Category: Football

Is spending money on designer handbags worth it?

Not so much a New Year’s resolution, but since the being-unemployed-and-having-no-money-and-then-getting-a-job-and-making-a-lot-less-money-than-before thing, I’m trying to spend my money more wisely (to varying degrees of success).

I know they say to make your investment pieces your shoes and handbags. My tendency, however, is to buy a lot of clothing rather than pay for quality and have fewer items. (I can’t help it! I see cute things and my fingers order them without my brain engaging! I could never even pretend to be French.)

The thing is that, like with the Chloé Susanna boots, I just can’t reconcile paying the price of a trip to Europe on a pair of shoes. That’s not to say I haven’t ever paid what I consider too much money on a pair of shoes or have only cheap handbags. But I do prefer buying lesser known or, preferably, indie designers. I don’t like advertising for a brand. The one bag I have that has a well-known name on it (thought it’s a canvas bag), I wear that side on the inside.

(I do confess the desire to one day own at least one pair of Manolos or Jimmy Choos or Louboutins.)

So, given my usual aversion to status bags, I am surprised by my recent fascination with them.

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Two bloggers that I read have both been posting looks with their Chanel quilted flap bags. There is no way to hide that this is a Chanel bag. If I wore it backwards, there would be no point. (Not that I could afford any of them even used.) But look, there is something so undeniably special and fashionable about them.

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Wishlist Wednesday #9

ARE YOU READY?! IT’S TOMORROW!! IT’S TOMORROW!!!!

I would be remiss as a blogger if today’s Wishlist Wednesday was not about the Isabel Marant for H&M collection.

I, like everyone else, am basically salivating over the idea of getting my hands on something that Isabel Marant designed that I can actually afford. However, as I have mentioned countless times and you’re probably so tired of hearing me say, I’m unemployed and have no money.

So that means I’m going to sit it out, right? Ha, as if. But I’ve made myself pick ONE thing that I’m going to get. Just one.

isabel-06 WHY IS THIS THING SO GORGEOUS?! WHY CAN’T I HAVE IT?!

This is what I want. I want this skirt. So badly, it hurts. However, for reasons I won’t get into, I can’t wear skirts that are too much above my knee, and I’m pretty sure, based on all the photos, this falls under that category. So, no gorgeous silver skirt for me.

Here are some more pieces from the collection that I’m dying over.

isabel-05 Again, I couldn’t wear this, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting it.

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Is this a tunic? I don’t even care!

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An accomplishment and a failure

But notice how I started with the positive?!

As of yesterday, I have officially blogged at least once a day for the entire month of October. And, actually, I have blogged at least once every day for over a month, since it started from the end of September. For a failed blogger, that is a real accomplishment. (I may, however, celebrate by taking a day off tomorrow. 😉 )

I am pretty obsessed with checking my stats, so I’m so gratified to see how my little blog has grown, even just a little bit. I know I’m still no blockbuster, but I appreciate each and every person who comes to read here. And as someone who is always feeling the itch to be traveling, seeing how many people from around the world are visiting makes me really happy. (As I’ve said before. Not to be redundant!)

Anyway, my failure is that I am abysmal at Halloween. I really am. I grew up in a community that didn’t celebrate Halloween, so once I became an adult and began socializing with people who did, I think I just missed developing that creative costume gene so many people seem to have. Despite the fact that I like to think of myself as a decently creative person.

Maybe it’s really just that I can’t think of one of the really clever costumes. I’m never going to be that girl dressed up as a sexy anything, but I also never seem to think of one of those, “Oh my god, that’s brilliant!” costumes. (I had flirted with the idea of going as a superhero by wearing my Cristiano Ronaldo jersey this year, but very few people would get the joke. Ah, the trials and tribulations of being a European football fan in the US!)

I mean, really. One year I wore a skirt with clocks on it and a watch pendant, bought some wings and a wand, and called myself the Time Fairy. (What is that even?!)

One year, I wore one of my vintage dresses, bought a blonde wig, and said I was Betty Draper.

