Archives for category: my quirks

One of my 2011 resolutions was to start experimenting with my hair more.  So I started rocking some ‘do’s to keep my hair out of my face.  I love them all equally.  I am NO master of hair, so if I can do these, so can you!

A series of little buns.

Heidi braids.

The Gibson tuck.  Inspired by the AMAZING Downton Abbey.

When all else fails, wear a hat.  Preferably one that matches your son’s.  🙂

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I’m totally pleased with the progress I made on my first major resolution list.  Here’s the punch list for 2011.  I think I’ll get at least 22 of them done for sure.  🙂

1. Set up a college savings account for August.  Pass along suggestions…

2. Start an a cappella group.  I’ve got four (unknowing) peeps on my list.  And about a dozen songs we’ll sing at our first gig.  😉

3. Plan meals every week.  I was REALLY good at this in Cam.  You know–when I was a stay at home mom in a foreign country with no real support system.  I miss our (August and me) daily trips to the street market and Sainsbury (“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  This is a colleague announcement…”).  However, since returning to work, I’ve fallen off the gourmet wagon, but my tastebuds can’t wait to get back into it!

4. Experiment with make-up and hair more.  When my hair is longer this summer, I plan on perfecting this Heidi look:

And rocking some fuschia lipstick.  Probably not at the same time.

5. Wear jeans less.

6. Photo session with August.  This will ALWAYS be on my list.

6. Fall in love.

7. Get a peaceful divorce.

House punch list:

8. Make slipcover for my $30 Savers couch.

9. Repaint living room this lovely Benjamin Moore shade (matched to a cheaper, no-VOC brand), Mocha Cream:

10. Build patio next to my deck.  Fire pit must be included.  Also globe lights.

11. BASEMENT: clean, organize (get rid of all boxes and store things in plastic containers) and make it a cute, USABLE space (paint the floor and make laundry area lovely).

12. Repaint dining room?

13. Use fabric as wallpaper using liquid starch in my entryway and hallway outside my bedroom.

14. Get living room sorted: rug, storage that is toddler safe, curtains.

15. Paint porch ceiling a lovely robin’s egg blue, and repaint my front door.

16. Finally install that last tall pantry cabinet.

17. Dream resolution (but HIGHLY unlikely): refinish floors downstairs.

Plus all the items I didn’t finish in 2010:

18. Go on or at least plan (more likely this year…let’s be real) a big trip.  Possibilities: Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Buenos Aires, Istanbul/Turkish Coast (this one has been at the top of my travel list since I was 20).  I’m doing a tour of California in April to go to a friend’s wedding in San Francisco, staying with Alanna and then going south to LA to visit Andrew and Amy.  CAN’T WAIT!!!

19. Visit all five boroughs of New York City with a local.  Well, I got to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.  Next year: the Bronx!

20. Get that Blurb book about teaching made already!

21. Throw four parties.  Bonus if costumes are involved.  One party down: August’s birthday.  Does having friends bar crawl with me on my 31st birthday count.  Indeed!  And I know what my next two parties WILL be.  Just you wait!  And don’t worry: you’ll be invited!

22. Take an artsy class: photography, bookbinding, screenprinting, flower arranging, calligraphy.  I REALLY REALLY want to do this in the new year.  Have to find a way to make it work.

23. Do something entrepreneurial. Bonus if it makes me extra cash.

24. Host regular (monthly?) movie nights.  Bonus if they are outside.  WILL DO ASAP. I’ve already decided the first three films to show.

25. Visit MOMA.  Dammit.  Soon.

26. Put together photo albums: pre-college, college, post-college, marriage, now.

27. Make a budget, and stick to it.

28. Get loans and computer sorted.

29. Make zuccoto from scratch.

30. See American Idiot on Broadway.

31. Get Photoshop back on my computer, and learn how to use it (take a class?).  I discovered Pages on my Mac.  I’ve been watching tutorial videos on apple.com.

