Archive for the ‘Fluff’ Category

Beachy Days

Yup, there’s been some radio silence around here the last week but I have a good excuse: I was on vacation.  Because, you know, I’ve been working too hard…on my summer vacation (Don’t hate!). My mom and I try to go away for a few days every summer and our destination for this year was Cape Cod. I’m never one to turn down some quality time on the beach in one of my most-loved places ever!

We stayed at a little cabin in Wellfleet, MA.  Our accommodations could be described as ‘rustic’ without the inferred charm (a step up from camping but nowhere near a hotel).  We did lots of biking, lots of reading, lots of drinking red wine and eating brie cheese on the beaching, it was heavenly.

We saw seals poke their heads above the waves and whales spouting out in the distance during our days at the beach.  A family friend invited us to their beach bonfire one night, where we sang terrible renditions of Greatful Dead songs and at banana boats.  Amazing.

Even though the weather didn’t always cooperate (it poured one day- we went to see Crazy, Stupid Love and my crush on Ryan Gosling was immediately revived back to it’s Notebook  days!). the beach was still calming even on cloudy days. The Cape really is one of my most favorite vacation spots (we went often when I was young).  I’d love to go back every year.

Until next year, Mom!


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I recently attended a friend’s wedding on the coast of Italy (the town was called Rodi Garganico) and really wanted to share the photos as it was stunningly gorgeous and just so much fun! My friend married an Italian (they met in New York City on a co-ed soccer team…Cue the collective ‘Awww’ here) and believe me when I tell you, Italians know how to party in the best way.

*A lot of these photos are courtesy of our friend Arvind, who is kindly letting me use them here. You can tell when they’re his using this simple equation: Good photos = Arvind’s, Bad photos = mine.

Bling and coral bridesmaid’s dresses (JCrew’s Arabelle)

A close-up of the bride’s gorgeous dress and sash, along with her double-strand of pearls.   Dreamy.

Ah, yours truly along my yummy hubby.  My dress was Diane von Furstenburg but I got it at a consignment store for $40.  Score! I love the print and the color combination.  Plus, you can’t see it in any of the photos but it had a very low (sexy) back.

Since there were both American and Italian guests, there was one basket of programs in English and another with programs in Italian.  In case you couldn’t figure it out, you’re looking at the American ones 🙂

The ceremony took place in the hotel’s courtyard and garden area.  The weather was perfect and with the afternoon sun slanting down and the strains of a string quartet in the background, my friend made her trip down the aisle, arm-in-arm with her proud papa.

She later said she had to look down for almost the entire walk to keep from sobbing.

She carried a bouquet of white peonies surrounded by wisps of greenery and had a white rose pinned in her hair.  I thought her whole look was classic and gorgeous.

 One of their readings (in both Italian and English) was from The Velveteen Rabbit, the chapter titled “What Is Real?” Here’s my favorite line:

“…It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

      -Margery Williams

The ceremony was short, simple and sweet. And then they were married!

After the ceremony, the couple took the time to take photos with almost all the guests in various combinations.  No running off for a moment to themselves here. I guess this is an Italian tradition but I could tell after about 45 minutes, my friend had had enough.

She did, however,  happily smile for a photo with all our college friends though.

After all the family and guest photos were taken, they moved to the hotel’s pool area to take a few portraits, just the bride and groom.  They are a seriously attractive couple.

And then, it was time to eat.  And eat.  And dance. And then eat some more.  All in all, including the cake and coffee served at the end of the night, there were seven (you read that right, seven) courses.

Apparently, Italian weddings typically have up to 10 or 11 courses but our friends felt that was a bit excessive, so they scaled it down to 7.  And of course, since we were in Italy, everything was amazing!

First, appetizers were served, including cheese and crackers, puff pastries filled with cheese and various versions of fried cheese.  I think Italians like their cheese 🙂

The antipasti course included this tower of prosciutto e meloni, along with seafood salad, mussels and more cheese.

 There was lots of hugging and kissing on both cheeks (which I always seemed to mess up.  Never could figure out which side to approach first!) Here’s the bride with her father-in-law, who was as warm, charming and gracious as anyone I’ve ever met.

Gummi candy in the shapes of various sea creatures decorated with these lovely little  tags served as escort cards.  My friend’s mom told me how they brought over 5 lbs of candy from the US  in their luggage and then assembled everything here.  I think between the four of them, they had something like 10 suitcases, can you imagine? Oy.

I loved how the bride and groom sat with their parents during the reception, I thought that was so sweet.  Here’s their table, all set up.

