Tuesday, March 23, 2010

London Calling

Oh goodness gracious.

It’s all a buzz here in Emily’s World.

Drum roll please….

I am hopping the pond! My trip to London has finally arrived.
And boy, it sure did sneak up on me!
I am going to have a visit with my very best friend who moved there a few months ago.
We’re going to puddle jump our way through London; drinking tea and eating crumpets the whole time.
I’ll wave the British Flag and salute the Queen.
It’s going to be maaahvelous, dahling, simply mahvelous.

And after we get all giggled out in London? We’re heading to Bruges to explore the ancient canals and architecture there.

I am just about jumping out of my wellies with excitement!
If only I could achieve “cool and collected” in the muddy countryside, just as Miss Moss does.
Oh, there is so much to tell you. There are so many things happening before I even board the plane! My tummy has about 100 butterflies fluttering around inside. My hands are a little clammy and my heart keeps doing jumping jacks. It’s a good nervous. A new kind of nervous. But, until all the activity stops circling around in the celestial air, and settles down gently on firm ground, my lips are sealed.

Until then… I’m off to London!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Winds of Change...

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

“In the end what this day represents is another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American dream.” “Tonight, we answered the call of history as so many generations of Americans have before us. When faced with crisis, we did not shrink from our challenges. We overcame them. We did not avoid our responsibilities, we embraced it. We did not fear our future, we shaped it.” – President Obama

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cold Beers & Kebabs

This past weekend was an early preview to what summer might bring.

Friday night, my best friend and I literally skipped off the train to meet our buddies for bar food and cold beers. It was impromptu. Low key and comfortable. The perfect way to end the work week.

Saturday I had beautiful, wide-eyed, Hazel Mae’s birthday party at my cousin’s house in
upstate Connecticut. What a lovely day to be a little kid. Dirt on the knees, sticky, chocolate icing covered fingers and one too many cups of soda.

Saturday night the air smelled sweet and the breeze danced over our bare shoulders.
The 70 degree weather inspired us to make citrusy cocktails and fire up the barbeque.
My friends and I were sitting outside on the deck, pleading with the sun not to set.
Someone even said, “I wish the sun was setting up.”


I did too.

I wished we could’ve turned back the clock, oh, about 10-15 years.

What is it about warm weather and friends you’ve known since you were in elementary school? Time stops. We grilled kebabs and goofed around. Sure, over the course of the weekend while in the company of the dudes of all dudes, my girlfriend and I heard some things we could've been spared, and we certainly saw some 'dude' stuff we absolutely didn't want to see... but, eh, I wouldn't do a do over. We lounged on the porch, looking at old photos and trying to remember who was paired with whom for our respective high school dances.

Although the sun wasn’t ‘setting up,’ it did feel like it was suspended in the sky for a beat or two longer than it naturally would, before dipping down into the horizon line.
I think that’s the magic of having a circle of friends you’ve known since spelling tests and times tables. You grow up. You move away. You get a job and you meet a mate, but when you come home, and the pieces line up just right? It’s like no one ever left.
happy sunday evening, friends. xo

Friday, March 19, 2010

Commuter Cynicism

Somewhere along the way I became a bit of a cynic. I know, it stinks but… at least I can admit it?

Why is this woman walking soooo slowly? Can’t she tell I’m trying to make a train? Whoops, she’s blind. Daily Karma Points Tally just went down 5 notches.
What’s this guy’s deal? Why is he looking at me so strangely? Oh, right; raspberry jam splotch on my white shirt.

Sometimes though, I am proven right, i.e. creepy driver en route to airport, that devilishly told me his girlfriend keeps him young at heart. This was after he told me about the trip he and his wife just took to Machu Picchu in January. So, it’s hard to tell.

This morning, a man sat down next to me on the train. I was happily reading April’s House Beautiful, (who knew wood had a comeback to make in the design world? Seems pretty traditional to me) when said man asked me what time the train arrives at Grand Central.