32. Find my signature scent.  Never reveal it to anyone.

33. Perfect my Scottish and Irish accents.  I’ve got the British accent down pat.

34. See an opera.  Get super dressed up.  Something vintage. This one.  Totally.  Or this one.

35. Make an air band video.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2010, and I can’t wait to kick its ass to the curb.  2011 is looking so much brighter ALREADY.  Can’t wait!  But here’s the final report on how I did on my 35 things in 2010 list I created at the beginning of March.  I think I should get some special consideration since I started 3 months into 2010 and became a single, working mom.  Just sayin’…But accomplishing half ain’t too shabby!

And to preemptively answer your question, whilst in Seattle, I created my list of things to do in 2011.  Will share in the new year.  That’s tomorrow.

DONE-ZO!! (18/36)

1. Change my look. LOVE LOVE LOVE my fringe.  Never going back!

2. Do manicures (at home) once a month.  That means polish, too!  I repeated a few fav colors (hello, mink brown with super subtle sparkle), but every month for at least one week, I looked super put together.

4. Get a job to pay for big trip.  I miss working.

6. Make five new good friends.

8. Do another portrait session with August. Jacob’s photos perfectly capture August’s quiet side.  I will always, always treasure them and the memory of that day with my dear friends.  Sniff.

10. Chat up strangers more. That’s how I made some of my new friends!

11. Sell or donate all the extra or unused stuff in my life. Between Cambridge and my basement in Provy, I could set up that charity shop in Cam that Lily and I talked about opening someday.  That was before our husbands left us though.  🙂

12. Listen to NPR on my computer while I’m getting things done at home during August’s naps. Now that I’m working again, I get to listen to NPR on my commute to/from work with August.  But we do also tune in to 95.5 WBRU, Brown’s awesome student radio stations.  And I still love my fav hometown station, WKNC and free, online radio goodness at Viva Radio.

14. Volunteer. Does all the extra, on-my-own-time teaching prep count?  I think so too.

17. Wear a dress or skirt at least once a week.  Even if the highs for the week never go above freezing.  What can I say?  I’m an old-fashioned girl at heart.

19. Road trip.  I’m thinking Montreal to visit this little lady and her new brother, Alexandre!  We did go north, but not all the way to Canada. New Hampshire‘s pretty close though!

23. Visit the best, I mean, West coast. Christmas in Seattle was AWESOME even though I had to spend the night alone in Minneapolis on Christmas Eve.  It’s ok though–that Christmas morning flight made up for it!

24. Get into at least ten new (to me) indie bands.  Easy!  NC bands: Megafaun, Birds and Arrows and The Avett Brothers.  Non-NC bands: The Temper Trap, The National, Anberlin, Cat Power, Rjd2, Florence and the Machine and She and Him are just some of the newbies added to my playlists.

25. Organize my notebook system.

26. Get magazine subscriptions instead of paying for them individually.

27. Have tea every afternoon when it’s cold outside.  With sugar and milk like a good Brit.

33. Make a short film.  I made a video with my third graders as part of a positive PR campaign for my school.  Not a dry eye in the house.  I WISH I could post it here, but it violates students’ privacy…blah blah blah.

36. I’d like to have more joyful photos in my portfolio. This photo says it all:


STILL WORKIN’ ON IT (18/36)

3. Go on or at least plan (more likely this year…let’s be real) a big trip.  Possibilities: Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Buenos Aires, Istanbul/Turkish Coast (this one has been at the top of my travel list since I was 20).  This didn’t really happen in 2010 like I’d hoped but I’m doing a tour of California in April to go to a friend’s wedding in San Francisco, staying with Alanna and then going south to LA to visit Andrew and Amy.  CAN’T WAIT!!!

5. Visit all five boroughs of New York City with a local.  Well, I got to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.  Next year: the Bronx!

7. Get that Blurb book about teaching made already!

9. Throw four parties.  Bonus if costumes are involved.  One party down: August’s birthday.  Does having friends bar crawl with me on my 31st birthday count.  Indeed!  And I know what my next two parties WILL be.  Just you wait!  And don’t worry: you’ll be invited!

