Wednesday, March 30, 2011

eat, pray, love

Last night I was on the phone with my mom and she suggested I watch Eat, Pray, Love. At that very moment, I was perusing Kurt's Netflix online account and contemplating watching that very movie. It was meant to be. Even though I had tried to read the book last year and got too bored to finish, I decided to watch the movie and have low expectations. No matter how bad it was, I should be pleasantly surprised, right? Kurt made me promise I wouldn't give it 5 stars and mess up his very calculated rating system.

Overall, it was a decent movie. The romance part was dumb and Julia Roberts was annoying at times, but I enjoyed the idea of mixing up your entire life, going to new places, and meeting new people. 

Most of all, I had pangs of sadness for Rome. How I miss you, beautiful city. 

The scenery in India and Bali weren't bad either. I want to ride my bike around in a tropical location! I've been stuck in frigid NYC for too long. I need an escape. Hmmm......who is going to fund my year long "mission to find myself"?

Monday, March 28, 2011


Before I met Kurt, this little thing called March Madness would have been a non-event. However, these days college basketball is the obsession du jour (even though he adamantly claims it is just filling time until football season). Kurt has been so excited about Ohio State being in the tournament and was ecstatic to find out they would be playing this weekend in a Sweet Sixteen game in Newark, NJ. Just imagine his euphoria when he was able to score tickets to see OSU play Kentucky on Friday night. His dad even took the train in from Ohio to go with him! (These Buckeyes are insane!) The score was so close the entire game but unfortunately Ohio State missed a crucial shot at the end and lost by only a few points :( Kurt was/is crushed but feels lucky to be have attended a (probably) once in a lifetime game.

{images via}

In Kurt's absence, I spent Friday night on Smith Street with Jenn and Kristin. We had a beer at 61 Local--cool space and free sorbet samples but awful acoustics. Next we ate at JB's--yummy veggie burger and French beer I had never heard of. Finally, we watched the majority of the aforementioned game at Angry Wade's.

{image via}

Since Kurt's dad was still in town on Saturday, we decided to take advantage of Dine in Brooklyn where tons of restaurants throughout the borough have prix fix menus for lunch and dinner. We tried Maria's Bistro Mexicano in Sunset Park. I had empanadas, a stuffed pepper (I want to recreate this!), and some yummy ice cream. Post meal, the goal was to show Mr. Martig the view from the park but it was sooooo cold outside we just caught a bus home after dinner.

Seems like everyone is in the spring cleaning mood these days. I did some much needed closet purging recently and decided to host a clothing swap at my apartment on Sunday. What's a party without food and drinks?! I rarely play hostess, so I was excited to bake up some chocolate x2 cookies, cranberry orange bread, deviled eggs, and mimosas. Yum! Unfortunately, only Silvia and Christine could make it, but I think we still got a few things. I snagged a new/old clutch, scarf, and cardigan/wrap thing (I'm perpetually cold, so I'm always on the lookout for good coverups!). Luckily, I also got a dress from each of my much taller fellow swappers that they had deemed "too short". Most importantly, everything that was unclaimed got toted off to Goodwill in Downtown Brooklyn. 

On Sunday, I also made a point to briefly stop by the Brooklyn Mutt Show. The majority of it was chaos of kids and dogs but I caught a bit of the costume contest (reminded me of an amateur version of this one last fall). Please excuse me while I slip into crazy cat dog lady mode :)

When asked why she dressed her dog Peaches up like Santa Claus, the little girl got nervous and said, " was what we had."

This was last year's winner for "Most Brown Dog".

I wish this was a clearer picture but the tiny dog has a handle and was a scuba diver. His "goggles" were those little eye protectors you wear in a tanning bed. Hilarious.

Showgirl complete with feather boa and thong. Poor pup.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf dressed as Grandma. Too cute.

Sadly, Kurt has been sick all weekend and has been pretty miserable (in addition to his basketball woes). I've been such a poor caretaker because I don't want to get sick myself! What an awful girlfriend, I know. I brought him leftover OJ from our mimosas....that counts, doesn't it?! GET WELL SOON! I have a feeling next weekend is finally going to be nice here. But that could just be wishful thinking....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

screw you, mother nature.

