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Super Sweet 30

Maybe one of my favorite things about being 30 so far has been celebrating with my friends and giving them a hard time for their 30th birthdays!  I did just that this past weekend with a two day junk-food-candy-booze-bonanza!  My friend Suz loooooves junk food and candy so when her boyfriend decided to throw her a surprise getaway in Monterey with friends – we couldn’t help ourselves and went all out with candy, personalized cocktail napkins and matches, junk food shaped balloons, goody bags and tags, cupcakes, funfetti cake (naturally), ice cream, bubble gum vodka, party hats, silly glasses, mini corn dogs, Fritos…the list goes on.  I surprisingly didn’t gain a pound – my guess is we were laughing so much we must have been burning hundreds of calories. It’s always nice to splurge for a few days and spend quality time with your best peeps.  What a great way to start your third decade!

Happy birthday Suz!  Welcome to 30 sister – you’re gonna love it!

Moonrise Monday

When my brother and I are in town at the same time, our thing is going to the movies.  After Thanksgiving dinner, after opening Christmas presents – whatever holiday it may be we like to hit up a movie at some point.  Saturday we decided the only thing worth seeing Father’s Day Weekend was Moonrise Kingdom.  We went to the old Tower Theater, which perfectly complemented the film’s vintage vibe.  I definitely recommend the movie – even if you’re not a total Andersonphile like myself.  It’s sweet and funny, and gives you warm, nostalgic fuzzies thinking about your first love and how important and monumental it all seemed when you were 13 (which of course – everything was important and monumental).

(maybe my favorite scene)

I Work Out

Wigglewigglewigglewiggle yeah!  Summer is seriously right around the corner which means less clothes and more swimsuits.  Beyond that is Fall and Winter and I happen to be in three weddings this Fall and Winter.  Three you say?  Yes – THREE.  Three bridesmaids dresses to zip up, three opportunities for photos that will be around for a lifetime, but more importantly three times I get to share an amazing day with three of my best friends.

With that said – it’s time to shape up.  Really kick it into high gear!  I’ve been like a woman on a mission these past couple of months (because I AM) and I can’t stop now.  One thing that keeps me motivated is fun workout clothes and accessories.  I’ll tell you – wearing lululemon capri pants is like wrapping your legs in unicorn kisses and marshmallow dreams.  Pricey, but TOTALLY worth it. 

 I like to keep my pants and tops simple, dark and with some sort of “dry-wick” (gross) technology.  Everything else I tend to go for a more bright-in-yo-face direction.  My trainer makes daily comments about my hot pink running shoes (same Nikes above).  But I say – what gets me to the gym doesn’t matter, it’s what I do when I get there.

Nike Free Run 3 Shoes | Black Tank | Pink Girl Shorts | iPod Nano | Heart Rate Monitor | Gold Duffle | Ribbon Hair Ties | Sports Bras

New York, New York

About a month ago (that’s how behind I am) I made a quick jaunt out to see one of my best friends who happens to live in New York.  I had booked the trip at the end of November, just for random fun.  In between booking my flight and my actual trip however, she got engaged! So the trip turned out to be less random and allowed me to meet the lucky fella’ (I hadn’t yet), and do some bridesmaid dress shopping with my besties.   I had been in Santa Monica the whole week before for work meetings where it was 70 degrees for the most part, and I was terrified it would be freeeeeeezing in NYC, but I lucked out with sunshine and temperatures in the mid-40s!

It also happened to be New York Restaurant Week (yum!) so we got to try out some great spots like Plein Sud for lunch and the Tribeca Grill (co-owned by Robert DeNiro) for dinner.  We also hit up the Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg, which I’ve been dying to check out for-ev-er.  I highly recommend it if you like amazing beer and pork chops bigger than your head (which I do).

My favorite part however, had to be visiting the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side.  Somehow, by some miracle, there is a tenement building that has remained mostly untouched since the 1800s which now serves as a peek into the past to see how immigrants (like my great grandparents) lived back in the day.  They have recreated a few of the apartments to represent what life would be like at certain points in history, including the apartment of an Italian family that lived there in the 1930s.  Walking into that apartment was like walking into my Brooklyn-raised grandmother’s house – I kid you not.   I was so fascinated by the entire building and all the stories those walls must hold, I just let my history-nerd flag fly walking around with eyes as wide as saucers and asking really random questions.

All in all – fun weekend, great friends, awesome food AND we picked out bridesmaid dresses – SUCCESS!

{ watchful figures over Wall Street } { tenement museum books – my new obsession }{ dress shopping at the Bryant Park Hotel }{ drinking biers mit freunden }{ awesome little dive bar – we made summer friends and got free fries }

* Top photo by Doug – my friend’s new fiancé, who snapped the photo on that sunny Saturday.

