Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Blogging My Blessings

It has been a couple years, since I've been to California for turkey day, and I am so excited to share the holidays with my parents and close family friends. There are a lot of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season and I thought I would share them with all of you by blogging my blessings. In the spirit of Hanukkah, below are my 8 blessings. What are you thankful for this season?

Mom, Dad, Renee, and new addition Mark, you are all my most prized possession. I am so fortunate to have you in my life, especially as family. It seemed like every other week I had a visit from one of you, or all of you in the city. You are all special in different ways and I love you all for that. The saying goes, you can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. To be honest, I'm the luckiest girl in the world and I wouldn't have it any other way.

To all of my friends out there, you rock! This year was a whirlwind of emotions and you were all there by my side continuing to make me laugh, smile, and inspire me every day. Thank you for always being my backbone when times get tough and of course the ultimate dance partners to get the party started. Love you all and can't wait for fun times ahead in 2014.

This year I was fortunate enough to take some amazing trips outside of the city (thanks Macy's for that nice paycheck each month and vacation days). Two of my favorite spots included Martha's Vineyard and Turks and Caicos. I know I have always said that I am not a beach bum;  however if weekend getaways consisted of these two places for the rest of my life, I will def be signing up to be a permanent beach enthusiast. 

I have a secret, I love to host parties. It has been an absolute treat this year playing this role for both my housewarming and birthday party. Thanks to everyone who came out to the events so I could showcase my new found love. I was able to test my new found cooking/mixology chops in the kitchen and made some awesome new recipes and cocktails. Watch out Martha Stewart, I'm coming for you.

First and foremost, I want to thank you, my readers. Thank you for tuning in every week and continuing to encourage me with this fun creative outlet. I reached a big milestone this year when Pewter & Puddles turned one and it was because of your kind words and motivation that it was all possible. Thanks a million.

I was very privileged this year to participate in two half marathons in New York. I'm not ruling out doing a full just yet, but for the moment, I will continue to push myself with a half. Thanks NYC and Brooklyn Halves for providing such great races and really testing my endurance. I set a personal record for NYC at a 9:26 pace and will continue to test my limits. Here's to hoping for an even better time in 2014!

Well, well well, Upper West Side, I am officially in love with you. You are truly the best neighborhood in all of Manhattan. I can't believe it has taken me so long to discover your awesomeness, but thanks to 2013, it has finally brought us together. Not only do you have fantastic restaurants, adorable wine bars, historical museums, awesome retail shops, but you are also home to best friend Mel and new friendship additions this year. Thanks for continuing to make me smile as I walk around the hood and of course as I turn the key into my apartment every night.

I wanted to give a shout out and big thank you to my favorite fashionista this year, Fern Mallis. I was delighted to attend some fantastic lectures in which she hosted at the 92Y for a series called Fashion Talks. Thank you Fern, your lectures are both intriguing and fun, and I always leave them feeling inspired. Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, and Andre Leon Talley were just some of the high profile guests this season. I am not sure what special appearances are in store for 2014, but I am sure they will all be nothing short of amazing.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ivan & Alyosha

There is something about the nostalgia of going home that always gets me in the spirit to listen to folk rock jams. Maybe it's the excitement of driving again and being able to roll down the windows and listen to really heartfelt good tunes. Or maybe it's just the tunes I want to hear when we are all gathered around the Thanksgiving table talking about what we are thankful for.

Upon first listen to the band Ivan & Alyosha, I was immediately hooked and couldn't wait to get a car and drive down PCH and smell the campfires burning. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, these two brothers' songs are perfectly plucked with folk-rock guitars and bright blend of voices. Making their timeless pop ideal and pleasing to the ear. Take a listen below, grab your coat and hope in my car. We are headed down the coast.

Ivan & Alyosha - Running for Cover

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mel's Dirty Thirty

For the next five days, 7 girls and I are headed to Turks and Caicos to soak up the rays and celebrate the fabulous birth of Melanie Beth Heyman as she turns the dirty thirty. Work has been bananas these last few months and I can't think of a no better way than to relax, laugh, and make some great memories with all of these girls, including my best friend. You are my rock, my soul sister, the best neighbor, amazing listener, and always give the best advice. Happy Birthday, love you!!!