Argh! I knew I should’ve been listening to my ipod this morning! Nuts. Now I have to engage in conversation? Pff.

Sure enough, he started talking. After the ‘where do you live’ and ‘what do you do’ questions, he decided to tell me how he met his wife. From the beginning. I’m talking a decade’s worth of happenstances that led him to the bar where his future wife was seated.

At first, I rolled my eyes. Do I have ‘I’m a single girl and a sucker for how I met my spouse stories’ stamped on my forehead? Does it look like I am desperate for a pep talk on how to meet The One? Well, maybe.

At any rate, this guy ended up divulging a lot. He thinks he probably got married too soon. He wanted his (terminally ill) father to be there on his wedding day. It wasn’t ‘rocket ships and passion,’ but he’d found someone he respected; a true companion. He told me some days, you don’t love the person you married. Some days, you’re over the moon. But the steady secret it to respect them. Always.

I wasn’t really sure why he told me all this. Maybe it was just one of those mornings when he needed a friendly face to get some things off his chest.
Maybe he’s a nervous train talker.
Maybe he wanted to pass on the secret to happiness.
Or maybe…maybe he was just a nice guy, talking to a nice girl on the train.
Take that cynicism.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

Today is a picture perfect March day in New York.
The sky is robin’s egg blue, and dotted with just a handful of wispy clouds.
My local weatherman said it will reach an uncharacteristic 70 degrees in Central Park today.
Oh isn’t that just delicious?

Days like today push away any icky feelings or anxiety. Those feelings? They just float away and melt into the horizon.

It’s too pretty to pout!

This weekend I plan on playing outside with good friends and family. Maybe I’ll read a book in the sunshine and go for a long walk.
The weather calls for celebration!  It calls for iced coffee and homemade anything!
And I am determined to sprout at least one freckle.

It’s going to be simply delightful; I just know it!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Moody Tuesday Pick Me Up

Okay, I'll admit it.
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed; big time.
So then I decided to conduct a do-over.
I went back upstairs, got into my bed and went through the steps of waking up all over again.
And that's when my little sister sent the family an email of this happy little guy; bottom right corner:
I love you, cuteoverload.com 

Um, WHA? This is quite possibly the best animal photo of the week. But then again, it's only Tuesday. 

Happy sun shining Tuesday friends! 

Monday, March 15, 2010

...And Then Santa Monica Stole My Heart

Oh Southern California. Why’d I leave you? Although my family is rolling their eyes at my syrupy-sweet love affair with the greater Los Angeles area, I won’t stop swooning.

As previously mentioned, the first leg of my trip was dedicated to work obligations. I had some media related tasks to accomplish on Friday; everything went smoothly. But really, how can it not when you’re in the presence of a charming actor and charismatic members of the press? Once all duties were fulfilled; it was off to explore and indulge. I was able to catch up with a darling gal, (and good friend of my family) under the sunny skies of Westwood. We sipped on wine and swapped stories about what life has served us up since she relocated to the west coast a few months ago.

For dinner, I met a friend from college who happened to be in LA for work too! How fun is that? I zipped down Wilshire in my beat up rental car like any old LA native. We shared tapas and collective sighs, “Why don’t we live here again?”

But the best part…oh…the best part. That came Saturday. Santa Monica, perfect as a peach, sunshine spotted side streets, jasmine blossoms and rose water loveliness, oh Santa Monica! You are right in every way that there is to be right.

Santa Monica slapped a smile on me that didn’t disappear until I touched down at JFK.

My friend and her husband live in a little bohemian beach bungalow a few blocks from the beach. Their life is full of the following:
Cheerful succulents and potted plants
Ocean breeze and yummy red wine
Walks, speckled with kisses on the forehead
 A nickname that husband lovingly calls wife, one that reminds me of when we were kids
It. Was. Magical. They are so blessed that they are able to explore a new place together and create a home. I felt humbled and lucky to watch them for the weekend.
It was, Very. Perfect.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh, Hey L.A.

