Saturday, February 02, 2013

in excess

i remember sitting at the kitchen table with a plate of eggo waffles in front of me. i must have been seven-ish. after butter-ing and syrup-ing, i noted the best bite and ate it after everything else was finished—just as i did every morning.

a few weeks ago, out to dinner with a friend, we spoke about our resolutions for 2013. she had a variety of goals for herself that she was already on-way to implementing. i hadn't even considered making a resolution. i never do for the new year. but today is february 2, and i now know what mine will be. breaking the terrible habit i've had for as long as i can remember: saving the best for last.

fancy bottles of lotions and oils scattered around my bathroom: i will use you up. all fragrances will be sprayed to the very last drop, and pretty stationery will be sent out in the mail to friends who deserve nice letters. i am forcing myself out of this mentality, and will enjoy in excess. 

Friday, February 01, 2013


i have found nine lucky pennies in the past seven days. what should i make of that? three are in my coat pocket, three are on my dresser top and three are in a pocket in my purse. maybe if i combine them all together something lovely will happen. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012


i suppose every journey has its highs and lows. so it seemed appropriate that our low point fell on the thirteenth day of our trip. it was our last day in italy and i was feeling that itch. we had been bouncing around, staying in apartments and though they met every expectation, it was the nth day without wifi, a large shower, and most importantly, a little alone time.

the day started off on the wrong foot. ben woke up early to run a few errands. i woke up feeling generally annoyed, and with the realization that we needed to get out of this apartment in two hours and on the road to austria. i still needed to pack and the space looked like a disaster struck. i started with last night's dishes. ben cooks, i clean. there was a cabinet above the sink with a drying rack, and as i was washing out a few cups, i looked up for a split second, just as a small, sharp knife fell from above and onto the floor. inches away from my face. i cleaned the knife, placed it back on the rack and carried on with the dishes. i didn't think much of it until a few minutes later, it fell againpoint down onto my head. i got the message. it was time to leave italy. 

we got on the road later than anticipated. i've always been the worst at leaving the houseis the oven off? is my lipstick okay? should i put on another layer in case it gets cold?so imagine trying to get out of a country. ben is no better. i had to go the antique market to buy even more vintage ribbon. ben wanted to buy a hat made from alpaca wool. i wanted more packages of haribo tagada pinks like i'd never see them again. ben wanted to buy another bottle of balsamic vinegar from his favorite restaurant, even though he had already bought four bottles. we wanted paninis for the road. 

the four-hour trip from florence to innsbruck took closer to eight. we were stuck in traffic around verona. our road-trip playlists were getting tiresome, and it was starting to get dark. as we drove into the alps, it was pitch black and it was starting to rain. the highway was packed with trucks. by 9:30, we reached a creepy toy-filled rest stop that was about an hour from the austrian border. stepping out of the car, my legs were baby-deer wobbly and it was far colder than my jacket could resist against. the thin air, coupled with my asthma and anxiety, made breathing a bit difficult. i wasn't sure how we were going to continue on. i just didn't have it in me anymore, and ben was doing all of the driving. 

innsbruck is located in western austria, not too far from the border. it's tucked away in large valley surrounded by truly majestic mountains. when we reached our destination around 11, i wanted to kiss the ground. i was thankful for ben's ace driving abilities and really at that point, just to be alive. we were staying in another airbnb home just outside of the city and i couldn't wait to go to sleep. even as co-pilot, car rides are oddly exhausting. 

we rang the bell of the house. but there was no one there to greet us as planned. we hadn't been in touch with our host since before we left florencewhen we said we'd reach the city by 7:30. we went back into the car to call her. ben grew up in germany, and i was so thankful for his fluency in the language, yet he seemed to be on the phone with her for an increasingly long time without me understanding. halfway through their conversation, a wind blew in like i've never felt before. a wind so strong, that i wasn't quite sure what would result of it. lasting minutes, our car, the trees, the telephone wires shook with the wind's intensity. it ended just as ben and the host's conversation finished. we were to get a hotel that night. our host had waited nearly an hour at the time we said we'd be there, and without getting phone service crossing the mountains, she had no way to reach us. she lived 30 minutes away, and at this late hour, wasn't going to travel back to let us in. 

we drove closer into the city and stopped at the first hotel we found, just outside of innsbruck. the hotel looked a bit subpar and outdated, but i wasn't in any position to be picky. i just wanted to be in bed. it was nearing 11:30. there were no vacancies, but we were pointed in the direction of a larger hotel down the road.

at first we weren't sure if it was a conference center, a hotel, or an office building, but no matter, hotel 2 was completely booked. as we passed a slightly seedy hotel 3, it appeared to be closed. we figured we'd give it a try regardless. the sign on the door confirmed that it wasn't open, but a room was available and listed a number to call for reception. we had ben's father's cell phone (he lives in germany, and he generously lent us his phone so we'd be able to make calls), and as we dialed the number, no sooner did the international minutes expire. it seemed like a cruel joke, yet we were able to ride back to hotel 1 and use their phone. but, no luck, no one answered. 

hotel 4 reminded of the hotel in the shining. we were greeted in the lobby by a 7-foot sculpture of jesus on the cross, and nobody in sight. we rang reception and wandered around a little bit, but to no avail. we were told by the bartender at hotel 5 that there were no vacancies. as he talked, his hand rested atop his head, showcasing the fresh, bloody gash going down his forearm. hotel 6 was closed. as was hotel 7, which we drove our way well up the mountain to with high hopes, just beyond the local sanatorium. 