13. Take an artsy class: photography, bookbinding, screenprinting, flower arranging, calligraphy.  I REALLY REALLY want to do this in the new year.  Have to find a way to make it work.

15. Do something entrepreneurial. Bonus if it makes me extra cash. I do actually have an idea for this.  But it’s low on the totem pole of tasks.  Someday though…

16. Host regular (monthly?) movie nights.  Bonus if they are outside.  WILL DO ASAP. I’ve already decided the first three films to show.

18. Visit MOMA.  Dammit.  Soon.

20. Put together photo albums.  I know the albums I want to buy.  I saw them ONCE at Target, and I’m hoping that the brand spankin’ new Target near my school will stock them.

21. Make a budget, and stick to it.  Working on it.  I got a roommate.  Still waiting for reliable child support payments.

22. Get loans and computer sorted. Working on it.  I got a roommate.  Still waiting for reliable child support payments.

28. Make zuccoto from scratch.

29. See American Idiot on Broadway.

30. Get Photoshop back on my computer, and learn how to use it (take a class?).  I discovered Pages on my Mac.  I’ve been watching tutorial videos on apple.com.

31. Find my signature scent.  Never reveal it to anyone.

32. Perfect my Scottish and Irish accents.  I’ve got the British accent down pat.

34. See an opera.  Get super dressed up.  Something vintage. This one.  Totally.  Or this one.

35. Make an air band video.  I think I’ll be able to recruit August’s skillz by the end of 2011.

One year ago today, the man I loved asked me to leave.

When I think about the past year, I’m amazed at how I survived the roller coaster ride.  I felt the floor drop out from under me several times, but also reached some extreme highs as well.  But that’s not a way that I wanted to live, which is why I realized that it was time to say goodbye in June when I went to Cambridge for the last time.  Without getting into too many specifics, I thought I’d track my emotions over the past year through songs.  Because I’m artsy like that.  For the record, I’m imagining each of these songs sung from MY point of view.

John Legend “Ordinary People”

Amy Winehouse “Wake Up Alone”

Temper Trap “Soldier On”

The Avett Brothers “I And Love And You”

John Legend “Used to Love U”

Justin Timberlake “Cry Me a River”

My journey isn’t over.  In general, I feel really, really great about where I’m at emotionally.  I really hope that, someday, I won’t feel so much anger about the things that have been said and done to me this year.  I look forward to that day.

Today, I discovered some OLD photos.  I looked through thousands of images that date all the way back to high school (that’s a long time, considering that these photos were all DIGITAL!), and they brought back so many memories.  I also noticed a few patterns.  For instance, I look like a sourpuss in far too many photos.  Technically, a sourpuss makes this face:

Yuck.  There’s no life in my eyes and no joy on my face.  I’m actively working on changing this bad habit.  See #36 on my 35 Things in 2010.

I have been wearing large hoop earrings FOREVER.  This photo is probably the oldest digital photo I have…from junior or senior year of high school:

And this photo is from yesterday:

That’s a ten year habit I haven’t let go of–whew!  But you know what?  I think I’ll be rocking the hoops for another ten years!

I’m sure I’ll be sharing a few more gems from this photo cache…stay tuned!

I find myself in a constant state of self-reflection.  Which can be a good and bad thing.  I’m hoping to focus on the good kind of reflection as much as I can for as long as I can.  So.  I thought I’d see how I’ve been doing on my 35 things in 2010 list I created at the beginning of March.  Nearly four months later, here’s my progress report (I added updates on works in progress in italics):

1. Change my look. Still lovin’ my fringe.

2. Do manicures (at home) once a month.  That means polish, too!  I’m 6/6 months so far!

3. Go on or at least plan (more likely this year…let’s be real) a big trip.  Possibilities: Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Buenos Aires, Istanbul/Turkish Coast (this one has been at the top of my travel list since I was 20).  Since my budget will be MUCH different than I thought it would be at this point (sniff), I’m rethinking my destination and travel partner(s).  I’ve got a few ideas.