This week has been a pinch busier than usual. I am gearing up for a trip out to LA. Business is what brings me there, but old friends are keeping me there through the weekend! I feel so lucky to extend my trip into a friend fest! I will be sure to update on all things ‘west coast’ upon my arrival back east. I absolutely cannot wait to be sunshine-bound tomorrow. It’s supposed to be in the 70’s this weekend in LA. Although, I'm more excited to return to some favorite eateries I sampled on my last trip there.

Look out Joan’s on Third, I’m coming to you!
I had a lovely last minute dinner with a friend who was back in NYC for a business trip yesterday. Ooooh it was just divine to catch-up with her over wine and snacks before hopping a train back home! We went to Bar Breton. I recommend their arugula salad, but boy, do I wish I indulged in the burger and fries.

How yummy does that look?
One final note to this semi-scattered, pre-trip blog post: One of my best buddies on planet earth emailed me today asking if he’d be receiving notifications when my blog would be updated because, he had already logged on twice today.

UM. Be still my heart!

That was just about the sweetest little note ever. But er, the answer is no. I’m not blog-savvy yet to figure out how to blind email readers on new postings. Oh well. At least he’s reading!

Happy Wednesday! xo

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Everyone Loves a TV Themed Craft

Since moving home, I’ve found that Sunday afternoons afford me a bit more idle time than I had when I lived in the city. Gone are my lazy afternoons spent wandering the sidewalks in search new treasures. I mean, who needs Bloody Mary brunches and afternoon’s in the West Village anyway? Not this girl. Nope. Not when I’ve got…. (drum roll please)…. TV SPECIAL EVENT THEMED ARTS & CRAFTS!

It’s a little genre of crafting that I’ve conjured up for, you guessed it, special events on television.

Yep. My first homecoming event fell on Super Bowl Sunday. My old high school buddies invited me to join them at keg party in town. Ah, sweet relief. Some things at home never change. I baked cookies, made bean dip, and assembled a crudité platter for the party. The crowning detail though? The Quarterback finger puppets I jimmy rigged for the big game.

Let me tell you- they were a hit. So much so, that I reprised the finger puppets for the culmination of the Olympics. Not only were Sydney Crosby and Chris Drury facing off on the ice in Vancouver, but also on the delicate pointer fingers at my friend’s viewing party in Greenwich!

For the Oscars, I upped the ante a bit. Since I didn’t have confirmation that Brad and Ange, or Ben and Jen would be in attendance, and let’s face it, finger puppet portrayal should be accurate, I tackled a new craft.

Readers, I’d like to reveal to you The Alternating Oscar Statuette/Ryan Seacrest Oscar Party Banner.
It was a real hit! In the spirit of making ordinary occasions just a bit more special, I also made little invitations and printed ballots for my guests (okay fine, my parents and sister) to fill out prior to the ceremony.
My dad and I made Oscar goodie bags and we kept our Red Carpet theme going with our red and white table setting. The ballots and invites were found on http://www.twigandthistle.com/blog/  Thanks for the tip!
All in all, the party was a success. Now, I patiently await the Red Carpet Fashion Round-up in the weeklies!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring Sprung! Part II

Later this weekend, after my 'spring has sprung shopping spree,' I met two of my college girlfriends for a little afternoon romp about the city. We dabbled in some daytime drinking- it was just too pretty to pass up margaritas in the sunshine. We had buckets of fun and promised to keep up with our reunions. I see both of them quite a bit, but not together, so it was a treat indeed. Isn't there something delightfully indulgent about sipping cocktails with old friends mid-day?

The festivities continued! Upon my arrival back home in CT, I acted as faithful sidekick to my sister. Our friend's sister was having a Bavarian themed birthday party- how fun is that? I went from snacking on chips and guacamole, to sipping on German beer and sampling sauerkraut and bratwurst! 

