Wednesday, December 31, 2008

'09 Resolutions.

So, this is officially my last post until 2009!
What a crazy and immensely fulfilling year it has been, though full of ups and downs.. my heart has been broken, I have lost people I deeply cared about, I've been able to soul search and realize how strong I am, and I have found that the friendships I have are those worth keeping for the rest of my life.

I always suck at making resolutions... I usually don't find any reason to keep them, and end up breaking them in record time. So this year, I'm not going to lie to myself and make resolutions I could never keep - they're going to be doable resolutions, where I can be motivated to keep them. So here is what I have thought of so far:

1. Don't get upset over little things. So many times, I just pick at the little things, and end up getting so stressed/frustrated. Rather than do that, I really want to focus on the bigger issues that really are deserving of my time and energy!

2. Go to the gym consistently, at least 3 times a week for an hour. I always feel so good about myself when I work out, but find myself making excuses for why I can't go. I definitely need to get over this, and make time in my schedule to get in gear and work out more consistently! :)

3. Be smarter with my money. Sure, I do love clothes, and overly expensive footwear, but I'd rather have some money than blow a whole paycheck on a fierce pair of white Christian Louboutin pumps. I want to be able to save the money that I have and make goals of things I want to buy (like a new Nikon D80 for my trip to China this summer).

4. Follow my passions and make time for them. In between studying and working, I rarely find time to pursue my passions like painting and cooking...I definitely want to be able to clear some time for just me to do the things I love! :)

5. Not to be so critical of my friends. They all have their faults, sure, but so do I. When I get frustrated with my friends (especially CH, AS and T) I just start thinking of all the things I dislike about their personalities, which makes me so bitchy towards them. They're all incredible people, and they're my friends for a reason. Each one has been there for me and helped me deal with things that I could not handle on my own.
Like CH - after I learned about my dear friend Carol, who I spent 2 months doing charity work in Africa with, had died in a sudden car accident in October, CH spent hours with me just hugging me, making sure I was okay, and taking my mind off things. She wrote the most lovely notes to me just encouraging me and making sure I was okay. I need to focus more on the good things like that, and not get so freaking upset about what is currently going on in the moment.

6. To keep blogging! I was skeptical about it at first - what if no one read my blog, or hated it, or thought what I had to see was stupid... but you've all been tres fantastic, and I thank you all for your support! You're fabulous ♥

What are some of your resolutions?!

Well, I'm off now - we're currently in my aunt's apartment in the city getting ready to go out!!! My dear friend AK is a fabulous event planner in NYC, who helped us make fantastic NYE plans at a hot NYC lounge.
I hope all of you have fantastic NYE plans. You're all fantastic, and I only wish the best for you for New Years!

Oh, and T wishes you all a Happy New Year as well :)

HAPPY NEW YEARS (from moi and T):

Times Square yesterday:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Forever Friends

This weekend has been insanely busy...I feel like ever since Christmas I have not had even a spare second to do anything.

My Christmas presents:
-Chocolate Uggs
-Grey Uggs (that tie up the side - they cut off my circulation, but I'm willing to deal!)
-Lots of Anthropologie/Fossil clothes
-Latex leggings
-jeans (which surprisingly, are the perfect fit)
-Patterned tights
-DVDs (including seasons 7 & 8 of CSI - I don't think I'm ever going to quit watching; some seasons of Law & Order SVU, season 4 of The Office, and seasons 2 & 3 of Arrested Development)
-A fantastic Tim Walker calendar
-A pretty patterned Vera Bradley planner for 2009 (because I adore organization)
-Subscriptions to W magazine, as well as Architectural Digest (because I'm a sucker for architecture, and the fantastic homes shown).

One of my favorite things that my family does around Christmas, is that we all pick a charity, and then each of us makes a donation to the other person's charity. This year both of my parents chose the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, because both of their mother's died from breast cancer. My brother chose Heifer International, a fantastic organization that donates animals to third-world countries, to help families make profit from either selling milk, eggs, wool, etc. It's a really cool organization. I chose to have donations made to liver cancer research/treatment, because that is what my father died of in 2006.
I like the charity aspect of our Christmas, because it reminds us that we're so fortunate, and that not everyone can have the kind of Christmas celebrations that we just take for granted most of the time.

What did you all do for fun on Christmas? And if I haven't already heard, what did you get?!

