Category: New York Living

While the cats are away…

There is nothing nicer than going into Manhattan on a holiday weekend when everyone else has gone home to see their families. (Sorry, transplants, but it’s true. :p )

We didn’t even have this in mind, when Rose and I decided to hit all the high-end department stores for some window shopping. (Yes, I like to torture myself, okay?)

We started with Henri Bendel (“Bendel’s”), since it opened earliest. The early bird gets the empty store, apparently!

Next we meandered up 5th Avenue to Bergdorf Goodman.

DSC_1472And I said, well that’s the one thing we’ve got…

DSC_1473Where else do you find huge snowlakes in the sky, other than Fifth Avenue?

DSC_1477Central Park in the distance…

DSC_1478The Plaza. Only Trump would get construction tarp that matches the facade!

And, of course, there were the Bergdorf windows.

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We headed downstairs to bask in the glory of their beauty basement. Rose was color matched for the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (sadly, she’s a mix of 2 shades, which is not wallet friendly at all!) and I fell in love with, and quickly walked away from, a Killian scent.

Also, as an afterthought, we passed by the Creed counter, and I sprayed a tester card with Acqua Fiorentina, at Rose’s urging. Stuck it in my pocket and forgot about it. I pulled it out a few hours later and OH MY GOD, THIS NEEDS TO BE MINE. (See? I just can’t stick to one scent.)

Next up was Barneys, where I expertly avoided the Serge Lutens counter for fear of temptation, completely ignored the Surratt counter out of self-defense, and stopped to drool at the MAKE counter. They have the prettiest shades of bright, colorful eyeshadow!

I went to be color matched at the Sunday Riley counter for their Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer, which was mentioned in this tutorial. For future reference. And was sat down and completely made over. By a woman with the most beautiful skin I have ever seen. (If she is using Sunday Riley products, then I should be, too. Which of course means I’m in big trouble, because those things are expensive.)

The primer is often just used as a foundation, and I do confess my skin looked great with just that. And despite it not being matte and despite her adding some Juno Transformative Lipid Serum (dry) oil on top, my skin was not an oily mess by the end of the day. Not as matte as I’m used to, but definitely an acceptable alternative.

Then we were on our way.

DSC_1480Roosevelt Island Tram in the distance.

DSC_1481I haven’t seen a street vendor selling roasted chestnuts since I was little!!

Some beverages followed, in turn followed by my second viewing of the weekend of Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I hated the first movie. Hated it. But despite certain gripes* about this one, I really loved it. Have you seen it? What did you think?

DSC_1482Times Square. Pretty to look at, terrible to walk through!

DSC_1483Do you?

DSC_1484Peek-a-boo!

Then I hit up Sephora for some samples, because a day in the city is nothing without my samples. Two locations provided a motherlode of goodness. Which is good, since my skin is still recovering from the Liz Earle debacle.

I was thinking of doing a write-up of the samples I’ve been trying and my verdicts. Any interest?

Have you tried any of those brands? Any favorite products?

What did you do this weekend?

I’m going to cut my Catching Fire thoughts for any possible spoilers. 😉

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Updates of a various nature

I apologize for the sad look of this post. I have no new photos to share. But I want to attempt to do my best to still update despite now being unemployed.

So, here we go.

1. New job: So far, so good. I took a job that paid a lot less than I’m used to because I was trying to switch industries. So far I’m glad I did, but let’s see how I feel when I get my paycheck. 😉 The commute is pretty horrible, but everyone seems pretty nice, so far. I mean, first day, and all. I hope to write more about where I’m working, because it’s somewhat topical to my blog. I’m going to ask if I can even bring my camera in and take some photos. I’ll keep you posted on that and how the job is going!

I do realize blogging is going to be a lot harder. Especially the upkeep part of blogging. Getting up an hour earlier to read blogs and comment is a lot harder when that alarm goes off at 6 am! And I got home last night at 9 and had to put something together. Exhausted is the operative word.

