Week 43: Russian Pop Songs from Hell, Escargot, & Abigail.

selfie2selfie1

 Just another Monday ride to work:

A Russian pop song starts to play at the opposite end of the train car. The old Russian man rolls a shitty speaker sitting in a mini-bed on wheels. At first, it’s just loud instruments, but wait… there’s more. The old Russian man starts to sing into a muffled microphone with little idea of the key. Every now and then on the belty parts, you can hear the song’s original singer lightly edited out. He walks back and forth with the music and mic blasting through the entire train car, which as if on purpose continues to stall in between stations. Sweet victory comes after the ending of the 2nd song… he quits his musical endeavor and peace has returned.

Just another Friday night:

The echo of the saxophone vibrates through the station as I sit reminiscing on my life. The dude sitting next to me licks his fingers as he eats from his whole foods paper bag. There’s chatter everywhere… it’s only 10pm on a Friday. I’m cold… I feel a chill to the bone. A stylish duo pass by wearing floor length leather jackets and matching Jimmy Chu booties. The sax is still roaring. I can feel it’s soul passing through the vibrations of my purse. I’ve had too much pork. And gin. Thank goodness the F is finally here.


Let’s take a step back right quick… to Thursday. My roomies and I went out for drinks and dinner in the west village to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Mary Alice chose the spot. Amelie wine bar. The place was packed solid. The host must have recognized MA and sat us at the bar without a reservation. BOOM. Every single staff member from the bar tender to the host and runners had French accents… the wine had to be good, right? We got a bottle of champagne instead. Cheese, duck pate, and beef tartare, and escargot was had… it was a first of many new foods for me. All incredibly delicious.

roomie_birthday_dinner

roomie_birthday_cake

That’s a Martini Francais behind the gooey Maringe (sp?). To avoid sounding too douche… I’d like to add I have zero clue what’s in it, but it was YUMMY.

So grateful to have these lovely ladies as my roommates.


I ended my beautiful week with a brief photo shoot with one of my incredibly talented friends Abigail. She sculpts for a living and a passion and although we only had 30 minutes together on Sunday I left so incredibly inspired. I’m going to make a full post with all the photos, but for now here are just a few.

abigailtulis.com

Abigail1 Abigail2Abigail3

Abigail4

Abigail5

Abigail6

abigailtulis.com

Week 42: Yoga & the Dude With the Beard.

Yes, I didn’t post anything last week. I was recuperating and now I feel like I have energy again. So much so that I did yoga for the first time since moving here. The best part? I got to do it in my beautiful living room.

tree_poseMy yoga sesh was facing outside. It was perfect.

I was astounded at my inability to do many of the poses to the extent I used to be able to do them. My form sucks and my posture is really bad not to mention all my frozen joints…. I’m excited to make yoga part of my weekly routine to fix this ish!

I’ve finally gotten myself into a good active routine at the gym. I love working out… it’s just easy for me to forget how much I love it when I don’t do it for a while. Glad that’s over. Zumba, Spin, Weights, and several high intensity workouts fill my week and now I’m thinking yoga will fit in nicely.

With that said, March is my birthday month and I’m going gift myself with some new workout attire AND shoes (have I mentioned my undying love of shoes?). My running shoes have seen their day and are beginning to do more harm than good. I just ordered a couple new digs from DSW & registered with Fabletics… I’m so excited!

 


Last week wasn’t all that eventful anyway just a run-in with the Chinese Mafia (mob?), tacos in soho, and fancy cosmos at the Bowery Hotel. Nothing exciting.

 


This week unfortunately was even less exciting. I signed up for Hulu… until the weather is nice enough for me to go out, I’m just going to be a hermit and catch up on all my favorite tv.

I did get to go see the Legend of Mulan by the Hong Kong Dance Company at the Lincoln Center which was pretty magical. And today (Sunday) I took another visit to Brighton Beach. This time, Chelsea & Sveta joined! It was a marvelous day to celebrate International Women’s day. In Russia this holiday is a HUGE deal so every lady was carrying a lovely bouquet of flowers and every store we visited we were wished a happy 8th of March. ❤

 

Russian_candy

SO much Russian candy to be had!

Russian_candy2

Chess

Little Russia in it’s finest (two fellas playing chess at the local Starbucks). The guy with the beads in his beard wanted us to know he’s a decedent from a line of Ukrainians.

three_selfies

Lunch on the boardwalk. Check.

Candy shopping overhaul. Check.
sveta_and_i subwaystation

subway2 subway_selfie

Today’s weather was 47F degrees. I haven’t been so happy in a long time. I cannot wait for warmer days so I can go outside more often.

Have a great week!

selfie

Week 40: Stand Up, Haze, & Cuffed.

You know that feeling when you wake up really early in the morning and you have a really hard time opening your eyes or doing much of anything? That feeling normally lasts up until your 2nd cup of coffee. My entire week had this general aura, despite many cups of coffee. The crazy part? It took forever to actually fall asleep at night.


