Hello, Brooklyn!

January 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

prettyfullhouse

You know that I am not into Brooklyn Boosterism, but Mr. H and I still had to represent by getting ourselves to a Brooklyn Nets game at the new Barclays Center*. So off we went last night to watch our home team get their butts smacked by the Miami Heat. Unbeknownst to the Non-Sports Fan me, the Miami Heat is an awfully good team, with a special emphasis on LeBron.

Right from the beginning, it was a total blast. The D.J. went heavy on old school Brooklyn Hip Hop (De La Soul, anyone?) and everyone seemed really excited to be there, even if they knew we were going to lose. Watching the players live was incredibly fun and it must be said: The Nets didn’t do too shabbily by the end of the second quarter…

tied

See…we were tied!! TIED!!! I thought there was hope. I really did. Which only got me more animated and then totally irritated by the second half of the game, when the whooping really began. By the end, we lost by something like 30 points. (I couldn’t look at the final scores.) But still, it was fun.

A few general observations:

– Kris Humphries is better looking in person.

– While I am not inked myself, the players with completely tattooed arms look awfully cool. The cut of the jersey really works well with that kind of thing…and yes, I know I sound ridiculous.

– Chicken Wings smell really good when you are in a stadium, but I didn’t eat any.

– The Brooklynettes will be top on my list of costume ideas (with longer bottoms) should the need arise anytime soon.

– I can see how people become very big Basketball fans. I was totally hooked in the first five minutes of the game.

Sure, some people left when there was a twenty point lead, but not us. I wanted to see the whole thing, which is what we did. And I can’t wait to do it again.

Go, Brooklyn!

xx

*  Personal Opinion: The Barclays Center is the nicest thing that Forest City Ratner has ever built in the area. I know that sounds like it isn’t saying much, but it does raise the bar for future developers in town, so, that is something. And hopefully the beginning of a much better-looking contemporary part of Brooklyn.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Breakfast, Better

January 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

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I just finished reading a biography of Craig Claiborne* and was immensely cheered to discover that when he was dining at home alone, he made a point of setting a proper table just for himself. (He trained at  École hôtelière de Lausanne, so I suppose it would have been a hard habit to break.)  While Mr. H and I are Free Range when it comes to eating meals**,  for years weekday breakfasts have been served on a simple rattan Breakfast Tray that we make up each morning. I don’t know why it started — maybe because our kitchen isn’t an eat-in — but it is on my Must Have list today.

Considering that it can be done up while our toast is toasting and the dogs are eating, it takes very little extra time to put our morning meal on a nice plate with a proper napkin and pop it onto the tray. Even the idea of the Breakfast Tray gives me a little lift at the start of the day, which is especially important when it is, oh, I don’t know, ten degrees outside and maybe snowing***. And if you are a Breakfast at My Desk Person (I have been known to be one), taking a few extra minutes on the weekend to treat yourself in this way will probably produce the same effect, which may result in this simple pleasure landing on your Must Have list, too.

xx

* Major League Food Writer when things were more civilized. Chances are that you have a cookbook of his.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Claiborne

** But we’ve recently been making an effort to have dinners ala Mr. Claiborne which does make even takeout sushi feel special. Lunch is another story entirely. (https://somecozynight.com/?s=do+lunch)

*** Why do we live in the Northeast again?

(Photo of our typical, but somehow more special, morning oatmeal: Some Cozy Night)

Just a Moment…

January 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

photo

Mr. H and I were on our way somewhere this afternoon, on some kind of mission, when he pointed out the lovely clouds above us. So we took some time to enjoy it before we returned to our now-forgotten mission. He then sent me this photo and I thought I should share it, since it is always a good idea to take a moment and look up.

xx

(Photo: Mr. H)

Updates and Such

January 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hello there. So this week was a doozy, and next week stands to be equally “stimulating”, so to keep things light, I thought I would give you all some updates on prior posts and mention a few things that I am really enjoying these days.

Here we go…

Rodin Face Oil, Three Weeks In

indeep

I LOVE THIS OIL!!! I use it on top of my other products — mostly the Cellular Patch Cream and a Retinol Serum (at night) and I have to tell you, my skin feels wonderfully soft and I think I might even be approaching “dewy”, which is no small feat in one’s forties.