ETA: My favorite coworker so far! 😉

20131119_115633_1 Mabel’s a fashion hound.

2. Isabel Marant pour H&M: I got my order today. As I feared, not only was the skirt too short, it was too tight, as well. Le sigh. 🙁 But the dress fits. I think I look a little lumpy in it, but I’ve been told it looks good by a very harsh critic (my mom 🙂 ), so I am definitely going to keep it. So, in the end, I got the one thing I said I wanted. Although I was sad to open the (huge!) box it came in (why?!) and see they didn’t send the special tote bag with the online orders. Oh well. Also, it appears I can only mail back my return. I hate stores that don’t allow in-store returns!!

Well, that’s it, for now. I got home late last night from my terrible commute and had to get up early today, but I do have a better post prepared for tomorrow. 🙂

Do you think there are more important things than money when considering a job? How long does it take you to get to work? Did you get anything from the Isabel Marant collection? Did it work out for you?

For those of you who work full time and blog, how do you find the balance?

Meet me in Montauk

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my favorite movies of all time. The story is so interesting and different (and who among us hasn’t wanted to utilize the service?), the directing is so innovative, and it’s just about a perfect movie, to me. I know it pretty much by heart at this point, and I cry at the same line, every single time.

Ever since the first time I saw it, I wanted to go to Montauk, like in the movie. Ideally, it would be waking up in the morning, calling in sick, deciding to go. And it would ideally have snowed. To reenact the scene accurately.

(It would not be my first time. I’ve done the same in Cardiff with Doctor Who and Montmartre with Amélie [of course].)

But years passed, and it’s harder to convince friends to call in sick and go with you than you’d think. 😉

So when Rose asked me on Thursday night if I wanted to go to Montauk on Friday, I really didn’t have to think very hard about my answer. Especially since it was a bittersweet thing; it would be our last mini adventure for a while, because I start a new job tomorrow. (I pretty much knew I was getting it, but it wasn’t official till Wednesday. And I had told her earlier in the week I really wanted to go to Montauk before I started my job, and she amazingly obliged.) Good news/bad news, eh?

Because I had to be home early on Friday, we had to leave super early. Like, super early. I still can’t believe she agreed to it, but agreed to it, she did!

DSC_1313I mean REALLY early. It still looked like this when she picked me up. From New Jersey.

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These photos are unedited. So maybe seeing the sky look this pretty made the early call time worth it?

DSC_1320Even the drive was scenic.

DSC_1321Maybe I should get up this early every day? Or not. 🙂

about three hours later, we were finally in Montauk. Understandably, our first stop was for coffee.

DSC_1324Montauk Bake Shoppe boasts the best coffee in Montauk. It was pretty damn good, that’s for sure.

We regrouped in the car, trying to figure out: now that we were in Montauk, what did we want to DO in Montauk?! I obviously wanted to walk on the beach by the house like they did in the movie.

OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS. THE HOUSE ISN’T EVEN IN MONTAUK!! (I know, right?!)

Luckily, it was in Easthampton, which we had to go through on our way back.

But first, we were in Montauk, and determined to see something there. So we headed for the lighthouse.

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Knitting is cool

No, really, it is. All cool people knit. Also, I’ll have more proof below.

On Thursday, I met up with my dear circle of knitters, Julie, Hannah, and Dagmar, and I talked Ashley into coming as well. Our usual haunt is Joe’s Coffee, and I think the baristas are just bemused by us. (Also, we buy one drink each and hog the big table for hours. Also, they’ve heard all the details of my non-dating life. :p )

DSC_1305We do kind of take over. But at least we’re entertaining!

DSC_1306Tablets were basically invented to make knitting easier. Also, how lovely is Dagmar and I want Ashley’s hair!

DSC_1307Truth in advertising!

DSC_1308The progress on my scarf. (It really should have been done by now. 🙁 )

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Julie’s daughter is the luckiest little girl in the world!