I’ve never been this emotionally drained. I’ve been planning to do stand up comedy today (Monday) and yesterday my heart broke. I needed something to distract me and facing my fear of stand up was it. I tried my best to rise above the lack in energy and it turned out alright. I invited friends and co-workers to laugh no matter how badly awkward it got. They did. It felt pretty good. I think I’m going to need a little time before I have any real energy to devote to getting better, but I’d like to start doing this 2-3x a week (stand up open mics).

stand upI was really scared, I planned on rehearsing [something] the day before, but didn’t end up getting a chance to do so…. I didn’t really prepare anything in result and I’m not funny naturally like some folks. I’m not going to lie though… getting in front of people and attempting to entertain them is my happy place. I didn’t know what I was doing. I stumbled on words and phrases… but at the end of my glorious 5 minutes I felt a high I haven’t felt in years. Boy, I needed it more than ever.


The rest of my week was mostly me trying to see through the haze. You know when  you try to clear a fogged up mirror after a hot shower it doesn’t really get clear at until the moisture leaves the room… That’s my shitty attempt to describe my week. I just kept trying to clear the view, but it wouldn’t get any clearer.

I found myself cursing at the subway machines and getting real annoyed with assholes on the subway who clearly live here and still have no respect for everyone else. It was also really cold. It’s not even funny anymore (it was funny like the first time I realized my face could hurt). I woke up on Friday with a ‘Feels Like’ temp of -17 F.

#ineedwarmth

Sunday actually warmed up. A bunch… I never thought walking in 35F degree weather would mean warmth. I haven’t celebrated Brunch in quite some time (or so it feels) so today I decided to enjoy the beloved weekly tradition with the lovely Chelsea.

brunch 1

slush

This is what snow looks like when the temperatures get well above freezing. #upper30s #WOOHOO


On another note, I mentioned in January that my new year’s resolution was to donate a portion of my brunch monthly budget to a cause/charity/organization/whatever once a month. This month I’m donating to a friend’s project called Cuffed?. According to their kickstarted page Cuffed? is: “A feature length documentary film exploring important questions about addiction, recovery, and life.

❤ Mia

If you’d like to contribute (I’m sure every dollar counts), their page: Cuffed? Kickstarter Page.

Week 38: Bluegrass, A Hungry Rat, & Christina Bianco.

I was reading through my previous posts and noticed something disappointing. I’ve stopped writing about (and paying attention to) the instances outside of my normal routine. I’m going to try something different for this week’s post.

February 2nd – February 8th

My Week In Thoughts.

I was at work looking out the window and all of the sudden the light rain churned to chunks of white whizzing from the sky. These were no ordinary snow flakes; whirling wildly around, creating a real life Instagram filter on the window.

The comic who thinks he’s god’s gift to women. HA. Your greasy hair is almost as repulsive as your un-deserved arrogance.

The couple next to me… Chatting away “omg, I’m just not ready. Blah blah.” Why come to a small underground space where some 20 musicians are jamming out beautiful bluegrass to spend the entire time blabbing?

I’m not a musician. I can’t easily tell if a song or a performance has technical merit with most instruments. I judge music based on how it makes me feel. A good song will make my nerves dance and my heart leap.

Most times I feel more comfortable alone in public spaces. Is that why I’m single?

I’m so glad I braved the mush, ice, and frozen thighs.

Underneath the sidewalks the lady in all black plays something sorrowful on her accordion while a hungry rat scurries across my over-sized snow boot.

His hair swoops perfectly to the left. My left, not his. There’s a layer of dirt under his fingernails. He’s reading intently, forehead down parallel with the dingy subway floor. He looks like a Jerry. Or Benny. No, probably Larry.

The underground fiddler plays twinkle twinkle little star for the cheerful toddler waiting for the choo choo train to arrive.

The lady who stands at the subway entrance at Canal st. spouting various brand names [“Gucci…. Chanel… “] and I have come to an understanding. What that understandings is, I’m not quite sure.

Sometimes I close my eyes and picture myself on a beach somewhere with the sun pinching my skin.

It doesn’t take long for me to realize the pinching I’m feeling is from this bitter fucking cold. I’ve about had enough. #onemoremonth

The guy discreetly (only not discreetly) practicing his latest latin dance moves. His feet and hips are shifting in rhythm. His left hand comes up for air, makes a slight shake, and back it goes into the pocket.

Living in NYC means you’re in a constant state of some level of un-comfort. Nowhere else in the world would I put up with being so fucking sweaty and cold at the same time. I didn’t even think that was possible.

Here I am, sitting on a bench at the NYC 8th street stop. My fingers so numb they hurt. My nose a broken water fountain. And this girl walks off the N in stilettos, thin panty hose, and a coat that barely makes it past her torso. I hope her legs fall off.