Sunday was spent in the sunshine. Sun on my shoulders and a walk with my family to see the donkeys who live in the town over. My dad and I love this walk, and it was fun to bring mom and older sister along for the adventure.

Um, I think the donkeys were having a case of spring fever too! They were munching on grass in the front yard! Too darn cute.

This is me, my sister and my mom giving the donkey a little nose nuzzle.

Side note- my dad and I learned from the ever-so-posh owner, that one of the donkeys is 43 years old! Holy smokes, can you believe that? 

Here's to a blissful Monday! xo

Spring Sprung!

What a lovely weekend! Spring gave us East Coasters the preview we've not-so-patiently been waiting for. I slipped my feet into a pair of ballet flats for the first time in months and- gasp- I wore a short sleeved sweater for my afternoon out with girlfriends in the city.

It was such a decadent day! I indulged in a little pre-spring shopping. I have this habit of seeing clothing in the store and immediately inventing a new lifestyle for myself based on the outfit.  The game of 'match outfit with fantasy life' goes something like this:

"Oh I must have this cool army green drawstring jacket. Yes. Yes I must. It's absolutely perfect for clam digging and picking up seashells along the coastline in Maine." Huh?

Or,"Ooooh these pixie pants are exactly what I need for that imaginary Audrey Hepburn inspired cocktail party that one day 'Future Emily' may get invited to." This hasn't happened yet.

"This thigh-length terracota hued cotton sweater is ideal for my lazy Saturdays spent milling about the farmer's market when I live in San Francisco. Ah yes, there I am,  sifting through buckets of beets, flirting with local farmers and purchasing fresh ingredients to bake rhubarb pies." I've never ate a rhubarb.

Does anyone else do that when they go shopping? It's kind of like playing dress-up when you were little,  conjuring up a new plot line for your life, only the money isn't play money anymore. Humph.

One of my purchases included this sweet-as-a-peach striped dress from Kate Spade. I love going into that store. Everything is so darn cute. I wish I could move into the space on 21st and 5th avenue and make a little bachelorette pad for myself! I can picture me now, cuddled up on the couch, sipping on pink champagne and baking pies. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Difference of a Year

A year ago this weekend, a few things happened that stir up conflicting feelings for me today: Has it only been a year? A year has gone by already? I was let down by someone I loved. A friend suffered a devastating loss. I said a final goodbye to a beloved four legged friend.

Oh, these memories make me thick in the throat and glossy eyed.

The let down? It was heart achingly painful and disappointing. ‘Clutch-hand-to-heart-and-let-the-tears roll’ category of disappointment.

The friend’s loss? Unexpected journeys most certainly have an end… but those too, are unexpected, and almost always come too soon.

Saying goodbye to our sweet, dear pet? I still miss her paws around my neck, and her steady, rhythmic purr whenever we’d pet her silky, tortoise shell fur.

Retrospective speaking comes a bit easier- of course- but, I realize now, that these moments are worthy of appreciation. They opened my eyes, refreshed my heart, and renewed my sense of self-awareness.

Wishing you all a lovely, thoughtful weekend. xo

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Boy & Seal

I know what you all might be thinking, 'Emily, cool it with all your animal chatter, sheesh!'
I would, but... I stumbled upon a blog today and I saw the sweetest photos of a boy making friends with a little seal and... I just couldn't resist sharing. This makes me soooo happy. It makes my heart do seal flips and summersaults! What have you seen today that is more special than that little finger pressed up againt the glass of the tank, rubbing the seals button nose? Same. xo

 images from one blue wren, found here: http://onebluewren.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/a-boy-and-a-seal/

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bella Foster

My older sister discovered Bella Foster's website and shared it with me. How adorable is this work on paper? This is Camille, and I love how that little raccoon is placing its tiny paw on the girl's calf. Ooooh it's so cute I could squeal! Wouldn't it be lovely to be among those flowers on a summer day, dancing with raccoons, and playing hide & seek with baby otters?