The day after Christmas, after sitting at home terribly bored because most of my friends live in PA or NYC and never come back to good old Franklin Lakes, T called me and asked if I wanted to do something that we brainstormed what we could possibly do, we decided to call up our favorite NJ guys (who will probably never leave NJ) M, J, and A. They invited us to a party at their friend's house, which we reluctantly agreed to go to, for no other reason then we really had not much else to do. When we showed up there, it was in this tiny, gross little house, with a ton of drunk out of their minds frat-boy types (but not fun, cute frat boys...the obnoxious frat boys, like Animal House style). Our friend A dove right in - downing shots, copious amounts of beer, and then he started hitting on everyone in the entire place. T & I hung around aimlessly, feeling kind of awkward amongst all the people who were stumbling around the room. While she and I both enjoy our cocktails, this was just not the type of environment we've come to enjoy them in. But we stuck around, out of sheer boredom if not nothing else.
It wasn't until one girl started throwing up all over, that I feared for the life of my fantastic shoes, and the fact that it was completely inevitable that the cops would show up, that T, J, M and I decided to bail. A stayed to sleep it off before he drove anywhere.
The rest of us showed up to one of North NJ's numerous diners, where we sat and talked about old times...I had forgotten I'd known J and M since 7th grade... 9 years ago! It's so strange to think about the people who have known you, and seen the evolution of yourself (i.e. for me, from the stick thin, nerdy girl with the heinous red-rimmed glasses - hey, we can't always have been fashionistas, right?!).

Last night, I spent time with C, who I have literally known since birth. Our mother's were both friends, and got pregnant within weeks of one another. I was born in early February, C in late February, and we've been friends ever since then. We have gone through a lot with each other - the divorce of her parent's, the death of my biological father, fights with our families, fights with one another, her moving into the city and me staying in Franklin Lakes... but our friendship has remained solid. We don't talk often, but we see each other whenever we're both home for holidays - and we pick up where we left off.
We've both evolved so much since our young years - her turning into the hipster East Village located girl (who loves thrift stores and gold lame leggings), and moi, the Upper East side prep (with an affinity for Louboutin's and Chanel clutches). It's crazy to think that I have known someone for 21 years, and that we're still friends. While we're not as close as we once were, we still have the bonds of friendship that stem from our mother's friendship.

Baby C & Baby Moi (18 years ago):

Anyway, I'm off to clean my room - R is finally coming tomorrow to visit (since last time the snow was so horrible we had to postpone), and she, her boyfriend, and our friend Jay are heading into the city tomorrow for some delicious vanilla cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery and some lunch at Gotham Bar & Grill.

I hope you're all doing well,

Friday, December 26, 2008

Joyeux Noël

tree 08

From my house to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and I hope you all have an incredible New Year.

I can't wait to hear what you all got for Christmas and did with your families/friends/loved ones! Let me know what some of your favorite gifts were!

Have a fantastic rest of your holiday, and thank you all for being so sweet to me during my first month of blogging - you're all so special, and I really do appreciate and love hearing all of your feedback. xo

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cooking, Top Chef Style.

I seriously can't believe how much time flies - I mean Hannukah has already begun and is well underway, and now Christmas is in only two days.
I braved the malls today and finished up my Christmas shopping (getting up at 7 a.m., so it wouldn't be completely insane). Getting things for Pat and my mom was very easy, but my dad was, as always tres, tres difficult. I headed to a golf store in the local mall and picked out some Callaway stuff for him (which is a perfect gift for dad's who golf!), and then headed to Lacoste for some of his favorite polos. All in all, it was uneventful, but it was absolutely crazy to find a parking spot while at the mall.

After that, I decided to head into the city - every year we get pies from the Little Pie Company, this amazing NYC pie shop on W. 43rd between 9th and 10th that has the most incredible sour cream apple walnut pie I have ever tasted in my life. Seriously, if you've never had one, I would highly recommend. Brown sugar is caked on top, and oh, I can't even describe how fantastic these are. I was only supposed to pick up one, but I ended up getting one of the sour cream apple walnut pie, and a pecan pie (which I've never had, but am so excited for!). My family swears by them and get them for most occasions and holidays.

Anyway, after getting the pies, the last thing that I wanted to do was cart them around the city, so I just decided to head home afterwards, feeling incredibly productive about my day so far.

When I got home, I decided I had so much energy (thanks to copious amounts of Red Bull and caramel macchiatos), so I headed off to the gym, and got home in time to volunteer to cook dinner tonight. My mom has just been stressing so much about cooking all the food for Christmas, cleaning the house, wrapping a bagillion presents.

My dad and I got into watching Top Chef last year...while I'm away at school, we watch it and then talk about it over the phone afterwards, talking trash about our least favorites and top picks, as well as comparing opinions on the food. My parents are both definitely foodies, and I like to consider myself an aspiring foodie :) Anyway, this story does tie into the fact that I cooked dinner tonight, I just suck at getting straight to the point.

For Father's Day, I decided I would get my dad the seasons of Top Chef on DVD, so we could relive our favorite contestants and time. Unfortunately, Bravo has not put the seasons onto DVD for reasons I can't comprehend. So, I went the next best route - I got the Top Chef Cookbook for my dad, and illegally burned the seasons onto DVDs.