I think I’ll try doing stand up.

Holy Mother of England! I reach for my double soy latte in Park Slope’s cutest neighborhood coffee shop when I hear “Blimey! What’s that bloke done now?”. Two of the world’s most adorable English men sit by the tiny window drinking their coffee, reading their paper, and gossiping harder than middle schoolers. Both are rocking a unique set of spectacles. Happy Friday to me.

The warmth (and by warmth I mean upper 30s) of the weekend was worth the freezing hell that lead up to it. I didn’t even need a scarf at one point.

Saturday I learned the difference between a chamber orchestra and a symphony while in attendance of a chamber orchestra  concert. My goodness, the sound of instruments well played is magic. True real-life magic. Musicians = Magicians.

I sat next to a concert cellist who is from Ekaterinburg. The city in Russia where I am from. BOOM.

Dance cabaret at Alvin Ailey, chamber orchestra concert at Lincoln Center, & an off-broadway play. All for $15. #doingitright

I started using hashtags?

Application Pending (starring Christina Bianco) was excellent. You in NY? Go see it.

The group of 6 ladies in their early 40s with fabulous New York accents sitting directly in front of me were the perfect pre-show.

bluegrass jam

me englishmen

dance show me2 chamber orchestra

Application Pending me3Have a great week!

10 Links to Gander: Because I Like the Internet

I don’t take advantage of having all the information at the palm of my hands very often. Here are my top 10 links from this week (some may have been from earlier) that tickled my fancy in one way or another.

1. This snail mail project is so unbelievably powerful.

2. Here’s a stream of weird videos with Russian folks rocking out.

3. The title for this one describes this list of GIFs as ‘magnificent’ I’d say they’re way trippy.

4.  These ladies took FANTASTIC photos.

5. A view of 1849 Union Sq NYC.

6. And you’re going to tell me nature isn’t cool?!

7. The subway is gross. But so awesome.

8. If you don’t already have enough alcohol in your life… here’s more.

9. This lady also went to UCF and is killing it in NYC.

10. I’ve shared this beauty before on Facebook, but it’s totally worth the double dip.

Week 37: Homework, the Home, & Becoming a Turtle.

01.26: It’s snowing. A lot. The mayor was on the news yesterday telling people that the snow Armageddon is preparing to hit NYC. Maybe he didn’t say that exactly, but something like it. We were planning on working from home today anyway, so that worked out. The blizzard started mid-day today and will go until late Tuesday so I’ll be working from home tomorrow as well.

I’ve been working in the living room all day with the view of the falling snow right next to me… so beautiful (unless you’re outside). One of my neighbors has been plowing the sidewalk all day. Literally. I’ve been up since about 9:30am working and can still hear him plowing away (its 5:49pm). I think I heard him stop for like 30 minutes at some point. I’m not sure I understand this. Why would you plow the sidewalk if you KNOW the snow is just going to keep on coming?

 

snow day work day

What I wore today… hehe  (yes, it’s been 5 months and we still haven’t hung that shelf)

01.27: The storm wasn’t much of a storm at all… I’m not exactly sure the inches on the ground, but it looks fun more so than scary outside. Working at home today (seriously, the best) I could hear the cheering of children as they walked up my block towards the park with their sleds and parents dragging along by their side. Many sang songs. Talk about cheerful workday.

My dearest friend Chelsea had sent me several awesome photos from her snow day at the park.

parksnow1 parksnow2 parksnow3 parksnow4

1.31: I can’t believe the first month of 2015 is over. Only 11 months left until 2016 and only 3.5 months left until I’ve made it a year in NYC. WHOA.

Today was unreasonably cold. 17F with a punch in your face ‘feels like’ 3F. It’s no Siberia, but it sure as hell felt like it. I went grocery shopping anyway. Trooper award (totally worthy).  The day is flying, as with most Saturdays, but after making food and doing a few chores I’ve started a couple new courses online with Lynda.com and I’m kind of in love. I know there are a bunch of free tutorials online (and this doesn’t include coding), but a lot of it is shit. Seeing as how I’m looking for solid information, it’s difficult to wade through all the bs online. This way I have everything I need (not really EVERYTHING, but a lot) in one place with legit information (and materials).

whatiwore

Last night I ventured out to Williamsburg for a launch party for a new app. It was really cold and windy out – I was still half de-thawed in this picture.

2.01:  It’s really chilly out, but you’d never know it by looking out the window. It’s so cozy inside. I haven’t really shot the apartment in a while so I took a few photos.

apartment4Our plant home base.  

apartment3

The frame with the green mat and red head has a quote from Lenin (in Russian) printed on it translating to something along the lines: “If I know, that which I know little, I will achieve so that I know more.” Or something like that. It’s one side of my mom’s school report card from the 70’s.

apartment2

Our reading nook is really coming along… now for more pillows. 

apartment1

That’s my dad playing soccer in Russia.
ME

 Don’t you love my manly wool white socks? Also, that’s not dirt on my mirror… it’s a covering that vintage mirrors have on them (idk what it’s called. Anyone?)

