Tuesday, December 31, 2013

30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know...

In the spirit of the New Year (and a new decade for me-- the year of 30!!), I would like to share 30 things every woman should have and should know by the time she's 30. Not to worry, if you still need to check a few things off the list, we all get a fresh start for bigger and better things tomorrow :) And for you twenty somethings, get on it, girls! Bring it on 2014!

By 30, you should have:
  1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
  2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
  3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
  4. A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
  5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
  6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
  7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.
  8. An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
  9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
  10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
  11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.
  12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
  13. The belief that you deserve it.
  14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
  15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.
By 30, you should know:
  1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
  2. How you feel about having kids.
  3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
  4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
  5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
  6. The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.
  7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
  8. How to take control of your own birthday.
  9. That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.
  10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
  11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
  12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.
  13. Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
  14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
  15. Why they say life begins at 30.
{An excerpt from this by the editors of Glamour and gifted to me by Mom's sweet best friend!}

Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Eve Babe

Do you have big party plans for New Year's Eve? It's a fine night to try something new! I would love to put my hair up in this flirty braided take on a French twist, pucker up for a midnight kiss with fiery two-toned lips, and twirl around in these fantastical pink feathers. What do you think? Pass the champers, I say!

{Refinery 29 Beauty}

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits for Brunch!

On Christmas morning we stayed in our pajamas a little too long, drank just the right amount of champagne, and made cheesy shrimp and grits for brunch. We tried to start a few new traditions of our own this year and according to Alan this one's a keeper! For the recipe, visit Coastal Living. Happy brunching!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our New Kind of Christmas Eve at Sons of Essex

Alan and I weren't able to spend the Christmas holiday with our families this year so instead and to avoid feeling blue from missed traditions, we thought that we would do something completely different than what we're used to. I threw on my Jack Wills furry snood and Alan his Antarctica-grade jacket and we headed to the Lower East Side for a little adventure!
Sons of Essex with its cool old school New York vibe promised a screening of The Christmas Story along with a special Chinese menu that paid homage to the restaurant's past life as a Jewish eatery.
Apparently the owners, the Bernsteins, had an annual tradition of eating Chinese food during the Christmas holiday. If you're not celebrating Christmas, what else is open after all?
Seated at a cozy corner table, buzzed from too many champagne cocktails, we enjoyed duck confit fried rice, steamed pork belly buns, egg rolls, and beef and broccoli while a Christmas movie played on a projector.
Silent Night on the playlist? Think Big Pun and various 90s rappers. How is that for a Christmas Eve? Even though we missed our usual traditions, it was really fun trying something new, and perhaps we even made a few new traditions of our own! I hope y'all had an amazing holiday, however you chose to celebrate it :)

{Pics 2, 3, 4}

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mom and Dad's Christmas Costume Party

How did y'all spend your weekend? Alan and I dressed up, he as a reindeer and I as santa's elf, for mom and dad's Christmas costume party! 
I donned a conveniently elf-like dress and Alan was such a good sport and sewed jingle bells on to a pair of suspenders to serve as a merry reindeer harness, obviously. You could hear him all throughout the house and I couldn't help but laugh every time I heard him coming.
Dad was Santa, naturally as host of the house, and mom was his little helper. They were so cute! The Grinch even came and cracked a smile :) Cindy Lou Who wasn't far behind.
I made a sparkly photo backdrop and placed it by the front door so as soon as our guests arrived they could snap a silly pic or two to get them in the party spirit. At random times throughout the night, you would hear laughter coming from the foyer!
Guests came in a variety of Christmas sweaters and this darlin' little guy insisted out of all the reindeer, he of course, was Rudolph. We ate...we drank...we sang Christmas carols.
Even though we're all grown up, Mom never skimps on the holiday decor. It is quite the opposite of the mil, who don't get me wrong is as sweet as can be, declared she will bring the Christmas tree back once I procure a grandchild!  No pressure.
Mom very much subscribes to a tree for every room and always transforms the house into a cozy, festive holiday haven.
Over the years she's collected so many Santas and you can find him in almost every corner or tabletop. The march of the Santas!
Along with every garland, bow, or ornament she can get her hands on, she puts everyone's favorite treats out, too. 
It seems like the whole house glows with holiday spirit, especially the "red room." 
Ahhh! Don't you just love this time of year? Happy Christmas week, friends! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

The World Is Your Oyster

When your home is the same place as your workspace...
...it's especially important to designate an inspiring "office" area complete with motivational words to live by.
It brings it home a little to see my small biz Society Social designs that were once just a dream, the Ming chair and the Albert Hadley Fireworks pillow, perched up beside "The world is your oyster!" See the full room makeover at The Everygirl

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Best Friend's Wedding

My best friend got married last weekend and she looked like a princess. It was a beautiful Christmas wedding. The church was aglow with the soft light of candles and a great twinkly tree.
A forest of poinsettias in vibrant holiday red lined the aisles and altar steps. Throughout the ceremony a choir played celestial music with shiny brass handbells...Josh could hardly hold it together as Kelly walked towards him.
At the end of the service, the sound of jingle bells filled the church as we each shook the bell we were given to ring the new bride and groom down the aisle. 
On his way out of the church, Dad stopped to hug Kelly and said, "This is one of my dreams come true." She is very loved by our family and so many!
Kel and I have known each other since high school and have been sisters ever since. She's queen of the dance floor. Always up for an adventure. Hilarious. A passionate doctor. Striking and tall.
She has golden God-given highlights. Never wears make-up and is stunning nonetheless. She fiercely loves her family and friends and holds strong to her high values. I think we get each other so well because we operate on the same level of crazy :)
We've stood by each for through so many milestones. She stood beside me on my wedding day, too. My parents, not so secretly, wish she could officially be a part of our family, but she is.
Kel and Josh we're all so happy for you!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Little Christmas Tree & Go-to Holiday Card

Alan and I have never let our small city apartment get in the way of the holiday spirit. Last year we found our little tree in Soho and I carried it all the way home after a failed attempt to board the 6 train. A Christmas tree, hoards of commuting New Yorkers, and rush hour do not make for a merry mix! 

This year we stumbled upon the chosen one on our walk home from the gym. I squealed on the sidewalk when I spotted a huddle of the most darling two foot tall trees at "Trees Amigos" on 3rd Avenue.
We were sold when we were told that they were North Carolina Frasier firs. A city tree with southern roots, (well, kinda on the roots :)  -- he sounded just like us! 

That same night we cleared off our bar cart where a lamp usually sits, placed our little tree on top, wrapped one string of twinkly lights from top to bottom, and hung the daintiest ball ornaments. It took all of 5 minutes. Maybe one day we'll have room for a larger tree, but for right now, it is just perfect :) Have you decked the halls?

p.s. Our holiday card from Pear Tree Greetings last year! We live so far from our friends and families these days that we thought it would be a fun way to share the small moments that make life big. We got so many sweet notes about it that we're making it a tradition!