After eating our way through the appetizer and antipasto courses outside on the pool and patio are, we made our way into the reception room and took a break from eating to dance! The couple’s first dance was to Phil Collins’ “A Groovy Kind of Love” which was such an adorable choice and perfect for them.

After a few more dances, including a traditional tarantella (to which all the Americans gamely hopped along and flailed our arms around, much to the Italians’ amusement), it was time for…more food! *Surprise, surprise

Out came huge platters of cavatelli with lobster (pictured above), followed by a duet of filled pastas (lasagnas, both red and white. YUM.)

Then came some of the freshest, crispiest calamari I’ve ever had, plus whole langostas (shrimp) with the heads still on!

In case you’re keeping count, that’s course number five.

You better believe after those courses, we needed to digest and dance.  Given that the bottles of wine at our table kept being magically refilled every time we emptied one, it was safe to say that we were all feeling good and ready to get our groove on.

I’m not sure if we’re doing the tarantella or the YMCA here.  Take your best guess, they looked pretty similar 🙂 There were also several Conga lines that took place.  I have no idea why but Italians seem to love Conga lines!

The bride and groom were also lifted into the air several times.  Kinda like the Horah at Jewish weddings, only minus the chair (which would’ve scared me even more!)

At one point, the groom’s friends dragged a chair out onto the center of the dance floor and had the groom sit down, tied his hands behind him with a napkin and placed a spoon balancing a lit candle in his mouth. My friend had to stand about 5 feet away and try to extinguish the flame using water from a bottle.

We all thought it was hilarious (and I have no idea of the reasoning or tradition behind this, try Google if you’re really that curious) but the bride told me later she was actually kind of pissed that this happened (apparently, she had been warned it might) because she didn’t want to get him all wet.  Luckily, the flame went out after a few quick splashes so it all ended up fine.

After more dancing, it was time for (you guessed it), more food.  Veal and potatoes, cooked beautifully and seasoned perfectly.  Delicious!

And finally, dessert.  The dessert buffet was massive, stretching from one end of the room to the other.  It included Jordan Almonds (traditional Italian wedding gift and happen to be one of my most favorite things ever), chocolate-dipped oranges and pears (OMG these were SO good!), many variations of puff pastry filled with cream, cannolis, fruit torts, fresh fruit, chocolate torts and so on.

If you know me, you know I love dessert so, clearly, I was in heaven.

And then, finally, after more dancing and general merriment (including some very sweet toasts in both Italian and English), the cake was cut around 2:15 am.  I don’t usually care too much about the cake at weddings but I thought this one was quite pretty (and tasty).

Woof, I’m tired just writing this whole thing out. Things didn’t wind down until almost 3:00 am, which definitely goes down in my book as the longest wedding ever attended (ours ended around 1:00 am, which I thought was pretty late) as well as the most food ever served.  It was epic, it was glorious and we were thrilled to be a part of the celebrations of a couple we know and love.

This was my first destination wedding and I am (obviously) quite keen to go to another.  It was a wonderful mix of culture, food and genuine joy while creating life-long memories.  Thanks for including us, Sarah and Michele, in your absolutely fabulous wedding!

Have you ever been to a wedding in another country? Was it different from weddings in the United States?

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In New York City, celebrity sightings are not uncommon. although they certainly don’t happen as often as I’d like them to! Or maybe I’m not hanging out at the cool famous-people places, I don’t know.  Now, I will be the first to admit that I am definitely more celebrity-obsessed than the average American so I usually have my eyes peeled and am on the hunt for a good ol’ fashioned star spotting.

So, just for the heck of it I thought it would be fun to look back at a few of the better ones I’ve had during my three-year tenure here in the Big Apple. My top five include:

1. John Stewart having lunch at the New York Times Cafeteria.


This is a cooler place than it sounds, I promise, and my friend spotted him as we were walking by, so bonus points for her eagle eyes and mad celebrity radar.  I think everyone knows this already but he’s pretty short.

2. Bruce Willis on the Upper West Side.


Bizarrely enough, I’ve seen the Brucester three different times, all within about the span of a year (I think he had an apartment in the neighborhood while he was filming a movie.) The first time, he looked relatively normal, walking hand-in-hand with his then newlywed wife (sidenote: are they still together? Must look that up).  The second time, he looked only slightly douchey, rocking a fedora and riding a vintage Schwinn down on Riverside Park.  The third time, he looked extremely douchey, wearing a Russian fur hat and fur coat, walking down the street.  Blech.