I spent my entire weekend at home (with the exception of going to the gym and buying groceries). I always thought living in NYC meant I’d be out living the fabulous life I’d seen on tv, but to be honest that life isn’t really my style. I like being home and reading or binge watching Friends on Netflix (although I think that’s finally getting boring). It’s also pretty expensive to always be going out. There are a ton of free events in the city, but somehow I always manage to spend money if I’m out and about… if there’s a free show, there’s often a 1 drink minimum. Or I gotta eat dinner at some point… going home and then going out just isn’t feasible so I end up buying food.

I’m not saying I want to be a human turtle that never leaves the house. Not at all… I’m just saying going out all the time (which I did pretty frequently when first moving here) quickly results in a trimmed down wallet and a not-so-trimmed down waist.  I seem to get into waves of habits… with either too much or too little on-goings.

It’s all about finding a good balance… which I’m well on my way to figuring out, but I’m thinking chilling at home for an entire weekend isn’t it.

whatiwore2

Have a great week!

[January 26th – February 1st]

My Week in Food.

The point of these posts (as with all of my posts) is to keep a food journal. I’ve been getting completely off track with my eating habits and it’s starting to affect my health, mood, and wallet. So, I’m going to keep a food journal of sorts that will hopefully keep me accountable.

I’ve had some friends come to me with questions on how to make easy, yummy, and HEALTHY food. I don’t have any real recipes, in the traditional sense. I don’t use anything to measure or proportion anything. That’s where the fun comes in anyway! This may help. It may not.

I haven’t had a salad week in a while so I went with that idea for this week. Salads won’t be the -only- thing I eat, but they will be the majority and highlight.

My week will start with today (Saturday 01.24).

Breakfast:

I had some leftover brussels sprout hash with wild rice combo I made earlier last week and I made some quick scrambled eggs with scallions, shredded mexican blend cheese, and hot sauce to top it off and snazz it up a bit.

Saturday Breakfast2

Saturday Breakfast

Lunch:

Love this one! I had just come home from a trip to Brighton Beach where I bought some tongue (it was already boiled and ready to eat) so I decided to make a Roasted Carrot & Tongue Salad (remember, this is Salad Week). I had everything ready to go so I had myself an amazing (if I may toot my own horn here) salad in about 10 minutes.

Saturday Lunch

Ingredients: Roasted carrots (leftover from a couple days ago), fresh parsley, boiled tongue, fresh baby bella mushrooms, chickpeas, browned onion (leftover from a couple days ago), and green onions. Dressed with a teeny bit of olive oil, course sea salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and my favorite ‘everything’ seasoning from TJs.

*What isn’t pictured here is the German strawberry preserves (I got from a European Gourmet food store at Brighton) I indulged in post-meal… I promise I didn’t eat the whole jar.

Snack: Not-so-healthy veggie root chips.

Dinner: I wasn’t really hungry after my snack. I did end up finishing up the tongue salad really late at night so maybe you can consider that my dinner.

Sunday (1.25)

Brunch: My roomies and I went out to brunch. I forgot to take a picture so I took this from the yelp page.

Bass fishcake, poached eggs, & a cauliflower salad.

Sunday Brunch

The cauliflower salad was disappointing, but everything else was delicious.

 Dinner: Russian Film Club… Pelmeni & Chebooreki from my trip to Brighton Beach.

russian film club

Monday

Breakfast: A banana and coffee.

Lunch: I was working from home for the next two days on account of the ‘blizzard’. I used my leftover bass fishcake as a salad topper. Monday Lucnh Monday Lunch

Salad: Lots of fresh parsley, orange pepper, green onions, and baby bella mushrooms topped with a part of the Bass fishcake I had for brunch the day before (it also had some chipotle aoili sauce on it). Coarse salt, smoked paprika, and my beloved ‘everything’ seasoning.

Also, a side of TJ’s root chips.

Dinner: With a glass of red wine. yum.Monday dinnerSalad: fresh parsley, Persian cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, orange peppers, and red onions – dressed with a bit of balsamic + olive oil + garlic powder + cayenne pepper.

I made some buckwheat and roasted carrots and sliced up some smoked salmon on the side.

Dessert: Not pictured (I was too busy eating it).

Sliced Granny Smith Apple with TJ’s cookie butter. YUM.

Tuesday

Breakfast: Normally, I stick with fruit for breakfast on week days, but today I was working from home again and thought I would treat myself. Tuesday Breakfast

No salad. Eggs scrambled with cheese and buckwheat (that I made last night) with a side of smoked salmon and a few pieces of leftover sliced apples and the rest of my raw walnuts.