12164_196472855990_4329908_n I even wore pearls!

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Heaven Looks at You From the Brooklyn Bridge

As a means of coping with the almost-constant wanderlust I’m consumed with, I decided to immerse myself in some of the wonderful things living in NY has to offer. I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Brooklyn, and still live in Brooklyn. Yet, somehow, I had never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge until last Sunday.

I’d walked across the other two Manhattan/Brooklyn bridges before, out of necessity, though. (The Williamsburg Bridge on 9/11, and the Manhattan Bridge during the blackout of August 2003.)

Don’t get me wrong. I’d always meant to. I mean, it’s my favorite bridge in the world (so far). And it’s in my city. But it’s just like all the other things you don’t do in your own city that are kind of touristy. You just don’t get around to it. And I have a mental list of things to do with friends visiting from overseas, and it was always on the list, but the friends visiting never materialized. And so the bridge went unwalked.

The entire day was a NYC love affair, actually. It started off at Lincoln Center, where my friend Rose and I waited in line for and procured tickets to the live streaming event of the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night performance of Eugene Onegin.

This was followed by a trip down to Smithfield to meet friends and watch our boys play.

IMG_20130922_131750I pulled a Clark Kent for the occasion and donned my uniform.

IMG_20130922_131955Of course Xabi came along.

After Los Blancos proved victorious, we made a quick stop at the Stumptown cafe at the Ace Hotel for the best coffee anywhere to revive us, and headed off on the rest of our adventure.

DSC_0646-2I love how even getting off at the Brooklyn Bridge stop sets the scene for the beauty you’re going to see with this magnificent entryway.

We couldn’t have chosen a better day weather-wise to do it. The sky was a beautiful cerulean blue, with enough clouds to make it interesting, and the sun was shining. Stopping every few feet to take photos, I knew I was going to have a lot of fun playing around with some HDR shots and Snapseed. But even the straight-from-the-camera shots look like they were amped up, the day was so beautiful.

DSC_0651A glimpse of the ships at South Street Seaport.

Unfortunately, this also meant that a million other people were there, having had the same grand idea, so getting photos was a bit frustrating. But I think the trick is to just incorporate random strangers into your photos, and you wind up with stolen moments that tell whatever story you want.

DSC_0654‘Look, Ma! No hands!’

DSC_0660‘I think that girl was checking out my ass…’

Also, I know that upkeep of old bridges is very, very important, but white tarp over most of the walkway really ruins photos. Sigh. Well, this means I’ll just have to make sure to do it at least once more when the construction/upkeep is complete, n’est-ce pas?

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Une mini virée en voiture de septembre 2013!

Hmm. Would you say “de septembre”? Any French speakers out there?

Anyway, Mini Road Trip September 2013!!

Okay, readers. This is the entry that is going to test whether my blog experiment is going to work, because this is the first one in which I bring in one of my divergent loves: football. Take a deep breath. I promise, it will be okay. There will be things to redeem it. I promise you. Photos will prove it.

Anyway, months and months ago, I bought tickets to see the international friendly match between the Portuguese and Brazilian national football teams, two of the best teams in the world. Also, two countries from which a few of the players on “my” team originate from. Cue excitement at the rare chance to see them play on American soil, even if it did mean I had to trek up to Foxborough, Massachusetts from New York to do it. Also, cue disappointment when two of my favorite players got injured before the match and had to pull out.

Actually, that shouldn’t have really mattered, since due to monetary difficulties (I’m currently unemployed), I thought we were selling the tickets. One deadbeat eBay buyer later, it was the day before the match, and a different friend (with a car!!) stepped up and the most spontaneous mini road trip ever was spawned.

Even though it’s not quite autumn yet, it is always a special thing to see autumn in New England, so I was quite excited. When I was younger, my family and I spent many a Thanksgiving up in Boston, and I have a dear friend in Worcester, so I was very glad to get back in the neighborhood. My friend, Rose, also went to university nearby, so we were going to stop off at her college town on our way back.