Best of 2011

This year has just flown by.  I can’t say I didn’t make the best of it: great girls weekends to Vegas, Miami and New Orleans, concerts with my brother (and a very memorable Snoop Dogg concert with one of my best friends), joining a women’s charity group, turning the big “3-0”, trying new recipes, much-needed spa days, catching up with my college freshman-year roomie for a weekend in Seattle, working in a career I love (and some amazing grand openings), celebrating weddings and babies, and spending more time with the people who matter the most to me.  I’m excited for what 2012 will bring – namely more positive change, weddings and babies, recipes, traveling, and finally learning how to play mahjong (Santa must read my blog, because I found a set under the tree)!

Gifts for Gal

I’ve been told that my “Gifts for Guy” post was so great, that I needed to do one for the ladies too.  Well, I’m never one to disappoint – so with no further ado –

Gifts for Gal

Pink Mahjong Set, $72
kate spade iPhone Case, $40
Babushka Carafe, $24
Deborah Lippman “Trendsetter” Polish Set, $35
Large Monogram Necklace, $115
Madewell “Foxtrot” Earrings, $18
Fresh Body Oil, $45
Clare Vivier La Pochette Clutch, $145
“Ideal Bookshelf” Print by Jane Mount, $20                                                                               Cake Pops DIY Kit, $21
iSi Twist ‘n Sparkle Direct Carbonation System, $50
Knit Texting Gloves, $32

Gift shopping for girls can be just as tricky as shopping for guys – it all depends on who you’re buying for.  I like to pick up things that are fun, quirky and personal.  Things like giant gold monogram necklaces, a  babushka water carafe for bedside humor, a pink mahjong set because she’s been wanting to get a group together to play, a direct carbonation system to make any beverage sparkle, luxurious body oil in an intoxicating scent, an adorable cake pop kit, glitzy glitter nail polish, a sleek envelope clutch, and tech-savvy gloves that allow her to text and keep her digits nice and toasty.  Any of these gifts are sure to delight and will always remind the recipient of the special person that gave it to them!

Lessons Learned

So I turned 30 a month ago.  Thirty.  THIR-TY.  Ok, I said it out loud.  I haven’t really thought too much about it but I recently filled out a form where I had to “check” the 30-35 box.  That was a real mind-blower, and I started to reflect on what it meant to “be” 30 and how much fun my 20s were.  They were fun, indeed – and I definitely look forward to what the next decade brings and I can say they will be even better because of all the lessons I’ve learned such as:

  1. Pick a signature scent – one fragrance that “defines” you.  Wear it everyday. 
  2. Eat the damn dessert.  Yes, you’re so full. Yes, you really shouldn’t – but you’re out with friends and you’re making memories so stop trying to edit the fun.
  3. Drink the damn champagne – see above.
  4. Have a tool kit and be very familiar with IKEA furniture instructions (“there are no words!  just pictures!  what do these flying screws mean??”).  I’m proud to say I’ve never needed assistance in this regard and actually enjoy it.  Like giant LEGOS.
  5. Support your friends, don’t judge.  You might not agree with their choice in boyfriend, or where they decide to live – but it’s not your job to tell them what to do.  It’s your job to support them along the way and catch them if they fall. 
  6. Embrace your break-ups! You dated that dummy for a reason, remember what it is and remember what and what not to look for next time.  Everything happens for a reason, and as cliche as it sounds – there’s something better waiting for you.
  7. Follow your gut.  If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right.  You could get stuck in a boring career (or a terrible relationship) because you know it’s wrong but are afraid of change.  My favorite follow your gut story:  My girlfriend Angela and I were out to lunch and she told me “I’m going to become a police officer.” Very matter-of-factly.  Angela is tall, gorgeous and wrote fashion articles at the time so as soon as she informed me of her plans I immediately thought “but you’re too pretty!!!” How sexist is that?  Needless to say, I supported her along the way (see #5) and when she walked across the stage at her academy graduation to get her badge I thought “there goes the prettiest, smartest, nicest cop I know – and she’s MY friend”.  I also sobbed like a baby I was so proud.  Now when we talk, I make her tell me stories of drug busts, speeding motorists and the potential of her doing some undercover work as a hooker. 
  8. Dance.  In your desk chair at work, in your car, at the kitchen sink, while you brush your teeth, while you stand in line at the grocery store, while you blow dry your hair.  It always pulls me out of a funk, and if anyone is in a funk nearby – usually works for them to0.
  9. Love your parents.  The 20s are a hard time, trying to figure out who you are and what you want to be and you need that kind of support system to at least be a soundboard for you if not directly help you attain some of your goals.  They won’t be around forever (as macabre as that is, it’s true), so appreciate them while they’re here, with you in the present.
  10. Don’t question yourself.  Live your truth, and don’t doubt it.  Otherwise you’ll miss out on some really great experiences.  You might think to yourself “who could possibly want to read my random ramblings” and then you’d never start your fun little blog.  Or is that just me?

xoxo, my lovelies – cheers and here’s to the next 10 years!