Friday, July 24, 2009

What Makes Me Happy (When Skies are Gray)

Mm, I can be quite self involved sometimes, so I absolutely love when people tag me in surveys so I have an excuse to talk about myself! (Just kidding, but I really do like doing these!). I especially love when others take on these same posts and write about themselves, because I really do enjoy learning more about all of you - even the very unconventional things :) It makes it a little more fun, and makes me feel like I 'know' you all better!

The fabulous Carol of Everyday Delights tagged me to share ten things about myself. Her list was so fabulous, and she and I have so much in common (down to the fact that we both owned/were obsessed with the same American Girl dolls, and our Mayflower relatives and genealogy obsessed mothers!).

1. Instead of gifts (though I do love gifts, don't get me wrong), I would rather do a special activity with someone, like go out for a really nice dinner, or go to a Broadway play or something. I like memories more than material things (though material things do have their place of course!).

2. My dad recently switched the TV/DVD player/cable box/DVR/stereo - everything - to one of those do everything universal remotes. I had to write out detailed instructions (including drawings) for my mom on how to use the remote to turn on the TV. She still doesn't quite understand it.

3. I got the opportunity to go to Uganda, Africa four years ago, and I dream of it every day and just long to get back there. It was both the saddest and most rewarding experience of my life.

4. I habitually check I'm obsessed. And don't worry, I realize how trashy it is, but I just can't help myself.

5. Lately I've been eating pints upon pints of Trader Joe's non dairy, non fat raspberry sorbet. I can't stop - it is so unbelievably delicious! I justify it to myself, but I know when I get cellulite, it's all my own doing ;)

6. Every Wednesday night, I watch Top Chef with my dad. We started this tradition a few years ago, and have kept up the tradition. While I'm away at school, we still watch, and then call each other at 11 p.m. after the show is over to discuss it.

7. During Restaurant Week in NYC, my family goes into the city at least 7 times to participate in it. It is some of my favorite time spent with them, especially because we always head to Magnolia Bakery after every meal (even though dessert is included with the menu!). Estimated calories per day that week? I'm guessing 28,000 ;)



8. I absolutely love going to the beach at night. Something about just walking along the beach, listening to the waves crash, and having it not be unbearably hot is so peaceful and relaxing to me.

9. After my Nana died when I was 3, my Poppy (grandpa) bought a really gorgeous condo down in Wildwood, NJ (south Jersey, down the shore), so that our entire family could spend time together.
At first, everyone would go down for the month of August (since my aunts and uncles are schoolteachers - and my dad would go to work and then come down on the weekends). It has always been such a fun time of togetherness, and we still go down - 18 years after the fact (though now the time has decreased to 1-2 weeks).

At my fave restaurant down the shore last summer with Poppy, who encourages me to be ultra campy:

10. I absolutely LOVE to cook! My specialty is penne with vodka sauce. I can't lie, I make amazinggg vodka sauce :) I cooked it for J one night and he LOVED it (yay, success!) and have made it for a lot of family functions.

Next, the lovely Carrie of Couture Carrie invited all her readers to share things that make us happy. I got to thinking about my top nine current things that just make me break out into a big smile.

1. Good song rotation.
When I'm listening to Pandora, and I get like, a good 10 songs in a row that I just love... this puts such a massive smile on my face.

2. Hydrangeas.
I think they are beyond gorgeous. My mom has huge, huge gardens all over the property, and out by our guest house, there are these gorgeous hydrangea bushes that are pink, blue, and this dark purpleish color. I've been taking loads of pictures of them (but I've yet to upload them - I'll do that soon!).

3. Sleeping in gorgeous lingerie.
This is a recent thing - before, I was always so scrubby going to bed. I'd wear like, an oversize tshirt that I got from running a 5k and hop into bed feeling comfortable, but not very attractive. My roommate and I were shopping back in April, and after wandering into Victoria's Secret and falling in love with their gorgeous sleepwear I picked up a few things. It has made me feel so gorgeous before climbing into bed at night! It's one of those little things I like to do for myself.

4. Pablo Neruda's poetry.
I think it's beyond sexy and filled with passion. Beyond that, it's just beautifully written. For example:
The night birds peck at the first stars
that twinkle my soul like I love you.


5. "The nook."
There is this one specific spot when I snuggle up with J that is so cozy and comfortable I dubbed it "the nook." I feel like nothing can bother me when I'm snuggled up in "the nook." Just thinking about it makes me smile.

6. This commercial.
It makes me want to cry big, happy tears. Plus, I've loved this song for-ev-er.

7. Mr. Darcy.
I'm currently reading Pride & Prejudice for the bagillionth time, and I swear, Mr. Darcy makes me swoon every time. Any man who will say, "
In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

8. Driving with the windows down on a warm day, with a Starbucks nonfat iced caramel macchiato in the cupholder close by (or in this case a frappucino).

9. Elton John's song "Tiny Dancer."
I don't know why, but this song just makes me break out into a smile (and sing along, loudlyyy) whenever I hear it.

And to the fabulous Nicole at Loquaciousness, I promise I will get to your awesome survey soon - I didn't want to be TOO self involved though with all these fabulous tags! ;)

I'd like to tag ALL of you to do this - I'd love, love, love to see what makes you happy/find out more about you all!
Any fun weekend plans for you all?

Images a combo of my own, from a Google search, and the lingerie picture if from

Currently watching: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. My brother has never seen it, and is in for quiteeee a treat :) If you haven't seen it and like thrillers, I think it's fabulous. Super creepy, but fabulous.


♥Aubrey said...