I feel like I am constantly complaining about the weather, but it has truly been unbearable the past few days. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, hail, thunderstorms, freezing name it, we've had it. I keep checking the 10 day forecast, hoping that we just need to get over this last hurdle and 70 degree temperatures are only a few days away. No such luck. The only thing I have to look forward to in the near future is 50s (at best) and rain. Appalling. 

I needed something to get me through the doldrums, so I have started planning my summer wardrobe (assuming warm temperatures actually show up one day...I'm still skeptical). Yes, I understand it is going to be 28 degrees tonight but I thought I might lose my mind if I didn't have something sunny to look forward to. Well, I've been eyeing these sandals ever since I saw them on this Spring wish list. They were a bit pricier than my typical Target sandals (which I still love) but I decided they were a bit more pulled together for work and worth the splurge. After multiple internet viewings and 4 trips to the store (I have a hard time pulling the trigger!), I finally brought them home tonight. I'm going to display them prominently in the box until I can actually wear them. Hopefully soon! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

BStar Extravaganza: Day Three

We had BIG plans for Saturday evening but none of them seemed to pan out like we had hoped. No fear! We adapt. We roll with the punches. Disaster was averted after our dinner spot for the night, Matamoros in Sunset Park, was closed for a private party. Since tacos were already on everyone's brains, we split into small groups, distributed ourselves to the many taco establishments in Sunset Park, and reconvened at Stephen's apartment in the neighborhood. He has such a great place! An entire floor of a brownstone all to himself! We all shared some real estate envy with our tacos.

Remeber BStar's non-profit? He was kind enough to bring hand-printed t-shirts for the Martigs. Of course they had to wear them together. Aren't they adorable?! 

Our post-dinner activity was meant to be bowling at Melody Lanes but it was unexpectedly busy. We would have had to wait at least an hour for a lane. Plan B was Catch Phrase at Korzo. What, you mean you don't play board games at bars? You should try it sometime :) It was late enough that we took over the entire back room and enjoyed the late night $10 pitchers.

We played for hours. Seriously. Everyone looks angry and bored but they are just concentrating. It was a blast. Sadly, it brought our BStar fun time to an end though. Thanks for visiting! It's been much too long. We miss you! Perhaps a trip to Indy is due in the future...

{pics via Dre, again}

BStar Extravaganza: Day Two

Friday night was dedicated solely to Korea Town (fondly referred to as K-Town). The neighborhood is much smaller than Chinatown but still very distinct. You're definitely in a different world once you stumble down one of the blocks around Herald Square! One of our favorite outings is getting spicy Korean food at Pocha 32 followed by some intense karaoke at Duet 35.

Lots and lots of soju is liquid courage for our next location...

Our big karaoke room.

Lots of room for dancing and group singing!

Sylvia and I being serenaded by Stephen and Kurt.

Christian and Kurt belting it out.

My favorite picture of Erin! She and Paul are definitely karaoke masters. They put us all to shame.

Andrea and Brian's version of "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. Yes, that jacket on the floor is their magic carpet.

Kurt loves singing. For everyone's sake, I normally don't partake beyond singing along in the background. However, I couldn't pass up performing "Sweet Home Alabama" with Christian. He messed up my "War Damn Eagle" insertion at the chorus but I will forgive him. He better practice for next time though!

Such a fun night! Thanks again for the images, Andrea! (A few of my crappy, over-flashed pictures are mixed in. Don't hold that against Andrea or her camera. All the good ones are hers!)

BStar Extravaganza: Day One

Last week, a dear, long-lost friend from Indiana returned to his old stomping grounds. We held 3 straight days of celebrations to welcome him home, beginning with straight-from-the-airport drinks at Mission Dolores, the same place we held his going away party.

Yeah, this guy. His name is, I mean Brian :) He used to live in Kurt's building and worked at the same firm as Erik. Of course that makes him a landscape architect (designer types tend to travel in packs). He has been sorely missed but seems to be enjoying domestic life back in Indianapolis. He's trying to start up a non-profit called URBN DSGN. Check it out here!

All photos stolen from the amazing Andrea Puckett (center) and her similarly incredible new camera. I'm totally jealous!

spring is a cruel joke

Monday happened to be March 21st and I failed to even realize that it was officially the "first day of Spring". Maybe because it snowed that day. And last night. And today. Luckily its mixed in with rain and all the miserableness that entails. I'm in need of a vacation from this nightmare. March is officially my least favorite month ever.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

shaping America's youth

My boss, Hope, has a friend that teaches Latin at St. Joseph High School in Downtown Brooklyn. Every year they have a Women's Day Panel of professional women that come and speak to the girls about careers and college and all that other reach for the stars kind of stuff. Hope was asked to be on the panel and somehow I got roped into it because the girls "would relate to someone younger".