4. Get a job to pay for big trip.  I miss working.

5. Visit all five boroughs of New York City with a local.

6. Make five new good friends.

7. Get that Blurb book about teaching made already!

8. Do another portrait session with August. Thanks, Jacob!!!!  I LOVE your photos!

9. Throw four parties.  Bonus if costumes are involved.  One party down: August’s birthday.

10. Chat up strangers more.

11. Sell or donate all the extra or unused stuff in my life. Boy did I accomplish this in Cambridge two weeks ago.  My donations possibly weighed a ton.  Seriously.

12. Listen to NPR on my computer while I’m getting things done at home during August’s naps.  Um, I’ve been listening to my fav radio stations, WKNC and Viva Radio.

13. Take an artsy class: photography, bookbinding, screenprinting, flower arranging, calligraphy.  Liz and I are planning on doing this at the 14th Street Y.  I’d also love to do one of the classes at Make.  Letterpressed business cards…maybe saying they’re calling cards would be more my (and Zooey’s style).

14. Volunteer.

15. Do something entrepreneurial. Bonus if it makes me extra cash.

16. Host regular (monthly?) movie nights.  Bonus if they are outside.

17. Wear a dress or skirt at least once a week.  Even if the highs for the week never go above freezing.  I’m totally succeeding at this.

18. Visit MOMA.

19. Road trip.  I’m thinking Montreal to visit this little lady and her new brother, Alexandre!  August and I did a road trip to Providence over Memorial Day Weekend.  But it doesn’t count.  Not nearly ambitious enough.

20. Put together photo albums.  I’ve done an album for each year of August’s life.  I think I’ll do one for my marriage.  And I’ll get an empty one for the future.

21. Make a budget, and stick to it.  This one is going to be a bit tricky now.

22. Get loans and computer sorted.  This one is going to be a bit tricky now.

23. Visit the best, I mean, West coast.  I really, really want to do this.  This summer?

24. Get into at least ten new (to me) indie bands.  Working on it.  NC bands Megafaun and Birds and Arrows top my list right now.

25. Organize my notebook system.

26. Get magazine subscriptions instead of paying for them individually.

27. Have tea every afternoon when it’s cold outside.  With sugar and milk like a good Brit.

28. Make zuccoto from scratch.

29. See American Idiot on Broadway.

30. Get Photoshop back on my computer, and learn how to use it (take a class?).  I discovered Pages on my Mac.  I’ve been watching tutorial videos on apple.com.

31. Find my signature scent.  Never reveal it to anyone.

32. Perfect my Scottish and Irish accents.  I’ve got the British accent down pat.

33. Make a short film.

34. See an opera.  Get super dressed up.  Something vintage. This one.  Totally.  Or this one.

35. Make an air band video.  Still trying to figure out what song to do.  Suggestions?


{That’s me doing a handstand in Cornwall, England a couple weeks ago.  #36: I’d like to have more joyful photos in my portfolio.}

Five years ago, I was doing this:

Today, I find myself in the same town as my wedding, but not necessarily the same place.  It is an odd phenomenon.

I guess I’d like to thank all of you for your support, guidance and wisdom over the past five years, but most especially over the past five months.  This recent period has been both the worst and best experience of my life.  So thanks…Truly.

This past weekend, my parents watched Augusto while I had an amazing day of shopping, pedicure, food and friends.  Whilst browsing the racks at the mall (only at shops where I have giftcards), I found MANY adorable things.  To help narrow down my choices, I found myself asking, “What would Zooey buy?”

It’s official.  I’m obsessed with Zooey Deschanel.  I love her.  I love her bangs (she inspired me after all!), her quirkiness, her style, her fair complexion (so nice that a young actress isn’t compromising her looks to conform to Hollywood standards like some people), her band, everything!!!  She’s on my list of celebrity friends.  You know…because I have so many celebrities desperate to be my friend.