3. OJ Simpson, buying running shoes.


OJ did not look like this when I saw him…

Alright, to be fair, this one was not in New York City but (true story), I once sold him a pair of sneakers at the specialty running store I worked at in Miami a few years ago.  I think the entire store stood completely still, barely daring to breathe during the 10 minutes he was inside.

4. Michael Jordan, riding an elevator.


Fine, this one was not in NYC either, but it’s still kinda cool.  We rode up in an elevator with Mr Jordan at The Cove at Atlantis in the Bahamas while on vacation.  Unfortunately, he lived up to his reputation for being a jerk.  My Father-In-Law is a huuuuuge MJ fan and after a few minutes of shocked silence once we realized with whom we were sharing an elevator, he excitedly told Mike about his massive Jordan collection, only to be met with impassive silence and a gesture for the bodyguard to step in between us.  Talk about obnoxious, eh?

5. Jane Krakowski (Jenna from 30 Rock), walking her A. DOR. A. BUL. 2-week-old baby in SoHo.


I don’t think this is the exact day I saw her but it’s a pretty similar shot

I didn’t even realize it was her because I was so intent on stalking her miniature bambino (What, you don’t do that too?)  I sidled up to the stroller, gasped in delight over how tiny he was and then conveyed my adoration before looking up at whom I was speaking to.  She is gorgeous and tiny in real life and was extremely gracious.  Points for you, Jenna!

Those are probably my top five favorite encounters. Other slightly less exciting and definitely more random celebrity sightings include:  Fat Joe (Twice! How random is that? Does anyone even know who Fat Joe is anymore?), Kevin from The Office, Tim Gunn, Shannon Elizabeth (of American Pie infamy) and Liev Schrieber (Naomi Watts’ husband, who, not to brag or anything, but I think a dead ringer for my husband!)

My number one dream celebrity spotting would be Jennifer Aniston, hands down.  Maybe someday it will happen.  That’s half the fun of New York City, you just never know who you’ll bump into…

Whose your best celebrity sighting? Tell me so I can be impressed, I’m a sucker for a good celeb story!

Edited to add: I swear to God, not 10 minutes after I posted this, I took my dog for a walk and ran smack in Robin Roberts, host of Good Morning America,  exiting her building into a limo! She is tall and stunning in person, wowzas!


How crazy/funny is that?! Hmmm, maybe my next post should be about what I’d do if I won the lottery,  don’t ya think?

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My friend whose wedding we attended in Italy is also having a New York City reception next Tuesday.  Whoohoo for more parties! While we already took the couple out to dinner in Oslo as their wedding gift (by some strange coincidence, they were honeymooning in Scandinavia at the same time we were visiting our friends in Norway, so we all got to meet up for dinner, super-duper fun), I am loathe to show up at a party empty-handed.

I wanted to keep it relatively inexpensive (since, ya know, we just flew out to Italy for their wedding and all) but make it  heartfelt, rather than give them a colander or whatever.

Enter the classic ‘Framing of the Invitation’ with my own little twist.  Since my friend used a starfish motif on all her paper goods, this was the perfect opportunity to put to use all the shells I collected while walking along the beach during our time in Italy.

I bought a white frame with a matte from Pottery Barn.   Pottery Barn’s wooden frames are  almost always 20% off at the store near me (I should know because it’s only 7 blocks away.  DANGEROUS!) but of course, today I had no such luck.  Harrumph.

Still, $25 later and I had a beautiful 5 x 7 frame and matte, ready for action.

I used double-sided tape to attach the invitation to the outside of the matte, so the pretty silver edging wouldn’t be lost.

Then I dug around in my jar of shells for some that were relatively flat and in the coral color scheme of the wedding.

It took me a while to get a layout I was pleased with (and by a while, I mean 10 minutes, I’m an underachiever) but I finally worked it out.

I love an excuse to bust out my glue gun, especially now that my own wedding’s long gone and I have no reason to create mediocre crafts anymore, so I whipped that bad boy out and hot-glued all the shells and sea glass to the matte board.

About 10 minutes (and much to my astonishment) zero burned fingers later, everything was dried and I put it all together,  securing the back of the frame.  Here it is, in all it’s seashell glory…

Huzzah, am wedding-crafting goddess!

Haha, no, I am kidding with that above comment but I am pretty pleased with how it turned out (because I’m so not crafty like most of y’all are) and for $25, it certainly didn’t break the bank.

Hopefully my friend and her husband will like it. After a solid 20 minutes spent on this project, this crafting goddess is hungry and will now be crafting a sandwich, stat. Cheers!