So tonight while I was contemplating what to make for dinner, I decided to flip through the Top Chef cookbook, feeling confident that I could pull at least something in the book off. I found a recipe for chicken rigatoni with vegetables, and I knew that I could definitely do that. I ended up substituting fettucini for rigatoni, which I think came out even better. The recipe also called for red peppers, which we didn't have, so I just added in whatever I could find.

It came out fantastically, and was so, so simple to make. It was a little time consuming in the prep work, just chopping up the chicken into 1 inch pieces, and chopping up the vegetables, but thankfully we had pretty decent knives to make the cutting a lot easier!

Even picky Patrick had no complains (though he ate his fettucini with only the marinated/sauteed chicken, but still!).

The veggies sauteeing in a white wine mixture:
Cooking 1

The pasta and chicken before the vegetables (aka Pat's dinner):
Cooking 2

Finished product :)

If you want the recipe, let me know - it's seriously so easy to make, and tres delicious.

P.S. Can you BELIEVE tomorrow is Christmas Eve?!?

Monday, December 22, 2008

What to Wear to Ring in '09...

Well, it's about that time of year...I'm not even thinking about Christmas, especially because I have only half of my shopping done. So I'm trying not to focus on the fact that I'm gonna have to deal with the longest lines (I'm guessing mostly filled with husbands and fathers who have put off shopping until the very last minute, just like my dad is doing) to get all my shopping done.

So instead of focusing on the impending doom of shopping/making last minute gifts, I'm instead trying to focus on what I'm going to wear for New Years Eve!!
I absolutely love New Years Eve...the parties, the sequined dresses and dark eye makeup... staying up all night and sleeping the entire next day - I just completely love it.
To keep with the spirit of procrastination, I still have no idea what I'm doing yet for New Years Eve, or what I'm going to wear (which I usually plan in advance). I've been invited to a few parties in the city, house parties, and I can attend my parent's annual New Years Eve gala at my house (yeah right). It's all just kind of up in the air right now, and having my lazy friends try to figure out what they want to do, and actually get back to me about it :)

I've been looking online, and in stores for fantastic dress ideas, and so far these are what I've found so far...

I thought this Vera Wang top would look amazing with a pair of American Apparel liquid leggings:
Vera Wang

I'm not sure if this Shoshanna dress is what I'm looking for, but I really like the neckline of it. It's still classy, but shows skin too, so it's not completely conservative.

I am drooling over this Nanette Lepore dress... I think it's fun and colorful (and will look fantastic against a spray tan!)
Nanette Lepore

I'm a huge BCBG fan. I have a ton of dresses from the label, that I've worn for a ton of special occasions, and I would definitely recommend to anyone! I'm not sure if this screams New Years though, but I know that if I needed to, I could definitely wear it again for another occasion. I'm also really loving the origami neckline!

Last but not least, we have the typical New Years Eve dress by Forever 21. I love Forever 21 because the stuff is so cheap that you don't have to worry about what happens if someone spills a drink on you, or something happens to it. Also, I can wear something once and not feel guilty about never wearing it again :) I think for the price ($39.80), it looks pretty cute, and I love the pairing of bright tights underneath!!!
Forever 21

Which one is your favorite?
AND, if anyone has any other ideas of a cute New Years Eve dress, definitely let me know :)
I hope all is well with you!! (And that you're all done with most of your Christmas/Hannukah shopping!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let It Snow?

It is snowing like CRAZY here!!!

This was the view from my window at around 11 (and it's still going strong at 3:20!!) Snow was just EVERYWHERE.

View from my window

It was predicted that a blizzard was expected today, and so far, things are living up to the expectations. The roads are terrible (the woman I work for even called and told me not to come because she thought that I would die on the way), and barely anyone is on the roads. People (including my father, who would rather die than leave work early EVER) are getting to leave work ASAP, even the Starbucks in my town is closing early!
As much as I like the extra $15/hr, I kind of enjoy having no work today. It's been nice to just loaf around, eat a leisurely lunch, take a super, super long shower... all the things I love doing but never have the time to do on days I'm rushing around.
The only thing that sucks is that we're now all cooped up at home (with the exception of my mom who thought that going out for her best friend's birthday lunch at the Melting Pot was more important then her safety). Pat and I both brought the TV's from our rooms to college with us, and my parents are currently awaiting the arrival of their new plasma, so we are a two-TV family at the moment (and one of those tv's is a tiny plasma mounted on the kitchen wall, where no one wants to sit to watch anything). I'm waiting for the fights to erupt over who wants to watch what - so far, so good though.

Coop has enjoyed his lazy day so far... I don't know how he sleeps in such weird positions!

