getting a little out of control, but I never expected designated tour bus parking areas. Anyway, we figured the snow might have kept people away, but obviously, that wasn’t the case. We did two blocks and decided to move on to another, lesser populated part of the neighborhood, whose lights are just as pretty.

I’ve shared pictures of the lights in Dyker Heights before but I’ve never gone in the snow, and I think it adds sort of a magical element. So if these look vaguely familiar, that’s why.



I love a good light display.

Our neighborhood is home to the Lott House, which was built in the 1700’s and was rumored to have been a rest stop for George Washington at some point during the war. It was also believed to be a stop on the Underground Railroad. The house fell into disrepair somewhere in the 80’s when whoever was living there either moved or died. Finally, when I was in 7th or 8th grade, a historical society came in and started to clean up the place. That Christmas season, they did a tree lighting and invited the neighborhood into the house for a quick glimpse of a few rooms. I remember it being very dark because it was very early on into the restoration and they hadn’t done anything with the electricity yet. I remember they had set up some of the things they found in the house, like dolls and plates. I can’t confirm that they were from the time period that George Washington spent the night, but I like to think that they were.

For a while, they worked tirelessly to fix up the house and the land around it. In recent years, they’ve been holding events in the garden in the summer, they were selling tickets to see the inside of the house again during the Fall, and most recently, they had another tree lighting ceremony. I missed this one because 1) it was Friday and I was shopping and 2) I had a strong feeling that my crush from 7th grade wouldn’t be there, which was my main reason of going the first time. The magic was gone.

I took the opportunity of the snow, the dark and the absence of crowds to pass the house and get a picture of it with the tree.


I’ve been wanting for years to write a post about the Lott House because, even if George Washington never stayed there, I still think it’s pretty cool that right here, in the middle of little old Marine Park, there’s a 300ish-year-old house that’s still standing and on its original plot of land (or some of it, at least). I keep (kept) meaning to go over and take a few pictures and then sit down and research it so I don’t sound like a blithering idiot, but none of that ever happened so consider this that post. In case I’ve piqued your interest, here’s a small article from Untapped Cities complete with a video showing some of the inside of the house.

Circling back from that tangent, my Sunday was spent reading, napping, and watching Netflix. I finished The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. It’s a historical fiction about the Barbizon Hotel. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend.

And that’s all, folks!


What did you do this weekend? See any great light displays?



paying my civic dues

I have a running joke with my mom that I am a poor representation of an adult. I mean, I have a job (or two), I have credit cards that I pay the bills on once a month, I watch the news fairly regularly, I had to Google what ICYMI meant the other day, I can drive and I don’t have a curfew. Other than that, basically, I’m a child. I don’t do my own laundry (thanks, Mom!), I’m not in any kind of relationship, I’m not 100% happy in either of my jobs (which probably falls into the adult category), and (among other things) still (kind of) expect my mom to call and make any and all appointments for me. However, in the eyes of the City of New York, I am a full, bonafide adult which they reward by summoning me to JURY DUTY.


So, without much of a choice, I pulled up my big girl pants, and on my day off I trudged off to pay my civic dues.

Did I mention it started to pour as soon as I got off the bus? And that I had no umbrella? Yea. So, there’s that.

Anyway, as we all know, jury duty is a lot of sitting and waiting. And if you’re me, reading and avoiding eye contact. Basically, I had lots of thoughts and lots of time to think them. And lucky for you, I wrote a number of them down on a receipt that I had floating around in my bag! (I filled in a good number of them because no reciept that would be found in a bag of mine is this long.)

ugh. jury duty on my day off? come on!

should i bring my charger? they keep stressing the NO PHONES policy.

who am i kidding?

*decides not to bring charger*

hey! doesn’t [7th grade crush] work in the courts?

*checks facebook*

he sure does! yes!