Thank you for sharing more about yourself. I love the fact that your family gets together and goes down to the condo. So sweet ♥ Mmmm Starbucks frapuccino...yummy!!! Have a fabulous weekend.

Lindsay said...

I am seriously obsessed with Perez too! I'm heading to the beach this week and I'm planning to read Pride and Prejudice for the first time and I can't wait!

Elizabeth Marie said...

WOW lady...we have SO much in common-I mean I knew we already were aware of this but wowwwww...

Sorbet, you went to Arica I went to the Philippines but have the same memories and emotions, close to your grandpa (I adore my papa), vodka sauce, lingerie, the ATT commercial gets me EVERYTIME...driving with starbucks...

oh girl...I could go on and on...I love you! You are amazing.

zupu said...

This post was such a nice thing to read, I'm just heading to work but it definitely made me smile and I will do the 10 what makes me happy questions soon too! I can already say the common thing with you: cooking, my favorite hobby, specially pastas and gnocchi! Your vodka sauce looks so good, I've tried it also a couple of times!

Have a lovely weekend bella!

Lily G. said...

Great list and pictures!

La Couturier said...

oh my goodness I am completely and totally in love with Mr. Darcy (: And we have soooo much in common! (: Love that!

Do enter my Current/Elliott jeans giveaway here ( Simply write your own "petite novella" (or short fashion fiction) about the outfit you/a character would wear incorporating those jeans & leave it in the comments! Have fun, be creative - you have a week!

La C.

Couture Carrie said...

Fab tags, darling (and thanks for the shout-out)!

Love all the pics of you and the fam. Your braid is so gorgeous!

I, too, love going out to eat (yay for restaurant week!), lingerie, and Neruda.

Fantastic post!


Kristin said...

You are one cool chick. 1. Your Poppy is too cute. 2. J'adore an evening stroll on the beach. 3. Make mine a skinny vanilla latte and I'll take a drive too!

Nicole Linette said...

I understand perfectly with the tag overload, and no worries -- I just can't wait to read your answers!
Like for these two tags, reading about what makes you happy and just in general about you was magnificent! Uganda must have been incredible. All the bonding you do with your parents and family is so heartwarming, between the Top Chef ritual, restaurant weekend, and vacationing; that's amazing. I love vodka sauce! Yours looks delicious, and J seems mighty happy that it's for him :). Ahhh and Mr. Darcy is swoon-worthy for sure. I wish a guy would quote him, just once, to please me =X)!

I hope you're weekend is going wonderfully! peace&love,

TOMERea said...

First of all, thanks for the comment, my dear! X O
OMG what a cute post, all of traditions and cool stuff of you and your family, I wish it to evrybody! BTW I was in Africa too' when I was a little kid, but I wasn't in Uganda, I was in Kenya, it was one of my best trips ever :) Anyway' I realy love this post, keep doing posts like this and better.

♥Aubrey said...

AWARD time girlie...check out my blog!!! One awaits YOU :)

Kicking couture said...

Hey sweetie, i love selfabsorbed tags too!! im gonna have to do this tag sometime this week!!

Love the post, you have to give the recipe for that pasta it looks so yum! Your family sounds so fun and lovely, that resturant week so jealous!!

how funny is that my fave flowers are blue hydrageas too!

Keith said...

Hey Allison. Wow. These were all fantastic to read. I really enjoyed learning more about your interests, likes, etc. You have an amazing blog. Take care. I hope you had a great weekend. Cheers!

Carol said...

I am so glad you did this! I LOVE your 10! And seriously, are we like long lost cousins or something?! We have so much in common. How wonderful you got to go to Uganda. I work at a cancer research center here in Seattle and we have a partner hospital there (well the only one there) so I would love to opportunity to get there sometime. Thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth Marie said...

FAVORITE! I looooved your 3am comment yesterday! I'm feeling MUCH better today and ventured out to Starbucks and had my frap in the same place as yours in that pic and totally thought of you!!! I think we might have the same car too...

I would LOVE your recipe!!! Oh I can't wait! I'll buy a bottle for the sauce and a bottle just to have...haha!

You are the SWEETEST! I hope you had a gorgeous sunday-was it raining in NY? I heard about sketchy weather from my friends. OH and I will be there in the end of August!!
Love love love you! XOXO

dapper kid said...

I know what you mean about activities with someone rather than gifts. It is kind of like they are the gift, and the memories count for far more :) Wow Uganda sounds like it must have been absolutely amazing! Haha totally a Perez junkie too. I needs mah gossip!! Plus I find it easier than TMZ to read through.

Awww how sweet to have the Top Chef tradition with your father, that sounds lovely :) And the August family get togethers sound amazing. I so wish my family would get together at some point, there are uncles and cousins I have not seen in over a decade. Awww and "the nook", that made me smile so much, how adorable!!

Hope you had a beautiful weekend dear :)

Hanako66 said...

I just love everything about you...we are so similar!!!

I don't know where to begin...I'll just name a few so this isn't a novel!

I love how close you and your family are and how you appreciate fine food we share the same favorite flower, and you have such a great heart!!!

Bella said...

Awww, honey it's almost impossible for me to decide which part I loved most about this post! I can safely say that I smiled all the way through... okay, so the remote control 'situation' gave me a pretty good laugh.

Annnnd... I adore the pictures, the pretty dress (gorgeous on you, btw), Starbucks (yum), Trader Joe's, Mr. Darcy... see, I told you I loved everything! xxx

Gina said...

oh all those things on your list are so sweet! I'm actually reading Pride and Prejudice right now :)

Lee said...

So i came across your blog through a friend and i fell in love with it instantly. Your music taste is wonderful and then you won me over when you had Mr. Darcy and the AT&T commercial in the same post.