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?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

glass castle

an afternoon spent in ikea resulted in just two purchases, well three if you count the plate of swedish meatballs ben treated me to mid-way through our trip. a crystal star-shaped dish and a mauve scalloped bowl. a pretty way to display nail polish and lip gloss, no?

see also: mor and mor to sweetly store makeup brushes

Friday, August 17, 2012

twenty six

at 11:52 we were finally finished cooking my pre-birthday dinner. we often eat late meals. tonight's menu featured my favorite at-home dish: bacon, cheddar [heart-shaped] waffles. ben used his gallon jug of maple syrup he bought on our last trip to vermont, i used aunt jemima. even after living in vermont for four years of college, i still couldn't develop a taste for the real thing. the heart wants what the heart wants. at 11:59 i ran from the table into ben's bedroom. i didn't want the stroke of midnight to happen in front of a plate of half-eaten breakfast food. he followed me with a butter lane cupcake with a green candle lit on top. i made my wish, and ben was anxious to give me my present. he said he had been for days. i read the sweet, sweet card and became overwhelmingly excited when my gift was in the form of a toy airplane. we're taking a euro trip! from mid-september into october. we'll be staying with his family in germany and will then drive around switzerland, italy and austria. 

ben woke up at seven. he had a photo shoot in the city. i was to spend the afternoon with wonderful friends and we'd meet for dinner at talde. his roommate sam had to work as well. alone in the apartment, i got out of bed around 11. i walked to the bathroom to brush my teeth. mid-brush, i heard a noise from the living room: a record was playing. the room felt warm and peaceful. it has nice light in the morning that heats up the space. so i poured myself coffee and enjoyed the tunes of andrew bird. it's a semi-automatic player, the arm will move when a user presses play. i figured there must be an alarm incorporated of some sort. no alarm, said ben. that never happened before, said sam.

strange but no explanation needed. it felt good. especially on the start of a birthday morning. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

summer sunset

shades of periwinkle, salmon and gold faded into one another on august 7, seen from prospect park. it was my favorite sunset of the summer. the colors morphed into a dark night sky as we listened to m. ward. we sat on my beach blanket and ate french fries.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

pretty simple

one day of candy-colored hair using supplies from the art store? sign me up. several beauty blogs have been posting how-tos lately, and i just had to give this a try. its simplicity (and washability) intrigued me. ever since i saw ms. charlotte free rock her pink tresses last year at fashion week, i've been dye-ing (lame!) to try out this look. i just didn't want to commit. 

i headed over to the art store for the goods: soft pastels, i used sennelier. turquoise and magenta. i came home and colored in varying strands of my ballerina bun. that is all, it was that easy. i read that it works best if you're going to wear your hair up, as the pastels may make their way down on to clothing. darker hair? make sure to wet it first to capture the pigment. but if you're a blonde, do not add water. it would actually create a dye. unless that's what you're going for. it's rather chic, no? 

and as promised, it washed out the next day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


the (typical, of my peers) work/life balance in vermont couldn't be any more different than the (typical, of my peers) work/life balance in manhattan. my life back in new york was becoming increasingly off-kilter, so it felt good to slow things down for the week and sit for endless hours on floral fabric blankets by lake champlain. even our barefoot walks on the quiet, broken-pavement sidewalks seemed worlds away. we woke up late, drank strong coffee, ate local food and hula-hooped. this trip was, as i imagined it would be, good for the soul.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

vermont until sunday

au revoir. ben and i are off to vermont for the week to visit annie in burlington. 

Monday, July 02, 2012


maybe i've been in new york too long, and am wildly in need of a vacation (true, and i leave for vermont tomorrow), but i've been totally lagging on noticing the lovely little occurrences that used to be so apparent. i'm beyond excited/desperate to spend some time in the green mountain state for a few days. anyway, i know it takes effort and it's easy to let things slide, so to kick things off, i tried to be more aware this weekend. this is what i came up with: 

mary brought me back an amethyst from charleston. i am so grateful and it made me ridiculously happy. when i went to cannes, i brought her back a blue seashell. i am pleased that we exchange treasure. mary gets it.

there is a stamp store a block away from my apartment. during annie's last visit to the city, we stopped in and she bought a swimming lady. i have a rose, which i did not buy from this store but i so appreciate having my own stamp. 

this was a painting that was on my street near a garbage can. it looks like a flying pig. i liked it, but not enough to hang in my apartment and nothing is worth the risk of bedbugs. i liked it enough to add to my blog tonight.

ali's homemade macarons for jenna's welcome-to-new-york party were divine. truly, they've rivaled any macaron i've ever had. and i am no amateur. they were baked with love.

here are the clothes that i am taking to vermont. i spent half of sunday packing for this trip. i am an ace packer, and i weirdly think it is adds into the fun of going away...

...but figuring out what makeup to bring is a different story. especially when i will probably go without for most of the trip. it is vermont, after all. essentials only. this is what i've decided on. it all looks pretty, no?

there you have it. a slew of things that were lovely. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

summer blues

last weekend seemed to be tinted blue. it was the combination of the summer sky with the icy shade of nars polish that has continuously been on my nails for the past few months. it was the blue floral top that i wore for days in a row because i didn't think to bring a change of clothes, mixed with my favorite guerlain by emilio pucci terracotta gloss in porto azzurro and that slushie from the bodega that i wanted to get after the park but forgot about until now. le sigh, these summer blues were anything but sad.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


someone told me that today is the first day of summer.