*sets alarm 20 minutes earlier to pull myself together, you know, just in case*

are you going to jury duty or da cluuub? cool it with the smokey eye!

eh, whatever. *adds more eyeshadow* *blends furiously*


*bus arrives at stop, gets off bus*

oh, wonderful. IT’S POURING.

of course, i’m summoned to the courthouse that’s furthest away from civilization

i hope [7th-grade crush] goes for the “wet rat” look

my mascara is definitely halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge by now.. run for your life!

*goes through security, finds jury room*

why does this lady keep talking about getting called into a courtroom? is this definite? please God, not another day of this.

how did this chick get wi-fi? did i miss a sign? i wonder if she’ll give me the password

should i ask? umm.. i’ll stick to reading my book, thanks.

maybe i should have brought my charger

i should have packed a backpack with activities. because i’m a mature adult. 

(almost) 30 going on 3. my parents must be so proud

oh, you’re allowed food in here? i wish i had known that before i  turned into a boa constrictor and unhinged my jaw to scoff down that bagel this morning while i waited to get into the courthouse.

if i lie down, will these people judge me? do i really care?

*gets excused for lunch*

shake shack – here i come!

*hoofs it to shake shack*


*anxiety about coming back late sinks in*

maybe next time, shake shack

ok, burger king it is!

oh! there’s a starbucks right across the street! unicorn frappe anybody?

no, martina. no unicorn frappes.

*5 sips in to my not too basic vanilla bean frappe* meh. over it *tosses the rest in the trash on the way back into the courthouse*

ok, [7th grade crush], last shot.

seriously, if i lay down right here, is that so bad?

please let this be over soon.

oh, they’re calling names please not me. PLEASE NOT ME.

woof. dodged that bullet.

it’s 3:30, they’ve called 15 people. this is the home stretch

maybe if i put one leg up on the seat, and then the other, and slide down a bit…

nope, not comfortable.

i don’t know how much more i can take


Brooklyn: worth the hype?

A few posts ago I mentioned that I wanted to link up with Steph and Jana for the Show Us Your Books link up. I missed the last one, but here I am now! finally.

I peruse Amazon on a pretty regular basis for new books. I keep a queue on my Kindle and I have a small box of paper books, much to the annoyance of my roommate mother. sorry, ma. #dealwithit I found Brooklyn on Amazon a while ago. The synopsis seemed OK, but I knew I would need to be in a certain frame of mind to read it. I usually read frothy chick lit. I’d apologize, but nah.

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Anyway, Brooklyn had been on my radar for a while when I saw the trailer for the movie. I was immediately intrigued. New York/Brooklyn in the 1950’s? Sign me up!

Knowing that books are notoriously better than their movie counterparts, I dived in, book first. The book is being praised left, right and center so I was excited to start. I usually give a book a little time to get started. Brooklyn took over 100 pages. The whole book is 288. So, yea. I wasn’t expecting swordfights or explosions, but I could have heard less about Eilis’ sea sickness and more about her acclimating to city life or something.

As I was reading I kept thinking about the trailer. “Where’s the guy? I know she meets a guy. When is the love story going to start?” I told you, I’m a lover of chick lit. Romance is in my blood. Tony, the Italian, finally showed up and it was almost unnoticeable, like most of the major events in the book. I thought that him being an Italian who snuck into an Irish dance because he liked Irish girls there would be more of an issue. Back then, from what I’m to understand, the Italians and the Irish in America weren’t the best of friends. Even when Eilis brought Tony to the boarding house, maybe the other girls raised an eyebrow, but nobody said a word to her.  Unrelated to the love story, there was an unexpected event that caught me so off guard that I had to read it twice to make sure it actually happened.

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I finished the book and was happy with the ending but I still felt a little let down. I felt gipped because I, quite frankly didn’t get enough Tony. The book was a hurry up and wait kind of thing for me. I found myself waiting for something to happen, getting to that moment, savoring it and having to start all over again.