All this fresh powder makes me so, so excited to go snowboarding!! Pat wanted to go today - which would entail an hour drive to the MOUNTAIN, which I'm assuming is getting a lot more snow than we have here. Plus, everyone is driving about 2 miles an hour, which would make the trip last probably four hours, at the very least! So I vetoed the idea, but we made plans to go on Sunday. Real snow is so much better than the fake snow - and this snow is perfect for snowboarding. It's packed nicely so that there can be so much control on the board, but it's not iced over, which means it's definitely not dangerous (or any more dangerous then usual).
Last year, Pat got a brand new board for Christmas. It was beautiful - this great Burton board, sharp and it just looked Of course, the new feeling never really lasts to long, you get up on a rail and immediately the bottom isn't quite as shiny.
Anyway, Patrick and I did a few runs, he hopped on a few rails and did his thing (I can't do too much on the rails like he can). At the end of the day when we were ready to leave and were undoing the bindings, and when Pat went to grab his board, the edges were so sharp that he sliced his hand open. So we're at the mountain, over an hour from home and we have zero idea what hospitals are even in the area...and now we're just waiting for an ambulance to come while Pat is bleeding everywhere. Ick, it was so gross. Apparently it's very common (at least according to the medics at the mountain).
So, Pat and I are hoping not to have a repeat of last year...though his board is not so new, shiny and sharp anymore.

I am DYING for a new snowboard...I have this old Burton one from senior year that I absolutely loved. I still love it, it's just older, more scratched up, and I'd love a new one.
Shaun White designed a ton of snowboard gear for Burton (which in my opinion is the greatest brand of snowboards and gear), and I love his designs (and I love him too!).

If anyone has an extra $500 or $600 lying around and wants to buy one of these for me, I would very much appreciate it ;)

He also designed this awesome jacket - it's much cooler then the one that I have right now:

The boards and jacket are available at Burton. The website is really cool too if you're into snowboarding :)

As much as I'm excited for snowboarding, I am a little pissed that a shopping day was thrown out the's definitely getting down to the wire now for getting presents, and I definitely needed to run to the mall today to head to Lacoste and Neiman Marcus to finish up the shopping for my family = /

Is it snowing by you all today?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Random, Random, Random.

One of the things I adore about being so close to New York City is being able to take advantage of all the fabulous events held there. I especially love the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, where Bryant Park is transformed into a sea of tents, all holding different designers creations just waiting to be unveiled. It's so exciting, trying to figure out which shows my aunt can get me tickets to (she's in PR so is able to nab tickets to some great shows) and then waiting for the music to cue, and the models to start prancing down the runway.

For me, I equate it with Christmas. The anticipation, the build up, sometimes things go above and beyond your expectations, and sometimes they let you down a little, but it's still so magical.
This year I was unable to go to Fashion Week, which completely bummed me out. The other day I was looking at pictures of the different designs, and feel like this year I missed out on an amazing experience. I think I would have enjoyed the Matthew Williamson show the most, and probably the Anna Sui show just as much - I love the way she plays with colors, and that her line was so visually stimulating.

These were some of my favorite designs from various shows:

(All three photos on top row, Matthew Williamson; from bottom left: Abaete, Abaete, Aurelio Costarella).

I am in love with all these dresses, and wish my budget would allow me one of each (or one of any :) ) I think the Matthew Williamson dresses are divine, and I would love the one in the middle to wear on New Years Eve!!


My kicking the CSI habit has not been going too well. There has been a ton of CSI marathons on lately and I just feel inclined to watch! But, no nightmares, and no overactive imagination so far! So yay :)

Today I started work again, babysitting for the family that I was a nanny for all summer. They are so fantastic, and the time just flew by today. When I got there, having not seen them since August, Jack - the four year old boy - ran to me and said "Allison, I just missed you too much." This is the same boy who on my last day over babysitting for them, looked me in the eyes and said in the cutest possible voice, "Allison, I will love you forever. I promise." I wanted to cry it was so cute. He is honestly one of the most precious little boys I have ever seen. It was so nice to get back into the working swing of things (even though it's only been a week - being at home without any commitments gets kind of old!) and being able to make some extra money for holiday spending. (P.S. What kind of gifts do you get for aunts and uncles that you're not especially close to? I have NO ideas!).

I still have yet to find a gym - the one I was a member of all throughout high school only does 3 months + memberships which sucks, and the other one I looked at is $110 a month, which seems really high to me, especially since that is the college rate.

Oh, and since I'm in a rambling kind of mood, I'd like to give an update on my friend T, who moved in with her boyfriend E, and I was worried that everything would change. Welllll, I was definitely right to worry. I think that deep down I completely knew everything would change, but wanted to believe that it wouldn't. That was just me being naive, because everything has changed. She left me a cryptic Facebook comment about getting together "in the near future," which is entirely unlike her and so freaking frustrating.