The match was a lot of fun, no surprise. I was rooting for Portugal, but alas, they lost. Here is why football is nothing to fear:

IMG_20130910_232852Here I am, missing one of our players who was injured, Cristiano Ronaldo. (He also happens to be one of the best players in the world, nbd.) I scavenged this wondrous thing after the Real Madrid v Chelsea match in Miami in August during the ICC tournament. Can you believe someone left this on the floor after the match?! Thank you very much to the several guys who felt the need to tell me that he wasn’t with the team that night, because I’m a girl and I obviously know nothing about sports or the players. And to the guy who offered me a whole dollar for my Cris head: Dream on!

DSC_0505See, football is okay, it has cute kids!

DSC_0516Cute kids holding flags questioning their life choices. (I’m talking to you, mister Righthand Corner.)

DSC_0548They are judging you for your skepticism. Yes, you. (Fábio Coentrão and Pepe)

DSC_0550Football has scenarios that play out like a Shakespearean tragedy. On the left, staring at a body on the floor. In the middle, praying to the heavens. On the right, well, I don’t think they looked like that in Shakespeare’s time, but you get my drift. Also, the guy between number 17 (Nani) and the abs, I adore your expression.

DSC_0556Football has handsome, well-dressed managers (Paul Bento) who suffer in the heat for style.

DSC_0551Football has some of the best hair you could ever want to see. On the right, beautifully full (Nélson Oliveira. In the middle, curls out of control (David Luiz). On the right, mohawk (Raul Meireles). There is something for everyone!

DSC_0577It also has players that travel faster than the speed of…my camera. :p (Hélder Postiga)

DSC_0586“Damn, she caught me.”

IMG_20130910_233609And football is nothing if not based on tradition.

And that’s without the exciting play! (That’s a lot harder to photograph. That’s all it is. Really.)

With the sport part of the trip under our belt, we set off the next morning for Amherst, Massachusetts to revisit some of Rose’s old university haunts.

20130911_101712_1But not before saying goodbye to Oliver. Who was having none of it.

Now, if you’re an American like me, you absolutely adored the film Amélie. (The French are amused at our mass infatuation with it.) Many years ago, I won a rubber duckie playing skeeball in Coney Island, and he became my travel companion, à la the garden gnome in Amélie.

P1000011Sadly, I seem to have lost Dirk somewhere in Paris when I was there in July. 🙁

I have been trying out a replacement for him, which you will see below. I’m still undecided. On the one hand, it’s a plastic cutout of my favorite player’s face (Xabi Alonso), and, so, naturally adorable. Still, he’s no Dirk. And he needs to be propped up. He can’t just sit places on his own like my Dirk. (Oh, Dirk, I hope you are happy in Paris, I miss you so!)

Anyway, back to the trip. As one must, we pulled over to the side of the road for some natural splendor.

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DSC_0593That’s Quabbin Reservoir in the distance.

Our first stop in Amherst was at the Lone Wolf, where Rose has fond memories of chowing down.

20130911_134815_1Xabi needed a cold glass of water.

Next stop was at Rao’s Coffee, for a really fantastic cup of Joe. We may not be university students anymore, but we still need our coffee!

20130911_141313_1Street art along the way. Can you tell it’s a university town? 😉

20130911_140601_1Xava Alonso, ladies and gentlemen. (Get it? Xabi? Java? Coffee?)

DSC_0595Amherst was quaint. And cute.

Our last stop was at UMASS Amherst itself, so we could go into the student shop for Rose.

20130911_143734_1Collegiate Xabi.

After that, we stopped off for some yummy ice cream, and that was it. Time to hit the road for good. It was really fun for me to relive Rose’s nostalgia with her, because I stayed home for college, and so I never had this experience.

I always get sad when fun things are over. I had thought it was because of the anticipation involved, but this trip had no anticipation, ha. But we had a great time on the trip home, listening to music and being dorks.

Hey, Rose, I’m ready for the next one! 😉 C’est parti!

(Please note: All photos are mine. Please do not use without permission.)