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After I finished the book, I went to Redbox and rented the movie. I watched it with my mom because she had read the book also. Right off the bat, things were awry. They opened the movie with Eilis getting ready to make the trip to America. They never mentioned that it was her sister who secured her place on the boat, a job when she got here and a place to stay through her friend, a priest from their County. It’s important because they had a close relationship and it was hard for Eilis to leave her sister and her mother behind.  There’s more that wasn’t right, like how they left out Eilis’ brothers completely as well as the Bartocci’s and only included a little bit of Miss Fortini. The scenes that I was obviously waiting for were the ones that involved Tony (and his family). They didn’t disappoint. There just wasn’t enough of them, in the book or the movie.

I think I’ve gone a bit off the rails here and I’m not entirely sure how to get back. Bottom line is this: Brooklyn is one of those rare book to movie adaptations where the movie is the better option. So, see the movie and skip the book. Or skip the movie and read the book; it’s your life. And, where can I find myself a Tony Fiorello?



Did you see/read Brooklyn? What did you think?

Let’s discuss!




snow my God! a weekend recap

Monday, we meet again. I was on the fence about doing a weekend recap since all I did was wait for the snow, watch the snow, and then wish the snow would go away. But, for the sake of posterity, I decided to do one anyway.

Friday I had plans to go to Jessica’s, but Jonas had other ideas. The storm was supposed to start at 3 am Saturday morning. Then, while I was at the Post Office, I made some new friends who told me that they heard it was now supposed to begin between 12 and 2 am. Whatever, I’ll be home in plenty of time either way. My roommates parents had the news on all night and were, quite frankly, driving me nuts about it all. We’re supposed to get 6-12 inches, how bad could it be? The worst will be overnight. I’ll be fine. That’s what I kept saying. When I got the “do you want to reschedule?” text I decided to stay home and see what this storm was all about.

Jonas landed at about 9:30 pm Friday night and pounded right on through midnight Saturday night (technically Sunday morning). christ. 


Saturday I was supposed to go out for Lisa’s birthday but with the snow falling at 3 inches an hour and winds upwards of 45-50mph, she decided to reschedule. good choice. Instead, Nicole came over and we watched Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Intern.

To pad this post a little, I’ll give my thoughts on both movies. HT2 was OK, but I think the commercials made it seem much funnier than it was. Pretty disappointing. The Intern was great. I loved it! Robert DeNiro was the cutest little old(er) man. He made me so sad but in a good way. A mischina, if you will. (mish-keen: an italian slang term usually meaning “what a pity”.) I don’t know why Anne Hathaway gets all the hate she does because she’s perfect for these roles. I hate to typecast actors but if she could pull a Kate Hudson and mostly do these kinds of movies for the rest of her career, I’d be very happy.

Sunday consisted of me helping my mom shovel the car out and make a path for our garbage cans. People who know me that may (or may not) read this are probably calling bullshit because I HATE the snow. Shoveling it, walking in it,hearing about it, ALL OF IT. But I did! I shoveled! Like a big girl!


I heard my neighbor mention that her ruler was reading 30.5 inches. Officially, the weather people keep saying that this was the second biggest storm in NYC’s history. We missed tying for first place by .10 of an inch. Unofficially, that is a shit ton of snow.

Either way, there’s always time for some selfies. Or some snowfies!

That’s my “how can something so sparkly be such a problem?” face.

After shoveling and selfie-ing, I came inside with every intention of reading, but I wound up getting a call from a nap that I just had to answer.

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And that’s about it. Now it’s all about figuring out how to live in a snowglobe. Thank God it’s suppposed to be almost 45 degrees with some chance of rain by Tuesday.


What did you do this weekend? We’re you snowed in?

Let’s discuss!


reunions and regrets

I should be using this post to regale you with stories of my 10 year high school reunion that (finally) happened this past Saturday.


Except I didn’t go. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone whose been here for a while, but in case you haven’t, I didn’t want to go in the first place.