But, in good news, my bestest friend R is coming to visit this weekend! I've written about her before - we were randomly paired as roommates freshman year of college, and we're still going strong!! We're going to be roommates for all 4 years of college, which I think is VERY cool.
So yeah, I'm super excited she's coming this weekend!!!! We're planning to go into the city and do all the touristy stuff like go to the skating rink, the tents set up at Bryant Park, see the displays at Macy's, an exhibit at the New York Public Library - I'm excited!!! (But really nervous about driving in the city! I've never done that before).

I hope you're all doing well!

P.S. I've been listening to the Josh Groban Christmas CD, Noel. I can't get over how fantastic it is, and swear that I would marry Josh Groban in 1 second if he would sing to me every day. How junior high of me is that?! I think I'm just a sucker for guys who can sing!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Offical: No More CSI Before Bed.

So last night I babysat for one of my favorite families. I was looking forward to it all day - they're so easy to take care of and so much fun too! I think that I set myself up for failure because I just get this idealistic viewpoint about so many things. Like, I just kind of assumed that the kids would be wonderful and great and amped to see me, which they were...until their mom left. They started screaming, crying, kicking, biting...yayy!

And that was how it went for pretty much the rest of the night. The girls went through my bag, pulling out my cell phone and texting my friends saying stupid things, and every time I tried to grab my phone from them, they would run into a different room, or upstairs, thinking it was a super fun game. They're 12 and 10...wayy too old for crap like that. Finally when they got bored of my phone, they brought it back, but this time moved on to taking my entire purse and emptying the contents on the floor.
My (new) GPS came tumbling out onto the hardwood floor, followed by my Ipod, camera, wallet... so now I'm trying to keep my cool, while panicking inside that all my electronics are now smashed on the ground. The girls now decided it would be fun to count all the money in my wallet...and then run away with some of my money. At that point, I realized (which I should have realized a LOT sooner) that I couldn't play nice anymore, and that I had to let them know that yeah, we could have fun and joke around, but there definitely needed to be boundaries set up. So I counted to twenty so I wouldn't yell...I'm not usually a yeller, but sometimes I get pushed to that point...and I calmly walked upstairs and informed them that if they did not give me back everything they had taken from my wallet that I would call their parents, and that they would have to go bed right then (it was like 7:00). They listened to me, but it was like this forced "I'm only listening because you threatened us."

These are a few of the pictures they took when they took my camera hostage...some are actually kind of cute:


They told me to act like I was walking in and very happy to see them. They made me put my boots back on, and wanted me to put my coat on too, which would have been quite the production. Apparently, I'm a wonderful actress because at this point, I was ready to cry:

When it was time for them to go to bed (finally) they gave me HUGE hugs and were like "We love you soooo much and can't WAIT to see you again!!!"
Another thing I have to do when I babysit there is sit in the hallway, outside of everyone's doors until they're all asleep because they all get scared. So last night as I'm doing this, I keep hearing noises from downstairs, like someone is smashing against the door trying to get in.
I swear, I think all the CSI I watch messes with my head. So now I'm upstairs, and FREAKING out. And in my head I'm going "Okay, well I guess I should go downstairs and investigate...but in horror movies, they always go investigate and get killed, and I think they're stupid for going to investigate. Should I go downstairs? Or should I just stay up here and let them eventually come up and kill all of us." I swear my mind was going like a billion miles a minute. I even considered waking up Isabel and telling her that if I didn't come back upstairs in 5 minutes to call 911.

So I kept hearing this BANGING it sounded like someone was downstairs in the kitchen opening drawers or something. I'm upstairs like, having a heart attack picturing all the episodes of CSI I've seen, or that stupid movie When A Stranger Calls, when a killer stalks a babysitter and the kids she's watching.
Finally, I decided that I needed to grow up and go figure out what the heck was going on. So I took the phone, and dialed 9-1, thinking that if someone was down there, all I had to do would be press the other 1, which was much easier then dialing 911. So I headed downstairs, and was like creeping, tip-toeing through the house (which does nothing because the floors are so creaky!) looking for any time of creeper. I heard the banging while I was in the kitchen, and thought I was going to faint. So like an idiot, I go try and figure out what is going on, and realize that the stupid wreaths that the family has on all the windows were banging against the glass because of the wind. So I was getting myself all worked up over a bunch of freaking wreaths and wind!!!
I felt so dumb.

I get scared so easily. I attribute it to the fact that I do watch a considerable amount of horror movies, have an active imagination, and love shows like CSI and Law and Order. This summer, my brother and I were NOT getting along before he left for college, so when I had the option to drive to South Carolina (a 12+ hour drive) to drop him off at school, my answer was easy - absolutely not. I figured that if we couldn't stand to be in the same house together for a few hours a day, how would we POSSIBLY survive a car ride where there was no place to go...we would be stuck together. So I optioned to stay home with the dog, so my parents wouldn't have to pay for a breeder, as well as pack up all my crap for school.