I also got in a little deeper and started using the hair oil as well. On just-washed hair, I put it on right after my leave-in conditioner, and lately, I haven’t been using much product after that combo. When I let it dry naturally, I look much less like Monica in a humid climate and much more like someone who has a nice wave in her hair. When I blow it dry, less static and the ends don’t look fried. I also use the oil on non-wash days, when the  ends look a little dry. However, a word of caution: They say use TWO DROPS of the oil. I did not listen the first time and I should have. TWO DROPS. THEN STOP. That is all you need. Enjoy!  (To buy: http://oliolusso.com)

Meditation

Things were going really well in the first two weeks of the year, since I decided to tack it on right after workouts in the morning. Then this past weekend a horrid illness set in and I found myself stoned on NyQuil and getting overly emotional while doing a Loving Kindness meditation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_kindness_meditation) To be fair, they can be hard, but I was a disaster this week, so I am going back to some of my other favorites for the time being. For the record, some of my go-to guided meditation practices are by:

Jack Kornfield — I recommend him to anyone starting a practice. There is just something about his voice and perspective and how he mixes in Buddhist teachings with just smart stuff to think about outside of Buddhism that really works for me. If you try him, I hope he does the same for you.  (http://www.jackkornfield.com and iTunes)

Tara Brach — New to me, but recommended by a friend. I find her discussions of Self Acceptance to be very on point. I don’t really meditate to her,  but I do listen to one piece, The Wisdom of Self Acceptance, (I know…but we are talking meditation here) before bedtime and I always sleep really well after listening to it. (http://tarabrach.com and iTunes)

Dr. Siddharth Ashvin Shah — His Splendor of Meditation guided sessions contain three of my favorite ones:  Morning Time Stress Prevention, Five Minute Rescue and Restorative Yoga Nidra. These are less spiritual and more about decompressing and keeping a good attitude. Perhaps that is why they are my go-tos for pre work sessions. (http://www.siddharthshah.com and iTunes)

Also, even if you aren’t meditating, may I remind you of the power of a few good, deep breaths? Whenever you feel like you Just Can’t, try it and see if maybe You Can.

Cook and Freeze

I did it again this past Sunday, which made eating while being too sick to cook (Mr. H had the same thing I did this week) a breeze. Also, have I mentioned how much I enjoy escarole raw? I grew up eating it cooked, mostly in soups, but it is fabulous with some hummus and warm pita and a really nice change when making salads. My new favorite is escarole, toasted hazelnuts  and pomegranate seeds with a citrus dressing. (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Escarole-and-Butter-Lettuce-Salad-with-Pomegranate-Seeds-and-Hazelnuts-356310)

Yum!

Favorite Online Reads

Sometimes you find yourself at your desk and in need of something that takes you Away from It All. If you are avoiding gossip, hard news, or what fabulous things people are up to on Facebook, I highly recommend these sites:

Into the Gloss (http://intothegloss.com)  Lots of great interviews with interesting people, lots of great product info and generally transporting.

Nowness (http://www.nowness.comOwned by LVMH, but don’t let the Corporate Giant thing keep you away. They cover everything from Art to Fashion to Culture. I even saw a video of Rick Rubin meditating. If it is interesting, it is on there. Enjoy.

Refinery 29 (http://www.refinery29.com) I am probably a touch too old for this site, but it is filled with fun stuff and reminds me of when I had little else to do but wonder what I was going to wear on a date. Still, how would I know about BB Creams — of which that Urban Decay stuff I mentioned recently happens to be — if I didn’t check them out on a regular basis? Have fun.

And that is all I have for today. Happy Weekend!