Luckily, even though reunions are something the Class of 2005 did not excel in, it turns out we did have an excellent class historian. Or, at the very least, we had one guy who took a shit-ton of pictures of everything and everyone (mostly). In the days leading up to the reunion he started to post these pictures in the reunion’s Facebook group. As I was looking through the pictures, I started to get all kinds of feelings.

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i know, right?

First I got nostalgic for a time before bronzer and routine eyebrow waxings. Then I got sad because I’m 28. Finally, I got mad at myself for not being a participator in any after school activities. I didn’t go on the senior trip (a dude ranch in the winter? no thank you!), I wasn’t in the Law Institute (formerly Law House) so I wan’t part of Mock Trial or Moot Court, and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with SING. really quick – i’m not sure if SING is a known all over thing or just something from my school so i’ll explain. students were broke into two teams, Junior/Fresh & Senior/Soph. they both put on performances, based on a theme, with sets and costumes made entirely by the team. after performing the show for two nights, the shows were judged and a winner was named. i’m not sure what the prize was, if anything. all i remember is senior/soph won in my senior year and i was at the final show. there were tears- lost and lots of tears. I feel like I excluded myself from a lot of bonding experiences and activities that could have been fun and memory filled.

It took me a very, very long time to find my passions. It wasn’t until the end of college that I picked up a camera and liked being behind it as much as I loved being in front of it. I always liked to write, but blogging wasn’t big back then and, let’s face it, it was a totally different time. Teens today are prettier, more put together and all around cooler than I was or probably will ever be. i mean, really. have you been on youtube lately? The other thing was that if my core friends were’t going to be there, neither was I. So if it was decided that something was dumb or the other people involved were annoying and it was better to just go home, I didn’t argue.

Dear 14-18 year old Martina,

It is impossible for everything that may interest you to be lame. Even if it is, do it anyway. Don’t take what anyone else says to heart. Let them be the one with regrets.


28 (and bitter) year old Martina

Anyway, the day after the first set of photos popped up, round two appeared. I begrudgingly clicked on the album because God forbid I just leave it alone; this is Facebook, after all. As I was scrolling through the hundreds of thumbnails, I saw a very familiar face. IT WAS ME! I honestly didn’t think I’d make the cut. I quickly clicked the picture and could remember the day it was taken.


In a last ditch effort to be involved in something during my high school career, I signed up to be a part of the writing committee of the yearbook. Ironic, dontcha think? So, two days a week I stayed after school and sat around a table, creating captions, writing blurbs, organizing where things should go. Actually, I just sat at the table and took it all in. Not much work got done at these meetings and because I sat there and put in my time and put up with whatever shenanigans that went on, I got a personal shout-out in the letter that the yearbook advisor/ one of the cooler teachers in the school, wrote to our class. It was a nice surprise when I was randomly going through the yearbook about 3 years ago and happened to notice it. I’m nothing if not observant.

In case you were wondering:

  • No, I am not balding in the front of my head.
  • No, I don’t have makeup on. That’s probably why I look like death warmed over. I didn’t spend any much time on my “look” back then, obviously.
  • That shirt is one of those connected “twofer” shirts. Just further proves how I would never survive high school if I had to go back today and it proved my point of what I said earlier about teens today being cooler and prettier.
  • That was my go to “smile” back then. Personally, I think I look constipated. Or scared. I just really didn’t want to be there.
  • Yes, that girl in the top row all the way on the right does beauty videos on YouTube. I found her randomly and it took me a while to remember where I knew her from.

Last quick story about this photo and then I’ll leave you alone. The writing committee put out a call for submissions of poems, short stories, limericks, anything from our classmates. As you can probably imagine, we didn’t get much of a response so the “leader” of the group told us that we had hand in submissions of our own. I wrote a silly little rhyming poem that I wan’t proud of but it was something. He handed it back to me and said it was too juvenile and that I should re-do it. Poems don’t have to rhyme, you know.