I like being home alone during the day and early evening...even late evening if I know that people will be home when I go up to bed. I don't know - I always picture someone chasing me up the stairs as I walk up to bed, so I get super freaked out - but if someone is downstairs when I go up, I don't feel scared anymore...silly, I know.

So anyway, it was one night and I was watching TV with my dog - it was a super lazy night. So both of us were sitting on the couch when all of a sudden his ears perked up. I heard this noise on my front porch, and he heard it too because he just started growling, which he never, ever does (unless my brother touches him, which is rare). Immediately, I start imagining someone outside trying to break in, and I realize that I haven't set the alarm, I don't have my cell phone near me, and I am probably going to die. So I crawled, on my belly like a snake from the TV room and one end of the house, through the laundry room, dining room, study, and into the living room, where there is a window that you can see the porch from. I was just thanking God that no one could see me because I looked 100% ridiculous.

It turned out it was nothing...but seeing Coop's reaction was what got to me. Ahh, it was so scary and I was relieved when my parents got home a few days later (I had friends stay with me until they got back!!).

So, I think that I need to stop watching CSI before I go to bed (because I can't give it up - I love it!).

Now, on a good note - my brother flew home today!!! So in an hour I get to see him for the first time in 4 months!!! :) :) :) Yayy!

I hope you guys have a fantastic weekend. <3

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Winter Blues

Today was a very blah day.

On a plus, the weather was warmer (maybe in the 40's), which was definitely a nice break!!!

I don't know why I've been in kind of a weird mood lately...I'm SUPER unmotivated (I have studied 0% for my final tomorrow - and I don't even have the energy to study!), and I'm just feeling kind of lonely for some reason.
I think it stems from the fact that all my closest friends have a boyfriend or girlfriend, and I'm always the odd one out. They never purposely make me feel uncomfortable about it, but it's just one of those things. They're all making plans to spend Christmas Eve, or Christmas together and plans for New Years, while I am just...hanging out. I'm part of their lives, but at the same time, I'm the odd one out. I think it's especially tough now, because at my school, EVERYONE gets engaged by the time they're seniors, and here I am with zero prospects, while a ton of my friends are out looking at engagement rings with their significant others.

I get kind of a warped sense of reality being at this school, because I honestly think that all twenty-year-olds in the world are out getting engaged, when really, I think the national average is around 29 or 30. But still, I don't know if I want to be 29 or 30 and still not married, or engaged. And I know there are people out there who aren't supposed to get married, and I really, really hope I'm not one of those people.

I just get so discouraged here, because there is this stupid saying "Ring by spring", meaning, you'll get engaged by spring or something is seriously tres tres wrong with you. I'm now a junior, and haven't even had a boyfriend at this school, so obviously I am a complete and total failure at this stuff.

Ughhh, it's so frustrating. And super, super lonely. Which sucks, especially with all the tv commercials with the happy couples and families.
I think I'm just in a super sucky mood.
Hopefully I'll be over it VERY soon!!
Sorry for the negativity - it's been a recurring theme lately and I do apologize!

P.S. Last night we did our gift exchange at Applebees - C got me a Lacoste headband and R got me this really pretty white shirt from Heritage. R got 2 scarves from me and a really pretty magenta shirt from C. AND, C got 2 scarves from me (red & brown), and a shirt-dress from R! It was very successful, and so much fun.
C wrote like, the sweetest note, it made me super emotional. I'm gonna miss them a lotttt over break!
PLUS, the chef came out and thought we were hot, so he gave R and I extra boneless wings! Yummm.

I hope you are all doing MUCH better than I am today.

Here are pictures from PF Chang's on Sunday :)

Me & C.

The girls!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

And, It's Down to the End...

Ahh, I have been so, so busy which is why there has not been a "real" post from me since I left for the O's on Friday.
I had such an awesome time with them... every time I go there and spend time with them and their kids, I never want to leave. J is super, super classy and pretty - I hope when I'm a mom I look and act like her. I like having someone older (other than my mom) that I can talk to about all the things going on in my life, without worrying about her judging me! It's always nice to find somewhere that you feel completely safe.
They took me out to dinner, to this AMAZING Italian restaurant. It was called Angelina's Kitchen, and was probably the size of a dorm room, with maybe six tables in the entire restaurant. But, all the pasta was handmade, and all the sauces were as well - I promise it was some of the best Italian food I have ever had. Even better than Babbo, one of my favorite Italian restaurants ever. It was SUCH a nice treat from the crap they've been serving in the dining commons. Afterwords, we watched Top Chef, J & M put the kids to bed, and then went to bed themselves, and I stayed up til 2:30, catching up on all the cable shows I miss when I'm at school.
Saturday, J & I baked cookies, and watched Baby Mama. It was honestly, so, so, so nice to relax and not worry about the stresses of living at school. I think that's one of the things I really appreciate when I go home - that yeah, my family does fight, but there is still a feeling of safety and relaxation.

