rejects

things i wrote that i thought were good but nobody else did

As someone who aspires to make a living by writing, I pitch a lot of story ideas to various websites–I’ll think of maybe 10 ideas, and be thrilled if the editor likes two or three. I’ve also written quite a few personal/human interest pieces that I’ve submitted to major publications that were met with rejection…which is totally fine! I just don’t like my time to go to waste, so I’ve decided to share these literary rejections with you. Here’s the first! (Submitted to Hearst’s “The Mix” before it was shuttered earlier this summer.)

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Almost daily, I take the 9:23 commuter train to work. And almost daily, there’s a woman a few seats in front of me who spends the entire train ride doing her makeup. I am by no means a morning person, but I really don’t feel like¬†9:23¬†is painfully¬†early. I always manage to give myself plenty of time to fix my hair and put on my makeup before leaving the house. Unfortunately, many of my travel companions seem to lack these time management skills. I’ve become familiar with some of my fellow commuters who clearly depend on the 25-minute train ride to transform from bedheads to beauty queens. Foundation, powder, eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara are, admittedly, masterfully applied with one hand while the other holds a compact mirror.

It’s one thing to touch up your lipstick, or dab a little concealer on a zit, but it’s another to contour your face on a moving train. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always thought it was worth it to wake up an extra ten minutes early so I can¬†attempt a smoky eye at¬†the comfort of my own vanity table.

This public application of makeup bothers me so irrationally¬†for a couple of reasons. The first is that I value my privacy so much that I can’t imagine putting on makeup while a¬†train car of disgruntled commuters looks¬†on. I have a hard time just letting the salespeople at Sephora show me how to¬†use a kabuki brush in a store full of people, let alone paint while balding businessmen peer over their newspapers at me. For me, makeup is a part of getting ready–in the same category as taking a shower and getting dressed. (All of which I like to do in the privacy of my apartment). Also, isn’t it frustrating to have to pack up a little makeup bag every single morning? What if your mascara wand falls on the germ-covered seat? Or worse–the floor?

The second is that it says something to me about your priorities and time management capabilities. Anyone who knows me will tell you that one of my biggest pet peeves is lateness. While I can appreciate that you’re applying makeup during your commute to save time and¬†not¬†be late to work, I’d appreciate it more if you managed your pre-train ride morning routine a little bit better. As a non-makeup professional¬†who has made a routine of¬†makeup in two minutes (concealer, a few strokes of bronzer, liquid liner, and some mascara), it’s puzzling to me that you would need to spend over twenty minutes putting¬†on makeup for work. Sure, when I go out at night I’ll take¬†a little more time on my makeup, but I keep things pretty clean and¬†simple at the office, as do most of my co-workers.

My point is, there are other ways to manage your time efficiently that doesn’t have to include publicly applying your makeup. Put on your foundation while you wait for your coffee to percolate.¬†Apply lipstick while you’re waiting for your mascara to dry. And please, please paint your nails the night before so I don’t have to breathe in acetone for breakfast.

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Uncategorized

things that make me feel like an adult vs. things that make me feel 5

As I continue to live more independently, I’ve been noticing that certain parts of my lifestyle reflect that of a toddler, and others reflect my attempts to be a functioning adult. Whether it’s my diet or how I spend my limited free time, it’s making me feel like a hot mess.

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exhibit no.1: I regularly pack PB&J for lunch (though I do this in an attempt to be mature and not drop $10 on a salad).

exhibit no.2: Whenever I go home, I bring a bag of laundry with me. Number one on my NYC apartment wish list? In-unit washer and dryer.

exhibit no.3: My favorite dinner is Kraft mac & cheese and a diet Coke. I’ll probably die at 50.

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vs. adult AF

exhibit no.1: My work-out of choice is cycling class. I was eating frozen yogurt outside my spin studio the other day and felt majorly like a yoga mom. Didn’t hate it.

exhibit no.2: I go to bed at 10pm. I’m just not myself without ten hours of sleep.

exhibit no.3: I have a job! Something about spending the majority of your time in an office just makes me feel like a real person.

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Uncategorized

pin-spiration: cake

This past weekend, I went home to Massachusetts for a short visit. Even though NYC and Boston are relatively close, the total round-trip travel time is around ten hours, exhausting for¬†a two-night trip. There are always so many things I want to squeeze in during these short visits, whether it’s trying to eat at all my favorite restaurants, see all my friends, go to the mall and Target (best parts of the suburbs), and (my favorite) bake or cook something with my mom.

I love to cook, and don’t get to do it very often anymore. The kitchen in my current apartment is depressingly small, and the thought of turning on the oven in this hot weather isn’t super appealing. So this past weekend, I made crab cakes for dinner with my mom (gotta love New England seafood) and baked a zucchini bread. Even though none of these feats were as impressive as the desserts that populate my Pinterest boards, they were both pretty damn good.

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boyfriend, Uncategorized

why i deleted tinder

I’ve blogged quite a bit in the past about my experience using Tinder (and even checking out Bumble, Match.com, and some other sites). Lately, I have been feeling really “over” the idea of dating, especially via mobile app. Since getting a real job and becoming more of an adult, I’ve decided to start investing more in myself–whether it’s pursuing creative pursuits (like this one) or making time for things that are important to me.

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When I first downloaded Tinder, it was little more than a game. Of course, there was that lurking, secret desire that I’d find my soulmate through a¬†silly app, but that hope has pretty much been dashed. My dating experience over the past two years has been filled with a lot of first dates, a lot of mixed signals, and ultimately, a lot of my time, energy, and emotions being wasted. I have no interest in waiting around for my phone to buzz or wondering if I said the wrong thing or acted the wrong way.