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Too Funny Not To Share

I’m interrupting my unplanned, un-announced blogging hiatus (just too damn busy and slightly uninspired) because this is just too mind-boggling and hilarious a story not to share…

Here’s the run-down…

I arrived home from work like any other day to be greeted by the adorable shaking and “so-happy-you’re-home” excitement of my dog, Perri.   In case you’re not sure just how dang cute my puppy is, here’s a gratuitous photo:

See? I toldja! She’s rockin’ out on vacay in Miami in this photo…

Anyways, the first thing I always do when I get home is scope out the apartment to see what mischief the little she-devil has caused while home alone.  It ranges from destroyed pillows to gnawed bureau knobs to exploded pens on our couch (I told you she’s a devil!) although occasionally, it’s only a chewed-up magazine or (rarely,) nothing at all.

I scoped out the living room and all seemed well and good.  ‘Amazing!’ I thought. ‘Most excellent day!’ Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something hidden way in the back on the floor underneath our TV console.

See that white blob next to the storage bins? What is that?

A dishtowel.  Perri likes to chew the basket where our dishtowels reside and apparently, she took one to hide.  OK, no biggie, I could handle that.  No harm, no foul. I reached underneath to pull out the folded up dish towel only to find that inside it was…



I sh*t you not (pun intended), this dish towel was folded over at least twice, concealing the gross content and definitely “hidden.”

For the record, our dog is a “hider”.  We give her a bone and instead of chewing it, she trots off and hides it somewhere stupid, typically under one of our pillows on our bed.

I also unintentionally stuck my finger directly into this lovely little present, which was one of the grosser things I’ve done in my life*.

This is an un-doctored, un-tampered photo of the incriminating evidence

Pete and I are seriously bewildered over this.  We do have a crazy-ass dog walker who comes every day but when I called her, she said she saw the dish towel on the floor after she walked Perri but that it was flat, not folded, and there was definitely no poop in it, so she offered no clues as to how this happened (unless she’s lying.  Which is a possibility, given her level of crazy-pants. But…I don’t think she had anything to do with this.)

So. Our only option is to believe that our dog took a dish towel out of the basket (totally believable), pooped on it (eh, I’ll give her that too) and then folded up the towel and hid it under the TV stand (HOW IN THE HELL?!?!)…

Is our dog a genius of epic proportions or am I missing something here? I can’t stop laughing over this. I know, RI. DONK.

Anyways, I’m hoping to feel inspired to write some more running posts soon but for now, this’ll have to do! Hope this story made you laugh on this dreary Monday!

*Excluding all four years of college 🙂

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Las Friday, I came home to this:

That, my friends, is (or rather, was) a decorative pillow on our couch, brutally dismembered until unrecognizable by the demonic force that is Perri.

She’s so proud of herself.

Look, Ma, look what I did! That rascal…

However, in an apparent attempt to get back in our good graces, Perri has started to sleep or sit on the back of our necks and I’ll be darned if it’s not the cutest thing I ever did see.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B (roadtrip!)

This is, indeed, how she sat for a good portion of our two-hour car ride.  Yes, our dog is spoiled as hell.

And finally, just for fun, another photo from our road trip to central PA, where our friends’ 10-week-old baby awaited.  I put on my slickest moves but alas, she did not take to me…

That didn’t stop me from grinning like an idiot while I held her (Oh, that sweet baby smell, I die!)

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Oh yes, my friends, forget about the Holiday season, this is the most wonderful time of the year.  It’s Girl Scout cookie season (I am a total cookie monster) and I am happier than a pig in sh*t.

Usually, I have to go on quite a hunt for these elusive cookies but this year, luck was on my side and some of my students who are in a Brownie troop twisted my arm into buying a box.  Or six (they twisted really hard, OK?).

But the best part is that you order the cookies in January but then spend two months dreaming of the party-in-your-mouth that is the luscious Thin Mint.   So when they finally arrive, oh Lord, they’re even better then you remembered.

Put ’em in the freezer, crumble ’em over ice cream, eat ’em straight up , it don’t matter, every bite is heaven.  And then, suddenly, poof! They’ve vanished, not to return until the following year.

I can never decide which is my favorite kind.  First off, in my humblest of humble opinions, there’s only three types worth eating: Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Samoas. Forget anything that resembles a fruit or does not involve chocolate. I can easily demolish an entire sleeve of Thin Mints out of the freezer.

So in the interest of science, research and cookies, tell me: Which is your favorite cookie?

Thin Mints




Or Samoas?


Personally, I’d have to give it up for Samoas (toasted coconut and caramel? YES please!) but it’s a very close call.  How about you??



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