Once, we had a raccoon visit our front stoop. It ate all our pot roast that my mom left on the bench to cool.  Even that was cute! Good grief. xo

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Simple Gesture

I had a sleepover at a dear friend’s apartment on Monday night. A couple weeks ago, she made me copies of her keys. She told me I could stay whenever I wanted now that I was commuting. It was a simple gesture that remains one of the most meaningful things a friend has done for me. In my life.

Sleepovers and slumber parties kind of lose their luster after age 14 I suppose.

Wasn’t there something magical about sleeping at a friend’s house when you were younger? Not a slumber party, but just a special night with your best friend. Before kissing boys was a topic of conversation. Before classmates could be mean. Before we had to bring along our face wash or yearbooks. When our teddy bears still shared our sleeping bags, and belting Broadway show tunes into a hairbrush microphone was the evening activity.

I’m talking about the dreamy, simple, little kid stuff:

Popcorn and movies.

Giggles and flashlight tag.

Candy Land with real gumdrops.

Hot chocolate served in fancy teacups.

Braiding hair and tree swings.

Catching fireflies and counting shooting stars.

My grown-up sleepover at my friend’s was lovely. We went to dinner and then curled up to watch The Bachelor finale. We talked about the future, upcoming choices we have to make. We talked about weddings and how we missed a friend that has moved far away. It was simple, good clean fun. Just like when we were little girls.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Red, White & Blue

Sigh. The Winter Olympics have officially come to a close. I was riveted by the events- all 17 days of them. Captivated by the coverage and peddling patriotism, I was a human encyclopedia for all things Olympic this year. (image compliments of http://www.teamusa.org/)

I think my heart burst red, white & blue confetti when Johnny Spillane became the first American to medal in the Nordic combined. Ditto on Hannah Kearney’s gold medal mogul run, although I do wish she stuck around for the closing ceremonies. Attendance should be a requirement. Yes, I’m talking to you too Shaun White. Although who can hold a grudge against a kid who ‘dropped the Double McTwist’ after he already learned he won the gold medal for the men’s half pipe. I love the fact that the Flying Tomato (he doesn’t like being called that, by the way) was secretly training on a half pipe in Colorado, that the kind folks at Red Bull built him.

I love the behind-the sceney stuff that ahem, some New York Time’s reporters find insulting. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/sports/olympics/22watch.html?th&emc=th

I wrote a letter to Alessandra Stanley telling her how much I disagreed with her unpatriotic review of NBC’s coverage. Um, the Times didn’t publish it. But I felt some redemption after putting pen to paper.

Human interest stories involving miraculous recovery from incurable injuries? Yes, please! Awkward invasive camera lens angled approximately 4 inches from Lindsey’s Vonn’s tear stung cheeks after her winning run? Yep, more of that NBC. Bob Costas and his one-liners? Keep em’ coming. Although I think my ode to Ted Ligety with ‘LIGETY SPLIT,’ was pretty much near perfect. Better than Bob’s ‘Bod-acious’ anyway.

I don’t even like Bode Miller that much (you and Andy Roddick should go to American Athlete Attitude Adjustment Seminars) but boy, you better believe I was flinging the blanket off my lap and leaping to my feet when he won his medals. Go Bode. You proved us wrong. Now go be your mysterious self and refuse to do any post-run interviews- that’s why we love ya’ bud. Just not as much as Aksel-Lund Svindal- good grief you are handsome Aksel.

I loved every ‘Yes! America is still leading the medal tally!’ minute of these winter games. I especially loved New York Magazine’s article; It’s All About How You Win, found here: http://nymag.com/daily/sports/2010/02/its_all_about_how_you_win.html

Tough break for Team USA in the men’s hockey final (star-spangled tears welling up in my eyes), although, can I just say- good grief Crosby; you’re 22 and a Canadian hero now.

Only 879 more days until the Summer Games in London. Go Phelps!