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So back to the grindstone I went. I came back with the most angsty, “mature”, non-rhyming poem you’ve ever read. It was about the popular kids and cliques and wanting to be in that crowd, yet wanting to stay far away. Everyone loved it. There were mumblings of a Pulitzer. (wink)  It was submitted and approved. Now all I had to do was wait to get my yearbook and I’d see my work in print. Fast forward to June. I have the book in my hot little hands. I flip to the back, where the “original works” were. I was scanning through them, looking for mine. Finally I saw my name at the bottom of one of the poems. I re-read it – twice, three times. It was not my work. Someone (Mr. Group Leader, perhaps?) totally fucked with MY original work. I was pissed. But I was also graduating and knew I’d never see these people (or most of them) ever again.

As much as I’d like to end this saying I kicked his group leading ass, I just let it go. My hate fire sparks up a bit every time I happen to look through my yearbook though.

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What sticks out most in your high school memories? I’ve asked this before but would/did you go to your high school reunion?

Let’s discuss!


award acceptance.. with a twist

Earlier this week (late last week?), I was nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. This time by Elizabeth. Thanks so much and welcome back! In case you aren’t familiar with this award, here are the rules.


  • Put the award’s logo on your post.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and put a link to their blog.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers.
  • Let your nominees know you have nominated them.
  • Post 7 facts about yourself.

Not to be difficult, but I’m going to have to make some changes. First, I’m going to make this open to whoever wants to do it. Tag me in your post so I can see it! Second, and this isn’t a rule change but… you’ll see.

When I commented on Elizabeth’s post to thank her, we had a small conversation about accents and I mentioned that I should do a post written in my heavy Brooklyn accent. Well, I don’t think this blog is ready for a whole post of that but I’m going to try to write my seven facts that way. Let’s see how this goes. Brooklyn starts… NOW

Hea’s the problem- I can’t think of any facts about myself, let alone seven.

  • I watched The Unautharized Full Howse movie on Lifetime last weekend and I definitely wasn’t impressed. After I got past the hair, it was almost impossable ta get ova tha blatant disregard of what tha set akshually looked like. More than that, it didn’t show much of tha drama that sapposedly went on. Like, Bob Saget coming to work high most of tha time. They showed him, Dave Coulier and John Stamos huffing whipped cream befawr a shoot but that was abowt it.

    That being sed, I’m still totally looking foward to Fulla Howse on Netflix next year.

  • I’m obsessed with tha new Town Howse Foccacia crackas. Specifically tha rosemary and sea sawlt flava. SO. FREAKIN. GOOD.
  • Lately, baleeve it or not, I’ve had so many ideas for posts that I bought myself a planna. I was planning out awl of my posts and when they’d go up and started to feel supa orga-nized; like a real blogga. Then I realized that just becawse I wrote things down and planned them owt, doesn’t mean they would ackshually come to be. I’ve been putting things awf and then I can’t figure owt where I got so awf track. Um, it’s a planna, not magic.
  • I’ve been ta Disney once in my life. Due ta poor planning, we neva made it to tha Magic Kingdom. So basiclee, I went all tha way ta Florida and neva even met a Princess, neva rode a teacup. I think I need a do- ova.
  • I think I mentioned this befawr, but when I was in first grade the New York Aquarium was celabrating the birth of Baby Baluga. My class was asked ta join the the fetivaties and come to sing with Raffi. We were apparently filmed by PBS becawse I saw our little faces years later while I was flipping through tha channels early one morning. I’ve tried to contact both the Aquarium and PBS fowr a copy of the video but no one has it. So, if anyone has an in with PBS (or someone who can help in my search), please let me know!
  • Owa air conditona at work is extremely unreliable so we have those heavy duty fans all ova tha building. I can’t stand them. I’d ratha sweat for 8 owas than keep them on awl day. Really, they remind me of summa school, they’re loud (and I can’t heea) and they put me to sleep. Yea, tha last one is a mistary to me too.
  • I think I’m regretting tha decision to write these facts this way. I feel like I belong on an epasode of Tha Sopranos. Just cawl me Martina Walnuts.