I recently saw a¬†post on Man Repeller¬†that really just hit home for me. “We need a romance revolution. No more games, no more guessing and no more wondering. We should all say how we feel, and not be afraid to say, ‚ÄúI love you.‚ÄĚ Let‚Äôs commit to relationships! And treat each other equally.” Amen, Brisa Gomez. In the meantime, the swiping and super-liking are on hold, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be just fine.

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eat-a-city, Uncategorized

amsterdam

I could literally talk about Amsterdam forever…and since it’s part of the eat-a-city series, I’m going to! When I originally thought of this series, my idea was more “city in a grocery bag.” But since a lot of the places I’ve travelled to were very short visits, I decided to do more of a food diary…though A’dam is kind of an exception considering I lived, grocery shopped and cooked there.

This blog post is a love letter of sorts to Albert Heijn, the most perfect grocery store in all the world. One of the best parts of living in Amsterdam was the incredibly cheap groceries–they were cheap by American suburban standards, and prices were drastically lower compared to Gristedes/Morton Williams/Fine Fare/every subpar supermarket in NYC. I’m talking loaves of bread for 65 cents, Dutch cheese for a dollar, and insanely delicious salads for $4…granted, the groceries were priced in euros, but the conversion rate was very close to 1:1 when I was there.

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One of my favorite products at AH was the guacamole kits they had in their produce section–it cost just under $3 for two avocados, a lime, a tomato, a chili pepper, garlic, and shallots, a.k.a. everything you need to make your own guac. For perspective, I paid $2.29 for a single avocado at the Tribeca Whole Foods yesterday.

Two very typical Dutch treats that I came to love were stroopwafels and hagelslag. Stroopwafels are wafer-thin waffle cookies sandwiched with a sticky, caramel-like syrup. You could buy a package of 12 for around $1 at the store, but¬†lots of street vendors sell homemade ones the size of your face, hot off the griddle. Hagelslag are like quality chocolate sprinkles–sprinkled on buttered bread is a standard breakfast item in this beautiful country.

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One of my favorite things to eat in Amsterdam was a veggie burger from a little¬†restaurant called Burgerlijk. Wandering around in a hungry daze, I stumbled upon this gem when my friends were visiting over their spring break. I can be particular about veggie burgers…and I’m not sure what this one was made of, but it was incredible. Like, I think about it way too much. The whole thing is super customizable–lots of different cheeses, toppings, and sauces, and their fries are also incredible. I took my meat-eating parents here when they came to visit, and they were impressed with the regular beef burgers.

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I also went to another incredible restaurant when my folks were in town (read: free dinner) called De Vergulden Eenhorn. It’s on the outskirts of the city in a restored farmhouse–honestly as “me” as it gets–and they have just a handful of items on their menu, all of which are exceptional. I always think it’s better for a restaurant to have four entrees that they do really well, rather than ten that are just ok. We went twice because it was so damn good, and I had cauliflower soup, barley risotto, and sea bass. The restaurant makes their own bread, aioli, and hummus, which were also delicious.

found my favorite restaurant. #amsterdam #succulents #local #farmtotable

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What are your favorite Amsterdam eats?

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the latest, Uncategorized

what to do in NYC when it’s 96 degrees

The past few days have been brutal here in New York, especially in my un-air conditioned apartment. Taking the subway to work in 90+ degree weather = arriving at my office¬†with my make-up melted off and frizzy hair. Even just sitting still in my apartment is sweat-inducing, so here are six great (?) things to do in NYC when it’s too hot to move.

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1. Sit in Starbucks for three hours “working.”

2. Eat ice cream.

3. Make new playlists on Spotify.

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4. Go to the movies.

5. Spend $100 at H&M online.

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6. Try to hang out with someone who has AC.

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eat-a-city

paris

It’s no secret that I love to travel, and nostalgia from my European adventures last year inspired me to create a new series, “eat-a-city.”¬†One of my favorite things about going to new cities was trying the local cuisine, as well as perusing supermarket shelves for groceries that seemed familiar or interesting. I’ve decided to write posts about my favorite eats in each city, starting with Paris.

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My time in Paris as a 21-year-old was a major carb-fest. Baguettes and crepes were eaten at least once daily, supplemented with French cheese and Nutella. On our day trip to Versailles, we brought along bread, cheese and chocolate to have a picnic lunch, and I are Kinder Buenos for breakfast everyday. Kinder Buenos are now my favorite candy bar–it’s like a Nutella-filled chocolate bar, and I honestly don’t understand why they’re so hard to find in America.

Finding affordable restaurants in Paris was also quite difficult for some reason, and I recall having an omelet and French fries for dinner on two occasions. My favorite meal in Paris was, funnily enough, at an Italian place called Sapori di Parma, a hybrid market/deli/trattoria (I discovered this place thanks to a quick Google search for cheap eats near the Eiffel Tower). My friends and I were a bit hesitant about eating Italian food in France, but this place was totally a diamond in the rough. We asked if we could just get one item instead of the three-course menu put in front of us, and the waiter, who spoke a charming mix of French, Italian and English, happily obliged, offering us any pasta dish and a glass of wine for ten euros. I had homemade, half-moon shaped gnocchi in a gorgonzola sauce and a glass of white wine.

Found this little Italian gem today. ūüćīūüėč #eatwelltraveloften #paris #foodie #italianfood #yummyinmytummy

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I really did not love my long weekend in Paris–of course, it was incredible to see the iconic landmarks I’d been dreaming of my whole life, but stepping away from warm, welcoming Amsterdam to a city that detests foreigners wasn’t especially¬†pleasant. I recently told my mom that I’ll only go back to Paris when I have enough money to splurge on a nice hotel and can eat at Michelin-starred restaurants.

Have a must-eat spot in Paris? Let me know here!

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