In honor of celebrating 30 years, check out the best article ever to embrace the new decade. It looks likes being 30 isn't so bad after all, right?

Olivia Wilde Tells Us Her Dos and Don'ts of Turning 30

DON'T freak out about all the brilliant people who accomplished more than you by 30.
Yes, Einstein had discovered the theory of relativity by your age, and Emily BrontĂ« had written Wutheringfu*#ing Heights, but honestly, what you achieve is far less important than what kind of human being you are. What do you want people to say at your funeral: "Olivia may have cured HIV, but she ran over my cat and drove away laughing"? No, thanks! I'd rather be a good person who makes people happy than a dick who wins a Nobel by 32.

DO enjoy your sexual prime.
Hey oh! According to horny Professor Alfred Kinsey's 1953 page-turner Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, women really start heating up in their thirties, so let's just say it's finally your turn to act like an 18-year-old boy—except you'll be 1,000 times better at...everything.

DON'T cut your face.
I am so saddened and grossed out by young women who look like creepy, old aliens because of their new Barbie noses and lips. Is that a smile or a grimace? Did you melt hot wax on your face, or is that your skin? A better approach: Take care of yourself now that you're old enough to know how. Drink water, sleep eight hours (I wish), and don't go within 400 feet of a tanning booth or I'll slap you. Hard.

DO travel.
This is possibly the last time until retirement that you won't be considered a bad person for booking a last-minute ticket to Morocco with friends just because you damn well feel like it. You're old enough to know where not to go (CancĂșn) but young enough to feel guilt-free being entirely unreachable.

DON'T propose to the next guy you meet just because you worry he'll be your last chance at lifelong companionship.
Sure, you've attended more bridal showers than yoga classes in the past year, but that doesn't mean you're destined to be a craggy spinster, searching for roommates on Craigslist at 50. The danger with "husband hunting" is you start to see every date as a job interview ("He does seem to be homosexual, but that might be good for fatherhood!"); it clouds your ability to get to know someone.

DON'T feel pressured to pop out kids.
I love kids with a passion I usually reserve for hot cheese, miniature chairs, and Prince concerts, but I feel no stress to reproduce simply because of a fear of withering eggs. Wait for the right partner, and make sure you're where you want to be in life before picking neighborhoods based on school districts. This is not to suggest you should live irresponsibly for the next 10 years, then expect to get knocked up when your chosen dude finally sneezes inside you. But you'll never find the right baby-maker or enjoy baby-making if you're doing it out of anxiety. Relax, be good to your body, and when the time is right, get busy.

DO reap the benefits of your accumulated wisdom.
You're 30: You know stuff now. Your twenties were for "ducking up," as my auto-correct would say, and learning from those mistakes. (For instance, never again will I convince myself that sleep is for sissies and go straight from a party to the airport. You will not "sleep on the plane"; you'll vomit in the security line. Go to bed.) Now you get to live with that knowledge under your belt. Also, make it a nice belt. You're 30. Stop dressing like a hobo.

DO learn a new skill.
You've already lived longer than most women in the thirteenth century, so why not look at your thirtieth as a rebirth? I started stand-up paddleboarding at 29 and consider it my baby step toward becoming a badass 30-something semipro surf goddess (as long as the sharks go vegan).

And DON'T be bogged down by your past.
Saturn has now orbited the sun once since you've been alive; make this next go-round whatever you want it to be. Consider your baggage (bad boyfriends, job setbacks, body issues) lost by the airline of life, leaving you empty-handed at your new destination with only one choice: Go shopping.
That's it. Now go—be awesome.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

9 Fun Gobble Tov Decorations

Where did the year go? It seems like just yesterday it was 4th of July and we were all soaking up the rays and then yesterday, it snowed!! The holidays always sneak up on us and before we know it, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will be here. Thought I'd plan ahead and showcase some of my favorite holiday decor sweeping the interwebs and get everyone into the early holiday spirit. How are you decorating around the house for turkey day and dreidel festivities?