Lunch: Remodeled leftovers. Tuesday lunchTo the right salad: same as Monday’s dinner. To the left salad (cold): Cut up roasted carrots (from the other night), buckwheat, green onions, olive oil, smoked paprika, and ‘everything’ seasoning.

Snack: A banana.

banana snack

Dinner: A cold brown rice medley salad.

Tuesday's dinnerSalad: Brown rice, black barley, Daikon radish seeds, cherry tomatoes, red onion, Persian cucumber, orange pepper, green onion, black beans, and blackened onions in a red chili sesame oil and soy sauce blend. Dressed with garlic infused olive oil, garlic powder, more soy sauce, cayenne pepper, dried dill weed, and coarse sea salt.

Dessert: A small bowl (without milk) of chocolate rice krispi cereal. Healthy. I know. I still have some left over from a sugar binge a while ago so I thought I’d better eat that than go buy a new pint of ice cream.

Tuesday desert

Wednesday

Breakfast: Back to the office I went… not pictured, but I had a couple slices of Old Amsterdam cheese (yum), a Fuji apple, and a coffee. [I’ve finally kicked my red bean for breakfast addiction!]

Lunch: A cold buckwheat and smoked salmon salad.

Wednesday lunchMore roasted carrots (leftover), buckwheat, the rest of my orange pepper, cherry tomatoes, green onion, Persian cucumber, smoked salmon, and blackened onions in a red chili sesame oil and soy sauce blend. Dressed in more soy sauce, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, a shit ton of garlic powder.

Snack: Dried cranberries and raw almonds.

Dinner: Vietnamese inspired warm salad… (kind of).

Wednesday's dinnerBrown rice, daikon radish seeds, black barley, black beans, Persian cucumbers, 2 sunny side eggs (I like em’ runny), topped with a bunch of ‘everything’ seasoning and hot sauce.

I also ended up eating more smoked salmon on the side.

**Here is where I dropped the ball completely. I forgot to take pictures.**

Thursday

Breakfast: Cold Pressed Beet Juice. TJs has them for $5 a pop… not bad.

Lunch: Something similar to my brown rice medley salad I had for dinner on Tuesday.

Dinner: 2 slices of Joe’s Pizza & a Whiskey Ginger. A lady can’t -always- be on her H-game (healthy).

Friday

Breakfast: 1 boiled egg, a handful of raw pumpkin seeds, and half a cucumber (half way through I realized it was going bad so I decided it was best I didn’t finish). Oh, and coffee.

Lunch: We had a long meeting planned for the day so we ordered Chinese take out. Shrimp fried rice & shrimp dumplings… it wasn’t the healthiest decision I’ve made as of late.

Dinner: I was still epically full from lunch (sleepy food coma was written ALL over me), but I had plans to go out so off I went to eat some Chicken meat balls in a pesto sauce and a glass of a Malbec blend that was quite tasty. The meat balls were delicious, but I could only eat 2. I wasted money and food. Bummer. It was at the Meat Ball shop in Williburg — pretty hoppin’ spot.

Yes, I like to eat with chopsticks. Only while at home… who wouldn’t want to get to play with their food?

A few tips:

* make a batch of grains to use in daily cooking (brown rice medley or buckwheat for ex)

* Browned onions will make -everything- taste better. Except for your dessert.

*Use your leftovers in new ways so you don’t get bored.

Week 36: Postablog, Ms. Lopez & Little Russia.

[January 19th – 25th]

whatiwore1

My week in food was a complete failure… I certainly didn’t eat out as much (just a couple times), but still more than I intended to. I had some plans that pretty much required I eat unhealthy (when lobster Mac n’ Cheese is on the menu, you don’t say no). Next week (I say this all too often) I’ll make a separate ‘My week in Food’ post and will hopefully make time to take pretty photos.

01.19: So I’ve mentioned how happy I am with my new job at Postable, right? Well, among many other things I get to write the blog… so go check it out blog.postable.com or just click HERE.

My gym update is pretty sad, but I guess I shouldn’t keep it to myself. I went yesterday. Today I am extremely sore. With plans to go tonight having been cancelled post a dinner that’s left me immobile, I’ve got my eye on Wednesday for my next workout sesh.

oysters

Tuesday night trivia… but first, there was Happy Hour Oysters!

01.21: I’m having a really hard time leaving the house after making it indoors at night. The daylight is always so enticing that leaving the house is never an issue, but when the moon is shining there’s a whole new obstacle. When I’m on my way home from the subway, I feel like I’m escaping an evil force that’s trying to kill me… Making it inside is an epic achievement. Why would I ever want to go back outside after such an ordeal?! With this said, I’m pushing myself out of the door as we speak (sort of) so I can go workout.

williburgview2

We worked from Williamsburg this Tuesday… not a terrible view. 