Monday, June 18, 2012


tonight's required reading
+ sheila heti's how should a person be? 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


remember these chinatown slippers that we all use to wear ten years ago? i popped into pearl river in soho a few weeks ago and picked up a pair for two dollars and seventy-five cents. it's funny to be so over a trend and then fall back in love, love, love. i wear them every sunny day to skip around my neighborhood. 

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

wait v. worth

when days were cold (think wind chills of negative 30) in vermont, the obvious choice was to skip the mile walk up to campus, stay in my nest of blankets and watch the martha stewart show. i was thankful that she kept my creative up while temps were low. i was inspired by everything she did. she was my idol. and among many things, i am grateful that martha introduced me to etsy. i've been using the site since february of 2008 and i've made countless purchases--my first being this sterling silver bracelet that i had custom engraved with "give peace a chance." little vermont hippie that i was! i didn't take it off for nearly three years and now it lives in my jewelry box. 

anyway, on october 29, 2010, i purchased a 1970s red kimono dress. now i should note that i am very selective with my purchases and make it a point to not buy everything that i see. the package arrived and i brought it back to my apartment, but i never opened it. the year ended. 2011 came and went. i moved into a new apartment. i'd see the package, but still i didn't open it. i kept the package in a duffle bag with my extra gloves and scarves, and occasionally i would think about opening it. but unexplainably, i wouldn't. until yesterday. june 4, 2012. i found it while i transitioning my wardrobe for summer. 

and here it is:

nice. it is nice. i'm neither over- or underwhelmed. worth the wait? sure. but maybe its worth was in its wait. i didn't expect to fall in love with this red kimono. i didn't think it was going to be the dress to end all dresses. i felt as neutral as i do in writing this. what i am trying to figure out: at which point was the anticipation for this dress lost?

emily once bought a powerball ticket, or something of the sort, that allowed winners an entire year to claim their prize. she waited months and months until she was ready to see if she had won. for her life to change. she'd mention every once in a while, in a variety of contexts, "well, i might be a millionaire." i don't remember her reaction to losing, or the minutes leading up to losing, or what made her finally decide to check. the deadline? the curiosity? 

last month, i ordered something from the something store. for ten dollars, the company will send you something. it could be a fragrance. it could be a tie. it could be a robot alarm clock or a patio lantern. my level of anticipation was through the roof. i figured that i would be the person that randomly got the laptop or the camera. i'm often very lucky. i had my coworker order something too. our somethings arrived on the same day. within three minutes, a week's worth of excitement dissipated as i opened my retractable car charger. my coworker received a reflective runner's vest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


the crowd cheered as the curtain was raised and julie kent appeared to take her bow with marcelo gomes at abt's giselle last night. then, from probably row E in the orchestra or so, someone [unexpectedly] chucked a bouquet right at julie. she stumbled slightly and lunged forward to catch it and the entire crowd broke out into laugher and applause. as soon as the laughter subsided, a second bouquet was thrown at marcelo. perfect catch. more laughter. more applause. oh gee, it was one of those moments.

Friday, May 11, 2012

for moi?

i absolutely love when people leave behind clothes in the dressing room that they don't want to purchase. when they're there, i must try them on. regardless of size. regardless of style. it's pretty interesting to just try something that i wouldn't normally choose for myself, no?

today i found on this sweet little left-behind free people dress. it looked like a poncho on the hanger. but on, voila: 

i am an angel baby. i am dressing it down to go out tonight and i might dress it up and wear it to the FiFi awards in two weeks. oh, thank you, to the girl that left this in lord & taylor. i would never have noticed it before.

and i might go back to get it in navy. lovelovelove.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

easy come, easy go

i've been really into green smoothies for the past few months. i drink at least a nalgene a day. blend: three handfuls of spinach, two cups of water, a cup of frozen strawberries and one banana. they taste surprisingly divine and have cured my terrible knees. so much so that within the first three days of drinking them, i no longer feel any pain walking up the five flights to my apartment. magic, really.

though many smoothies means many trips to trader joe's, two or three times each week.

the cashier applied chapstick before acknowledging me, taking his sweet time as i stood there, and then said he couldn't live without it. he noticed my shopping bag from dior. he said that it was impressive, but i told him that it was not from shopping there, but rather acquired from work. i told him what i did when he asked. again, he seemed impressed. he said he was a photographer and that along with bagging groceries, he also worked at a (a very well-known) photo studio. i'm not really a waitress came to mind, though i wasn't judging. especially on that day. but now writing that seems a little judge-y. anyway, he asked me a few more questions that led me to believe that he thought i was super fancy. i looked fancy and i guess that's enough. but i was feeling particularly disgruntled and i thought that i was projecting a different image than what i would have liked and felt. i can't remember what exactly he asked but my response was, "well, i just spent my last 20 bucks on bananas and spinach, so..." and immediately he replied, "easy come, easy go." then he handed me my grocery bag and i left.

i am still trying to think of how that even applies to what we talked about, or general appearances, or whatever. i'm sure if i thought about it long enough, i'd figure out what he meant. but for now, i have just been taking it as general life advice.


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