After a very rousing speech by one of the women involved with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, we were split up into rooms corresponding to our field. Hope and I were in a room with an interior decorator, Tita (who of course Hope knew...I feel like the whole morning was a Brooklyn Heights Social Hour). We went through "our story" and answered any questions the girls or the moderator could come up with. I know I'm an adult and should be confident in passing my vast knowledge along to these impressionable young girls, but I was terrified. I tried to hide my shaky hands under the desk and hoped no one would notice when I took a sip of coffee. Public speaking has never been my forte. Luckily, I would manage to utter a few key words about what I was trying to say and Hope and Tita would run with it. I think we made a good team...or at least they made up for my bumbling shortcomings.

I don't really think the girls related to me any better than my older, more established counterparts. In fact, I think they were extremely interested in the process of owning your own business and being your own boss. I was just some chump right out of school. You would inner city kids would be interested in my Southern roots, so I mentioned it a couple times. Nope. Nothing. No bites. I guess when you grow up in NYC, the rest of the country seems unimportant, especially those places of rural persuasion. However, my highlight of the day was making everyone laugh as I described my first-day-at-work-panic and realizing I knew nothing. Somehow I still don't think comedy is in my future :)

It was definitely a new experience. I hope the girls took some inspiration away from the day and can decipher some of my well intentioned fragments. It was great to meet some successful women and hear their stories and advice. At times, I felt more like a student then a panelist!

Old Man Crush

Monday evening, Kurt and I had the pleasure of seeing Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers perform bluegrass at the Highline Ballroom. I've always liked Steve Martin and this show only proved to solidify my respect for him. The music was excellent. The band was amazing. And Steve (as we are on a first name basis now) is very talented on the banjo. 

Of course, Steve was funny too. He would talk in between each song, explaining why he wrote it or just making jokes about random things. His rapport with the rest of the band was pretty entertaining.

I'm trying to convince Kurt to pick up the violin again. Then he can play the fiddle in the new bluegrass band he will be starting :)

One of the funniest performances of the night was "Atheists Ain't Got No Songs". While Steve is incredible on the banjo, he is an awful singer.

Kurt and I had such a good time. My only critique of the night was the choice of venue. There is nothing wrong with the Highline Ballroom per se, but I feel bluegrass needs to be enjoyed with some space to move around. I'm not suggesting all out square dancing, but the songs are so upbeat and rhythmic, it seems a shame to be stuck sitting at a table. Otherwise it was a fabulous night!

If seeing Steve Martin wasn't enough, I got to add another celebrity sighting to my list! Kurt and I grabbed a bite to eat at Chelsea Market before the show. As we were walking to the Highline Ballroom, we passed right by Tyra Banks (although I hear she is going by just "Tyra" these days) as she was whisked from her black SUV into a fancy restaurant! It's nonstop excitement here in the big city :)

fashion book party

My wardrobe doesn't reflect it, but I get a daily email from this fashion site called Who What Wear. It's mainly runway looks and celebrity outfits, but sometimes it's nice to think I am creative enough to incorporate their trendy styles into my bargain basement fashion. I recently got an email from WWW promoting its new book What to Wear, Where. I had zero interest in purchasing the book or meeting the authors (I'm sure they are lovely), but once I read "free cocktails" I was in. I got Jenn on board and we attended the party last night at Scoop in Soho.

We wandered around for a while and browsed the ridiculously overpriced clothing while a DJ played in the background. Everything was super cute, but sadly I don't have $900 to spend on a jacket--even if it is the most perfect anorak I've been searching for! We finally found a strategic spot in the showroom where we could catch the waiters with fresh trays of prosecco and Baked by Melissa cupcakes. From our post we could observe all the fashionable guests and lament about our limited to nonexistent clothing budgets. We decided that Old Navy or Forever 21 should have a cocktail hour, and we could actually be convinced to make a few purchases. Regardless of our poverty, it was a fun and free evening. Thanks, Scoop and WWW!
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