1.22: I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s resolution for a couple weeks now. I know, I’m kind of late. I went through the usual… stop eating like shit, go to the gym, blah blah. I want to change something in my life for the better this year instead of just plowing away at the usual personal hurdles. I was doing a facebook crawl (something I’ve successfully reduced from my daily life) today and came across a HONY post (Humans of New York). It was about Mott Hall Bridges Academy – a middle school located in a Brooklyn neighborhood with the highest crime rate in NYC. They are raising money on Indiegogo to help get these kids on a field trip to Harvard (showing them a world outside of theirs). I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever donated to a cause. Maybe once or twice for something environmental related, but I really can’t put my finger on any one time. I could not have felt more supportive and on board with what they’re trying to achieve and decided I’d donate next week’s brunch $. It’s not much, but it’s something.

That’s when I realized what one of my new year’s resolutions should be… donate to a cause once a month. Let’s be clear, I don’t have fountains of dough lounging around my apartment. I have to budget like a mad woman to be able to live this life in NYC. But if I can skip one of my brunches so that I can help [just a teeny tiny bit], that sounds way more appealing than a nasty afternoon hangover post an unlimited mimosa escapade. The principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy sounds like Superwoman, I’m so glad HONY found her.

Their fundraising goal that started today was $100,000 (enough to send 3 years worth of 6th grade students on a trip to Harvard). When I just checked the site, the total is up to $311,091. That is remarkable. If you look on the side of the page, you can see what the amounts donated look like… most would just barely cover a bottomless Saturday Brunch, but together they’re helping change the lives of children.

The fundraiser is going until February 5th. If you’d like to trade today’s cappuccino bucks I’m sure every dollar is appreciated. You can click the link HERE.

Also, if you’d like to share any great causes down below please feel free!

On another note, today at WeWork (the building I work in)… we got free dumplings for downloading their app. Could I be any more in love with this place? [Did anyone get that Friends reference? 🙂 ]

williburgview

This was the other view from my workday in Williamsburg. 

01.23: My Friday night = a giant bowl of roasted dill carrots and hours on hours of Friends. I’ve got to get out more.

01:24: It’s so quiet this morning. Usually I hear random screaming and the occasional slue of conversational honking horns. I say ‘conversational’ because it’s usually two or three (or many times more) people involved in a jammed situation outside my window and instead of talking to one another, they choose to honk back and forth in what some might call a conversational manner.

I woke up early and journeyed out to the grocery store. It snowed a bunch last night and the snow left on the tree branches is really pretty to look at from my window. The minute I walked outside, however, what was beautiful from inside looking out turned into nasty slush below my feet. It’s not very cold today (well above freezing) so the snow is melting quickly… instead of crunchy white snow there were brown mushy puddles. Lovely. I kind of felt like I was walking through a silent battlefield. I had to choose where I stepped very carefully, making sure to avoid large puddles and potential ice pockets, keeping my hood up and my head down to avoid getting hit by the giant snow chunks falling from the branches above. My short walk to the bus was a success, minus the giant snow ball that landed on my forehead as I all-too-bravely decided to look up and admire what was left of the snow up above. Rookie mistake.

bbeach4

I went to Brighton Beach today. I loved it! Instead of bringing my camera, I was able to pack my backpack with what felt like a ton of goodies. I forget how entertaining it is for me to visit there… it’s like a little island of it’s own. Nobody speaks any English, everything is written in Russian (even the Verizon store front), and there is no shortage of European and Russian food stores. Mmmmm.

Bbeach1bbeach5

I’ve never seen snow and sand intermingled. 

bbeach6 bbeach7

The highlights:

* There were a couple of kids sledding on the beach. Literally. They were giggling with each other and speaking half Russian (with their moms) and half English (with each other).

*  The tiny black Honda blasting Russian pop songs parked by the side of the street.

* The little old lady with the baked goodies stand, who refused to smile even though I said hello in the most cheerful Russian I could muster.

* Fur. SO much fur. You don’t see too many people wearing fur around the city, but now I know why. The Russians are hoarding it.

* Speaking of fur… I was on my way back to the train when I walked by one of the many fur stores. The most brilliantly blonde (more like yellow) older lady wearing a turquoise leopard velvet track suit and Gucci rimmed glasses was standing just inside a fur boutique looking around, presumably judging each passerby based on their fury attire. The most gaudy-licious display of their coats was right next to her. It was all too much. I wish I took a picture, but I’d hate for her to think I was judging her. Instead I jotted down what I saw and walked away, giggling the entire way to the train.

bbeach2

All the goodies I got.

Chebooreki, a bunch of pelmeni, buckwheat, cow tongue, german strawberry preserves, and a bunch of Russian candy.

BrightonBeachGoodies

I had so much fun reading all the labels and talking with the ladies who worked at the grocery stores. It still kills me (in the best way possible) how they just assume you speak Russian… I was standing in one line and paying all of my attention on reading whatever tag was nearest me (I’m not very good and the cursive handwriting on the sign was throwing me for a loop) when one of the ladies who worked there started trying to tell me to get in her line. It took her like 3 tries to finally get my attention, but not one time did she speak English.