Now, that’s enougha that.

That wan’t too painful, was it? It was a teesy bit mortifying for me but, hey I am who I am. I love my accent. There’s a video of me on my communion day where my mom is telling me how proud she is and how happy she is and I look dead at the camera and say “Awr you gonna cry?” Like I belonged on Jersey Shore. If I could figure out how to get it on to my computer and post it, I will.

Anyway, thanks again, Elizabeth for the nomination!

If you need any help figuring out what was said above, leave me a comment and I’ll help you out!

Did anyone else watch the Full House movie?

Let’s discuss!


isn’t this what facebook is for?

Well, the time has finally come. I’ve known about this for a while now and it’s finally coming to be.



I mean, I am fully aware that it’s been 10 years since I’ve walked those hallowed halls. I graduated on June 23, 2005. The same day I got a Razr cellphone, so clearly it was a day worth remembering. The reunion is in it’s planning stages but already I’ve been invited to join the Class of 2005 group on Facebook and I’ve also taken a survey about what kind of venue I’d be interested in and how much I’d be willing to spend. And in case you we’re wondering, “just enough to get me drunk enough to get through the night” was not an option.


Believe it or not, I’m on the fence about going. And by on the fence I mean I’m fully on the no side but I’m leaning against the fence to see who’s on the other side. If enough people I like and can have a good time with are going to be there, I’ll cough up my $120-$140 for a ticket, step into my dancing shoes and go. If not, it’s the usual Netflix and sweats for me.

I just wish there were something that could connect people who went to high school (or college, or work) together, where they can (over) share their whole lives. Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, break- ups, make -ups, recipes, political opinions, lunches, general complaints, new jobs, graduations, cute animals, petty drama, anything and everything. It should be called something catchy like FaceSpace. No… Facebook! Yea, it would be called Facebook and… oh wait. I mean, really. I know people put on Facebook and Instagram what they want to but everything they post can’t be a lie or an exaggeration. I liked the people I hung out with in high school. That’s why they’re my friends on Facebook, so I could see how/what they’re doing. Do I always like or comment? Nope. But they don’t always like or comment on my stuff either and that’s ok.

My other and more personal reason for not wanting to go is that I feel if you took 28 year old me and put her back in that school/environment, there would be very little difference. Except that 18 year old me would want to beat the shit out of 28 year old me. She would be so disappointed in her. (I wrote about that here, if you’re interested.) I’m working the same part time job, listen to the same type of music, hang out with the same people (actually, I had more friends back then), live in the same house, have the same cellphone number. I’m single with no kids. The only thing I’ve done is graduate from college and even that’s not enough because I’ve seen a lot of Master’s graduations through that Facebook thing. I haven’t been to Europe or even the West Coast. I want to go places and do fun things but I haven’t and it sucks. It sucks more with a reunion looming over my head. for the record and in hindsight, i liked high school so i’m not afraid of seeing certain people or anything like that.

Most of the guys I liked back then are now engaged or married so I don’t even have that to look forward to. I guess I’ll just pray that wherever this event is (because let’s face it, even with all of this complaining, I’ll wind up going), there’s an open bar and a kind Uber driver to take me home.


Graduation 2005: so full of hope and free of makeup

Maybe I should just Romy and Michelle this situation and OWN. IT. except i didn’t invent post-its.

romy and michelle

Would/did you go to your reunion? Am I wrong for feeling this way?

Let’s discuss!


flowers minus the allergies!

I didn’t really have a post planned (do I ever?), but since it’s been a sad last couple of days in New York, I thought that I’d share my happy flower pictures from my trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens this past weekend.

sorry, meg. no daisies.

sorry, meg. no daisies.

wish there were daisies. There were lots of cherry blossoms and tulips and trees. tons and tons of trees. But alas, no daisies. I think next time I’ll do more research to see what’s in season, but you don’t care about that. I get it. Ok, no more talking.