To appreciate my forthcoming anecdote, I’m throwing you a little Broadway.  Because, really, all of life’s conundrums have been addressed on the stage.

Why are you telling me?  NO!  I can’t stand it!

These philosophies are all well and good, but mine suits nearly every possible situation.

For example, today, while standing in line to get a bagel at Murray’s (it wasn’t nearly as busy as the Saturday morning we went, Aunt Debbie and Aunt Carla), a young uptown mom and Anna Wintour lookalike (in both appearance and ATTITUDE) was helping her toddler son pick up some bagel chips he knocked over.  I stepped in front of them to read the menu, and the mom jumped up and RUDELY insisted, “I was IN line.”  I apologized, and said I was checking out the menu while she’d been squatting on the floor in her high heels and designer handbag.  She ROLLED her eyes at me, and I let her and her son regain their precious spot in line.  When the line hadn’t moved after a minute or so, she turned to me and said “Would you like to see the menu now?”  Zillions of retorts flashed through my mind in a split second, but I settled on this, which I’ve decided will be my go-to comeback:

I’m all set.

Was it polite?  Or tinged with contempt?  It’s so subtle, you can’t really tell.  And that’s why I like it.

Two months in, and I’m already a jaded New Yorker.

This is me on my 30th birthday with my dear friends, Sarah and Kate.

I *really* wish I had created a list of 30 things to do before turning 30 like this from Making it Lovely or this from Oh Happy Day! (two of my fav blogs by the way).  I’m not going to give myself too hard a time about it because I did some pretty major things the year I turned thirty such as moving abroad, living on a grad student budget for three people, traveling around Europe and raising a happy, healthy baby.  Regardless, I love setting goals and making lists, so my list will be titled “35 Things in 2010.”

My friends have mostly all turned thirty, and we’ve talked extensively about how THIS is OUR decade.  We’re going to be the movers and shakers, and as thirtysomethings, we finally have enough cred to make it happen.  Just you wait…

Anyway, without further ado, here are my 35 things in 2010:

1. Change my look. Done!

2. Do manicures (at home) once a month.  That means polish, too!

3. Go on or at least plan (more likely this year…let’s be real) a big trip.  Possibilities: Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Buenos Aires, Istanbul/Turkish Coast (this one has been at the top of my travel list since I was 20).

4. Get a job to pay for big trip.  I miss working.

5. Visit all five boroughs of New York City with a local.

6. Make five new good friends.

7. Get that Blurb book about teaching made already!

8. Do another portrait session with August.

9. Throw four parties.  Bonus if costumes are involved.

10. Chat up strangers more.

11. Sell or donate all the extra or unused stuff in my life.

12. Listen to NPR on my computer while I’m getting things done at home during August’s naps.

13. Take an artsy class: photography, bookbinding, screenprinting, flower arranging, calligraphy.

14. Volunteer.

15. Do something entrepreneurial. Bonus if it makes me extra cash.

16. Host regular (monthly?) movie nights.  Bonus if they are outside.

17. Wear a dress or skirt at least once a week.  Even if the highs for the week never go above freezing.

18. Visit MOMA.

19. Road trip.  I’m thinking Montreal to visit this little lady and her new brother, Alexandre!

20. Put together photo albums.

21. Make a budget, and stick to it.

22. Get loans and computer sorted.

23. Visit the best, I mean, West coast.

24. Get into at least ten new (to me) indie bands.

25. Organize my notebook system.

26. Get magazine subscriptions instead of paying for them individually.

27. Have tea every afternoon when it’s cold outside.  With sugar and milk like a good Brit.

28. Make zuccoto from scratch.

29. See American Idiot on Broadway.

30. Get Photoshop back on my computer, and learn how to use it (take a class?).

31. Find my signature scent.  Never reveal it to anyone.

32. Perfect my Scottish and Irish accents.  I’ve got the British accent down pat.

33. Make a short film.

34. See an opera.  Get super dressed up.  Something vintage.

35. Make an air band video.  I mean, I just LOVE this: