pin-spiration

pin-spiration: kitchen

It’s no secret that I love food. I’ve also grown to love cooking and baking, especially when I get to share the finished product with my family and friends. I love the way food brings people together, and I think that the kitchen is the most important shared space in any home.

In my dream kitchen, there’s lots of light, a farmhouse sink, and plenty of space for people to gather. Here are some photos inspiring my future culinary space.

What’s a must-have for your dream kitchen? 

 

Standard
places, the latest, Uncategorized

the biggest thing NYC ruined for me

I always loved grocery shopping. Even after working at the local supermarket in high school and in the summer when I came home from college, I was never wary of the shiny linoleum aisles and well-stocked shelves.

This is because grocery shopping in a pleasant suburb is completely unlike shopping in New York. Suburban supermarkets get those cool, limited edition products (like peppermint Chobani) while NYC vendors sell crap you forgot existed (remember Kudos bars?). And then there are the prices. $7.99 for a half-gallon of ice cream. $4.99 for a gallon of milk. $7 for a carton of strawberries. All of these things are usually around $3 at my hometown grocery store.

whole foods broad city.gif

At the store in my hometown, you can push a full-sized shopping cart down each wide aisle, taking your time to choose the right items. You can buy 12-pack cans of soda, 16-count packs of paper towels, and other heavy items, knowing you just have to wheel them out to your SUV and drive home, traffic-free. In New York, I can only buy what I can carry (unless I spring for an Uber).

But it gets worse…the crowds! I have never found NYC to be overwhelmingly crowded, except in midtown during the holidays. Trader Joe’s on a Saturday afternoon is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. When I lived in Brooklyn, the TJ’s closest to me would sometimes have a line of people outside, waiting to go in. Inside the store, the line wraps through the aisles–you’re better off grabbing a basket, hopping in line, and shopping as you weave throughout the store. Whole Foods has an insane (but effective) color-coded system for sending shoppers to open registers, but there is almost ALWAYS a line.

People say that living in a city is worth it for its conveniences, but man, oh man, what I wouldn’t give for an afternoon at Market Basket.

Standard
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.)

writing.gif


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.

###

Standard
pin-spiration, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: new england

You may know that I’m a New England native–I grew up in a super small town outside of Boston, right on the beach. Newburyport is incredibly beautiful, and is the ultimate in quintessential, colonial New England. Cobblestone streets, beaches lined with hydrangea bushes, and houses built in the 18th century.

People were surprised that I wanted to go to school so far away, and as I continue to build my life in NYC it’s bittersweet to realize that my idea of “home” is changing. When I go visit my parents in Newburyport for the weekend, do I still say that I’m “going home?” It’s kind of funny that I still consider this place to be my home even though I only spend a handful of weeks there every year. There are a lot of things I miss about Massachusetts, and these pins are some of them–though I’ll never miss the snow.

all photos sourced from pinterest

Standard
boyfriend, Uncategorized

anatomy of a finance douche

NYC is home to a specific breed of a (not so) gentleman I like to call the “finance douche.” Thanks to Wall Street and all of the major banks that call New York home, there are an incredible amount of guys who work “in finance” doing something that makes a ridiculous amount of money without needing to be especially smart. Here’s what makes them tick.

1. They (obviously) studied Finance in college.Or maybe Econ if they couldn’t get into the business program. Probably a private university in the Northeast, maybe Georgetown or UVA.

andy cornell

2. Interned at Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan. AKA fucked around for a summer on someone else’s dime.

moneu.gif

3. Lives in Murray Hill, FiDI or the Upper East Side with at least two of his college buddies. The rest live in a 4-block radius. They still play beer pong on Sunday afternoons.

gossip girl

4. Their favorite topic of conversations are a) drunk frat shenanigans; b) Microsoft Excel; c) their alcoholic boss.

excel

5. Totes an Amex that has an annual fee higher than your rent.

tom money

6. Studied abroad in Dublin or London and doesn’t remember any of it.

workaholics

7. Wears Chubbies in a non-ironic way.

frat guys

8. Smokes occasional cigarettes in an ironic way.

don draper smoking

Check our more NYC stereotypes here

Standard
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.

child at heart

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.

girls.gif

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.

Standard
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.

Standard
Uncategorized

can’t stop, won’t stop (thinking)

One of my earliest and most meaningful memories is from a school assembly I went to as a kindergarten student. I have no idea what the premise was for gathering a group of 5-12 year olds in the school’s gymnasium, but I clearly remember one woman introducing another–I couldn’t tell you whether they were firefighters giving a safety presentation or teachers being presented with awards, but the way this woman was introduced *literally* impacted my life. She was presented to myself and my fidgety, cross-legged sitting classmates as someone whose brain never shuts off, someone who is constantly thinking.

For some reason, this struck a chord with five-year-old me. I wanted to be the kind of person who was always thinking, the kind of person who woke up in the middle of the night with a great idea and kept a notepad on their nightstand to record those inconvenient moments of brilliance. Whether or not my brain works this way because of this assembly, I’ll never know, but it literally never shuts off. I’m not saying I’m a genius because I’m definitely not, but I am constantly thinking, and it’s actually super annoying.

Most of the ideas I have for posts on this blog come from random thoughts I have while binge-watching Family Guy at 2am or staring at my ceiling, sleeplessness c/o caffeine overdoses and insomnia. When I have new ideas for posts, I have to write a note to myself on my phone–plenty of times, I told myself I’d remember the next morning, but sure enough, those thoughts were lost to the void. Of course, quite often when I later look at the notes I typed when I was half-asleep, they’re incoherent and a little amusing.

new girl.gif

I like to tell prospective employers that I’m the kind of person who’s never not working–and it’s true. I may work 9-5 in an office everyday, but when I’m not freezing to death at my desk I’m pitching and writing freelance pieces or pouring my heart into this blog. My brain is also never not working, though not always productively. I’m constantly thinking about the future, overthinking the past, and under-thinking how much sleep I need.

Standard
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.

mindy picky.gif

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, “I love you.” Let’s 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.

Standard
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.

dutch

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.

IMG_2392

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.

IMG_0637

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.

What are your favorite Amsterdam eats?

Standard