at this point, there was only one obvious thing to do: get mcdonald's. we ordered half the menu, deciding to save it all until we found a place to stay for the night. it was fast approaching 12:30. we were hungry, but knew the food would taste even better once we were settled. across the road from mcdonald's was a tourist information center with (somewhat of) a scoreboard, listing all of the hotels in the area, and how many rooms were available at each. a miracle of a discovery, except the board read: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0. 

we traveled further and further away from the city, finally reaching (the rather luxurious) hotel 8. as ben and the receptionist spoke in german, i tried to gauge exactly what they were saying, wishing and hoping there was a room for us. as it turns out, not only was there a room, but the reason of every hotel in the city being booked? there was a zoo conference being held in the city that week. but, of course!

minutes after we were in the room, ben fell asleep with all of his clothes still on, and at long last, i ate my mcchicken.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


in austria, week 2 of our road trip, ben asked if i bought myself a souvenir. as we stocked up on gifts for our parents, friends, et al., it seemed as if i didn't consider myself in the equation. au contraire, mon ami. i bought myself quite possibly the most spectacular treasure that in its own right would represent the entirety of our trip. 

an oversized, crystal lotus-esque flower that in certain angles, reflects a neon bubble-gum pink hue. purchased at a gas station en route to florence from lake como. 

it was the obvious choice. 

after making my selection in the glass display case, the attendant disappeared into the stock room and returned with my precious floral jewel tucked inside a maroon gift box lined with gold satin. only to confirm what i believed: italian luxury!

Friday, October 26, 2012

etsy // OF VANITY

i am now officially an etsy store owner! as of last night, actually. i've filled my store, OF VANITY, with glassware, vases and other beautiful pieces meant for creating the perfect vanity table. as i wrote in my etsy bio:

for as long as i can remember, i've been enamored with makeup and fragrance. and i can't remember a time where i haven't created a distinct space to display all of my favorites. from antique stores in manhattan and vermont to vintage markets in italy and france, i've scoured these shops to put together a collection of treasures.

vanity tables have always fascinated me. a place in your home that channels and inspires beauty. though ever-changing, this a photo of my vanity table right now:

it's certainly morphed over the years, with each apartment i've lived in, but has always taken on a vintage, feminine, floral, pastel-hued form.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

le euro trip

my boyfriend surprised me for my birthday with pretty much one of the most epic gifts possible. a three-week long road trip. around europe. we left a month after my birthday and returned a few weeks ago. i took many wonderful pictures with my iphone, but my pictures from my disposable cameras are truly my favorites. i brought three of them with me. one, i must mention, was a lovely and thoughtful going-away present from my lovely and thoughtful friend dorie. there is a soft, fuzzy quality about the pictures, and i think that adds to the feeling of our trip. it was such a dream. unfortunately, they do skip around a bit, as i consistently captured moments on my iphone, and not with my disposables. such is such. we started by staying with ben's dad in heidelberg, germany (where he grew up), and drove the loop through switzerland, italy, austria and back up to munich for oktoberfest. stories to follow. a pictures few first!

biking in germany, passing by rows of flowers and fields of horses.

switzerland's finest animals.

here is lake como.

this was our house that we stayed in at lake como, through we had the entire second floor, complete with two bedrooms and a large living room, kitchen, dining room...and a massive patio.

this was our view from said patio. really. it was heavenly.

a day trip to siena.

our sweet little apartment in florence was down the block from santa croce. we were woken up by the bells each morning. here i am wearing ben's nikes and eating pasta. 

i fell in love with innsbruck. this was by far my favorite destination. the city had such a good vibe. my friend recommended we stay there, and i am so thankful that he did. 

in a tent at oktoberfest. everyone danced on the tables as the band played crowd-favorites such as "i've had the time of my life" and coldplay songs that i can't quite remember the names of. 

ben's wonderful cousin (and her family!) allowed us to stay with them while we were visiting munich. we stayed in their sweet, sweet daughter's play room at the top of the stairs. it was beautiful. here is a picture of the chandelier in the room. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

ciao ciao

our flight leaves at 8:30, we'll be back in october. our road trip // european edition begins!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

sugar pills

it was around the new year that my family spent a few days in manhattan. we stayed in a times square hotel, and i don't remember much of what we did, besides going to the nba store where o-town happened to be performing. it was the year 2000. though i do remember going to sephora/times square and my mom let me choose one beauty treat. my pick? a sparkly baby-blue eyeliner from hard candy. i still have it at my parent's house. actually, i have most of old beauty products. they [obviously] haven't been used in years, but i don't have the heart to throw them away. perfumes from bath & body works i bought when i was 12. five hard candy nail polishes, less their chunky rings that fit around the top, from when i was 13. a stila lip gloss quartet that my mom bought me during a trip to saks, age 14. et cetera. so all of this unusable makeup lying around, and a week of lolling around at my parent's house in connecticut, had me making some lemonade out of lemons. or pill cases from empty lip gloss pots from tenth grade. whatever.

i bought these two lip glosses [by sugar cosmetics!] when i was 15. i haven't seen this brand in ages, but at the time, its translucent fuchsia packaging always drew me in. i bought them both at sephora on a trip into the city with my mom, aunt and cousin kate. we went in to see broadway shows [rent! hairspray!] and i remember being absolutely astounded that sephora was open until midnight. new york! the city that never sleeps!
anyway, these probably expired nine years ago. so what's a girl to do? scoop out the gloss, give them a good wash and fill them with pills. their twist-off caps made this re-purposing a no-brainer. and it's certainly a more desirable alternative to the typical utilitarian options, no?


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