01.25: My goodness today’s weather is beautiful. Too bad tomorrow there’s supposed to be a terrible blizzard. That should be fun.

Sunday night Russian Film Club was a success, as always. Film choice of the evening: Ivan Vasilievich Switches Professions (a Soviet comic science fiction comedy). This one had a lot of fun songs.

I made sure there was no shortage of Russian dumplings (Pelmeni) and Chebooreki (not Russian, but Ukrainian or Turkic- according to Wikipedia. I’m still not exactly sure what nationality this dish is related to exactly). There was also a small assortment of Russian candy that happily got devoured.

russian film club

The Pelmeni were pretty darn delicious, but still not quite as yummy as I remember them from Russia.

whatiwore2

Have a great week!

Week 35: Tickled Chin, Personal Goals, & Perogies.

[January 12th – 18th]

selfie1

I forgot to wear a hat… can’t have another frozen forehead. 

01.12: Today my mind went spiraling into itself on the subway ride home. It’s rather normal for me to get into deep discussions with myself while on the subway (it’s my favorite place in the whole city to really think). Of course I keep these discussions to myself, not to worry. I was listening to Jay Z’s NEW YORK blaring from the headphones directly behind me while my chin was getting tickled by the faux fur hood just inches below me (the lady was shorter than me(!)) when something someone said the other day trickled into my mind…

‘People are so isolated in NY’.

I’ve definitely heard this remark about NYC numerous times. I’ve always thought it was quite an odd observation. Sure, everyone has their own thing going on (and boy do people LOVE telling you how busy they are), but at the end of the day (literally) we’re smack tab smushed right beside one another listening to each other’s music and getting tickled by the other’s coats. I’m not exactly sure how that’s supposed to be isolation.

subwayguy

11pm on a Saturday night on the Q. This guy had the word ‘cool’ written all over him. 

01.17: Woke up today with complete intention to do all of my to-do list [gym, clean, groceries]. I’ve cleaned so far and half the day has come and gone. I normally really like going to the gym… actually this is only true when I’ve already started my gym routine. Being sick really through me off the whole gym routine and getting back into it is such a pain. Excuses excuses. I know. I honestly probably won’t go today. I will definitely go tomorrow (I feel like I’ve heard this before). My healthy habits have taken a back seat to my lazy-ness. UGH. It’s also hard to eat right when grocery shopping is the bane of my existence!!! I’ve written about this before so there’s nothing new to say other than I REALLY need to go buy food or I’ll be succumbed to use Seamless again and let’s be honest, I’m not going to order a salad to get delivered. Nobody makes a better salad than me anyway, why bother. I’ve also managed to surpass my eating out budget for the month already. I’m normally really good with money… This is a sure tell sign that grocery shopping is a PAIN.

Ok. I’m done blaming the world for my health-defying habits. It’s definitely a pain to go to TJs, but it’s not impossible. There’s also a KeyFood a couple blocks away… maybe I’ll try shopping there.

I’m also like the #1 cheerleader for homemade food. It’s not THAT hard, just takes a bit more effort here. I see people using blogs as accountability for something they’d like to achieve, well I’d like to get my shit together and stop wasting my money (and loosing my health).

Next week I’ll take a photo of all my meals. Taking accountability!! Woot. I’m also going to the gym if it freaking kills me.


In other news… this week has been generally great. Job is still A for Awesome.

– Unlimited Sangria & Meangirls trivia in the LES. It was so cold on my way home that I started jogging only to realize the wind felt worse that way, clearly I didn’t have enough Sangria.

trivia

– Continued My obsession with Red Bean Cakes… seriously, I want to buy these bad boys in bulk from China town (the lady at my corner store is making a killing off of me with these things).

– Started using the term ‘bad boys’ to refer to anything with a multiple… I should stop.

– Went to a ‘house’ party in Alphabet city. It really is remarkable how many people can fit into NY apartments when they really try.

– Discovered my immediate need (want) for a polaroid camera at said party. SO GOOD.

polaroid

Side note… I brushed my teeth while wearing all outdoor gear. Not exactly ground breaking news. I know. I was already out the door when I decided I should brush my teeth… well getting allllll layered up again just wasn’t an option. Never done that before.

brushing teeth

Another side note… remember my post Personal Wishlist? Of course not… nobody read it. Well, I found the list I made back in April in a purse pocket.

character list

01.18. Rainnnnn so much rain! If it wasn’t for my new rain boots begging me to play in some puddles, I would say the weather today SUCKED. But, I have new rain boots and a badass umbrella so I was set.