Top Row: Grapevine Light-Up Pumpkin // Thanksgiving Confetti // Votive Holder
Middle Row: Elephant Menorah // Eat Latkes Box Sign // Dreidel
Bottom Row: Leaf Plate // Fall Felt Fortune Cookies // Hanukkah Plate

Monday, November 11, 2013

We Are Twin

Let me introduce you to an insanely like-able blend of rock, dance, and soul, meet We are Twin. They're a Los Angeles duo who may or may not be actual twins, but their single "The Way We Touch" is an identical match to what I would like on repeat all day long. If you are a fan of Amy Winehouse and Lana Del Ray but a little more upbeat pop sound then check these guys out. What do you think? 

The Way We Touch - We Are Twin

Friday, November 8, 2013

Picture Frame DIY

DIY projects can always be a little daunting. The DIY'er/blogger always makes it look so easy. I always ask myself the same two questions, can I tackle the project with such ease or will my creation turn out as awesome? After getting over my intimidation (I hired my mom to help boost some confidence along the way), I decided to take plunge into my first DIY territory this past weekend.

As far as DIY projects go, this one was simple, quick, affordable, and adds a little extra pizazz to your home decor. Here's how I did it:

 Items needed: spray paint, measuring tape, screwdriver, picture hanging hooks, pencil, scissors, and frames.

Start by removing all glass, cardboard and backing to all picture frames. This makes spray painting so much easier.

After all components are removed, find a good place to begin the spray painting process. I recommend some place outside. If you do not have a backyard or access to outside space, try an alternative option, like your fire escape. Make sure you lay down newspaper to ensure you don't get spray paint everywhere.

Ensure that when you are spraying, that you make sure you are getting the outside of the frames too.

Spray paint dries very quickly, but always allow enough time to let the paint settle. Once all frames have dried, bring back inside and add picture framing hooks to the back of each frame (if they are not already on the back of the frame). It is easier to utilize a power drill to drill holes instead of using a plain hammer and nails.

Once completed, lay out frame position on your floor to brainstorm ideas of how you would like to add to your walls. When finalized, start measuring on walls and hang away. I chose the gallery wall effect to get dimension and a little extra excitement.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

City Ballet

Forget Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker has a new role and it is better than ever. As a New York City Ballet board member, she conceived and produced an awesome AOL On Originals' new docuseries that will make every little girl swoon with excitement. 

city.ballet., gives viewers the ultimate look into the ranks of New York City Ballet. The audience will get a first glance as what it is like to start off as an Apprentice to Corps de Ballet, then getting promoted to Soloist and finally graduating to Principle.

We all know my love for the ballet (as seen here) and within minutes of watching I was instantly hooked. Watching the first episode brought back so many fond childhood memories of dancing my heart out at Southland Ballet Academy. I spent countless hours dedicating my craft each week, but I was only an amateur. The professional world, as seen thru this insider lens, is just as grueling, but also captivating, beautiful and will inspire all future ballerinas out there.

There are 12 episodes that average about 5 mins a piece but will keep the viewer engaged and constantly craving more. There are also shorter clips which focus on a Behind the Scenes look at interesting topics (shoes, shoes, shoes!!). 

Check out the pilot episode, and then head to AOL On Originals to dive deeper into city.ballet.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ski Lodge

Watch out Brooklyn, there are 4 new hipsters in town from a band called Ski Lodge. Their debut record, Big Heart, is one to check out. Lead singer Andrew Marr sure does wears his heart on his sleeve, his songs address infidelity, painful break-ups, loneliness, and/or rough father-son relationships. But all are sung in a somewhat lighthearted air. The lush melodies and infectious choruses are all ripe for repeated spins. If you dig eclectic indie rock, like The Shins or Vampire Weekend, then it is time you hit the slopes and check these guys out.