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

Not to Go All Oprah On You, But…

January 11, 2013 § 2 Comments

prettierinreallife

I moved to New York in part for this view on 5th at dusk last night. The sky was an insanely pretty shade of blue and the city seemed ready to light up and do something very, very “smart”.* My choice to move here — at 18, when you know pretty much nothing, which aids the decision-making process — was based a little bit on an impulse and a lot on a vague idea I had of what it would be like: One part Woody Allen, one part Nick and Nora, one part “Who Knows?”. And I knew I wanted to be in that glow. It can be a very hard place to live, but in the end, I don’t know that I would have it any other way. Which brings me to Oprah…

OK, I am not really going to write about Oprah**, but I know that she is all about “lightbulbs going off in one’s head” and I was just reminded one of my biggest moments of that variety today. I was flipping though some photos online (trouble focusing at the office today), and saw one of the designer Cynthia Rowley. No offense to Ms. Rowley, but I pretty much never think about her. Until I saw her photo. Then I remembered that a decade ago, I was on the subway heading to my job at one of the world’s largest media companies where I was completely and utterly miserable. I was deep in thought, contemplating leaving my job to work with Mr. H.

No offense to Mr. H, but this was a tough decision. I had no idea how it would all work out if I left,  but was awfully certain that if I played the game right (and learned German…for another post), there was a clear path and it wasn’t shabby.***  The train stopped at West 4th and Cynthia Rowley got on and stood pretty much in front of me. My head still full of “what ifs”, I looked up and realized that someone who took a risk to do her own thing — that worked out! — was literally standing right in front of me.  Yes, she looked tired. (If only I knew how tired she probably was!) But she also looked settled in that way that people do when they have accomplished something they weren’t certain they could pull off.

I am not a big risk taker, but I am a big believer in Signs that are Convenient for Me and this one was too good to ignore. Standing right in front of me was the reason to do it. So I resigned, was terrified for a bit and then became quite calm about the whole affair.

Ten years later, Mr. H and I are both still alive, still married to each other and have had some amazing experiences that would have never been possible if I had remained on my previous path. (There were also many more stupid, agonizing and annoying experiences, but I think O would want me to stay positive here.) Which I guess brings me to a point that may seem trite and obvious, but is worth repeating anyway: Life never goes quite how you think it will,  so you may as well just try to steer it in the direction of happiness, even if you aren’t sure that you can pull it off. The odds are more in your favor than you think.

xx & one major “O”

* Sadly, I was headed back to the office after a doctor’s appointment, but still, just catching a little of that buzz was enough for the moment.

** Love her in the Liz Lemon way.

*** Unless you think Well-Paid Total Misery is a bad thing.

(Grainy photo: Some Cozy Night)

There is Something You Should Know…

January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Breaking in the Shoe Department:  The Single Sole

I suppose I should have seen it coming, as we have been teetering  — “comfortably” — on our platforms for more than a few years now. But still, I was focused on reduced heel hight and my new love of the velvet slipper, so I wasn’t thinking too much about it.

Then I arrived home to my January issue of Vogue which contains a story on “Breaking the Platform Habit”. Apparently, Vogue would like us to practice walking in — and start buying — stilettos. (http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/stride-into-2013-breaking-the-platform-habit/#1).  I would add that a single sole shoe with a lower heel height and deep vamp might be just as great and more comfy.

Next, an email from the good people at Net-A-Porter stating that they were now obsessed with the Single Sole Shoe, along with a link for me the think about (http://www.net-a-porter.com/am/Shop/List/The_Single_Sole?cm_mmc=EmailDedicated-_-ShoeHotlist030113-_-am-_-Position1&cm_em).

Clearly, the Fashion Gods are speaking up. And they want us to change our shoes.

While I am not a slave to trends, I have been feeling like my platforms sometimes look a tad clunky. (And The Real Housewives  aren’t helping.) Perhaps that is why I purchased these last spring:

bbonesole

The BB stiletto is sexy and I can walk it them for the most part. And they do add a certain lightness to a look, but still have a ton of presence. I tried them recently with a pair of rust colored velvet flares that stop just above the ankle (yes, I am going there, too), and that looked kind of perfect.

Obviously, I’m not suggesting that we toss out all of our Minnie Mouse shoes just yet, but I would put a “Hold” on them for Spring and  a “Buy” — or “Dig Out and Start Wearing” — on the classic stiletto, a great kitten heel and a good, old fashioned flat.

xx

(Photo of my BB’s: Some Cozy Night)

Happy!

January 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Wishing you all a very lovely 2013.

xx

(Photo of all the corks since 2006 from eventful evenings at the beach: Some Cozy Night)

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