rain

selfie2

I still needed a long coat (my thighs are following suit and beginning to hurt) so I headed to an epic thrift shop in the East Village called No Revelations. I always love walking through the East Village… even on rainy days.

eastv eastv2

After hunting and capturing my new coat (epic find btw), I went to my Sunday Russian Film Club (formal name to come :). We ordered from the local Ukrainian restaurant and stuffed our faces with Perogies. It’s been like 4 hours and I’m still feeling the effects of my food coma. We watched My Perestroika.

perogi

Not the healthiest of meals, but just on Sundays 🙂 That’s a piece of delicious Kelbasa a top the mountain of dumplings (perogies with ‘meat’, sauerkraut and mushroom, potatoes, and farmers cheese). I can now die happy.

subwayhome

My 3am ride home on the subway… SO glad I woke up at my stop. 

So I’ll end on this note… The office building that I work in is called WeWork, which is it’s own organization. It’s pretty great. Our office is one of many on our floor and a few other folks bring their doggie best friends to work. The result? We get adorable pups strolling in and out of our office on a regular basis. This Friday we got a visit from TWO pups.

Happy Sunday, have a great week!

whatiwore1

Week 34: White Winter, Jenga, & Jenny!

[January 5th – 11th]

01.08: I am cold. I thought I was cold several times before this, I was wrong. Now, I’m cold. The temp this morning reads 14F and the convenient ‘Feels Like’ is -2. WHOA. Walking home from the subway last night I discovered that my forehead could hurt from the cold. WHO KNEW!? I held my glove to my face the entire walk home. I’m definitely going to need a new hat. My giant scarves are not cutting it anymore.

The end of the holiday season has always signified the end of winter for me… the beginning of January was always just the weird limbo season where folks kept their christmas lights up, but ‘winter’ had said its’ goodbye while I said hello to the beach. Things have changed. January has officially marked the beginning of winter for me. Snow and temperatures have fallen. The numerous christmas trees hanging out on the edge of the sidewalks is the only sign that the holiday season has come and gone. The poor trees look so sad.

On another note, my new job is amazing. I get to play with a site that has the most epic greeting cards around. What more could I possibly ask for? If you haven’t already checked out the site, do it now: Postable.com. Send me a card, while you’re at it… let me know you care that I’m freezing my ass off.

Today was Jess’s (my roomie) birthday so me and Mary Alice (other roomie) made dinner. A green pasta dish (linguini, avocado sauce, duck/chicken/pork sausage, browned onions, and garlic, garnished with crispy roasted cayenne chick peas) with homemade cheesy garlic bread. Needless to say my belly is FULL. We also had peanut butter brownies with Tahitian vanilla ice cream for desert. I’m ready to pop. I’m also beginning to understand why nobody leaves their house during the winter. BRRRR.

1.10: Jenny is visiting me again! After some coffee this morning we ventured out to Prospect Park with Miss Chelsea to look at all the pretty snow-ey scenery. There wasn’t nearly as much snow as I had hoped would have piled up by now, but it’s getting there. Definitely still a winter wonderland… minus a few inches of snow. The weather temp read 21F (feels like 10F), but at first it didn’t really feel that cold… until about 45 minutes into our walk. By the time we walked through the park my thighs were painfully numb, my nose had long lost feeling, and my forehead hurt again (I keep forgetting to cover the damn thing).

me1

Park1

Park3 park4

 

I’m super stoked for the day that we get like 3 feet of snow so that I can go sledding!!! I remember getting to sled in Russia (just a very faint memory) and must do it again. There were a few kids with sleds, but without their dad’s pulling them along the 2 inches on the ground, they would get nowhere.

park5 park6

Jess’s birthday celebrations continued tonight at Royal Palms (a shuffle board venue). Saturday night means the shuffle board court was packed so playing giant Jenga had to be the next best thing (we did eventually make it to the shuffle boarding at the end of the night).

me&jennyjenga

A night of red wine and Jenga left us hungry. To the diner we went…

diner1jenny

Nothing like some greasy food to finish off the night. Those Mozz sticks went great with the bowl of Ranch I requested… I promise my eating habits are normally exponentially healthier.


1.11: Food. SO much food. After a short stroll through the East Village Jenny and I met up with Jess and Jenny’s sister for some lunch. I’ve had this place on my go to list for some time… Oda House (Georgian cuisine). I haven’t really ever had or even thought about having Georgian food until my brother strongly urged me to try some. This placed Oda House on my radar. Anyway, he wasn’t joking… the food was AMAZING. I kind of wish I had taken some photos of the dishes, but if you’re in the NYC area and want to try something unique… this is your spot.

washparkjennywashparkme

I finished my week off with a Russian flick with a pair of great friends in their East village home. Sometimes I catch myself wondering if I’m dreaming and take extra care not to startle myself just in case.

me2

The temp read 27F today. It was actually pretty nice out after all the layers came on. My forehead was warm too. Happy Sunday, have a great week!