Yesterday was a bittersweet day. I had arranged a last hurrah going away dinner for R, before she leaves for Spain. We went to R's favorite (and my favorite too, luckily!) restaurant PF Chang's, and a group of ten was going to go. Well, as things go, only six of us ended up going - which I kind of felt bad for R, since it was a dinner to say goodbye to her, but such is life! And we ended up having a wonderful time, even though our waitress was a HUGE jerk, especially to my friend C!!
C's boyfriend N has CRAZYYY food allergies - to pineapple, chicken, seafood, soy, most fruit, lemon, and more. So because of this, N can't eat ANY of the food at PF Chang's, since all Chinese food is made with some type of soy component. His allergies have NEVER been an issue before when they've gone there - usually the kitchen prepares a special type of pasta dish with broccoli for him.
This time - the waitress was just not having it. She asked all of us, "Why would you bring him HERE?" and then continued to give us a hard time about it throughout the evening. While we laughed about it, and tried not to take it personally, the more I think about it, the more it kind of pisses me off. While I do understand that she could have had a terrible, horrible day and was frustated beyond belief, it is her job to still at least treat us with some respect.
But we had DELICIOUS food, and a lot of fun regardless - it was just kind of annoying! But having that goodbye dinner made it all the more real that R is leaving, and that starting in early January, I will once again be without my best friend. It's just toughhh, ugh. I know she'll have suuuuch a fun time, and I'm so glad. It's just a long time for a girl to be without her best friend!

Today I just totally took it easy. R, C and I are going to Applebees tonight for half priced appetizers, and a Christmas gift exchange. I'm cravinggg honey barbeque boneless wings, so I'm really glad we're going (even if it's not til 11, which is 3 more hours!!). I got both R & C scarves - like the American Apparel ones you wear all the time. C got a red one and a brown one, and R got a teal-ish one and a black one. They're really, really pretty. I also got my brother a tshirt from Fossil, and went into North Face trying to find a jacket for my dad, but I was just not in the shopping mood. I got what I came for, and was just so tired. (I think I'm overtired, I got about 12 hours of sleep!)
I have spent the rest of my day starting to pack, watching numerous episodes of CSI, and stalling because I know I need to be studying.

I also think I'm getting sick ahhh..

I hope you all have a stress-free end of classes, and get everything done (especially you Jocelyn!!, good luck getting everything done!!!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

C'est La Vie

I am still in shock that for me, the semester is over, minus one final. Yesterday I turned in a take-home test and another project for my last night class of the year (FINALLY!), and I am DONE. No more getting up early (just kidding, I still have to work after all!), no more stressing over projects, no more night classes from 4-10 p.m. I feel this huge, huge sense of relief, but at the same time I just keep wondering - where did the time go???

I still remember being completely apprehensive about going to college...nervous that the roommates I was assigned to and I would not get along at all...afraid that I would never find my way around campus - and now it's three years later.... while I still don't love college, I do love the roommate I was assigned to freshman year - we're still roommates, and best friends :) , and I've learned that my campus - not so big, or confusing. Now, instead of worrying about finding my classes without trouble, I'm worrying about applying for student teaching, and how I'm going to make it in the real world. It blows my mind.

Next semester is going to be a lot different... my best friend, and that roommate I was paired with freshman year is going to be studying abroad, which is going to be a really different experience. Like I said yesterday, it always sucks when you come to count on someone and then they're not there. At the same time, I'm SO excited for her to go abroad and experience a different culture. I know it's such a once in a lifetime experience!!! I'm really excited for her, but at the same time, I know how much I'll miss her! It's a weird feeling. I guess it's just more change, which as I said yesterday, I'm not good with.

So, on a more optimistic note - I finally made a Flickr account, so now I can have my Thanksgiving pictures up...even the ones that were too big at first! (Sometimes I'm a little behind things).

My mom usually goes all out for Thanksgiving breakfast!
Thanksgiving breakfast

She also bakes the most delicious apple pie ever.

My cousin Thomas and I with my aunt's dog Sophie (oh, and he's 16 and kind of awkward, so my grandpa had to tell him to put his arm around me, haha)
Me Thomas and Sophie

Another of Thomas and I :)
Me and Thomas

I have more, but I'll put them up at another time - I guess I'm trying to hold onto Thanksgiving as much as possible til Christmas comes along! :)

P.S. I have been eating the best snack today - I put cream cheese on Wheat Thins. I know it sounds horrible, and I thought that at first when my friend told me about it, but I promise it is so delicious. It kind of tastes like eating a bagel. Definitely not the most healthy snack, but I can care less - it's so good!!!!
Do any of you eat snacks that other people might think are weird? (like crackers and cream cheese ;] )

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How Boyfriends Can Break Up Best Friends

So, I have been friends with T since we both switched to private school in 7th grade. We are so much alike it's crazy, and I know that she's one of the only people who really gets me. She's also the only person in the entire world who I really trust almost completely (which is HUGE for moi). We're able to really be ourselves together, and we do the DUMBEST things sometimes, but to us, it's so much fun. One of our goals that we have had since high school (which is also so silly, so you can make fun if you want ;] ) is that we want to go to EVERY diner on this stretch of highway in Jersey - which is no easy feat if you have ever been to north Jersey...this particular highway has a different diner every direction you look. We're off to a great start, and we always meet some characters wherever we go, and we're always completely loved by our waitresses whenever we go (weird, huh?).