DSC_1311Knitting can combine interests.

DSC_1312Ashley is trying to have her One Ring cowl ready for the Hobbit premiere!

20131114_172400_1Proof that knitting is cool: Even Chanel knits. 😀

Do you meet up with friends who share common interests? Do you have a favorite coffee shop? Do you knit? What are you working on right now?

Bright lights, big city

I love New York all the time, but especially when the sun starts to go down. I think it just turns from wonderful to magical.

I was a complete idiot, because I’m so used to Instagramming photos like this from my phone (are you following me?), I completely forgot that I had my good camera with me. Oh well, a different time. Excuse the quality!

20131114_164829_2Peek-a-boo

20131114_164850_1Love the colors

20131114_164956Untouched, no filter, just nature.

20131114_172247_1See? Magic. 🙂

What’s your favorite time of day in your city?

Turning Japanese

Look, I’m a New Yorker. It takes a lot to get me to go to New Jersey. But Rose, being from New Jersey, found a way to tempt me. (Besides for fair play, since she comes into New York all the time. But, I mean, come on.)

I had heard about the Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa several times before, but Rose was always telling me about the amazing cosmetics and skincare items they have there (including overpriced Bioderma), and so we planned an outing whereby I get myself to Hoboken.

Naturally, hilarity ensued, when I got there and texted her that I was there. And then waited for 15 minutes. Then got a text from her telling me she was just walking around Sinatra Park. My actual response to her was, “You speak like I know what or where that is.” She told me to walk towards the water. I said, again, I had no idea where that was. She told me to walk to this clock tower I saw. Except, the PATH Station was in my way. I didn’t know how to get around it.

Yes, she had to come get me.

But it was worth it, because the view was gorgeous. (I maintain, the best part of New Jersey is the view of New York. 😉 )

DSC_1252Kiss my ass, Banksy. I like it!

DSC_1254Even though the skyline will never look the same to me.

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Allongé (West Village Adventure part II)

Continuing the tale of our day in the West Village (and the fitting ballet terms), we finally made it to Aedes de Venustas. But not before being accosted by the beauty sales equivalent of a used-car salesman. Okay, that’s being harsh, because this guy was actually quite good at what he did.

We were walking down Christopher Street, on our way, and we passed by this man generously handing out samples in front of his skin care store, Shalva. (That’s how he reels you in!!) He promised us a treat (I swear, it wasn’t candy), so we came inside and were treated to a demonstration of the products. Our hands were scrubbed with a Dead Sea salt scrub, and then slathered in a really luscious body cream he promised we’d only have to apply once a day. (I told him I use hand cream about 4 times a day.) There was some special deal going on, but since I’m broke, I had to pass. (Which may have been lucky, if you read the reviews. I think they’re a little harsh; my hands felt soft hours later, but I can understand. As I said, he was really good at his job: trying to sell this stuff.)

With our hands feeling soft as a baby’s bottom, we made our way to Aedes. Sadly, they don’t allow photographs in the store, but I highly recommend you visit to see for yourself. It is a boudoir of visual and olfactory delights. Literally. There is carpeting and drapery and vanities and cabinets. It is dimly lit. But populated with the most high-end and obscure perfume brands you could hope to find. It really is special. If you’re looking for a scent that you won’t smell on everyone else, you know where to go. And they even will give you a sample of any one fragrance you choose. (For more samples, see their web site.)

DSC_0933The fantastical Aedes window, the only thing you’re allowed to photograph.

Once we finally made it out of there (trust me, you’ll never want to leave, either), we were trying to find a specific pharmacy, but wound up getting a little lost, having not yet resorted to using Google maps.

DSC_0934With intersections like this, can you blame us for getting lost?! How does this even work?!

DSC_0935But we just considered it as taking the scenic route. 🙂

DSC_0936I was inordinately pleased with my inspired nail color combination choices.

DSC_0944A moment’s rest, an excuse for more posing.

Ironically, in order to get where we had to go, we had to get back onto Bleecker Street. This time around, we passed by Goorin Bros., and I was so enamored of a hat in the window, I stood outside for five good minutes knowing it would break my heart if I walked in, tried it on, and then walked away. But I went in anyway. And it was as gorgeous as I feared. It is now at the top of my wishlist. But more on that on Wednesday. 😉

DSC_0949I also tried on this beauty. Believe it or not, I would actually totally wear this. (Sadly, I can’t find it on their site.)

I tore myself away, nearly in tears. But I consoled myself at Bisous Ciao with a couple of macarons. Feed the sadness, right?! And at least those I could afford.

DSC_0951Honey Lavender and Rose. Macarons make EVERYTHING better.

After all that meandering and getting lost, we finally made it to Avignone pharmacy (yup, still hate the misspelling), only to find out they didn’t carry what I was looking for, either. In the absence of this mythical Bioderma Sensibio H2O, I settled for Klorane eye makeup remover. (Of course it had to be French.)

Walking around all day in 80+ degree (Fahrenheit) weather, we definitely worked up a thirst, and so a nice cold beer was definitely in order. We stopped off at one of the best beer bars in New York, Blind Tiger, and indulged. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

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Outfit details here.
Nail polish: Peace, Love & OPI – OPI, Stance – Illamasqua
Ring: Shirley Dom

À la seconde (West Village Adventure part I)

Friday saw me paying my second visit that week to my beloved West Village with my friend Rose. We first met up in Chelsea, though, and had a quick jaunt through Chelsea Market.

DSC_0878My ballerina inspired outfit in turn inspired the title of this post!

DSC_0881I attempted a ballerina move. This was the outcome. Better stick to my day job. (Oh, right, I have none.)

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After forcing Rose to conduct a photo shoot, we headed up onto the High Line for a bit and got off to head to the seemingly ubiquitous Warby Parker. Warby Parker offers fashion-forward glasses frames, both optical and sunglasses, for bargain prices. The brand has taken off at such ferocious speed, its founders were recently bestowed the title of “Brand Genius” by Adweek.

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DSC_0887Is it a glasses store or a library? Why choose?!

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DSC_0890Best collateral in a store. Ever.

DSC_0891And best way of displaying appointment times.

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Le Village de l’Ouest

I’m pretty sure I just made up that French translation for the West Village, but, you know, creative license. Regardless of how you say it, the West Village is one of my favorite, yet most unexplored, neighborhoods in the New York City.

The streets are small, narrow, and tree-lined. The buildings are dark brick, and hearken back to old New York. Turn down a street and random, and you can see doors on buildings that clearly used to be carriage houses. It’s so freaking cool. And pretty.

And there is no grid. The streets bisect with no logic. It’s the only place where West 10th Street and West 4th Street could possibly intersect. (I don’t understand!!)

So when, in an attempt to cheer me up about my job situation, my mom offered to take me to lunch at Cafe Blossom, I gladly accepted. (Okay, let’s be real. I would have accepted no matter where it was. It was SUPER sweet of her! But it was extra nice to get to share the beautiful neighborhood with my mom.)

I didn’t bring my good camera with me, but I did take some snaps with my phone.

20131001_160950_1It’s a real urban fairyland.

20131001_161057_1The details on the houses are just amazing.

20131001_160517_1I attempted to teach my mother how to use the camera on my phone with mixed results. 🙂

20131001_160514_1-2I donned my favorite outfit of the summer since the weather warmed up again.

I wrote all about the gorgeous VIB Rouge shade by Bite Beauty for Sephora, but never showed you how it looked on. So I attempted to get a few snaps. And one day, ONE DAY, I will remember to use my flash even during the day. Because you can tell I needed it. Whoops.

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IMG_20131001_152339(Where I attempt to look just a little less pale.)

What do you think of the shade? And what are your favorite places in your cities?