We found the rose garden, which of course, was not in bloom. just my luck. It did have a perfect place to pose for pictures. I call this my “if i had the sweet sixteen i wanted, sweet sixteen” pose. Also known as the “if i get married before i’m 90, wedding” pose.


Then we walked over to the library and Grand Army Plaza. I used to pass them everyday when I went to school. I always wanted to get off the bus and wander around but I never did. Because I had papers to write and also, I’m lazy.

Then we went to a Vietnamese restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, where I had my first banh mi sandwich. I don’t know what took me so long. I’m trying to figure out how to have one at least once a day, everyday.

I’d like to say that when I got home I did more than read on the couch but I didn’t. Because again, I’m lazy.

I mentioned that it’s been a sad couple of days here in New York. So, in light of recent events, I just wanted to add this here.


thank you for doing a job that I could never do.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

What’s your favorite flower? Have you experienced the magic that is banh mi?

Let’s discuss!


photo dump: brooklyn heights

On Sunday, (yes Sunday, as in almost a week ago) Lisa and I headed downtown to relive our college days. By relive our college days I mean eating lunch, getting Starbucks and act like idiots real adults. We went to school in Brooklyn Heights, which is like a little Manhattan. Really little, but it has everything you may need. Like Five Guys and Sephora. Some stores have changed but for the most part it was like we took a short ride in Dr. Brown’s DeLorean (except we went backwards and not in to the future. i think i messed up that reference.) After lunch, we walked down to the Promenade. (a note to my out of town friends: if you come to new york, try to make your way over here. great views of downtown manhattan and the brooklyn bridge. it’s a nice walk from beginning to end and if you keep going, you’ll find yourself under the bridge, where there’s a carousel, and ice cream place and great views of the manhattan bridge. it’s worth the trip if you like to walk.)

Anyway, this post is going to be a small photo dump of the day. Consider this also a weekend recap since this was basically it.

princess diaries

All of these photos were taken on my cellphone. I felt like that needed mentioning because even I am blown away by the quality. I still love my trusty Nikon DSLR though.



it’s just a sweet, sweet fantasy bey-bey.

Lisa’s dream was to tell the barista at Starbucks that her name is Beyonce. I played along and used Mariah, which didn’t get the reaction I was hoping for so the next time I go to Starbucks, I’m going to wear red lipstick and tell them my name is Taylor Swift. They’ll take one look at the short, not skinny (i just could not decide on an adjective here), brunette in front of them and be totally convinced. The barista in this case was a good sport. He called out Lisa’s drink but didn’t say a name so, of course, I sadi, “For Beyonce?” to which he responded, “yea, but I didn’t want the paparazzi to swarm”. “Good looking out.” I said. now lemme get yo numba. (because this is as close to a meet-cute as i’m going to get.)

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19 Cranberry Street. What movie is this from? Here’s a hint – “I HAVE NO HAND!” No? How about – “My dying mother in Italy!” Give up? Moonstruck! It’s the house Cher lived in. I tweeted her this picture and didn’t get a response. Maybe it’s for the better, homegirl is not the best at handling the tweet machine.


We’re going to pretend this  1)picture isn’t blurry and 2) building is not a bunch of apartments and that I could live there when I marry super super super rich. I’m in love with that turret. I’m sure, if no one ruined it, these apartments are filled with charm. High ceilings, built in bookshelves, creaky wood floors. ugh. Honestly, I based some of my decision to go to the school I did on being able to troll hang out in this neighborhood everyday. The brownstones, the carriage houses, the Promenade – oh my!

carriage house

I didn’t take this photo,(click the photo to go to the site I got it from) but I did pass this house. Isn’t it gorgeous? You could almost hear the clip-clop of the horses parking in the driveway.

That’s about it. What’s your go-to Starbucks alias?

Let’s discuss!


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

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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