Anyway, T dated this guy E in 9th grade, for the majority of the year (which is a big deal in 9th grade!) and into 10th grade. She was hopelessly in love, and would commute to Boston to see him at least once a month, and he would come and visit Jersey. He even came to our winter dance all the way from Boston just to see her in 10th grade! E ended up breaking up with her one day in study hall, and I seriously remember being in the pavillion in 10th grade for study hall, sitting on the steps on the left side of the stage, and T just crying and crying and not being able to stop. I HATED E after that...especially because he hooked up with some hoe shortly after and started dating her.

It took T some time, but she was able to eventually move on. She casually dated some guys, we both agree that they were mostly losers, but c'est la vie. You live and learn. However, she kept in constant contact with E - and they even went on vacation together. I couldn't understand how he could break her heart and she would go back and be best friends with him - she is obviously a much more forgiving person than moi.

Well, obviously, T and E are now back together and have been for a year or two. They were continuing to do the long distance thing, with him in MA and her in NJ, which is a sucky distance, but it's doable.
THEN, E decided to go to school in FL, which meant their long distance would truly be a looooooong distance relationship. And an expensive one, they would both learn. She would fly to FL at least once a month, racking up crazy expenses and being broke all the time because of spending all her $ on plane tickets.

E and T decided something needed to stop - everything was getting too expensive, and it was too frustrating not being able to see each other. So T decided she would move to FL to be with E, and get a job down there waitressing while she finished school. Obviously, I was devasted - I was going to be losing my best friend, and no matter what anyone says, things would change. We would never get to see each other, and hanging out and spending time is a huge way that a friendship deepens. But I decided to be supportive, and tell her that while I would miss her, she had to follow her heart.

She decided not go to go FL...I guess the fact that she thought she'd be able to make great money as a waitress panned out, and she knew that the way they would be living wouldn't be comfortable. So T and E came to another decision - he would move in with her and her parents after graduating in November.

I immediately knew that things would change. How could they not? She and E would be living like a married couple, and things would just not be the same. I was determined to make the most of my time with T before E moved in - I came home from school every weekend for a month straight to hang out with her, and our friends M, J, and A.
The last time we hung out, she told me not to worry - nothing would change between us. I knew in my heart that was not true, but I told her that I was happy nothing would change.

I came home for Thanksgiving break last Tuesday, the same day T and E arrived from FL to move E into her house. She and I made plans for Wednesday, which were broken quickly. So things have already changed, and I feel like they're going to keep changing.

I really hope T and I don't drift apart, but I know that now our priorities are different.

Anyway, that's my venting for the day, sorry!! I think I just hate change, especially when it's change among my friends, and the people I really count on.

On a good note, after today I can completely be unstressed!! I finished my 68-page unit, am in the process of finishing a take home final as I type (aka I'm taking a break from the tediousness of it all), and then have only one final next Wednesday and I am DONE!! Yayyy!


P.S. I realized a completely random fact about myself - I have been eating two pieces of wheat toast, non-dairy butter, and grape jelly since I started my junior year of college in August. I think it's a comfort thing and has just become a part of my daily routine. It's weird cause I barely EVER eat toast at home.
It's so delicious. I'm making toast on my George Foreman as I type :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Grab Hold and Do Not Let Go

So, I'm making up for my three days of not blogging by posting yet another blog... this one is about something that I think is such a huge part of my life - MUSIC!!!

Lately (as in, since this summer), I have gotten into The Raconteurs. If you haven't heard of them - they are INCREDIBLE. They are indie-rock, but with a very different kind of sound. They kind of have a folksy, bluesy feel wrapped into an indie-rock band. Jack White (of the White Stripes) is one of the singers in the group, and I think he's fantastic (even though he looks kind of like Edward Scissorhands!)

I'm hooked!

They came out with a new CD this year called "Consolers of the Lonely" - also a track on the album, which is one of my favorites!! You should definitely check them out! :)

Consoler Of The Lonely - The Raconteurs

These Stones Will Shout - The Raconteurs

Let me know what you think!! I've been really into the two songs I posted, as well as "Attention" and "Top Yourself."

P.S. Thanks to Jocelyn for posting up music from - I signed up too, and that's where the music I found of The Raconteurs is from!! :)
Check out Jocelyn's blog - it's great!!